My copy of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Vol.1 has arrived, so I thought I'd give it a mini-review. In case you're unfamiliar, Gundam: The Origin is a manga adaptation of the original anime series. Viz attempted an American release, but their run ended due to low sales. Thus, publisher Vertical decided to release The Origin in a format similar to the "Aizoban" collector's editions in Japan.
The first thing I'm going to say is, this book is absolutely gorgeous...
The book is hardcover and quite large, as you may have noticed from my comparison to the MG RX-78-2 Ver.2.0. It has 456 pages in total, with a beautifully colored covering. Indeed, it feels like a collector's item more than just a manga, which is partly why I bought it in the first place.
Scattered throughout the manga are dozens of color pages. I think this is the most impressive part of the book; the color pages are a welcome sight and wonderfully done. Though I'm not entirely sure, they appear to be water-colored. These pages are reason enough to own this little product.
It hasn't been too long since I finished re-watching the original anime and the compilation movies, but reading this manga feels like an entirely different experience. If not for the slight differences, I read through this for the amazing artwork. As you can tell from the photos below, there is no shortage of dynamic Gundam action. It definitely beats having to watch the Gundam being drawn in wildly inconsistent blobs (television series).
There are over 400 pages, so Activation takes us from the beginning, through their journeys in space, up to where they are about to enter Earth. In the last few pages, there is an essay written by Hideaki Anno (creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion) about The Origin manga and about the influence of Gundam. It's an interesting read and a great way to cap this item off.
I think it's great to be able to read The Origin manga, but I found that this was more of a collector's item that no Gundam fan can be without. You get so much for its low $16US price mark. So of course, if you want a piece of Mobile Suit Gundam heaven, I advise you to get a copy for yourself and see just how nice this book feels in your hands.