In year 0079 of the Universal Century, the Earth Federation initiates Operation Odessa—a full-scale assault to retake a major Ukrainian city from the Principality of Zeon. It is a success, and the remaining Zeon forces scatter across the globe. The Earth Federation gains the upper hand in the One Year War and deploys its ground troops around the planet to hunt down the stragglers.
As part of the deployments, Ensign Shiro Amada is transferred to Southeast Asia to take command of the 08th MS Team—a special squadron of RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type pilots. In their first guerilla operation, Shiro's team is tasked with distracting the Zeon forces while Federation ground troops locate a mysterious new Zeon weapon. Everything goes according to plan until Shiro runs into Aina Sahalin, an ace Zeon pilot he met in an earlier battle, during a skirmish. Their reunion weakens his resolve to continue fighting, and now the young commander Shiro must prove his loyalty to the Federation—or be branded a traitor.
After the death of Director Takeyuki Kanda on July 27, 1996, the release of the remaining six episodes was delayed. Nearly one year later in 1997, Umanosuke Iida took over the project and completed the series on July 25, 1999.
A lot of Gundam fans will probably tell you this is definitely either the best Gundam series, or at least a top 5 one. Hell, maybe even one of the best animes of all time. Allow me to explain why many including myself feel this way which this review is of course for. Despite being a short oav series, it has a descent amount of character on both the Zeon and Federation’s side where they all stand out and get their chance to shine, and develop as a result of it. Every character has their own ambition and dreams out side of the war. Such
as Eladore, the sound specialist wants to be a musician, and Michel, who is timid and cowardly, wants to go back home and be with his girlfriend. And there are some characters who have personal issues such as Terry Sanders who is called the reaper because he’s the only surviving member of his previous units, and Karen just doesn’t think Shiro has what it takes to be a commander. However, Shiro is the all around character who has this mysterious and unorthodox kind of charisma, who is trying to not only develop his own leadership skills, but to find his role in this conflict and to find his way to confess his love to Aina despite being an enemy soldier. Even though he is a rookie, he is still strict and very dedicated to completing his mission and truly values loyalty.
On the Zeon side, we have Aina herself. She is very formal and obedient to her brother, Ginias, who is a straight out psycho-path. And there’s the bad ass Norris, who is their ace pilot , and is a father figure to Aina. So once again, this Gundam series delivers an all around cast with a well paced story that revolves around solving their issues and developing the characters which was how I viewed it. The Romeo and Juliet thing is a bit cliché’, but not really over the top. It’s used effectively and reasonably, and it also helps the development of Shiro and Aina as well. I will further elaborate on what I feel on what I think the themes are.
The art is just fantastic. The character designs are very diverse and distinctive, and the environments are well detailed thanks to the work of Kawamoto Toshihiro, who has also served as a staff member in other duties such as on Votoms, Full Metal Alchemist, Gundam 0083, and Patlabor. I really like the expressions the faces have in the battles as well as the angles and postures. I will elaborate on how I feel about the battles later, so time to talk about the mechanical designs. The mobile suits are of course still in complimentary of the original Gundam designs, except the pack more heavy fire power and have more of a bulky look to it which suits the nature of the battles which I will now talk about. In comparison to your traditional Gundam where it’s all about space battles, we are now reduced to watching guerrilla jungle warfare, so strategy and tactics play a big part into this series like how it did in the final battle of War in the Pocket. So it brings a different sense of intensity, anticipation, and excitement which helps makes this series stand out in comparison to other Gundams because the characters aren’t of course newtypes where they got crazy reflexes. And you have to watch this anime until the end. The 2nd to last battle is most certainly a top 5 in Gundam battles or fights in general of all time. Due to all of these combined great features I can’t say anything bad on.
The voice acting in both English and Japanese are excellent and top quality. Both languages have actors that equally represent their characters. Even though Steve Cannon was very terrible as Ippo in the English version of Hajime no Ippo, he was great as Shiro. He played someone who was new to his role, but really took it seriously. I thought his higher pitched voice was well more suited to the nature of his character, but the Japanese voice actor, Hiyama Nobuyuki brought a different kind of maturity to the character, but wasn’t really as spirited which I felt was part of Shiro’s character. All-round veterans such as Kikuko Inoue plays the role of Aina, who is dead accurate as someone who looks meek, but is very strong willed on the outside. And believe me, I give this anime one of the best performances ever. I say it’s superior to that of Cowboy Bebop’s.
The music is also well suited to the nature of this show. The background music gives a more traditional military style to really represent the way I described the action with its different sense of intensity and excitement as a result of anticipation. And the opening theme Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite is highly energetic, and the ending theme 10 years after really represents a more campy nature that represents the unity of the team.
Well, I’ll conclude this review with two notes. First of all, I feel the only negative this anime has is its ending. Not really saying it’s a bad ending, but it didn’t really live up to what I was expecting and you’re free to disagree with that. But then again, who said endings had to be happy? I felt the Cartoon Network ending leaves things too inconclusive because the true ending they couldn’t show due to the portrayal of kids in war, which I thought, was a totally ludicrous reason. I felt the true ending was too much out of convenience and really felt out of place, and a majority of the cast was really absent. Maybe that’s because the original director died during the releasing of this oav. I don’t know. But my 2nd note is how I love this movie is about loyalty and trust. It’s a consistent theme throughout this show and it portrays it in a sensible way in the scenario presented in this anime. Even though Shiro is the leader and despite his age, I like how he treats everybody equally and he makes sure everybody lives up to his number one rule, that everybody comes back alive.
Where to start. Well, maybe I am crazy, as I am the only negatize reveiw so far, but to be frank this is my least favourite Gundam to date, regardless of the fact it is an OVA. It was not horrible, indeed it was alright, but thats it - alright. Personally I expected more, especially from Gundam.
This is one aspect that as stated earlier was mediocre. It had so more potential and I beleive if it had been a series, not an OVA, it could have been developed far better. Without divulging to much, the basic premise is that it is a side story
to the original MSG and takes place near the end of the War between the EF and Zeon. It follows a rag-tag unit, the 08th MS team, and their various encounters while adding a romantic element with the commander of the team and a Zeon pilot. The zeons pilot happens to be sister to the Zeon Commander in the same area as the 08th team. A noraml 'Gundam' thing to do. However where as some Gundams pull it off, this one does not. The overall story is dull, and frankly the ending is unbelivable and bad. Also, and this is where opinions are split, the action is very realistic, or at least as realistic as possible, which I dilike. Some people like this, I personally do not. When I watch Gundam i want to see over the top action and fighting, but in this regard I was let down, which I could have excepted if the story had actuallt been decent. On top of this most Gundams have an overarching political or philosopichal meaning, even if they are obvious, and I like the chance to think about those things, to me the anime gains more meaning that way. The story here is simply a narrative, a story with no meaning, nothing to really pull out of it thematically, so in that regard I feel it fails.
I have nothing bad to say here. The animation was excellent and a large step up from it's contemporary, Wing. It was gritty, and realisitic looking, and all the MS had details glaour. The art was excellent for it's time and a joy to see in motion.
The Sound overall was good. The effects were excellent and the voices in Japanese i felt were wonderful, but in English failed as per usual. I did not car for the opening, ending, or sountrack however as it was pretty jazzy, which really isn't my style.
Oh dear god. This is were my opinion differs the far by most. I could not stand most of the characters is the show, with maybe two exceptions. I did not think they were realistic at all. Their ideal were foolish and childish, and they were often overdramtic. Along with that they were the most rag-tag group of soliders I have ever seen, and would not last very long in an actual Army as they have a lot of trouble following orders.
So, as you can most likely can tell, I had my problems with this series. It is not bad, but i could have watched far better things even if it is only 12 episodes.
Without a doubt in my mind, it was simply mediocre. It was not Bad, but with such a wide range of other, better Gundams out there to choose form, I would not bother. However, if like myself you wanted to watch it as it takes place between the original and Zeta, adn you wnat to watch them chronologically, then go ahead, just don't expect to be blown out of the water.
This gundam series differed completely from any other gundams I've watched. This is more of a lighthearted soldier's perception on the battlefield rather than the whole political and philosophical thinking that goes on in the other series. It really has a practical and direct style unlike the other gundams and takes a more lighter tone with a commander just trying to accomplish his missions with the help of his squad on an episode to episode basis. And you know what? Thats good. This show pulls it off with the enjoyment level. Shiro and his crew make
people want to root for them and get into that "feel good" factor when they succeed against adversity.
The more realistic and intricate fight scenes are great which personally I favor more than the huge overexaggerated fight scenes in wing and seed (which I don't actually mind though).
Whatever you do, do NOT be put off by the old animation. If i remember correctly, I watched this right after finishing the 2nd FMP series and I consciencely didn't even notice the old animation style while being swept away by the excitement and pleasure of watching the 8th ms team.
Characters are incredibly likeable and they're all sound of mind (well, they are compared to the characters in other gundams).
But the factor that just blew me away was the enjoyment. Disregarding any of the aesthetic qualities and originality or blah blah blah of the series, I simply enjoyed the series and ended up watching through all 12 episodes straight through. It was just fun to watch. 12 episodes may seem short for a gundam masterpiece, but it turned out way better than my expectations. This is highly recommended for those who love gundam, or hate it. This is a more action/feel good style of gundam that people who may not be into mecha might most likely enjoy. All of my friends, who never were interested in mecha until this one popped up, agree. A fun, short, sweet, and memorable ride following the determined gundam crew and the struggles & adversity they face...
For a superlative series that claims to be the most realistic Gundam entry, it more than lives up to that title. This series delivers as a compelling self-contained story that offers a unique interesting take on the franchise without rehashing past elements.
The story for the most part offers an interesting of the conflict. Rather than focus on a single hero and his special superpowered giant robot, the emphasis is on average grunts fighting on front line. This emphasis offers a unique insight on the soldiers that are often overlooked as worthless cannon fodder. Plus, it makes the action scenes more impressive. Rather than rely on
special powers, these soldiers must rely on their skills and tactics which makes their accomplishments seem all the more significant. The Zeon commander Norris Packard in particular manages to win when outnumbered even if he lacks Char's his fancy custom red mechas and newtype powers.
The characters themselves are also pretty good. Our main hero Shiro is really identifiable since he has likable idealist views and tries to preserve those with harsh reality. It really helps that Steve Staley does a lively job voicing Shiro despite Gundam's history of having occasionally cheesy voice acting. Shiro's girlfriend Aina is a well-developed star-crossed lover who can be a proper lady while also fighting as an elite pilot. Norris Packard is also awesome because he's a badass who fights off elite mobile suits yet can be a loving father to Aina. Plus Norris is named after another awesome fighter: Chuck Norris.
Yet arguably the best thing about this series is its realism. Whereas other Gundam entries show the horror of wars through high body counts (I'm looking at you Zeta and Victory), this entry shows how war sucks because it's realistically exhausting and frustrating. All these giant robots need constant maintenance and have a tendency to fail at the worst times (just like real life robots). Normally this grittiness would feel like a distraction but here it complements the story since it intentionally exhausts the viewer. At the end, we would be sick of the hardships of warfare and want it to end just like Shiro. As a result, 08th MS Team hammers in the hellish aspects of warfare without having to cram in excessively brutal deaths or war crimes.
Overall this is worth a watch. The characters are well-developed. The story is engaging while also being self-contained and accessible. The atmosphere is well-crafted. This really is a worthy installment in the Gundam franchise
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.
Sidonia no Kishi (Knights of Sidonia) is a mecha anime that relies on a "realistic" science fiction setup to tell familiar stories in a new interesting way. If you have an interest in mecha, science fiction, or just unique anime, it's probably worth a look.