Reviews: Mobile Suit Victory Gundam

OK Gundam series, coulda been better

V Gundam is often called the most depressing Gundam series from the mind Yoshiyuki Tomino. While I can certainly agree about high body count, I think that after seeing so many deaths over the course of the series you tend to get used to it and it stops becoming shocking.

Eh, that's a side note though. I just think that this series has a lot of deficiencies compared to many of the other Gundam series. First thing, the Zanscare Empire. I don't think that they're quite as fleshed out an enemy as the various Zeon factions or even the Titans were. The officers of Zanscare kill our heroes with whatever weird weapons based around their interests. We get a sympathetic one-episode-wonder character every so often but the majority of the characters just seem obsessed and cruel, even more so than the Titans or many of the Zeon. The League are much more clear-cut "good guys" than any of the protagonists of previous series.

I'm a big battles-type guy too, and I think that the battles in Victory are somewhat more subdued than the battles in many other series. Sure the original Mobile Suit Gundam had mostly small-scale battles, but a large amount of focus was on the tactics due to the newness of the Real Robot concept. Since by then it was now long-established, I think Tomino was trying more to highlight the visceral conflict between characters, especially between Uso and Katejina, but this (and of course all the extra spotlight on the requisite annoying kid and pet, YMMV on that though) kind of gets in the way of the action at times. This show tries a bit harder than previous Gundam shows to incorporate the Slice Of Life-type elements as well as being a bloody, gory war drama, (somewhat schizophrenically at times) and I don't think that Tomino entirely handled it properly until Turn A Gundam. The charm that allowed that show to function with those conflicting premises isn't quite as present here.

Still, this doesn't blatantly declare to the heavens that "I'm a UC show!", so I think that nonfans could get into it without a lot of confusion...and fans of the blood-stained detail of UC series should identify with the well-known Gundam and Tomino tropes.