Mobile Suit Gundam Vol. #03 (Mania.com)

By:andrew
Review Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Release Date: Friday, November 02, 2001



The Review!
At the end of the last DVD, we witness the fall of Garma. With this DVD, we get to start seeing more of Zeon society and we begin the Ramba Ral arc. This DVD seems to be more of a transition period in the series.

Audio:

With this DVD, it is clearly evident that the dub actors have completely settled into their roles. Dialogue is clear. Sound effects sometimes don?t sound very clear, or the volume levels on them seem to be wrong. Despite this, the sound engineering is better as the volume levels when the Core Fighter flew about the screen changed properly as the plane approached.

Video:

The video quality is unchanged from the previous problems. During a panning shot of the moon in the intro during each episode we get to see some macroblocking. I started notching other compression problems also, as someone?s hair appeared to shift slightly. The film print seems worse this time also, as there are even more scratches and blemishes. While it seems like I?m slamming the video, for a show from the seventies, it looks great.

Packaging:

The cover this time features the Garm on the cover with his love, Icelina. A Gaw warplane is in the background with flames coming out of it, and Gundam is featured in the lower corner. I swear, the Gundam looks like it is contemplating the rest of the cover. Our subtitle for this episode is The Threat of Zeon. A nice number three is on the spine, and the back features Sayla and the GunCannon. Episode numbers and titles are printed on the back also.

Menu:

The menus on the DVD are completely static as the previous volumes are. Submenus include scene selection for each episode, trailers, the credit page, and the MS Encyclopedia extra. The cover image is used in the main image menu to add a little color, with Sayla, Mirai, and Ramba Ral?s Gauf in the background.

Extras:

The Mobile Suit Encyclopedia is the only extra on the DVD. This time, we get a listing of four of the various Gundam configurations, which effectively spoils us for when they appear on the show. The Core Fighter, G-Fighter, G-Bull, and G-Sky are included. I don?t suggest looking at this at all until probably after the next DVD.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

The item I noticed was that the introduction sequence for each episode finally changes for these episodes. Instead of giving us the early background of the war, we now go into the leadership of the Zeon forces, and how the Zabi family wants to rule over humanity. Until this intro, I was giving the Zeon a chance that they might be trying to break away from an oppressive Earth, but not anymore. I?m very Gundam ignorant.

Our first episode, Icelina ? Love?s Remains, wraps up our previous story arc as Icelina, Garm?s lover, wants revenge on the White Base and the Gundam. Icelina?s manipulates Garm?s remaining forces into an all out attack on the White Base using 3 Gaw class planes. Amuro takes the Gundam and Ryu in the Guncannon and they leap over to the Gaw planes and fight on them! Char then decides to fly out of nowhere to attack the White Base and takes out a rear engine with one missile. The White Base is forced to land and some of the refugees escape from the ship only to be gunned down by Char. Amuro and Ryu have problems with the Gaws are forced to retreat to the ground after taking out another Gaw. Icelina?s rams the remaining Gaw into the Gundam, disabling it. When Amuro gets out of his Gundam, Icelina points a gun at him. Amuro is frozen in fear, but luckily for him, Icelina faints and falls to her death.

The Threat of Zeon, Garm?s family has gathered to mourn his death and use the funeral to manipulate the public. Kycilia, Garm?s sister, inquires about what is being done about Char since the Zabi familiy blames him for Garm?s death. Char has been dismissed and sent home. On Earth, a Zeon commander, Ramba Ral, notices the White Base as he enters Earth and proceeds to attack. White Base proceeds to hide in a lightning storm which causes Amuro to recall the hatred Icelina had for him which causes him to go into shock. Ramba attacks in an upgraded Zaku, the Gouf, with two other Zakus accompanying him. Amuro is sent out to defend, but he is hardly in any condition to fight. When the Guntank and the Guncannon join the fray, Ramba pulls back.

Coming Home is next, and we get fanservice as Mirai and Sayla go out sunbathing in their swimsuits during some shore leave. Amuro uses the time off to visit his mother who is near by. His mother isn?t at home, but helping to take care of refugees in a camp near by. Mother and son embrace and try to catch up until a Zeon patrol comes into town. When they discover Amuro, he kills one of them with a pistol as his mother watches in horror at what her son has become. Another soldier escapes, and the White Base is also discovered. To prevent an attack, Amuro is sent to the Zeon base in the Core Fighter. Kai comes with the components of the Gundam, and we become witness to the first mid air transformation sequence as the Core Fighter is joined with the two the upper and lower body units to form Gundam. A killing spree commences as Amuro wipes out the Zeon base. Afterwards, Amuro refuses an offer from his mother to stay, as he feels he?s finally found somewhere he belongs.

Time, Be Still is a filler episode, though we learn that Amuro is completely enamored by Lt. Matilda, which brings out some jealously in Fraw. Lt Matilda is there helping resupply the White Base and informs Bright that he is now an Ensign. Some Zeon soldier meanwhile, find out that the White Base is in the area and come up with a plan to destroy Gundam. They attack Matilda?s ship, causing Amuro to come out of the White Base to defend her. The soldier then lay bombs on Gundam?s exterior and retreat waiting for the Gundam to blow up. One of the bombs destroys Gundam?s shield, so they are effective. All the bombs must be disarmed.

We had a mix of episodes here. The first episode at first seems to be filler, but it leads to Amuro discovering the effects that his actions are having on others. While the Zeon are an enemy force, there are the people behind the picture. A formidable enemy presents itself with Ramba Ral, a Zeon commander who doesn?t just waste his forces by throwing them at the enemy. Plus a lot of character development on Amuro?s part, as the killing gets to him, but he can still lose himself in battle. His mother certainly doesn?t like what he?s become.

If you?re a large fan of Char, you?ll be disappointed by these episodes for the most part as he is pushed into the background. These are transition episodes filled with some character development. So Sieg Zeon, err, I mean Hail Zeon!



Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 player, Toshiba 36? Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears



Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: C
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
MSRP: 24.95
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Mobile Suit Gundam