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12 home / october 2002 / reviews Turn Page BackwardBack to HomeTurn Page Forward

Mobile Fighter G Gundam Box Set 1
Box Set
3 volumes
4 episodes each
375 minutes
Bandai Entertainment
Sotsu Agency
Yashuhiro Imagawa
The series starts out slow and builds to up to be something greater.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Mobile Fighter G Gundam Box Set 1
By Adam Arnold

Long considered by Japanese viewers as the black sheep of the Gundam franchise, Mobile Fighter G Gundam blasted onto Cartoon Network and effectively snubbed out years of ridicule as it captured the attention of both current Gundam enthusiasts and non-Gundam fans alike. G Gundam offers a mobile suit experience like no other.

In fact, the best way to describe G Gundam to someone who wouldn't have even of thought to give a Gundam series a chance would be to tell them that the show is one part Street Fighter, mixed with Gundam, and a hint of Dragon Ball Z. Obviously it's a strange combination, but one that is offers a unique and fresh new experience coupled with a slew of unforgettable characters and mecha.

The basic premise of the series is that every four years a tournament is held between all the nations of the Earth to see which country will rule the planet until the next tournament. In Future Century 60, the 13th Annual Gundam Fight Tournament is getting underway, but something isn't quite right. Domon Kasshu, pilot of Neo Japan's Shinning Gundam has been given the mission to find out any information he can about his brother and a missing unit known as the Devil Gundam (or Dark Gundam in the dub).

This being a tournament, Domon has free reign to journey across the globe to any country in search of answers. The only catch is that he must fight and win against any rival nation that happens to challenge him along the way, because after all Neo Japan is aiming to win the tournament as well. Yet again, something isn't quite right. A number of country's units have begun to disappear, and rumors are spreading of some strange affliction known only as DG Cells.

The first box set consists of three DVDs that contain the first twelve episodes of the series. Effectively, this is merely the introduction of the general premise of the series, the key players, and the basic structure of the Gundam Fight. All the episodes in this portion of the story arc are self-contained and follow a Gundam-of-the-day mode of storytelling. If you are at all wishy washy about G Gundam, the first five episodes may not be enough to grab your attention, but if you give the show a chance, then you will not be disappointed later on. Make it to episode six where the whole mystery behind the Devil/Dark Gundam and Domon's mission are revealed and you will surely be hooked all the way to the end. And boy, what an ending does this series have, but don't take my word for it, be sure to check it out for yourself. It's a wild ride.

To name my favorite episodes from each of the first three volumes, I'd have to say episode 2, 6, and 12 stand out the most. Episode two is a given because it helps to break down Domon's rather rough exterior and offers to introduce the first of the major recurring characters. Episode six acts as a bit of an origin episode and episode twelve is the beginning of the excellent Shinjuku story arc where we get to meet Domon's mentor, Master Asia, for the first time.

The discs themselves are set up in much the same way as the Gundam Wing and Mobile Suit Gundam DVDs. The discs primarily contain the episodes and a very few extras. Actually, the main extra is known as "The G-Files" which is an insightful interview with the series director Yasuhiro Imagawa about all the aspects of the shows production. I personally found myself so enthralled by the information presented on each disc that I couldn't wait to pop in the next disc to read more. In many ways, having an insightful interview gives this release a lot more depth then simply having character bios. Still, for fans of bios, the DVD inserts will fill that need for you.

Honestly, the dub took me a while to warm up too. I can honestly say that I watched the entire series in Japanese with crappy subtitles before ever getting to see the series dubbed. The preconceived notions I had for how the characters sounded simply didn't mesh well, but I was able to warm up to the main character voices at least. It's also worth noting that no one has any form of accent in this show. That is in large part due to a decision being made early on to keep the show from being even more politically satired than it already is. That's a good thing because the Gundams and colonies do a pretty good job of making a satirical statement as it is.

Worth noting is that the English dub has several names that have been revised or altered. For purist, the subtitled version does retain all of the original names. So if you prefer Devil Gundam to Dark Gundam or Tequila Gundam over Spike Gundam, then you'll definitely want to watch this show subtitled. Personally though, whatever changes help to keep this show from stirring controversy among parents is really fine by me. Because we all know, controversy is something anime doesn't need any more of.

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