I'm really glad to be back with a new article, especially this article, which will be covering my favorite anime title of all time - Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory.
In this article i hope to cover a wide variety of topics, from animation, characters, mobile suits, music and even some aspects of the story, without spoiling the entire series for those who may not have seen it yet. I'm very excited to have the opportunity to make this article and i hope it can be of some help to other anime fans, or fans of the film/animation multimedia genre in general.
I now present my personal Journey through the anime tour de force known as Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory -
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory was a 13 episode OVA created in 1991, that was one of the special projects created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise, and also to bridge the gap between the original Mobile Suit Gundam series and the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam series respectively.
The main story of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083:Stardust Memory begins three years after the events of the original Mobile Suit Gundam Series, and though the actual war between the Earth Federation and Principality of Zeon has come to an end, there is still quite an amount of Zeonic forces scattered across the galaxy planning their next move.
During the three years after Universal Century 0080, The Zeonic force known as the Delaz Fleet, led by Admiral Aguille Delaz and Ace pilot Anavel Gato devise a plan to steal one of the Earth Federation's new prototype Gundam Mobile Suits - Gundam Unit 2 to be exact, which is heavily armored and has nuclear launch capabilities, in an attempt to take back three years of defeat and tarnished pride at the hands of the Federation.
Once Gundam Unit 2 is stolen, The Assault Weapons Carrier Albion ( an improved model of the fabled White Base) is handed the task of retreiving the stolen Mobile Suit. Along with the Albion, Ensign Kou Uraki is by default, assigned to pilot the Prototype Gundam Unit 1 to stop Anavel Gato and Unit 2 by any means necessary.
The story itself throughout the series covers many aspects of war in general such as death, friendship, love, conspiracy, betrayal, victory and even failure. 0083 beautifully portrays the hardships each side must endure to obtain victory and ultimately live through to see their missions to the end. 0083 equally balances the relationships between the characters, as well as the mech battles and story progression with great ease and smooth transition, which is pretty surprising since the OVA is only 13 episodes long.
I really don't want to spoil the story and how it progresses for any fans that may not have seen it yet, because alot of things are revealed slowly as the series moves along, including the real plans for Operation Stardust, and also the mystery behind the people who are ultimately pulling the strings, which is fairly shocking. If you have seen Zeta Gundam, then you will probably catch on to these things a bit faster, since some characters from 0083 are present in Zeta Gundam - especially higher ranked officials. The war in 0083 progresses from Earth, then to Space, and ultimately back to Earth again in a tour de force of great character drama, intense and unforgivable mech battles and plot twists galore, to make this one of the greatest anime titles of all time, and youll definitely want to come back for more.
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory boasted an awesome assortment of different characters, from Main charcters, all the way down to minor characters - every character played their part in the series as if they were all main characters and they were all important in their own ways. The characters themselves, all looked very much different from each other, all with their own attitudes, goals and personal agendas. The beautiful thing about 0083 is that the characters had realistic appearances as well as realistic hairstyles, very much unlike the pointy hairstyles of today's anime. Here i'll go over each chcracter and give a short description of each one -
Kou Uraki - Ensign Kou Uraki is a test pilot at the Federation's Torrington Base, when the Albion arrives with the Two Prototype Gundams, and when Anavel gato sneaks into the base and steals Unit 2, Kou jumps in Unit 1 and goes after him. Kou is pretty upbeat and has alot of knowledge when it comes to Mobile suits even though he is pretty young. Unlike Amuro Ray in his early years, Kou is always willing to pilot the Gundam and participate in battle, even if he knows he cant do much. All of his battle experience proves to aid him well as he goes from rookie Ensign, to certified bad-ass Junior Grade Lieutenant throughout the course of the series.
Chuck Keith - Chuck Keith is also a test pilot at the same base with Kou (his best friend) when the Albion arrives. He is a pretty decent pilot, though he typically pilots older mobile suits. He provides a bit of comedy and light hartedness to the series and is always there to support Kou and keep the morale high, even though he himself may be worried or scared. He doesnt like combat, and at times he panics and over-reacts when the going gets tough, but as the series moves along he gets better and more adjusted to combat and being a mobile suit pilot, much like Kou.
Lieutenant South Burning - South Burning is a Veteran mobile Suit pilot, and is in charge of the test pilot operations at the Torrington Base. He is a well rounded pilot and military engineer, making him a great leader and somewhat of a Father figure to Kou and Keith throughout the series. He has an overwhelming amount of experience from his battles during the One Year War, and makes everyone who learns from him a better pilot. Even though he is pretty old, his skills and attitude are unrivaled and reveared by all of his peers and superiors. (one of my favorite characters, thats for sure)
Lieutenant Dick Allen (left) and Ensign Raban Karcs (right) - these two guys are also test pilots at the Torrington Base with Kou and Keith, and Dick Allen is actually the front runner to pilot the Gundam Unit 1since he is older and has more experience. Karcs is alot like Chuck Keith, except he is a bit louder. He is a pretty decent pilot and has been regulated to piloting an older zaku model, while Dick Allen pilots a modified suped-up GM. Not much is known or revealed about these two characters though, but it becomes apparent that Dick Allen and South Burning are pretty close, most likely due to the fact that they are closer in age range.
Alpha Bate (left), Chap Adel (middle), and Bernard Monsha (right) - Bate, Adel and Monsha are three veteran Mobile Suit pilots that are brought in as reinforcements for the Albion, after Gundam Unit 2 is stolen, to help aid in it's recovery. alpha Bate is pretty laid back, and Chap Adel is soft spoken and wise, but Bernard Monsha is a outspoken womanizer lol. When they arrive, Monsha feels that he is best qualified to pilot the Gundam Unit 1, but after a Mobile Suit Duel with paint ammo, Kou proves victorious. the three pilots are close friends with South Burning, who they piloted with during the One Year war, and the group is often called by their old platoon name "The Immortal Fourth Team". The three men are always seen together and are respectable and very capable pilots on the battlefield, even though Monsha is seen as a comedic relief at the beginning of the series, as the series progresses, their tone becomes more serious and you see just how great their piloting skills really are.
Bernard Monsha - an alternate pic of the womanizer himself lol. He's always asking female crew members out on dates (and being turned down) and pinching their butts, taking pictures of them and taping them up in his mobile suit cockpit etc. He's an awesome pilot though.
Nina Purpleton - Nina is an engineer from Anaheim Electronics, and is in charge of Maintaining Gundam Units 1 and 2, until Unit 2 is stolen, then she decides to go with the Albion to help maintain Unit 1 as Kou Uraki pilots it in search of Unit 2. Nina is the main female character in the series and she is very work oriented towards the Gundam and keeping it operational. As the series moves along, she and Kou become pretty close as they both work together to find Unit 2 and survive the atrocities of war. She is a pretty strong and straight forward character, even though she is obviously afraid of what the future holds and what things may come. At some moments in the series she breaks down, but eventually realizes that this is all part of war and what people have to go through in order to survive.
Mora Bascht - Mora is the Head of the maintenance team on the Albion, which repairs and re-supplies the gundam and the other mobile suits before, during and after battles. She is a large woman, and what some may call an "Amazon", being smart and strong, and very capable of beating any man up lol. she is pretty close friends with Nina and they often work together on the Gundam throughout the series in order to keep it in top shape. She also provides support and advice to Nina when she is down, or doesnt understand something about war. As the series progresses, Mora and Chuck Keith become a couple and often go on dates when the Albion ports at cities or space stations. She is a great character and is actually one of my favorite characters in the Gundam Universe.
Captain Synapse - Captain Synapse is the captain of the Assault Weapons Carrier Albion, and is a great captain at that. Throughout the series he has to deal with alot of things, such as the loss of comrades, to war strategies and above all - being the captain of the only ship that is out looking for Gundam Unit 2. The Albion is sent on a wild goose chase around Earth and eventually out into space, and the whole time the Captain maintains his composure and discipline over his entire crew. He is a memorable Captain, and i often wonder why he isnt talked about alot more.
Lucette Audivie - Lucette is a member of Anaheim Electronics, who is in charge of the production and maintenance of Gundam Unit 3 (Stamen), and is also aquaintances with Nina Purpleton. On the Anaheim Space Station the La Vie En Rose, she helps Kou Uraki gain access to Gundam Unit 3 so that he can pilot it. Not much is known about her, other than that she and Nina were pretty close in the past, and that she is very serious about her work, much like Nina. She is a minor character of sorts, but a very important one at that.
Admiral Aguille Delaz - Delaz is basically the Spearhead and creator of Operation Stardust and the leader of the Zeon force that Anavel Gato is a part of. He is a respectable leader and for the past three years he has obviously strategically planned his assault well. You could say that he is the brains and Gato is the Brawn of the whole operation, thats for sure.
Anavel Gato - Nightmare of Solomon. Ace Pilot. Bad-ass. Anavel Gato is basically the action behind Delaz's plans for Operation Stardust. He single handedly steals Gundam Unit 2 from the Federation Base and manages to escape to space with the help of scattered Zeon platoons hidden around Earth. Gato is an Ace pilot who fought in the One Year war and is a very honorable character and often comments that "He can't beleive The Principality of Zeon lost to the Federation" and he aims to get his revenge for three years of laying low through the fulfillment of Operation Stardust. He can be considered to be a no nonsense, straight forward character who is always planning his next move. He lives only for the ressurection of Zeon. Anything else is just trivial.
Cima Garahau - Cima is a Zeon Commander with a somewhat troubled past, filled with war crimes and questionable conduct, and can be considered somewhat of a pirate of sorts. She is very smart and very cunning, and she is also an Ace pilot ot top it all off. She has her own fleet of ships and mobile suits and is very capable of doing whatever she wants, especially if it is for something she wants.
Kelly Layzner - Kelly is a former Zeon pilot who lost one of his arms during the One Year War. Since the War ended, he spends his time working in hs scrap yard on the lunar city of Von Braun. While docked at von Braun, The Albion's crew is granted shore leave while the mobile suits are being repaired, and Kou is beat up by a group of people and Kelly comes to his aid and allows him to stay at his house until he gets better. Kelly is a proud, strong man and even though he only has one arm, he doesnt let anyone push him around or keep him from doing what he wants. He helps Kou realize what it is like to be strong and have pride even through hard times. Kelly also has been secretly rebuilding a Mobile armor beneath his scrap yard, in hopes of one day returning to the battle field. Tv Tropes even has Kelly Layzner labeled as a "Handicapped Badass", thats how inspirational he is lol.
Mobile Suits / Gundams
The mobile suits and Gundams/mobile Armors, battleships in 0083 were another great rendition of how great the series ultimately turns out, and each suit had its own style about it. Each suit had its own special specifications and battle types, whether it was the close quarters style of Unit 1, or the Nuclear capabilities of Unit 2, etc. all in all - each suit was special and ith this section i hope to present each Mobile suit and a short description of each one and what makes it different. Here we go -
Gundam Prototype Unit 1 - The GP-01 wasnt a very flashy Gundam, but it was very effective and was also leaps and bounds above any other suit, even if the pilot was a bit inexperienced. When Kou first piloted this Gundam, he was a bumbling mess, but with his minimum piloting skills matched with the capabilities of the Gundam, he was able to slowly get better and better due to the data retreived from the Unit. The Gundam Unit 1 is typically used for short range combat, but it was anything but limited when it came to combat in general. It's a great mobile suit, even though it looks a bit simple.
Gundam Prototype Unit 2 - GP-02 is the Gundam Unit that was stolen by Anavel Gato. As you can see it is alot larger and more heavily armored than Unit 1, and it also sports a Tactical Cannon for Nuclear warheads. To be such a large gundam, this suit can move pretty fast, and with a pilot such as Anavel Gato in control of it, it is very dangerous. The power and mobility of this Gundam is shown swiftly and early on in the series and continues to cause destruction as the series progresses. Alot of my close personal friends who are Gundam fans profess that this is their most favorite gundam of all time, and you cant deny why. It's a monster of a suit and very capable of doing anything the pilot needs it to.
Gundam Prototype Unit 3 - This mobile Suit is pretty special, it doesnt use a Core Block system like the other mobile Suits and it also sports a tail binder system that can be used as a locking mechanism for a mobile armor that can be added onto the gundam. The cockpit itself is quite different than the previous Unit 1 as well and the only way i can describe it is that it is very similar to the cockpit styles of the gundams used in the film Mobile Suit Gundam : Char's Counterattack. This gundam is powerful and fast, especially when it is attatched to the Dendrobium mobile Armor, which i will discuss shortly :)
Neue Ziel - This monster of a mobile suit is given to Anavel Gato by the AXIS fleet ( a group of former Zeon soldiers who now live in the asteroid base Axis) and Gato puts it to good use immediately. This suit sports awesome long range firepower, as well as an I-field to prevent beam blasts. To add to the destruction, the Neue Ziel also has two claw arms that can be shot out like grappling hooks to grab or disable the enemy. i cant explain how much destruction this suit helps wreak and once you see what it is capable of, you will certainly understand that the Neue Ziel means business, especially with Anavel Gato at the helm.
Dendrobium Mobile Armor - The Gundam Unit 3 , along with the Dendrobium Mobile Armor attatched, is one of my favorite gundam entities of all time. The mobile Armor locks onto the actual Gundam, giving it access to an insane amount of artillery, such as missle pods on each shoulder, an enourmous beam cannon, an I-field for protection, and 2 seperate beam sabers and claw arms to boot. The mobile armor also adds to the thrust capabilities with huge thrusters on the back, so that speed is never a problem. This thing may look like a giant bulk, but it is certainly nothing to laugh at, especially when it comes to battle prowess and destructive capabilities. It's a one man fortress basically!
Assault Weapons Carrier Albion - Those of you who are familiar with Gundam, may notice that the Albion looks alot like White Base from the original Gundam series. The Albion is actually an improved model of White Base, and it is captained by Captain Synapse of the Earth Federation in it's mission to search for the stolen Gundam Unit 2. It proves to be a faithful and powerful ship throughout the series, taking on all enemies at any time, and she holds up quite well i must say :)
Solar System II - The Solar System II is a huge solar panel type weapon used by the Earth Federation to produce an insanely large blast of power to destroy large fleets of enemies, or large objects with relative ease. This thing does ridiculous amounts of damage to anything in its path. The only way to beleive it is to see it for yourself lol.
Opening/ Ending Themes
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 : Stardust Memory has some of the best Opening and Ending themes ive ever witnessed in anime, and ive seen alot of anime in my day to compare lol. Most of the time when i watch anime, i usually get tired of watching the opening and ending sequences, but when it comes to 0083 - I never get tired of sitting through it all, after each episode.
I know that alot of people have never had the chance to see 0083 and/or witness the music or opening/ending sequences, so i thought i would add them in this article for your viewing pleasure. You never know, you could end up like me and see the opening sequence and become immediately hooked on the series lol! -
Opening # 1 - The Winner by Miki Matsubara
Ending #1 - MAGIC by Jacob Wheeler
Opening # 2 - Men of Destiny by MIO
Men of Destiny
Ending # 2 - Evergreen by MIO
ANIMATION / MUSIC
When it comes to Animation and Music , I beleive Mobile suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory was leaps and bounds ahead of its time. This past week as i watched the box set, i couldnt beleive that this series was made in 1991 (19 years ago). Just sitting here and thinking about it racks my brain on how insanely good the animation is, especially towards the end of the series. The creators of this anime found some awesome way to utilize older animation styles with new technology to create something new and visually stunning, still to this day. One aspect i always loved about this series is that each character was visually different and their hairstyles were done in in the older anime style in a realistic way, that looked so good. The music throughout the series is no laughing matter either. With a great mix of classical type scores, blended with pop and rock songs from that era, made this series easily enjoyable and accessible to all ages. In my opinion the music from 0083 stands the test of time, simply because it fits the mood of the moment, and it is certainly one of the best anime titles to utilize that method throughout each episode. The opening themes set the pace, the music through the episodes builds to a climax, and the ending themes slowly calm you back down. Each episode has movie quality on all levels of multimedia - visuals, sound, and storytelling. Truly magnifcent in its own right.
In Retrospect, as i look back at Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, I cant help but be amazed. The series takes you for a ride filled with emotions on all levels and as the series came closer to an end - i found myself wanting it to keep going. Just recently I was able to finally buy the complete series, and as a longtime anime fan, i cant tell you how much of a triumph it was to sit down and watch it from beginning to end. I remember chatting with Xaos about it alot lately and telling him "it was alot better than i ever thought it would be". The whole experience was very memorable and im really glad i was lucky enought to catch the series on tv many years ago, because without those few episodes, i wouldve never fell in love with 0083 to begin with, and taken the time to record the few episodes i had before i bought the box set.
If you havent seen Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, and you are an anime fan - then i highly reccomend that you check it out. I know Gundam isnt for everyone, and everyone has their own likes/dislikes when it comes to anime, but it is an awesome and well rounded peice of entertainment that anyone is capable of enjoying :)
Well, i thank you all for joining me on this journey through my favorite anime title, and im really glad i was able to present it to you the only way i could. I hope this article will inspire people to check out 0083 and also anime in general, because when it comes to anime - there is something out there for everyone, thats for sure :)
I hope you all enjoy the article, and i really hope i didnt spoil anything for anyone, but if you would like to know more, or if you have any questions, then you can feel free to ask me anytime and ill help you out the best i can :)
thanks again :)