Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Top 5 Antagonist Mobile Suits

One thing I love about the Gundam universe is that it is never short of memorable villains. Sometimes, the villains even outshine the protagonists. Because of this, the villains often leave behind an equally memorable mobile suit that is not entirely outdone by the titular Gundam. In this list, I will be counting down some of the most memorable and iconic mobile suits belonging to antagonists in the Gundam metaverse. While this isn't a list for comparing power, each mobile suit's abilities are taken into account, as their lasting impression is often owed to some powerful abilities.

5. Turn X

"What?" you ask, as you shake your fist angrily. Many of you will wonder about this entry, but that is exactly why the Turn X is so under-rated and unnoticed. The truth is, the Turn X is one of the most powerful mobile weapons in the Gundam metaverse. Its powers are on-par with its rival, the Turn A Gundam, which many consider to be the most powerful Gundam ever. The reason for this is that it is also capable of using the Moonlight Butterfly, which is a devastating attack that can potentially reduce all of the world's technology into sand. While its design may seem peculiar to you, there's no doubt that one must respect its potential as a world-ending antagonist. It merely falls short of being as iconic as the rest of the entries on this list.

4. RX-78GP02A Gundam Physalis

What a monstrous Gundam. Piloted by the villainous Anavel Gato, it holds an intimidating bazooka designed to fire nuclear warheads. Gato actually manages to use it too, nuking the majority of a Federation fleet. Its heavy armor is designed to withstand its own nuclear explosion, and Gato's skills allow him to fly circles around Kou and his Gundam while beating away at him with the beam sabre and a side of vulcan gun. Clearly, the Physalis is as dangerous as it is big. With its unique design and devastating use of nukes, the Gundam Physalis is definitely one of the most memorable villain mobile suits from the U.C. era.

3. Tallgeese

Probably didn't see this coming, did you? The Tallgeese is a personal favorite of mine, and for reasons more than its sleek white design. The Tallgeese is what I would consider an underdog of sorts. In a series where the main characters are absolutely devastating everything, it's obviously hard to be a villain and stand out. The Tallgeese manages to do just that, however. Despite being several decades out of date, this white mobile suit challenges the Gundam pilots and matches their strength. It's particularly known for its speed; ordinary pilots are unable to survive its speed due to the massive amount of G-forces. Zechs Marquise pilots it to its full potential, zipping across the battlefield in a flash and leaving smoldering scraps. Like it or not, this is definitely one of the top antagonist mobile suits, and one of my personal favorites.

2.  AMX-004 Qubeley

The Qubeley, as strange as it looks, is an iconic villain mobile suit. To begin with, it is the personal mobile suit of Haman Karn, one of my top Gundam girls and antagonists. The Qubeley was revolutionary because it was the first mobile suit to feature a fully miniaturized Psycommu system, making it one of the first and most formidable Newtype mobile suits. This machine was basically one of the most advanced mobile suits during Zeta Gundam, and it wreaked havoc for the heroes of AEUG, continuing on to challenge Judau and the ZZ Gundam as well. I think its greatest claim to fame was its victory over Char and his Hyaku Shiki. Only Amuro Ray can relate to this feat. Spanning over two Gundam series with a phenomenal list of achievements, the Qubeley is easily a top antagonist mobile suit.

1.  MSN-04 Sazabi

I actually had to choose between the Sazabi and Char's Custom Zaku II, and I ultimately went with the Sazabi. All I knew was, the number one spot had to be one of Char's mobile suits. Why? Because Char Aznable is the greatest Gundam villain of all time. The reason I chose the Sazabi is because it represents a number of things. Just like the Nu Gundam did for Amuro, the Sazabi represents the peak of Char's abilities, as it was specifically designed to match his piloting prowess and newtype abilities. Though, more importantly, it marks the ending of an era. This is the last mobile suit Char Aznable pilots before disappearing with Amuro. It is as iconic for representing Char as it is for representing the end of the legendary Char-Amuro rivalry. For its ferocious power and lasting impact on the U.C. universe, it gets its place at the number one spot on this list.

Check out my other Gundam Top 5 lists~


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Top 5 Mobile Armors of Gundam

Mobile armors are usually a rare sight in Gundam, but when they do show up, they are sure to have a massive presence on the battlefield. In general, mobile armors are significantly larger, faster, and more heavily armed than mobile suits. That is why I consider them the mini-bosses of Gundam; entire episodes usually revolve around them, and it always takes a large amount of effort to take them down. This list is dedicated to the 5 most memorable mobile armors in all of Gundam lore. Note that while their devastating power is definitely a factor, this list does not count down the most powerful mobile armors. Also, transformable mobile suits do not count as mobile armors.

5. NZ-333 Alpha Azieru

The Alpha Azieru is a monstrous Newtype mobile armor and surely one of the most memorable. Though it is piloted by the insufferable Quess Paraya, the Alpha Azieru represents the pinnacle of mobile armor technology during Char's Counterattack, much like how the Nu Gundam does the same for mobile suits. The first thing one will notice is its size; it easily towers over the Nu Gundam, which is already a large mobile suit. It is also packed with powerful weapons, including funnels, beam guns, and a mega particle cannon capable of wiping out several mobile suits in a single shot. It would have sat a little better with me if it was piloted by a less infuriating individual, but it's hard to deny its place as one of more terrifying mobile weapons in the U.C. timeline.

4. MAN-08 Elmeth

The Elmeth is notable for several reasons, one of which is the impact it left on the Gundam franchise. Piloted by Lalah Sune, the Elmeth is one of the most instantly recognizable mobile armors, mainly due to the famous scene between Amuro, Char, and Lalah. In general, the Elmeth exhibits the very first use of wirelessly controlled Newtype weapons in the form of bits. With these bits, the Elmeth manages to cause a widespread scare by destroying mobile suits and battleships completely unseen. Even on the battlefield, the Elmeth manages to prove effective by launching all-range attacks with its numerous bits. In its accidental demise at the hands of Amuro and the Gundam, it became a symbol of the volatile dynamic between him and Char, and of the legacy of Newtype mobile armors as a whole. 

3. AMA-X7 Shamblo

The Shamblo stands as one of the most powerful and advanced mobile armors to appear in the U.C. timeline. It's impressive how the Zeon remnants managed to design and finance this monster, but that's another story. The Shamblo is actually an amphibious mobile armor, and it uses this ability to stealthily launch pre-emptive strikes. In all of its appearances, it manages to wreak absolute havoc, destroying everything in its path and shrugging off all manner of attacks sent its way. One of its most notable attributes is its set of Reflector bits, which reflect beam weaponry and render them useless. It is not until the Shamblo and its pilot are rendered completely defenseless that the protagonists are able to incapacitate it. Although it does not last too long, it's definitely one of the best examples of an overwhelming and dangerous mobile armor.

2. Apsalus


The almighty Apsalus had the potential to be one of the most devastating weapons in the U.C. universe. Its only flaw was that even after three versions, it never actually got to fulfill its purpose. It was designed to destroy the underground base Jaburo after Zeon forces had failed to do so. With the unique "Minovsky Craft System", the Apsalus was meant to elevate itself into Earth's lower orbit and fire off a powerful Mega Particle Cannon that would have easily destroyed the base. Although it fails due to the efforts of the 8th MS team, it definitely sounded brutal in theory. As a near-superweapon that the entire 8th MS Team anime revolved around, the Apsalus is unarguably one of the most prominent mobile armors in the Gundam metaverse.

1. Dendrobium Orchis/Neue Ziel

I've never put two entries in the same spot before, but I feel this is the most appropriate way to go. The titanic battle between Kou Uraki's Dendrobium Orchis and Anavel Gato's Neue Ziel is one of the most memorable moments in Gundam history, and it's the first and only time the hero and villain used massive mobile armors to fight their final battle. Their significance isn't their only claim to fame; the Dendrobium Orchis and Neue Ziel also happen to be some of the most impressive and powerful mobile weapons in early U.C. history. Armed with advanced I-field barriers, remote weapons, and devastating beam weapons, these two mobile armors were capable of causing some major damage. They are the trademarks of Stardust Memory, which is why I couldn't help but put them together in the number one spot.

Check out my other Gundam Top 5 lists~


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Armored VF-25G

Some very impressive shots of the Bandai GE-44 Macross Frontier VF-25G Armored Valkyrie. The armor actually looks quite look, unlike the big gray globs on the VF-100 figures. And of course, these are some nice photos.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Gundam Unicorn Movie...

A Gundam Unicorn Movie for 2010! It really deserves an animation production, but it didn't seem like it would be the next Gundam series after 00. A movie definitely sounds good, it is going to be incredible. So two movies for 2010 (the Gundam 00 movie), we have a lot to anticipate for next year.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Gundam Exia or 00 Gundam?


In just about every Gundam show, the main character obtains a new, more powerful Gundam at the halfway point of the story. This new Gundam is in every way superior to the previous Gundam, and is often much more appealing. This was the case for the Wing Zero (as opposed to the Wing Gundam), the Freedom Gundam (as opposed to the Strike Gundam), the Zeta Gundam (as opposed to the RX-178 MK-II), the God Gundam (as opposed to the Shining Gundam), and plenty of others. Unfortunately, the opinions were quite split about the 00 Gundam and its predecessor, the Exia.

The 00 Raiser was definitely several times more powerful than the Exia. It followed the tradition of being extremely powerful, with few mobile suits that could actually stand a chance against it. I never felt this way about previous Gundam shows, but I definitely preferred the predecessor, the Exia. I think it is because the Exia was much more entertaining to watch and simply more appealing.

Here are some things I felt the Exia had over the 00 Raiser

- It's design was a lot better in my opinion. It was simple while at the same time quite detailed. It also did not have a giant winged backpack.

- Its seven swords. The seven melee weapons it had and the fighting style Setsuna used to fight with them was MUCH more entertaining to watch as opposed to the 00 Gundam and its two gunblade-like weapons. The way Setsuna got up close and aggresive with the GN sword and how it switched to its other weapons was simply more entertaining than the constant blasting and quick clashing of the 00 Gundam.

- Exia was inferior to the 00 Gundam, and thus had to fight harder. The melee battles were intense and definitely more entertaining than the constant ownage the 00 Raiser in trans-am mode delivered.

I was really glad when Setsuna returned to the Exia for the finale, it really is his Gundam. It ended with a great land fought melee battle, which is, in my opinion, the most entertaining kind of battle.

So as you can obviously tell, I prefer the Exia to the 00. The opinions are pretty split based on what I've seen on forums. What is your opinion?


Linebarrels, Masurao

Brave Gokin 27 Linebarrels
June Release, 17,640 yen

About 18cm. Its quite an impressive figure of the Linebarrels, if you're interested in the Linebarrels of Iron anime. A bit expensive though...

Robot Damashii Masurao
July Release, 3360 yen

The crazy samurai armored Over Flag. At least there's a figure of it.


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

HG 1/144 00 Raiser Trans-Am Mode

HG 1/144 Gundam 00 Raiser Trans-Am Mode Gloss Injection Ver.
Late April Release, 2100 yen

Geez, that name is a mouthful. Well, its a high grade, 1/144 scale, shiny, trans-am 00 Raiser. I'm still waiting for the bigger scale release, but this one is bound to be eye-catching when put on display with an action base stand.


Monday, April 06, 2009

Gunpla Releases for April-June

Here's the rest of the currently announced releases for the next few months. Plenty of things to look forward to, and a few...less than spectacular ones.

HGUC Schuzrum Dias
June release, 1785 Yen

I always appreciate HGUC releases. They are of quite high quality, so future releases will keep getting better. Keep your eyes on them.

HG 1/144 Gundam Exia R2
June Release, 1260 yen

Yay, the epic Exia R2 with the green GN blade. Seems kind of silly, releasing a model with just two new parts. Whatever, it's still the R2.

1/72 VF-25S Armored Messiah Ozma's Unit
June Release, 8400 yen

Yes, this is my favorite entry of this list. It's pricey yes, but those giant hunks of plastic are expensive I tell you. Armored Valkyrie's are epic.

HG 1/144 Arche Gundam
May Release, 1785 yen

Hm...yay...I've always thought this thing looked like a protoss from Starcraft

HG 1/144 O Gundam
June Release, 1260 yen

O Gundam. Its like a HGUC release of the RX-78-2, but its not.

1/100 Gundam Astray Gold Frame
June Release 4200 yen

Seems a bit pricey no? I mean, its just the red frame (which is about 21 dollars), which a few gold parts. The Amatsu is about the same price and you get a lot more for it. Eh, at least it's there.

1/100 Gundam 00 Raiser Designer's Color Ver.
May Release, 5250 yen

Finally, a 1/100 scale of the 00 Raiser. Not sure what they mean by designer's color though..

1/144 HGUC Nu Gundam Heavy Weapon System
April Release, 2800 yen

Its like the chobham armor for the Alex Gundam.

MG 1/100 G Armor Real Type Color
June Release, 10,290 yen

Eh...the gray and black looks a bit awkward, probably because of its white head. Kind of cool though.


Sunday, April 05, 2009

MG 1/100 Freedom Gundam [Review]

This is not exactly recent, but Gundam model kits (the good ones anyway) are timeless really. Today we review the Master Grade Freedom Gundam from the Gundam Seed series. It is piloted by the main character, Kira Yamato, and pretty much owns throughout the first season.

The proportions are pretty Katoki-esque, so it is pretty slim. It definitely looks good in any pose. The pieces come molded in white, black, blue, red, gray, and yellow. Almost all the proper colors are accounted for, as expected from a master grade. The only foil stickers are for the eyes, a triangle on the backpack, and the blue part around the top of the beam rifle. The kit comes with a sheet of clear stickers and dry transfer decals, which are actually pretty cool and really fit the model when placed appropriately.

I really like the head design, it is nicely proportioned and detailed. All the colors are accounted for with separate pieces. The gray and red on the face are all separate pieces. All you really need to do is panel line the necessary details for a complete look.

The shoulder shield can move back and forth and is pretty loosely fit for freedom of movement. There are no polycaps used, so the joints for the shoulder and elbow are extremely sturdy, they actually take a fit of force to move. The hands have separate pieces for the thumbs and the pointer finger for holding the beam rifle, and the other three fingers are molded as one piece. They are nicely reinforced and sturdy, so weapons are held pretty well.

The torso has a very basic construction. The top of the chest where the red part is opens up to reveal the cockpit. It is basically the only gimmick on this model. The backpack fits into the back via a rectangular soft plastic peg. It looks very small, but it actually fits very snug and will not fall out even with the weight of the wings. Each wing has five separately movable wings that open and close for posing. The beam cannons are fit between the two sides of the wings and fold out for posing. The no grade version could only deploy the cannons with the wings folded back, but of course this is the master grade, so the wings can stay spread while the cannons are out.

The legs are rather long and slim, but they are also quite sturdy. The knee joints are very tough and require a bit of force to move. Articulation is very good, as the black part of the knee slides out when the leg is bent back. The feet have free 360 degree movement. The knees to a good job proping the model up when standing (the wings are heavy and will pull the body back when not posed correctly). The beam cannons on the hips fold out for its firing position. Beam sabres can be stored at the top of the cannons. The back skirt is one very large piece, and has a small peg at the top of it to prop the torso up straight to keep it from sagging from the weight of the wings, which is a very important thing.

Weapons are limited to beam rifle, two beam sabres, and a shield. The shield is pretty basic, it has a handle that folds out for the other hand to hold. There is actually a boomerang on the side of the shield that can be taken out. The beam rifle is pretty basic stuff, it is gray with a white shield that goes over it. The scope is a clear piece, which I painted with metallic green. The beam sabres are clear pink, and can be connected at the ends to make a darth maul double sided sword. Finally, the model kit comes with a custom stand for aerial poses (which it really looks best in)

Overall, this is one of the better master grade models out. Proportions are sleek and cool, articulation allows for dyanmic posing, and the joints are extremely tough for sturdy posing. Details are all accounted for with limited use of foil stickers. This is a respectable model, and should really be in every modeler's collection.