Gundam Unicorn Sneak Preview Impressions (Generic Post Idea With Unexpected Results?)

5 months I’ve waited and it’s almost here.  Bandai must have known the wait has been a killer for some because a couple days ago they ended up releasing a 7-8 minute preview of the first OVA over the Bandai Channel which eventually made its way to youtube in the clip I’ll be posting below.  First though I want to say what a nice little gift this was as a prelude to Alexandre Bilodeau bringing home the first Canadian gold medal on home soil.  This has been a week of ups and downs for me, but boy did it end great.  Anyhow the embed:

The rest of the article contains spoilers and impressions so this is your chance to look away if you don’t want to watch the preview above.

That was neat.  First obviously the animation was top-notch and with not a single hiccup or out-of-place frame that I could find.  Everything also flows extremely well even by Gundam animation standards in all of the intricate movements that we see the characters and mobile suits making during the brief skirmish between the Jegans and the Kshatriya.  My particular favourites were the funnel attack on the Jegans, the specific movement of the Stark Jegan pilots fingers as he locked them onto the joystick for what he must have known was going to be a fierce encounter, and the depiction of the destruction of the Laplace colony at the beginning of the video which I will get back to soon.

The music was also a standout with all four pieces featured bringing something to the table.  First we have the nice  piece played during the ceremony to mark the turnover to the Universal Century calendar with its upbeat nature that goes well with the promise of a new dawn for mankind being made.  Then after the Laplace Incident and during Siam Vist (the old man) we have the sombre reflective piece during Siam’s discussion with Cardeas.  The main theme makes a brief appearance during the title card as well (looking forward to hearing that one in full especially) and finally the only one I hadn’t heard before in the battle music during the skirmish which sets the appropriate tone of tension and even reminds me a little of the classic Neo Zeon battle theme from Char’s Counterattack.  All very appropriate in their respective contexts.

I also liked the cinematography used in a few key scenes.  First there were the shots of the inside of Laplace with all the earnest celebration during the Federation presidents speech juxtaposed with the outside shots of the impending terrorist attacks and the sense of foreboding that something bad is about to happen.  Second was the introduction of the title card itself which at first seemed surprising and a little sudden, but upon reflection was placed quite nicely after what was meant to serve as an introduction.  Earth never looked so beautiful.  Finally there was one shot just before it with Cardeas standing over Siam and the pair just barely lit by the sun peaking out from behind the Earth.  It seems to hint at a twilight not only for Earth below them, but of the Universal Century and mankind as it prepares to pass into the second Universal Century in just a few years time.

If there are a few things I find disappointing they begin with the point at which they ended off.  I feel that it definitely accomplishes the goal of leaving the viewer wanting more, but the fact that it was sandwiched between commercials and barely gets out of the introductory phase of the episode seems almost like too much of a tease.  Also was it not possible to have a slightly better quality video for the preview?  I understand they want the allure of Blu-Ray video to help push the sales, but I still get the feeling that they were being a little cheap just the same.  It wouldn’t have killed them to have an HD option would it?  Oh well….small nitpicks, none of which I will have to deal with when the actual Blu-Ray comes out so I’ll leave the negatives here.

I just want to talk about one more thing briefly before I head off for a session of Civ IV.  I had a feeling…..and sure enough the whole idea of the Laplace Incident kind of reminds me of the failed promise of our own ringing in of the 21st century….that is if the dawn of the Universal Century is supposed to serve as a Gundam equivalent.  Here we have the promise of a new dawn for mankind and perhaps an age of peace in the first successful colonization of space.  For us it was the fact that there hadn’t been a major war fought by the first world since the fall of the Soviet Union which we though would bring about an age of security and economic growth with trade at last open again to the eastern world and no major enemies to fight.  Both promises ended with a terrorist attack on a significant symbol of human triumph.  For the Universal Century it was the first colony of Laplace, a symbol of a dawning space age of colonization and an end to worries of war over territory and of unsustainable population growth.  For the 21st century it was the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, images of commerce and security respectively.  Both events eventually led to wars that have drug on and have still not yet ended (Federation/Zeon war for U.C and Coalition/Insurgent war for 21st century) and little but misery and economic and security setbacks.  Of course the fictional war took longer to get started than the real war and it has been going for over fifty years by the time of the Oldsmobile Rebellion in Gundam F90 while the real war started almost immediately and at this moment the powers that be are making promises that it is in it’s final phases.  One can only hope that the real world doesn’t make the same mistakes as this fictional one and we can make good on Yang-Wen Li’s ideal of having peace in our time.

Further Reading:

The Wikipedia article on Gundam Unicorn (Today)

Zeonic Scanlations are currently working on many Gundam Unicorn related projects (Deacon Blues 2010/02/11)

About Kaioshin Sama

I'm a Mecha Anime fan who can go from being rigidly straightforward to using vague references that make me impossible to understand in about 5 minutes.
This entry was posted in analysis, first impressions, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, today's special guest writer. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Gundam Unicorn Sneak Preview Impressions (Generic Post Idea With Unexpected Results?)

  1. maAkusutipen says:

    Maybe this would be my real gateway Gundam?

    I shared with my very casual anime friends about this new Gundam. They laughed at it. They were asking why the hell would associate a bad-ass mecha with a girly mythical creature. Then they proceeded to mock it by predicting what would be the colors of the robot.

    Ignorant fools. XD

    So I guess that is still the very first and standard troll quip for this new gundam. But let me ask, have you read why decide on it to be Unicorn?

    I know shallow english speaking people quick to troll would think of the girly unicorn at onset. I think the case is again with the Japanese automatically thinking “English is cool”.

    Also kinda off topic.. but is in line with mecha that you like.

    Do you know of the other mecha show being produced by studio bones for the coming spring season? its called Heroman…. XD
    I hope you do a first impression post on it when it airs on April. I would like to hear you opinions on it.

    Also Madhouse will be having their spin on Ironman… So I guess it will be a trend that disney would be getting Madhouse or any famous japanese anime prod company to make into “anime” some its I.P. I know they did it with Stich and now this is the next in line I hope to see more esp from the Marvel franchise. XD

    • They forgot the first rule of media entertainment. Never come up with any idea that could possibly be miscontrued via even the vaguest of references or somebody will surely troll it. For those of us who can see past the name Unicorn I can assure you we’re in for a treat when it “stands up”.

      As for Heroman and Ironman….Heroman I might check out, but I think I’ll stick to the Robert Downey Jr. vehicle for my Ironman fix this year. 😉

    • 2DT says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Perhaps I’ll let Gundam Unicorn be the show that gets me “into” the Gundam universe, rather than just being an outside observer.

      Unicorns are quite interesting, in my opinion. Blame Lisa Frank for their bowdlerization.

  2. LOL I’ve been watching this with Mechafetish who just keeps looping this clip over and over. I can’t say I blame him because the mecha action is sweeeeet. While nothing groundbreaking about a mobile armor tearing up GMsJegans, the look is amazing. I particularly enjoyed how the pilot performed a hard stop via reverse thrusters to avoid the scatter fire of the Jegan’s missiles.

    In Z, ZZ, and even V, that’d have resulted in the pilot slamming herself into the cockpit door. I’m rather sick of LOLTOMINO right now and I really, really, really want some intense and well-directed real robot combat.

    /shambles back to cave to watch more ZZ

  3. kadian1364 says:

    Looks gud.

    I’m not up to date with all the UC timeline stuff, since I don’t know when helmet hair came back in style, and I’m not quite the starving mech fan people around here are more likely to be, but I’ve been itchin for a good, wholesome mech orgy for a while too. A little more gundam in our lives never hurt anyone.

  4. grss1982 says:

    Just downloaded the video from Tokyo Toshokan, and I shat bricks when the chick started calling forth for funnels to deploy. Loved also the attention to deatils like the chicks reaction at the violent manuevers of the Kshatriya, as well as the Stark Jeagan’s reaction as he/she was about to fire missles at the Kshatriya.

    BTW, is the Kshatriya really a mobile armor? It looked more like a mobile suit to me.

    • Yes it’s a mobile suit. ghost just needs to be taken out back and reeducated on his mecha classifications a little bit. Either me or mechafetish will have to take up the cause before Unicorn gets underway tomorrow lest he mistake a Geara Zula for a Zaku or something. 😛

  5. sadakups says:

    Now that’s a teaser if I’ve ever seen one considering that the mecha battle was definitely good, although I’d like to see Unicorn’s transformation sequence and actual battle. I bet it will be just as awesome.

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