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Kidô Senshi Gundam Unicorn (2010)

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Title: Kidô Senshi Gundam Unicorn (Video 2010)

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Credited cast:
Ayumi Fujimura ...
Audrey Burne (voice)
Hiro Shimono ...
Takuya Irei (voice)
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20 February 2010 (Japan)  »

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Gundam UC  »

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The Visually Stunning and Emotionally Powerful salute to the Universal Century
11 July 2014 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

With its 7th feature length episode, Gundam Unicorn bows out with a beautiful, albeit mind boggling, finale. CHAR'S COUNTERATTACK may have been the conclusion of Amuro Ray's story, but GUNDAM UNICORN brings the tale of the entire Universal Century Gundam universe to its satisfying conclusion.

Taking place in UC 0093, six years after the fall of Char Aznable's Neo Zeon, the earth federation and its colonies are once again threatened by war. This time, the race is on between Neo Zeon remnant forces know as "The Sleeves" and the federation's "Londo Bell" unit for the mysterious "Laplace's box"; an artifact with a secret so terrible, it could bring the Federation to an end. The mysterious Vist foundation, led by Cardeas Vist, holds the key to the location of the box. Caught in the middle of a new war is Banagher Links, a teenage "Newtype" with psychic powers and insane mech piloting skills. When he unwittingly rescues a girl named Audrey, Banagher is swept into a world of political intrigue, lies, and hidden truths; a world of life and death as he joins the crew of the Nahael Argama to search for the box. All the time, the ruthless Sleeve Warlord "Full Frontal" is in hot pursuit.

This epic miniseries bring back and combines all the story tropes that universal century gundam fans know. It follows the same beats as the original gundam series with our young protagonist bumping into a female member of aristocracy disguising as a commoner, getting netted into a war, finding a powerful new mecha called Gundam, joining a space ship's crew and facing off with a mask wearing warlord and another teenage rival. These are characters archetypes we have all seen before, only with different names and slightly altered back-stories. But that's not to say everyone is a cardboard cutout. Banagher is a genuinely relatable protagonist; not as whiny as Kamile Bidan or younger Amuro Ray, not as boring as Heero Yuy, and definitely no crybaby like Kira Yamato. Like most of the main characters, he is given a decent amount of development across the 7 episodes. Of course, the first thing that would catch the eye is how good the show looks.

Combining mystery, drama and mecha action, Gundam Unicorn is beautifully animated. Boasting art detail and animation smoothness rivaling big screen anime movies, Gundam Unicorn is easily Sunrise studio's most stunning work to date. Some computer graphics are seamlessly blended with the traditional animation which results in near perfection in the visual department. The mecha are also drawn and coloured intricately; scratches, dents and char marks show off these massive machines as true weapons of war, unlike the unrealistically pristine look and bright colours of new millennium Gundam shows.

Like i said, near perfection. Perhaps the only downside is that it requires a decent amount of knowledge of other universal century Gundam shows to fully appreciate and understand the story of Gundam Unicorn. If you were confused by all the name dropping i have been doing (Char Aznable, Amuro Ray, The One Year War, Neo Zeon, Gryps etc) then this would be difficult for you to get into.

Reviewing more of this series would spoil the mystery, which is a stronger part of the plot here than in any other Gundam show. That being said, with all the hoohaa surrounding Gundam AGE's and other alternate universe gundam shows, Gundam Unicorn is a welcome return to everything that made the original Gundam series so great. For long time Gundam fans, here is your cure for all the alternate universe series that have been dominating the franchise for the longest time. For those who have grown up on said alternate universes lie Gundam seed or Gundam 00, come and rediscover what made Gundam such a classic without having to endure dated animation and aged designs. For newcomers, this is a great way to get them started on one of the most endearing anime franchises ever.


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