Mania Grade: B+
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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: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Mobile Suit Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam Vol. #03
By Brian Shea
March 24, 2002
Release Date: November 02, 2001
This disc has a little bit of everything. It wraps up the Garma Zabi story arc, starts the Ranba Ral story arc, has a nice character development episode, and a horrible filler episode.
*Read with caution from here on in. The rest of this review contains spoilers for this DVD.*
We begin with 'Icelina-Love's Remains', in which Icelina attempts to get revenge on White Base for killing her lover, Garma. After the Gundam and Guncannon take out the entire fleet, Icelina attempts to kill Amuro herself, resulting in some moments of tension. Meanwhile, we're introduced to the rest of the Zabi family, the leaders of Zeon. While the sovreign Degwin wants a quiet funeral for Garma, everyone else, especially Garma's elder brother Gihren wants to use it as propaganda against the Federation. Although this episode looks simply horrid animation wise (the character designs look worse in this episode than any other episode in the entire series), the plot of the episode is quite interesting and acts as a good set up for later episodes.
'The Threat of Zeon' features Garma's funeral, where we hear Gihren Zabi's infamous Sieg/Hail Zeon speech (It was originally 'Sieg' but changed to 'Hail' for the dub). In addition, this episode starts one of the longer and better story arcs in the series, in which White Base finds itself taking on one of Zeon's aces, Ranba Ral. This episode introduces us to him, along with his lover Hamon and the other various members of his squadron. This episode also introduces us to Ranba Ral's Mobile Suit, the Gouf, which is an upgraded version of a Zaku with advanced weaponry. One of the best episodes in the series, one you simply can't miss.
Thing seriously slow down in 'Coming Home' when White Base manages to take a break from the Zeon assaults. Amuro goes off to visit his nearby hometown, where he finds the citizens under constant abuse of not only the Zeon soldiers, but the Federation soldiers as well. Another excellent example of the horrors of war that this series brings up. Amuro is reunited with his mother but its not a very nice homecoming as she witnesses him kill a Zeon soldier. Amuro's mother is a pacifist(voiced by the same person as the infamous pacifist Relena from Gundam Wing by the way) who can't believe how much war has changed her son. Amuro has yet another tenter tantrum over this and wastes White Base's valuable resources attacking a nearby Zeon base. Although this episode does nothing to advance the story, it includes some nice development for Amuro and shows his continuous disobeying of orders, which will come to a head on the next disc.
The disc ends with the single worst episode in the entire series, 'Time Be Still'. After meeting with Lt. Matilda again, Amuro is attacked by Zeon soldiers in Gundam. They place bombs all over the Federation's valuable Mobile Suit, but then sit by doing nothing while Amuro removes every single of them. This episode is simply pointless, and although the beginning of the episode features information on how the Federation treats White Base, and has the first mention of the upcoming Odessa battle in Europe, the main part of the episode is by far the single worst content I've ever seen in any Gundam series, period.
Although the disc ends horribly, this disc is quite good otherwise. It wraps up the mostly mediocre Garma story arc with a pretty good episode, and kicks off the next one with a bang. Plenty of character development and foreshadowing for future developments too. Also the last 2 episodes are great at showing you the details of war, something that other series that came out at this time failed to do. We learn that the Zeon soldiers aren't as bad as we thought, and the Federation isn't as good as we thought.. The series is really beginning to hit its stride here, and it will just continue to get better from here on in.
Panasonic DVD ROM, 17 inch monitor, Cambridge Soundworks Speakers