Mania Grade: B
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: B
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Bandai Entertainment
- MSRP: 19.98
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Mobile Fighter G-Gundam
Mobile Fighter G-Gundam Vol. #07
By Chris Beveridge
April 10, 2003
Release Date: April 22, 2003
Mobile Fighter G-Gundam Vol. #07
What They Say
© Bandai Entertainment
After pulling off an incredible stunt, Domon has made it to the finals in Neo Hong Kong! Now, the battles begin in earnest - George, Chibodee, and all the other members of the Shuffle Alliance must fight to stay alive!
Also complicating matters are the new rules introduced by Prime Minister Wong, including the infamous anything-goes rule, where fighters can use any and all methods to achieve victory. As Domon tries to master his new Gundam, he is faced with challenges both in an out of the ring, as he soon finds himself targeted by assassins!The Review!
Kicking off the second half of the series, this round of G-Gundam drops much of the angst and torture from previous volumes and almost starts off fresh.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. Though originally released in 1994, the track for this appears to be a pro-logic mix, though I don’t really hear anything coming through the rear speakers unless my ears are playing tricks on me. The Japanese track feels a small bit lower than the English track, with dialogue feeling a slight bit muffled at times. There’s not a whole lot of directionality going on, since when things happen, they’re loud all-encompassing moments of destruction that fill up the entire forward soundstage.Video:
The transfer for this release looks decent, but in general feels like it’s not up to snuff when compared to other Gundam series. The shows look and feel continues to be of a more drab and lifeless feel, even when you do have the bright outdoor exteriors. It may be a bit simply animated, but the only real problems we noticed with this transfer is some occasional cross coloration and aliasing as well as some light color banding during a few areas of solid colors.Packaging:
This cover sets the stage for the battles to come as it pits Domon and Master Asia against each other as well as showing their Gundam’s in a side by side pose to kick off the 13th Tournament. The back cover provides a few shots of the show itself and a few paragraphs of show summary. The discs volume numbering, done in rounds, shows up on both the spine and the front cover, earning good kudos from us. The back cover lists the episode numbers and the basic features of the disc. The insert provides another shot of the front cover while it opens to reveal a bio on Domon Kasshu and a bio on the Burning Gundam. The back of the insert provides the production and cast information for the show.Menu:
The menus are nicely done though a bit simple. The main static image is of a circuit board while to the right there are some visuals from the episodes playing. Selections are mixed into the circuit board area and access times are nice and fast. There’s little to the disc outside of the basics, so moving about is pretty easy and the layout is fairly standard for Bandai releases. One of the best spots is the episode selection area in how that’s laid out. Very neat.Extras:
The G-Files continues with several more pages of commentary from series director Imagawa. This time around he covers some of the potential continuity issues with the Four Kings and the return of certain characters, but also goes into some detail about Hong Kong and the reasons why they’re so different than the rest of the planet.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With Round 7, we hit the middle of the series and the start of the second arc. While the first arc started off with the original Gundam Tournament rounds and paring down of participants, it quickly moved to the more personal vendettas and plots of the various cast members. And, of course, the machinations of that nasty old Devil Gundam.
Round 7 brings us back to the main overall plot and the opening of the 13th Gundam Tournament to decide who shall rule over the colonies for the next four years. This allows the opening episode to serve two purposes. One, it starts as a springboard to bring in new fans at an easy and accessible point as they get to essentially reintroduce the characters to the audience. The second purpose is that in defining the characteristics of everyone we’ve come to know, they can save some time by showing footage from past episodes to display their skill set. So in a twisted way that works out fairly well, we get a decent recap episode. Plus, we get to see all the different Gundams again.
Frankly, my three year old loves the Master Gundam due to the very nice Gundam Horse he has. She does not, however, like Master Asia as he’s far too scary looking.
The setting for the 13th Tournament is very much a part of the cast as well. Having won the previous tournament with Master Asia being their Fighter, they get to oversee this one in how its laid out and to have their Fighter be the one that has to be fought in the end to win. Hong Kong in this timeline is very much unlike the rest of the world as it’s very vibrant and alive and its people almost seem as if they love being a part of the Earth and have a big adoration for the Gundams. It also seems to have suffered the least, though there are some rundown areas that look like they’ve been used for Gundam battles in the past.
Leading Hong Kong and presumably overseeing the government of the colonies is Wong Yunfat, a slick looking Chinese man who has some seriously big games going on. With Master Asia at his side, the two are plotting some very evil deeds to be sure, but Wong pulls it off with style and flippancy that unnerves his opponents. But he’s also wanting some blood to be drawn in this tournament, as he amends the rules to allow targeting of the cockpit by the Fighters. This new twists definitely adds a greater element of danger for those involved.
Once past the opening episode, each of the remaining episodes plays out various battles and movements in the big ladder to get to the final bout with Master Asia. In this sense, it’s like we’re back to the beginning of the series but with much more honed and confident pilots taking control of things. There’s some hints of larger things to come and the return of some surprising characters, but overall the tension and drama of the previous volume just isn’t here this time around. But it’s not surprising since it’s really back to square one.
This release is one of the slower points in the series so far, but sets things up well for what’s ahead. Being able to catch a bit of a breather and do some single episode battles with results is much needed after the multi episode battles of the last couple of volumes. I’m definitely curious to see how they’ll take the tournament concept here and start working it over for their larger plot. G-Gundam continues to be quite a bit of fun.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,G-Files
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.