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During the One Year War of UC 0079, A young Earth Federation Lieutenant named Shiro Amada is sent to Earth to lead a squadron of Gundam mobile suits in Southeast Asia to fight the Duchy of Zeon's forces. Along the way, he and his rag-tag 08th Mobile Suit Team discover that Zeon has been testing a new secret weapon capable enough to destroy the Federation's headquarters in South America and possibly give the Zeons an edge in the war. Shiro unknowingly meets the pilot of the Zeon secret weapon, Aina Sahalin. Together they discover that both sides fighting the war are not any better or any worse than the other. Written by
I'm a Gundam fan not a hard core one mind you, what I may say may seem controversial but it's my opinion. "Gundam 08 MS Team" is my favorite series in the franchise and is one of my favorite TV shows in General.
The animation style as usual is great I really like how the warfare was conducted and choreographed making it suspenseful and strangely realistic more than just relying on just mere fighting and technology but on tactical surprise, much reminiscent of Vietnam. It's a first time showing mecha engaged in jungle warfare and they did it well from the use of darkness and plant life. You get a sense on how hard it could be to fight in an enviorment that obscures your vision and it adds to the creeping feeling of paranoia never knowing where the enemy will hit. The music is great it has one my second favorite theme for the franchise.
But that's just one of the positive qualities of the show, what made this Gundam unique from the others was not so much that it was plot driven, even though there is a plot and it does suspensefully develop but that it was character driven by it's main focus on two characters Shiro and Ayna one of my favorite anime couples. It's sort of a Romeo and Juliet story Gundam style but don't fret on being melodramatic which it's anything but, the romance is handled with believability, subtlety and humanity; it's also a long distance romance story which are never my favorite kind but this is one of those rare exceptions I make because of the length of the show, the interaction time both have which I felt was believably sufficient, and the depth of both characters.
It's easy to see how both could fall in love for one another because both are slightly similar despite on opposite ends of the spectrum. Their naive but sweet souls that have done no wrong except love each other. Shiro is a young commander whom despite his age is mature, does believe in what he's doing, but is open minded and has compassion and idealism in him. It's the same with Ayna whom is slight younger than him, she's sweet, pretty, smart, and just as compassionate and idealistic. Both deserve each other from that chance first encounter when both met sealed their fate but as cruel as fate is sometimes both get separated due to the opposite sides their on. It's a bittersweet relationship as both of them always carry that looming threat that the next battle their in they might blow each other away which at time they almost do. It's all a suspenseful build up on when and if they'll get back together, we want them too because their right for each other it doesn't matter who they are. That's another thing I love about this couple is that there's a universal sensibility about them, both could be of different races, class, religion, or disabled.
Indeed we see things do get out of control for both sides, from Ayna's brothers's obsessive need to complete and use the new weapon. And Shiro begins to see the corruption going on with the Federation, from breaching their own ethical boundaries and sickening determination to win. Both sides do stupid and unneeded things to one another but worst of all themselves.
This show has an anti war message, there are times to fight but there are times when someone needs to blow the whistle to say enough is enough, and that ongoing and misguided violence will result in nothing. But most importantly to be human don't be a person that follows orders all the time.
Yeah war isn't simple, but love and peace is even harder.
Rating: 4 stars
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