Mobile Suit Victory Gundam

Title:Mobile Suit Victory Gundam
Kidō Senshi V Gundam
Kidō Senshi Victory Gundam
Mobile Suit V Gundam
V Gundam
Victory Gundam
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - SUNRISE
TOMINO Yoshiyuki
It is Universal Century 0153. On the space colonies located at Side 2, the Zanscare Empire has come to power and it holds onto that power through liberal use of the guillotine. With its forces invading the Earth and its space fleets preparing to subjugate the other Sides, the Zanscare Empire has nothing to fear from the weakening Earth Federation. It is opposed only by the League Militaire, whose state of the art mobile suits and young pilots comprise the only real resistance movement. Now, thirteen-year-old Uso Ewin has been dragged into the war by a battle near his home in Eastern Europe. As the Newtype pilot of the Victory Gundam, he fights not only to defeat the Zanscare Empire but also to find out what has become of his parents, who left him behind when they went into space.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

Aired for 51 episodes from April 2, 1993 to March 25, 1994.
Animated by Sunrise
The first Gundam series to be animated when Sunrise and Bandai merged together as a result of financial issues Sunrise suffered during production of Victory Gundam. The merger led to pressure from advertisers to have the titular Gundam of the series be introduced in the show's first episode. As a result, the early episodes of the series were shuffled around leading to confusion with the show's narrative order. Advertising pressure was also felt during the middle of the series when interest in merchandising battleships led Bandai to influence Sunrise in adding them in some form for the title. Dealing with Bandai's demands drove series director Yoshiyuki Tomino into frustration and depression, leading him to create a very high death count with the show's cast compared to earlier Gundam works he directed.
[edit] The Gundam franchise:

Gundam (main story, UC0079-0083) Gundam Z (sequel, UC0087) Gundam ZZ (sequel, UC0088) Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (sequel, UC0093) Gundam Unicorn (sequel, UC0096) Gundam: Twilight Axis (sequel, UC0096) Gundam Narrative (sequel, UC0097) Gundam F91 (sequel, UC0123) Victory Gundam (sequel, UC0153) Gundam: The Origin (prequel, UC0068-0079) The 08th MS Team (side story, UC0079) MS IGLOO (side story, UC0079) SD Gundam Mobile Fighter G Gundam (Future Century) Gundam Wing (After Colony calendar system) Gundam X (After War timeline) Turn A Gundam (CC timeline) Gundam Evolve Gundam SEED (cosmic era) Gundam 00 (Anno Domini timeline) Gundam AGE Gundam Build Fighters Mobile Suit Gundam-San Gundam: G no Reconguista (Regild Century timeline) Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (Post Disaster timeline)
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 7 6 7 7 8 8 Ggultra2764 [series:2605#1552]
(Buy-/ Rent+)

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.

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