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Anime / Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO

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Wounded wings cannot fly.

U.C. 0079, at the end of the One Year War. The Principality of Zeon, seeking independence from the Earth Federation, has been repeatedly throwing newly developed weapons and mobile suits into the battlefield. At first glance they seem spectacular, but a cruel reality lurks in the background. The members of Zeon's 603 Technical Evaluation Unit field test the latest weapons and put new prototypes into action as the Zeon forces rush towards their final battle, and Zeon approaches the brink of defeat.
U.C. Gundam Blu-ray Libraries blurb

Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO is a CGI Gundam feature which takes place during the One Year War. Three series have been released under the title, each one three episodes long:

  • The Hidden One Year War, which follows the exploits of the crew of the Jotunheim, a Zeon cargo ship that is tasked with testing prototype weapons. This was originally exclusively shown at Bandai Museum in Matsudo, Japan, but has seen a limited release on DVD.

  • Apocalypse 0079, which is set during the final month of the One Year War. As they slowly lose ground to the Earth Federation Forces, the Zeonic military begins sending previously-mothballed prototypes to the crew of the Jotunheim in a desperate attempt to find a new weapon against the encroaching Earth forces. Unlike its predecessor, this OVA series was released direct to DVD starting in April 2006.

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  • MS IGLOO 2: The Gravity Front, a series of three separate stories told from the perspective of three different Earth Federation soldiers during the Zeon's invasion. Unlike the previous two OVAs, these stories are connected only by a single secondary character (Col. Michael Colmatta) and the ghastly spectre that haunts the soldiers. This OVA was released on DVD and Blu-ray starting in October 2008.

The director of MS IGLOO is Takashi Imanishi (previously directed Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory), and Yutaka Izubuchi is the supervisor. There is also a manga series, MS IGLOO 603, which started as an adaptation of The Hidden One Year War but later added its own content.


This anime provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Monique Cadillac: She at first seems to just be an obnoxious officer, but when push comes to shove she'll gladly jump into the fray even if she's piloting a screaming metal death trap like the Zudah.
  • Advertised Extra: The Shark-Mouth Ball is one of the few MS from the series to get a kit and the only one to recieve both a Master Grade and HGUC gunpla (likely because of how it's an easy reuse of the already existing Ball). It only appears in one episode and the squadron flees without much of a fight.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: The main thing that connects the two series released under this title is that they are the only examples of this trope in the Gundam franchise.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • It's the Universal Century, even having a name won't save you.
    • Incidentally, everybody who pilots/operates the eponymous suit/weapon of the episode dies before the end of said episode, with only Oliver May being the exception.
  • Arc Word: 'Shinigami' is prevalent throughout Gravity Front. Along with an actual Shinigami, it's also used to refer to the Zakus and a few other weapons.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: The battle between the Zudahs and the GMs in episode 3 take place in a region of space crowded with shuttles containing evacuees from Odessa. Both sides shoot at each other on full auto without any regard for missed shots hitting any of the shuttles. Granted, the Federation troops wouldn't have reason to care because they were there to shoot the shuttles down anyway, but the Zeon troops should have exercised some sort of fire discipline.
  • Badass Normal: Engineering Lieutenant Oliver May, while piloting the Big Rang in episode 3 of Apocalypse. Lieutenant Ben Barberry from episode 1 of Gravity Front also, an infantryman who has more MS kills than most pilots, at the beginning of the war, through the use of ambush tactics with rocket launchers.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Oliver is astoundingly grateful to find that the war is over, even thought they've suffered great losses. Then he finds out that neither side particularly cares what their leaders say about an end to the war.
    • It's no better when seen from the eyes of Feddie grunts. We're clued in to how The Gravity Front will be from the first episode.
  • BFG:
    • The first weapon tested in Hidden One Year War, the Jormungand, is a massive anti-ship cannon.
    • The AMS Reginas used by Barberry's platoon in Gravity Front are rather large compared to their users.
  • Black Dude Dies First: He's the first one in the Guntank trio to go in episode 3 of Gravity Front (though the one in episode 1 is actually one of the last ones to go behind Barberry himself.)
  • Brutal Honesty: Albert Schacht, Oliver May's superior, is always glumly blunt about the situations at hand. Whenever a new test needs to be performed, Schacht cuts through the propaganda and is up front about design problems and Zeon's unlikely chances of winning the OYW. The Hildolfr and the Zudah's deployment were both things he was skeptical of, informing Oliver that they were both pushed forward because of the empire's desperation.
  • Call-Forward: The YMT-05 Hildolfr that debuts in this series is the predecessor to the YMS-16M Xamel from Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory; featuring a similar head and torso design and function as a massive artillery platform. While the Hildolfr was created for the franchise much later than the Xamel, in universe it precedes it.
  • The Cameo:
    • Char makes an extended cameo during the Battle of Loum in the first episode of "The Hidden One Year War." His Zaku II flies past Oliver May and advises him to stay clear of the fight as he goes on to sink some Federation Battleships.
    • The Gundam itself has a short cameo in the final episode of "The Hidden One Year War," footage of it was recovered from the camera of a mook it destroys.
  • Car Fu: The tank variant.
    • First by the Hidolfr, as when it's cannon and arms can't do the talking, a lifted corner of its 220-ton body gets the job done.
    • Used later with the 440-Guntank to help take out an enemy.
  • Colony Drop: Operation British, the Trope Namer, is actually seen underway.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The picture of the colony used in the Colony Drop, from the opening of Gravity Front, bears the watermark of 603 Technical Evaluation Unit, the protagonists from MS IGLOO 1.
    • Colmatta's battalion receives resupply from the Matilda Squadron in the first episode of Gravity Front, the same squadron that resupplies White Base in Mobile Suit Gundam.
    • The aiming scopes used in the Guntanks in the last episode of Gravity Front are virtual twins to the ones used by Amuro, Kai, and Hayato in the original Mobile Suit Gundam for their respective machines.
    • We get to see the RX-78-2 through the camera of a Zeon mobile suit. The novelization confirms that the footage was taken by Gene's Zaku in the first episode of the original series.
    • Episode 1 of Apocalypse features a pair of custom Core Boosters from the film trilogy of the original series.
    • In the final episode of Apocalypse 0079 has the Federation deploy the RGM-79C during the attack on A Baoa Qu. The GM Type-C was the standard Federation Grunt in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory.
    • In episode 2 of Gravity Front, Neuen Bitters is namedropped as the Zeon commander who is leading his soldiers into a decoy. Bitters was the commander of an earthbound Zeon remnant in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Zeon Mobile Suit design is this as always with all of the new suits like the Zudah, Hildolfr, Big Rang, etc. all having a mono-eye. Non-humanoid equipment utilizes it as well, with the Oggo having a cyclopoid camera mounted on top of them and the observation cameras the Jotunheim deploys have their lenses glow and operate similar to the Zaku's mono-eye track.
  • Death by Woman Scorned: Episode 3 of "Gravity Front". Arleen kills Clyde after she self-destructs. The interesting twist is that she was not cheated on, but her lover did betray her and left her to take the fall for him and all the work she had done in research was halted as result. Even worse, Clyde did this because he was a Double Agent for the Federation; had someone told her, or not thrown her in jail to take the fall for him, or at least received clearer orders on why not to attack that particular Darube...
  • Decoy Protagonist: Barberry in the first episode in MS IGLOO 2, where the OVA shows by the end of the episode that it won't necessarily be sticking with a steady cast like its predecessor.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: It's quite common for something to pop up at the end of an episode and unceremoniously kill the spotlight character/machine.
    • Apocalypse 0079
      • "I Saw the Ocean in Jaburo's Skies" ends with Werner Holbein finally succeeding with the MSM-07Di Ze'Gok and destroying 5 Federation Battleships. Then a pair of Core Boosters engage him, destroying the Gaw that he was supposed to meet up with and killing him.
      • "Go Beyond the Peak of the Beams of Light" Erwin triumphs over the Ball squadron and manages to talk down the final rookie. Just as they're returning to the ship, the Salamis Cruisers that deployed the squadron return and open fire, killing Erwin and the Ball pilot.
    • Ms Igloo 2: Gravity Front gets hit with this twice:
      • Just when you think Barberry manages to beat all the Zakus, even if he lost his whole squad in the process, another Zaku appears.
      • And just as when it appears Yandell has finally shaken free from the curse of chasing after the white Zaku, a Zeon patrol sneaks from behind and kills him.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In episode two of season three, there is a Tank platoon leader who was injured in combat and is obsessed with destroying the Zaku that wounded him. The color of that Zaku? White.
  • Doomed by Canon: Given that Zeon lost the war in the original series, which aired more than 25 years before MS IGLOO 1, it's a foregone conclusion that nothing being tested by the 603rd will turn the tide in Zeon's favor.
  • Doomed Hometown:
    • Subverted. Zeon manages to survive in no small part thanks to the protagonists of MS IGLOO 1.
    • This is something many characters share, saying that they've got no homes to return to because of the war.
  • Double Agent: Clyde Bettany in Gravity Front, though this doesn't save him from Arleen's revenge (granted, she doesn't find out until it's too late, but still.)
  • During the War: Yet another One Year War side story.
  • Energy Weapons: Beam technology becomes more and more common as the war goes on and this can be seen with the jump from Hidden One Year War to Apocalypse 0079. Conventional munitions are never truly phased out condensing the beam cannons to hand-held weapons or equipping them on Mobile Armors makes for much faster and more deadly machines than the battleships that once had the monopoly on them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Kuspen throws his weight around when he takes over the Jotunheim, but he's quite unnerved that an entire platoon of children is assigned to his command to participate in the battle. Even though he tries to play it off as an insult to his pride, the use of Child Soldiers bothers him at a personal level.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: Gravity Front only has two named characters survive to the end of the OVA. Not counting Shinigami, who isn't really alive to begin with.
  • Evil Counterpart: The series debuts the MP-02A Oggo which is the Zeon counterpart to the Federation's RB-79 Ball.
  • Excited Episode Title!: All of the episode titles of Gravity Front (Shoot that Death God!, Ruler of the Land, Go Forward! and Odessa, Iron Storm!)
  • Eye Patch Of Power: Federico Czariano, the Federation commander from "The Howl that Dyed the Setting Sun" has an eye patch over his left eye. Judging by the scarring on his face it seems to be a combat injury.
  • Eye Scream: Czariano shoves his Zaku's machine gun into the Hildolfr's monoeye and discharges as single shot into it, fatally wounding the pilot.
  • False Flag Operation: IGLOO 603 introduces the GM Camouf, a Zaku II decked out to look like a GM. It apparently works well enough that it was shot down by its own allies.
  • The Federation: The protagonists of Gravity Front are Feddies.
  • Flawed Prototype: Most of the prototypes that appear in MS IGLOO 1 are Awesome, but Impractical and were used as mere propaganda: the Jormungand is incredibly powerful, but can't reliably hit anything at range without a spotter providing targeting data at point blank range thanks to Minovsky jamming, the Hildolfr is a tank that was already marked as a failure, the Zudah breaks apart if its thrusters are used at high output, the basic premise of the Mobile Diver (sub-orbital dive bombing) is suicidally stupid to use with a single unit that doesn't have complete surprise and air support (not to mention the sheer impracticality of either building suits for a single run or returning them back to orbit after each sortie, and the fact that it was too late in the war to build enough of them to be useful anyway), and the Oggo is just a worker pod outfitted with weapons (very much like the Ball). The Big Rang was the only prototype that could arguably be considered a success at its intended mission - as an MS weapons collier capable of defending itself while rearming its charges on the front lines - but since it was first deployed on the last day of the war, it's too little too late.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • Surprisingly applied to the gigantic Zakus when fighting against Federation infantry/Tanks in Gravity Front. In general, the average Zaku is shown to be very vulnerable to infantry-deployed guided missiles and Type 61's cannon fire (the latter is somewhat justified, given that Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team showed suits on both sides using tank cannons as BFGs). Provided the rounds hit, of course. Fortunately, even mook Zakus seem capable of dodging cannon fire. Also overlaps with Glass Cannon, since the Zakus also have a tremendous firepower advantage over the tanks with their gigantic machine guns and bazookas.
    • Even more applicable in an ironic way to the Zudah. The Zudah is incredibly fast, capable of out-maneuvering a GM. However, if it goes too fast...
  • General Ripper: Herbert von Kuspen appears to fit this to a T when he was introduced. Being a Zeon soldier zealous almost to the point of being fanatic, dressed in SS-inspired uniform, willing to send child soldiers to the battlefield. In the end, however, he chose to stay behind to cover the retreating Zeon forces when he could have easily escaped in his Gelgoog. He even sacrificed his own life to protect the child soldiers.
  • Hero Antagonist: Federico Czariano and his squadron from "The Howl that Dyed the Setting Sun." They're a group of Federation soldiers that stole six Zaku II's and face off against the Hildolfr.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Several times. The irony being that Zeon will lose no matter how many of these the heroes make.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Oliver May obviously is attracted to Monique Cadillac.
  • Heroic BSoD: Cadillac, after the death of her little brother.
  • High Turnover Rate: The anti-MS squad in episode one of Gravity Front has had every member of it except the CO KIA and replaced multiple times by the start of the episode.
  • Hope Spot: In episode 2 of Apocalypse 0079, Erwin, after a tense battle, manages to convince the last Ball pilot to surrender. Just as he was taking the Ball back to the ship, however, they are both killed by the Federation patrol fleet.
  • Internal Deconstruction: This show can be seen as a deconstruction of the Super Prototype trope so often used by Gundam franchise as a whole, showing that for every war-winning Super Prototype like the Gundam, there are countless failures like the prototypes tested by the 603rd.
  • It's Personal: Primary motives of Herman Yandell and Arleen Nazon in Gravity Front.
  • Laughing Mad: Arleen in episode 3 of Gravity Front after activating her Guntank's self-destruct sequence.
  • Machine Empathy: Both Herman Yandell and Elmer Snell from the second episode of MS IGLOO 2: The Gravity Front claim to have very temperamental machines (a tank and a Zaku, respectively) that stop despite regular maintenance saying they should still run. This happens when the pilots can tell if the other is not on the battlefield they're going to since they both want to save their strength for their fated encounter.
  • Making Use of the Twin: The opening of Apocalypse saw Jotunheim getting hit and blowing up. Shortly afterwards, we see the crew of the Jotunheim learning that their sister ship, the Muspelheim, was destroyed during a drop operation.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: A minor example, the Jotunheim gets rocket boosters to give it greater speed sometime between Hidden One Year War and Apocalypse.
  • Mighty Glacier: The MA-05Ad Big Rang from the final episode of Apocalypse. It's extremely heavily armed with a Mega Particle cannon that can destroy multiple battleships, and it's covered in dense armor that can tank multiple hits. In addition it has a counterbeam measure allowing it to blast anti-beam particles around it to disrupt any laser shots. The drawback to so much power and armor is its mobility as the Big Rang is especially slow and a big easy to hit target. Though Oliver praises its power, this flaw weighed heavily on his mind as the MA-05 Bigro's speed and maneuverability were key features and they were compromised when it was upgraded to the Big Rang.
  • Minovsky Physics: It's Universal Century, when are there not Minovsky Particles?
  • Moby Schtick: Episode 2 of Gravity Front features Ax-Crazy tank commander Herman Yandell, who's obsessed with finding and destroying a legendary Zaku II known as the "White Ogre" that wiped out his squadron and left him permanently scarred and with only one leg.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Episode 3 of Gravity Front revolves around a female soldier who takes the heat for her fellow officer/lover defecting to Zeon with information about the Guntank. When she finally finds him, she disobeys orders not to engage the Dabude he's commanding and eventually self-destructs to blow up the two of them when she's taken down, only to be informed by Shinigami after her death that he was actually a Double Agent who was working to capture the Dabude for the Federation.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Oliver May's last name is pronounced like Mai Shiranui, not like Brian May.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Episode 3 of Gravity Front. Arleen takes the fall for Clyde's defection to Zeon, so she kills him when she self-destructs. Only later it is revealed that Clyde was a Double Agent of the Federation.
  • Putting on the Reich: Zeon, of course. Colonel von Kuspen even wears a variant of a Waffen-SS officer's uniform.
  • Real Robot: Probably a better fit than most Gundam works as the only appearance of the Gundam is very brief, in the form of a video feed recovered from a dead Zeon suit. It can basically be summed up as "This is what it's like to be killed by Amuro Ray." Needless to say, Oliver himself is utterly frightened to see the infamous White Devil that has killed so many of his comrades single-handedly...
  • Red Baron: Along with the Red Comet and White Devil making brief cameos in The Hidden One Year War, there's also the White Ogre in Gravity Front.
  • The Remnant: Horribly, horribly subverted as both sides who want to continue the war are shown to be utter madmen.
  • Self-Destructive Charge: An injured Magellan-class Cruiser attempts a suicide charge at the Jormungand super-cannon. The Jormungand manages to destroy it with a single shot, but the shrapnel from the Magellan's missiles kills the crew and the cannon is ultimately shelved due to the new importance of Mobile Suits.
  • Series Continuity Error: The EMS-10 Zudah's model number seems to conflict with the previously established numbering scheme for Zeon mobile suits, which used YMS for prototypes. A mobile suit known as the EMS-05 Agg had shown up previously in the original MSV model kit line, where the E was apparently supposed to stand for Excavator rather than Experimental.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The first episode of The Hidden One Year War has the cast getting ready to test an experimental cannon at Loum. Before it's even fired, though, the cannon is already rendered obsolete when a squad of Zakus led by Char arrive, and though Aleksandro tries to use it in the battle anyway, he ends up dying for nothing.
  • Shinigami: Pervades throughout The Gravity Front, as a spectral entity that causes nightmares for men on both sides.
  • Smug Snake: Colonel Colmatta in Gravity Front and Colonel von Kuspen in Apocalypse 0079. Colonels aren't treated with much respect in this series though von Kuspen gets to have a Heroic Sacrifice at A Baoa Qu.
  • Sole Survivor: The Sergeant in Gravity Front 2. Barberry in Gravity Front 1 is a repeat offender, with his anti-MS platoon being the only surviving platoon of that type in the regiment, and every member of his platoon other than him having been lost and replaced multiple times... in a land war less than a month old. Both he and the platoon lose this distinction at the end of the episode when the platoon is completely wiped out.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Space is frequently referred to with oceanic terms. When rescuing the fleeing Zeon troops in the third episode of Hidden One Year War, the crew refers to the lost Zaku's as drowning in the ocean of space.
  • Spanner in the Works: The Big Rang's last stand a A Baoa Qu successfully holds the Federation fleet out of E sector long enough for the survivors of the battle to flee through that sector. Which means that Lt. May made the formation of the Neo-Zeon Axis, and by extension the Neo-Zeon wars of Gundam ZZ and Char's Counterattack, possible.
  • Taking You with Me: The Guntanks in episode 3 of Gravity Front are effectively kamikaze fighters strapped to bombs so that they can blow themselves up when they're taken down. Arleen eventually does this to Bettany, only to immediately regret it afterwards when she realizes the truth behind his betrayal.
  • Tank Goodness: The Hildolfr in Hidden One Year War, and Type 61s and Magella Tanks in Gravity Front.
  • We Have Reserves: The plan to take down the White Ogre centers around this. They send nine tanks in to fight him, fully expecting eight of them to die, in the hopes that he'd lose count of how many opponents he was fighting and let his guard down so the ninth to kill him, because Federation tank formations are usually deployed in multiples of four. It works, but they end up losing the ninth tank shortly afterwards as well.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: After losing a leg to the white Zaku, Yandell theoretically could have taken a medical discharge and gone home. Unfortunately, by that point, his home was a burned-out ruin in Zeon occupied territory. The fact that he no longer had a home to return to played a role in his decision to obsessively hunt the White Ogre.