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Turn A Gundam part 1 on Blu-ray (anime review)

Title: Turn A Gundam part 1 (on Blu-ray)

Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Writer/Creator: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Studio: Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi, Sunrise

U. S. Release Date: Feb. 7th, 2017

Format: Blu-ray / 25 Episodes / 625 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Mecha, Romance, Steampunk

Age Rating: TV 13

Overall personal rating: B

Synopsis:

For 2000 years, a separate race of humanity has lived on the moon. Known as “the Moonrace,” their technology is leaps and bounds beyond those that stayed behind on the Earth’s surface. Now seeking to return to their original home, the Moonrace send three teenagers – Loran, Keith, and Fran – down to Earth on a reconnaissance mission to test the viability of its environment.

After spending a year on Earth, Loran has become good friends with Sochie and Kihel, daughters of the prestigious Heim family, and he looks forward to fully integrating into Earth society. But before Loran gets the chance to make his report, the Moonrace launch a surprise attack. Earth’s primitive airplanes are no match for the superior power of the Moonrace’s mobile suits. However, in the midst of the initial attack, Loran and Sochie uncover a long-forgotten relic: a white mobile suit. As a Moonrace, Loran is quickly able to grasp the basics of piloting it, but by doing so, he inadvertently places himself in the middle of a war.

Commentary:

Gundam Fans get in line for here come the resurrection of the mysterious Turn A Gundam. Reaching back to the year 1999 Sunrise with the help of Nozomi have brought back a slick version of the a series that many people can’t waited to get the next installment of and everyone else figures it may be time to give it a rest. Personally, I am a believer that the Gundam franchise may have seen better years, but honestly I found Turn A Gundam every enjoyable. Of course it felt dated and the writing fell flat more than a few times. Even with those detractors the story held my interest and gave me a reason to think there is more to this than meets the eye.

Compared to most of the older Gundam renditions I feel as though Turn A Gundam builds on a simple story and support both our future and past. There is obviously the leaning to the earth bound humans and a slightly sinister approach to the Moonrace humans. I’m not sure that there is a real need to make one more sympathetic than the other and I think that ben though the Moonrace has better technology that doesn’t mean their lives are that much darker. If I was human and bound to a dead rock where we have to manufacture everything even the air you breath I would be a little bitter about the selfish earth bound humans who are too ignorant the understand what they really have.

I’m not saying that all of the Earth humans are portrayed as naive or even good natured and not all Moonrace humans are evil. That would be against all anime doctrine and would also fail the entire Gundam universe. What I am saying is that I could see myself siding with the Moonrace and wanting to drive out the stupid Earthlings so that someone who would appreciate the earth for what it is could be in control.

Overall Grade: B

Turn a Gundam is a new twist on an old Gundam plot, but it does a good job of telling the story. I just wish the animation was better. By 1999 – 2000 anime productions values had really found a new look and Turn A Gundam held on to some rather tired old artistic values in this series. I get that it is a Gundam series, but for gods sake they should have made it look a lot better than they did.

One other thing that I reality like about Turn A Gundam was the fact that human technology was all about the steam power and Steampunk ruled the day. This added romantic ideal did help give some beauty to the visual aspects to the series and it helped give me a reason to keep watching in some of the slower moments.

Even with the poor production value I still find it to be a solid series with plenty of Gundam goodness packed into it. There is one other thing that I must mention and it is the disc art work. The five disc have possibly the best disc art covers i have ever seen. If the series would have looked that good it would have overtaken the Gundam and Mecha anime world and blown everyone away.

I am looking forward to seeing the second half of the series. So all you Gundam fans get ready for the one true Steampunk Gundam coming at you. Now on Blu-ray makes it even better.

Mobile Suite Gundam Zeta: A New Translation Movie (anime review)

mobile-suit-zeta-gundam-a-new-translationTitle: Mobile Suite Gundam Zeta: A New Translation Movie

Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Studio: Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Sunrise Inc., Right Stuf

U. S. Release Date: May 3rd, 2016

Format: DVD: Feature Films / 3 Movies / 297 minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Mecha

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: C+

Synopsis:

The Earth Federation stands victorious, but are they still on the right side?

Universal Century 0087. The Titans, a bellicose faction among the Earth Federation Forces, grows powerful and tyrannical, even using poison gas to suppress a civil unrest. Dissident soldiers from the same military stand against them, forming a resistance group called the A.E.U.G. Kamille Bidan, a civilian student, gets entangled in this conflict when he accidentally steals the Gundam Mk-II and joins the A.E.U.G., running away from his home space colony. Then he begins to fight along with Char Aznable, a former Zeon ace pilot who has infiltrated the Earth Sphere for reasons of his own.

Contains all three Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam compilation films.

Commentary:

Okay, I’m not real sure why there would be a re-release of these films unless they feel as though the original Zeta story was just too long and boring. Or maybe it is just another money grab. Either way it doesn’t make any real sense to make these films. I did enjoy them and I guess that someone not into Gundam might be willing to sit through these rather than the series, but I still have a hard time for more of the same old push by anime producers to crank out these remake films that just shortcut the story just to make a few more bucks.

Overall Grade: C+

Mobile Suite Gundam Zeta: A New Translation could be a great way to have a non-Gundam fan sit through the series without going through the series. I wish I had more positive to say, but this was something very common to have a series truncated into a movie or movies just to milk it for more.

If you are not familiar with Gundam and someone very close to you is then you might want to check this out it might lead to something greater.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (anime review)

mobile-suit-zeta-gundam-Title: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Collection One on Blu-ray

Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Studio: Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi/ Right Stuf

U. S. Release Date: March 1st, 2016

Format: Blu-ray / 25 Episodes / 625 Minutes

Genre: Mecha, Sci Fi

Age Rating: TV14

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

The Earth Federation stands victorious, but are they still on the right side?

In Zeta Gundam, we see the future world of the Universal Century through a dark mirror. Having defeated the Zeon menace, the Earth Federation has itself become cruel and oppressive. A new generation of Gundam mobile suits is created not to fight for peace, but to punish the enemies of the state, and yesterday’s villains must become today’s heroes in order to balance the scales of justice. When a young civilian named Kamille Bidan is caught up in the rebellion, he little suspects the price he will pay in the fight for freedom.

Commentary:

I really wanted to like Kamille and I wanted to root for him, but that didn’t last. Once he joined the A.E.U.G. he became even more obnoxious. In the beginning he was a thief and then he just became a whinny little Japanese main character. Other than the obnoxious main character I found the series rather enjoyable. To be honest I don’t find the older series rather tiresome, but Zeta Gundam has some interesting points of view that are well developed and explored in a very deliberate manor. The philosophical viewpoint from A.E.U.G. is rather forward thinking for a series that is almost 15 years old.

Overall Grade: B

When the name Gundam is mentioned I know that I am in for a long conversation with a fan who are immersed in a universe of contradictions and  fanciful flights of science fiction that tend to defy any real grounding in physics or understanding of the universe we live in. Zeta Gundam manages to find some reality but the strength of the series is in its viewpoints not the understanding of the physics that surround them.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam is a fun series and I have a feeling that the second collection will round it out and bring it home with a bang. I know that Gundam fans will grab this one up, but if you are new to the series this is a good one to start with. The animation is reasonable for a TV series and the writing is better than several of the other series in the Gundam universe. So, if you want to dip your toe’s in the world of Mobile Suit Gundam then Zeta is a great place to start.

 

Mobile Suit Gundam Collection 1 on Blu-ray (anime review)

Mobile Suit Gundam Collection 1Title: Mobile Suit Gundam Collection 1 on Blu-ray

Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Studio: Nippon Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Sunrise

U. S. Re-Release Date: Nov. 3rd, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 21 Episodes / 525 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Mecha, Action, Adventure

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: C+

Synopsis:

Universal Century 0079. The rebel space colonies of the Principality of Zeon launch a war of independence against the Earth Federation, using humanoid fighting vehicles called mobile suits to overwhelm the Federation Forces and conquer half of Earth’s surface. Months later, the Federation has finally developed its own prototype mobile suits at a remote space colony. But when the colony suffers a Zeon surprise attack, these new weapons fall into the hands of a motley crew of civilians and cadets, and fate places a youth named Amuro Ray at the controls of the white mobile suit Gundam.

Commentary: 

I am not sure how many times I have said this statement this year alone, but sometimes things are better off left in the imagination of the ones who love it. Mobile Suite Gundam Collection 1 is one of those things. The series, to put it quite simply, did not age very well. The one saving grace is that the Japanese language track is provided. I recall how I felt about Mobile Suite Gundam in my youth when it was something different in our anther simplistic world and now I can say that Mobile Suit Gundam has taken on the simplistic moniker. I find everything about it rather difficult to watch. I understand that it is being released to satisfy the hard core fans of the franchise because many of them see this particular series in the franchise as one of the best. I wish I could join that camp, but the story just doesn’t do it for me.

Overall Grade: C+

On a nostalgic level I found it fun to watch and Mobile Suite Gundam provided many laughs, most not intended. The animation reminded me of bad 70’s look that I didn’t even like back then and the choppy writing that tells the story but in a way that is sometimes hard to follow and other times too simplistic. Deep down inside I would have loved to see this re-made with a new writing staff and contemporary animation techniques. I know that won’t happen because it is too easy to just re-release it in its full original glory.

Of course I didn’t think it was all bad. I still believe that Mobile Suite Gundam and a few other series set the stage for the onslaught of great Mecha series that followed and there is also a marketing machine behind the Gundam franchise that needs to be recognized for its unequaled ability to own the ability to keep the fandom alive and growing. I can’t say that about other long live series. So, if you are looking for a trip down memory lane or just need to see where the craze all began then this is worth picking up or at least finding someone who dished out the cold cash and hang out at their place for a few days.

Turn A Gundam part 1 (anime review)

Turn A Gundam part 1Title: Turn A Gundam part 1

Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Writer/Creator: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Studio: Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi/ Sunrise

U. S. Release Date: June 30th, 2015

Format: DVD / 25 Episodes / 625 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Mecha, Romance, Steampunk

Age Rating: TV 13

Overall personal rating: B

Synopsis:

For 2000 years, a separate race of humanity has lived on the moon. Known as “the Moonrace,” their technology is leaps and bounds beyond those that stayed behind on the Earth’s surface. Now seeking to return to their original home, the Moonrace send three teenagers – Loran, Keith, and Fran – down to Earth on a reconnaissance mission to test the viability of its environment.

After spending a year on Earth, Loran has become good friends with Sochie and Kihel, daughters of the prestigious Heim family, and he looks forward to fully integrating into Earth society. But before Loran gets the chance to make his report, the Moonrace launch a surprise attack. Earth’s primitive airplanes are no match for the superior power of the Moonrace’s mobile suits. However, in the midst of the initial attack, Loran and Sochie uncover a long-forgotten relic: a white mobile suit. As a Moonrace, Loran is quickly able to grasp the basics of piloting it, but by doing so, he inadvertently places himself in the middle of a war.

Commentary:

Gundam Fans get in line for here come the resurrection of the mysterious Turn A Gundam. Reaching back to the year 1999 Sunrise with the help of Nozomi have brought back a slick version of the a series that many people can’t waited to get the next installment of and everyone else figures it may be time to give it a rest. Personally, I am a believer that the Gundam franchise may have seen better years, but honestly I found Turn A Gundam every enjoyable. Of course it felt dated and the writing fell flat more than a few times. Even with those detractors the story held my interest and gave me a reason to think there is more to this than meets the eye.

Compared to most of the older Gundam renditions I feel as though Turn A Gundam builds on a simple story and support both our future and past. There is obviously the leaning to the earth bound humans and a slightly sinister approach to the Moonrace humans. I’m not sure that there is a real need to make one more sympathetic than the other and I think that ben though the Moonrace has better technology that doesn’t mean their lives are that much darker. If I was human and bound to a dead rock where we have to manufacture everything even the air you breath I would be a little bitter about the selfish earth bound humans who are too ignorant the understand what they really have.

I’m not saying that all of the Earth humans are portrayed as naive or even good natured and not all Moonrace humans are evil. That would be against all anime doctrine and would also fail the entire Gundam universe. What I am saying is that I could see myself siding with the Moonrace and wanting to drive out the stupid Earthlings so that someone who would appreciate the earth for what it is could be in control.

Overall Grade: B

Turn a Gundam is a new twist on an old Gundam plot, but it does a good job of telling the story. I just wish the animation was better. By 1999 – 2000 anime productions values had really found a new look and Turn A Gundam held on to some rather tired old artistic values in this series. I get that it is  a Gundam series, but for gods sake they should have made it look a lot better than they did.

One other thing that I reality like about Turn A Gundam was the fact that human technology was all about the steam power and Steampunk ruled the day. This added romantic ideal did help give some beauty to the visual aspects to the series and it helped give me a reason to keep watching in some of the slower moments.

Even with the poor production value I still find it to be a solid series with plenty of Gundam goodness packed into it. There is one other thing that I must mention and it is the disc art work. The five disc have possibly the best disc art covers i have ever seen. If the series would have looked that good it would have overtaken the Gundam and Mecha anime world and blown everyone away.

I am looking forward to seeing the second half of the series.  So all you Gundam fans get ready for the one true Steampunk Gundam coming at you.