|Index||8 reviews in total|
this series made for video has the same essence of all the gundam series
movies: a dramatic atmosphere and exciting battles. the story is about an
11-year-old boy named Al Izuruha who is simply fascinated by war and the
mobile suits used in combat. He roots for the Zeon Army (the "bad guys"),
this is easily explained because he lives in a neutral space colony. His
neighbor is a girl named Cristina MacKenzie who is an Earth Federation test
pilot. She is going to test the new Gundam "Alex" which is sent from Earth
not before being chased by the Zeon special forces "Cyclops" Team. Al
befriends Zeon pilot Bernie Wiseman, whose mobile suit is shot down. Bernie
is part of the Cyclops team who infiltrated the colony undercover and
smuggling a mobile suit named "Kaempfer" to seek and destroy the new
which once tested thoroughly, will be sent to Amuro Ray, the best Gundam
pilot in the One Year War. While the Cyclops team tries to avoid that,
Bernie, Al, and Cristina become very good friends.
The climax of this series is charged with emotions that will make anyone who isn't a sci-fi or war fan feel the same thing that Al experiences towards the end, which is tragic in a way. The final scene is one that any director would want to put in his movie to win an Oscar.
The series related to this Gundam saga are Mobile Suit Gundam (1979) and 08th MS Team (1996).
Compared to Hayao Miyazaki's GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES, War In The Pocket is short on action and high on sentimentality, which sets it apart from many of the other Gundam shows. Don't worry, there are some very well-animated action scenes in this series, and some great mecha designs(By PATLABOR'S Izukicki) which update a lot of the old-school Gundam designs, and also feature some nifty original designs like the Kampfer and Gundam Alex. Anyway, this series is one of the most emotional Gundam series. It's the last few days of the One Year potrayed in the original series, and a new Gundam prototype has been discovered at a supposedly neutral space colony. A team of Zeon commandos is sent to destroy it, however things get a little thrown off when one of the commandos befriends a civilian boy and starts unsuspectedly becomes friendly with the Gundam pilot herself. BTW, mecha fans might be interested in the fact that the character designer of this series is Haruhiko Mikimoto, who also did Macross(AKA Robotech Part I). This is the first of four Gundam OAVs. Over the course of the 90s, Gundam 0083(1991) 08th MS team(1996) and Endless Waltz(1997)
UC 0079, the One Year War is almost at an end. A neutral colony of Side
6 has been targeted by Cyclops, a Zeon task force. Their target, a new
Gundam being built exclusively for Newtypes (supposedly built for Amuro
Ray from the original Gundam saga) inside. When little boy Al Izuruha,
a fan of Zeon MS, encounters a Zaku after battle breaks out in the
colony, he befriends newbie MS pilot Benard "Bernie" Wiseman. The two
become good friends, Al is treated as an honorary member of the Cyclops
team. Through the show, Bernie acts as a father figure to Al (whose
real father is always working) and seems to be taken with Federation
pilot Christina McKenzie, but eventually they must meet....in battle.
Al soon learns that war is not child's play and Bernie must choose to
make the ultimate sacrifice to complete his mission.
For only 6 episodes, Gundam 0080 is a well done show. The mobile suits are extremely well designed, and the animation may look dated but really shows emotion in the characters. If you liked 0083 then check this one out, or if you are new to the Gundam world, this is a good show to start with. If you look to a show for drama and character development, this is the one for you, it focuses more on that then mobile suit battle. I would rate it more of a drama than action.
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080, War in the Pocket.
Sometimes you have to lose to win.
If you are uninitiated to the Gundam world, this is a good place to start.
If you are burned out on Star Wars or Star Trek, here is a compelling,
realistic sci-fi series you can become immersed in. Not the simplistic
boy-saves-world-in-giant robot story you might have expected, but rather a
complex, emotionally compelling space war drama where the line between
"good" and "bad" guys is decidedly less than distinct.
Gundam 0080 focuses on the story of Al Izuruha, a young, naive boy living in a neutral space colony. He spends his days daydreaming about Mobile Suits and playing war with his friends. During the course of this series, Al befriends an "enemy" soldier, Bernie Wiseman. By the end, little Al learns some hard lessons about the reality of war and the requisite suffering and sacrifice.
I loved this OAV series, with its cool mecha designs, involving story, and likeable characters. I recommend this series to anyone who likes realistic SF anime, or to those who think anime is just silly or sexy entertainment.
When Gundam0079 became the movie trilogy most of us are familiar with, a lot of it was sheer action and less of anything else. This OVA is kinda the opposite. Though there're only half a dozen episodes, it isn't filled with action, but emotional things. The two main action sequences in this, I believe, are enough to satisfy me. After seeing so many gundam series, movies, and OVAs, I was completely ready for a civilian-esquire movie. This movie did a fantastic job of that. What makes this movie stand out is that shows both sides of the war have good and bad people. It made the Zeons seem more human rather than the original movies where they're depicted as the second rise of evil Nazis. Most people that don't like anime that I've forced to watch this movie (lol), liked it. So, I'd recommend it to a lot of people just for the anti-war story. If you're a Gundam fan, and haven't seen this, you shouldn't be reading this; you should already be watching it right now.
From the first episode I was deeply engaged (yes a full grown adult
pushing 40 years) You don't need to be a Gundam fan to appreciate this,
all you need is patience and a little imagination, the series will
carry you through. I have not seen such storytelling in years, its
right up there with the best and all in a plausible, believable way.
Sincere and non judgmental, this story focuses telling as is the perils of war without imposing views or stigmas, gets you drawn in wanting to see how the story unfolds. It blurs the line so well between good and perceived evil that you will be rooting for the Zeon forces that is conventionally deem as the bad side.
I watched the original Gundam, Zeta Gundam and ZZ Gundam series but this little gem that I circle back to after learning that in terms of Gundam time-line it follows immediately the original Mobile Suit Gundam series, was a real rare find that kept me mesmerized and touched.
If you are looking to lots of shooting and body counts you will be sorely disappointed, but everything else....you will not regret the time spent on this series and the memories that will stay with you.
Epitome of forward thinking (space colonies/technology) and humanity embodiment in a beautiful graphical tale (no this is not a cartoon/anime)considering the age of this production, it is light years ahead of its time.
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.
War to me is a double edged sword, on one hand for whatever reason your
protecting the people in your end of the spectrum but on the other hand
the price of that protection means the loss of so many and worst of
part or all of your soul. This is one of my favorite anime TV shows and
it's my second favorite Gundam show that I personally think it's
It's true this show doesn't have much action but that's because this show is more of a war drama, which I thought was brilliant and really broke the convention of the mecha sub genre where usually their actioneers. This show also in a way is a presequel since it takes place during the final days of the war in the first "Gundam" series, which makes this twice as brilliant because this to me is an example of a presequel done the right way, most pre sequels make that mistake of trying to hard to explain how this and that happened without any suspense or allowing itself to be it's own story. This show is it's own story because in this show were in the perspective of the opposing side the Zeon. Kind like with Clint Eastwood's film "Letters from Irijima" where we were in the Japaneze perspective, this just goes to show that war is never a one way affair.
Plus the music I think is excellent, mainly the end credit song which is sad but beautiful because it has an emotional sensibility on the reality of war. It's personally one of my favorite songs in anime in general.
The animation I think is great I really like the use of color and detail. From how the mecha are designed really showed how up to date they were becoming as the franchise went on. However it was really the animation on the human characters and the background art of the colony which is impressive, the colony looks like the kind of places that I grew up in which increases the emotion more.
It's the dynamic between both Al and Bernie that really powers this show, it' a very good back and forth almost a big brother and little brother dynamic and both are equally sympathetic.
Al is a slightly relatable character because like him when I was his age, yeah I was into war toys I played with "G.I. Joes" or even those cheap plastic army figures a lot. For me they were just fun toys to play with, however unfortunately for Al it because a bit more as he has misguided desires to be in the war right now and kick some butt.
You sympathize a bit with Al though not completely due to how terribly naive he is. To him working with the Zeon in their covert mission is just a game to him, Al is too caught up in the delusions of the romanticism of war. Which makes him oblivious or completely unaware of the fact the Zeon team is just using him as a tool for a means to an end and after their mission is complete they'll destroy the colony and him with it. However we do see slowly if not entirely surely the truth does sink in and he learns the hard way, war isn't a game. As the casualties and even destruction of everything familiar to him starts to mount, it signifies his childhood ending sooner than he thinks.
However it was the character Bernie that is the most sympathetic. And on a side note for the English Dub he's played by David Hayder whom is most known for the voice of Snake Soild in the "Metal Gear" video game franchise which is cool since their my favorite video games. Personally I feel he's a person that is playing on the wrong team, and you get a lot of depth on him which made me like him all the more and shows how solders are people and have lives; the way he describes his life really made me wonder why the hell did you join at all. His time with Al really makes him remember all the things he left behind and gives him some hope he can get them back.
As we see despite what he's doing he begins to question the ethics of the team he's on, from not just using Al but also just simply the end result. Honestly what would destroying a colony really accomplish, sure it would destroy the new Gundam but also lots of civilians as well. At least when both mechas are in the battlefield it's a fair fight, but destroying the colony isn't a fight at all, it's just plain murder. As well as whether he should try to even destroy the Gundam himself at all, though if you've seen and remember the first Gundam series the Federation was winning so it wouldn't of made a difference whatever it was taken out or not; and also due to the capabilities of the new Gundam you already know from these two facts it's a doomed mission. What Bernie say in the confessional video near the end of the series is emotionally crushing which made me cry, and is something that will haunt you forever.
The show is a mediation on pro and anti war philosophy, as well as questions if we're all living a lie. Despite everyone in that colony living in peace, you also remember the current war going on and the new Gundam they have to maintain the peace. However the fact that this mission and the battles happening in the Coliny and how even though someone in one mecha or another dies, hundreds of unlucky civilians that didn't manage to get out of the way have also died, shows how in times of war it's always the civilians that pay the most.
War is never far from home.
Rating: 4 stars
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