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: 75
- 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. #4
By Chris Beveridge
July 10, 2002
Release Date: July 23, 2002
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 Vol. #4
What They Say
© Bandai Entertainment
Universal Century 0083. The renegade Zeons have almost completed their intricate revenge scheme, and now a runaway space colony becomes their last and most terrible weapon against the Earth Federation. The fate of all humanity will be determined in the final showdown between Kou Uraki, Anavel Gato, and the woman who loves them both.The Review!
The final installment of the 0083 series brings the principal cast against each other again, as well as providing some interesting twists and a good number of dead bodies.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. In the end, I really wish the original stereo mix was provided as well.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:
Bandai scores again with another great 0083 cover, also reversible. The main cover features a hardened Kou in his pilots outfit doing what he does best with the image of the battered Gundam full behind him. Mixed into it is the mobile armor the Gato takes over, with him walking towards it. The back cover is like previous volumes and features a couple of animation shots and a summary of the episodes. The discs episode numbers and titles are listed as well as the discs extras. Reversing the cover gets you the same thing on the back, but the new front image features the mobile suit above earth and moving into space, a very nice painted piece. The insert provides another shot of the original front cover while it opens up to provide a timeline of events for these episodes, down to the minutes. Menu:
The menu layout for the show is pretty decent if a bit awkward to move around at times. There are 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:
There’s a small collection of extras here. There’s about 90 seconds worth of TV commercials advertising this OVA release. The big extra here is the karaoke section, which has both versions of the openings and endings in karaoke format. The MS Encyclopedia also makes another appearance here.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the devastating results of Gato’s attack on the Naval Review, taking out a substantial chunk of the fleet, it looks like the Federation is in chaos. But as we look closer at those in the higher rank sections, it looks like they almost expected this and have plans to deal with it.
The Delaz Fleet however is still continuing its push forward with the highjacked colony aimed at the moon. This is where bad science in science fiction comes into play. Delaz makes a play with the suppliers to the Zeon there about how they can come out of this right. But in the end, there’s a whole lot of doublecrossing going on, and partnerships within partnerships that don’t get fully explained. With the moon in danger, it’s not surprising that there’d be some crafty defense most people don’t know about. So when some laser units appear from below the surface, fire and reflect off of a satellite and then proceed to wreck carnage on the colony, I wasn’t terribly surprised.
The deal, as it appears, is to simply force the colony to crash on Earth and wipe everything out. With the size of the colony, the damage should be considerate. But the bad science here is that if the moon was taken out, there’d be just as much if not more damage done. So now the story changes route with the familiar crew rushing towards the colony to try and stop it from the point of no return. To pull this off, we get treated to some internal politicking where Kou, and everyone else, gets denied the use of Unit 3. Lucette, the companion to Unit 3 much like Nina to 1 and 2, gets to know Kou a bit and works him into a place where he’s ready to take the hugely powerful craft out to defend the Earth.
But Kou can’t go without having a real foe, and Gato’s not done with Operation Stardust yet, even though he has no Gundam anymore. Delaz gifts him with a mobile armor, something in a sense similar to the odd designs seen coming out of the MS 08th Team series. This massive beast is unlike other mobile suits, but it’s loaded, powerful and under the control of a very cunning man. So these two, who battled so well in mobile suits already, get to go at it one more time while the colony slowly tumbles around them towards the point of no return.
The stakes in these episodes are definitely high, and it looks like a good part of the budget was saved for them. The animation throughout is great with a lot of fluid moments and some sparkling scenes. This show just looks so fantastic here, that I can’t get it out of my head the differences between this and the old copies I’d seen years ago on tape.
With all the twists and turns of these final episodes, with the military being what it is in addition to the plays made on the Zeon side, I was just on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next. The classic Universal Century Gundam shows continue to be real draw to me, and I can’t wait to see more. Rediscovering 0083 after a number of years has been a real pleasure, and has left me with a much better impression of it after seeing more of the UC titles. I’m extremely happy to have these four discs in my collection now.
Japanese 5.1 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Commercials,Karaoke Openings/Endings,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.