February 28, 2015 marks a date anime fans would remember as Sunrise released Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin I: Blue Eyed Casval. SM Cinema has the distinct honor of exclusively screening this momentous anime film for Philippine anime fans.
Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin I: Blue Eyed Casval tells the beginnings of Casval Rem Deikum, better known as the Red Comet, Char Aznable. Without giving too much of the film away, I can say that one would have a clear idea of the motivations of the Zabi family members during the One Year War. It’s pretty heavy on narrative, but accessible enough for a newbie Gundam fan, such my friend who watched it with me whose only past experience is Gundam Wing.
The first few minutes of the film is simply eye-candy: a space battle involving the Red Comet himself. This battle sequence is probably one of the better, if not best, animated Gundam fights ever, amplified by the use of CG. CG is widely used throughout the film, though it is a bit overused. A lot of objects made use of CG: buildings, tanks, people and even horses and carriages. There are certain environments and backgrounds that pale in comparison to the one used in G no Reconguista. The nuances are there but it’s not really enough to take the fun away.
Aside from the story itself, a whole chunk of the fun can be attributed to the fanservice. To name a few:
- There’s a lot of nods to Gundam daddy Yoshiyuki Tomino in here: from the usage of various animals (there’s even a prominent cat here), to the funny faces. A rather sexist remark even made it’s way through at one point. Hell, I think the only Tomino-ism that did not show up was the kill count, though we all know that kill count will spike after a particular event.
- There’s also a mythology gag involving a certain Lieutenant and the color blue.
- And another mythological gag involving this kid (possible spoiler?) that should set out some ships.
Mobile Suit Gundam I: Blue Eyed Casval is a very entertaining film that’s in deep contrast with the Mobile Suit Gundam series proper. The darkness seen in the original 1979 series hasn’t set in yet, providing a rare instance where a bright and hopeful future awaits. It effectively set the tone for the rest of the series, and now the agonizing wait for the next one begins. A recommended watch for any anime fan.
- Sayla as a kid is so much full of HNNNGGGGG.
- Dozle Zabi is the Gundam version of Gamagoori Ira. ‘Nuff said.
- Apparently, this was given out at theaters in Japan (courtesy of Tumblr):