8 of 31 people found this review helpful
43 of 43 episodes seen
Opening sequence: 4
Ending sequence: 2
Rating: AA: I know there’s plenty of action but there isn’t plenty of objectionable content though. It’s a pretty safe show.
The story revolves around Zeon breaking away from the Federation and declaring a war of independence. When the show begins we’re several months later and we follow the story of the White Base, a ship who as escaped Zeon forces and is on the run with a crew full of civilians who have to come together as a military force to survive. The story is excellent and the future of humanity in space is very well portrayed, more realistically then you’d ever hope from an older series at least. They are some drawbacks, such as the focus being more on the ship and its crew than the war and its progression at first but overall it’s all good. There will be many unexpected turns throughout the series, especially near the end and it isn’t the kind of show where you can just sit there and guess everything that will happen. One last weak point I’ll attribute to the story is the lack of political matters and an almost absent focus on the Zeon homeworld and the Zabi family who were the best assets of the series.
The characters were average and perhaps the reason the show didn’t rank higher with me. Amuro falls in line with a sea of uninteresting basic teenage lead that we see in anime. The captain and the other crewmen aren’t really explored, nor are their relationships, they become better friends but that’s about it. Fraw was an interesting enough character but her relationship with Amuro never develops, at all, becoming one in a long line of incomplete romantic relationships in anime. Kai ended up being the most interesting character on White Base, quite surprising considering his first impression. Char and his sister ended up being the better characters but they weren’t explored enough as well, more should have been done on them. Char should have been the main character. It’s unfortunate but because the series concentrated too much of its time on battle the overall interactions between characters remained minimal and cut short often leading to what feels like incomplete development. The detailing of their past and their struggles was also downgraded leaving much to be desired; elements such as Char and Alicia’s past were only given a short flashback and a few mentions when they were by far the story with the better potential. The show relied a little too heavily on hitting others to put them in their place as well and over-used the “be a man” rhetoric that’s supposed to boost the strength of the main character to 100%. And the worse, the three annoying little trolls that were the kids on the ship: people today often speak against the new moe trend but at the very least the new designs for younger members of the cast in today’s anime aren’t similar to trolls. The Zabi family was almost entirely composed of characters with potential but they were barely seen during the series, the director had the impression the most interesting characters were on White Base, he was wrong.
The voice acting was fine, the actors knew what they were doing. They were a few instances of badly processed emotional scenes but these were ill conceived by the director of the show so it didn’t leave much room to the voice actors; after all what they couldn't act was never intended to be there in the first place. I’m specifically referring to crucial emotional moments whose power was lessened by how short they ended up being.
The amount of action was staggering; one good point I’ll give the series is it had decent action and well enough animated battles for an older anime. However, it did have many instances of repeated animation. The fact that they put in a battle in every single episode acted in detriment of the show, it severely cut on the show’s emotional moments and character development to introduce often unnecessary battles. The final 15 or so episodes do throw in more action then the rest of the series but its enhanced quality, intensity and climatic value were more than enough to warrant it, it actually bumped the rating for the series in my case. The truth is the series should have started low on action to put more into politics, the characters and relationships and then gradually move the intensity of the battles to the level of the last 15 episodes.
There is almost no fanservice, a few scenes of nudity but that’s it.
In the end it’s a good enough series but hardly ranks with the top classics out there. It’s worth watching just to know what the fuss is about and get the lay down of the Gundam franchise if you plan on watching the subsequent series. If you’re into mecha or space battle heavy shows then you’ll definitely want to see it.