It is the year Universal Century 0079, in a space colony the Earth Federation is storing and testing a new piloted robot for use in the battle against the Principality of Zeon. The experimental RX-78 Gundam mobile suit is scheduled to be transported to Federation command in Jaburo, deep within the Brazilian jungles. Unfortunatley, before the transporter would arrive, the Federation would come under attack from Zeon. With few resources available against the Zeon’s most mobile mechs, Federation forces strike back using their new weapon, the mobile suit Gundam. Caught in the crossfire is a young teen named Amuro Ray. Not willing to see innocent people die like this, Amuro crawls into the cockpit of the closest machine around him. Whether it be a tank, jeep or jet, he was going to use it to help stop this slaughter. And what he happened to slide into was another Gundam. Having never operated a machine like this, what are the chances he can do anything to repel an experienced squad of mech-piloting invaders?
Before I get into picking nits, let me preface by saying that I do actually recommend Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin. The physical release is especially wonderful, with even the the monochrome pages printed on high-quality glossy paper that makes the rare full-color pages stand out beautifully. Gorgeous art and totally worth it for anyone interested in the original Gundam story who has trouble getting into the silly, low-ish budget classic anime.As a one-to-one retelling of the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime this manga carries with it all the goofiness of late 70's/early 80's mecha anime that entails, try as OG Gundam does to be a serious war story. In my opinion, it errs a bit too much on the side of being dark and edgy, with part of the premise being that half of all humans in earth and space have died and both the Federation and Zeon militaries being so incredibly spent that they're down to only small fighting forces.That's a small nitpick, though, and the goofier elements of the story and old-school character & mecha design aren't big enough problems to distract from the fact that this is a really solid manga worth picking up. The amount of detail that goes into every panel is jaw-dropping and the ability for a talented artist like Yoshikazu Yasuhiko to keep even the most intricate fight scenes 100% on-model fixes what I think is the biggest weakness of the original anime. If you've ever lover or even liked a Gundam story before, I'd say that The Origin is definitely worth at least checking out at least the first volume.
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