Anime Meta-Review


Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-6 of 6
  • type: OAV
  • grade: worthy
  • genre: mecha
  • made: 1989
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

This series may well have flaws, but it is also a very well crafted piece of work with a message to tell. At heart it is a war story, but the wonderful thing is that we are never told who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, and this ambiguity abounds throughout the movie. We get to watch as a naieve child, excited by the glamor of war and bored of mundane life on his neutral space colony, chooses to involve himself with a group of soldiers he meets. This group are an isolated special forces group, on the side which is apparently losing the war, and is ready to consider desperate actions. The possibility that the colony is being secretly used for development of the other sides newest weapon has created a prize worth fighting over. The special forces group also has a rookie pilot who has been forced on them, and it is fun to watch as a degree of mutual understanding grows between him and the young kid.

In time things start to get considerably more serious, and while not unexpected the youths discovery of what war means on the personal level, and his frequent inability to affect the outcome are well handled and develop very nicely over the course of this series. Of course some may find his willingness to become personally involved, and inability to guess at the outcome, pushing the boundaries of belief, although what we see of his character does support his actions. The conclusion is believable, solid and touching. The animation is older, but still good and the technical and world design are solid. The writing and dialog is likewise skilled. The various characters are well handled and the focus of the story, with the various war machines being simply required props. The action, albeit fairly rare, is well done. There are a lot of nice touches, which I won't spoil, to nicely flesh out this solid core and make a potent piece of anime.

There's a solid review at the Anime Critic who gives it the thumbs up as a solid war-drama, but says some parts are bit contrived and could give a "Disney-esque kiddie adventure". There's a small, but solidly positive review from Lord Carnage, who has a very useful chronological list of Gundam reviews.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:19 WST 2009