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: 24.95
- Running time: 125
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Mobile Suit Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam Vol. #01
By Mark McPherson
February 16, 2002
Release Date: August 07, 2001
The classic finally makes its way to America. Despite the fact that there is no Japanese language track, it is still worth buying for the sheer thrill of the original Gundam. The ORIGINAL Gundam is here.
Audio: The dub only track actually sounds pretty good. Special sound effects really help restore the film for today's audience. You know how Bandai will include those nifty sound effects in trailers? Well, those are kept in here. The opening and closing songs sound exactly as they did back from 1979. This is good nostalgia fare.
Video: I must commend Bandai for their extremely good job on restoring Gundam. The colors look so vibrant and vivid. It almost doesn't like it was made in 1979. Even some of the bluish colors in the closing look strikingly beautiful.
Packaging: The packaging is great featuring Gundam slicing through a Zaku. It looks very beautiful. And with the titles located at the bottom, the artwork looks more appreciative. The back has a nice summary of the show.
Menus: The main menu features a still image and the Gundam remix song seen on Toonami. Okay menus, but it could be better. Pretty much the same setup as 08th MS Team.
Extras: Yes, there are extras on the disc. Bandai isn't that heartless. The only extra is a Mobile Suit Encyclopedia featuring the three main suits from White Base. There is a nice trailer for a Playstation Zaku video game coming soon. It's worth watching.
Content: Having not seen the original series, watching this was a treat. The oldest anime I've ever seen was Castle of Cagliostro. Until I see Astro Boy on DVD, this is the oldest anime I have seen thus far.
When the Zeon Lucite attacks Side 7 and discovers Project V, Amuro is thrown into combat with two Zakus in the RX-78 Gundam. He helps White Base escape from Side 7 with the survivors from the attack. During their departure, Amuro meets the pilots (Ryu, Kai, Hayato) and the bridge bunnies (Bright, Sayla, Mirai). While helping White Base get repaired at Luna 2 and escaping to Earth, Amuro encounters Char several times on the battlefield. Char Anabal, also known as the Red Comet for his red Zaku, can't believe the awesome power of the Gundam, but sometimes finds he winning. There is even some mystery as Char might be Sayla's brother. Another character is Amuro's long time friend Frau Bow who helps out the civilians on the ship.
The only Japanese dialogue is in the opening and closing songs, which switch the show into a completely different mode. I'm guessing that Bandai was not able to obtain the original Japanese dialogue. Or maybe they're saving it for the movies. Whatever the reason, I still feel Bandai should have put more effort into the DVD. Gundam fans can't be happy without Japanese dialogue. One thing I found odd is that the disc contains two subtitles, but they don't serve any purpose. So you're not going to understand the lyrics in the opening and closing songs.
Overall, Mobile Suit Gundam is a fair buy. The price should be more like $20, but if you are a mecha fan, this is a must. A great show for its time. Highly recommended.
Oritron 2001 DVD100; RCA 19-inch television