I’m a total anime addict, japanse anime addict (subbed, my Japanese isn’t that good). So today I’m going to review one of the recent anime “movies” I watched: Mobile Suit Gundam UC (unicorn). It’s actually the first 1 hour of a 6 hours OVA (kind of a direct to DVD release, quite popular in Japan). Episodes will be released every six months.
First, a bit of background about Gundam. The first series was done in 1979 by Sunrise Studio, a Japanese anime maker. The franchise is divided into different “centuries” and the first Gundam happened in the Universal Century: a new century were humans just moved into space colonies. Each series use the exact same theme with a bit more or less predominance: war, peace, space colonization, racial differences. Basically, each one tells the story of a group of people who are trying, against the odds, to stop a war between different factions. It come with lots of dead people, backstabbing, political jigsaws, big robots and lots of idealistic main characters.
So lets get back to Unicorn. The show is an adaptation of a recent novel set in the UC era, which haven’t been touched by Sunrise since the middle of the 90″˜s. For this anime, Sunrise kept the 80″˜s “designs” which give Unicorn a retro look, but they used more recent animations techniques which give the viewer the chance to see really good action sequences. Overall the anime is really polished and the acting, regardless if you watch the dub in English or the original voice acting in Japanese, is top quality.
The show isn’t for neophytes of the UC universe though, but despite what some people claims on the web, you don’t need to watch 200+ episodes to understand what is happening, reading a few lines at the Gundam Wikia website does the job too. The UC universe have an heavy background, so I’m not going to touch the plot much in this review.
The OVA story, so far, look quite interesting (I read spoilers, after watching it too…). The story is about the a corporation who have something called Laplace’s box, which some people is responsible for their power. The first episode is about giving that box to the Sleeves, a remnant of one space colony “empire” that seek independence from the Earth Federation. Unfortunately for everyone, the Earth Federation learns about the trade and decides to take action. Cue the drama. Basically, what is in the box could restart a war like the one seen in the first Gundam series and idealistic main characters want to stop a new war from happening.
But the most interesting parts of the first episode are the characters and mechs (robots). The most important robots in the episode are the Gundam RX-0 Unicorn and the NZ-666 Kshatriya. The first one we see in action is the NZ-666 and to my surprise it was piloted by Marida Cruz, a woman. And god is she a good pilot and a Newtypes. I don’t get to see a good woman pilot in a Japanese anime often…they usually are “sparkling” and “blond”. But Marida is just awesome and you can see she’s got baggage. Actually, she wins the “saddest” story ever ticket but I don’t want to spoil the story too much. But the show isn’t all about Marida, she’s more the main “bad guy” pilot. Strangely, she’s the character the leave the strongest impression from the first episode.
In conclusion, Gundam Unicorn is a really good anime is you love mecha or anime in general. The wait between episodes is going to be long, but from the look of it well worth it.
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Vol. 1 [Blu-ray]
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