This volume we return to the “present”, of the Zeonic war.
Title: Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Volume 8
Story and Art: Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
Original Story: Yoshiyuki Tomino
Translated: Melissa Tanaka
Available from Amazon.com
Returning to the “present” of the story, White Base has put in to Belfast for resupply in preparation for Operation Odessa, the Federation’s big push on Zeon’s last Earthside stronghold, in Southwest Asia.
Before the White Base sets out, Kai gets his turn to desert before returning in the face of a Zeon attack. However, during this time Kai falls in love with a Zeon spy named Miharu, who decides to help White Base after learning about the orphans on board, only to give her life helping Kai take on an attacking mobile armor.
Finally, for this volume, we get Operation Odessa itself, in its entirety.
Char’s cat-and-mouse battle in the Ruins of Gibraltar is incredibly tense and well written. After several volumes where we’ve been lacking the Char/Amaro conflict, this volume allows the audience to jump right back in to the fray.
Operation Odessa itself is incredibly well done. This is probably the first real combined arms mobile suit battle we’ve seen on land in the entire series, and the art really gets across the scope of the battle, and it manages to get across the chaos of the fight while also retaining a sense of geography.
Miharu, as a character, definitely ends up on the list of anime women in refrigerators.
Emotional Response: 4/6
Characterization: This is Kai’s biggest step towards being a likeable character, as opposed to the loathsome jackass he’s been in earlier volumes. 6/6
In Total, Gundam the Origin, Volume 8, gets 33 out of 42.