YMMV / Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket

  • Complete Monster: While this first Gundam OVA is notable for Grey and Gray Morality, there is no such morality for the smug Colonel Killing, the Big Bad high-ranking Gihren loyalist (and Gihren expy) who took part in Operation Rubicon. He deliberately sabotaged Operation Rubicon (which revolved around stealing or destroying the new Alex Gundam), causing the death of the whole Cyclops Team (only New Meat Bernard Wiseman survived, and only because he got lucky); he did that just to give his superiors an excuse to destroy the civilian colony of Side 6 with nuclear weapons. He's also a firm believer in We Have Reserves, Klingon Promotion and There Is No Kill Like Overkill. When his commander overrides the order to destroy Side 6, Killing shoots him dead and usurps control of the operation, orders the nukes launched, and prompts Bernie's suicidal attack on the Gundam Alex in the hopes of heading off the strike. While the attack fails thanks to a timely intervention of the Earth Federation forces, all the suffering the protagonists of this miniseries go through can ultimately be traced back to him.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: A story about how glorifying war through cartoons and toys is wrong... in a Gundam series. It's likely that 0080 knows this, given the reaction of Al's friends at the end. See the page quote.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Despite appearing for less than a minute in a single episode of the OAV, the GM Sniper 2 is hugely popular with the fandom and features prominently in numerous spinoffs, most notably Rise from the Ashes and is generally considered (in and out of universe) as the overall best non-Gundam Federation MS of the One Year War.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Bernie lifting up Al over his shoulders as they pretend it's an airplane.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Bernie cracks a lock on a Fed installation with an electronic thingy that even goes "LOCKOFF"... the Fan Nickname for the second Lockon from Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
    • His English VA David Hayter's role as Bernie makes it funnier when a few years later, he's become well-known for his role as Big Boss and Solid Snake, FOX/FOXHOUND commando with a specialty of infiltrating places.
    • At the end of the fifth episode, when Bernie calls Al to tell him he's changing his mind and is going to stay and destroy the Gundam, Al finishes the call by saying "I love you, Bernie". Funnier still later on in Japan, where Al's replacement VA is Kumiko Watanabe, who ended up getting married to Bernie's voice actor Kouji Tsujitani in 2012.
  • Memetic Mutation: Bernie's remains looking like "a pile of hamburger" leads to some black humor about Bernie's Burgers within the fandom.
    • Ditto "Christina is best grill" (misspelling 'girl' intentionally, referencing the instrument that cooks hamburgers, not intentional)
    • When a Gundam-themed restaurant offered Gundam-styled burgers, streaming site Crunchyroll used a shot of Bernie eating a burger as the thumbnail for the story.
  • Moment of Awesome: Bernie faces down a Gundam in a Zaku and almost wins.
  • The Scrappy: It's been suggested by some fans of the series that Alfred's removal would significantly improve the show, despite the entire thing being a story about the effects of the horrors of war on innocents.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: War In The Pocket hold no punches for its message on "War is not something to be glorified," especially since Al was the one who had to witness Bernie's demise at the hands of Chris and suffer Break the Cutie as a result.
  • The Woobie: Al after the events of the series. His brother figure Bernie dies at the hands of Chris, his sister figure of all people. And he has to keep an iron face so no one will find out that he was working with Zeon.
  • Tear Jerker: The Bittersweet Ending, as well as Bernard's recorded message to Al.
  • True Art Is Angsty: It's a testament that even the author found the ending too depressing.