Gundam AGE Blu Rays To Have English Subtitles

The Japanese Blu Ray release of the latest Gundam TV series, Gundam AGE, is set to include English subtitles.  The first volume is being released in limited and regular editions on February 12th.

Likewise, the specs for the upcoming Japanese Blu Ray release of a previous Gundam series, Gundam Seed, have been revised to include English subtitles as well.

This is significant because the English versions of all Gundam titles were previously handled by Bandai Entertainment (the American arm of the company that owns Gundam in Japan), which ceased releasing new titles as of this month.

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.

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Blu Ray Review: Gundam Unicorn Volume Two

 

Mobile Suit Gundam UC Unicorn

Volume Two

Bandai Visual

 

 

 

At the end of episode one, Banhager Links was given the Gundam Unicorm by his father.  The station he was on, Industrial 7, was caught in the middle of a battle between the Earth Federation, and the Neo-Zeon group, Sleeves.

Links sets out into space and engages some of Sleeve’s mobile suits, though this is most likely just because they happened to be the first ones he encountered.  He was angry at both sides for killing the innocent people on the station.

The Gundam Unicorn, it turns out, is controlled by thought, implying that Banhager’s innate rage made the Gundam into the fighting force that it was.  After the fight it’s revealed that Links is unconscious in the cockpit.

If there’s one scene that sums up the episode, it’s when Banhager, now a prisoner of Zeon, is having dinner with a Zeon family.  The son tells him how lucky he is, cause if he were a prisoner of the Federation he’d be tortured and starved; of course, the audiance knows this is not true, as Banhager was, in fact, a prisoner of the other side when the episode started.

The older people at the table, including the enemy mobile suit pilot Banhager had fought against earlier, are silent, suggesting that they have a more realistic view of war.  Though as we’ve seen thus far, having a clear view of what war is, doesn’t stop the adults from continuing it.

Gundam Unicorn, as with other entries in the franchise, makes a point of putting war into perspective.  It’s not a glorious pursuit, and the people you fight against are not inhuman monsters.  Each side believes that they are ‘right,’ but as Banhager says in this episode, ‘no war is ever justified,’ and being ‘right’ doesn’t change anything for those that are dead.

At the same time, Banhager has fought in a battle, and killed an enemy.  When on the outside, Banhager can see war for the senseless destructive force that it is, yet on the inside, he experienced for himself what drives people to fight.

One of the common traits in Gundam series is a long blond haired man with a metal mask.  In the original series he was Char Aznable, who showed up with a new name, Quattro, in Zeta Gundam.  In Gundam Unicorn, the masked ace pilot is named Full Frontal, and it is suggested that he may in fact be Char with a new assumed name.

This second episode of Gundam Unicorn branched out a lot from its first one.  The major characters are in place, and the theme of war victimizing everyone, including those that fight it, is starting to develop.

The screencaps are from the trailer on youtube, and do not represent the pristine video found on the disc.

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.