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Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation – Movies 1-3 (complete) July 1, 2007

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Gunpla.


In short: The show that launched a thousand Gunpla.

Thoughts: Zeta Gundam comes with a reputation as the greatest Gundam series ever created. From what I’ve seen, I have to agree. Without a doubt it has more of an edge, better characters and a story that outguns any of the Gundam universe I’ve seen thus far.

Following from the calamity of SEED Destiny, I was intrigued about the series that it apparently mimicked. At first, it seems that Kamille Bidan is indeed the angst-ridden predecessor to Shinn Asuka. But where Shinn never developed past that, Kamille turns out to be worthy main character. For that he has to thank the story and a supporting cast of really strong characters – particularly the inimitable Char Aznable, looking cooler than ever in the remastered animation. Kamille never gets a chance to completely dominate with Char’s presence in the story.

But Zeta never falls into the trap of letting the old cast get in the way of the new. Char aside, many of the original Mobile Suit Gundam crew get just a passing mention, enough to bring a smile to the fans, but not enough to displance the new crew. Unlike SEED Destiny, Zeta keeps its focus. Even the heroic Amuro Ray gets just a cameo.

Kamille also benefits from a story that doesn’t turn him into a villain, and one that portrays the complex politics of war surprisingly accurately (he says about a show featuring giant transforming mecha).  And as much as the story is about AEUG’s quest for freedom, it’s more about the people that caught in conflict and in that respect, Zeta covers an impressive spectrum.

This being a ‘new translation’, the plot has been streamlined and the animation remastered. Nevertheless there is a surprising amount of new footage. I have to say, at first I found it a little jarring – particularly when unnecessarily CG-enhanced scenes are spliced between the 80s animation. But you get used to it, and there’s no denying the added battle scenes are spectacular. Plot-wise, much of the story remains true, although a few character’s stories obviously lose out due to the cuts. From what I’ve read there’s more to Amuro’s role and Kamille’s encounters with Four Murasame. And I do feel that Roccoe Londe’s story deserved a bit more explanation (though from what I’ve read, the original does get lost a little in psychic-newtype sci-fi babble).

By the end of a typically epic Gundam storyline, I really felt like I’d been through something and was satisfied with a reasonably clear ending and good character development. And some cool mecha. Anyway, every Gundam fan owes it to themselves to see this, and there’s really no excuse with these new movies around. AEUG forever!



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