Mobile Suit Gundam Complete Collection 1
DVD | Box Set
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Although it launched a continuity that has lasted more than three decades, Yoshiyuki Tomino's landmark Mobile Suit Gundam (1979) was curtailed due to poor ratings on its initial airing. Tomino's vision of mobile suits--anthropomorphic robots that are part space suit, part one-person spaceship, and part samurai armor--revolutionized the mecha genre. Set in the year 0079 of the Universal Century, these first episodes establish the parameters of the Gundam universe and introduce the principal characters. When the human population topped 11 billion, most of the inhabitants of Earth left the planet for the Space Colonies, 20-mile-long cylindrical space stations in stable orbits. But the corrupt misrule of the oligarchic world government has sparked a rebellion that pits the Principality of Zeon against the Earth Federation. During a Zeon raid on his home satellite, teenager Amuro Ray stumbles into the cockpit of the Federation's top-secret weapon, the Gundam Mobile Suit RX-78. He successfully pilots the giant robot and initiates a rivalry with the unscrupulous but dashing Zeon warrior Char Aznable, a.k.a. the Red Comet. Unlike the dedicated pilots of later mecha adventures, Amuro becomes a hero in spite of himself. He wrestles with his new identity as a soldier and the fact that he is a Newtype, a human with psi abilities that may represent an evolutionary leap. An ill-starred romance further complicates his life. The character designs look very American and very dated, with crumbly Xerox lines. The slow pacing, limited animation, hand-drawn special effects, and rather tame battle scenes are closer in tone to Robotech (1985) than to the more spectacular recent Gundam adventures. The English dub sounds rather stilted, with the narrator ominously asking at the end of each episode, "Who will survive?" But this reissue includes the original Japanese dialogue for the first time--a lack otaku had bemoaned for years. Despite its flaws, Gundam fans will want the program that launched Tomino's vision--and one of the longest-running franchises in animation history. (Rated 13 and older, but suitable for viewers three to four years younger: brief nudity, violence largely restricted to robot vs. robot) --Charles Solomon
(1. Gundam Rising, 2. Destroy Gundam! 3. Vote to Attack, 4. Escape from Luna II, 5. Re-entry to Earth, 6. Garma Strikes, 7. The Core Fighter's Escape, 8. Winds of War, 9. Fly, Gundam! 10. Garma's Fate, 11. Icelina--Love's Remains, 12. The Threat of Zeon, 13. Coming Home, 14. Time, Be Still, 15. Sayta's Agony, 16. Amuro Deserts, 17. Zeon's Secret Mine, 18. Ramba Rat's Attack, 19. Hand-to-Hand Combat, 20. Sorrow and Hatred, 21. The Trap of M'Quve)
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I'm also giving this 5/5 stars due to the quality of the format, audio, and video quality. Being able to watch this classic in such high-definition is truly worth the price.
The final episodes are something special, because I never saw the last 3 episodes air in the US (possibly due to content or time schedule for the network), and until now it was only the Trilogy that had the last parts.
Considering that older version on DVD is out of print, this was the best choice for me. Yes, this new version also has a DVD format, but it seemed to make more sense in my case to get the best quality available at the time of release. My hope is that other series following will be released in BluRay format such as 08th MS Team, 0080 War in the Pocket, 0083 Stardust Memory, and Zeta Gundam which are all out of DVD print now.
Edit: I added screenshot comparison of the 2015 Bluray cut versus the 2011 DVD cut previously released.
Once again, it's a two-disc set and its in Bluray for the first time in America!
The video quality is amazing! This is the first time the series is available in high-definition in North America. The colors are vibrant, the image is pretty smooth, as it has been DNR'd, but over all it's a 8.5/10)
No, this is no an upscale, this is an all-new transfer from the 33MM film prints done in Japan. The Japanese released the complete series on 9 discs(about 5-6 episodes per disc), and it seems like Sunrise will be releasing it on 4 discs(about 10-11 episodes per disc) for North America. I compared by Japanese box set to this version and I couldn't see any differences in compression or any artifacts introduced. I can't complain thought! The Japanese set was about 500-600 dollars, while the USA version will end up being under $100 dollars for the complete series( although the USA version is a "budget" release, the quality is identical to its Japanese counterpart).
Here are some images that will blow you away:
The audio is in Linear PCM format (lossless audio) 48Hz/16-bit/1536kbps for both Japanese and English dubs (same format as the Japanese blu-ray box set).
The audio for the Japanese track is in 2.0 mono, while the English track gets a 2.0 stereo mix(the OP & ED themes are mono).
I did notice that not all of the sound effects and background music are identical to the Japanese track. Not sure if this is the same for the old Bandai DVD release. I would appreciate if anyone could confirm this.
I believe Sunrise recycled the old BANDAI subtitles. I don't see a reason for them to waste money on a whole new translation. You get a full songs and signs track for the English dub, and you also get a full subtitle track for the Japanese dub.
Clean Opening and Ending, and Blu-Ray/DVD commercials.
Don't forget to pick up Zeta Gundam after you watch this one! ;-)
Big thanks to RightStuf, Sunrise, and Bandai Namco!