Mobile Suit Gundam Vol. #02 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: C
  • 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 andrew     October 15, 2003
Release Date: October 02, 2001



The Review!
The crew of the White Base reached Earth at the end of the first volume, and now, they must get past Garma Zabi?s, the son of Zeon?s leader, forces. Who will survive?

Audio:

As before, Bandai?s release of Mobile Suit Gundam is dub only. The voice actors seem, especially Amuro, Char, and Bright, to be settling into their roles quite nicely. While the soundtrack is stereo encoded, there really isn?t any directionality. No pops or hisses could be heard also.

Video:

After doing some observing, I believe the video encoding on the second volume of Gundam actually got worse. There are more compression related problems this time. The night shots especially show small instances of macro blocking. Scratches, dark spot, bright spots, and smears are also evident from the print used to make the master. There?s not much that can be done about this though. I didn?t notice any of the sudden brightening of the screen that I did on the first volume.

Packaging:

Char is the main focus on the cover this time, which I find strange since he?s really not used as much in this volume. That also makes it strange since the volume is titled, The Red Comet. Behind Char we have an image of his Zaku. The spine has a nice number two on it. The back cover features images of Char and his Zaku that are from the anime. Episode numbers and titles are also included on the back.

Menu:

The main menu page and all the other pages are static menus. Submenus include scene selection for each episode, trailers, the credit page, and the MS Encyclopedia extra. The cover image is used in the main image menu to add a little color. Some really cheesy music is used, that is kind of like a '90s techno mixed somehow mixed to sound retro. It?s a very unusual selection.

Extras:

The Mobile Suit Encyclopedia is the only extra on the DVD. It gives the specifications, equipment, and a small summary about the MS-06F Zaku II, and Char?s MS-065 Zaku II. Aside from that, the DVD is bare.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

This volume covers the Garma arc of Gundam. Garma, is the nominal commander of Zeon?s Earth Attack Force, and a bishounen to boot. Char joins him on Garma?s ship, the Gaw where they will begin a campaign against the White Base. One thing to note about Garma is his obsession in trying to impress, his sister, Kycilia. Someone has issues.

We can already see that Char is manipulating Garma right from the beginning promising that defeating the White Base would be worth a Zeon Cross. On the White Base, Lt Reed is providing to be a pain in the ass for the rest of the White Base crew as his orders tend to conflict with what Bright wants to do. As the Gaw approaches, Amuro and Hayato are deployed in the Guntank to stop the advancing forces. This is new for Amuro, as he can?t seem to work with Hayato and only wants to get back to his Gundam. Garma?s attack forces prove very formidable though and Amuro must return to Gundam. Amuro goes on a rage in the battlefield and slices through the many Zeon forces easily. His skills are improving considerably. When Amuro returns to the base though, he is exhausted and ignores all the congratulations the crew gives him. The battle is finally getting to him.

In episode seven, the White Base is trying to contact the Federation Forces on Earth. Amuro comes up with a scheme to launch the Core Fighter at incredible speeds using a sub orbital trajectory to get past the Zeon. Since the G forces on this are so high, Amuro also volunteers to fly it. After the Core Fighter is launched, the G forces prove to be too much and he blacks out. Meanwhile, the older refugees on the ship are beginning to get angry and hold the children hostage to force talks with the bridge staff. They all want to be dropped off the ship, and return to the Earth. Bright resists their demands, as doing so know would be the death of them. Char figures out what the White Base is doing, and goes to intercept the Core Fighter causing Amuro to finally wake up. Amuro is forced to retreat to the White Base and loads up into the Gundam as Garma launches additional forces. The White Base is flying high above the Earth, so Amuro is forced to fight with the Gundam in free fall and takes out several Zeon forces before his Beam rifle runs out of energy. Another attack stopped.

The civilians on the ship make another attempt to force the crew of the White Base to let them leave. Bright uses this to his advantage though and comes up with a plan against the Zeon. A cease fire is declared, and Bright loads up a few civilians into a cargo craft with Amuro, Fraw, and Ryu inside. They fake a crash landing with the cargo craft, and the Zeon suspect nothing at Amuro and Ryu stay behind. For hidden in the craft also, is Amuro?s Gundam which he gets into. Meanwhile, the Zeon attack the White Base and Kai pilots the Guncannon for the first time to help defend. Kai is not prepared for this battle, and loses his cool. Bright?s plan comes to fruition as Amuro is able to attack the Zeon forces from behind and forces Garma to retreat.

In episode nine, the lack of sleep Amuro has been getting since leaving Side 7 catches up with him and puts him into a very bad mood. He snips at everyone, and doesn?t want to help anyone at all. It gets so bad that Bright eventually punches him for his behavior. Amuro at this point also suspects that the Earth Federation isn?t helping the White Base on purpose, and are using them to distract the Zeon forces. As Garma starts another attack on the White Base, Char sabotages some of the communication equipment on the Gaw to prevent battle communications. What is he up to? Fraw finally gets through to Amuro, so that he will launch the Gundam to stop this new wave of Zeon attacks, personally led by Garma. Amuro slices off part of the wing of Garma?s fighter craft, but it is all part of Garma?s plan to lure the Gundam into the path of the Gaw?s Beam Cannon. Unfortunately for Garma, he can?t relay the attack order to the Gaw due to Char?s interference. Even if that wasn?t the case, an Earth Federation supply ship, commanded by Matilda Ajan warns Amuro of the Gaw?s capabilities. Matilda takes the injured civilians with her and Lt Reed after dropping off some supplies.

We get out first introduction to Zeon life as we witness a party held by the higher ups elites in their society in New York City. At the party, Char?s disdain for Garma is again evident. The White Base flies close to New York City on its way out to the open sea, and Garma begins to form another attack. Bright hides the White Base in a stadium, while the other three Gundams wait for the Zeon attack. Amuro uses Gundam to distract the oncoming forces, and Garma takes the bait. This allows the White Base, Guntank, and the Guncannon to take out the Gaw. Char had predicted this situation though, and had already ridden out of the battle in his Zaku and he insults Garma as Garma plummets to his death.

This volume did more setup for the series, and did little to advance the story. All the Gundams are being piloted though, and the White Base went from one end of the United States to the other. The Zeon forces have lost one of their commanders, though not a very good one. We see that the battle is finally getting to Amuro, and Bright is coming into his command. A lot of the episodes in this volume are passed over in the movie compilation, but since the Guncannon?s introduction is here, we get one small plot point. Char is practically passed over the entire time and is used mainly to insult a part of the Zeon hierarchy. I?m still enjoying the series, but I do hope the next volume is more exciting.



Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 player, Toshiba 36? Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears

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