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
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 11:46 AM)
    Wait, wait scratch that, that was an old article/rumour…feck…
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 11:39 AM)
    @Bam: I was quite fond of Gillian Andersons character.
    Apparently Laurence Fishburne wants to quit the show =<
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:44 AM)
    I really enjoyed Alana Bloom’s shadow transformation during the season two hypnotherapy sessions. I thought was visually stunning and thematically relevant. Bryan Fuller has managed to gather quite a bit of talent around himself in the recent years, but Mads is undeniably both the egg that holds this cake together as well the cherry that’s sitting on the top.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:37 AM)
    Word of mouth and good reception managed to raise the viewership near the tail end of the 2nd season, that and the aforementioned cosponsorship managed to pull a hallelujah and bring the show back from the verge of death. And I’m glad tha happened.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:32 AM)
    I also always felt that their screen chemistry was mesmerizing and am very surprised that some critics found that it was lacking in that very same department, but to each his own I guess. The budget is not all that low actually, and the reason the 3rd season was greenlit was in part due to a dedicated fanbase, as well as the fact that this is a joint effort between NBC and a European studio who undertakes portions of the expenses.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:08 AM)
    There is this…certain chemistry between Dancy and Mikelson in that show too.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:01 AM)
    *their
    As much as I love the inventiveness and creativity of the death/crime scenes I can see how someone would find them silly.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 09:54 AM)
    @Bam: I had heard there were alot of cancellation risks but that there series was cheap to make, if its true the budget is low, then they’ve worked around it effectively.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 09:27 AM)
    But everyone knows that this is Mads Mikkelsen’s show, and it’s really his magnetic charm and the series’ strong cinematography that sells the experience. I also think that the special effects are very well handled, and the whole show has a seriously disturbing edge while still managing to stay classy. Quite sophisticated if nothing else.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 09:22 AM)
    @Emma: I’ve been steadily enjoying Hannibal and am thrilled for the third season. A lot of people had a problem with Hugh Dancy as Graham since they believe that he doesn’t fit the novels or the earlier adaptations, but I take this show as as a whole new reimagining of the story so I don’t particularly mind him, and I do think that he’s mania is quite palpable.

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