By Andrew Osmond.
Zeta Gundam is sometimes described as one of the darker Gundam series. That’s largely because of things that happen in the last couple of episodes on this set – this really is a series where no-one, and we mean no-one, is safe. Continue Reading
By Jonathan Clements.
After a drunken night on the town in Seoul, Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) just wants to get home and give his daughter her birthday present. But on the way … he simply disappears. In the ensuing 15 years, he is drugged, hypnotised and locked in a single room. He fails in an attempt to kill himself. When he is finally, inexplicably released, his only desire is to locate his captor, Evergreen. Evergreen, however offers him a deal - he has until 5th July to discover why this has all happened. If he gets it right, Evergreen will commit suicide. If he gets it wrong, he will kill every woman he has ever loved. Continue Reading
ALL THE ANIME PODCAST - 1st August 2019
"I Am Not A Gundam"
[RECORDED ON 27th, 28th & 31st July 2019]
Things begin with Jeremy Graves and Keith Copping after MCM Manchester, just to confuse you, having a little catchup that also involves some details about our presence at the Tokonatsu Festival this coming weekend!
Then we go back in time to MCM Manchester from this past weekend with Jeremy Graves, Andy Hanley, Keith Copping and Kat Hall as they give some you some thoughts on the event (and some ramblings in general) recorded on not only the show floor, but also during the van ride back from Manchester just hours after the event ended. (What can possibly go wrong...?)
Plus we get a few moments to talk with Nathan Mills from our good friends at Koei Tecmo Europe, who were promoting their latest game based on Attack on Titan, A.O.T. II Final Battle, during the show!
And if that wasn't enough we even get to speak to a man you've more than likely seen at a convention in the UK in some capacity before, the head honcho from our good friends at Gundam Mad, Gurinder Gurm, to talk about not only MCM Manchester but also what people can expect from the Gundam Wing section at the upcoming TFNation event! Gurinder is one of the people heavily involved in the planning for this, and he gives you a preview of what will be happening across the weekend!
It's different show to normal, and admittedly the recording quality of the audio varies in places, but it's something different and something we're hope you'll enjoy listening to.
NOTE: As always please note this podcast may contain strong language and any views expressed by individuals in this podcast do not reflect those of Anime Limited.
(To download the podcast as an mp3, click on the arrow pointing down in the top right corner of the player above.)
Time codes for this episode
00:00 - Intro (incl. Tokonatsu preview) with Jeremy & Keith
07:36 - MCM Manchester Day 1, Jeremy, Keith & Andy
13:50 - MCM Manchester Day 1, Jeremy and Kat
18:50 - MCM Manchester Day 2, Jeremy, Andy & Keith
24:00 - MCM Manchester Day 2, Jeremy and Nathan from Koei Tecmo Europe
28:23 - MCM Manchester Day 2, Jeremy and Gurinder from Gundam Mad (incl. TF Nation "The Gundam Wing" preview)
33:38 - Van ride back from MCM Manchester with Jeremy, Andy, Kat and Keith.
1:01:08 - [END]
Until the next episode (whenever that is.)
By Andrew Osmond.
Gundam Thunderbolt: Bandit Flower is the sequel to a previous film, Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky, which is available from Anime Limited and covered on this blog here. If you’re broadly familiar with the Gundam franchise, then you can enjoy Bandit Flower’s action without seeing its predecessor. However, the film bring back several characters from December Sky, so it’s best to see that first. Spoilers for December Sky follow in the next paragraph.
The first film took place during the One Year War, a terrible human spacewar (as depicted in the original 1979 Gundam series). December Sky focused on a bitter personal feud between two combatants; jazz-loving pilot Io Fleming, fighting for the Earth Federation, and Daryl Lorenz, a paraplegic – later quadriplegic – on the Zeon side, who starts as a sniper but through suffering becomes a full-fledged mecha pilot. In a fiery climactic battle, Lorenz triumphed over Fleming, who was captured by the Zeons. However, as December Sky’s coda shows, Fleming was later rescued, battered but unbroken.
Bandit Flower takes up the story about a year later. The One Year War is now officially ended, with the Federation as the official “victor.” However, many of the Zeons haven’t accepted defeat, seeking any way to continue the struggle.
Whereas December Sky took place in deep space, Bandit Flower is set on or above a scarred Earth; in the clouds, on Arctic snowfields, in icy oceans – which feel very like outer space – and later in tropical jungles. The story continues to follow Fleming’s and Lorenz’s exploits: both men are still committed to the fight. However, a big difference this time is Bandit Flower shies away from having the characters quite meeting in combat, though they’re often in different parts of the same battles. Instead, the film – 20 minutes longer than its predecessor – involves Fleming and Lorenz in new teams and missions, their stories joined yet separate.
Bandit Flower is a more conventional Gundam anime than its predecessor, which emphasized the trauma and madness of war in ways which took it close to the nihilism of Genocidal Organ. There’s still trauma in Bandit Flower – an early scene has a soldier sobbing over a photo of his baby, a casualty of war – but December Sky was so bleak that Bandit Flower is cheerful in comparison. As with more traditional Gundam anime, there are mecha fights over a range of terrains, and cocky protagonists jeering over their enemies’ imminent deaths. Even the Federation carrier Spartan resembles the heroic White Base ship from the 1979 series.
There’s also a new character, a cocksure, red-haired Earth Federation woman pilot called Bianca, who bonds with Fleming over their shared love of jazz. She’s not at all unusual for a mecha anime, but she seems to be from a different reality from the characters who fought in December Sky. She actually enjoys the battles in themselves, rather than as a defence mechanism against trauma. In purely anime terms, it’s hard not to feel an echo of a certain redhead mecha pilot in Evangelion, though Bianca’s far more adult (and Asuka was blocking trauma).
Still, Bandit Flower acknowledges the earlier film. For one thing, we see that the women who went through the events of December Sky, unlike Bianca, were profoundly marked by their experiences, though in different ways. And if Bandit Flower doesn’t feel like a “Vietnam film” in the way December Sky did, then the sequel still has scenes set in an Asian-looking jungle – with, pointedly, a scene where a desperate peasant girl tries fighting back against the hi-tech warriors who light up the jungle like the Fourth of July. Indeed, one guru-like figure who stirs up grass-roots insurrection feels like a cinematic nod to Captain Kurtz in Apocalypse Now.
Bandit Flower ends with the conclusion of a battle, but not the war; the rather abrupt finish plainly implies the story will continue. Both the Gundam Thunderbolt films are based on a manga by Yasuo Ohtakagi which is still continuing as of writing. However, there’s been no announcement of any more Thunderbolt anime yet, probably because there are so many other Gundam anime being made at the moment to tie in with the franchise’s fortieth anniversary. With luck, Thunderbolt will continue in anime before too long. If not, we’ll just have to settle for the manga translations being published in English by VIZ Media.
Gundam Thunderbolt: Bandit Flower is released in the UK by Anime Limited.
By Shelley Pallis.
“The Middle East is great,” chuckles an evil gangster in Eldo Yoshimizu’s manga Ryuko. “It smells of blood all the time. You’ll love it.” There are a bunch of opportunities to be had as the Soviet Union collapses, and cartels from former Communist states duke it out over surplus arms, artificial revolutions and the copious profits from international drugs deals. But that’s all in the past... or is it?
Ryuko leaps ahead to the present-day, as Tokyo gangsters fight to hold onto their turf after an incursion of Chinese rivals. The inheritors of the Black Dragons syndicate are locked in a turf war with the Yajima gang, over businesses both legal and illegal, while the Chinese Triads sneak up on them both. A bunch of long-standing vendettas reach bloody resolution on the streets of Tokyo, but as the bodies pile up, we start to realise that we are watching the end of a long, long cycle of retribution, that chases its origins back a generation or more. Continue Reading