Kidō Senshi Gundam Thunderbolt

Title:Kidō Senshi Gundam Thunderbolt
Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt
機動戦士ガンダム サンダーボルト
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - SUNRISE
During the One Year War of U.C. 0079, the Earth Federation and Principality of Zeon engage in a fierce battle at the "Thunderbolt Sector", a shoal zone in the former Colony Side 4 "Moore". After successfully infiltrating Zeon's sniper field, ace Federation pilot and jazz enthusiast Io Fleming is given control of the latest Gundam prototype.
(Summary courtesy of Anime News Network)

4-episode ONA series that premiered on December 25, 2015.
Animated by Sunrise.
[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 10 10 9 9 9 9 Ggultra2764 [series:3221#1552]
It would seem the Gundam franchise has been on a bit of a roll with quality lately following my viewing of Unicorn and Iron-Blooded Orphans. Unlike many of its past predecessors, Thunderbolt takes on a more gritty and bleaker mood in its focus on the conflict with the forces led by ace Zeon sniper Daryl Lorenz and ace Federation pilot Io Fleming. This change in mood allows the series to do away with the Gundam franchise's typical cliches and flaws as major characters are older in age, do not engage in ideological babbling during heated battles, and the main mecha of the series are not portrayed to be nearly unstoppable in battle.

Like Gundam 0083, Thunderbolt explores the ongoing conflict within the Thunderbolt sector through the perspectives of both Daryl and Io. Both have their personal issues they face due to engaging in combat with one another with Daryl being an amputee pilot forced to remove his remaining limbs to raise his compatibility to pilot the newest Zaku unit prepared and Io dealing with mental instability due to a messy past with his family. The series also takes the time to explore the camaraderie that both leads share with their fellow pilots and close companions, showing the humanity found among both sides and the desperate measures that both sides are willing to take in order to favor their side in their ongoing war. In spite of the series consisting only of 4 18+-minute episodes, Thunderbolt has enough time to tell its story, flesh out its lead characters, and go a little further than most Gundam titles in showing how brutal and merciless the reality of war is.

Presentation-wise, Gundam Thunderbolt offers high-quality visuals and animation on par with what is offered through Gundam Unicorn. Sporting highly-detailed mecha and character designs, the series offers a large amount of fluid movement during its heated battle scenes that are pleasing on the eyes. Sticking out most particularly with Thunderbolt compared to other Gundam titles is the show's soundtrack. Consisting entirely of jazz pieces, the music is normally listened to by Io as he engages in combat and the melancholic mood given off by each of the show's musical tracks are very fitting for the show's more darker mood.

Overall, Gundam Thunderbolt is another excellent quality addition to the Gundam franchise as it creates a story set in the Universal Century timeline with a more darker mood and unique soundtrack that is different from the norm for a Gundam title. A definite recommendation for fans of the mecha franchise.

Last updated Friday, July 08 2016. Created Friday, July 08 2016.

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