From director Yoshiyuki Tomino (Mobile Suit Gundam) -- U.C. 0123. After a generation of peace, the Earth Federation has begun to build new space colonies to house humanity's growing population. But a new force, the aristoc... more »ratic Crossbone Vanguard, plans to seize the colonies of the newly constructed Frontier Side for itself. As their home becomes a battlefield, a handful of young civilians struggle to escape the conflict. To save his friends and family, the reluctant warrior Seabook Arno becomes the pilot of a new Gundam which bears the code name F91.« less
G White | Bedford, Bedfordshire United Kingdom | 03/11/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Originally intended as a TV series, Gundam F91 is the last of the original Universal Century movies (the rest being compilations of earlier series). 30 years have passed since Amuro and Char had their final climactic duel and things have only gotten worse for humanity. The corrupt Earth Federation have continued to let their power slip and are ill equipped to face a new spacenoid rebellion known as the Crossbone Vanguard. Waving the banner of spacenoid peace and supremacy, many colony citizens wonder if accepting them would be a good thing. But for every idealist there must be a greedy tyrant.Hope lies with a ragtag group of civillains and trainees and the prototype MS known as the F91...
Gundam F91 follows the classic Gundam plot structure- war comes into the mostly peaceful life of a young man and his friends and fate sees him as the pilot of the weapon which could end the conflict. By the time of it's appearance here, the structure is certainly showing some faults. The film perhaps even hurts itself by pointing out more than once that this isn't the first time this has happened in the Gundam world (This is an ongoing theme with the film- early on we see a war museum displaying old Zeon MS and the F91 receives it's 'Gundam' designation in honour of the suits which came before it).Whilst the basics are ok, the formula could really use some livening up. Not helping things is the erratic pacing- due to being based off of half complete ideas for a TV series, F91 is a dissapointing mix of too many plot points and little resolution. Many times through the film I could see how certain elements would have been expanded in a full length series. Characters seem to be brought in just to be killed and 'develop' the main character.
Our lead is Seabook Arno, a 17 year old student who bears resemblance to Amuro and Kamille before him. Seabook has Tomino's trademark rough family life with a one parent family due to a mother who threw herself into her work, though the Arno's are perhaps one of the closer families in Gundam. Seabook's crush is beauty queen and tomboy Cecily Fairchild, who's past is somehow linked to the Vanguard's leaders. The connection is one of the key plot points and the source of much conflict between the two starstruck youths. Their ragtag group of refugees is rounded up by a bunch of fellow kids, mostly useless and annoying. Seabook's friends basically do nothing for the film and I'm constantly befuddled as to why Tomino seems to think it's a good idea including babies and toddlers in these groups. It does show that war picks on everyone, but their placement serves no real purpose and their comic relief moments fall flat. On the other side of the cast we have the personalities of the Crossbone Vanguard, mostly the slightly deluded Ronah family. Having made their fortune by various spacenoid commodities, the Ronah's form a private army with the apparent intent of joining all humanity under one space nation ruled by themselves. The one Ronah who sticks out the most is the mysterious and creepy 'Iron Mask'. A hulk of a man with a full metal mask covering his head, Iron Mask is seemingly supporting the elder Ronah's vision but is in fact plotting something much more sinister...
On the DVD side of things, Bandai do an ok job. The release is hyped as a 'Special Edition' due to it being a 2 disc set. There's a big difference in content-
Disc 1 contains the film itself, with a stereo English and Japanese track and optional subtitles. The menus are well designed using animation of Seabook's home colony from the film. Extras consist of the always well researched Gundam Encylopedia from Keith Rhee and Mark Simmons, with technical and history information on the various mobile suits seen throughout the film.
Disc 2 is where a drop in content comes. Whilst low on extras, it's clear to see that disc 1 was at some point considered all there was to the release. The secondary disc feels rushed so Bandai could jack up the price. Gone are the well designed in-universe menus, replaced with a colour inverted image of the F91's head whilst the most annoying dialogue from the dub loops. Disc 2 is an extras disc, but there's not much to get excited about. The best part is the audio commentary for the film between the dub's producer, one of the dub actors and a representative of Sunrise. Whilst things take a while to get going, by the end we learn some interesting anecdotes and trivia on the production of the dub and Gundam as a whole. There's also a 5.1 Dolby Digital English track for the film. The rest of the extras are rather low- we get a brief character guide, a gallery of random shots from the film, shots of life-size F91 and Zaku heads and a brief timeline of the key events leading up to the events of the film. I really feel Bandai could have done more with this disc, such as the Gundam Evolve CGI shorts or Crossbone Gundam, the sequel manga to F91. Some of the content IS good, but as a whole it just feels rushed and unthought out.
Both casts do a great job. Bandai wisely hired Animaze/BangZoom for the project, leading to the cast being full of many talented voice actors. All the roles are perfectly cast and handled, unlike the hodge podge efforts from the Ocean Studios.
I wanted to like F91, really. This release (both the film itself and the DVD content) had alot of potential but it just comes short of the mark which is a shame because otherwise this could of been a good release. As is, I can only reccomend Gundam F91 to hardcore Gundam fans. Anyone else will likely not be interested."
Gundam F91, and entertaining Universal Century movie
Joel Jankiewicz | Dauphin, Manitoba Canada | 01/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"F91 is one of Bandai's next Gundam releases to finally make it overseas. Bandai has mostly been releasing their Alternate Reality Gundam shows (Such as Gundam Wing, G-Gundam, Gundam SEED), so having a little Universal Century doesn't hurt anyone.Taking place many years later after Char's Counter Attack, the Federation is at war with the Crossbone Vanguard. At a colony, young Arno Seabook just wants to live a normal life, until the Crossbone invade his home. Now finding himself cornered, and now the pilot of the experimental F91 Gundam, Arno must save his friends and those he cares about, or die trying.This movie was technically supposed to be a series, but for some unknown reasons, Tomino (The creator of Gundam), had a change of plans and had this become a movie. Why this choice, is still unclear. The plot may seem rushed and compact at times, but it's trying to tell alot, even though it's around a 2 plus hour movie. However, that doesn't stop the story from shining.The animation quality for a movie of it's calibre is VERY decent. I couldn't see any animation errors or faults, so there is nothing to complain about. The english dubbing is above average, as I didn't mind it. Musical score is fairly good too. This DVD also has lots of extras, and has a second DVD to boot.Gundam F91 still isn't the last Universal Century story to be released, we still have a little ways to go. Zeta Gundam is now out, and hopefully soon, ZZ(Double Zeta) Gundam will follow. And hopefully after that, the other UC stories and AUs to boot. Until then, enjoy this movie, as I know I enjoyed it."
Joel Jankiewicz | 02/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"F91 is one of the gundam features that I love for its animation quality. The action is spectacular, the Crossbone Vanguard mobile suit designs are spectacular, the characters are spectacular.
The film exemplifies gundam in all of its glory, by using the famous openning sequence in which an un-suspecting citizen, usually a naive young man, is forced to defend his home from mobile suit attack in an unfamiliar fighting machine.
Back in 2002 I was fearing that gundam might just be a one hit wonder in America with 'Gundam Wing' but its nice to finally see the entire gundam franchize taking off in the states. I cant wait for the American adaptations of Gundam X and Victory Gundam."
2 Disc Set - Directed by Legendary "Yoshiyuki Tomino"
Terri L. Ares | So. California, USA | 09/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While it doesn't live up to Tomino's "Char's Counterattack", Gundam F91 holds it's place in history.
Gundam F91 makes it's ground in history because it is the first (and possibly only) Gundam title to be shown in U.S. theatres. F91 made it's debut at Otakon and is now making it's way across the states to New York (at the ImaginAsia Film Theater), Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, and San Fransisco at the Festival of Anime Screening. If you live in or by any of these citys I strongly urge you to go see it! Be a part of Gundam history!
I originally saw this movie on my computer from a R2 DVD rip of it and it is very good! The animation has a smooth flow and looks beautiful.
Along with it's theatrical release, the Special Edition DVD will be here November 23rd. It will be a 2 disc set conisting the following features and extras...
-Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (English) -English/Japanese 2.0 Stereo -English Subtitles -Matted Widescreen Presentation (black bars) -Producer Commentary Track (Sunrise) -Charcter and Mecha Gallerys -Timeline -Trailer Collection -Filmography of Yoshiyuki Tomino and Kunio Okawara -Image Gallery
At a retail price of $29.98, this is a very good deal! Add this DVD to your home entertainment library!
The Best Gundam Movie Ever
Ricky the Dragon | Baltimore, MD | 09/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw the film this past summer at the Otakon premiere in Baltimore. Having previously seen Yoshiyuki Tomino's original Gundam movies, I didn't quite know what to expect with this new film. Boy was I surprised. Unlike the other Gundam movies like Char's Counterattack, I was able to enjoy F91 without having any predisposition on the background or the world. It was a nice self-contained story with albeit 1990's animation, the action sequences of the mobile suits are top notch. Gundam F91 follows a young man caught up in a conflict between his home colony and a group known as the Crossbone Vanguard. With several twists and turns, relationships are key to a very fun movie. I hear that Bandai will be releasing this film as a Special Edition with remixed audio and a commentary track, its not out yet, but just based on the movie itself, I highly recommend it"