Anime

Blu Ray Review: Gundam Unicorn Volume Three

 

Mobile Suit Gundam UC Unicorn

Volume Three

Bandai Visual

 

 

 

Banagher Links has been a prisoner / hostage of both the Federation and the Neo Zeon.  He has made friends on both sides, and wants nothing more than for the fighting to end.  But the true nature of humanity will not allow that to happen, and now he is faced with choosing a side, knowing how empty and meaningless such a choice is.

Episode three opens with an attack on the Neo Zeon colony of Palau by the Earth Federation.  They seek to reacquire the Gundam Unicorn, and the only person capable of piloting it, Banagher.  Banagher is, at least on a large scale view, merely a weapons component.

Banagher makes his escape in the Gundam Unicorn, but is confronted by Marida, the Neo-Zeon pilot he had befriended.  Banagher pleads that the Federation will stop fighting if he and the Gundam are returned to them; but Marida points out that this is a one sided view.

The Neo-Zeon may have stolen the Unicorn in the first place; but it is a weapon of mass destruction that was going to be used against them.  From their perspective, returning it would put them in danger.

Indeed, we see this in every war.  Each side argues that if the other side would only _____, then we wouldn’t need to bomb their civilians.  It’s human nature to see (or want to see) yourself as the ‘good guy;’ thus, when people do something bad, they attempt to justify it.  In this case, by blaming the other side for forcing them to attack.  It’s like an abusive spouse who says, ‘hey, you know I can’t control myself when you get me mad, so it’s your fault I hit you.’

As much as Banagher wants to stop fighting, he constantly finds himself in situations in which he must fight or die.  As Daguza says to him, they are just cogs in the machine; and it isn’t evil to want that machine to keep working.

This episode was focused entirely on the military, with none of the civilian downtime of the previous episodes.  Still, the time Banagher spent with the people on Palau, and his friends on the Federation ship weighed heavily on him.  That character development colored his perception of the war, and gave everything a new significance.  This time around, the audience knows the players on each side; making the battle tragic regardless of the outcome.

Video and Audio quality are spectacular, as you would expect from a Blu Ray disc with just one 50 minute episode on it.  The only on-disc extras are promotional videos for episode 2, but the discs feature BD-Live, which updates to include newer things over time.

Mobile Suit Gundam UC Unicorn continues to distill all the themes and character development that made the original Gundam series great, and present them with state-of-the-art production values.