After Gundam ZZ was created it took 6 years to create a new Gundam series which they called Victory Gundam. When it was being created the director Tomino Yoshiyuki was going trough a depression, because of this things was not going hes way as the first for episodes of the show is really confusing. They had to be changed. Episode 4 became Episode 1, Episode 1 became Episode 2, Episode 2 became Episode 3, and Episode 3 became Episode 4.
Because of Tominos depression Victory Gundam got a really dark tone to it, even darker then Zeta Gundam as some very points in the show. Simply put, people die. Lots and lots of relatable characters are killed of right in front of your eyes. However, even if the show has this darkness around itself it is a really good show which gives you some good and comical moments when it lets up on the depressing moments.
The lead character, Usso Ebbing, an an individual raised in harsh times, he is plenty mature and no annoying naive lover of life. His age is also addressed in the show in a serious matter, with more than one enemy pilot being uncomfortable over fighting what basically amounts to a child soldier. Usso has a standard compliment of friends, including the likes of of useless love interest, bully buddy, and older but still young mentor/friend. These are all much more interesting than i describe them here, but let us keep this short. As i said earlier this show was created during the possibly darkest pit of Tominos depression, there are many characters That are going to get killed or having friends and family killed. While arguably more blunt than Zeta, the difference isn’t that big on a close comparison, and unlike Zeta, death is all over this story, and not just in the obvious places. The cast evolves, takes on responsibilities and gives up hope, and in the end we stand with a smaller, but radically differently thinking group.
the series has a rather odd feeling about itself, how should I put it, someone is trying to explain something important to you, but they fail to do so as if something is holding them back. This lack of communication, or rather ambiguous communication leads to rather bizarre character development. Lastly, Uso’s character is simply too young, and his hero status is quite difficult to accept easily. However, I cannot say this for Shakti’s character though. Her development is one of the strongest female characters I had ever seen. From her more conservative, worrying role to the finally determined and almost motherly character was very emotional. She also serve as a moral guidance in the series, and has from time to time, able to convey Tomino’s message to the viewers much better than Uso. Also, Katajina is another interesting character to watch, I have my doubt about her devotion to Chronicle, but the fact that she is a very manipulative person is clearly visible since day one, and her ending is although bitter, but well deserved. And in the end, when she finally meet up with Shakti as a blinded wonderer, her emotionless expression when she heard Karlman’s name gives off a very heart breaking atmosphere that is hard to describe in words. In the end, this leaves me wondering what was she thinking then and what will happen to her later.
As this is animation from the 90s it is really good if it’s time. Due to the aforementioned financial troubles at Sunrise Animation some older techniques of animation are used, and the lack of shading gives it an extremely flat look compared to earlier and later Gundam shows. However, the series shines where it truly matters, in the mecha combat. Fights are wonderfully choreographed and often much faster and more aggressive than other Gundam shows. The mechanical design follows on the sleeker, smaller suits of Gundam F91, having interestingly designed enemy suits, but also showcasing some of the sleekest and most fantastically basic Gundams.
If you like any Gundam, and have a familiarity with the UC timeline, I highly recommend that you watch Victory Gundam, A true epic spanning over fifty episodes