The story of a young boy who (along with all his friends) idolizes the pilots of the giant military robots. When he finds a soldier and his robot hidden in the forest, the boy quickly agrees to help this new friend, not knowing the soldier is an enemy spy. As the war between the two nations grows in intensity, the boy comes to learn that the war is not as simple as it seems, and that good and evil are not what everyone says they are. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
The first "side-story" in the universal century Gundam universe presents a refreshing new look at the war between earth and the space colonies. The focus is no longer on a small group of individuals who would go on to play pivotal roles in the conflict, but on the everyday civilian population and how the war is seen through their eyes.
The story does contain some Gundam staples, its premise being the attempts by a ZEON squad to capture an experimental Gundam, but it the execution of the plot that made this show so interesting to watch. This series focuses on the experiences of a young boy named Alfred and the relationship between his neighbor, Christina Mckenzie who is secretly a Federation pilot and a newbie Zeon pilot named Bernie Wiseman. Alfred develops a sort of "brotherly love" for Bernie while our young Zeon pilot also falls for Christina.
"War in the Pocket" proves that you do not need a sweeping epic tale about special individuals to make for a good war story. There are no uber ace pilots or large scale fleet battles to be seen here. This short 6 episode OVA focuses a lot more on character emotional drama over other themes like politics or philosophy and i love how realistically portrayed the characters are. Alfred is your typical everyday kid who plays violent computer games and thinks the armed forces is cool. He is then given a crash course in the horrible realities of war. The unlikely friendship and bonding between Bernie and Christina, each not knowing the fact that they are soldiers on different sides of the war, is played very real without going overboard with the romance drama stuff. Same goes for the endearing relationship between Alfred and Bernie. That being said, i would not want to spoil much of the story here, but it makes it a whole lot more heart wrenching to watch the tragedies that unfold as the show moves along all the way to its emotionally devastating twist ending.
Despite its lack of action, this show never falls into the category of "boring". The characters are just that engaging enough to carry the whole show. Not to worry as there are a number of mobile suit action scenes scattered here and there. Each are beautifully animated on a level that surpasses that of an OVA and are sure to satisfy the craving for some "mandatory" mobile suit battles in a Gundam series.
Normally watching anime in Japanese or English, i would leave up to personal preference. But in this case, i strongly recommend the English voice track over the Japanese one. Not only do the characters, whom all except Alfred are caucasian, sound more believable in English but the performances of the English voice cast are on par and even surpass the Japanese one, instilling each character with such realistic emotions and intonations that they sound just the acting in some live action TV dramas.
In short, this show does not try to impress the audience. What it does is conveys numerous heartwarming themes that hit closest to home especially the death of innocence on the battlefield and the horrors of war through the eyes of a child. A truly moving little story that deserves more credit than it is being given.
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