Monday, 20 February 2017

Unboxing [UK]: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam - Part 1: First Print Edition (Blu-ray)

So after many delays and whatnot, the second series to the Gundam franchise finally hits the UK and on Blu-ray.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam is the second series to the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise, and is the sequel to the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Movie Trilogy storyline. Zeta Gundam covers 50 episodes instead of 43 this time around and introduces a new set of characters while also bringing back returning members from the 1979 series. Zeta Gundam aired in Japan around 1985 to 1986, a few years after Gundam creator Tomino released three compilation films of the 1979 series around 1981 to 1982.

Zeta Gundam has had a rather rough release schedule for the UK from Anime Limited. Originally slated for September 2016, a couple events happened that stalled on the production. The packaging was already approved, but the main issues lied with Sunrise apparently over-estimating how the UK & Ireland sales fared for the 1979 TV series compared to North America, while also Anime Limited acquiring French distribution rights to Zeta, ZZ and the Movie Trilogy which essentially meant a re-author and more time to quality control. The BBFC also delayed it further from January 2017 to February 2017. It's been a daft situation which has actually split the community apart as a result. Interestingly enough this came out nearly 12 months after Nozomi released Collection 1 of Zeta in North America.

Like the 1979 series UK release, the first part includes a box to hold both parts of the show while the second part will include a booklet that will fit in the box. The box and booklet are available to the first 1000 units only so I recommend ordering asap if you wish to own them both.

The Anime Limited Blu-ray discs have the same episode count as Nozomi's release, plus the English (Yellow coloured) subtitles are the exact same as Nozomi's so folks won't have to worry about any changes being made in the UK version. The French (White coloured) subtitles were handled by @Anime (Anime Limited's French branch). The menus are different to the Nozomi set but the Audio/Video quality is pretty much identical for the English viewers. The regions are B only and the subtitles are locked during playback (you can switch subs to French and audio during playback).

Due to music licensing restrictions, the English releases have instrumental opening songs.

Blu-ray Specs:
Languages: Japanese, English
Audio: DTS-HD MA 2.0 [Japanese, English]
Video: 1080p HD Native 16:9
Region: B
Subtitles: English, French
Subtitles Locked: Yes (can switch audio via pop-up menu during playback)
Discs: 3

Plot Synopsis (via Anime Limited):
The Earth Federation stands victorious, but are they still on the right side?

In Zeta Gundam, we see the future world of the Universal Century through a dark mirror. Having defeated the Zeon menace, the Earth Federation has itself become cruel and oppressive. A new generation of Gundam mobile suits is created not to fight for peace, but to punish the enemies of the state, and yesterday's villains must become today's heroes in order to balance the scales of justice. When a young civilian named Kamille Bidan is caught up in the rebellion, he little suspects the price he will pay in the fight for freedom.

On-Disc Extra Content:
Clean Opening and Closing

First Print Edition Extras:
Chipboard artbox

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam is available on Blu-ray from Anime Limited for United Kingdom as well as on Blu-ray and DVD from Rightstuf for North America.

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Member of the Anime UK News forum, and also once part of the Sheffield Hallam Visual Arts society throughout 2013-2017. Been collecting anime since 2012 and supported the anime distributors ever since. Also been hanging around on the Blu-ray forum and Fandom Post forums.

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