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Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation II: Lovers

Title: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundm: A New Translation II: Lovers aka Kidou Senshi Z Gundam: Koibitotachi
Genre: Action/Drama
Companies: Sunrise/Sotsu Agency
Format: Movie; 95 minutes
Dates: 29 Oct 2005

Synopsis: Jaburo may have fallen, but the Titans show no signs of giving in. The desperate battles to ensure the AEUG’s return to the Argama has left Camille stranded on Earth. Until a return to space is possible, he is accompanied by legendary pilot Amuro Ray to Hong Kong, where he has a fateful encounter with the Cyber Newtype, Four Murasame. She is a dangerous Titan pilot whom Amuro claims can destroy Camille’s mind. His words are in vain as Camille sets off to save Four from the monstrous influence of the Titans and the Psycho Gundam. But there is only so much he can do before he must return to space and face a new challenge when he takes charge of the mighty Zeta Gundam.

The Highlights
Opening Battle: One of the best Gundam has to offer.
First half: Nicely streamlined with one disappointing change.
Second half: Disjointed and somewhat dumbed down.
Lingering events: More thought should have been put into this.

Love in Gundam. It’s short, sweet, and generally ends badly. And considering the hastened romance between Camille and Four, such is an apt description of this movie. In Heirs to the Stars, the breakneck pace lead to there being a number of cracks in the plot. With Lovers covering almost twice the material, what were once small cracks now are massive holes.

Pretty much all of the flaws Lovers has are due to it being the middle child of the trilogy. In linking together the first and third acts, it is forced to cover a number of arcs, ones which even in the original failed seamlessly transition into each other. The movie can be described as two films crammed into one with mixed results. I won’t criticize the first half, because I simply cannot. Despite the sudden jump from California to Hong Kong, the Earth component of Lovers is equal to Heirs to the Stars in using action scenes as an effective tool to effortlessly propel the story without sacrificing any of the drama. What was once two episodes has been transformed into an amazing 10 minute battle that carries just as much energy and tension as the original, and perhaps more considering that it greatly cuts the time Katz has on screen.

Where this movie goes awry is the very moment where Camille makes contact with the Argama. From here on out the editing becomes questionable, and the presentation of events comes off as awkward. Unless one is already familiar with the storyline, vital components of the story, such as the colony drop, feel as if they came from the mind of a cartoonish super villain. Even longtime fans of Zeta Gundam will not be able to help but realize how forced it is by comparison.

The great sin of A New Translation is the length of each movie. At an hour and a half each, cuts were inevitable, and in some cases, necessary. However, one can only trim out so much until some of the really good stuff is forced to get the axe. With just an additional half hour, it would have been possible to include Operation Apollo in order to properly set up the colony drop. Char could have gotten an opportunity to offer something similar to his famous speech in Dakar. Reccoa could still have encountered Scirocco beforehand… The possibilities go on.

Despite its flaws, fans of Zeta Gundam owe it to themselves to see Lovers. As for everyone, you should ask yourself whether or not you enjoyed Heirs to the Stars. If you were one who found it fun purely for the action, then by all means follow it up. The fights are even better this time. And if A New Translation’s enjoyment so far has been story based, then put this one on hold until you have the TV series behind you.

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: Kavik Ryx

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