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Japanator Recommends: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Vol.1

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It's been quite awhile since Bandai has decided to take a trip back to Universal Century. Sure, you have the CG MS Igloo series, but those are side stories about doomed test pilots and hot spirits of death. They contain little if any of the spark that made shows like the original Mobile Suit Gundam, Zeta Gundam and 08th MS team so damn good.

So it was with a fair amount of excitement (and some trepidation) that Bandai announced they were animating the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn light novels into an OVA series last year. The internets were abuzz, wondering if Bandai was going back to the well one too many times and if that well even had any water left in it. Well, I'm glad to say that not only is there water left, but that's it's nice and crisp! Follow me after the jump to find out why.

Gundam Unicorn
Creator: Sunrise
Publisher: Bandai Entertainment
Released: March 12, 2010
MSRP: $37.49

Alright, before we get started, lets get a couple of things out of the way. Since this is set in UC, there's going to be a Neo-Zeonic movement trying to get independence for space people. There are going to be unexplainable things done by Newtypes that will make you either smile or shake your head. The character designs look old-school. If any of these things bother you, then you're not going to dig this. If you're willing to except them even a little bit, you'll be very happy and have an enjoyable 50 minutes.

First things first, this is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks in part to the wonder of Blu-Ray, you get to watch the best animation Sunrise can offer in high-definition. The backgrounds look great, the characters look sharp, the robots are sexy beyond belief.  Speaking of the characters, their old-school look is due to having the designer from the original MSG and Zeta Gundam Yoshikazu Yasuhiko return. You could argue that it's Sunrise trying to pander to old UC nerds, but it didn't really matter to me. The designs aren't garish and make it feel consistent with the other shows.

As for the story,  It begins by showing lead man Banahger Links at the Anaheim Electronics Technical School and how he meets/saves Audrey Burne, a mysterious girl who (in typical mysterious girl fashion) is much more than she seems. You also see how a group called the Vist Foundation deals with the transfer of something called Laplace's Box, a relic from the inception of the Universal Century that apparently has the ability to change to tide of Federation/Zeon conflict. Crosses are doubled, robots bash each other until they explode, people cry, people die, and you get to see the Unicorn by the end of the episode.

I had to watch it twice to get it all in. This had less to do with the feature and more to do with my unfamiliarity with late U.C. history. It wasn't clear to me who from the Vist Foundation is Neo-Zeon and who is supposed to be from the Federation. A second watch made this more clear and it should be clearer to anybody who has gone through the end of the U.C. arc. However, I find it difficult to recommend for anybody who hasn't gone through MSG, Zeta, Double Zeta and/or Char's Counterattack. Unless of course your in it for the visual spectacle, which in that case you will not be disappointed.

Finally, let me say something about the price. I've heard quite a bit of bitching about the price of the Blu-Ray on Amazon. You're going to pay about $35 for some of the best animation out there and you're getting at the same time that Japan is getting it. Sure, 35 bones for an hour long OVA may be a bit steep in comparison, but considering how quickly we're getting this and the quality of the product we're getting there shouldn't be any bitching. If you want more anime in high definition and on Blu-Ray, buying this wouldn't be a bad way to vote with your wallet.

You can pick up Unicorn exclusively at Amazon.

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Pedro Cortes
Pedro CortesAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Pedro Cortes has been known to swoon at the sight of a robot. This is understandable, as robots are pretty awesome. more + disclosures


 


 



Filed under... #Bandai Entertainment #Blu-ray #Gundam #Japanator Recommends

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