Mania Grade: C
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- Audio Rating: C
- Video Rating: B
- 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
By Brian Shea
February 16, 2002
Release Date: October 02, 2001
I'm not going to spend time regurgitating what the other reviewers have said about extras, packaging, etc... You can get all the info you need about those things on the site's official review. This is strictly a content review.
If there's one Mobile Suit Gundam DVD to avoid, this is the one. Out of the entire series, less occurs in these episodes than any other. Although the series does have a short spell of dull episodes later in the series after the Ranba Ral story arc, the entire Garma story arc is by far the most boring in the series and could have been done in 3 episodes instead of 6. You get 5 of these 6 episodes on this disc. Anyway, I'll get on with the individual episode reviews.
*Read with caution from here on in. The rest of this review contains spoilers for this DVD.*
The first episode this disc has to offer is Episode 6 of the series. In this episode Garma's forces are introduced to White Base. They do battle, and White Base comes on top as usual. Outside of a good sized introduction to Garma Zabi, this episode has little else to offer and is mostly useless battles.
Episode 7 is the second worst episode in the entire series in my opinion. Only an episode on the next disc is worse than this. This entire episode is pointless. Amuro heads out in a Core Fighter to contact the Federation, but faints and the mission fails. Thats it. There's also some filler about old people taking hostages because they don't want to be on White Base anymore, just more garbage this episode throws at you.
Episode 8 is slightly better than the previous two, showing us the negative aspects of war when a young mother discovers the town she grew up in has been destroyed during the war. Just like the previous episode, this episode is nothing but filler and can be skipped without effecting the story arc at all.
Episode 9 majorly improves upon the previous 3 episodes, introducing us to a new character, Lieutenant Matilda, who becomes White Base's chief supplier for the remainder of its time on Earth. However, the best part about this episode is when Amuro completely breaks down and acts like a whining baby when Bright wants him to go out on patrol. Bright and Amuro never really got along and they simply explode at each other here. This is just the beginning for Amuro though, his conduct will get much worse as the series continues. Which I frankly don't mind. Its a lot more entertaining than the totally loyal characters in Gundam Wing who were virtually perfect personality wise.
Episode 10 is by far the best episode on this disc, and the first really good episode of the series. Here we find out about Garma's personal life. He's in love with Icelina, the daughter of a Zeon hater. Neither of the 2 lover's parents support them getting married, so Garma says he will take down White Base then force his father to allow the marriage. If he won't comply, he'll abandon Zeon. However, Garma is never able to put his plans in action since he is tricked by Char during their assault on White Base and dies when the carrier he is on is blown up. Although the disc ends here, you'll see that Garma's death has a great effect on Zeon for the rest of the series.
Although this disc improves greatly in the last 2 episodes, and contains some nice character development involving Amuro, 3 out of the 5 episodes on the disc are simply horrid. This disc certainly won't be worth the 20-30 dollars you'll be handing over for it, especially since it has no japanese track. The first MSG movie provides an adequate replacement since it covers all the good stuff this disc has to offer, but also axes all the horrible filler.
Look on the bright side though; the bad episodes are few and far between after this.
Panasonic DVD ROM, 17 inch monitor, Cambridge Soundworks Speakers