Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket Vol. 1 & 2 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Japan
  • Released By: Bandai Visual
  • MSRP: ¥6000
  • Running time: 86/96
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Mobile Suit Gundam 0080

Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket Vol. 1 & 2


Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket Vol. 1 & 2
© Bandai Visual

What They Say

The Review!
One of the great things about DVD is that it now means that companies have to re-release all their old stuff to milk the ol' money cow. Bandai has decided to kick off their Gundam releases with "War in the Pocket", the first of the OAV Gundam series.

WitP is basically a side story that occurs during the One Year War from the first Gundam series. It helps and enriches the storyline if you actually know who Amuro Ray and Char Azanable are but it can still be enjoyed just fine as a stand-alone story. Basically it's about a kid named Al who stumbles upon a Zion special ops force trying to destroy a prototype Gundam designed especially for Amuro Ray (the Fed's top pilot). Al befriends both the Fed test pilot for said prototype and one of the Zion operatives, Bernie. It's unique in the Gundam universe in that it's told mostly from a child's point of view and is not exactly action oriented like all the other Gundam series (although there are some prime mobile suit action sequences peppered throughout the series).

Thankfully, Bandai has decided to release this series on two volumes, each containing 3 episodes each. They have also been nice enough to include a nice English dub on a secondary audio track (but decided not to go with English subtitles- too bad). I decided to watch the whole series over again with the English dub and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the voice acting- it's a lot better than I was expecting it to be. In some ways, it's preferable to the Japanese track (having Garcia actually sound Hispanic just seems more natural 8-)).

The 2 channel stereo is fine, if unremarkable. The video is just brilliant-like all of Bandai's DVD releases, there is an astoundingly high bit rate throughout. The menus on the DVD's are quite generous- you can select any of the 3 episodes from the startup menu or go to any of the chapters on the secondary menu (there are about 4 or 5 chapters per episode). It also lets you select Japanese or English when selecting your start point.

The extras are fairly generous. Each volume contains a 16 page booklet that contains either character or mecha designs (an idea I prefer over actually trying to put it on the actual DVD). Volume 1 contains only a few TV commercials in addition to the opening and ending credits without the credits. Volume 2 features "All That Gundam", a very short bonus video that was previously only available as a mail-in goody if you sent in your proofs of purchase for all 6 volumes of the laserdiscs (if memory serves); it also has some CGI rendering of the Alex mobile suit and some music montage.

All in all, I'm quite happy with the purchase. At 6,000 yen per volume, it's a steal considering the original six 30 minute laserdiscs went for about 5,000 yen each. And just to make sure you didn't try to get away with getting only one volume, Bandai has spread out Haruhiko Mikimoto's and Yutaka Izubuchi's cover and back art over both volumes so you need both to get the whole picture.

With Gundam 0083 coming out in January and February 2000, all I need now is for Bandai to whip out Char's Counterattack with a new Dolby Digital (or DTS) 5.1 remix! 8-)

Japanese Language,English Language,Intro & ending without credits,Four TV Commercials,16 page booklet with character designs and timetable,"All that Gundam" promotional short,Ending without credits,16 page booklet with mecha designs and production credits,CGI Gundam shots,Music Montage clip

Review Equipment
Pioneer DVD-606D DVD player (codefree), Sony 27" Trinitron TV, Denon AVR-3600dts a/v Surround Receiver, Paradigm Mini Monitor speakers (front R/L), Infiniti center channel.


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