> Gundam Sanctuary Victory Gundam

TV Series - 51 episodes broadcast from April 2 1993 to March 25 1994

LD: BELL-597609, 7800 yen each.
K7: BES-587599, 5800 yen each.

Era: UC 0153. It's 30 years after F91 and 60 years after the death of Amuro and Char. In 0153, the concept of Newtype for example is nothing more than a vague memory, even though these supermen still exist. I think that the authorities tried to force people to forget all that to ease the integration of the newtypes into everyday life.
Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino
Character-designer: Hiroshi Osaka (from the Samurai Troopers, AD Police or City Hunter)

Mecha-designer: Kurio Okawara (no doubt put on the staff roster to make it look good) and Hajime Katoki (G83), who conceived the Gundam of this series and whose style is fairly realistic, and finally Junya Ishigaki, creator of all the other MS. The style of the latter is more esthetically oriented. He begins by creating a mobile suit according to fairly vague criteria, then trying to give it rounded shapes that are pleasing to the eye. Then, the drawing is modified according to technical details provided by the authors. The final result is often a delight for the tv audience ... For me, Ishigaki's most beautiful mechas are the Zolo, the Domuttlia and the Jamesgun.

Music: Akira Senju. A symphonie, unforgettable violins ... The grandiose soundtrack that this unknown composer offers us, this music is what made me like Gundam in the first place ... Too bad that episodes 1 through 31 start with a rather insipid and annoying theme song, sung by the singer from Lindberg. Later on, it gets replaced by "Don't stop! Carry on" which, while still lacking in originality, is much easier to listen to - at least it's little bit more relaxing. As for the two closing themes, they're both magnificent, notably the first, "Winners forever", whose style brings to mind that of X - at least their less hard tracks.

Art director: Shigemi Ikeda (Gya, F91, G80)

Theme: the war of independence (again) of the colony Side 2, which is developed through a confrontation between a special army corps, the Liga Militia, of which the young Uso Ewin, hero of the story, is a member, and the Bespa, the constitutional army on the colony which is having an uprising.

Note that in the last episode there are three animation directors, Hiroshi Ôsaka being one, but also Shûkô Murase of the Samurai Troopers, argh ... He also worked as character-designer on Street Fighter 2 The Movie and Gundam Wing.

The characters

Üso Ewin [Usso Evin]: the hero. He is thirteen years old and lives in Kasareria, an imaginary village (at least not in 200 years ?) located near Hungary. As an anecdote, Üso decalres in an episode that "Kasareria" is a word drawn from an exoctic language that means both hello and good-bye. To get back to Üso, he has a crazy hair-do (like Son Gohan on Nameck, in Dragon Ball Z) and he's lost track of his parents. He will go off to find them and while doing so, finds the Bespa. Chance puts him in the path of the Liga Militia, which discovers his talents as a pilot and enrolls him. Üso integrates very quickly into the team. He is also accompanied by Shakti (see below) whom he is in love with, and a band of freinds from Kasareria, of which a dog, Flanders, and a Hallo made by his father. Always searching for his parents, he will learn that they have left for Gibralter, which is one of the rare Terran space-ports (a base from which tourist ships take off). Once there, he will find that his parents have already taken off into space ...

He then decides to go off in pursuit of the bad guys of the story and while doing so looks for his parents as well. He ends up finding his mother in episode 29, I think, on the Moon. We then learn that she is an engineer, that she also pilots MS and that her name is Myûra Miguel. Her last name, leads one to believe that she could be a descendant of Nanai Miguel. If we were to extrapolate, we could say that if Nanai mourned Char's death so deeply, it's because she was pregnant by him and that she hadn't had the time to tell him ... Üso would then be Char Aznable's great-grandson and this idea would make me really happy... Even if technically this idea is vary hard to find plausible, especially since Tomino let it be understood that Char Aznable never had any descendants. To get back to Myûra, she will be killed in a horrible manner while in combat, by Katejina a few episodes down the line. As for his father, Hangerg Ewin, he commands a space ship (I think it's the Joan of Ark) and has a very mysterious past. I don't have enough information about him... But it seems that he may have gotten his hands dirty at some point...

Shakti Karin (Shakhti Kareen) [Shakuti Karin]: the heroine. She's super-cute for her age (11 years old) and is a lolicon sex symbol in Japan....Whatever. Shakti has known Üso since the beginning of the series. We will find out later that she is, in fact, the daughter of Maria, the empress of Side 2 and is at the root of the conflict that is worrying us (yeah, but actually she is also being manipulated by her councilor!)... But because her mother dies at the end (oh but it's disgusting!), Shakti will be able to quietly return to Earth with Üso and settle down in Kasareria... Two remarks to close: she is always accompanied by a baby, an orphan called Karlmann that she picked up (she's very maternal), and she has psychic powers similar to those of the newtypes...

Voice: Yumi Kuroda... Excellent voice-over ! Shakti is apparently her debut in the genre despite her age (she was born in 1966), but she has also interpreted one character from Heisei tanuki gassen Pompoko. Her "mite kudasai !" ("Watch it !") cried out at the end of each episode regarding the next one has touched all of her fans... No joke ! me too ! ;-)

Chronocle Achar [Kuronokuru Ashâ] (20 years old): the alter-ego of Char Aznable in V-Gundam... (yeah, you can't bowl one over on me) Useless to give any further explanation... But it's fairly interesting to watch him evolve...

Katejina Loos [Rûsu] (17 years old): One of Üso's friends from Kasareria. She had a very bad background and will eventually become an agent of the Bespa, who will fight to the bitter end agains the young boy. In the last episode, she will actually be his last adversary. She will bea defeated, blinded and mentally destroyed by the battle. The last episode shows her returning to Kasareria, begging on the road... She runs into Shakti by chance, and hearing her voice, runs away screaming, understanding too well the horrible deeds that she committed... It's this eternal destiny of suffering and torture that Tomino had in store for her. She will pay for her crimes and death would be too honorable for her.

Voice: Kumiko Watanabe (Jun in Samurai Troopers)

Fara Griffon (Fuala Glifon) [Fara Gurifon]: a 22 year old woman with pink hair, who is working for the Bespa. She's pretty much a little bitch, but one can see her be moved by children or anything touching...(she will even buy an ice cream for one of the children in Üso's group in episode 12...)

Voice: Ai Orikasa (the excellent Ryôko in Tenchi Muyô... i love her !)

Marbett FingerHat [Mâbetto]: cute, hey. This girl reminds me a bit of Nadia (she must also be of afro-asian origin) ... Whatever. She actually leads the group which Uuml;so belongs to. In episode 28, she marries one of her teammates. Unfortunately, he will sacrifice himself for a lost cause not long afterwards and she will never forgive herself for it - this part of the series is very sad. Marbett is very maternal towards Üso - oh yeah, I forgot to tell you something: during the whole time that he was looking for his mother, he would look for the mother who was waiting for him in each woman that he befriended. In fact, this is something that will help him to endure the absence of his mother: (because they all act like\ "mother hens" towards Üso !)

The Shuraku-tai (alias Shrike squad): a suicide-squadron made up of young women, with very high emotional potential... It would be too fastidious to present them all one by one. The most moving one of them all is Junko Jenko, whose voice (Yûko Kobayashi, alias Jeanne in Jeanne et Serge, the friend of Kelly in G83 or Luna in City hunter Bay city wars) reinterprets emotions very well. She is one of those who will die, one after the other: Helen Jackson, Maheria Meryl, Kate Bush and Peggy Lee. Only one member will remain, Cony Francis. She rebuilds the group by integrating three new members, Miriella Katan, Francesca O'hara et Yuka Mailas. But their bitter destiny will prevent them all from reaching the last episode...

Note that all of these members' names (or at least most of all) are taken from names of famous female American singers from this century (I suppose you all know Kate Bush !).

The mechas of the hero

V-Gundam: the main MS that Üso Ewin pilots. Not great!

V2-Gundam: improved version of the preceding one. This one appears in the middle of the series. the V2 will evolve again toward the end of the series. Before the last battle, the engineers will modify its characteristics to make it into the V2 Assault Gundam (episodes 49-50) and finally the V2 Buster Gundam (episodes 50 and 51). There's also a V2 Dash Gundam (I think it's before the Assault) that's hanging around somewhere... but me and mechas...

Well, there, I'm through with Victory-Gundam. It's a piece of work about which I have a lot of things to say, so I preferred to be concise or it would have taken me 15 pages to finish... Anyway, if you ever come across an episode some day, don't hesitate to let me take advantage of it, I'd be eternally grateful ^_^...

Victory-Gundam !
Mite kudasai !

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