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Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 Stardust Memory

Anime series continuing the Mobile Suit Gundam series focussing on a stolen Gundam armed with a tactical nuke.

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"Oh well you have to read the untranslated manga to know why she does what she does"

  • Feb 24, 2011

Lately it seems like a lot of genre sci fi has taken a habit of making ancillary material necessary to filling in plot holes whether the fans like it or not.  Matrix had the Animatrix fill in stories that happened between the first two movies, the Star Wars Prequels are NOTORIUS for having novelizations make more sense then the movies or having other books and comics fill in poorly told story points in the films and even the new Star Trek movie is guilty of this in some regards but all of those can look back to this sidestory from the Gundam series back in 1990 and it can be argued that this is the trendsetter.

Being the Mobile Suit fan I am, and knowing how big the Zeta series was in Japan, this was a no brainer to see what happened in between those years in the franchise.  We see that the Federation grew complacent and corrupt, the fragmented Zeons are hungry for revenge and there are those in the shadows who are pulling strings.

It's the year UC 0083 and the Federation is funding a new Gundam project with the GP-01 Zephyranthes, a land based mobile suit and it's bigger brother the GP-02 Physalis which can be equipped with tactical nukes: when nuclear weapons are forbidden by the Antarctic Treaty between the Federation and Zeon.  Zeon's remnants catch wind of this and easily break into the base where the weapons will be tested and take the suit into space.  It's up to a new crew and new mobile suits to follow the Zeons into space and stop they're plot.

Sounds great right?  Well, thats just it, SOUNDS.

You can tell that the show is really trying hard to make this show as big as the original series by even giving minor characters lines and characters.  Remember that the original show had 40 plus episodes to develop characters in the main cast and even the supporting cast like those two guys who always sit above the captains chair and give reports on the battle to others?  Those positions even try and get filled here on the show along with characters that you think are going somewhere but halfway through the show get forgotten about.  Theres even a point where a main character dies and it's announced that two characters are getting a promotion to fill the deceased man's spot.  These characters barely show up anymore as the show goes on, so whats the point?!  It boils down to getting lost in the shuffle since the show has to cram in it's story points, juggle a big cast but still have the action beats which in the last few shows really take up space.

Heres another character issue.  The characters SUCK.  The main villian in the show is loved by the fanbase when all he is, is a puppet used by the Zeon to fight for they're ideals.  Why are they so important to HIM though?  All he seems to do is quote the party line and we rarely get insight into his character.  The lead hero is a whiny test pilot who gets into a weird love triangle with the WORST character in a Gundam series.  Worse then Quess Paryaya or Dorothy Catalonia, that is Nina Purpleton who is flakier then a box of Wheaties.  She plays games with our hero, gets upset when he doesn't make a move and when he does she's wrapped up with a villian!  You seriously want to slap her by the time this show is over.

Thats what makes the show even more infuriating, the characters aren't that bad in the start of the series and when some were on and had lines or screen time they weren't that bad, maybe it's a great reason for why character development can be a bad thing.

How was the acting, direction, dialogue?  They're passable bordering on a few funny moments then teetering on some pretentious poetic talk that a lot of anime can depend on to sound smart.

Emotionally, I'd say that I did like the action scenes but the poor characters made it hard for me to care about anyone or anything that happened.

The worst thing is that there are some weird decisions that characters do that require going out and reading other books or seeing other shows to understand why a character does what they do.  Now I can ignore having to see the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime but a lot of the material needs to be read about or looked up online.  Not all people who watch these shows will know of those story pieces in other places and will chock it up to poor writing, and it is poor writing when your show or movie depends on other material to fill in plot points that you leave out or have to be covered in other sources.

This show gets a 1 from me.  No this is not a BAD show and it has it's moments.  I like both of the opening songs, ESPECIALLY the second opening song and pictured above being one of my favorite pieces of anime music.  The show still looks great considering it's 20 years old with clean animation and nice drawings.  Take this into consideration though, this show has a much higher budget then the other Gundam shows of similar length which helps account for it's look but the story and characters are much better in the shabbier looking and cheaper shows.  Coincidence?

Stardust Memory is definetly worth a watch for the Gundam fan to fill in a story gap for the 7 years between MSG and ZG, but it's slim in too many places and has to rely on it's flashy action to carry the load, thankfully the action is good.  Too bad the characters weren't better.

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March 11, 2011
Excellent review, I am a MS fan as well.
February 24, 2011
Yeah, sadly even Japanese filmmakers have resorted to the usual marketing ploys, they try to capitalize on something that is 'hot' without putting in much effort. Nice review! I just love it when someone reviews anime!!
February 24, 2011
Yeah, I know more of what went on with this show which includes a second director which is why the scope changes the way it does but it doesn't explain everything. Having to go and get other materials is never good for any series.
February 26, 2011
oh, John, I know you and me dig the Coens. Care to see how Chinese directors do with a remake of one of their first movies? see it here: (cheap plug)
More Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 Stardu... reviews
Quick Tip by . February 24, 2011
posted in ASIANatomy
Flashy "side story" to Mobile Suit Gundam filling in a gap between the original series and Zeta Gundam about Zeon's remnants coming back to attack a complacent Federation. Weak characters and shift in tone and story halfway through are only part of the problems.
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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