This week, Manga Monday rolls on with a look at the next volume of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin – Volume 5Title: Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Volume V – Char & Sayla
Written & Illustrated by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
Adapted from the series created by Yoshiyuki Tomino
Translated by Melissa Tanaka

Available from Amazon.com & RightStuf.com.

The Premise

In the wake of the attempted infiltration of Jaburo by Zeon forces, and after Sayla Mass learns that Char Aznable was among the attackers, she reminisces to her childhood on what would become the Dutchy of Zeon, and her life as Artesia Deikun, with her brother, Casval, who would become Char Aznable.

High Points

We get a bunch of additional character development for characters on the Zeon side, particularly the members of House Zabi, and Ranba Ral. Even more importantly, we see how Casval Deikun becomes the cold, calculating vengeful man we now know as Char Aznable.

Low Points

I really wish Zeon Deikun was a more erasonable man than the Zabis are. Nope, he’s just as much of a spacenoid supremicist as the Zabis, and were it not for their murderous ambition, Deikun would have remained in power, and the war would have still happened pretty much the same way, only without Char’s revenge plot whittling away at the members of the Zabi royal family.

Scores

Originality: This arc is completely original to the manga, and is a really great addition to the story. 5/6

Artwork: Yasuhiko continues to knock the art right out of the park. 6/6

Story: See the High Point. 6/6

Characterization: See the high and low points. 5/6

Emotional Response: This volume is really intense. We, the reader, know where we’re going to end up, but we don’t know how, though we do know that the trip is going to be rough.  5/6

Flow: 6/6

Overall: This is the best volume of the series thus far. 5/6

In total, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Volume V gets 38 out of 42.