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We're doing things a tad differently at Cram School than in the normal reviews. Here's the lowdown on the changes.
  1. Instead of the usual run of review slash Optional Extras slash breakdown it's Optional Extras at the top of the hour (Midnight, 2AM & 4AM) + reviews of each volume afterwards with a breakdown of the entire run at the end.
  2. We review each volume every two hours, so there's breaks between reviews.
  3. We'll be keeping an eye on the clock as we review (you'll see that as you read).
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Company: BANDAI
Age: 13 and up
Volumes: Volumes 7-9
Episodes: 25-28 (Vol. 7), 29-32 (Vol. 8) & 33-36 (Vol. 9)
Languages: Japanese/English
Optional Extras: - See Optional Extras (below)
Time: 100 minutes each
Original Story: Hajime Yatate & Yoshiyuki Tomino ('Mobile Suit Gundam')
Series Supervisor/Chief Writer: Fuyunori Gobu
Planning: SUNRISE
Mechanical Director: - Hirotoshi Sano
Director: Yasuhiro Imagawa
A Production of TV Asashi, SUNRISE in cooperation with Dentsu & Sotsu Agency.

The lock, stock and barrel of the contents

The lock? - THREE Volumes with 4 episodes apiece

The stock? - It's a lot of G Gundam collected into one easy purchase. Good idea for the Gundam fan who doesn't want to fish around for each volume one at a time. Not to mention you save $10 for purchasing the Collector's Box over buying the volumes individually so that's another good incentive.

The barrel? - One shot but a good one because it's text interviews with the series director.

Subtitles - Off, set to english.

So, complete the chain and you have a nice gift pack of Gundam episodes for the die hard fan, or someone who wants to try the series out in a big way. But how does the contents play? Let's cram.

12:27am (started late - almost 30minutes behind schedule) Have to stay up later (to 6:30am) then.

Volume 7

Bonus Material - G Files - Contains interview material with Director Yasuhiro Imagawa. I'd watch the episodes first then read it because there's spoiler material in the read.

Episode 25 - 12:30am

11 months have past since these Gundam Fights started back in Episode 1, and now everyone has gathered in Neo Hong Kong to finish it off. Gundam Fights? Yeah. Now they're using Gundams for fights instead of war- go figure. Domon has made it this far along with his allies as they are now ready- what? You say this all looks familiar character wise? It should be. Remember Gundam Wing from TOKYOPOP? Remember the Super Deformed little skits in the mangas at the end of each issue and volume of the Graphic Novels? Yeah, those other characters (not from Gundam Wing) are from this series! So you've already met Domon and company before (if you read Gundam Wing and read those skits), only now it's more serious.

We have competitors from Neo America (I like his staff, four female support staff in spiffy business wears), Neo China, Neo France (?), Neo Russia, Domon representing Neo Japan in his new Gundam (God Gundam) which is imbued with the spirit of his old Gundam (lost in a previous Volume of the series). And then there's Schwartz Bruder (if you read GW's little skits then you know the relation between Domon and Schwartz) for Neo Germany. After that we have Zeus Gundam from Neo Greece, Giant Walking Windmill Gundam from Holland- Gundam that looks like a Beast Wars Transformer from Spain (bull)- Norway's Gundam whose a viking in a boat- HEY!! They said send in the Gundams, not send in the clowns!! What the hell??

Nepal is a giant Cobra Gundam, Denmark, India, Kenya (Zebra), Canada (giant logging Gundam) (He's a Logging Gundam and he's OK, works all night and works all day, he's a- oh I give up!!)

Oh, and Master Asia appears and so does- Fuunasake? Sorry. Not the same Fuu from the SD parodies (giant Gundam horse thing). New rules, old and new enemies, and a first- Bad Gundam Stereotypes! (Look for that to be a downer on my review later). We start off with a little exhibition between Domon/Master Asia to start things off.

Episode 26 - 12:55am

Ok. I'm over that stereotype thing. At least the silly Gundam from Mexico didn't make it here. Domon fights Greece's Zeus Gundam this time out, but he gets a taste of what's to come when he runs into the actual pilot of that Gundam and gets the heck kicked out of him. It'll take some encouragement from an old man and his kids (who become secondary characters from that point forward), and a new weapon on God Gundam to win this for Domon. First major fight (and big ending too!)

Episode 27 - 1:20am

What do you get when you take a fanatical Gundam fan (a young kid) and give him a chance to pilot God Gundam (with disasterous results)? You have a way to injure Domon and make the fight overtly dramatic (especially since the pilot of the Gundam for Neo India, who failed once in killing Domon, finds out about said injury and uses it to his advantage until a little sideline cheering from the kids gives Domon some inspiration to win and kick down Cobra Gundam (India) hard.

Episode 28 - 1:40am

What do you get when you combine the fighting skills of Darth Maul (force power not included) with a skill that seems like the 'radar sense' of Daredevil and put it into one very blind, very bitter Gundam pilot? You get the pilot of Neo Nepal's Gundam, who wins by default (by killing his opposition before the fight takes place).

Domon evades his attempts to kill him, and they end up having to fight it out on the field in their Gundams after all- it'll take a little pep talk from Schwartz Bruder, and a new move (actually an old one that Domon is now using with his Gundam) to end this.

The hitman? Bruder stops the Neo Nepal reps from detonating the Gundam, killing the guy and cleaning up their 'evidence ', and he takes his leave after that.

Volume 8

Bonus Material - Same as last Volume (G-Files)

Episode 29 - 2:32am

We are now halfway through the tournament and things are heating up.

This however is a break since another of the pilots (whose friends with Domon) takes the lead in this episode. It's basically a love story that is going to end badly, but it is nice while it lasts.

Episode 30 - 2:55am

A Gundam that looks suspiciously like- a Sailor Solider? (Or at least not far from it?)

If this didn't sport an appearance by Allenby I'd skip this. Whose Allenby? Gundam pilot and she's good (and her appearances during those Gundam skits were always so good). Anyway, if you read the parodies in Gundam Wing you'd know she has a video game addiction which is how she meets Domon for the first time. I was looking forward to her showing up and this is it!

What happens next? I'll leave that for you to find out.

Episode 31 - 3:20am

It's time to send in the clowns- no, no, Neo Mexico's sombrero wearing Gundam isn't showing up. There's a Gundam pilot who works as a clown at a circus, and uses that motif in his Gundam- but why is the pilot of Neo America's Gundam so shaken up by clowns? Long story and great episode so watch it, find out, and see how Rain, a flashback to his past and- singing can help him win. Yes. Singing. You have to see that for yourself. It's cute, really.

Episode 32 - 3:55am

Give a guy like Prime Minister Wong a laundry list of arch nemesis he can pull out of a hat and he'll drop anyone into a fight with Domon, including disqualified Gundams who shouldn't be there in the first place. Gee, think the guy is tipping his hand that he's out to get Domon?

Basically it's as Admiral Ackbar said in Return of the Jedi, 'It's a trap! ' What kind of trap and how it plays out? Another thing I leave for you to discover.

Volume 9

Bonus Material - G Files - Contains interview material with Director Yasuhiro Imagawa. I'd watch the episodes first then read it because there's spoiler material in the read.

Episode 33

Looks like today's big opponent is from Neo England (a guy named Chapman who Domon fought before in a previous volume collected in a different Collector's Box). Guy is scary though, and he's up to fight against Neo France, who decides to visit the Neo England embassy to talk to Chapman. Along for the trip? One Marie Louise (daughter of the President of France who has a thing for Neo France's Gundam Pilot) who happens to witness Chapman kill a Sir William (Neo England) on the orders of a mysterious figure (revealed later), which sets off a bad chain of events that puts her life at risk during the Gundam Fight. You'll have to see that for yourself but everything turns out OK in the end despite the drama of it all. Oh, and whose behind the death? Prime Minister Wong, and that's only the beginning. Looks like he has more going on than I gave him credit for. I'm impressed.

Episode 34

Looks like Schwarz has stumbled onto Prime Minister Wong's little plan and it concerns a major Gundam called Devil Gundam (which sorta resembles Epyon from Gundam Wing). He escapes when discovered by Master Asia, taking Rain along (who was there and following him) on a fast paced race through the city followed by the pilots of the Gundams of Neo Singapore/Malaysia who happen to be in Wong's pocket. When all of Wong's forces catch up, they find Domon/Allenby, and NOT Schwarz.

Master Asia, after fighting Domon for a little bit, is convinced Domon wasn't the one spying on them, Wong thinks otherwise and arranges a tag team match against Domon/Allenby (who his forces ran into) and the pilots of Neo Singapore/Malaysia.

Of course they'll lose, which makes Wong even more determined to beat down Domon, so much so that he sets the next matches to be Domon Vs.- the Shuffle Alliance (his allies)?!?

Episode 35

Not a good day, and it won't get better either.

Looks like if Domon is going to go any further he'll have to go through his allies in the Shuffle Alliance. He's not thrilled with that because he needs to keep the alliance together to take on Devil Gundam later on, but they're all for disbanding the alliance for now (maybe forever) and that's not good.

Meanwhile, a Gundam Head (a snake like thing with a Gundam's head) appears in town only to be taken down by Master Asia, but he's there to hide evidence and not do anything good- except for the fact that despite the two hating each other Domon suddenly warns Master Asia of an attack from behind- hmm? Strange.

Oh, back to the problem with the Shuffle Alliance. While Schwarz seeks Devil Gundam (wherever they moved it to), Domon has to fight each member of the Alliance and get them back on the 'team' again.

His first fight is with the Gundam from Neo America, and with a little help training wise from Allenby he might have a chance- but will he have a chance in getting the Alliance back together?

Episode 36

One back on, three to go. This fight is with Neo France, but when his government asks him to forfeit the match it's too much for his pride as a Knight and he pulls a James T. Kirk by stealing his own Gundam. Now, mind you, he's in terrible trouble because he could get kicked off as Gundam pilot, and charged with treason for doing this.

What happens to him? And who wins the fight? You'll have to find that out when you see this.

Now let's break this down.

G Gundam Breakdown

What's Hot? - Well, if you're a Gundam fan you'll like this. And buying the Collector's box is a good way to get into it as well. Three DVDs, 12 episodes, AND you save $10 as opposed to buying all three volumes one at a time? Can't beat that.

What's Not? - I don't know what was going through their minds when they created some of these Gundam designs, but can you say 'bad stereotyping '? I mean for god's sake! We have a giant windmill Gundam from Holland, a bull Gundam from Spain, a Viking (complete with boat) Gundam from Norway, a Cobra Gundam from India, and don't get me started about Neo Mexico's Gundam! I'm disappointed that they shot low on the designs and pretty much stereotyped a great deal of the Gundams from other countries (or gave Gundams that look like they were recycled designs from Gundam Wing to other pilots). And the fact that some of the pilots are as stereotyped as their Gundams is a worst thing which I can't forgive. That's just bad, bad, bad. At least they didn't have Hockey themed Gundam from Canada, though Lumberjack theme Gundam isn't much better!

Moments to Remember - Quite abit. Despite the stereotyping in the Gundams from other countries, and some over the top stuff, there's memorable stuff on these volumes.

What to Ignore? - Might as well ignore the stereotyping, if you can. Mind you it's as much an in your face thing as the over the top moments in the episodes so it's not going to be an easy task to overlook, but give it a shot anyway. Oh, and don't let what you see of the Dubbed on Toonami sway your decision about G Gundam in anyway- I just saw abit of it, and the voice acting is not as good as the Japanese language version so you'll want to watch these episodes with Japanese set on, and subs on.

Overall? - It's a mixed bag. If you're a Gundam fan you might want to give it a shot, but the entire thing is one huge fighting robot tournament and doesn't have the war plot of previous series. So if you're looking for something similar to other Gundam series before you might be disappointed with this outing. Still, give it a shot and see what you think of it. If it passes muster, go for it. If not? There's a lot of other Gundam fare out there from BANDAI that might be of more interest to you. Gundam is still a strong title and worth a consideration if you're a giant mecha fan (because it's one of the (if not THE) cornerstone of the giant mecha genre and should be considered for a place in your collection).

If you have doubts? Rent it out but don't let the Dubbed version for Toonami (Cartoon Network) color your decision since the DVDs are the best way to make up your mind after all, so rent them and give them a spin and if you like what you see then buy the G Gundam Collector's Boxes (and save $10 a pop in comparison to buying the individual DVDs one at a time).

That's it. Once again thank you for reading 'All Things Manga '.

I'll be over at (Manga to Go) posting the latest reviews every week, and I hope you drop by and become a member of the site's forum board! Thanks again, don't ever forget to keep expanding your horizons, try new things, and take care now. Bye.

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All Things Manga by David Rasmussen
Copyright 2003. All rights reserved..