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Narrative is that interesting kind of sequel where you can't quite be certain if you're supposed to love for bringing you more of what you enjoyed, or hate for how obviously it's cashing in on your nostalgia. It's definitely not bad, but neither is it particularly necessary. The good news is that it's a nicely self-contained story with no real impact on the metaseries as a whole. The exposition is decently woven into existing UC lore, and neatly explains why Psychoframe technology pretty-much fell off the map between CCA and F91.
Unfortunately, the OVA isn't without controversy. Newtypes have always been a fantastical element to the UC, but their abilities have always been vaguely-defined and open to interpretation. Narrative goes full Functional Magic on Newtypes and all but presents an annotated list of their capabilities to the viewer. To wit;
1) They can see the future.
2) There is an afterlife.
3) Humans having souls is a fact.
4) Psycoframe technology can be used as a conduit to bring the dead back to life.
5) Powerful Newtypes can travel through time.
All this is presented with a lot of functional exposition to back up each point, very much as if the writer were writing a doctoral thesis on Newtype powers. It does manage to avoid the clichéd 'as you know' approach though, which I do appreciate as a spark of inspiration in the blasted hell-scape that has been Gundam anime of the past several years. Seriously, even IBO had awful exposition.
Plot-wise, NT is quite a nice little romp through nostalgic UC properties, referencing many past events and coming across as a genuinely organic addition to the franchise. Everyone has decent motivations, there's a nice big helping of moral ambiguity all around, and for once the whiny protagonist has a decently sympathetic reason for being a whiny protagonist. I even found Michelle interesting and nuanced, unlike quite a few other similar UC characters who just come across as deeply unlikeable regardless of how many justifications the writer attempts to give them.
On the other hand, I found the Zeon characters mildly annoying at best. Zoltan is an okay villain, but the President of Zeon is transparently evil and cliché. He has no investment in the conflict and casually hands off incredibly dangerous weapons to blatantly unstable people. He exists solely to drive the plot, and contributes nothing to the story. Zoltan should've been a rogue operative from the get-go.
In conclusion, Narrative is a pretty nice little OVA with quite a few good moments that are only let down by somewhat inconsistent writing and lacking antagonists. I like that there aren't any real aces in play and that the titular Gundam is arguably inferior to even the special-purpose Jesta units it gets deployed alongside. The animation is decent, but not up to Unicorn's standards, particularly in terms of character detail.
So, give Narrative a go, but don't expect it to set your world on fire.
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