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volume 3 issue 6

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Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket Vol.2 DVD
Bilingual DVD
90 minutes
Bandai Visual
Sotsu Agency
Bandai Entertainment
The beginning is slow, but the last half has some great action.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket Vol.2 DVD
By Adam Arnold

The six episode Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket OVA series was created shortly after Yoshiyuki Tomino's short-lived departure from all things Gundam. The series as a whole helps to fill in the time gap between the end of the One Year War (Mobile Suit Gundam) and Dozel's uprising (Gundam 0083).

Interestingly, the show tells the story from a rather unique perspective–that of a child. Generally speaking, it's a given that kids are naturally fascinated with playing war when they are young, and Alfred Izuruha is no exception. He is your average 5th grade student living at Side 6, who can't stand girls and who has a tight-knit group of military-crazy friends who all go out of their way to collect cool trinkets.

Side 6 has a Federation base, and the Spacenoids living there are largely pro-Federation. But to Al, the division between the Zeon and the Federation doesn't really matter. In fact, he personally thinks the Zeons have cooler Mobile Suits.

In the first half of the series, Al recorded some footage of some containers being unloaded by Federation personnel while he was waiting on his father to arrive at the spaceport. Al ends up later trading this footage to a novice Zaku pilot named Bernard Wiseman who was shot down in the forest just on the outskirts of town after a failed attack on the Federation base.

The information ends up getting back to Zeon forces, who then deploy the Cyclops commando team to find out what the Federation is up too. Bernard ends up with the team and soon gets tracked down by Al who ends up being an unlikely asset to the team, in a capacity of keeping Bernard busy while the others go about finishing the main mission.

The second volume picks up the show's rather slow beginning pace and delivers three heart-warming episodes that focus a little more on the price of war and the human side of things. The last half of the series is also a bit more action-packed than the first half, though not nearly as battle heavy as 0083.

More action is definitely a good thing, since the first three episodes were terribly slow at times with not nearly enough action to break up the antics of the children. Still, 0080 is really Al's story. However, the interaction between Bernard and Al's next door neighbor, Christina Mackenzie, really left me with the feeling that more could have been done with it because their friendship with Al really helps to bring out the show's deeper meanings.

The DVD of volume 2 does come with some worthwhile extras when compared to some of the other Gundam DVDS. There is a series of three music videos, the English credit opening and endings, the second textless ending, a cool "All That Gundam" video clip that showcases all the key Gundam units up to 1988 in order to showcase the release of War in the Pocket, and the standard Mobile Suit Encyclopedia. Oh, and if the box cover art isn't to the collectors liking, then they can reverse it to show a different image.

Quality-wise, the last two episodes act as the final showdown to a rather long human story. The gorgeous mecha designs really make the show worth watching just to see them in action, but this really doesn't help to keep the show interesting if it was viewed on an episode-by-episode basis. To truly appreciate the show, it has to be watched from beginning to end in one sitting. A number of OVA series are like that, but it doesn't keep a single episode viewer interested in seeing the rest of the story unless they are a die-hard Gundam fan. 0080 is worth any fan's time to watch, but they might find 0083 more interesting in the long run.

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