Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket

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Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080 War in the Pocket DVD vol 1.jpg
Cover of the first DVD volume
機動戦士ガンダム0080 ポケットの中の戦争
(Kidō Senshi Gandamu 0080 Poketto no Naka no Sensō)
Genre Military science fiction
Original video animation
Directed by Fumihiko Takayama
Produced by Kenji Uchida
Minoru Takanashi
Written by Hiroyuki Yamaga
Music by Tetsurō Kashibuchi
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
Released March 25, 1989August 25, 1989
Episodes 6 (List of episodes)
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (Japanese: 機動戦士ガンダム0080 ポケットの中の戦争 Hepburn: Kidō Senshi Gandamu 0080 Poketto no Naka no Sensō?) is a six episode 1989 Japanese science fiction original video animation series. It is the first OVA series in the Gundam franchise. Directed by Fumihiko Takayama, it was also the first time anyone other than creator Yoshiyuki Tomino was given a chance to direct a Gundam story. Written by Hiroyuki Yamaga with character designs by Haruhiko Mikimoto.

As suggested by its subtitle, "War in the Pocket," it is a small, personal story; a side story focusing on the experiences of a ten-year-old boy during the One Year War and his learning of the real meaning of war.[1]

Plot[edit]

In Universal Century 0079, Zeon intelligence has identified a prototype Federation Gundam under development in a Federation base in the Arctic. Elite Zeon MS commandos are dispatched to destroy the prototype, but before they can accomplish their mission the Gundam is launched into space. When the Gundam turns up in a Federation R&D base inside the neutral space colony Side 6, the Principality launches a covert operation to destroy the Gundam utilizing the commando team originally dispatched to assault the Arctic base, including young rookie Bernard Wiseman. However, the raid fails and the entire team is killed except for Bernard.

After crashing his mobile suit, Bernard manages to befriend Alfred Izuhura, an elementary school boy enamored with a romantic vision of warfare and excited by Alfred's status as a mobile suit pilot regardless of his allegiance, and Alfred's neighbor Christina Mackenzie, secretly the Gundam test pilot. As Bernard tries to repair his damaged mobile suit while hiding out within the station, he develops a close friendship with Alfred and slowly becomes infatuated with Christina, both pilots remaining unaware of each other's true natures.

As time passes, Bernard discovers that Zeon will destroy Side 6 with a nuclear weapon if he cannot destroy the prototype Gundam. Feeling that he has no choice if the station is to be saved, Bernard takes his mobile suit and goes to engage the Gundam. Believing Side 6 to be under Zeon attack, Christina is ordered to pilot the Gundam in the station's defense, and she and Bernie engage in a destructive battle within the station. Alfred discovers that the Zeon ship carrying the nuclear weapons was captured, meaning Bernard has no more reason to fight. Alfred goes to try and stop Bernard, only to see Bernard's mobile suit destroyed and an injured Christina pulled from the heavily damaged Gundam.

Afterwards, Christina tells Alfred that she will be leaving Side 6, and asks Alfred to say goodbye to Bernard for her, still unaware that she had actually killed him. Alfred does not have the heart to tell her the truth and agrees to her request. The series closes with Alfred's school holding an assembly in which the principal talks about the effects of war. Alfred, remembering his time with Bernard, begins to weep uncontrollably during the speech. Alfred's friends, misunderstanding his grief, try to reassure him that another 'cool' war is bound to happen soon.

Production and development[edit]

Released in 1989, it serves to commemorate Gundam's ten-year anniversary.

Not penned by Tomino, but by Hiroyuki Yamaga, Gundam 0080 also marked a significant departure from the constant background theme of Newtypes featured in the Universal Century Gundam universe, since the original Mobile Suit Gundam up until Char's Counterattack. The absence of this theme raised the series' appeal towards audiences without special liking of Gundam and Tomino's work[2] and would continue in many following Gundam stories narrating about ordinary soldiers and people in these conflicts.

The character designer for this series was Haruhiko Mikimoto (Macross franchise, Megazone 23, Gunbuster).

Gundam 0080 also began an enduring tradition of retroactive redesigns. Yutaka Izubuchi updated the original Mobile Suit Gundam's dated mechanical designs and costumes, and since then every new creative team has offered its own take on the classic Gundam props.

Two pieces of music by Megumi Shiina are used for the opening and closing themes. The opening theme is "Reach Out to the Sky Someday" (Itsuka Sora ni Todoite) and the closing theme is "Distant Memory" (Tooi Kioku).

Reception[edit]

Yoshiyuki Tomino, who was not involved in the show's production, was interviewed for the Newtype magazine April 1989 issue, after the release of the first episode. He praised the director's effort to make the show realistic and focused on things other than Mobile Suit battles. He also commented on two glitches, one being the portrayal of a blue sky in the colony rather than the other side of the cylinder, which is only about 6.4 km away; and the children being out during a wartime alert. Tomino thought that school resuming with combat in such close proximity was unrealistic, when a more sensible response should have been to close the school immediately and guide the children to shelters.

Episode list[edit]

# Title Release Date English Airdate
1 "How Many Miles to the Battlefield?"
"Senjô Made wa Nan Mairu?" (戦場までは何マイル?) 
March 25, 1989 November 5, 2001
2 "Reflections in a Brown Eye"
"Chairo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Mono" (茶色の瞳に映るもの) 
April 25, 1989 November 6, 2001
3 "And at the End of the Rainbow?"
"Niji no Hate ni wa?" (虹の果てには?) 
May 25, 1989 November 7, 2001
4 "Over the River and Through the Woods"
"Kawa wo Watatte Kodachi wo Nukete" (河を渡って木立を抜けて) 
June 25, 1989 November 9, 2001
5 "Say it Ain't So, Bernie!"
"Uso Dato Itte yo, Bānī" (嘘だと言ってよ、バーニィ) 
July 25, 1989 November 12, 2001
6 "War in the Pocket"
"Poketto no Naka no Sensō" (ポケットの中の戦争) 
August 25, 1989 November 13, 2001

Release[edit]

In the United States it aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami block and briefly on Adult Swim.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jonathan Clements, Helen McCarthy. The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917. — Revised and Expanded Edition. — Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press, 2006. — P. 257. — ISBN 978-1933330105.
  2. ^ Sevakis, Justin (2007-08-16). "Gundam 0080 - Buried Treasure". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mobile Suit SD Gundam
Gundam metaseries (production order)
1989
Succeeded by
Mobile Suit Gundam F91
Preceded by
Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
Gundam Universal Century timeline
U.C. 0079-80
Succeeded by
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory