They Were 11


Hello all you happy people. You know what? He’s the hero. From “They Were 11” (Toho,1986)

We start in THE FUTURE! where Earth and other nobody planets have been at peace for over a hundred years. Between them, they developed something called a “Cosmo Academy” which is a jack of all trades school that one needs to be a jack of all trades to get into so that they can come out specializing in one trade. There is also some prestige with being accepted into it, which itself is a motivator for some. Everyone’s dreams and hopes rest on getting in there! Every one of the main cast, anyway. We follow our protagonist Tadatos “Tada” Lane as he is tested, spacesuited, and flown to a derelict vessel. He and the other academy applicants board the new ship, and only upon arriving do they realize that there are 11 of them (the others being named Frolbericheri Frol, King Mayan Baceska, Amazon Carnais, Dolph “Rednose” Tasta, Glenn “Thickhead” Groff, Vidmenir “Knu” Knume, Ganigas “Ganga” Gagtos, Doricas Soldam IV, Toto, and Chako Kacka) when in fact there are supposed to be 10. We learn where each is from, and gradually why most of them claim they want to be there.

They have a pretty red box that contains a means of signaling that they have quit their mission, which is to sit on the ship for 53 days. Sounds easy enough- have a bunch of people who I think are supposed to be young enough that their High School diploma hadn’t arrived in the mail yet and who never did anything like this before babysit a derelict starship- except the ship randomly explodes in certain spots when they board, courtesy of some bombs. They suspect the 11th person of doing this. We spend the film waiting for them to figure out who this 11th man is as various complications from sabotage and the explosion plague them. Will they solve the mystery of the 11th person? Will they save themselves from certain death? Or will they wuss out and call for help, thus ending their chances of entering the Academy?

Plot and Setting Notes

This was based on a manga from the mid-1970s, and itself was produced in 1986. The release I watched was in Japanese, with English subtitles.

To me, it seemed that instead of focusing entirely on who the mysterious extra person is, we see a lot more of this boatload of children cooperating to get through various emergencies. This was an appreciated twist given that I was expecting just another ‘who is the mysterious extra person’ plot, but in the end, we still ended up with a mixture of “Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up” and “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”.

The primary setting is what appears to be the USS Cygnus from Disney’s “The Black Hole” (and the space suits look like Maximillian), the interior for certain is similar, while the exterior looks kind of like the Cygnus’ bow. The bulk of the film takes place on the ship. The abandoned nature of the ship and its derelictness also recall the first part of “The Black Hole” when they find the Cygnus floating near the titular celestial phenomenon.

Harshing The Buzz


The observant gentlemen to the right is a king. From “They Were 11” (Toho,1986)

Every last one of the characters just fell off the turnip truck. They were born yesterday. Their wheels are turning but the hamsters are dead. Even the folks running the Academy. I thought at first the problem was just these space cadets (earning the most derogatory use of that term) but as near as I can tell, based on how one of these nitwits is the king of his home planet, based on how these people are supposed to be the best of the best and based on the academy staff, everyone in this universe was dropped on their head as an infant. Maybe this is from that future with the United States Handicapper General.

The Academy ought to be sued into oblivion for its negligence, both what it admits to and for other matters. I can’t get into this without spoiling too many things, and these reviews aren’t supposed to spoil, but suffice it to say there had better be no lawyers in whatever century this is supposed to be otherwise this great collective work between all the planets will be dissolved and war will come. As I think about it


Nimbus III- “The Planet of Galactic Peace” (From Star Trek V, Paramount Pictures 1989

more, I think this Cosmo Academy was supposed to be like Nimbus III where the three warring Alpha Quadrant powers- Romulans, Klingons, and Federation- conned people into settling on the planet as a great peaceful work between the governments. Except the settlers they were getting were the dregs of the galaxy and the governments only sent their worst folks to manage it. Maybe Shatner saw this movie before writing the script to Star Trek V.

Nitpicking And Pre-Feminism Plotting


Toto, a perpetually depressed-looking pencil-necked male character, was voiced by a high-pitched female as sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti. From “They Were 11” (Toho,1986)

I mentioned that part of the plot involved the quest for an 11th man. I use “man” grudgingly. Half look masculine, half look girly. The sort of girly men I’d like to see casually, not the sort I’d like to see tag-teaming with the Dudley Boys. Let’s face it- if you whack Bubba Ray or Devon with a chair, they’ll put you through a table. If you whack one of these guys with a chair, their spine will snap like a Cheeto. This should make it quite understandable when they have trouble identifying one of their number as a female during much of the film, but they also immediately identify her as she when we first see her (and then forget I guess), so needless to say it’s a bit inconsistent. And one of the alleged males is voiced by a girl, which I learned from Mega Man 8 and Mega Man X4 never works. So we have 10 males and one not quite, the males are surprised a girl would even be with them, one male is voiced by a girl, some of the rest are doing their best to look like girls, and they’re stuck together for 53 days with no one else around for lightyears (and nothing much to occupy their time). Who wants to bet there’s slash fiction out there from all this?


May I have $10,000? $2,000 limit. I’ll take the full odds on Doricas/King Mayan. 200 on Tadatos/Amazon the hard way. The limit on all slash fic sites having a story, 250 on Toto/Chako, thank you very much. (image and dialog paraphrased from”Diamonds Are Forever”- Pinewood Studios, 1971)

Yes, this art style criticism is going somewhere other than pointing out the inconsistency in the story vis-à-vis gender identification for one of the characters. Every character here is sexist. This is surprising to me given the above description of them. I’m wondering if there is some deeper meaning here, but since this is based on something printed in the mid-1970s maybe not. Despite the Bionic Woman using her mechanical right arm to punch through the glass ceiling, sexism was quite rampant. Is there a deeper meaning behind sexist male characters that desire to physically look like women? Is this a sign of the psychological state of the artist who designed these characters? Or is this some subtle commentary on there not being much difference between male and female? Too many questions, so I’ll shoot down that last one- it’s a “no” based on several events in the movie and little details. I’ll invite you to invent your own meaning in the comments. We’ve already hit a depth the movie itself never reached.

Final Notes

What I thought hilarious was, spoiler alert, at the end we learn that despite all that happens this troupe of Lord Of The Flies performers that wavered between rock-stupid and angry-mob-chasing-Frankenstein is revealed to be the BEST group out of


Shocking, but true. They were the best. From “They Were 11” (Toho,1986)

those trying to enter the Cosmo Academy. Out of a bunch of planets and many tests, THIS is the best they can come up with? Did all the other groups resort to cannibalism and sacrificing babies to Moloch? For those of you terrified Trump will start a nuclear war, if the future looks like this I’d suggest you help us put him back in office. If only Hillary had won, we’d have shot down Russian aircraft just as she promised and this whole future would’ve been averted by World War III by now. Damn the bad luck.


Terrible Movie. Lyin’ Plot. Fake Physics! Sad! #LittleKylo. images from and

Even though I’ve been critical, I can safely say that despite plot holes, stupidity, class action lawsuits, and some things that are pivotal to the plot but never given an explanation, I still had an easier time with this than the new Star Wars movie. And I LIKE Star Wars. Big shot Hollywood scriptwriters with a 40-year-old blockbuster franchise screw up royally, while this film based on a 10-year-old comic with a more limited budget and staff did okayish in comparison. So take that for the backhanded compliment that it is, shut your brain off, save $10 by not buying a Star Wars ticket, and go along with what happens to these made-to-order-BL characters.


Sure I was harsh in my review, but I still don’t regret spending $20 on this. Cover art for my copy of the movie, depicting the characters. Pictured left to right in the center are Froh and Tater Tot. Left to right around the perimeter we have Dorkus The Fourth, King Nimrod, 80’s Jock, Vladimir Lenin, Fat Carrot Top, a muscular femboy appropriately named “Amazon”, Wakka’s long lost brother Chappu, Dorothy’s little dog too, and short Brock Lesnar

Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (0153)


13 Year Old Uso Ewin is one of the youngest Gundam Protagonists.

In UC 0153 a new threat has reached its fever point as the forces of the Zanscare Empire declare their right to dominion over the entire Earthsphere. A massive conflict is about to break out, but 13-year-old Uso Ewin is unaware of any of this. Leading a carefree life in Kasarelia with his friend Shakti, Uso spends his days riding around with his hang gliding and writing his friend Katejina whom he secretly has a crush on. This innocent life quickly comes to an end though when the Zanscare Empire attacks the town of Woowig where Katejina lives. Uso is thrust into the conflict and forced to pilot the Leauge Militaire’s new Mobile Suit, the LM312V04 Victory Gundam.


The LM312V04 Victory Gundam

With the help of the Leauge Militaire’s Shrike Team, Uso must fight to prevent the Zanscare Empire from taking over the Earth Sphere. Can they win without the help of the Earth Federation Forces which are trying to avoid war? Will Uso be able to fight Katejina who has now joined the BESPA forces as a mobile suit pilot? And will Uso find his parents as he travels amongst the stars to fight the Zanscare Empire? It all unfolds in Mobile Suit Victory Gundam!!


Victory Gundam was considerably darker than previous Gundam Series directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino

So this is our final installment in my short series about the UC as it is also the last anime done in the Late UC so far. It is also my favorite series set in the UC to be honest, though most it has mostly received critical reviews even from its own creator. Apparently, Tomino was depressed when he wrote Victory Gundam, so as a result there was a higher casualty rate among the main cast members. Tomino has reiterated his own disgust over his own creation in the Blue-Ray re-release of Victory Gundam which was to be paired with his 35th Anniversary work Gundam Reconguista in G. I for one think the Victory Gundam is greater than even Tomino gives it credit for, and I would be very happy if he ever reads this next part and smiles.


Uso Ewin pictures with the all-female Shrike Team. One of the good traits of the show is how Uso acts like a typical Shonen Protagonist around older women.

At the start of this article, I said that I think Victory Gundam was the best UC Series and I stand by that for good reason. It had a significant, really tangible message while also epitomizing what I really find to be the essential traits of Shonen Anime/Manga. There is the fact Uso has the typical Shonen behavior I find entertaining, he gets flustered by all kinds of women especially older women but overlooks the one girl who likes him most. These are some of the entertaining traits along with Uso’s growing awareness of the world around him and his development from a naive kid into a young man. And honestly, that is why I was not unhappy with the huge cast kill-off throughout the series. I mean it is a pretty realistic depiction of war, as the smaller force and one so virtuous it is realistic to see so many of the members die off in battle. It also leads to a beautiful ending where we see Uso continuing his innocent and peaceful life in Kasarelia, not the same as he was when he left but a wiser and more mature person.


Zanscare Officers Chronicle Asher and Katejina Loos

Indeed as a closing chapter to the UC, it provided some symmetry. Gundam began as a story of a young man thrust into a war against a tyrannical empire and it ends as one too. There are slight differences which nonetheless hold symmetry as well, for example, Mobile Suit Gundam began in the Side 7 Colonies and Victory Gundam begins in Western Europe. There are also some cosmetic similarities as well, the officer’s uniforms of the Zanscare Empire Resemble those of the Principality of Zeon. It is even rumored that Uso Ewin is supposed to be the Great Great Grandson of Char Aznabel, though the production team denies this rumor stating that it was something they considered but then decided against.

All in all, as I said, Victory Gundam was my favorite. I do not expect that to be the same for everybody else, of course, even its creator rejected it. But you should still watch it and give it a chance and I can only hope you see what I see in it. You can find it in various formats on Amazon by clicking here. I hope you watch it and enjoy the Swan Song of the Universal Century, but for now, this is the end of my series of pieces about Gundam. Maybe in the future, I will do pieces about Turn A Gundam (Correct Century, CC) or Gundam Reconguista in G (Regild Century, RG). I hope you enjoyed these.

Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (0123)


The Federation Forces fight back against the Crossbone Vanguard

In the year UC 0123, Years after the completion of the Federations Frontier Side Initiative intended to be an answer to the growing population, A new threat emerges in the form of a faction calling themselves “Cosmo Babylonia”. Intent on forming their own empire, they deploy the forces of The Crossbone Vanguard to conquer and invade the Frontier Side. The unprepared Federation Forces are no match for them and quickly retreat. On the Colony Frontier IV, Seabook Arno and his friends are caught in one of these attacks, witnessing the loss of life and destruction around them. After their friend Cecily Fairchild is captured by members of the Crossbone Vanguard that claim she is the lost heir to the Ronah Family, Seabook and his friends escape on the Federation Ship Space Ark.


F91 Gundam engaged in Aerial Battle.

Little does Seabook know at the time, Space Ark is transporting an experimental Federation Mobile Suit designed by his own mother, the F91 Gundam. Forced to pilot this highly advanced Mobile Suit, will Seabook be able to stop the Crossbone Vanguard and thwart the efforts of Cosmo Babylonia? Will he be able to defeat the ace pilot and military director of the Crossbone Vanguard, Carazzo “Iron Mask” Ronah? And will he be able to fight Cecily, now calling her Berah Ronah? All this is answered in the fast-paced movie, Mobile Suit Gundam F91!!

So there is not a lot to say about this movie, but I will say as much as I can. First, in terms of significance, Mobile Suit Gundam F91 is the first addition to the UC that took place in years far separated from the One Year War. It takes place 30 Years after the events of Char’s Counter Attack, which at this time had been the latest date written into the UC timeline up until the release of F91. In this series the Mobile suits are described as smaller than the previous suits of the Universal Century, this in-universe explanation was a marketing pretext for Bandai to make smaller model kits to reduce costs. However the cost of making smaller joint pieces and tools to paint the models, Bandai abandoned this strategy and returned the mobile suits as well as the model kits to normal size by the release of Turn A Gundam.


Carozzo “Iron Mask” Ronah is the leader of Cosmo Babylonia’s military.

Gundam F91 also introduced a new antagonist in the form of the aggressive and totalitarian Cosmo Babylonia Empire. The Gundam Wiki describes Cosmo Babylonia as being “dedicated to the principles of aristocracy and noblesse oblige“, and it is noticeable they decide to honour the Babylonian Empire in their name and the imagery of their flag. Their fighting force, The Crossbone Vanguard, would go on to take the focal role in a Manga known as “Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam” which spans the years between the events of Gundam F91 and Mobile Suit Victory Gundam. It was hinted at the end of the Gundam F91 Movie that they would return with some material serving as a prequel or sequel, but such a project never came to fruition. The idea of a Crossbone Gundam Anime, however, has been popular with fans for a couple of decades now however so it is not impossible that the promise of the film will be filled in that manner one day.

As it was, I found Gundam F91 left a lot to be desired, and that “a lot” was more. It was a pretty good addition to the UC timeline (they usually all are, to be honest), but it was so brief and deserved more elaboration. A movie was just not enough to satisfy what F91 introduced us to in expanding the UC Timeline. Luckily, the film is easily obtained on Blueray from Amazon. You can get it here, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Unicorn (0096)


The only Image I could find of both Unicorn forms side by side.

In the 3 years since the 2nd Neo-Zeon War, relative peace has returned to the Earthsphere. In the peace of the Side 4 Colony named Industrial 7, young Banagher Links attends the Anaheim Industrial College. Banagher never knew his parents and pays for his schooling by cleaning up space debris, however this carefree life of general peace is about to change forever. While traveling to the Colony Builder “Snail” on a class field trip, Banagher saves a young girl who is falling. She is the princess of Zeon Mineva Lao Zabi, going by the alias Audrey Burne. Soon after this meeting, Industrial 7 becomes the scene of a battle between a group of Zeon Remnants and the Federation Force Londo Bell. In the Chaos, Banagher stumbles upon the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam.


Banagher and Mineva hold the fate of the entire Earthsphere in their hands.

Forced to pilot the Gundam in an attempt to save Industrial 7, Banagher finds himself pulled into a larger conflict beyond his imagination. His fate is now tied in with Mineva’s as they criss-cross the Earthsphere solving a 96-year-old mystery. Will they be beaten to their goal by the Neo-Zeon Leader Full Frontal, known as the “2nd Coming of Char”? Will the object they find destroy the world or bring about the Federation that Ricardo Marcenas dreamed of 96 years earlier? The Universal Century is changed forever in Mobile Suit Gundam: Unicorn.


RX-0 Unicorn (NT-D Mode) vs MSN-06S Sinanju

Unicorn is like the all-important twilight years at the end of the first half of the UC calendar that bridges the gap between the real Zeon threat and the real threat of Cosmos Babylonia. It is almost like Stardust Memory in that it sets up certain plot elements leading up to Gundam F91. As a stand-alone piece as well, it is as good as The 08th MS Team in that the characters are characters you connect with quick and wish you could see more from. The Mobile Suit designs too are a good transition from the Hizacks and suits of Zeta, so it is not a huge shock unlike the jump from GM’s and Zaku’s to the suits that existed in 0087. For these reasons, I approve of it as a dynamic addition to the UC timeline, and it has been the only totally original addition since the 90’s.


The leader of Neo-Zeon, Full Frontal. Is he really Char Aznable in disguise?

The political intrigue of Unicorn was a huge appeal for me, it revealed a lot of the history of the Universal Century that has been skimmed over till this point in the narrative. The very origins of the Universal Century are finally covered and they do not disappoint as they are filled with drama and conflict from the beginning. Conflict aside though, the speech of Ricardo Marcenas inspired me greatly and I often wonder if the storyline would have been improved had it not been interrupted by the tragedy at Laplace? But as the foundation for a conspiracy goes, it was pretty great. The mystery of Full Frontal is also intriguing. At this point, we know Char Aznable has a penchant for disappearing as if he were dead and reappearing. The writers take full advantage of this and tease you as they go along by making you ask yourself “Is this Char?” or “Is this a Clone of Char?” making this character quite possibly more interesting than Char or any of his other Aliases. It is the fun kind of tease that I enjoyed.

Even though Unicorn is more recent, it was impossible for me to find the complete series in a boxed set. I know right? That sucks that they would not have something like that by now, especially considering how recently this aired. But you can piece it together here on Amazon. So go put a close to that century with a smile on your face! 🙂

Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (0093)


5th Luna Asteroid dropping on Lhasa Tibet

The year 0093, the Second Neo-Zeon War is quickly approaching levels of destruction unseen since the One-Year-War. Lead by Char Aznable whose intention is to make the earth uninhabitable by humans, the forces of Neo-Zeon lead a successful asteroid drop operation on Lhasa, Tibet. Unable to stop them, the Federation Special Forces Unit known as Londo Bell prepares for another attack. In Von Braun City, Amuro Ray takes custody of the prototype (nu) ν Gundam and begins his return trip to Londo Bell’s Headquarters at the Side 1 colony Londonion. While all this happens the Federation attempts to negotiate a ceasefire with Char Aznabel, unaware of his treacherous plans.


Char Aznable returns to the Earth Sphere with a rain of chaos and destruction.

After regaining control of the Asteroid Base Axis, Char announces his plan to achieve his father’s ideals of humanity leaving the earth for the colonies. He will drop the massive Asteroid Base Axis on the Earth and start another Ice Age! Now the forces of Londo Bell, led by Captain Bright Noa, must stop Axis from colliding with the planet and wiping out mankind. Will they be able to stop them without the Nuclear Arsenal of Luna 2? Will Amuro Ray be able to beat Char Aznabel in his experimental ν Gundam and put an end to any further wars? And will the budding love between 2 youth be able to survive the bitter flames of war? The drama unfolds in Yoshiyuki Tomino’s 1988 film, Mobile Suit Gundam: Chars Counterattack.


This is Amuro’s last corporeal appearance in the Universal Century.

Okay guys, I am going to have to give you a huge spoiler alert because to give my thoughts on this there are a few crucial points I have to spoil. First off, this is the last time you will ever see Char or Amuro alive in the Universal Century. While there are appearances of their spirits in Gundam Unicorn, and a mention of Amuro’s Memories in a Gundam Short, Amuro and Char both make their final appearances as they both die during the failed drop of Axis. In a way, the death of Char also represents the death of Zeon as a whole. The only other major conflict is the Third Neo-Zeon War in 0096 which ended in failure leading to the dissolution of the Republic of Zeon 4 years later in UC 0100. After that, there is no reference to the Zeon as they become nothing but a memory and are later overshadowed by newer threats such as the Cosmos Babylonia conflict and the war with the Zanscare Empire.


Amuro’s RX-93 ν Gundam vs Char’s MSN-04 Sazabi

It is also the effective end of the quintessential rivalry between Char and Amuro, a rivalry which is also a metaphor for the conflicting ideaologies of staying on Earth and all of Humanity leaving the Earth to live in the Colonies. As to which side of this argument won, it is clearly Amuro who uses the Psychoframe technology of the ν Gundam to stop Axis from hitting the Earth. This was the original Gundam Rivalry, and its end is appropriately climatic. From this point on, the only character from the original series who makes any cameo is Bright Noa, who is still Captain of the Ra Cailum and head of Londo Bell in 0096 and onward in supplemental works. It is effectively the cutting off point for classic Gundam.

As a movie, the first movie actually, Char’s Counterattack made more than the most of its 2 hours and 4 minutes run time. It was meant to be a total end to the old Universal Century and serves as a springboard into the new Universal Century. As a movie, it is also a lot easier to obtain. You can get it here on Amazon in your preferred formats. Enjoy it, and keep a box of tissues nearby.

Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (Double Zeta) (0088)


9-Year-Old Mineva Lao Zabi practicing violin aboard Axis. She is in effect only a figurehead of Neo-Zeon.

In the year 0088, the Gryps Conflict has ended but a new threat is on the horizon. The remnants of Zeon lead by Mineva Lao Zabi have declared war from their asteroid base Axis, but behind the scenes, the war effort is being led by the cold and ruthless Haman Karn. The Earth Sphere is about to heat up again as the war-weary and unprepared Federation Government prepares to once again delve into another full-scale conflict. This time the AEUG fights alongside them, but first their flagship the Argama must dock for repairs at the Side 1 Colony of Shangrila. They also need to find a replacement pilot for the Zeta Gundam now that Kamille Bidan has gone catatonic. Unbeknownst to them, their piloting problem will be solved on Side 1. But will it bring new problems with it?


Haman Karn is the true face behind the Neo-Zeon War.

14-Year Old Orphan Judau Ashta and his friends collect junk on the aging Shangrila Colony just to get by. When the Argama docks at Shangrila though, their misguided plan to steal the Zeta Gundam and sell it for scrap gets them caught in the middle of the budding war. Young Judau is now forced to fight Neo-Zeon and the soldiers of Harman Karn in the newly delivered experimental Gundam, the ZZ Gundam. Motivated by rescuing his sister kidnapped by the Neo-Zeon, will Judau be able to put an end to this new war, or will Harman Karn once again subject the Earthsphere to the horrors of Zeon? Find out in Yoshiyuki Tomino’s 3rd installment into the Gundam Universal Century, Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ!!


The Newtype from Side 1, Judau Ashta appears in other Gundam works down the line.

So first off, a lot of people say ZZ Gundam was pretty crappy and a waste of time. To a degree this is true, but I found it more entertaining in many ways than Zeta Gundam. First off, Judau Ashta is a more attractive protagonist, a lovable goofball in contrast to the bratty Kamille Bidan. What Judau lacks in intellect he more than makes up for with his skill as a Newtype and his dominate confidence. That is more appealing to me even though his mobile suit is crappier (also my opinion) and his companions are more annoying. ZZ Gundam also shows the Earthsphere and its colonies in more detail, showing the different characters of each one and even discovering colonies lost to memory. Again, this made it a far more appealing experience for me than Zeta.


ZZ Gundam had a more comedic tone and used humor and fan service to break the gloom.

ZZ Gundam also added more things we had not seen from Tomino before, things such as a more innocent and enjoyable atmosphere in which the characters interact. There was a lot more humor in it, such as Judau being boob smothered by his enemy pilot Chara Soon. Many of the enemies chasing them were almost as inept as Elmer Fudd and had quirks that make the soldiers of Neo-Zeon almost likable. There were darker parts as well though, such as Tomino’s usual Hamlet-esqe plot device of killing off most of the main characters towards the end of the series. Tomino also explored the Newtypes in a darker light with the character Elpeo Ple, a Cloned Newtype. This was a slightly edgier concept than the Cyber Newtypes created by human experimentation as cloning was a hotter hot-button topic at this time. This all made for a pretty compelling series though.

Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam was the second to last installation to the Universal Century that Tomino did in the 80’s. His next work would be Char’s Counterattack seemingly ending the UC timeline till the addition of further works in the 90’s. It is kind of hard now to find a complete edition of the entire series. You can try to piece it together from boxed sets though by searching for it on Amazon. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

Mobile Suit “Zeta” Gundam (0087)


Lt. Quattro Bajeena has a surprising and dark secret.

In the year 0087, the Earth Federation is facing a new internal conflict. The oppressive and often criminal actions of the Federation Special Forces Unit, the Titans, has led to the formation of the AEUG (Anti-Earth Federation Group). The small war between the group has heated up and it threatens to boil over into an open conflict. Anticipating this, the Titans commission the development of new mobile suits. The AEUG catches wind of these plans and makes the decision to capture these units from their testing facility in the Side 7 Colony Green Noa.


Kamille Bidan and the Zeta Gundam

Young Kamille Bidan is barely aware of any of this aside from the oppressiveness of the Titans towards citizens of the space colonies. One day, however, on his way to see his father at Side 7’s RND Facility he runs into the middle of the AEUG’s operation to capture the Titans experimental Gundam MK-II Units. After deciding to help them capture the MK-II’s, Kamille joins the AEUG, where he designs and then pilots the state of the art Zeta Gundam. Joined by the mysterious Quattro Bajeena and the crew of the Nael Argama, Kamille must fight the Titans at every turn as they advance their schemes. Can Kamille and the AEUG defeat the oppressive Titans while also fending off the advances of Neo-Zeon? And will the Federation survive? These questions are answered in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam!!


The Argama docked for repairs with the La Vie En Rose.

Now I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I don’t think Zeta Gundam was all that great. The main character was a spoiled whiny brat honestly, and a lot of it feels like a rehashed version of the original Mobile Suit Gundam with all of the kids crowded onto a ship forming a family unit and all that crap. It was basically 50 episodes of the original series redone to be slightly different. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is an important installment to the Universal Century and without it, the Gundam franchise would probably have died off and there would be no Universal Century. That would have made my job here easier of course but that is beside the point as we would have missed out on so many great Gundam Series.


Amuro Ray in his Federation Uniform aboard the Argama.

There are some notable and almost redeemable points to the series though. This series contains the third and final attempt at an actual Colony Drop in the UC timeline. It is also the first series (Timeline Oriented) since the original Mobile Suit Gundam to feature Amuro Ray and the rest of the crew of the White Base. It also sets the stage for the comeback of Zeon which plays an important role in subsequent series following Zeta. The most important aspect though is that it puts the concept of Newtypes front and center which influences every Gundam series after it.

Now there are many formats for buying this series on Amazon. And as usual, I am going to provide the link to provide them here. Before you go to buy a copy though, I highly suggest you read some more reviews besides mine and decide for yourself whether you want to buy it. I personal thought it was not great but other people call it the most important thing after Mobile Suit Gundam (which is kinda accurate), but the last thing you want is buyers regret 10 episodes in to a 50 episode series. If you do buy it though then enjoy it, cause thats what good anime is made for!!

Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (0083)


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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”.

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


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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


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


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


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!!”