A manga web Series by Bandai in the Gundam Franchise, manga by Atsushi Soga and SOW
One thing I always enjoyed about Gundam SEED was the deep world building that the people involved came up with. Not only did we get two long TV shows totaling 100 full episodes, but gobs of manga looking at other characters involved in the two wars presented in the shows that may not have run into the likes of Kira Yamato and Co. Almost none of this was ever brought over here, and I recall downloading all sorts of “under the table” material to read it. It seems that era is over, as Gundam.info has amazingly released Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Eclipse as a web motion comic for the whole world to enjoy! This review is looking at the second “episode” which is split into two parts. Unlike Episode one, this part runs very short at a mere 7 minutes total, but finishes the introductory storyline from part one.
“C.E.72, a unique era which would later be called the “two blank years.” Some also call it “the time of peace on thin ice”, and others call it “the break before the oncoming frenzy.” This is the story of an interval. A story that takes place between two large wars in which members of a hollow unit known as ODR risked their lives.”
We finally see the awesome attack prowess of the Gundam Eclipse, something briefly alluded to in the first episode. Eclipse is VERY fast and gives the illusion of being invisible when attacking. This causes utter confusion during the battle, when rival mobile suits have trouble pinpointing exactly where the Gundam is. They don’t explicitly state that any sort of cloaking device is being used, so I just assume it’s flying around and jumping in the air a lot as shown momentarily in the comic. Perhaps we will get an expeditionary information dump in a later chapter.
This episode runs the gamut of being pretty dark, seeing that terrorists threaten to murder hostages when things aren’t going their way, to a comedic ending that reminds me of something out the much more comedic mecha show Full Metal Panic. Time will tell if the story keeps jumping around between the two tones, but as of now, it’s not distracting.
One of the overall themes in this is that the two year period between the two major conflicts were known largely as “nothing years”, but it appears to be because of the actions of groups such as The ORB Disaster Relief Team that kept peace in place. We see a scene where bystanders are asking all sorts of questions about why they are there, and who they are to which they reply “we are nobody, nothing happened here”. And to ensure to years of “nothing”, it appears that all sorts of covert operations had to be relied on.
All-in-all this was a fine episode, but the short length and tonal shift made it a bit less worthwhile than the first episode. Here’s hoping we get longer chapters moving forward, and they can keep a solid balance between action and humor. So far, the characters have not been fleshed out too much, but we are starting to see where they stand in ORB, and how important their overall mission is. stay tuned as a review more stuff from Gundam.info in the coming weeks!
To watch this chapter, click below: