Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 is a three-disc set that includes both the 13-episode OVA series and the recap film.

Mobile Suit Gundam 0083
English Publisher: Sunrise Inc.
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: April 4, 2017

The series is set in Universal Century 0083, and three years have passed since the One Year War ended with the defeat of the Principality of Zeon. Nina Purpleton, an engineer working on two Gundam prototypes for the Earth Federation, is sent to Torrington Base in Australia. There, she meets test pilot Kou Uraki, who has a strong interest in mobile suits. Before the testing of the prototypes can occur, a former Zeon soldier named Anavel Gato steals one of the Gundam prototypes. As Gato escapes, Torrington Base is heavily damaged. The test pilots at the base, as well as Nina and her crew, are assigned to be on the Albion, the ship that brought Nina and her crew to the base, and their mission is to recover the stolen Gundam prototype.

In addition to the expected mecha fights, there is also a strong focus on relationships in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. The most important relationship that’s focused on is the one that develops between Kou and Nina. But the antagonists have interesting connections and interplay as well. There are also plot points involving political intrigue, although these plot points end up not being as developed as they could have been, so this element of the series comes across weaker than it really should have.

While I thought that the overall story and plot of the series flowed well for most of it, it starts falling apart a little around the last couple of episodes because plot points introduced near the end feel rushed. For me, at least, the best part of the final episode is seeing how the Titans were formed. I had already watched Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam prior to watching Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, so I knew of the Titans’ existence, but had never heard of them prior to watching Zeta Gundam. In that regard, this series works as a great bridge between the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime series and Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.

The animation was very high quality, especially for an OVA series that was being released in the early 1990’s. It’s striking for both the characters and the mecha.

The Mobile Suit Gundam: 0083: The Afterglow of Zeon, is a recap film that tries to condense the 13-episode OVA series down to a two hour length. There were a couple of sections that were cut or reduced so much that it introduced more issues with the storytelling, in addition to the issues that already existed in the original OVA series. If you watch this recap film without watching the OVA series first, you will become confused during one of the sections that was cut down to a point where the background the viewer needs to understand what’s happening is missing.

Since this was a recap film, I knew going into it that there was the potential for it to feel jumpy and to lose content. Unfortunately, some of the decisions that were made to truncate the story hurt it more than I thought it would.

This Blu-ray release has 1080p High Definition / 4:3 HD Native video. The first two discs, which have the 13 episodes of the OVA series and most of the set’s bonus features, includes Japanese LPCM Surround, Japanese LPCM Stereo, English LPCM Surround, and English LPCM Stereo audio. The third disc, which has the Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: The Afterglow of Zeon anime film and one bonus feature, only has audio for Japanese LPCM Stereo. I had no complaints about either the video or the audio quality of this release.

On Disc Two, the bonus features include Clean Openings, Clean Closings, Japanese Promos, and two shorts: “The Mayfly of Space 1” and “The Mayfly of Space 2.” The Japanese promos were all for the 2016 Japanese Blu-ray box set release of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory.

“The Mayfly of Space 1” is an anime short from 1992 that runs about four minutes in length. It partially adapts Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory CD Cinema episode 2, “Mayfly of Space.” It focuses on Cima Garahu, the female commander of a group of former Zeon marines who joins up with the Delaz Fleet for “Operation Stardust.” This short basically shows Cima having a nightmare about a battle in her past, waking up from the nightmare, and hearing a report from one of her crewmates. I guess I appreciated getting this brief bit of backstory for Cima, since it wasn’t included in the original OVA series, but it was done in such a way where I was just starting to become interested in what was happening, and then it suddenly ends. In the long, I thought it was kind of “meh.”

“The Mayfly of Space 2” is a picture drama that was produced in 2016 for the 25th anniversary of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. This is also another partial adaptation of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory CD Cinema episode 2, “Mayfly of Space.” This is about 11-and-a-half minutes in length, and it shows Cima battling her recurring nightmare of being abandoned by the Zeon military during the One Year War, as well as her encounters with Anavel Gato. This was more interesting than “Mayfly of Space 1,” although it was a little jarring to watch this piece, because some of the footage is still shots with camera movements to simulate motion, while other footage is animation that was lifted from the original OVA series. Since this is billed as a “picture drama,” I personally think it would have made more sense to utilize the still shots throughout. But then again, maybe that’s just me.

The only extra on the disc with the Mobile Suit Gundam: 0083: The Afterglow of Zeon anime film is a promo for the film’s theatrical release in Japan in 1992. It made sense to include this on the same disc as the film.

I would recommend Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 to fans of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise who enjoy this OVA series, as well as to fans that want to own every entry in the franchise in their anime home video library.

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