News from the Front

by Christopher Troy

Greetings readers! Welcome to “News from the Front”, our newest feature on the FPNYC Gundam Blog, with a title I clearly swiped from a Bad Religion song!  With this new  “monthly”/whenever I’m between kits feature, we’ll be exploring the latest news in the Gundam world, Gunpla related or not!

News from San Diego Comic Con:

Any self respecting nerd should be aware that the annual San Diego Comic Con is going down on the west coast as we speak, and that in the last decade or so, it’s focus has expanded to not just only comics, but movies, television, toys, video games and anime. At this years panel, the company revealed that the remainder of the Bandai Entertainment Gundam OO DVDs may face slight delays when it comes to US release (something is sadly common when it comes to Bandai products these last few years). In more positive news though, Bandai of America has announced that they’re FINALLY bringing over the 50 episode AU series Turn A Gundam.

The series boasts a impressive amount of creators involved with the series-originally created for the 20th anniversary of Gundam, it’s written and directed by the creator of the franchise Yoshiyuki Tomino, music by Yoko Kanno (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Wolf’s Rain), and mecha designs by one Syd Mead, who if you remember me mentioning from the history of Gundam articles, had his hand in many a popular Western sci-fi film properties in terms of design. No release date has been given for Turn A, but it’s safe to imagine a 2011 release.

Recent DVD releases:

Speaking of Gundam 00, the 2nd DVD set for season 2 has hit shelves not too long ago, with both a standard and special edition. The key difference between the standard and special is that the special editions come packaged with a tie-in manga, which saves you a trip to the bookstore/comic shop of choice (Which is clearly Forbidden Planet right?.

And if you’re feeling something a little more old-school,  set in the Universal Century era, Bandai has 2 different options for you! If you want to explore the origins of the Gundam Universe, Bandai has released the long out of print Mobile Suit Gundam Movie Trilogy under it (discounted) Anime Legends Label. It’s worth a viewing, as the original series in nearly impossible to find new on dvd, and these 3 movies can get you caught up on the original series in 5-6 hours.

And from there, you can follow up with the Gundam Mobile Suit Zeta: Movie Complete Collection.  Unlike the original series, there were at least 3 separate releases of Zeta in the last decade in the States: a deluxe,$200-300 box set (or $40 if you managed to find it in an Otakon dealer’s room back in the 2006 like I did) which came with 20-somewhat figurines, an artbook and poster in addition to the complete series on DVD, several nine episode collections, and finally a 2 box set collection released under the Anime Legend Label. These 3 movie, like the original collection, recap the original Zeta series, but also offer several new animated scenes each movie, which you can easily spot as the 20 year difference between animation styles is quite different.

The concludes the first News from the Front article! I would like to thank you for reading it, hope to hear some feedback from you, the reader, regarding future topics. It’s back to reviews for me next week, as I look over an entry from Char’s Counterattack. The Next “News from the Front” article will probably show up in late August, with a preview of 2 new upcoming animated Gundam projects in Japan, the return of an old friend in the Tokyo skyline, and what other series Bandai has made Gunpla-like products for.

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