Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A-
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Bandai Entertainment
- MSRP: 29.98
- Running time: 90
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Mobile Suit Gundam 0083
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 Vol. #3
By Chris Beveridge
June 29, 2002
Release Date: May 21, 2002
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 Vol. #3
What They Say
© Bandai Entertainment
As the Earth Federation's space fleet begins its naval review, the remnants of the Duchy of Zeon carry out their secret plan of vengeance. Will Kou Uraki's newfound confidence and upgraded Gundam enable him to stop Anavel Gato's nuclear strike? Now begins the ultimate battle of Gundam against Gundam! The Review!
The third segment of 0083 surprises by being of huge importance to the overall scheme of things, something normally reserved for the very last couple of episodes. The plot moves forward fast and furious here as the characters are thrown all over the place.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. While the original mono or stereo track isn't included, we have been given a full 5.1 remix of the Japanese track as well as a remix of the English 5.1 track that was released a few years ago. The Japanese 5.1 track sounds pretty good overall with some better clarity and definition to the voices across the forward soundstage, but some of the music comes across as giving a really hollow feel at times through the rear channels instead of giving it an immersive feel. Video:
Another solid transfer here of the recent Japanese remaster materials. The shows quality really shines through here and puts just about all of the previous media releases to shame. There's been a few instances of some slight cross coloration in a few scenes, but nothing that's consistent all the way through. Colors look great and solid on our setup and the overall presentation makes this look like a new show instead of one over ten years old.Packaging:
This is a great cover here. The central focus is the kneeling Gato with Kou and Nina on either side. Both Gundam units are in close combat behind him, adding to the sense of urgency and Gato’s calmness in all of it. The back cover provides a number of shots from the show and gives a decent summary of what to expect. Episode numbers and titles are clearly listed as well as the extras. The insert opens up to provide more details on the timeline of these episodes. The cover is a reversible and has a nice space shot of the mobile suits moving up through the light.Menu:
The menu layout for the show is pretty decent if a bit awkward to move around at times. There's two columns on the main screen with a slice of animation playing in the center. The left side has all the setup features and basic playing while the right side has the individual episodes that lead to scene selection. Scene selection is a bit awkward at first until you find the little white bars that show which scene you're selecting. But otherwise, they're decent if average looking menus.Extras:
Bandai’s put a couple of good extras onto this release, though there’s little out there to be had. With this batch of episodes having new openings and endings, we get textless versions of those here. There’s also another round of MS Encyclopedia information here.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While there’s only three episodes here, there’s just so much going on it feels like so much more.
The opening round deals with the continual training of Uraki and Keith under Lt. Burning’s intense scrutiny. Their abilities are really getting better, Uraki more so than Keith of course. Burning even suffers a defeat at the hands of Uraki during one of their sessions. Part of this is attributed to his vision going red during a burn. He’s starting to feel his age, though he’s not terribly old. He’s definitely seen a lot of action though, and that’s aged him in other ways. After the captain catches him in the medical area, the two sit down to figure out where things are going with their pilots. There’s something really well done during this segment, seeing the two older war horses just having those knowing looks about what they’ve gone through.
Of course, you know this is all set up for Burning’s eventual death. That’s hardly a secret. Burning was slated to die due to stereotyping ages ago. The only fear I had was whether they’d send him off like Fokker in Macross or something different. Thankfully, it was something different, and something that forced Kou to realize just how dangerous space can be. All of this does serve to forward the plot, maturing Kou as well as advancing his rank.
The real meat of these episodes though brings things closer to Earth. The naval review is going on at Konpei island, a huge floating asteroid that’s been converted to a military base. Hundreds if not thousands of ships are flying in review formation close to it as the event gets closer and closer. The Albion, with it’s autonomous mission of search and attack, is kept away from the event, especially since many higher-ups just don’t approve of the vessel or it’s crew. But the main formation of ships is a sight to behold, like many other moments in this series.
In their way to celebrate their superiority, the Federation command is holding their review near the Solomon Sea, which is where the final battle of 0079 was fought, and where we saw the beginning of this series, with Gato being kept back by Delaz, for a future day. In Delaz’s fleet, that day is indeed here, and Gato is back out in space with the entire mobile suit fleet available. Leading them in the Gundam with the nuclear attachment, they launch the flare and head into combat with the unsuspecting Federation forces.
Even having seen these episodes several times over the years, once we moved into the final two here I was right on the edge of my seat. The show continues to push its main characters forward and doesn’t play nice with them. The main rivalry between Kou and Gato is given some really good play here, though it’s not the same level as Amuro and Char. But when the two have their Gundam’s locked in combat, and both get out and push their helmets together and Gato says what he does to Kou, I got a chill. Though Kou’s young, this series doesn’t pull any punches with its characters.
And then the entire sequence with the colonies… these are the kinds of things I got into science fiction for in the first place. Things that present concepts that you can grasp, but if you really think about, are truly amazing. I can’t get enough of this stuff and need more good serious science fiction. Very highly recommended.
Japanese Language DD 5.1,English Language DD 5.1,English Subtitles,Textless Opening,Textless Ending,MS Encyclopedia
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.