Mobile Suit Gundam Vol. #02 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Audio Rating: B-
  • Video Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • 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. #02

    October 26, 2002
Release Date: October 02, 2001

Mobile Suit Gundam Vol. #02
© Bandai Entertainment

What They Say
The year is 0079 of the Universal Century, the Earth Federation and its space colonies are engaged in an apocalyptic war. The rebellious Principality of Zeon, using humanoid fighting machines called mobile suits, has all but vanquished the Federation.
Now the Federation's last hope is the prototype mobile suit Gundam. When a twist of fate makes young civilian Amuro Ray the Gundam's pilot, his own battle begins - a struggle not only for the Federation's survival, but for his own.

The Review!
I can't tell you how much I wish this disk had a Japanese audio track. It's enough to make a fangirl cry. Other than that, the plot is getting stronger, while still remaining typically Gundam.

Audio: Just to remind everyone, this is a dub-only track, and it's all from the center. The intro and ending songs, as before, have some problems. The dubbed track itself is pretty clear.

By the way, don't think the dubbing is terrible. It's not. But it suffers from the same problems as many other series: people talking over each other to get out the words (Char and Garma when Char first reports in), talking without their mouths moving, and a few screams that fell flat (though Kai did a good job). Some people are fine with this, and would rather have an English version with these problems than read subtitles. That's fine. Others, like my roommate, say "It's dubbed? Ok, bye," and leave the room- without even hearing it. They just prefer the Japanese version. By not giving them that option, Bandai is going to miss out on sales to some folks, and will disappoint others (like me).

Video: The video is similar to the last disc- flat color with a tendency toward blockiness. It's clean, though, and there's not as much grain and artifacting as you might expect, given it's age. Unfortunately, there are some desert scenes in here where you can almost see the plates moving, and the reds in the last two episodes did a lot of wobbling- enough to really distract me. I thought it was my DVD player, so I checked it in the DVD-ROM, and sure enough, everything jumped. Your mileage may vary. This may be a case for one of those progressive players.

Packaging: Featuring Char! The front cover is a nice shot of him in his half-mask (with his beloved red Zaku), while the back is the same style as the first disk, but again featuring Char and his Zaku. The insert, disk, and sticker that comes with the package use the same picture. On the reverse of the insert, we get to see ads for other Gundam series, and the Gundam action figure catalog was included. Repetitive, yes, but I like the picture.

Menus: Same as before, with the same repetitious song.... Char takes up the left corner. On the right, you can navigate between playing straight through, individual episodes, the Encyclopedia, trailers, and DVD credits.

Extras: Once again, we have the Mobile Suit Encyclopedia, this time explaining the Zakus that Zion uses.

Content: The story starts here. White Base landed on Earth in Zion territory, unable to contact the Federation for reinforcements, and it's making a desperate run for the sea.

True to Gundam style, everyone's differing agendas start boiling to the surface, even though the war should be enough to keep people focused. On the Federation side, some of the older civilian evacuees want the ship to land so they can get off- they want to live on Earth, and they don't care if it's in Zion or Federation territory. On top of that, Amuro is getting battle fatigue and almost replacing Kai as the most obnoxious person in the crew. Finally, the lieutenant they picked up back at the Federation base spends most of his time second-guessing Mr. Bright and the other crewman, to the point that he's more of a liability than an asset.

All would be lost if the other side didn't have its own problems. The Zion commander Garma is an "old friend" of Char's (odd that Char seems to think he's rather stupid and exceptionally expendable), but the boy lacks the Red Comet's ability to assess a situation. He attacks White Base again and again, thinking that his larger troop numbers and simple tricks will win the battle. Garma spends most of his time trying to impress his older sister and win a big enough victory to marry his girlfriend Icelina- the daughter of a man who hates the Zion empire. Char amuses himself by not telling the boy how he thinks the Federation ship will counter his moves.

The fact that Char can predict White Base's reactions is impressive. The kids there are getting quite creative, assembling Gundam, GunTank, and GunCannon into various forms, using the Trojan Horse technique, and playing with propulsion systems. Mecha enthusiasts will undoubtedly enjoy this archeological exploration of older designs. For the rest of us, there are some minor "human interest" characters and the ongoing struggles of the crew to deal with their machines, the war, and each other.

So while the Federation leaves White Base to its own defenses, Amuro breaks down, Char plots against Garma, and Garma and his girlfriend worry about each other. In other words, good Gundam fare. Since the pacing and emotions are much stronger than the previous disk, it's just too bad there's no Japanese track, which might have flowed a bit more smoothly than the English one.

English Language,Mobile Suit Encyclopedia

Review Equipment
25" Samsung Stereo TV, code-free Pioneer 333, Sony STR-SE391 receiver, Sony speakers, and the cables that came with the set.


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