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
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
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
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!!”