After seeing this I would have rather they just re-animated the whole damn thing because the scene that were re-animated were amazing if the whole thing was like that would have have enjoyed it so much more. But this isn't terrible BUT it wouldn't recommend this to someone who hasn't seen the OG Zeta, I would still tell them to go and watch the OG 50 episodes. I would how ever recommend this to someone who's seen Zeta back in the day and forgot the story this is a great way to refresh your memory.
A New Translation is one of 3 digitally remastered movies that encompasses the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam storyline. The first movie covers approximately one third of the MS Zeta Gundam series.
The digital remastering was not done totally. There would be new scenes added in with wonderful new animation. Just as you're happy and marvelling at the animation they cut to the scenes lifted 100% from the series, which while they might have been remastered look very dated. The switch between the "new" and "old" scenes is very jarring and affected my enjoyment of these movies.
That being said, some new scenes added in were very good
and helped with character development. They also cut out a lot of fluff which made the movie much more enjoyable than the series, which tended to move along at a snail's pace.
Overall the first movie is leaps and bounds more enjoyable than the series as the pacing, animation (spotty) and character development are much better. The only drawback is the backstories of supporting characters mostly got edited out to make this a manageable length, but overall it was a good tradeoff.
The amended and reworked 'A New Translation' series of Zeta Gundam movies were a very exciting announcement for many Gundam fans. With Tomino behind the helm again and the promise of remastered and brand new footage there's no way this could go wrong... right?
The story itself is relatively sound, however certain excellent and iconic scenes from the original series were abbreviated significantly or cut out entirely. That's the nature of creating a film based on a dense and lengthy animated series, however, some of the choices in regards to what was removed are questionable. The changes and additions made to
the flow of the plot between the series and the movie, however, smooth the flow of the movie significantly. While many movie adaptations of lengthy series' feel rushed, awkward, confusing and overwhelming, this movie manages to mitigate those feelings for the most part. That's not to say there aren't certain elements of character development that are lost, there are, especially when it comes to Amuro's appearance in the movie. But even that isn't a total disaster and it's apparent that great care was taken to maintain the integrity of the story line.
The art direction of this film is downright schizophrenic and absolutely the most disappointing part of the film. The new footage created for the movie is absolutely amazing and mind-blowing. It is some of the best animation ever, it's downright gorgeous. Epic space battles rendered using this new animation are truly a sight to behold. However, there's not enough of it. What feels like the majority of the film uses outdated animation from the original series. To make matters worse, rarely are entire scenes played out with the new animation, splicing together the new and old footage in awkward ways that could honestly illicit a laugh. Quick cuts between the new and old animation for something as simple as Kamille and Quattro walking through the Argama are extremely jarring and not enjoyable for the viewer. The striking new animation juxtaposed against the older animation and the amateurish nature of the cuts between them is an enormous blemish on what would be an otherwise fantastic film. It is so bad that non-Zeta Gundam fans might have a hard time seeing past it and enjoying the movie for what it is.
For those new to the Zeta Gundam series, approach with caution. The cuts between new and old animation can appear downright silly. Fortunately, if that can be endured, a story that is timelessly classic is here for your enjoyment in its most digestible form ever. But those that are sticklers for shiny animation and fantastic production values may find the cuts as too much to bear.
So the question remains, can this great movie overcome the massive handicap of its disastrous choice in the animation department? For a Zeta Gundam fan, the answer is absolutely yes. Fans of the original Zeta Gundam series need to see this movie. Some of the new animation could legitimately bring a tear to their eyes, and requisite familiarity with the original animation should make it much easier to handle. However, those familiar with the original series will be even more conscious of some of the shortcomings of this adaptation's story. That weakness, however, is nothing compared to the weakness of the animation which is far more likely to effect a casual viewer's enjoyment.
'Heir to the stars' is the first in the zeta gundam compilation trilogy, and it certainly had a hard task. Capturing the essence of what made the original great, while also cutting out hours of content. Overall I think heir to the stars did very well as an abridged version of zeta, HOWEVER I don't think viewers new to zeta gundam should watch 'heir to the stars' as a replacement to zeta - but more on that at the end of the review.
Heir to the stars itself has its ups and downs. On the positive side:
- The new animation is amazing. Heir to the
stars is part original footage, part new animation - and the new bits are breathtaking. The style manages to capture the feeling of the old series while giving it a refreshing facelift. There are also changes to the older footage, including revamping computer screens, and making scenes generally more lively. This new animation alone is worth watching heirs of the stars for, especially for lovers of zeta gundam.
- The soundtrack, too, is amazing. Old tracks are used from the stellar original soundtrack, and a great new theme song as well as new pieces are added to the mix. The music manages to be exhilarating, emotional, and nostalgic all while not being too overbearing.
- A lot of content is cut/changed. This a double edged sword, but the good side is that heir to the stars isn't hideously long, and restructures some scenes to flow better. An example is the removal of the extremely memed 'he is a CHAR' with a more appropriate character interaction. The result is new content that any die hard gundam fan would die for.
But, of course, heir to the stars has its drawbacks...
- The editing is... Not great. Merging together old and new animation was never going to be an easy task, but some particularly jarring cuts completely ruins the immersion at parts. I don't find the different animation styles too distracting by themselves, but clumsy editing made it stick out like a sore thumb at parts.
- A lot of content is cut/changed. Like I said, double edged sword. The drawback of this is that a lot of character growth is missing, especially for Amuro. The other problem is that characters sometimes seem to teleport, or magically appear. This is quite apparent early on when Kamille is standing on the ground in one scene, then magically in the gundam mark II in the next scene without any indication of movement. Another is the sudden appearance of Kai. While usually explained in Dialogue, these weird time skips / lack of character introduction throws off the rhythm a bit.
Overall, I feel like the good outweighs the bad by a fair bit. Heir to the stars is a solid start to a trilogy I'm confident I'll enjoy. However I DONT reccommend the movie trilogy to new viewers of zeta gundam. This is because:
- You will miss important scenes
- The trilogy has a different ending than zeta gundam, so zz gundam (which is arguably just an extension of zeta) would be confusing
- From The Aqueous Star With Love. Enough said.