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Kidou Senshi Gundam UC
Hitting off my 1200th review on Mikomi is one of the more recent additions to the Universal Century continuity of the Gundam franchise in the form of Gundam Unicorn. Taking place years after the events of Char's Counterattack, Unicorn features several factions in conflict with one another to gain possession of a mysterious item called Laplace's Box that is said to hold enough power as such that it can shake up the power structure between Federation and Neo Zeon forces. This conflict has our teenage leads, Banagher Links and Audrey Burne, caught up in the mess as Banagher becomes the unwilling pilot of a new powerful Gundam unit called the RX-0 Unicorn that is a key element of obtaining Laplace's Box and Audrey's ties to influential leaders in the Zabi family are seen as something that the factions wish to exploit for their personal gain.|
What makes Unicorn stick out compared to many Gundam titles is the tight and complex story it is able to tell within its 7-episode OVA run. Many Gundam titles are notable for having 50+ episode runs to tell their stories of conflict between opposing factions yet Unicorn is able to pull the same thing off in much shorter time. Within this time, you are able to get complex story development and character depth as Unicorn delves into the personal ideologies, back story and goals that drive the factions and many of the major characters seen throughout the course of this series. The various ideologies seen through characters such as Neo-Zeon leader Full Frontal, Federation lieutenant Riddhe Marcenas and former Zeon soldier Suberoa Zinnerman serve to conflict with the idealistic beliefs that Banagher has that are pushed to their breaking point as he confronts the realities concerning the tensions between the Earth Federation, Neo-Zeon and other organizations trying to obtain or seal any details concerning Laplace's Box. The fact such complicated storytelling conveying the normal themes you would expect from a Gundam title is able to be told within a quarter of the time of many past Gundam titles is an impressive feat from Sunrise.
This being said though, Unicorn is still another entry in the Gundam franchise that revolves around a young and idealistic teenage lead being given a powerful mecha to make use of in a heated battle between factions. It still carries a few of the Gundam franchise's notable weaknesses with its male lead being overly preachy at points with the ideals he expresses and the Unicorn is overpowered as such where it is never seriously challenged in many battles that it fights in, which kills much of the suspense one would hope to get out of fearing if Banagher will prevail or not. The Newtype power is also used in some moments of deus ex machina later in the anime's run when Banagher does find himself seriously challenged in the final conflicts of the series. The ending is still mostly satisfying with what is revealed about Laplace's Box and some ideological clashes during the finale, but the use of Newtype power to create sudden power upgrades is still a lazy way of resolving story conflict.
Visually, Unicorn is easily one of the best-looking entries to have come out of the Gundam franchise to date mixing around CG and hand-drawn animation to depict settings both in space and on Earth. There is vivid color and plenty of detail to convey the various settings seen throughout the series such as space colonies, spaceships and cities or military bases on Earth. Mecha designs retain many of the standard gimmicks you would find from a Gundam title with design aesthetics being similar to Gundam and mook enemy units from past titles, though the design of the Unicorn in its normal state is a unique one that sticks out from many Gundam units from past titles. The animation here is very fluid, with mobile suits and battleships naturally moving about as they clash with one another during heated battle scenes without any noticeable animation shortcuts, errors or loss of detail. CG animation does get employed during some of the Newtype or Unicorn unit gimmickry that gets shown off such as the Unicorn employing its NT-D System or mental communication between Newtypes which is mostly integrated with the hand-drawn animation, but has its moments where it can stick out like a sore thumb.
Despite a few issues, Gundam Unicorn is easily among the best offerings I've seen for the Gundam franchise thus far as it is able to smoothly tell a typical UC Gundam story in a fraction of the time that many of its past offerings could convey. It does require one to have familiarity to many aspects of its themes from earlier installments of the franchise that get mentioned. But if you have seen your fair share of Gundam titles from the Universal Century timeline, you shouldn't miss out on this latest offering.
Last updated Sunday, November 09 2014. Created Sunday, November 09 2014.
|Buy 4||10||10||10||10||10||Big Fire||[series:2255#2441]|
Kidou Senshi Gundam UC
One OVA watched
Other than watching Bleach, I have lost all inspiration to watch anime lately. Gundam 00 was a mess and I had given up on the series. New mecha animes were few and far between or just lacking, that was until now. I just finished watching this Gundam and the Music was absolutely stunning, if I could give it higher than a 10 I would. Like all other stories, not everything has developed yet, but the Mecha design is amazing there is plenty of fighting, and the battle between the Federation and Zeon has been rebooted in the correct century...That is right, we are back in the U.C. The only thing I am sorry about is that it is only an OVA. It is good to see the battle between Zeon and the Feddies continued in this series. The Zeon main mecha in this first OVA is awesome looking, I am a closet ZEON fan at heart. The Gundam is nice and all, but eh it is a Gundam, over powered and ho hum. I would rather pilot the main ZEON mobile suit if I could... Unfortunately we will have to wait till Autumn 2010?!?! for the second OVA...It is dissapointing that I have to wait that long, but this first OVA has got my attention...
Last updated Thursday, March 11 2010. Created Sunday, March 07 2010.