Mobile Suit Gundam, Vol. 8: The Battle of Solomon (1979)
Review by Doc Ezra

Written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama, Yoshihisa Araki, Masaru Yamamoto, and Yoshiyuki Tomino
Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino
Character Design by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
Mechanical Design by Kunio Ohkawara


Rating: 13+

Anamorphic: N/A

My advice: The movies cover this ground better.

As the White Base, badly in need of repairs, limps towards Side 6, a colony neutral in the One Year War, Dozul Zabi and Char of the Zeon forces each plot their own attack against the beleaguered ship and its exhausted crew. Side 6 is neutral ground, and their refusal to assist the White Base in making repairs doesn’t bode well for the crew. Matters are only further complicated when Char docks his own warship, the Zanzibar, at Side 6 as well. Amuro Ray is reunited with his father, though Dr. Ray seems decidedly unhinged by the events of the One Year War so far. On Side 6, Amuro also meets a strange girl named Lalah--who may be a Newtype like himself--and his nemesis Char, both while driving about the colony.

Zabi, tired of the younger Char’s arrogance, schemes to show the upstart how to deal with the troublesome White Base once and for all, and attempts to ambush the ship as it leaves the neutral protection of Side 6. Zabi’s scheming and treachery prove fruitless, however, as Amuro Ray’s skill in piloting the Gundam continues to grow seemingly exponentially in these final stages of the war.

This volume of the Mobile Suit Gundam television series covers the portion of the One Year War leading up to The Battle of Solomon, one of the turning points late in the war. It essentially reproduces, in episodic format, some of the same events covered in the final installment in the film trilogy. The expansion of that material here, however, does little to add to the story presented in the movies.

The animation is decent, though a bit inconsistent. The show reuses some of the animation from the movies, which were all high-quality, but intersperses that with “filler” animation to extend it to sufficient length for a television series. This “filler” animation is not always up to the same standard as that taken from the movies. The video transfer is good, and the audio is likewise solid in both English and Japanese.

The only real extra is the Mobile Suit Encyclopedia, containing technical information on the various suits seen in the series. This information is very in depth and likely of great interest to fans of the franchise. No additional material is on the disc, just a few trailers for related titles.

If you like the Gundam franchise, you’d be better off picking up the movie trilogy than collecting the television version of the same story. The TV show is decent, but with a higher-quality alternative available in the films, I just can’t see opting for the drawn-out version.

Buy it from Amazon!

Discuss the review in the Gabfest!

Greetings to our visitors from the IMDB, OFCS, and Rotten Tomatoes!
Stick around and have some coffee!