Anime DVD Review: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Collection 1

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Collection 1 is a five-disc set that includes the first 25 episodes of the series. Language options include the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and an English dub.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Collection 1
English Publisher: Sunrise Inc./Right Stuf
Format: DVD
Release Date: March 1, 2016

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam is set eight years after the first Mobile Suit Gundam anime series. At this point in the timeline, a rebel group called the Anti-Earth Union Group (AEUG) forms to defeat the Titans, an elite task force of the Earth Federation that is tasked with hunting down Zeon remnants. However, the Titans also ruthlessly kill anyone who demand equal rights for space citizens.

A new protagonist named Kamille Bidan is introduced in the series. He’s a teenage amateur mobile suit pilot, and his parents works as engineers for the Earth Federation and the Titans. When Kamille goes to the Green Noa colony to meet his parents, he is insulted by a Titans officer named Jerid Messa, and this leads to a grudge between the two of them that lasts throughout the series. When an AEUG attack led by Quattro Bajeema hits the colony, Kamille steals Jerid’s Gundam Mk-II mobile suit to repel the attack, and Kamille ends up following Quattro and his team to the AEUG’s mothership, the Argama. Kamille ends up joining forces with the AEUG.

Kamille has an overprotective female friend named Fa Yuiry, which reminded me of the relationship between Amuro and Fraw Bow in the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime. Speaking of the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime, most of the main characters from the original make an appearance. While most of them are only seen briefly, others play a more major role. Bright ends up becoming the captain of the Argama, Amuro joins with Karaba (AEUG’s Earthbound ally), Hayato and Kai are involved with Karaba, and Katz (one of the three little kids from the original Mobile Suit Gundam) joins up with the AEUG and becomes a mobile suit pilot. Char is also in the series, although he uses an alias. Haro also appears, but it’s never entirely certain whether this is the original Haro or one of the Haro toys that became popular after the end of the first Mobile Suit Gundam anime series.

There are also new characters of note introduced in this series as well. Lieutenant Emma Sheen is a former Titans pilot who defects to the AEUG and plays an important role in the series. Ensign Reccoa Londe is a former guerilla fighter from the One Year War that joins the AEUG. Paptimus Scirocco is a Newtype who is affiliated with the Titans who possesses great charisma, especially with women. Four Murasame is an artificially-enhanced cyber-Newtype that Kamille gets to know. Sarah Zabiarov is under Scirocco’s command and is fiercely loyal to him, to the point of an obsession.

When I first started watching Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, I found the pacing to be a little slow during the first two episodes. It didn’t help that Kamille first came off as a delinquent who could get away with things because his father was affiliated with the Titans. Also, there was no indication at that point as to how many years had passed since the first series, and the only character from the first series we see in those first two episodes is Bright. But after episode two, the pacing picks up, and the storyline and the characters all start falling into place.

In this first half, there were times when it felt like this series was trying too hard to mimic the first Mobile Suit Gundam series. This was most obvious with the relationship between Kamille and Fa, and the fact that two young kids come on board and Fa is ultimately the one who takes care of them (like how Fraw Bow became the caretaker of the three young kids on the White Base in the original Mobile Suit Gundam). But seeing the characters from the original series who appear here was kind of interesting, especially since there is a significant time skip. They’re all noticeably older, although it’s a shame that we didn’t get to see what caused them to become the way they are during those intervening years.

When it comes to the bonus features included on this release, there is only a clean version of the opening and ending that appear in these episodes.

If you’re a fan of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and want to add it your home anime library, then this release is worth getting. While watching this set, I had no real complaints about the audio or video quality.

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