Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
could best be described as Mobile Suit Gundam: Vietnam.
It's a gritty take on the One Year War approaching Used Future
levels in South East Asia following a team of ground pounding grunts. Here there are no shiny, powerful prototype suits
piloted by newtypes
. Rather the suits are leftovers from Project V which produced Mobile Suit Gundam 0079's
RX-78-2 Gundam cobbled together with extra armor and modified to make them more suited for ground combat creating the RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type. These Gundams are far from the juggernaut that was MSG 0079's
RX-78-2. They're beaten, broken, and destroyed nearly as much as the RGM-79 GM Mobile Suits and Zaku IIs
. A pair of custom models do show up towards the end of the series, but they're far from Ace Customs
. One is made with the head of a GM, and the other has tank and jeep parts for want of proper RX-79[G] spare parts. Here a Zaku II is dangerous to a Gundam, necessitating a full drum of ammo (no beam rifles here) to take down. The maintenance of the Gundams is also played up. Any shot of the 08th Team's home base will almost certainly include a shot of Gundams in various states of repair.
Early in this review I mentioned that there are no super prototypes
in The 08th MS Team
, however there is one, and it's a Zeon prototypes and massively spoileriffic. I wont discuss it any further to avoid spoiling anyone's fun.
The plot start off at a slow clip despite this being a 12 episode OVA. The majority of the show follows the 08th team as they carry out missions to weaken the Zeonic hold over what may as well be Vietnam. I also commend the story on being a Gundam series with a romance plot that doesn't come off as being Strangled By The Red String
, one of my major criticisms of of both MSG 0079
and Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
. The Gray And Gray Morality
also paints the Zeonic characters (for the most part) in a brighter light than most series. They're real people with their own motivations and sympathetic points. This cuts both ways, giving us a Federation character who in some ways channels Zeta's
Bask Om. The English dub is superb.
I highly recommend The 08th MS Team
to anyone who wants to get into Gundam.