These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
The fight between Banagher and Loni, and the fight between Unicorn and Banshee against Neo Zeong were somewhat underwhelming for some fans.
Those expecting a glorious final battle between the Nahel Argama and Rewloola probably didn't expect the latter being blown up by the Colony Laser for simply being in the way.
Awesome Music: Hiroyuki Sawano's score is probably the most intensely cinematic of any Gundam series, OVA, or movie so far, which says quite a bit when you consider that past composers include Yoko Kanno, Shigaeki Saegusa, Toshihiko Sahashi, Ko Otani and Kenji Kawai.
"Unicorn" - the one used during Banagher's very first sortie in Episode 1 - is especially kickass.
Mobile Suit- Played during the Kshatriya's first appearance, counts as well.
Banshee The theme of the mecha of the same name piloted by Marida (and later Riddhe). One of the most ominous pieces in the entire soundtrack, and that's saying something.
Full-Frontal is definitely no slouch in this department, it being the Leitmotif of its namesake character.
"Blind Idiot" Translation: A mild example in the official Spanish subtitles: Banagher address Marida in Spanish as Señora Marida (Mrs. Marida), when the correct way to address her in Spanish should be Señorita Marida (Miss Marida), since, while she's older than Banagher, she's still young and also unmarried. (The Spanish honorific señora is only used for older and married women)
Another annoying flaw in the Spanish subs is the fact the translator seems to translaste the Japanese language's honorific forms almost literally. The most egregious example of this is how Riddhe address Banagher, as he speaks to him as he is a complete unknown to him, making the Spanish subtitles to sound as extremely rude as he already is in Japanese.
Base Breaker: Everything surrounding the yet-to-be-revealed contents of Laplace's Box: The original Federation charter that granted more rights to spacenoids as well as confirming the idea of newtypes. However it was stopped by a terrorist attack instigated by more extreme Federation elements who re-wrote the charter to give the Federation more control over the colonies. Some people see this as adding even more to the general Gray and Gray Morality of the Universal Century while others see it as a case of trying to canonize the general Zeon Is Right mentality thereby dismissing it (and the series in general) as "fanwank".
However, the series tries to elaborate on this more by saying that the charter was made completely independent of Zeon's motives, since it was drafted decades before the rise of the movement. Also, Zeon's rise actually made the situation worse, since what started out a simple coverup turned into something that could potentially legitimize Zeon, causing the Federation to clamp down even harder on the Box. Also, when Mineva reveals the original charter to the world, she specifically says she is not seeking to legitimize Zeon's ideals.
Broken Base: To a certain extent, the whole OVA series. Since the OVA is based on the novel instead of original work, a number fans aren't pleased to see some important (and some awesome) contents were cut out, making the OVA series seem like a long Gunpla promotion video, which becomes worse as the OVA goes on. For example, Marida is supposed to have a much larger role during the fight against Full Frontal in Episode 7, has a literal (and better) Heroic Sacrifice, and Riddhe's change of heart is less odd as it's shown. Let's not get into the issue of the superpowered Unicorn in the last Episode; it's significantly more powerful than its novel counterpart.
Ensemble Darkhorse: The unnamed Stark Jegan pilot who nearly owns the Kshatriya in the first 6 minutes of the first episode.
Not only did he manage to hold his own against the Kshatriya, but the Stark Jegan's HGUC manual implies that he was one of the guys that attempted to help Amuro push back Axis three years prior. The guy was a true hero.
The Byarlant Custom is actually a tactically inferior suit, with only two guns (which double as beam sabers) and its claws. Its sheer speed and maneuverability (and gigantic claws) make it one of the best combatants in the anime.
The nameless female aide in Cheyenne seen in Episode 7, who seems to convey everything without ever doing anything. So much that fans have dubbed her as Unicorn's equivalent to Kergerenko.
The Laplace Incident, while a tragic beginning to the Universal Century, is arguably the best thing to happen for the Earth Federation. By pointing to terrorists and insurgencies as the culprits of that disaster, the Federation has a solid base on which to justify its existence and right to rule over all humanity. It also explains why they even have a standing military force in the first place, from which the EFSF, Titans and Londo Bell would later emerge from...despite there being nominally no outside enemies to fight until the One Year War.
At the same time, the event was also the Federation's curse. As Episode 7 reveals, once Zeon and the Newtype theory came into the scene, it was no longer enough to simply hide Laplace's Box under the rug or point fingers. The Federation felt threatened by the very notion of Newtypes as it would both validate the secrets of the Box and their fears of Spacenoid independence. But in their efforts to squash them all into irrelevance, the Feddies found themselves digging an ever deeper, and darker hole to the point that they've become little better than their enemies.
In Episode 7, Bright and Chairman Marcenas find common ground as fathers, and how they shouldn't act in a way that would make their children ashamed of them. This is especially tragic if you consider Hathaway's Flash canon.
If you've seen Mobile Suit Gundam F91 or Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, both of which take place decades after the events of Unicorn, you'll know that the opening of Laplace's Box will ultimately be in vain. But at least there's consolation in that there's possibility again.
Even Harsher since...∀ Gundam is the ultimate end result of Universal Century.
Hilarious in Hindsight: "Full Frontal" might seem odd as the name of a general, but if you've ever seen The Book of Mormon, it's nothing compared to General Butt Fucking Naked. (He, in turn, is based on a very real and very vicious African general, Butt Naked, but that's a little less Hilarious and more Harsh.)
The new mysterious red mobile armor revealed in the trailers for episode 7 has been mocked a little for it's thruster "legs", such as replacing them with soda cans or just generally being confused how the hell it's model is going to keep balanced.
The name, though extremely narmy, likely has some kind of ironic and fairly witty symbolism. Full Frontal implies being "bare naked" or "fully exposed" (*COUGH* ...Which really doesn't help the Narm factor) while in reality the character wears a mask and is very mysterious.
Also, Full Frontal, "full frontal assault,"note ...Not that dammit as in a full-on, all-out assault, so it also doubles as a shout out to the missing-in-action Char Aznable's combat style.
On the other hand, he is aping a guy who spent a couple years going by the name Quattro note Vagina Bajeena.
A rare few moments in the surprisingly competent English dub sounded somewhat phoned in, particularly Marida Cruz's VA's reading of the line "So heavy." being utterly narm-tastic. (Although that might have to do with the line being an awkward one in-and-of itself, being a direct translation of the Japanese audio.)
Episode two looks to continue this tradition further. "That's the See-non-jew."
Narm Charm: Banagher's rather cringe-worthy reaction to Marida's death by point-blank beam shot may seem over-the-top, but really serves to highlight just how powerful a Newtype he is, not to mention how heavy her death weighs on him.
Older Than They Think: One might suggest that Unicorn's verdict on the existence of Newtypes (i.e. they don't exist, or at least are still too human to be considered a new species entirely, in contrast to long-standing Zeonic ideology and Federation paranoia) was pretty much the point made in the climax of After War Gundam X.
Angelo, too. Notwithstanding the previous roles of both hisVA's.
True Art Is Angsty: Gundam Unicorn currently has a lot of acclaim, and it's one of the darkest works in the franchise so far.
The Untwist: From the moment the first details about the novel came out, people already knew that Audrey was a teenaged Mineva Zabi, thanks to factors like her appearance, her age matching up with Mineva's, the latter's mysterious disappearance at the end of Zeta Gundam, and the obviousalias.
Another contributing factor is that the score playing when Audrey escapes the Sleeves ship in the first episode is titled "Mineva".
What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: The novel's portrayal of Zeon and the Federation have been construed as metaphors for Imperial Japan and the Allied Forces, respectively. A more justified instance, considering the author's outspoken rightwing views.
What The Hell, Casting Agency?: Not casting exactly, but the fact an avowed Japanese Imperialist author like Fukui is writing the novels is rather odd considering the blatant anti-war & anti-Axis themes of previous UC series. For perspective, it's a bit like having a sequel to Maus written by the guy who did The Turner Diaries.
Not a full WTH, but fans were rather confused when it was discovered that Chieko Honda would not be voicing Marida Cruz, despite the fact that 1) she played both Purus in Gundam ZZ, and 2) she was still doing voice acting (even older women in Gundam) when they started production of the OVA... .
The fact that the Puru clone in question is now an adult and thus have a somewhat different voice may have something to do with it.
This was sort of resolved into a case of The Other Darrin now, upon news of her death...
The same thing happened for Mineva/Audrey's VA in Zeta Gundam (Miki Itō), though this is rather because of scheduling conflicts. Still, many fans rather preferred Miki Itō to play Audrey.
Unfortunate Implications: Some feel that the show has not been particularly female-friendly. Marida, the only female pilot in the show, was a sex slave; Riddhe feels compelled to tell Audrey to not butt in between a promise amongst "men", despite the fact that the promise was to keep her safe; and Martha goes on a tirade about how Audrey's stringing Banagher along, and about all the natural weapons "women" have. Of course, this is hardly unusual fare for UC Gundam (or Gundam in general, actually), but one would have hoped that in a franchise that's over thirty years old, they'd have managed to step up their game a bit by now.
Though one could also argue that Audrey herself is shown to have the pants in the relationship, so to speak. Especially when compared to Banagher.
And Martha IS the one pulling all of the strings. So...
Averted with Episode 4. The novel version had Mahdi Garvey, Loni's father alive and was not a Zeon soldier. He was a wealthy businessman that used Neo Zeon to attack Dakar. He was a xenophobe with the distrust of the "White Men" of the Federation that are oppresing the Arab people. Neo Zeon was not exempted in his distrust. The novel has him attack Dakar as revenge against the Federation and smashed buildings in a manner similar to the September 11 attacks. As the OVA was going to be released around the 10th anniversary of the attack, the story has been modified to prevent the Unfortunate Implication.
Similarly, in Episode 7, the series cuts out the portion of the Charter that grant was supposed to grant all colonies independence in the novels, presumably because the writers feared that keeping that clause would make Zeon the good guys, which they certainly are NOT. Instead, the series only keeps the clause mandating that Newtypes be allowed to get involved in the Federation government.
One of the criticism of the novel is its frequent use of Rape as Backstory to what some would say tasteless levels; many of the major Zeon-affiliated characters have experienced it (Marida, Angelo) or witnessed it in their backstories (Loni, Zinnerman). Thankfully, the OVA cuts down on a lot of it.
On a related note, given that much of it is perpetrated at the hands of Federation soldiers and Fukui's Imperialist views, many see it as being this trope for a different reason, namely a Writer on Board attempt to whitewash Japan of its atrocities during World War II by portraying its counterpart as a Lighter Shade Of Grey.