Blu Ray Review: Gundam Unicorn Volume One

Mobile Suit Gundam UC Unicorn

Volume One

Bandai Visual





Gundam Unicorn begins with a scene about a hundred years before its main story.  The Prime Minister of the Earth Federation is speaking at the launch of a new dating system, the Universal Century, to mark the unification of the Earth, and its expansion into space with its first colony, Laplace.  Of course, somebody blows the station up.  This is why we can’t have nice things.

The Mobile Suit Gundam series presents one of the most realistic depictions of war to be found in any medium.  It’s never about good vs. evil, it’s just opposing ideologies. It’s not pro-war, by any means, the cost of war to the individuals fighting it and to the innocent civilians are a constant theme in franchise, but it seems to present war as a constant; something the human race will never grow out of.

There are certain common elements in all Gundam series.  The protagonist is usually a 14 year old boy who inherits a state of the art military robot suit from his father, and is then forced to fight in it, either for the Earth Federation, or for Zeon (the space citizen’s freedom fighter group).

Gundam Unicorn’s boy is Banhager Links (oh, silly names are also a common trait).  he attends a school operated by a corporation on a space station called Industrial 7.  We don’t get to learn that much about him in this first episode, but he has a suitably heroic moment, and starts developing a romantic relationship with the female lead.

A group called the Vist Foundation is in possession of something called Laplace’s Box, which is said to have the power to change the world.  They intend to give it to Sleeves (a Zeon-related group), but a young girl from that group sneaks onto the space station in the hopes of convincing Vist to not hand it over.  She fears it will trigger a war.

Of course, as we know from the rest of the Gundam franchise, war is inevitable.  As Banhager tries to help the girl, Audrey, to her destination, the Earth Federation attacks Sleeves to prevent their gaining the box; putting the entire station in the middle of a firefight.

Gundam Unicorn takes place in the original Gundam universe (there are a lot of alternate versions).  It’s a beautiful return to form for everything that made Gundam great to begin with.  It’s still early in the series, but we have our two warring factions, and an interesting mystery, not to mention beautifully animated robot fights.

It’s a flashy modern production with classic sensibilities.