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Mobile Suit Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Vol. 1
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
Anime DVD Review

Finally Gundam returns to its roots, and gives us old-skool Gundam fanboys something really meaty and interesting to chew on. After a 12-year hiatus of non-Universal Century stuff (let me be kind when I call it crap), we're finally back to the real thing, like with REAL PHYSICS IN SPACE, believable battles, and ...dare I say it ... characters that you might actually give a damn about!

Mobile Suit Gundam UnicornNow, if that wasn't enough to plop your ass into the couch and watch this, the series is surrounded by some really incredible animation. I'm not talking your average TV-grade stuff; we're talking about setting a whole new standard for something looking excellent on a TV budget. Visually stunning and it sucks you right into the action and doesn't let go. (Really, seriously, you need to see this on Blu-Ray, it's completely killer).

Mobile Suit Gundam UnicornTaking place in U.C. 0096, the Vist Foundation manipulates the Earth Federation and Anaheim Electronics from behind the scenes. Hoping to create a new world, the Foundation attempts to hand over a certain secret to the Neo Zeon remnants known as the Sleeves. At the manufacturing colony Industrial 7, they gather to hatch their plot.

Meanwhile, student Banagher Links rescues a girl he sees falling through the colony's zero gravity area. The girl gives her name as Audrey Burne and says she wants to prevent a war, spurring Banagher to step into the gathering conflict...

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, June 2010

Gundam 00
Gundam 00
Anime DVD Review

We really, really wanted to start this review by calling it "Gundamn Uh-Oh". However, they should have called it Gundam 9/11 -- because it seems that this particular spin on the Gundam universe has more to do with terrorism and the politics of energy than it does with Newtypes. Much like what's going on in the *real world*, Gundam 00 revolves around a war being fought for control of dwindling energy resources.

Gundam 00The world has run out of fuel and now depends on massive solar panels which orbit the earth, which are supported by three orbital elevators, each of which is controlled by one of three international organizations vying for prominence over the globe. As a result, only the major international powers have access to the energy, leaving a massive chasm between the haves and the have-nots. Skirmishes, battles, and entire wars are fought over energy.

Into this world arrive the Gundams: five giant robots piloted by young men, all of which belong to an organization called Celestial Being. Celestial Being's stated goal is to end all wars on the planet, using force to achieve that end - a contradiction-in-terms noted by many characters within the series.

And of course, being a part of Bandai/Sunrise's Gundam franchise, which has been their ace-in-the-hole for some time now, I hardly need to tell you that the show looks amazing and involves both mechs, complex politics, and too many characters.

But if the sheer volume of Gundam Universal Century shows scares you, don't worry; Gundam 00 is, like its wildly successful predecessor Gundam Wing, a completely independent series from the rest of the franchise. Enjoy it on it's own merit.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, February 2009

Zeta Gundam
Zeta Gundam
Anime DVD Review

I remember the sensation caused by the release of Zeta Gundam. You need to remember that at the time, Gundam hadn't been on the air for 6 or 7 years, but Bandai's model kits were still selling like hotcakes. Zeta Gundam shocked everyone because they took all the complexity of the Original Mobile Suit Gundam, and made it even more complex! And for the time, the animation and artwork were far beyond everyone's expectations of what you could expect for a TV production — the art was astoundingly intricate, technically detailed, and just downright awesome.

Zeta GundamThe series revolved around Kamille Bidan, and angst-ridden New-Type teenager who finds himself at odds with the oppressive Titans, while also becoming the protégé of Char Aznable, the legendary warrior who just gets even more impressive in this series.

A plethora of wild mecha designs and a shockingly high body-count make this incarnation of the Gundam universe one of the best, and the wonderful opening tunes and stellar direction by Yoshiyuki Tomino keep the series fresh and relevant. There's plenty of edge-of-your-seat action, but trust us, nobody here gets to have a "pure time" and very few "have a noble mind"...

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, June 2008

Mobile Suit Gundam: Ecole Du Ciel
Mobile Suit Gundam:
Ecole Du Ciel

Manga Review

Asuna Elmarit is absolutely nothing like the heroes of other sagas in the universe of Mobile Suit Gundam. She's a girl while the others are boys. She's not very good in the seat of a battle bot, while the others were forces to be reckoned with. She's not a good student despite how hard she tries. Her father was a disgrace for his ideals and deeds.

Gundam MangaShe doesn't even look like she belongs in the Gundam universe. She looks like she should be in a different universe altogether. Perhaps singing on the Super Dimensional Fortress Macross would have been more her thing.

But the forces that bind printed pages into a manga have other things in mind for her. And here she is sitting inside a Mobile Suit, preparing for yet another war between the forces of Earth, and those on the space colonies established in the void that surrounds our solar system.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Ecole Du Ciel is an intriguing addition to the internationally acclaimed SF saga. It is illustrated and written by Haruhiko Mikimoto. His designs and characters re-defined Tatsunoko Production during their anime output in the eighties. (One cannot forget his work on Macross and Orguss.) To see him working for Sunrise Productions product (even if it's only in a manga) is most interesting to say the least.

Gundam fans will want to see the result of this confluence of styles. They will find a worthy addition to their lifelong obsession. Into the universe of interspatial civil war steps 15-year-old Asuna Elmarit. Will she save the future or destroy it?

Reviewed by Lawrence Sufrin, September 2006

Gundam Movie Box Set
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Gundam Movie Box Set
Anime DVD Review

Tomino's epic series has never been topped. Condensed and slightly updated versions of the TV series were created as three movies that cover the One-Year-War, and these movies helped the popularity of Gundam explode across Japan, creating a wave of merchandizing that has been Bandai's cash cow for the better part of two decades.
Char: Old School Anime
Experience these great films as the anime classics that they are. Hardcore Sci-Fi at it's best, no American space show has *ever* come close to literary SF epic as Gundam has. The shot of the L-5 colony smashing into Earth, is worth the price alone.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, July 2005

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Limited Box Set
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Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
Limited Box Set

Anime DVD Review

Just as many fans consider Arrevederci Yamato to be the "greatest" in its category (despite it's age), here comes the absolute pinnacle of the Gundam universe, Zeta Gundam.
Our favorite robot!
Produced in 1985, written and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, Zeta is a grim, gritty, realistic, scientifically accurate, hardcore look at intra-solar-system warfare that is both stunning and heartbreaking. If you've enjoyed light fare like Gundam Wing or Gundam Seed, step up to the plate to take in this exceptional series. Even Non-Gundam fans admit this series is powerful and has them glued to their seats, episode after bloody episode. Zeta Gundam ranks easily as some of the best anime of all time, and this rare, limited edition box set is not to be passed by.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, November 2004

Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack
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Mobile Suit Gundam:
Char's Counterattack

Anime DVD Review

This 1988 feature film continues the Gundam saga of Earth Federation mecha pilot Amuro Ray and Char Aznable of the Zeon (now Neo-Zeon), and was one of the first blendings of computer generated images and cel animation. The foundations of peace are once again threatened by a new Neo Zeon army, their ultimate goal is to initiate a nuclear winter upon Earth, thereby forcing a new age of mankind into space. Armed with the state-of-the-art Nu Gundam mobile suit, Amuro Ray and the Federation forces are all that stand against Neo Zeon. Torn between vengeance, duty, and love - the final battle between rivals Char Aznable and Amuro Ray is finally at hand!

Everything for the Gundam fan except the actual full scale working Gundam...Char's Counterattack is essentially a two-hour space battle, and, although Yoshiyuki Tomino had only limited technology at his disposal (the computer animation is somewhere between the levels of Lensman and Cowboy Bebop), the choreography of the mecha duels is effective and exciting. It's the best-looking Gundam movie we've ever seen and the film was certainly one of the most eagerly awaited ever made. No Gundam collection is complete without this crowning achievement of Sunrise. Bonuses of this DVD include: Original Theatrical Trailer, Gundam Model Music Video, Creator Filmography, a 12 Page Collectors Booklet, Reversible DVD Cover and Embossed Collector's Slipcover.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, October 2002

Mobile Suit Gundam - The 08th MS Team
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Mobile Suit Gundam – The 08th MS Team
Anime DVD Review

Much like the original series, this mini-series takes place in U.C. 0079 – but while Amuro Ray was battling Char in outer space, another battle was being fought between the Federation and the Zeon in the jungles of South America. This 13-part series follows the career of the extremely idealistic Shiro Amada, a soldier who fights hard, but, won't sacrifice his hope for peace, even in the face of atrocities committed by both sides of the conflict. Naturally, this gets him into serious trouble with his superiors and he's even suspected of being an enemy agent. The fact that he's in love with a woman from the other side doesn't help things weither.

Driving a robot can be hard work!On production value alone, this series is definitely the highlight of the entire Gundam franchise. The mecha design is believable and you get to see the gears and hydraulics that make Gundams work. Of particular note is episode 6, where the entire series just "clicks" into high gear, with amazing action and sound editing well above average. Listen to how different the "room tone" is between the interior of the Mobile Suits and the Hover Tank, and then of course, that spectacular ending where the fade out is cued to the frame where the sun is blocked by the trail of smoke. That kind of attention to detail is prevalent throughout the series and makes it the most enjoyable of all the incarnations of Gundam.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, May 2002

Mobile Suit Gundam

Mobile Suit Gundam Website Links:

The Official Mobile Suit Gundam Website
Bandai has done a nice job with this site, providing a good overview for this classic space opera.

Bandai's Mobile Suit Museum (Japanese)

Gundam Perfect Web (Japanese)

Mobile Suit Arsenal (Gundam Fan Website)

Mecha Anime HQ (Gundam Fan Website)

Mobile Suit Gundam (TV) entry
at Anime News Network

Mobile Suit Gundam (manga) entry
at Anime News Network

Gundam Evolve (OAV) entry at Anime News Network

Art of Gundam Wing
Art of Gundam Wing
Anime Book Review

Of all the incarnations of Gundam, Gundam Wing has enjoyed the greatest success here in the United States. And this is the book you should get if you love that series!

The book does a good job of fairly balancing the pictures of the five pilots as well as other important characters. It has images from the Endless Waltz as well as some from the earlier movies. Filled with crisp clear photos and illustrations, Art of Gundam Wing provides the reader with everything they need as a visual reference to the characters and mecha from the show.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, May 2003

 Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space (for PS2)
Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space (for PS2)
Anime Video Game Review

Most of the Gundam-based videogames have been pretty darn good, but this game is simply killer! The number of types of mobile suits and the open-ended space-based gameplay make this one of the best Gundam games ever, and maybe one of the best overall games of all time. Short of any Star Wars game, space battle has never been this much fun.
 Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space (for PS2)
You can fly pretty much anywhere you like, although "moonwalking" is out. However, you can land on carriers and make use of them. Space is all one giant open level, and although you'd think there would be a lot of room in space, it gets crowded quickly when fleets show up to try and kick your butt! Good luck staying alive in this one! The game also features anime scenes from Gundam, reanimated to look slicker than the original 1979 TV series.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, August 2004

Gundam Level 8 Metallic Model Kit
Gundam Level 8
Metallic Model Kit

Anime Model Kit Review

The Metallic color makes it stick out, and the parts are very durable. They don't come apart like cheap plastic kits. The real metal parts give the model some weight to it when its done being built which allows it to sit on the shelf or desk with some style, as you won't be concerned about it being knocked over easily.

Gundam!This is a complex, highly detailed model of the Gundam GP02-A, recommended for those with the skill and patience to assemble it (skill level: 8). In addition to the level of detail, what sets this model apart is the materials, which are mostly metal, not plastic. There are decals for most areas of the model, but it may also require painting If you don't want it to rust! The figure includes weapons, a thoroughly complete cockpit you can look inside, and booster rockets on the back and legs.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, December 2003

Gundam: The Origin, Vol. 1
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Gundam: The Origin, Vol. 1
Manga Review

Viz Comics has republished Yoshikazu Yasuhiko's original Gundam as a series of graphic novels. This is the "real" Gundam, where Amuro Ray battles Char Aznable, and White Base must defend itself from continual attacks of the Zeon forces.

Gundam Robot...Extraordinary hardcore sci-fi, this is the Gundam that created the powerful franchise and is still the best of the bunch! Viz's manga treatment has been professionally "flipped" to read left to right, and the larger format allows better appreciation of YAS's excellent artwork.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, August 2005

Gundam: Official Guide
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Gundam: Official Guide
Anime Book Review

The Gundam multi-verse is now one of the most complex in all of anime. Gundam features a plethora of films, OVAs, limted series, multiple series that tie together, and the occasional series that doesn't even seem to take place anywhere in the same overall timeline, Gundam can seem like a confusing mess to a newcomer.

The Gundam Official Guide is one of the most thorough and informative books to cover the Gundam universe. The book covers every single TV series, OVA, and theatrical film to be based upon Gundam, regardless if it has been officialy released in the USA. For each series you'll find a glossary of terms, statistics of all the characters and Mobile Suits presented, as well as how the Universal Century timeline coincides with that series.

The book also briefly introduces you to some of the more noteworthy Gundam side stories — a collection of semi-official spinoffs, which include videogames, comics and graphic novels. There's also a decent amount of science and history explained from the universe.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, November 2002

Mobile Suit Gundam

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