First Impressions – Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin

Hello, Loyal Readers!
So this is a Graphic Novel and it is a series, but I wanted to review it anyway, because it’s all I’ve been reading!

Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN volume 1: Activation

The Book

For those not aware, Mobile Suit Gundam is a “meta-series” (a bunch of kinda related series) but it was all based on the story re-told here: Mankind’s overpopulation has led them to colonize space, but now the colonies have started a war for independence.
This is the story of the teen civilians who get caught up in the conflict just as one side debuts its newest weapon.

Long story short: Giant Robots.

Why I Picked It Up

I’ve been a fan of classic Gundam for a long time and, I was really excited to see a comprehensive re-telling of the original story in English. Many people call this franchise “The Star Trek of Japan” due to many parallels.

What I Like About It

SO, so much.
For anyone who’s seen the original Gundam TV show, you know that it’s showing its age. Plus, the original creator, Yoshiyuki Tomino’s vision for the story was altered due to television constraints and committee design (so much so that he wrote a novelization of HIS version!). This re-telling deviates from the show, but mostly by adding more detail and making things more plausible. It also allows more time to be spent on more characters, including side characters and villains, exposing a more human, less caricature-based characterization.
The art, pacing, and plot are also exceptional; even though I know the whole story by heart, it’s a blast to read and beautifully illustrated.
You have to do some extra research, but there’s a lot of real science at the heart of the story as well.

What Could Be Better, If Anything

The series is quite long, and split up over multiple books. As such newcomers to the series pretty much have to start reading at volume 1. I kind of likened it to Game of Thrones when describing it to my wife–lots of politics, lots of characters, and subplots of which to keep track. It can be a lot for some readers, but I like those kind of stories (nowhere close to the amount of sex in GoT, though).
Another downfall is, due to to length, the series is 12 books long and each book is around $20-$30 at the cheapest. This isn’t really a problem with a solution, although they’ve spared no expense on the hard binding. Maybe one day there’ll be a softcover version, but expect the series to run AT LEAST 12 books as each is very thick.
Honestly, I haven’t got a lot of constructive criticism for it–it’s one of those really great graphic novels where the art tells the story just as much as the words, and the translation has few, if any problems.

So anyway, I’m buying them as they come out. My wife got me the first five as a birthday present and I blazed through them in about as many days.

So what do you think of MS Gundam: The Origin? Leave me a comment! And I have read the Gundam novel as well, so if there’s any demand, I’ll review it as well!
Thanks, guys!


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