TITLE: Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin vol. 10
YEAR: June 2015 (US Release)
COMPANY: Vertical Comics
Written and Illustrated by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
Original Story by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Hajime Yatate
Mechanical Design by Kunio Okawara
In 2001, a retelling of the popular Kidou Senshi Gundam (Mobile Suit Gundam) series was created. Written and illustrated by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, the series was released first in America by Viz in 12 volumes but did not correspond to the Japanese volumes, as the English volumes were 100-130 pages, while the Japanese were 200-270.
Vertical announced back in 2012 that they will be publishing an English language adaptation of the series in hardcover format and would follow the Japanese Aizoban editions and would be released in March 2013 and conclude with its 12th volume in December 2015.
The series is set in the year Universal Century 0079 and the manga is set in the eighth month during the war between the Earth Federation and the space colonists, the Principality of Zeon.
The Principality of Zeon has declared independence from the Earth Federation and thus a war of independence known as the One Year War would take place and the Zeon had the upperhand thanks to their Zeon mobile suit technology. Zeon forces would lead to half of all humanity dying in the conflict and the war resulting in a stalemate for over 8 months.
The Federation deployed their warship, the White Base and would hold the Federation’s newest weapon, a prototype mecha unit known as the RX-78 Gundam. While under attack, a teenage boy named Amuro Ray would jump in and pilot the Gundam (which was built by his father) and destroyed two enemy suits. It would be discovered that the Amuro is a Newtype that would easily control the mecha robot. And he would encounter a Zeon Lieutenant Commander named Char Aznable, who would become his rival.
While search for his father in the neutral colony, Side 6, he found that his father is now detached. If there was one good that that came from that visit is Amuro meeting Lalah Sune.
In volume 10 of “Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin”, the Earth Federation is planning to attack the stronghold of the Zeon Space Attack Force, Solomon and Vice Admiral Dozle Zabi is now trying to get more forces but all the Zio Forces are able to send is their latest mobile armor, the Big Zam.
Meanwhile, on the White Base, Amuro is introduced to the man who is upgrading the RX-78 Gundam, Chief Engineer of the Fourth Section, Tech Office, Federation Bureau of Science Dr. Moskhan.
The Dr. plans to coat the Gundam’s drive systems in an electromagnetic field in order to make it move faster and with new parts being installed, Amuro has a resistance to it.
Meanwhile, Vice Admiral Dozle Zabi uses whatever time he has left before the major battle to spend time with his wife Zenna and daughter Mineva.
While at the White Base, relations between Amuro and others start to worsen as not being able to fight without his Gundam has left him very cold.
But with the Earth Federation attack about to commence, how will things work out for Amuro and friends, and Vice Admiral Dozle Zabi and his family?
Meanwhile, why is Amuro hearing a voice calling on repeat saying “Lala”?
The tenth volume of “Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin” is no doubt another consistent and awesome volume as a major battle between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon is about to take place in the Zeon stronghold, Solomon.
What “Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin” does so effectively is built upon character dynamics and relationships.
It’s one thing to showcase the Earth Federation side, especially those who are on White Base but this time, we get solid character development when it comes to Vice Admiral Dozle Zabi, his wife and baby daughter Mineva.
While a baby in the manga series, Mineva would play an important role in the more recent Gundam story, “Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn”.
But while we often have watched Zion being portrayed as heartless, there is always a story on either side and in this case, the story about Dozle Zabi trying to get reinforcements and not getting what he needs, knowing the futility of an attack from the Earth Federation and then not wanting to leave his family but knowing he has his responsibility in the war and to his soldiers. But it was interesting to see this other side of the Vice Admiral.
Meanwhile, for the Earth Federation, seeing more about Mirai’s attraction to Sleggar Law and of course, having to deal with both her attraction to him and Noa Bright. It was great to see this played out in the manga but also to see the deterioration of the relationship between Amuro and Fraw Bow, while seeing his attraction to Lalah Sune go full force when he hears her voice and when he goes to find her, confronts both she and Char Aznable.
But the storyline is primarily dedicated to the upcoming attack on Solomon, the Principality Zeon showcasing their new mecha the Big Zam, while the Earth Federation preparing a mirror attack.
And as the battle was no doubt captured magnificently in manga format, also seeing Amuro having to deal with his damaged Gundam receiving an upgrade and then having to go into battle with his new upgraded Gundam.
There is so much storyline packed into this volume, so many things that I would rather not spoil and have the reader discover, but you can’t help but marvel at the work of Yoshikazu Yasuhiko and know that the next two final volumes is no doubt heading to an end.
Wonderful art, wonderful pacing and wonderful storyline…”Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin” is a magnificent tale of war, strategy, angushi and despair and hope. Recommended!