Gundam 101: Anime Crash Course – 2020 Edition: Movies & OVAs

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Gundam 101: Anime Crash Course

Cast from Gundam: The 08th MS Team

This is the third and final installment of the Gundam 101 series. If you’ve been following this, then I thank you! For the newcomers… the Gundam 101 is a “Crash Course” into the world of Gundam for potential fans or for Gundam vets are not up to date with what’s going on.

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Part 3: Gundam Movies & OVAs

Part 3 will conclude the series as we take a look Gundam Movies and OVA (Original Video Animation) series. If you have any questions, leave a comment below! Let’s finish this!

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz

Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz

Series Summary:

Endless Waltz was released in 1997, a year after the end of the Gundam Wing anime series. The story takes place in AC 197, two years after the end of the Wing storyline. Endless Waltz was actually both a Movie and a OVA; the movie being released in theaters as a feature length movie and was later released on video as a 3-part OVA.

Story Synopsis:

Taking place after the end of the events of Wing. With war aside, the surviving Gundam pilots, Heero Yuy, Duo Maxwell, Trowa Barton, Quatre Rabarba Winner, and Chang Wufei. They are no longer Gundam pilots, but they become “Preventers” to prevent another war from starting between the Earth and the colonies.

All of that changes when Mariemaia (who claims she’s related to Treize Khushrenada) kidnaps Relena Peacecraft. The 5 pilots reunite once more to put a stop to Mariemaia’s plans to fulfill his father’s wish.

Thoughts:

Endless Waltz is one of my favorite Gundam movies (or OVA); it shows a glimpse of the pilots’ past, and fulfills the “what-if’s” between key characters. There’s a lot I couldn’t explain as it does require the series itself to be finished in full. The DVD is worth buying as it comes with both the Movie and OVA versions containing different scenes.

  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz [BD | DVD]

Bonus: Ground Zero, Episode Zero, and Blind Target

Gundam Wing side story manga entires (from left to right): Ground Zero, Episode Zero, and Blind Target

In addition to Endless Waltz, there are 3 graphic novels that gives us further history of how the Gundam pilots came to be. “Ground Zero”, “Episode Zero”, and “Blind Target” takes place after the end of Wing’s main story, and before the events of Endless Waltz.

Episode Zero takes a look back at the Gundam pilots long before they actually piloted Gundams, from an orphaned Duo Maxwell to the then nameless Trowa Barton. Blind Target follows the Wing boys again as they put a stop to the White Fang organization’s plot to steal the Gundams (as well as some eye candy for the Wing fan[girls]! ^o^). And Ground Zero shows the lighter side of the Wing pilots ( with more eye candy included ^^; ), but with a few twists.

I purchased these back during the explosion of Gundam series airing in the US (and when graphic novels were $15). Unfortunately, all 3 GNs are out-of-print. A look into your local library, a request from your local bookstore, or a listing from eBay is worth the time and money if you really enjoyed Gundam Wing I like did!

Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack

Bright Noa (L) and Amuro Rei (R) from Char's Counterattack

Series Summary:

Char’s Counterattack is a feature-length movie and was originally released in 1988 in Japan. It takes place in UC 0093, 5 years after the end of ZZ and 13 years after the end of the One Year War. It also marks the end of the clash between the rivalry of Amuro Rei and Char Anzable.

Story Synopsis:

Taking off from where ZZ left off, the AUEG and the Titans are no more. Instead, there are two new organizations that replace the originals: Londo Bell and Neo Zeon. It’s the same premise as in Zeta Gundam; Londo Bell consists of former E.F.F. and AUEG members, and Zeon and Titans make up Neo Zeon.

There are no new lead characters in Char’s Counterattack. But the movie is what it says it is: Char’s new found ambition to lead Neo Zeon to victory! The movie brings back a few of our favorite characters from the One Year War: Bright and Mirai (Yashima) Noa, Cameron Bloom (a minor character from the first Gundam), and of course, Amuro Rei and Char Anzable.

A few more characters are introduced in Char’s Counterattack: Quess Paraya, and Hathaway Noa-who is the son of Captain Bright Noa. Both Quess and Hathaway are somewhat important to the story (not to mention annoying, but that’s on Quess’ behalf), but it’s all about Amuro and Char.

Thoughts:

Watching Char’s Counterattack was actually sad, considering it was the last time we would get to see Amuro and Char. Up until now, it wasn’t so bad since not all the UC Gundam shows haven’t made it to North America yet. Nevertheless, it’s one of my favorite Gundam movies next to Endless Waltz.

Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory

Kou Uraki from 0083: Stardust Memory

Series Summary:

Gundam 0083 is the second OVA in the series, and was released in 1991. It takes place in UC 0079, during the events of the One Year War (during Mobile Suit Gundam). Stardust Memory also introduces the AEUG and the Titans, who both make up of former Earth Federation and Zeon members, and are will be responsible for the events in Zeta Gundam.

Story Synopsis:

The story of Stardust Memory is the prequel to the events leading up the Zeta Gundam. The first few minutes of the first episode shows the events-from the Zeon’s perspective (the losing part, that is) of the One Year One when the Earth Federation Force conquers A Baoa Qu… but with the involvement of the series main villain, Anavel Gato.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, the E.F.F. are underway in testing out new Mobile Suits. One of the pilots, Kou Uraki (the main character), a Rookie pilot for the Earth Federation Force. After the tests are complete, they await for the arrival of the Pegasus, a battleship based on the White Base used in the OYW.

On board the Pegasus is Nina Purpleton, who is a representative of Anaheim Electronics, a recently formed division of the E.F.F. for Mobile Suit production. Kou, along with his buddy Chuck Keith (another Rookie pilot) meets Nina on the Pegasus. Elsewhere, not far from the Federation base, is Anavel Gato, who is planning to spy on the E.F.F. by wearing clothes of an Federation officer…

Thoughts:

Gundam 0083 is actually a decent and watchable show, despite the mere story synopsis. The initial episodes are nothing more than a Soap Opera (take Kou’s shy interaction with Nina for example). The story does get better at towards the end of the series-and for being only 12 episodes, it will not waste any of your time.

  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory [BD | DVD]

Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket

Alfred Izuruha from 0080: War in the Pocket

Series Summary:

Gundam 0080 is the first Gundam OVA ever made. It was released to commemorate the franchise’s first 10 years in 1989. It takes place a year after the end of the One Year War.

Story Synopsis:

Gundam 0080’s main character is Alfred Izuruha, who is 11 years old-but not a pilot. His behavior is that of a typical boy; he behaves badly and doesn’t do well as school. That is expected when he gets into a fight with a girl after she bad mouths one of Al’s friends who found E.F.F. ranking badge.

After school ends for the day, he goes to see his father, who works for the Earth Federation. But he makes a quick trip home to grab a few things, such as a camera and binoculars to take pictures of the base to show the girl. The next day at school, Al shows pictures he took to his friends to prove the girl wrong.

Aside from the quarreling, the city is under fire from both the E.F.F. (GM Model) and Zeon (Zaku II) Mobile Suits. The students frantically make a run for it, except for Al, who takes a good look at a fleeing Zaku II. Al finds the Zaku II in a forest near the school. As Al approaches, the pilot, Bernard Wiseman emerges and threatens him with a gun.

Thoughts:

Gundam 0080 is one of my least favorite Gundam series. This is a Gundam series that actually focuses more on character development than war, which is a good thing, I guess. But in the end, it was a real drag… Good thing it’s only 6 episodes. Although, I do give the English dub props for casting David Hayter as Bernard, the voice behind Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Solid game series.

  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket [BD]

Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team

Shiro Amada from The 08 MS Team

Series Summary:

The 08th MS Team originally aired in Japan in 1995 (during Gundam Wing), and is a side story that takes place during the One Year One in Southeast Asia. Unlike in previous Gundam series, there is virtually no involvement in Newtype pilots, instead the story follows normal, aspiring pilots.

Story Synopsis:

Actually taking place in the Jungle, the first episode takes place in space, introducing The 08th’s main character, Shiro Amada. On the way to Earth, the crew witnesses a battle involving Zeon forces. To ward them off, Shiro volunteers to pilot the Ball (yes, believe it or not, it’s a Mobile Suit).

After ridding of the enemy, Shiro stumbles upon an abandoned spaceship. On board, he meets Aina Sahalin, a Zeon pilot. Being enemies, Shiro and Aina exchange shots, but both surrender when Aina’s suit gets damaged from Shiro’s bullet.

After introducing themselves, they attempt to flee the abandoned ship before both parties send out search teams. Both pilots eventually make it back to safety and having befriend each other. Shiro finally arrives on Earth and is introduced to the 08th MS Team.

Thoughts:

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy The 08th MS Team as I thought I would. From my experience, I found the story aimed more towards Character development (with a few MS battles included, obviously). Perhaps it’s the fact that there are no Newtypes involved, which makes it less interesting. I recommend renting it.

  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team [BD]

Bonus: Miller’s Report

Cover of The 08 MS Team - Miller's Report

The 08th MS Team was released as a movie called Miller’s Report. It takes place at the end of the series, and consists of recaps from the OVA series, along with extra footage. This could be a better way of watching the entire series if you have doubts. However, the movie is especially available on the UC Movie Pack DVD Set as mentioned in Part 1 of this series feature.

Conclusion

This is the end of the Gundam 101 feature. I hope you enjoyed it as much as our anime club did. I had fun in putting this together as well! Doing this has also made me want to dive deeper into the franchise’s forgotten gems.

(Note to myself in the future: “now you have to cover series and movies from the 2010s!” Which will be covered in a separate post in the future.)

Again, if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment! And if you enjoyed this series, please share it! Please support the continuation of Gundam in and outside of Japan by purchasing the DVDs and Blu-rays in the links provided after each series, as well as on licensed streaming services!

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