What was the tragedy that decided the fates of Char Aznable, the man later nicknamed the "Red Comet" as an ace pilot of the Zeon forces, and his sister Sayla Mass?
The two siblings' journeys, brought on by the sudden death of their father Zeon Zum Deikun who was a leader of the Spacenoids, are depicted in the four episodes of "Chronicle of Char and Sayla."
The Zabi family who seize control of Side 3 and lead the Principality of Zeon, the early days of many renowned Zeon ace pilots who later fight in the One Year War, the secrets of mobile suit development, conflicts with the Earth Federation Forces, and the road leading to the outbreak of war—all will be revealed.
Some people think Gundam is the Japanese Star Wars. Well, we can safely say this is Episode One. I dread that newcomers to the franchise will see this OVA and judge Gundam Universal Century for it, because despite being a prequel, there is practically nothing here reminiscent of the classic show, or even most other entries. Even worse, it insults and bastardizes almost every character that the fans love. It has no reason to exist, and coming from a guy who's seen about 60-70% of all Gundam anime currently, that's immensely disappointing. Let me explain, using the prologue as a demonstration:
The story immediately rushes off
to a sweeping space battle sequence featuring an adult Char Aznable, cleverly shown in the trailers to get fans hyped for the lovable, masked antihero. Then, after about five minutes, it ends, and we never see anything impressive like it again. Instead, we cut years into the past to Char's father hollering about the political lynching that's about to befall him. After this, he storms into his children's bedroom, where a cartoon cat shrieks in a slapstick manner and climbs up the bed post. He hugs his child, Artesia, lovingly. A minute later he's shown dying before a speech. Finally, the kids attend his funeral and scream obnoxiously at his corpse for no reason. That's the prologue, folks, killing off Char and Artesia's father, who we've wanted to see since 1979, in three minutes! The other shows portray Zeon Deikun as an enlightened leader, so why was he shown as a raving, paranoid, messianic lunatic? Canon-concerns aside, we go from action to intrigue, then from comedy to love, and then finish it off with morbidity in a span of about ten minutes. Who directed this thing, haven't they ever heard of tone? What am I supposed to feel here?
Indeed, these questions permeate the entire OVA! Every time something serious happens, the cartoon cat, Lucifer, comes and acts silly, or something with an entirely different emotion is introduced. You see, Gundam usually has either a militaristic or adventurous tone, and when Tomino is directing, it can even be jovial. This OVA tries all of these tones at the same time, ensuring the viewer never knows what emotion is trying to be conveyed, and it happens at the same breakneck pace as the prologue. Also, in the proceeding pseudo-industrial era space setting, you'll spend the next hour, completely separate from anything Gundam-related. That's right, there's no Gundam in this Gundam. There's very sparse mecha, no science to speak of, no character introspection, and no philosophical banter. There's nothing here for Gundam fans, and the fan-favorite characters are now little kids who scream a lot.
You heard me, the story portrays the Deikun family as an impotent family who, by some miracle, managed to come to political power and then surround themselves with Zabi family despots, then cry when they get eaten by obligatory treachery. Their entire role in the story is to helplessly watch as the Zabis take over the outer space republic of Zeon, which of course, Gundam fans already know about. We already know the fate of Zeon. This begs the question: what's the point of this OVA's story? There isn't one. It exists solely to bastardize what could have been a much more interesting story, the story every fan already had in their imagination. At least you get to see familiar faces, though...
Familiar faces without familiar souls. There are essentially only three characters because the rest of them are Zabi family one-note villains. There's Ramba Ral, Char, and Artesia. Char is present in name only; not only does Char act like a vengeful brat when in all other portrayals he acts calm, but also he tends to be extremely reckless and unrefined. Char outright says to the Zabi family that he's going to take revenge at one point in the story. He's an angry kid, but fans never wanted to see Char as an angry kid. Nobody wants to see this version of Artesia, either. She is a toddler who shrieks and sobs. However, they do get Ramba Ral right; he's the honorable military guy with a heart of gold we know from the original show, at least when the cartoon cat isn't stealing his scenes to make them more upbeat. You know, upbeat, like military mecha anime.
Really, the only absolute joy of this OVA comes from the production values. The characters look great with a retro vibe, and the action scenes are done in a dynamic 3D the likes of which haven't been seen in a Gundam show before. It was exceedingly wise of the trailer to show off these action scenes, as well as to put the best one first. Of course, it is slightly jarring to go from stunning 3D action to 2D forced melodrama or misplaced comedy, but that's the issue with production budget. Musically, the soundtrack is also impressive, just check out the trailer and listen for yourself.
Actually, watching the trailer is sound advice. You miss out on nothing by simply watching the trailer and saying you saw the whole OVA, first five minute action sequence aside. If you're a Gundam fan you already know what happened in this OVA, and your imagination probably fills in the gaps far better. The trailer presents the potential that was unrealized: a fiction with historical allegory, an action space opera. What we got is a confused melodrama, a glorified prequel storyboard that, like Star Wars, has no idea why its original source material gained popularity. If you're a newcomer you'll be completely lost, and none of the events will have any meaning to you. Don't fret, I am a longtime fan and they have no meaning to me either.
I try to write some short review without spoiling the story.
It's all about story how the young Deikuns lives after their father was assasinated. The conflict and pace were building up very nice, also the character development also handled very well. Somehow I feel this OVA is too short, the credit roll just come too early. Until I didn't realize it was 1 hour already.
If you already watch the 8 mins trailer, then you already know the art quality. Although it's use CG when mecha battles, the camera moving pretty well. But personally I think the sound is nothing special, it got
me some vibes from Unicorn Gundam or so. But, yeah this OVA is worth to watch.
I am likely different that most who decided to watch this ova in that this is the first Gundam series I've ever seen. I'd heard of it a number of times, but with so many different shows within the overall series, I had no idea where to start, and really no motivation to. However, I'd heard good things about this, and with it being an origin story, I figured I'd give the first OVA a try. And I have to say, it did not disappoint. Keep in mind for this review, I've only seen the first OVA, when I watch more I'll update this review.
story itself isn't anything overly complex. There's a lot of political intrigue, with different families vying for power, and some murders to go along with this. It took a little bit of time to figure out who was who, but 15 minutes in and I had a pretty good idea. They didn't slow down the story to give lots of explanations, but didn't try to do so much here that it needed tons of explanations, and considering they only have 4 OVAs to tell the story they want to, this pace was good. There weren't any big surprises, but there was a lot of tension throughout the story. The opening battle was also a great way to introduce the story, and it looked wonderful even though I didn't really know what was going on. The show was also able to pull on my heartstrings with the bonds between the family as I saw the love they had for each other, even the family cat. It was these emotional moments that brought everything together, and made me want to see what was going to happen to the characters.
What really made the show stand out for me were the characters. While the show does jump around, the focus is on Casvel, a young boy, but a very determined and strong character. His desire to get what he wants is really great to see, and makes him a protagonist worth rooting for, and one that I know will be an awesome character as we get further with this story, heck, he's already had some awesome moments facing down powerful enemies. Artesia is his younger sister, and has much simpler desires, which really serves as a great contrast. All the other side characters are instantly likable with the way they're fighting for what they want, though some are certainly more noble than others. They haven't gotten much devlopment yet, but even without this they still really help to push the story forward, and I'm guessing we'll get to see them grow through the rest of these OVAs
The artwork was pretty good. The battle in the beginning was great, but that was the only really notable part. Still, there weren't any moments where the art was bad, and the style felt like the older shows, so quite fitting for Gundum. The only part of the soundtrack I can remember is the song at the end, which really did a good job of wrapping everything up, but the rest of the music was forgettable, though once again it did its job of accenting the story.
Overall, this was a fantastic start. We have a well paced gripping story, with a lot of very likable characters. The few flaws here are minor enough to not get in the way of the story. I'm looking forward to more of this one.
There's a lot I feel about Origin I. I'll try my best to word it out smoothly. There will be spoilers and I won't feel bad if you bothered to read this. I hope that if you watched this movie you have the whole of 0079 as background information or you're really stupid.
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin. The very side story of Gundam that tells us how the brilliance that is 0079 started out. In its first installation, we are introduced to the era of Zeon Zum Deikum; The Principality of Zeon's forefather and the events that Put the Zabi family in his position. Zeon's
Children, Artesia and Casval, get dragged into his mess and thus begins a chronicle of smuggling royal kids out of Zabi paws.
The first movie's story to be fair is kinda simple; Munzo's ruler gets assassinated by his power-hungry right hand man, his left hand man is framed for it and thus begins Zabi's successful attempt at complete throne-usurping of the Republic of Munzo; but the only things standing in the way are Zeon's descendants; Casval Rem Deikum and Artesia Som Deikum. More of the former and less of the latter. With the aid of left-hand man Ral's son, Captain Ramba and his associates, Casval and Artesia escape the clutches of the Zabi and thus possible elimination. There are sacrifices in the meanwhile, but I don't want to spoil too much.
The pieces of the story seem really out of place initially what with the fleet battle in the beginning. Don't be fooled; that's a mere snippet of the events to come. The focus is in U.C 68, where we're exposed to Casval's childhood. As with the title "Blue-Eyed Casval", the story focuses on young Casval and does it paint his character well? HELL YEAH. This doesn't mean they ditch every single other character though. Every other character was positioned as a stepping stone of Casval's life and they really establish the story as what it is; building the blue pillars of the red comet.
But can we be fair for a bit? I'm sure many movie/anime junkies are able to find a handful of tropes and cliches within the movie and the characters; this use of story and character traits are what keep it form the perfect 10. Is it really that bad to be making use of cliches? It's understandably what Gundam does, but it's not in the way that it pioneers tropes; it's taking others success instead of making others' works a success. That's the 2 point difference from perfection for Origin.
Art and Sound:10 and 9 accordingly
I'm not going to be really detailed around here. The art is what you see in Aldnoah Zero except the CG and what's hand-drawn is (actually) good AYYYYYYYYYY
So what's another good parallel? Space battleship Yamato 2199. Great CG infused with great art that mixes reeeeeeaaaaaaaally well.
They managed to integrate character and GIANT CG TANKS OF MASS DESTRUCTION SPACE SHIP GIANT ROBOT really well I can't actually fully describe it.
The music is really soft-spoken in this movie and it really makes you pay more attention to the character dialogue (Yes, I didn't actually need subtitles.). Not sure if this was intended but it was a good call. Paying closer attention to the music, I find most of it slow-paced compared to the faster music scene Gundam is known for. (SEED, X, Wing, AGE, Unicorn even) is this bad? Haha no. It's a really great change of pace (albeit a really badly placed one considering how the CG made battles even more fast paced).
Enjoyment: 9/10. This is pretty biased since it's a Gundam movie and I'm a huge nerd ayyyyyyy
Overall: 9/10 The one thing that prevented this from a 10/10 was how it really ruined the Universal Century Canon for me: it was established that Zeon Zum Deikum founded the Republic of Zeon before he died but in the movie you saw Zeon passing away before you saw Zeon's insignia and it just took at 1 point away from me. Idk it could have been 10/10 but since I'm a huge nerd it doesn't get the privilege how ironic mirite
We all enjoy looking up at the night sky, and watching the stars. And quite often we wonder what exactly is going on...out there in deep space. Fortunately, there's a ton of excellent space anime which will clue us in and make our imaginations run wild!
Gundam is one of the largest anime franchises today, made up of more than a dozen TV shows, as well as movies, OVAs, and more. With so many stories split up into multiple timelines, it can be tough to know where to start. But don't worry. This comprehensive Gundam guide will help light your way.