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on January 19, 2005
F91 is one of Bandai's next Gundam releases to finally make it overseas. Bandai has mostly been releasing their Alternate Reality Gundam shows (Such as Gundam Wing, G-Gundam, Gundam SEED), so having a little Universal Century doesn't hurt anyone.
Taking place many years later after Char's Counter Attack, the Federation is at war with the Crossbone Vanguard. At a colony, young Arno Seabook just wants to live a normal life, until the Crossbone invade his home. Now finding himself cornered, and now the pilot of the experimental F91 Gundam, Arno must save his friends and those he cares about, or die trying.
This movie was technically supposed to be a series, but for some unknown reasons, Tomino (The creator of Gundam), had a change of plans and had this become a movie. Why this choice, is still unclear. The plot may seem rushed and compact at times, but it's trying to tell alot, even though it's around a 2 plus hour movie. However, that doesn't stop the story from shining.
The animation quality for a movie of it's calibre is VERY decent. I couldn't see any animation errors or faults, so there is nothing to complain about. The english dubbing is above average, as I didn't mind it. Musical score is fairly good too. This DVD also has lots of extras, and has a second DVD to boot.
Gundam F91 still isn't the last Universal Century story to be released, we still have a little ways to go. Zeta Gundam is now out, and hopefully soon, ZZ(Double Zeta) Gundam will follow. And hopefully after that, the other UC stories and AUs to boot. Until then, enjoy this movie, as I know I enjoyed it.
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on March 11, 2005
Originally intended as a TV series, Gundam F91 is the last of the original Universal Century movies (the rest being compilations of earlier series). 30 years have passed since Amuro and Char had their final climactic duel and things have only gotten worse for humanity. The corrupt Earth Federation have continued to let their power slip and are ill equipped to face a new spacenoid rebellion known as the Crossbone Vanguard. Waving the banner of spacenoid peace and supremacy, many colony citizens wonder if accepting them would be a good thing. But for every idealist there must be a greedy tyrant.Hope lies with a ragtag group of civillains and trainees and the prototype MS known as the F91...

Gundam F91 follows the classic Gundam plot structure- war comes into the mostly peaceful life of a young man and his friends and fate sees him as the pilot of the weapon which could end the conflict. By the time of it's appearance here, the structure is certainly showing some faults. The film perhaps even hurts itself by pointing out more than once that this isn't the first time this has happened in the Gundam world (This is an ongoing theme with the film- early on we see a war museum displaying old Zeon MS and the F91 receives it's 'Gundam' designation in honour of the suits which came before it).Whilst the basics are ok, the formula could really use some livening up.

Not helping things is the erratic pacing- due to being based off of half complete ideas for a TV series, F91 is a dissapointing mix of too many plot points and little resolution. Many times through the film I could see how certain elements would have been expanded in a full length series. Characters seem to be brought in just to be killed and 'develop' the main character.

Our lead is Seabook Arno, a 17 year old student who bears resemblance to Amuro and Kamille before him. Seabook has Tomino's trademark rough family life with a one parent family due to a mother who threw herself into her work, though the Arno's are perhaps one of the closer families in Gundam. Seabook's crush is beauty queen and tomboy Cecily Fairchild, who's past is somehow linked to the Vanguard's leaders. The connection is one of the key plot points and the source of much conflict between the two starstruck youths. Their ragtag group of refugees is rounded up by a bunch of fellow kids, mostly useless and annoying. Seabook's friends basically do nothing for the film and I'm constantly befuddled as to why Tomino seems to think it's a good idea including babies and toddlers in these groups. It does show that war picks on everyone, but their placement serves no real purpose and their comic relief moments fall flat.

On the other side of the cast we have the personalities of the Crossbone Vanguard, mostly the slightly deluded Ronah family. Having made their fortune by various spacenoid commodities, the Ronah's form a private army with the apparent intent of joining all humanity under one space nation ruled by themselves. The one Ronah who sticks out the most is the mysterious and creepy 'Iron Mask'. A hulk of a man with a full metal mask covering his head, Iron Mask is seemingly supporting the elder Ronah's vision but is in fact plotting something much more sinister...

On the DVD side of things, Bandai do an ok job. The release is hyped as a 'Special Edition' due to it being a 2 disc set. There's a big difference in content-

Disc 1 contains the film itself, with a stereo English and Japanese track and optional subtitles. The menus are well designed using animation of Seabook's home colony from the film. Extras consist of the always well researched Gundam Encylopedia from Keith Rhee and Mark Simmons, with technical and history information on the various mobile suits seen throughout the film.

Disc 2 is where a drop in content comes. Whilst low on extras, it's clear to see that disc 1 was at some point considered all there was to the release. The secondary disc feels rushed so Bandai could jack up the price. Gone are the well designed in-universe menus, replaced with a colour inverted image of the F91's head whilst the most annoying dialogue from the dub loops.

Disc 2 is an extras disc, but there's not much to get excited about. The best part is the audio commentary for the film between the dub's producer, one of the dub actors and a representative of Sunrise. Whilst things take a while to get going, by the end we learn some interesting anecdotes and trivia on the production of the dub and Gundam as a whole. There's also a 5.1 Dolby Digital English track for the film.

The rest of the extras are rather low- we get a brief character guide, a gallery of random shots from the film, shots of life-size F91 and Zaku heads and a brief timeline of the key events leading up to the events of the film. I really feel Bandai could have done more with this disc, such as the Gundam Evolve CGI shorts or Crossbone Gundam, the sequel manga to F91. Some of the content IS good, but as a whole it just feels rushed and unthought out.

Both casts do a great job. Bandai wisely hired Animaze/BangZoom for the project, leading to the cast being full of many talented voice actors. All the roles are perfectly cast and handled, unlike the hodge podge efforts from the Ocean Studios.

I wanted to like F91, really. This release (both the film itself and the DVD content) had alot of potential but it just comes short of the mark which is a shame because otherwise this could of been a good release. As is, I can only reccomend Gundam F91 to hardcore Gundam fans. Anyone else will likely not be interested.
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on February 7, 2005
F91 is one of the gundam features that I love for its animation quality. The action is spectacular, the Crossbone Vanguard mobile suit designs are spectacular, the characters are spectacular.

The film exemplifies gundam in all of its glory, by using the famous openning sequence in which an un-suspecting citizen, usually a naive young man, is forced to defend his home from mobile suit attack in an unfamiliar fighting machine.

Back in 2002 I was fearing that gundam might just be a one hit wonder in America with 'Gundam Wing' but its nice to finally see the entire gundam franchize taking off in the states. I cant wait for the American adaptations of Gundam X and Victory Gundam.
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on January 16, 2013
Between the two-disc and one-disc versions available for F91, purchase the two-disc if you can. Prices of these products and similar products by Bandai are doomed to shoot up because of Bandai's decision to cease shipping new products to North America (tragic, but inevitable). As for Gundam F91's content, the two disc set actually includes the feature film on both discs, one with English and Japanese dialogue and the other with English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, as wells as standard Character Files, a Mobile Suit Encyclopedia, and a Gundam Timeline. Originally intended as a fifty-episode series, Gundam F91 DOES feel rushed in terms of story and editing. There are definitely a few jarring cuts, but at least the story hits the bullet points. It feels more like watching the Gundam SEED Special Edition movies (The Empty Battlefield, The Far-Away Dawn etc.) then an intended movie like Char's Counterattack or A-wakening of the Trailblazer. However, like most of his Gundam works, Tomino also novelizes his original story ideas that got cut for the final product for those of you that are interested.
Gundam F91's story is extremely familiar to anyone who has seen any Universal Century Gundam story before. Seabook Arno and his friends are thrust into the horrors of war when fighting between the Federation and Crossbone Vanguard enters their home colony of Frontier-4. Seabook and his friends eventually meet up with a rookie team of Federation soldiers and together with the experimental Gundam F91, he is forced to fight against the Vanguard and their enigmatic leader, Iron Mask. As with any Gundam story, the story's main conflict is between political ideologies and turmoil within the Federation. Like the original Mobile Suit Gundam, neither the Federation nor the Crossbone are inherently evil, but rather there are likeable and dislikable characters on both sides. The brutality of mobile suit combat is expressed very graphically in a chilling yet logical way, and though the plot seems rushed at times, the conclusion is nevertheless satisfying.
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on September 26, 2004
While it doesn't live up to Tomino's "Char's Counterattack", Gundam F91 holds it's place in history.

Gundam F91 makes it's ground in history because it is the first (and possibly only) Gundam title to be shown in U.S. theatres. F91 made it's debut at Otakon and is now making it's way across the states to New York (at the ImaginAsia Film Theater), Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, and San Fransisco at the Festival of Anime Screening. If you live in or by any of these citys I strongly urge you to go see it! Be a part of Gundam history!

I originally saw this movie on my computer from a R2 DVD rip of it and it is very good! The animation has a smooth flow and looks beautiful.

Along with it's theatrical release, the Special Edition DVD will be here November 23rd. It will be a 2 disc set conisting the following features and extras...

-Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (English)

-English/Japanese 2.0 Stereo

-English Subtitles

-Matted Widescreen Presentation (black bars)

-Producer Commentary Track (Sunrise)

-Charcter and Mecha Gallerys

-Timeline

-Trailer Collection

-Filmography of Yoshiyuki Tomino and Kunio Okawara

-Image Gallery

At a retail price of $29.98, this is a very good deal! Add this DVD to your home entertainment library!
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on March 21, 2014
Overshadowed by the release of Gundam 0083 in 1991 this movie has not gotten the hype nor respect it deserves. This was supposed to be a 49 episode tv series and to have it replaced by a movie is almost insulting since the story line is good but just so rushed and crammed. I still give this 4 stars since I am a huge MSG fan
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on December 2, 2009
Overall a great attempt, F91 was supposed to be a show. It got canceled though and was turned into a movie, so the cost of production could be recovered [attempted anyways]. The movie is rushed to the point that many of the characters seem to be important (if that) for only a period of maybe a minute, and then they fade to obscurity. The animation and sfx are good, and its worth adding to a collection just because of the name it falls under (for hardcore fans mind you), but in saying that - it is also a huge flop from the gundam metaseries and shouldn't be on EVERYONE's shelf. If I had to give it a pass/fail score, my opinion is 4/5 stars, just because of the rushedness of it. If they added maybe an additional 40 minutes, this could have been one of the greats. I would recommend it if one could get it at a decent price.

ALSO, DO NOT GET RIPPED OFF. THE SINGLE DISC SET IS JUST THE FIRST DISC OF THE 2 DISC SET! FOR ABOUT THE SAME PRICE, GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR (even though disc 2 isn't anything really that great/commentary and the like).

Note: the disc case these come in doesn't hold the discs in well. When I had mine arrive, the discs were kinda flopping around in there. I was lucky, my mail carriers are good about not roughhousing my stuff so it wasnt scratched to death. Just a fair warning! :D
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on June 27, 2011
thank you for the movie though the first disk has a scrach and skips a chapter the second disk can also play the movie aswell and no scraches i also bought used though as well but over all i am very glad. the order got here a day early than expected so 4 stars all the way
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on September 17, 2004
I saw the film this past summer at the Otakon premiere in Baltimore. Having previously seen Yoshiyuki Tomino's original Gundam movies, I didn't quite know what to expect with this new film. Boy was I surprised. Unlike the other Gundam movies like Char's Counterattack, I was able to enjoy F91 without having any predisposition on the background or the world. It was a nice self-contained story with albeit 1990's animation, the action sequences of the mobile suits are top notch. Gundam F91 follows a young man caught up in a conflict between his home colony and a group known as the Crossbone Vanguard. With several twists and turns, relationships are key to a very fun movie. I hear that Bandai will be releasing this film as a Special Edition with remixed audio and a commentary track, its not out yet, but just based on the movie itself, I highly recommend it
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on October 14, 2010
F91 was suppose to be a full length tv series, and it shows in the movie. Its pace is the same as the gundam 0079 compilation movies, you get the story, but you know that you are missing out on things. That is the only negative thing I have to saw about this movie. I thought it compressed the story meant for 50 episodes very well. the pacing is good, though maybe a little fast for some people in certain spots. This movie could definatley been a little longer to give more depth to some of the characters, but what you get in F91 is still very enjoyable and worth owning.
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