Mobile Suit Gundam Vol. #04 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A

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  • 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: 24.98
  • 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. #04

By Andrew Tei     October 14, 2003
Release Date: December 04, 2001

Mobile Suit Gundam Vol. #04
© Bandai Entertainment

What They Say
Universal Century 0079. As the war between the Federation and the Zeon forces continue - The Usually level-headed Sayla puts the crew of the White Base in danger as she desperately attempts to gather information on her brother.

Soon after, Amuro overhears a conversation where Bright expresses his disappointment in Amuro. Upset, Amuro deserts the ship with the Gundam. Alone in the desert, he soon comes face-to-face with one of his deadliest opponents yet!

The Review!
The Ran Bal Arc continues, but two members of the crew disobey orders that they will get thrown in the brig. It seems like the war is finally taking its toll. The worst part of this DVD though is we lose the original Japanese introduction and ending. Apparently Sunrise didn?t like/want the original ones on the DVD, so the ones made for Cartoon Network are used instead. This is bad, especially the ending since it contains scenes from the final episode of the series. I watched them once, but I refuse to watch them again. This volume also continues with the episode that was skipped for the US release.


The soundtrack seems better on this volume. The dialogue, music, and sound effects seem pretty clear. Ramba Ral?s voice actor is pretty good, and he plays the older villain well.


This volume was a lot better that the previous one. While the film print used still shows its age these episodes seem to have been preserved better. Macroblocking is still prevalent in a few scenes. The new intro of course has everything speeded up to make the show more exciting. The summary sequence at the beginning of the episodes has changed also to highlight the docking capabilities of the Gundam.


Ramba Ral and Hamon, his lover, are the two most prominent figures on the cover this time. Sayla and Amuro are also pictured as they have crucial roles in these episodes. This is the first cover since the first volume which I believe is appropriate for the volume. Desert of Despair is definitely an accurate overview for these episodes. Spine numbers continue, and the back features Ramba Ral with his Gouf model Zaku II. Episode numbers and titles are printed on the back also, which follows the US episode number and not the Japanese one due to the omitted episode.


The menus on the DVD are completely static as the previous volumes are. 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, with another image of Ramba Ral, Hamon, and Kycilia.


The Mobile Suit Encyclopedia is the only extra on the DVD. We have two Zakus listed this time. The M5-05 Zaku I, a very obsolete Zaku we saw back in volume one. Ramba Ral?s MS-07B Gouf is the second one, which was designed for melee combat.

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

Sayla?s Agony starts with the White Base finding a Federation soldier with orders from General Revil that the White Base will participate in a Federation Offensive called Odesssa Day, which is aimed to take mines away from an officer under Kycilia named M?Quve. M?Quve has something under his sleeves and his trying to hide part of his operations from the Zeon. With Ramba Ral in the area, M?Quve is doing his best to keep him away from his operations. Ramba Ral is patrolling the area in large land tank, called the Gallop, and comes upon the White Base. Amuru is going to go out in the Gundam, but Sayla launches in it instead without permission. She is quickly outmatched as Ramba Ral attacks her in his Gouf, while Amuro must launch in the Guncannon to save her. Finally, the Guntank gets into the fray and they are able to take out two Zakus, and capture one of the pilots, Cozun. While the prisoner in his cell on the White Base, Sayla asks him where Char is when she is sent to the brig also.

In the second episode, Amuro examines the data from Cozun?s Zaku to test out new ways he can defeat Ramba Ral?s Gouf. Bright attempts to interrogate Cozun, but Cozun considers Bright a joke due to his age. After the failed interrogation, Cozun escapes from his cell as another Zeon attack is launched against the White Base. Cozun makes it to a communication room in the White Base and sends information to Ramba Ral about the different Gundams. Amuro and Hayato go off into the Guntank to defend the White Base, which angers Bright as he believes Amuro should be in the Gundam. Sayla chases Cozun around the ship, who dies as he makes his final jump from the ship. After the battle, Bright scolds Amuro for not listening to his orders. Later on, Amuro overhears Bright and Mirai discussing that Amuro be removed from operating the Gundam. The kid in Amuro takes over, and he runs away from the ship with Gundam.

Zeon?s Secret Mine has Kycilia overseeing the mining operations that M?Quve runs while Fraw Bow is searches for Amuro. She catches up with Amuro, who doesn?t want anything to do with her. He runs off with Fraw following him and discovers a Zeon mine. Amuro decides to attack it, thinking it?s the main mining operation. Kycilia and M?Quve are overseeing the base, and she is very upset that M?Quve didn?t detect the Gundam coming at it. The two of them launch in a heavy Zeon attack vehicle called the Adzam and attack Amuro. Before Amuro defeats them, Kycilia has the mining operation self destruct to prevent the Federation from gleaning anything useful from it, escaping at the same time. Sadly for Amuro, he explores the remains of the base to discover it was an insignificant part of the mining operation.

Next, we have Ramba Ral?s Attack which continues Amuro?s desertion from the ship. Amuro finds a town to get a meal at, but is interrupted when Ramba Ral?s forces stop in the town also for a bite to eat. Hamon notices Amuro and immediately takes a liking to him and offers him a free meal. He turns it down, and Ramba Ral is impressed by Amuro?s demeanor also. Fraw Bow though enters the town and is brought to Ramba Ral. Luckily for Amuro, Ramba Ral lets the both of them go, but he has them secretly followed. Fraw Bow heads back to the White Base, while Amuro goes off on his own again. Now knowing the White Base?s location, Ramba Ral attacks. He quickly takes care of the Guncannon while another Zaku takes out one of the treads on the Guncannon. Ryu flies off in the Corefighter to tell Amuro to help defend the White Base. Amuro rushes back to the White Base to do battle with the Gouf. The two fighters rip open each other?s mecha and the two recognize each other. In the end, Amuro destroys the Gouf, but Ramba Ral ejects in time. After the battle, Bright throws Amuro in the brig and berates him for destroying the morale of the crew.

These episodes really flesh out the series well. Sayla might still have loyalties to the man she believes might be her brother. Amuro?s arrogance in his abilities gets him in trouble, and shows that inside he truly is a child. On the other hand, Bright doesn?t have the leadership skills either to deal with Amuro. The inexperience of the crew is finally catching up with them. Fraw Bow refuses to give up on Amuro, despite the rest of the crew who are not in a forgiving mood. Even the Zeon get enough screen time for some development. The series is really picking up here.

English Language,MS Encyclopedia

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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