Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: A+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: B
- Age Rating: 12 & 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: MS 08th Team
Mobile Suit Gundam: MS 08th Team Vol. #1
By Mark McPherson
February 16, 2002
Release Date: July 08, 2001
Well, Bandai is hopping back on the Gundam gravy train. Gundam Wing was fun with its vast political issues, but it's nice to finally get a piece of the original Gundam Universal Century calendar. This probably the most odd series of the Gundam saga right next to Gundam ZZ. However, it definitely keeps the viewer interested.
Audio: Of course, Bandai is sticking with its Dolby Surround 2.0 sound quality. It seems to be working pretty good for Bandai and I hope they continue in this tradition.
Video: Bandai never fails in video quality. Although the majority of the series takes place in the jungle with lots of mesh color here and there, the video quality still looks impressive. This is obvious when bright colors tend to stick out.
Packaging: How can I argue? An excellent cover featuring a Zaku aiming at a downed Gundam. The packaging is perfect. Even the disc is completely covered in mesh. Nice touch.
Menus: Despite everyone's griping, the icons for the main menu didn't really bother me, but the rest of the menus did. The extras menu has to change the image on the right when you move, so loading time is a little slow there. The other menus don't suffer from this. The scene selection is where I have the biggest gripe. They only show two video pieces from each episode on the right and you have to select a text to access a scene. How am I suppose to know where I'm going to end up in the episode? Here's a key for those of you confused with the main menu:
Video camera: Play
Magnifying Glass: Scene Selection
Extras: These are pretty standard extras for Bandai. The text-less opening was pretty good, but there aren't any selectable subtitles. The Bonus Clip is basically kind of like of like of trailer for the series. It's in Japanese with no subtitles. Bandai is beginning to mess up when it comes to subtitles.
Content: This 13 episode side-story to Gundam 0079 takes place right when Zeon announce their declaration after the death of Garma. In this series, ground forces of the Earth Federation begin mass-producing Gundams. So get ready to see a lot of Gundams face a lot of Zakus.
The first episode, surprisingly, takes place in space. While Shiro Amada is overjoyed to finally go to Earth, a battle occurs near the shuttle. Shiro wants to help the injured ally out in the battle so he decides to go out in the Ball (For those you who don't know, the Ball is pretty much a ball with arms and jets). While saving the ally, Shiro gets caught up in a battle between a Zaku. When pilot gets out of the Zaku, Shiro discovers it's a woman and the two of them are thrown outward into an abandoned ship. They kind of become friends by helping each other out and they get picked up by their own forces.
The second episode takes a somewhat similar path as the first episode. When Shiro is ordered to go into battle for the first time with his platoon, he gets stuck out in the jungle when a Zaku knocks out all his communication. Shiro gets out and explores around only to stumble on the most vivacious character in the series, Kiki, swimming nude. It's didn't take long before she opened fire on him. Shiro heads back to his Gundam and find the Zaku headed for him. He cunningly takes it out and heads back for base.
The third episode is more of an off-the-wall humor episode. Three pill boxes and a couple of Zakus are on top of the mountains and Shiro must scout out the route. While doing this, Shiro is stopped by Kiki and a couple of civilians with guns. The whole pervert ordeal from the last episode gets tossed around in this episode. When Shiro meets the boss of the civilian village, he agrees to let Shiro go help his platoon and everything works out as well as could be expected.
The character designs are pretty odd, but very alluring. Kiki looks like a prototype for Ed from Cowboy Bebop. Another thing worth noting is that this series was made the same year Gundam Wing was made. Now we know where all of Sunrises money was going and why Gundam Wing had a small budget. This series is bit of a shock for fans of Gundam Wing and the Gundam movies, but it's nice to see a Gundam series on DVD that isn't Gundam Wing. I'm still hoping for 0080 and 0083 to arrive on DVD. Anyway, a great series that won't leave you sleeping. Now where's volume two?
Oritron 2001 DVD100; RCA 19-inch television