Finished Watching 08th MS Team

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How would you rate 08th MS Team as a Gundam series?

Excellent
21
41%
Good
22
43%
Average
4
8%
Poor
3
6%
Failure
1
2%
 
Total votes: 51

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InjuredPelican
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Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by InjuredPelican » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:22 pm

So I recently watched all of this series, and I was, I guess, disappointed. It has stellar action scenes, some cool gritty details, and a more believable military take on Gundam than most/any of the series thus far. But I found a lot of flaws that just made it hard to call it a solid experience.

For being the most realisticly militaristic show, the main character, Shiro, is unbelievable. He’s more anti-war than any protagonist in any Gundam show I’ve seen, yet he’s one of the few actual enlistees. I felt like his anti-war sentiments, the portrayal of how monsterous both Feddie and Zeon sides were, was just so heavy handed. But maybe that was the intent. I was so overwhelmed by the sheer insanity of episode 12…

Anyways, I did enjoy many things, but in the end I really didn’t care about any of the characters, which to me is a real shame in a Gundam series. I felt Aina and Norris were done well, but the rest were fairly forgettable. I think I still find 0083 to be a better representation of a realistic Gundam series, despite or because of the Top Gun feel, but feel free to tell me where I’m wrong.

I’ve seen many people site 08th MS Team as their favorite series here, but I’d like to know just what is it that makes people like it so much, especially to see if I’m missing something.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by Strike Zero » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:30 pm

InjuredPelican wrote:I’ve seen many people site 08th MS Team as their favorite series here, but I’d like to know just what is it that makes people like it so much, especially to see if I’m missing something.
Nah, you pretty much hit the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned. These days, the only episode I go back and watch most often is The Shuddering Mountain part 1, just for the absolutely legendary battle with Norris and the Gouf Custom. The story itself did get kinda "meh" near the end.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by Brave Fencer Kirby » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:47 pm

Funny, I've always thought that Shiro is one of the more reasonable Gundam protagonists. His stance is essentially "fighting and killing is bad, but sometimes not fighting and killing is worse, so I'll fight when I have to and kill when I can't avoid it, but not otherwise" which is pretty much the only reasonable stance I think one can have on the subject. That said, romancing an enemy in the middle of a war is hardly the smartest thing anyone's ever done, but Gundam (not to mention fiction as a whole) has a long and storied tradition of people doing just that, so Shiro's certainly not unique in that.

The main draw of 08th MS Team for me is the fact that it's undoubtedly the "hardest" science fiction of any Gundam series. While the main mecha are still technically "Gundams" (which is almost certainly just to sell more model kits), they bear very little resemblance to the mystical nigh-unbeatable death machines otherwise given the name. It's more fun to see "normal" people just trying to do their thing than it is to see over the top world-changing badasses swooping in and changing the course of history in a stroke.

08th MS Team also spends the least amount of time sucking up to Zeon of any series since the original (though it still has its moments; Norris is undoubtedly the angel of Zeon is More Awesome Than You, even if his scenes were extremely well done), which I certainly appreciate, given how often fans and even Sunrise staff seen to forget that Zeon are the bad guys.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by TakaTahuNuva » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:16 pm

Brave Fencer Kirby wrote:The main draw of 08th MS Team for me is the fact that it's undoubtedly the "hardest" science fiction of any Gundam series. While the main mecha are still technically "Gundams" (which is almost certainly just to sell more model kits), they bear very little resemblance to the mystical nigh-unbeatable death machines otherwise given the name. It's more fun to see "normal" people just trying to do their thing than it is to see over the top world-changing badasses swooping in and changing the course of history in a stroke.
I dunno, I think MS Igloo (and Igloo 2 even more so) kind of took that title away from 08th MS Team, in regards to how realistic it displayed the sci-fi/war setting.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by LightningCount » Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:19 pm

There are some brief moments of awkward sap and slapstick that cause it to lose a few points, but between the compelling and/or fun characters, the gritty focus of the setting, the stellar animation, good music score, strong mechanical design work (that blends old and new), and the overall story arc, it's very high up on my favorite Gundam series list and stands above a lot of the usual Gundam fare. As a series, I like it better than 0083, which suffers from the largely uninteresting/lukewarm "heroes" like Kou and Keith, and the fickle behavior of Nina.

A lot of people don't like Ginias, but I found him to be a fun, fitting, charismatic villain whose over-the-top nature was balanced by more even-keel "villains" like Yuri and Norris. I can't help but like the loyal but war-weary Sanders, and Karen gives a unique spin on the female Gundam pilot. Shiro and Aina's love story, while a bit forced perhaps (but who can truly say given the circumstances), provides a nice counterpoint to the theme of war that's rarely seen in Gundam to this extent (X, G, & 0080 are the others that come to mind). And then the commanders like Kojima give a nice seasoned feel to the military apparatus.

There's a lot of good bit characters, too, like the rebels, the Zeon trio that goes into the village, or the Yuri subordinate who fights in a Magella tank. Scenes like Sanders' desperate showdown with the Apsalus I, the "Shuddering Mountain" fights, or the Zeon water suit's ambush on Karen all stick out, among many others (like the previously noted tank fight). All and all, you get a lot of visual candy and bang for your buck, plus some good substance with this production. I spoke of 0083 in comparison, but a harder call to make is 08th Team vs. 0080. That's one I can't make, though I might lean slightly toward 0080 for its really character-driven narrative and opening Cyclops Team sequence. Regardless, 08th Team is excellent for how much it succeeds at (I find more flaws in many other Gundam series than it). Perhaps most importantly, though, 08th Team is a fun ride.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by iKhaotic » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:05 pm

didn't bother to read all the stuff before me, but i thought the series was excellent. it's my 2nd favorite Gundam series.

the series shows what fighting is like during the OYW for normal recruits (even though they're special in their own way). it also shows another front of the war which is always interesting IMO. the jungle warfare is a genious idea when they decided to mix MS on MS fighting with a little hand to hand combat. the Guerillas is a great group that shows how there are more parties involved in the OYW than meets the eye and how they have their own struggles. we also see different factions of the Federation and Zeon and how they come into play in the overall picture.

Shiro as a character, i think he did very well for a Gundam protagonist. he has his strengths and weaknesses which are shown. he doesn't like war but he'll fight because he knows that some things are indeed worth fighting for. he's a brave character who would put his teammates, civilians, and love interest above his superiors whose motives are questionably corrupt. overall, i'm very glad that he recieved a happy and complete ending. he made his team proud and his feats were pretty amazing. his relationship with Aina is great and very well done. oh, and did i mention he took out a Zaku in a Ball? <_<

as far as battles goes, 08th MS Team has some of the greatest action sequences in the UC timeline (aside from Z and ZZ since i haven't seen them. and Unicorn doesn't count because it's too recent). the characters are resourceful of their surroundings when fighting and use excellent teamwork. i like what Shiro did in episode 7 where he used his beam saber to melt the ice to make a hot springs for him and Aina. the battle with Norris in the Gouf Custom in episode 10 was just epic.

that's all i can think of right now. oh, and the music is great too :)
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by Chris » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:04 pm

Shiro may be a bit idealistic and naive for an enlisted soldier, but at least he's not as bad as Matt Healy from Lost War Chronicles. His desire to not kill Zeons makes him so incompetent that he ends up getting one of his own soldiers killed because he wouldn't let the guy defend himself. Shiro is way better than that.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by Saikuba » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:12 pm

I think that Shiro would have been a better character if he had more than 11 episodes to develop. He's supposed to have this character arc of hating all Zeons to an unreasonable amount for what they did to the colonies, to falling in love with Aina and realizing that Zeons aren't all bad, to not wanting to kill anyone, to realizing that this is war and sometimes you need to kill people, to realizing that in addition to everything the Federation command structure is pretty crummy. I don't have a huge with any individual part of that, but when you cram that into 11 episodes Shiro is making 180s in terms of his philosophy all of the time. It makes him look ridiculously naive.

My other problem with Shiro is that he doesn't really feel like an officer to me. He's supposed to be different from most Gundam protagonists in that he actually did things the legitimate way, got trained in the Academy (? or at least basic training?), and got assigned to be the team leader because of his piloting and leadership abilities. Yet with all of that, he's still as reckless and naive as your average gundamjacking kid protagonist.

Still, that's not a deal-killer. The military environment is shown in a wildly inaccurate manner more often than not (see: basically any military sci-fi outside of books (and many inside of books) with the partial exception of Stargate SG-1.) So I can deal with Shiro being a pretty crappy Lieutenant. And 08th MS Team does feel more down to earth outside of the characters. It just seems like a waste to have an actual prepared military protagonist and have him act much like all the others that we've seen.

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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by Darkerangel » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:23 pm

I'm with ya InjuredPelican.

I'm not a realism type of person so 08th MS Team is at the bottom of my gundam list.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by 1-4-4 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:10 pm

I always thought the story would have been a lot better as a tragedy. Shiro and Aina basically have a Romeo and Juliet thing going on, after all... And with the way the final battle played out, it actually seemed like that was the ending we got - Ez8 terribly damaged, Aina badly burned, Ez8 and Apsalus apparently blew up together... But then they revealed that Aina and Shiro somehow survived...

But there were all kinds of things, particularly from episode 8 onward, pointing in the direction of a tragic end. After Shiro met Aina again he was in conflict with his own role as a soldier. He kept trying to save enemy troops, but in the end everyone he saved or tried to save died. Finally it reached the point where he and Aina were together, and both sides were trying to kill them.

And that's the kind of ending I can really appreciate. It's kind of depressing in a way - our heroes overwhelmed by things which are beyond their ability to change - fighting for what they believe is right and simply losing... But I feel like that kind of ending is also more satisfying. Rebelling against absolutely everything, and still get a happy ending, it just doesn't ring true. To fight for what you believe in, even at the risk of dying - and then to actually die as a result - it's tough - but it further demonstrates the strength of those convictions.

So I might just cut off that last scene after the credits, and maybe Shiro and Aina's appearance from the end of "Last Resort" as well, unless you figure that they're ghosts just like the newtype kids apparently were...

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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by InjuredPelican » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:40 pm

1-4-4 wrote:I always thought the story would have been a lot better as a tragedy. Shiro and Aina basically have a Romeo and Juliet thing going on, after all... And with the way the final battle played out, it actually seemed like that was the ending we got - Ez8 terribly damaged, Aina badly burned, Ez8 and Apsalus apparently blew up together... But then they revealed that Aina and Shiro somehow survived...

But there were all kinds of things, particularly from episode 8 onward, pointing in the direction of a tragic end. After Shiro met Aina again he was in conflict with his own role as a soldier. He kept trying to save enemy troops, but in the end everyone he saved or tried to save died. Finally it reached the point where he and Aina were together, and both sides were trying to kill them.

And that's the kind of ending I can really appreciate. It's kind of depressing in a way - our heroes overwhelmed by things which are beyond their ability to change - fighting for what they believe is right and simply losing... But I feel like that kind of ending is also more satisfying. Rebelling against absolutely everything, and still get a happy ending, it just doesn't ring true. To fight for what you believe in, even at the risk of dying - and then to actually die as a result - it's tough - but it further demonstrates the strength of those convictions.

So I might just cut off that last scene after the credits, and maybe Shiro and Aina's appearance from the end of "Last Resort" as well, unless you figure that they're ghosts just like the newtype kids apparently were...
Sounds like 0080 and Igloo, in terms of realistic story with a tragic ending.

Personally, I find 0080 more realistic in its depiction of military people, while 08th MS Team is probably more accurate with how the military as an entity behaves. The Cyclops crew were soldiers, and they were all about the mission. Even Christina was more military minded in that sense then Shiro was. Bernie was pretty fatalistic, but certainly believable as a soldier in over his head.

It seems to me that many of the soldiers, especially on the titular team, in 8th seem like civilians with military arms, which is certainly possible given the Federation started enlisting almost anyone they could after the one week war.

But really, most of what I really care about in a Gundam show are endearing characters, and I find too few in this series. Maybe given more episodes, as Saikuba suggested, the characters could have had more time to grow on me.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by ArkeotheHedgehog » Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:14 pm

My other problem with Shiro is that he doesn't really feel like an officer to me. He's supposed to be different from most Gundam protagonists in that he actually did things the legitimate way, got trained in the Academy (? or at least basic training?), and got assigned to be the team leader because of his piloting and leadership abilities. Yet with all of that, he's still as reckless and naive as your average gundamjacking kid protagonist.
That was pretty much my only problem with Shiro. To extend what you're going with there, he just didn't seem like that great of a pilot to me (the whole Ball def. Zaku II bit at the beginning never really translated into anything spectacular IMHO, for example, missing every shot against Norris was pretty sad and only beating him when Norris gave up is pretty lame), and in a mecha action series, we need to see our protagonist as a total BA. Even Bernie Weismann did a better job against an enemy "hero" than Shiro did. When you voice actor is also Gai from GAOGAIGAR and (my Capcom vs SNK 2 main man) Joe Higashi, you seriously need to bring the pain, and Shiro didn't really. He didn't seem particularly competent at either man-to-man MS combat (after that first fight against the Zaku) or squad-based stuff (other than some pretty slick palns with the hillside fight and the Apsulus battle in the canyon). I dunno...he's pretty myeh in my opinion, even though I really like his characterization overall and love the series.

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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by Wingnut » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:12 pm

ArkeotheHedgehog wrote:That was pretty much my only problem with Shiro. To extend what you're going with there, he just didn't seem like that great of a pilot to me (the whole Ball def. Zaku II bit at the beginning never really translated into anything spectacular IMHO, for example, missing every shot against Norris was pretty sad and only beating him when Norris gave up is pretty lame), and in a mecha action series, we need to see our protagonist as a total BA. Even Bernie Weismann did a better job against an enemy "hero" than Shiro did.
That's not really a fair comparison. Like Norris, Bernie had the home turf so to speak. Both were able to set up effective ambushes and effectively attack their opponents on their own terms. No matter how skilled a pilot you are, this can easily be a game changer in your favor.
When you voice actor is also Gai from GAOGAIGAR and (my Capcom vs SNK 2 main man) Joe Higashi, you seriously need to bring the pain, and Shiro didn't really.
Thing is, most of us that watched 08th for the first time, didn't hear that voice. We saw the engligh dub on Midnight Run, and I doubt anyone that did listen to the Japanese language track on their DVDs knew what GaoGaiGar even was, let alone be able to match the VA.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by HalfDemonInuyasha » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:43 pm

ArkeotheHedgehog wrote:That was pretty much my only problem with Shiro. To extend what you're going with there, he just didn't seem like that great of a pilot to me (the whole Ball def. Zaku II bit at the beginning never really translated into anything spectacular IMHO, for example, missing every shot against Norris was pretty sad and only beating him when Norris gave up is pretty lame), and in a mecha action series, we need to see our protagonist as a total BA. Even Bernie Weismann did a better job against an enemy "hero" than Shiro did.

As pointed out, you can't really compare Shiro vs. Norris and Bernie vs. Christina.

Besides the mention of both having "home turf" and all...

1.) Shiro was, compared to some others, less experienced while Norris was an ace pilot. That alone already puts Shiro at a big disadvantage.

Bernie is usually talked about as a not-that-great pilot, but at least decent in the end while Christina, while she may have been piloting the Alex, was NOT a pilot actually able to harness its full potential (that was meant for Amuro after all) and was also merely a test pilot, so the scales were a lot more balanced in that regard.


2.) In terms of Shiro missing so much, you can't forget that when he was spamming his machine guns, he was also SLIDING quickly down a building while firing, thus there'd be a lot of vibration and it'd be VERY difficult to actually have that great aim. Not to mention, well, they're machine guns. They're not meant for perfect aim either.


3.) Even if it may not SEEM like not that big a deal to you, Shiro using a RB-79K Ball to beat the MS-06RD-4 Zaku (which is a Zaku II, but with Rick Dom-like mobility) IS quite a big deal when you consider how outclassed any type of Ball is compared to practically any MS. Pretty much everyone on board the transport was warning him and mocking him for taking out a Ball to fight. (It got nicknamed "Mobile Coffin" for a reason.)


Also, Zeon aren't completely the bad guys, but the Zabi family is at the core primarily. 08th MS Team further showed corruption and such on BOTH sides; mostly with Ryer and him caring more about his own pride and not letting Revil "laugh at him" to the point of suggesting an "accidental" GM reactor meltdown to destroy the enemy base and, obviously, Ginias and completely disobeying orders to scrap the Apsalus Project. Thus showing that neither side is 100% innocent. On the flip side, we got ones like, of course, Shiro and Aina and other gray area ones like Topp and Dell.

It's not really until Victory (anime-wise) that the Federation really looks more sympathetic compared to Zanscare. Even F91 had some officers attempt to use Seabook and co as human shields and had battleships fire through colony walls, despite civilians in the area.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by InjuredPelican » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:39 pm

That was pretty much my only problem with Shiro. To extend what you're going with there, he just didn't seem like that great of a pilot to me (the whole Ball def. Zaku II bit at the beginning never really translated into anything spectacular IMHO, for example, missing every shot against Norris was pretty sad and only beating him when Norris gave up is pretty lame), and in a mecha action series, we need to see our protagonist as a total BA.
I'd have to disagree. Shiro didn't have to be the best pilot to be an effective character. And for that matter, he was a fairly good pilot, just not an ace or newtype crazy good. I really enjoyed seeing the antagonists, ala Zeon, in the form of Norris, really have the upper hand in terms of piloting. Even Char wasn't beating up three Gundams while accomplishing his mission at the same time.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by iKhaotic » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:31 pm

the reason Shiro is a great character is that he accomplished what he did while NOT being considered an ace or pro at all. he's just a normal commander of his squad doing his job, yet he's smart enough to adapt to his environment and be smart about his decisions. he's brave enough to question his commands and disobey his superiors to do the right thing and keep his squad out of danger/trouble. it's been a while since i watched 08th MS Team, but Shiro does very well in battles considering he's no ace or anything. he went up against Zeon's new mobile weapon a few times and surivived, fought and defeated an ace pilot, then proceeded to destroy the Apsalus. all while going against all orders to protect his lover.

08th MS Team just goes to show, like someone said above, that neither side during the OYW is completely innocent and good. both the Federation and Zeon have their faults and corrupt officials who would do harm to civilians and pay little attention to allies just for their own selfish desires.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by HalfDemonInuyasha » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:46 pm

Well, to be fair, as said, Norris did purposely "lose" in order to take out the last Guntank to clear a path for the Kerguelen to escape (even if it did end up in vain because of Ginias attacking the Federation which gave them an excuse to shoot it down). Otherwise, he had Shiro completely on the ropes.

And, not to drag the topic off, but I always did wonder whether the Big Zam's or the Apsalus III's mega particle cannon was stronger as both are very big and both were meant to be used to blast away at Jaburo.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by ArkeotheHedgehog » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:26 pm

Thing is, most of us that watched 08th for the first time, didn't hear that voice. We saw the engligh dub on Midnight Run, and I doubt anyone that did listen to the Japanese language track on their DVDs knew what GaoGaiGar even was, let alone be able to match the VA.
Oh, the first time I saw "The 08th" it was on Toonami, so I'm with you there. In fact, because of the English VA (Steve Staley, who also plays Banarghe Links and Seabook Arno) is...well, kind of a wussy sounding guy, which is appropriate for the "war-aint-the-answer-power-of-love" characterization I associate with Shiro (but IMO his voice works better as the younger Gundam protags, especially Banarghe). Before I go further, I should clarify something: I actually really like Shiro's characterization for all the reasons you all have stated. It's just that if I had made the show, he would have been a little bit more of hard-ass than he's shown to be. This feeling that his characterization is somehow missing something is only compounded by the fact that, when I got the DVDs (immediately after getting into Capcom vs SNK 2 and shortly before getting into GaoGaiGar) I immediately recognized the VA as being the same (Nobuyuki Hiyama). The disparity is just too much for me to handle nowadays. Sorry if this seems arbitrary, and I really didn't mean to start any kind of flame war, so let's not make it one, please.

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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by Kishiria » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:06 am

I never "felt" 08th Team. I own the last disc of it just so I can watch "Shuddering Mountain Part 1". I never cared much about the characters, but as someone above mentioned, that might have been because of the brevity of the show. I also didn't find it all that "realistic" militarily, speaking as a veteran, but face it, if you're looking for military realism in SF you're nuts.

Shiro's action at the end merited the death penalty. I wish he'd been the one to go to prison with hard labour, and not Kou Uraki.
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Re: Finished Watching 08th MS Team

Post by Chris » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:02 pm

Kishiria wrote:I also didn't find it all that "realistic" militarily, speaking as a veteran, but face it, if you're looking for military realism in SF you're nuts.
"Realistic" gets thrown around a lot in discussion of mecha anime, and I think it should be clarified as to what it means. I think people are generally referring to an aesthetic, rather than the actual depiction of the military or war. 08th MS Team takes a lot of old junk from MSG like the Dopp and Magella Attack and makes them look like they could be something real. Throw in that you've got a team operating with a couple of mobile suits and a hover truck instead of a shiny new Pegasus class ship, and you've got something that looks more "realistic" than MSG.
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