This time I’m doing two volumes of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin in a row, for volume 4, the second-to-most-recent volume to get an English language release.

Title: Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin – Volume IV
Story & Art by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
Mechanical Design by Kunio Okawara
Based on the TV series created by Yoshiyuki Tomino
Translated by Melissa Tanaka

Available from Amazon.com & RightStuf

The Premise

After defeating Ranba Ral, White Base is on the home stretch to Jaburo. However, to get to Jaburo, they must get past Ral’s vengeful widow, Lady Hamon, as well as the Zeon commander of the forces besieging Jaburo, General Garcia. Additionally Char Aznable has a devious plan to infiltrate Jaburo and open it to assault.

High Points

General Garcia is a very interesting character. He’s the Zeon equivalent to Moff Jerjerrod from Return of the Jedi. He’s not as devious or cunning as Char, nor as daring as Ral. However, he knows how to do his job, but he’s unable to achieve his objective because General M’Quve (as established in the last volume) is sitting on a large quantity of men and material and apparently isn’t doing anything with them.

Low Points

Has the Federation military abolished medals & decorations or something? You’d think getting White Base to Jaburo successfully after traveling thousands of miles behind enemy lines would be worthy of a unit citation, along with individual citations for some of the officers and enlisted men who made this possible (particularly for Ryu Jose’s heroic sacrifice.)

Scores

Originality: This portion of the series includes some of the first characters that are original to the manga, along with some foreshadowing of events to come in Zeta Gundam. 5/6

Artwork: I wouldn’t mind hanging larger versions of the full page spreads on my wall.  6/6

Story: While this volume has several major character deaths, this volume also has some very well written and much needed downtime, both for the characters and the pacing of the story. 5/6

Characterization: See the high points. Also, we get a bunch of character development for the relationship between Sayla and Char. 5/6

Emotional Response: The deaths this volume are very impactful, both on the Federation and Zeon sides. 5/6

Flow: 6/6

Overall: Gundam: The Origin is one of the best manga coming out right now. 6/6

In total, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Volume IV gets 38/42