Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (0083)

0083-gp02

The RX-78GP02A Gundam “Physalis” hijacked by Anavel Gato and the Delaz Fleet

October 0083, 4 years after the end of the One Year War. Amid the sense of peace that has permeated the Earth Sphere, an incident unfolds at The Federation’s Torrington Base. The RX-78GP02A Gundam “Physalis”, a new prototype Mobile Suit armed with nuclear weapons has been stolen by Zeon remnants led by ace pilot Anavel Gato, the Nightmare of Solomon. The Federation Carrier Albion gives pursuit to the hijackers, manned by a crew including rookie pilot Kou Uraki. After the hijackers escape, the Albion must pursue them into space and into a plot that will shake the Federation to its roots.

0083-gp01

The RX-78GP01 Gundam “Zephyranthes” Piloted by Kou Uraki

Can Kou Uraki, armed with the RX-78GP01 Gundam “Zephyranthes” defeat “The Nightmare of Solomon” Anavel Gato? Will his budding relationship with its engineer Nina Purpleton lead to happiness or a deadly distraction? Will he be able to handler her terrible secret past? And will the crew of the “Albion” be able to stop the undergoing plot meant to destroy the Federation before the Delaz Fleet can succeed? The Drama unfolds, and these questions are answered in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory!

0083-anaval-vs-kou

Kou Uraki and Anavel Gato engaged in battle.

So the first thing I have to get out of the way is a big spoiler. Stardust Memory was an OVA released in the 90’s as a sort of a prequel to Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. It serves to bridge the gap between the One Year War in 0079 and the Gryps Conflict in 0087. The series sets the foundation for the decline of The Federation and its adoption of the “Titans” special forces unit which would be the antagonist in Zeta and which would develop the RX-178 Gundam Mk-II. To that respect, it is a pretty significant installation to the Universal Century history, but I feel like aside from that it would have been a very good stand alone too.

0083-gp03

The RX-78GP03S Gundam “Dendrobium Stamen” which is piloted by Kou Uraki after the destruction of RX-78GP01-Fb Gundam “Zephyranthes” Full Burnern refit

The series also brings up the all-important theme of The Gundam Development Project that takes place after the One Year War. There were of course projects before this to produce Gundam Suits such as the secret project to produce the RX-78NT-1 Gundam “Alex”, and the apparent projects to produce the FA-78 Full Armor Gundam and the RX-78AL Atlas Gundam. The Gundam Development project, however, seems to be the last attempt by the Federation to produce a specialized Gundam Model till the production of the RX-93 ν (Nu) Gundam in 0093. It is also significant since this was the first post-war push for new weapons production by the Federation. All that aside though, they just are freaking awesome to look at.

0083-kou-uraki

Ensign Kou Uraki (19)

Earlier I also mentioned the beginning of the Federation’s decline and how this series shows the start of that. It’s really a contrasting sort of situation though. On one hand, you have the eager and innocent Ensign Uraki and his compatriots on the Albion who seem to be on the level and show concern for the actual safety of the Federation. That is offset by a growing wave of corruption within the Federation. This is highlighted by incidents such as General Green Wyatt meeting with Cima Garahau of the Delaz Fleet, and of course Jamitov Hyman’s opportunistic plot to found the Titans using the incident as a justification.

0083-anaval-gato

Anavel Gato, The Nightmare of Solomon, impersonating a Federation officer.

This is a really good installation to the Universal Century Timeline and one that answers many questions that fans who grew up in the 80’s had at the time. I also think it was one of the best UC additions made in the 90’s. Luckily it is still widely available as a result of its popularity and its release date, so that makes it a plus for fans who want to obtain a copy through legitimate means. You can buy it on Blueray or DVD here from Amazon. So go out there, but it, enjoy it, and try not to have any horrible “Nightmares”.

Advertisements

C-Gaymer Podcast Episode 5: Comic Crazies

C-Gaymer Podcast Episode 5: Comic Crazies from C-Gaymer on Vimeo.

 

SJW’s have managed to ruin the news, college campuses, video games, and now comic books!? On today’s Podcast, we discuss how Marvel and DC have ruined mainstream American comics by trying to shove left-wing narratives down their fans throats.

Sorry, this is 2 weeks and 6 hours and 30 minutes late, by the way, have been recovering from surgery.

Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (0080)

0080-al-school-doodle-zaku

Alfred Izuruha is a typical 11-year-old with dreams of piloting Mobile Suits.

In December of UC 0079, the one year war is coming to a bitter close in the Earth-sphere. Many lives have been lost, but an end is in sight with the Federation’s development of new types of Gundam Mobile Suits. On the seemingly neutral Side 6 Colony of Libot people are getting ready for the Christmas celebrations, seemingly oblivious to the suffering going on outside of their little war.  One of the only apparent sign’s that the people of Libot are even aware that a war is being waged are Alfred Izuruha and his young friends and their obsession with which side has better Mobile Suits. They dream of the war through the eyes of innocent children, dreams of epic battles and powerful Mobile Suits.

0080-zaku-libot

Al stumbles upon the damaged Zaku II piloted by Bernard Wiseman

Unbeknownst to Al, his dreams of being in the cockpit of a Mobile Suit would soon come true. During an assault on Libot in pursuit of the experimental RX-78NT-1 Gundam “Alex”, a young Zeon Pilot by the name of Bernard Wiseman is shot down which Al soon discovers. Bernard and his infiltration team recruit the naive child to help them locate the federations secret R&D facility to destroy the experimental Mobile Suit. However, everything does not go as planned. Bernard soon finds his teammates dead, himself falling in love with a woman from the colony who unbeknownst to him is the pilot of the Gundam “Alex”, and a threat of Nuclear Attack on Libot from his own people.

0080-gundam-alex-libot

The Experimental Gundam “Alex” in combat.

Things are no longer so clear-cut. Bernard must decide whether to leave and let the colony be nuked, or make one final attempt to destroy the Federation’s experimental weapon and save the girl he has fallen for and the young boy who has become like a sibling to him. Al must decide whether he should remain loyal to Bernard, or tell the federation his whereabouts. Christine, the pilot of the Gundam “Alex” must enter combat even though she is only trained as a test pilot. Drama and tragedy unfold in this well written and dramatic side story of the One-Year-War, Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket.

0080-bernard-zaku-zeon

Bernard Wiseman is a young Zeon Pilot who crashes inside the Libot Colony.

There are a lot of things I like about this OVA and a lot of things I do not like, so let’s start with what I do not like. First off, it was heavy on the tropes. There were the big brother/little brother trope a-la Bernard and Al’s relationship, and the next door neighbor turned big sister trope a-la, Christine. They then doubled down on this trope by making Christine and Bernard develop a love interested like the 2 kid’s next door. On top of that, I honestly did not much care for the OP/ED of the entire OVA, I know the show was developed and aired in 1989 but the theme songs were just too quintessentially 80’s. The Cherry on top of all this is how they made the bad guy’s who were attacking a civilian colony way too relatable. Certainly, at some point, a rational person would turn himself in and tell the authorities, “Hey! My superiors know you guys are building a weapon here and so they sent me to destroy it, and now that I have failed and they have nothing else to lose, they are launching a nuke at you guys.”

0080-chris-libot-gundam-alex-federation

Christina Mackenzie is Al’s next door neighbor as well as the test pilot for the Gundam “Alex”.

I can forgive all of that in a heartbeat though. First off, I believe there are just not enough installations to the UC timeline, so I am less likely to diss them than other people, though I will diss them if they were crap. Along with that though, they are able to redeem the “senseless anti-hero” trope by blending in themes of tragedy with important and rarely explored themes. My favorite theme which is also arguably the theme of the whole series has to be the loss of childlike innocence that Al experiences as he sees likes that did not exist become harshly defined and people he had begun to care about killed before his very eyes. I will never forget the very last scene, during a school assembly where the principle talks about the effects of war, Al breaks down crying as he remembers Bernard and Christine. The other children who misunderstand the reason for his grief try to console him by telling him another “cool war was bound to happen soon.” I honestly remember watching this scene and thinking to myself, “wow, that is so deep and also slightly twisted at the same time.”

Again, even though I have spoiled a few good parts for you, at least I am not misleading you like Bandai did. So please take my advice and watch this one. You can get the whole thing on DVD here on Amazon. It is just a short 6 episodes, not as long as other installments to the Gundam franchise. So go watch it and enjoy!!

MS IGLOO (0079)

MS IGLOO is probably one of the best One Year War Side Stories that I have seen so far. Some people are hesitant to like stories that paint the bad guys in a softer light, but we all know those people are shallow. Not to mention this show is more of an anthology with stories from both sides of the One Year War. These are scrappy stories about adversity, failure, and small moments of triumph for those rank & file soldiers. Since this is a 3 part series in installments of 3 Episodes each I will have to break this up into sections.

The Hidden One Year War

mobile-suit-gundam-ms-igloo-apocalypse-0079-volume-2-20080114001243608-000

The officers of the Jotunheim

This first installation follows the actions of the repurposed civilian freighter Jotunheim and its crew, the members of the Zeon 603rd Technical Evaluation Unit. A mix of soldiers and engineers, they are tasked with testing Zeon’s Experimental Weapons. They are first tasked with testing the long range Particle Cannon Jormungand which is immediately rendered obsolete by the Zaku Mobile suits at the Battle of Loum, however, it still proves useful in the end. Then as the Earth Drop Operations begin the 603rd is tasked with testing the YMT-05 Hildolfr transformable Mobile Tank, however when their team drops into their testing point in Arizona things do not go as planned. Finally, after Zeon hears word of the Federation’s powerful new Mobile Suit, The 603rd is tasked with testing the EMS-10 Zudah, an ill-fated Mobile Suit that can never live up to the propaganda promoting it.

The Gravity Front

GDI2v_e003_0320

The soul of Lt. Arleen Nazon staring in disbelief at the wreckage of a Zeon Dabude Landship

Gravity front follows the tragic stories of Earth Federation Soldiers during the Zeon Drop Operation and leading up to the pivotal Battle of Odessa. A Goddess of death descends to the Earth and stalks these hero’s whose souls are trapped in the well of Gravity. In a ruined mining town, Lt. Ben Barberry and the Anti-Mobile Suit Tactical Squad fight against the onslaught of the incoming Zaku suits as Lt. Barberry becomes aware that death follows him everywhere. Sgt. Rayban Surat is transferred into the 301st tank regiment and meets Lt. Harmon Yandell, a man who is obsessively seeking revenge against a Zeon Mobile Mobile Suit Pilot known as “White Ogre”. Finally, in the background of the crucial Operation Odessa Lt. Arleen Nazon leads 2 other convicts in their RTX-440 Guntanks on a tragically misguided mission of revenge

Apocalypse 0079

1274945636910

The experimental Big Rang Mobile Armor

Apocolypse 0079 returns us to the crew of the Jotunheim in the final days of the One Year War. Zeon is now losing the fight after their massive defeat on the Earth, and the job of the 603rd has become more crucial. A drop mission over Jaburo using the experimental Ze’Gok is not achieving desired results, until one fateful final mission. After the Zeon’s crushing defeat at Space Fortress Solomon, the 603rd is ordered to test the new Oggo Mobile Pods in lunar airspace, unaware that one of the officers will lose a dear family member. Finally, at the fateful battle of A Baoa Qu, the 603rd is given the experimental Mobile Armor Big Rang and ordered into the fray of the final climactic battle.

 

As you can see by the screenshots, this is the only Gundam Series ever done fully in 3D CG Rendering. That is not what makes it remarkable though, it is the tragic and humanizing stories which show the grit, brutality, and nobility of war that make this installation into the Universal Century shine so bright. Never have I felt such deep emotional connections to the plight of characters good or bad. You can get a copy of this tour de force here on Amazon, and I highly suggest you do because it is something remarkable. Now I better stop writing before I start to cry and shout “Seig Zeon!!”

Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky (0079)

Io & Daryl

In Fleming (bottom) and Daryl Lorenz (top) become determined to take one another’s lives.

In December of the year 0079, the one-year war has entered its final stages as the Federation wins key victories in North America, Africa, and Tibet. With the Federation planning a massive offensive on Space Fortress Solomon and A Baoa Qu, the war seems to be all but over. In a Shoal Zone that was formerly the Side 4 Colony Moore, the sky is alight not only with bolts of lightning from the electrically charged wreckage of the colonies but with weapons fire. A heated battle rages between the Zeon’s Experimental “Living Dead” Unit, and a Federation Unit composed of former citizens of the Side 4 Colony known as the Moore Brotherhood. In the midst of this conflict, a bitter rivalry forms between the Zeon Pilot Daryl Lorenz and the Moore Brotherhood’s Io Fleming.

tumblr_oa0au0htkM1scr8d9o1_500

FA-78 Full Armor Gundam

Fueled by his hatred of the Zeon who destroyed the Side 4 Colony, Io Fleming is assigned to pilot the prototype Full Armor Gundam. Armed with this new Unit, he begins to eliminate the Dead Fish Units mobile suits which have been customized for use by the amputee pilots. Little does he know the Zeon have their own secret weapon, the experimental High Mobility Zaku Type II outfitted with a Psycommu Unit. To Pilot this suit and avenge his friends, Daryl Lorenz must sacrifice his very humanity along with the last of his healthy limbs. Who will win, the man fueled by pure anger or the man who sacrificed everything?

get

A Dead Fish Unit Sniper

So right off the bat, I have to warn you this is literally the darkest and most depraved entry into the UC timeline but it is so worth it. First off, the Dead Fish Unit of the Zeon is an experimental unit tasked with testing new mobile suits built specifically for amputees so they could still fight. That’s pretty dark but it gets darker when Daryl Lorenz decides to sacrifice his last hand and become a paraplegic in order to use the experimental Mobile Suit. The Federation side gets just as dark, like how the Female Captain of the “Beehive” is a drug addicted mess who is fucking with Io. And later on, when the Federation finally sends them reinforcements to wipe up the Dead Fish Unit, they are all teenagers who are barely trained to pilot and get picked off pretty quick. So yeah, Drug Addiction, Amputees, Child Soldiers, and Sexual Depravity make it all seem like a stomach-churning mess. That is why it is so good though, it is the most realistic depiction of war in any Gundam Series.

This is apparently a compilation of the first season of the OVA it is named after, Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt. The Second Season is already airing so hopefully they will make a movie compilation of that too since it is the closest thing they have done to adding a totally original entry into the UC timeline. But in the meanwhile, you can buy Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky here on Amazon. If you have a weak stomach though, don’t forget to keep a bucket nearby when you watch it.