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Mobile Suit Victory Gundam
Victory Gundam is another Universal Century chapter in the Gundam franchise, only this one takes place years after the events of Char's Counterattack. The series effectively blends ideas from older UC titles that aired up to that point featuring a guerrilla faction opposing the powerful dictatorship (Zeta Gundam), a young boy forced to confront the realities of war (Gundam 0080) and the usual conflicts of war that arise between humans living in space and on Earth. The series expands on the "youth forced to confront realities of war" plot element with Uso and other children seen in Victory Gundam joining up in League Militaire's efforts and coping with the merciless and crude situations faced by adults in fighting various deadly battles. The series explores the efforts of both League Militaire and the Zanscare Empire showing both sides to have their sympathetic and corrupt elements, especially as you come to learn more of the inner workings of Zanscare that rely on deception, manipulation of the masses via spiritual ideology and fear to maintain their society. With Yoshiyuki Tomino in the helm as Victory Gundam's director, the series is infamous for having the highest kill count among his direction of titles in the Gundam franchise and it shows as many among both warring factions in this series get killed off throughout the show's run.
The series isn't without its rough elements for quality. The earlier episodes of Victory Gundam have some awkward structure in their narrative which mostly stems from Bandai's influence to introduce the titular Gundam of the series much earlier than originally planned for advertising reasons during the time it aired in Japan. There were also occasions when Uso would grate on my nerves for his angsting over fighting Zanscare forces, especially during heated moments when he is in the middle of battle and shouting at his foes while fighting. Victory Gundam also brings back the absurd Core Fighter concept used from the original Gundam series where the Gundam unit is divided up into head, torso and leg parts that it can assemble together while in midair. While this element has its unique moments where mobile suit pilots will abandon damaged parts to prevent the entire unit from being destroyed or implementing their divisions for battle tactics, suspension of disbelief is pushed a bit in seeing mobile suits fully assemble their parts in the middle of heated battle scenes.
The visuals to Victory Gundam are standard for the time period that the series aired having subdued color tones, decent details on scenery and character designs, mobile suit designs looking a bit rough with drawn details and animation shortcuts being the norm for battle scenes. The insert music for the series does its part to compliment peaceful and tense moments seen throughout the show, but doesn't have anything memorable that stuck out for me. I did personally feel though that the musical choices for Victory Gundam first OP and ED sequences were a bit too upbeat and energetic with the type of plots that the Gundam franchise was known to depicting up to the point Victory had aired.
Despite having its rough moments though, Victory Gundam made for a solid continuation of the Universal Century continuity of the Gundam franchise exploring Uso's involvements with League Militaire and coming to grips with the harsh realities of war as he deals with conflicting ideologies, betrayal and the loss of comrades. It is definitely worth a look if you are a fan of the Gundam franchise.
Last updated Thursday, August 16 2012. Created Thursday, August 16 2012.