Posted by psgels on 29 March 2011 with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, OVA Impressions



The adults in Gundam Unicorn… are actually portrayed really well. Their maturity works quite well. And like I said before: the execution here is incredibly solid and if this wasn’t bound by Gundam cliches, I definitely would have liked it even more than I am now. There are plenty of characters here who take themselves seriously, are intelligent and make for a great war drama.

What annoys me about Gundam Unicorn is something that annoys me about a lot of other Gundams as well. They’re certain ideas and tropes that just continue to run throughout all kinds of Gundam Series that I just can’t get behind, and seeing those repeated over and over… I have to admit that those are killing my enjoyment of this series a bit.

To take this episode:
– The main character is the vehicle for a lot of “war is bad” drama.He inherently believes that killing is evil… and yet he flies around in a giant killing machine.
– There also is that mentality of “oh, us adults are old and fail. Let us sacrifice ourselves so that the youth can shine” that I just can’t get behind, even though the adults are portrayed as far more useful and reliable.
– Then it also suddenly brought up the skilled minor bad guy who does nothing but frantic yelling. Especially Gundam 00 abused this one heavily.
– Oh, and let’s not forget the lead character unlocking his hidden powers once he sees one of his friends killed. Realistic warfare? Hah.

Nevertheless, this all could have been much, much worse. You can see that Char actually is aware of all these tropes around the lead characters, and has constructed a pretty solid plan around them with much more details than you usually see. Meanwhile, while the main character isn’t the best advertisement for “war is bad”, his romantic interest is actually trying to resolve conflicts using diplomacy as the “Relena” of this series. That’s one cliche that I don’t have any qualms about: it’s good to have a voice of reason in Gundam series: someone who doesn’t constantly think about fighting.

Also, I have yet to see my to biggest annoyances of the Gundam franchise: the endless yelling and angsting, and the long strings of monotone battles that they tend to devolve in. If Gundam Unicorn can actually avoid these in its second half, then it can really get quite good. However, this episode already contained a hint to the former (that guy who just kept yelling). As for the second annoyance, though: those usually are the result of this series remaining too long in space, where there really isn’t much to do apparently. The end of this episode showed the characters descending to earth.

A descending scene that was really good, by the way. The song behind it was ridiculously cheesy, but somehow the direction made it all work all the characters finally taking a break between all the fighting in order to actually get through the atmosphere safely. That’s good build-up here, to end the episode with a completely different mood.
OVA Episode Rating: 8/10

5 Responses

  1. Watcherzero says:

    Have you seen MS Igloo? Youll probably find it a Gundam series free of all Gundam tropes that quite accuratley mirrors the early elation and then grim determinism of the Nazi soldier as the tides of war turned.

  2. Puran says:

    The adults sacrificing thing annoyed me a bit in this ep. I mean it was a nice scene and all, but I don’t buy why that guy would want to sacrifice himself for the main char…

    “Oh you are so young, innocent, idealistic, indecisive and whiny, you’ve inspired me to kill myself for you”

  3. Gustavo says:

    The thing is: you hate Gundam. You hate it so much that you always watch it with a closed mind. If you didnt do that, you would see that things arent as you say.

    First, its not that old people kill themselves so the young can shine; its just that they get affected by the ideals the young still have. Adults dont like killing just because theyre adults. They certainly have that innocent side buried deep inside.

    About Daguza. The Argama was beeing targetted by the Red Comet. Daguza knew the only one who could save them all was the gundam. If the gundam was taken, as Banagher was willing to do, he knew they would all be dead. So, then, he just tried to ambush RComet. Banagher hesitated and the result was Daguza death. It wasnt intended to make Banagher shine; it was just the only way.

    About the hidden powers, if only you took a look with an open mind and saw the newtype theory as it is intended to be seen… Banagher already demonstrated that he is a naturally gifted newtype. The thing is that this time he REALLY wanted to kill someone. NTD + Newtype + extreme rage = danger!

    I just think that, if youre going to talk about something, you should do it with an open mind, and not with your old pre-concepts.

  4. banagherlinks says:

    -The main character is the vehicle for a lot of “war is bad” drama.He inherently believes that killing is evil… and yet he flies around in a giant killing machine.

    you’re making it sound that banagher willingly flies around the battlefield in unicorn gundam. How many skirmishes did he engaged anyway? Prior to the first episode, banagher sortied to forced sinanju to retreat in its assault against the nahel argama. It is portrayed that being a murderer is far from his self identity, which explains his expression of distraught when he accidentally killed sergi, gilboa and the dreissen pilot.

    -There also is that mentality of “oh, us adults are old and fail. Let us sacrifice ourselves so that the youth can shine” that I just can’t get behind, even though the adults are portrayed as far more useful and reliable.

    this just justify how narrow minded you are sir for your limited perspective and comprehension towards the episode. Banagher made daguza remember of what’s more essential than keeping the benefits of having the symbiotic relationship of the federation when the laplace’s box is stay shut. It made him realize that he is just more than a cog of amchine, a puppet of the earth federation. What’s more is that the fact that banagher cant fully release the ntd knowing of the dangers of it including the gforces exerted to the pilot.

    -Oh, and let’s not forget the lead character unlocking his hidden powers once he sees one of his friends killed. Realistic warfare? Hah.

    it is the what you called an quintessential factor for the unicorn to demonstrate its potentials of what and why it has the ability of turning the tides of war. Think for a second, the federation govt. can use the ntd to eradicate any trace of zeonism while maintaining its grips towards the colonies if the laplaces box is stay shut. On the other hand, The zeon can overthrow the federation for the conspiracy that they were forsaking the rights of every spacenoid for a century. At the same time, it further injects to banagher of his responsibilities as the caretaker if the NTD is misused. That’s why it may seem defaulted to destroy any newtypes but the truth is, it serves a greater purpose if the pilot meets the requirements.

    If we consider the unicorn’s abilities and the price it costs for the pilot, yes it is indeed justifiable and fits perfectly in the situation. That’s better than having a bunch of anti social homicidal protagonists who slaughters an entire fleet while wearing a pokerface.

  5. ServantOfPriss says:

    OH God the Unicorn Defense Force was very active in this review, I see.

    I, for one, completely agree with your views, good sir. Unicorn has became pretty underwhelming after this episode.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Oh, awesome, dark horse is releasing volume 10 of black lagoon in April, its been nearly five years since the last complete volume…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan: I think theres something seriously wrong when theres the actually possibility of there being a good PA works anime but we all have our opinions =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.

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