Thursday, January 21, 2016

MSG The 8th Mobile Suit Team : If You Don't Watch Gundam

Hey guys. We meet again huh. Its... a bit more frequent now I guess. I don't know. I'm going to have a bit of problems later this month but I'll try to stay vigilant and post reviews anyway. Wolvenciel here with a review on Mobile Suit Gundam The 8th Mobile Suit Team. I'll be referring to this as 8th MS Team. The anime is a tad old but give me a chance to explain okay?

A Bit of Background

As you can see in the title this anime is made in 1995, a year after Wing Gundam which is ever so popular with a lot of people. Maybe because of that, it would take normal people a little bit of digging before they'd find out about this series as it was right next to a bigger Gundam show (Wing is about 50 episodes and it is still popular nowadays as well).

It is also from a different timeline (this is from U.C. I am not going to explain this as I am assuming that you readers don't watch Gundam) and its a side story of some sort so I am sure if most of you heard about it, you'll definitely brush it off like this, " Oh but I never watched ANY of the U.C. stuff before. How am I going to understand that stuff anyway?". Well, at least that's what I thought.

Those details... wow huh.

13 Episode Advantage

I know there is like only one year difference between the two gundams; Wing and 8th MS Team but the art difference between the two is quite noticeable. I would not know the factual reasoning for it but I guess its because Wing had a lot of episodes so a lot of scenes get recycled and details were oversimplified to make sure that all 50 episodes run smoothly (that's a lot of episodes). 8th MS Team only have 13 episodes in total. So maybe because of that the art in this series are a bit more detailed and there are less recycled scenes.

There's still beam sabers though...

Guerrilla Warfare

Lets get started now shall we. 8th MS Team is as the title says. Its about the 8th Mobile Suit Team fighting the Zeons in the tropical jungle of who knows where. This is actually refreshing for both Gundam fans and non-Gundam fans as it features mechs that fight in the jungle using guerrilla warfare. There are booby traps, pillboxes, machine guns, rocket launchers and radio cars. Its as if you're watching a Gundam version of the Vietnam War (no of course its not that. I'm just giving an example here. Its somewhat similar. SOMEWHAT)

No beam rifles. Just Machine Guns

The setting is also very realistic. There are no psychic powers of epic proportions and no superpowered gundams that can't be harmed whatsoever and such. All of the mech fights in this anime makes you think that this is how a fight between mechs should go about. If you go about running around the battlefield and one-shot everyone that doesn't really make for a logical setting don't you think? Communication in the jungle is also a bit hard and you have to rely on a radio car to relay messages in between the team members. There's also the issue of not having enough spare parts for a costly mech (yes supposedly the gundams ARE very costly) and you end up with a Gundam with a GM head. See. It does extrapolate from the truth (just wanted to sound smart for a moment there) but not so much that even people who don't actually like sci-fi that much would accept it.

Guerrilla Tactics Biatches~

There is a super powered mech in this anime but its more of a mobile weapons platform.

Not Emo

Shiro Amada, the protagonist of this series is for one, not an emotional bastard who whines every five minutes about not shooting people or stuff like that. He knows full well that he is a trained soldier and that he is in a battlefield. However he is not a robot as well. He doesn't just follow orders blindly or kill others mercilessly without actually thinking things through. Sure he is a bit too optimistic at times but he is the leader of the 8th Mobile Suit Team and he acts the part well.

A Pint of Romance

As you watch the first episode of this anime you'll realize that it WILL have some love scenes and such but I assure you it is not excessive in the least. Throughout the anime you can see the love between Shiro and Aina build in a quite confusing manner as one is a Federation soldier and the other is a Zeon test pilot.

In the battlefield where you are not even sure whether you'd see tomorrow or not, these kinds of feelings tend to rise. This is also another theme that is addressed nicely in this anime. You can see that eventhough each of them are trained soldiers, they are all still human inside, Federation and Zeon alike. The anime does well in incorporating romance in the anime as the story goes. But hey. If you don't like it for being romantic, don't watch till the end of the anime. Stop at episode 12. You'll miss a lot though.

Everyone Has a Part

The side characters in this anime (the other members of the 8th MS Team) aren't left out in all the action. The name says they're a team, so the anime focuses on each and every one of them. There's the young Michel who has a girlfriend back home and never forgets to write letters to her and his partner/senior Eledore whose dream was to become a songwriter if he makes it to the end of the war. There's also Karen, the backbone of the team and Terry, a veteran who has an inferiority complex due to his bad luck of getting his former squad mates killed.

The anime goes through explaining bits and pieces of each of these characters' dilemmas while still moving the story altogether. It isn't just simply a slice of life slapped onto a war setting. Its sewn together nicely, forming a beautiful fabric.

It is a Gundam anime. But you don't really feel like it is.

P/S: I know my writing is a bit confusing and childlike at times but bear with me. Thanks for reading. See you guys next Wednesday.

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