In the year 1996, the space race between the US and the Soviet Union has spread to Mars. The Cold War still continues and there is an ever-increasing chance of full scale war between the two super powers. Meanwhile, on Mars, the student-run "Cosmic Culture Club" arrives at a UN base; but before the kids get a chance to settle in they find themselves under attack from an unknown force using giant mecha! The UN base is quickly laid to ashes and only a handful of survivors remain, but the attack is repelled thanks to the efforts of a renegade mech pilot, Eiji. He is a defector from a race called the Grados and he comes with a warning: the Grados are coming to destroy humanity! He has stolen their most powerful mecha, the SPT-LZ-00X Layzner, and offers to help Earth – that is, if he can convince the people he just saved that he is telling the truth!
Top tier 80's Sunrise (wait, isn't that everything they did in the 80's?)... Both shows are heavy sci-fi, pitting a handful of average, ordinary, untrained characters together in the midst of unexpected warfare. These groups of completely inexperienced characters have to fight and bond together as one whether they like it or not so they can make it out to simply see themselves through to another day. Both take the mecha aspects fairly serious, with simulations, heavily detailed information, training, etc, tons of attention to detail and realism. Vifam might be a little more humorous at times, but it certainly knows when to be serious, as Layzner also has it's realistic funny moments between the characters interactions. These shows really give you a sense of danger and desperation, you'll fear for the worst when people get thrown into a fight they want nothing to do with. The sense of progression in both is excellent, as each episode passes, characters develop, grow, and learn new things, making it a great experience. These aren't just shows to watch, they're a journey to see through.
The year is Universal Century 0079 and mankind is yet again at war. The space colony Side 3 has declared itself the Principality of Zeon and has separated itself from the Earth Federation. In a raid on the colony Side 7, Zeon troops force a band of civilians, military recruits and one green ensign to escape on a previously unseen class of ship with prototype Federation mobile suits. Among them is Amuro Ray, who piloted the Gundam during the raid on Side 7. Unfortunately, his mastery of it earns him the responsibility of using it in the war against Zeon...
MS Gundam and Vifam touches upon many of the same subjects as each other. Both are about people thrown into the middle of a war against their will and having to grow up, mature and deal with the circumstances as best as they can. Both series also put a great deal of time into discussing what an enemy truly is and it's not an entirely one-sided.
Of course, the action looks great in both series and if you enjoy mecha, especially of the real type, then both series are for you.