Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Vol. #10 - 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: B+
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: N/A
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Vol. #10

By Chris Beveridge     June 01, 2005
Release Date: December 14, 2004


Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Vol. #10
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
Universal Century 0087, Seven years have past since the defeat of the Zeon army during what has now become known as the 'One Year War'. An elite Federation military force known as the Titans are tasked with the prevention of further uprising by space colonies orbiting the Earth.

Tragically, the destruction of an entire space colony at the hands of the facist-like Titans threaten to undermine peace between the Earth and those living in space. A civilian, two decorated war heroes, and a powerful new Gundam mobile suit - The world is once again on the brink of war and the future of humanity is at stake...

The Review!
Zeta comes to a close in a series of wide ranging battles that pit the weary and ragged forces against each other and asks for each participant to give all of themselves for the cause.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this series in its original language of Japanese. The stereo mix for the series is pretty solid and avoids some of the problems found in older shows. To my ears there's no noticeable hiss or other background noise coming through. We listened to both audio tracks over the course of the review and found both of them to be solid in technical terms. We had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback either.

Video:
Originally airing in 1985, the transfer for this show is presented in its original full frame format. Being nearly twenty years old but being a staple of Bandai's library, the transfer for Zeta looks almost pristine in its nature. Whatever problems we found with what we saw are all source related things and the bulk of it is just due to the time and age of the show. The transfer itself is very clean but there's a fair bit, especially early on, of small nicks and dirt on the cels themselves that carry through. This is basically what you get with older shows like this half the time and it's something that I find that adds to its charm in a way since you know how it was handled and done back then. It isn't something that affects the grading of the video though since it's a source element. Barring that, this is a great looking disc that just shines through.

Packaging:
Released in a slim black thinpak style case, the cover art for this release utilizes the same artwork as the Japanese release bit with a bit of an added border and a more definitive background added to it. The final cover is given over to Scirocco which I think is a mistake since there are others far more deserving but he does look nicely villainous here with the glow around him and against the golden colored mobile suit standing behind him. The back cover provides a rundown of all five episodes with episode numbers and titles and a brief summary. The Japanese main staff is covered here as well as the basic technical information that makes up the disc. No insert is included with this release as there is a booklet with the overall set.

Menu:
The final menu has a shot of numerous characters from the show in a hazy manner while providing for Kamille's headshot to be the only solid piece here as he thinks about them. Episodes are available separately with titles and the only other options available are the basic setup and select pieces. A piece of the vocal song from presumably the ending sequence is playing here and overall this is a good looking menu that fits nicely and doesn't feel as overloaded as some of the past Gundam series menus have. Access times are nice and fast and the disc read our players language presets.

Extras:
None.

Please Note:
This review is of a single volume from the limited edition box set release of this series. As of this writing, there are no known confirmed plans that this series will see a release in individual form. These reviews are being written in this form to allow for greater discussion of the content and to provide a closer look at each disc without having to rush through the overall set. Like many fans, I've been waiting for years myself for this and wish to savor it and not marathon it in a weekend.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the magic number of fifty, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam comes to a close with the last five episodes bringing it to that number. The final volume plays out pretty hard and fast with the action being almost a constant and all the planning and setup from the previous episodes essentially tossed to the side so that the drama can play out in grand fashion.

With the way all of the sides have at one time or another screwed each other over, it's amusing to see that there's still attempts to play one side against the other or to try and actually gain favor with one in order to strengthen their hopes against another. But the Federation does just that as they try to get Haman and the princess to come to their side, but it all comes crashing to a close when Char arrives there and Scirocco makes his own agenda plainly visible to those who are there. It doesn't really change anything in the long run but it does solidify just who has to be really dealt with.

The AEUG has opted to do the best they can against the Axis as they need to protect the moon and those who fought so hard and stayed neutral during most of this, especially as the giant rock is now headed their way. This action has the AEUG using some of their new found allies and positions to try and stop it and shows just how flexible they are in a situation since they haven't really had all that much in their arsenal. It's almost creepy watching them as they move through the Side that they come into possession of where nobody is there. This ends up being used in an interesting manner when Rosamia comes into play again and with her being controlled by Gates as her brother, becomes a place where Kamille ends up chasing her as he gets an impression of Four from her.

The final block of episodes is also where the entire cyber/newtype area becomes even more mystical as we see Kamille becoming something of an absorber of energy as friends and foes he's intimately familiar with fall by his side. The death toll is pretty heavy along these episodes and a lot of it comes across as the easiest way to end particular characters arcs that they don't know how to resolve, from the way Reccoa has gone from the super spy to a woman who simply hates men but also feels most comfortable when she's fighting to Katz finally getting what he deserves. If anything, Katz's end moments were the worst because they teased it along so much with the idea that he'd continue to live with the way his luck was when he should have simply exploded upon impact.

Only a few of the characters from the beginning of the series are left at the end that have a significant impact with what's going on, and some of those who showed up part way have much larger roles at the end and into ZZ, so in a way it wasn't surprising that when the cards are laid out on the table, you have people like Char and Kamille there but you're almost disappointed that Scirocco and Haman are the end players when you expected people like Bask or Jerid to be the truly critical ones. There's so many smaller plots going on and coming to a close here alongside these battles that the last couple of episodes are pretty fast past and frenetic and can merit a second viewing to be sure. It's not so much disbelief at what's happening but just trying to sort it all out amidst the chaos and action.

In Summary:
With the end of the series, I'm still ambivalent about it since it keeps things so far away from characters that should have more importance here but got sent to the sidelines, like Amuro and others that fought in the One Year War and were critical to ensuring things during this one. Kamille's role as the lead was one that allowed for plenty of growth and he did just that during the course of it, but with the greater emphasis on the entire newtype aspect at the end and how that played out left me less than satisfied, plus simply knowing that there's still more to come of this particular franchise and having seen one of the future installments that was released prior to this helps to eliminate some of the mystery surrounding it. Regardless, Zeta has left me like many other Gundam properties do in that I end up seriously enjoying the ride and getting very much wrapped up in it but never fully finding the ending to be properly satisfying.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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