It was hard to choose between Sayla and the Gundam so I went with my heart…
So In keeping with going through my pile of old stuff along with stuff I was able to beg borrow and steal I just saw the last part of the Gundam Movie trilogy which I had started some weeks ago. To be honest I am not sure if my enthusiasm for Mobile Suit Gundam just died some where along that way or if nostalgia made it seem better than it actually was. I say this because after watching 8th MS Team and Pailsen Files many years since I first watched Mobile Suit Gundam I forgot how emo and whiny Amuro was in the early parts. Suffice to say when I saw it I was shocked and appalled that the badass pilot who grabbed Char’s escape ball and pushed off an asteroid in his Gundam in a epic moment of defending volk and fatherland to the death in Char’s Counterattack, was at first some whiny little prick who dared to bury his Gundam with sand… Well at least now I can forgive Amuro even after he wet himself fighting Ramba Ral. Overall I liked it but I was none too pleased to have been reminded that while Mobile Suit Gundam is great it still has is share of minor problems when it comes to the movies. I admit that it has been many years since I saw Mobile Suit Gundam dubbed on broadcast TV, but I think that since this was a compilation of parts that Tomino felt were important I think this is the final version of what Tomino had envisioned.
First off the bad, maybe it was mostly because things were so condensed and that in my old age my memory has been failing me more and more, but the love sub plots were kind of lackluster. I know that Tomino isn’t the most romantic kind of guy in the world but his love stories have about as much spark as a dead engine in winter. They are probably over all unimportant but some how I felt disappointed, perhaps as a young kid I just never noticed it but now I cannot help but ask what did Mirai see in Sleggar Law. I know Lt. Law is awesome and all but it felt rather forced and while Miria is of the Yashima family she didn’t seem charming enough in the movie to collect three boys… Also in the movie Amuro and Sayla seem to have much reduced chemistry, much to my dismay. Also during Gihren’s speech the Zekes didn’t sound enthusiastic enough, or at least not with the same gusto as I recalled. Also Frau really got shaft…poor Frau. Also the kids…suffice to say I am rather glad they stopped putting toddlers on ships.
I still don’t get what is so great about Lalah Sune when Amuro had that bombshell Sayla around but I suppose that’s just me. I really wish that Tomino had taken the chance to make Char more of a pedo but I guess even movies have their limitations on how many brothels an ace of Zeon can frequent. Gihren’s speech was still one of my favorite scenes, not because I like the Zeke bastards, but because that speech was just so quotable; Sieg Zeon and all. Sayla (Casaval nii-san!) was still the Sayla of my youth still kicking ass in her little plane along with Lt. Law. Hayato was kind of milquetoast and Kai was still rather despicable but not as hateful as I remember him to be. Ryu was still awesome such a pity that he had to die, but he went out like man! Lastly other highlights for me included the whole Garma debacle especially how Char offed the fucker and sent Garma’s moronic bimbo squeeze into hugging a tree as she wailed “Garma-sama! Garma-sama!” Oh yes, that did bring a smile to my face.
Still it was for the most part aside from Amuro’s whiny nature (at least he manned up in the end even if it took him a while), it was much as I remembered it for the most part discounting the Tomino changes for the better. I still enjoyed seeing the original Bright Slap on that emo version of Amuro and it was good to see that aside from the rather dated appearance by today’s standards that the battles were still fun and not just beam spam because those had limited energy reserves. It made me appreciate the Rick Dom more though I still prefer the later redesigns for suits like the Gelgoog Marine and the Gouf in later UC series. The scale of things was kept at a good level to make it look like a major war. For some reason though Char’s Gelgoog Marine looked much uglier than I remember, but then again maybe watching Gundam 0083 recently kind of raised the bar. The last fight was not epic as I remembered it to be, but I did smile when Char busted out a bazooka to kill Kycilia (Though I suppose that a Ranka fan would say that this was Char showing his deep and undying love for Kycilia.). So yeah if you plan on watching this just prepared to be shocked at how emo Amuro was, otherwise it’s still worth revisiting to hear Gihern’s speech.
In the end it as a fun experience to watch this again even with my shock and horror upon seeing the slayer of Char as a whiny little emo prick, though again hell yeah for the Bright Slap! It is important I think to see these movies as the establisher of many Gundam tropes rather than try and measure it against the rest of the UC series. It was a pioneer series that established many good conventions and toyed with some bad ones. I would not say that it is a relic but it certainly isn’t the kind of series you would encounter today, mostly because Ramba Ral would have suffered the indignity of being bishied if it were to be done again and that most of the soldiers would be young brats rather than tipsy old vets (oh wait…). It was a first in many people’s books and at the time a dude with a mask was not as silly as it is now. Like a good grandfather series Mobile Suit Gundam (I consider the movie compilation to be what Tomino had wanted his final edit of Mobile Suit Gundam to be) spawned many children series that for the most part exceeded even its own greatest feats.