This week I’m getting back to the manga reviews with my thoughts on Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Volume VI

Title: Mobile Suit Gundam – The Origin, Volume IV
Written & Illustrated by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
Based on the series created by Yoshiyuki Tomino
Mechanical Design by Kunio Okawara

Available from Amazon.com & RightStuf

The Premise

The flashback continues. Tensions rise between the Principality of Zeon and the Earth Federation, leading ultimately to war. Through all of this, Tem Ray, a mechanical engineer, starts work on the Federation’s answer to Zeon’s Zaku.

High Points

If Char Aznable wasn’t an outright bastard before, he clinches that reputation now. Over the course of this volume, as part of his plan of revenge against the Zabi family, he manipulates Garma Zabi into firing the first shot of the war between the Federation and Zeon.

Low Points

While the Federation military were still jerks in the show, they at least weren’t as outright hateful as the Zeons were – only becoming just as hateful and cruel during Zeta, under the influence of the Titans. Here, they’re already callous crass, over-reacting malicious bullies. Considering that Ghiren is a genocidal Spacenoid Supremacist Bigot, we really don’t need any Zeon apologia in this volume.

The Scores

Originality: This volume is completely original, and gives us some backstory that we’d never gotten before – the ultimate fate of Doctor Minovsky, how the war began, and how Char first met Lalah Sune. 5/6

Artwork: Yasuhiko’s work is still absolutely on fire in this volume. 6/6

Story: This volume provides a lot of great background for everything that has happened so far this volume, and several things that are to come. 5/6

Characterization: Garma gets a lot of characterization he didn’t get in his first appearances, as does Dozle and Amuro’s father, Tem. 6/6

Emotional Response: This volume has some incredibly strong writing – with the exception of some of the characterization of the Earth Federation as a whole, which is a fairly substantial flaw. 4/6

Flow: 6/6

Overall: This series is one the best manga series I’m reading right now, and which is currently being published in the US. This is really worth checking out. 5/6

In total, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin – Volume VI gets 37 out of 42.