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Mobile Suit Gundam: 0080: War in the Pocket 4.5/5

July 14, 2011

First watched this a while ago, but what I really remembered was how annoying the little boy was and how he seemed to be wearing tiny shorts. :lolwut:Decided to rewatch it after seeing a clip of it on youtube randomly.

This is one Gundam OVA that could be watched without having seen any of the main series. But to really understand it you’d need to have some kind of knowledge of the one year war. At only 6 episodes its very short. Not really sure why it has 0080 in the title when it takes place right at the end of 0079.


In the final stages of the one year war a desperate zeon launches a covert attack on a colony where a new prototype gundam is being tested. The colony is actually neutral and is relatively peaceful compared to others at this time. The main character is a little boy who goes about his ordinary life and by accident runs in to the zeon cyclops team. Being eight years old the war seems like a game to him. He helps the cyclops team but in the end learns about the consequences of his actions and how it wasnt a game after all. This ova really focuses on the realistic aspects of the OYW. People in this ova die and its not heroic, it just sort of happens. The fighting has noticeable effects on the colony and its population.


The main character Al, is an ordinary eight yr old boy. He has an annoying voice at time and does ordinary eight yr old boy things like messing around in school and playing pretend games with his friends. He has these really tiny shorts on. :lolwut: But the second time round I never really noticed much of this. He isnt very annoying really.

Bernie Wiseman is one of the other main characters. He is a rookie zeon mobile suit pilot. He crashed on his first mission and had to be rescued. The cyclops team ask for another veteran pilot but they get Bernie. Without spoiling anything this guy is great. Although he’s new, he goes way beyond what was expected of him to carry out the mission. Not for the glory of zeon or anything like that but to protect the colony he was in. His fight is one of the saddest in UC. He could have easily rin away but stayed to fight. A good pilot despite his zaku being half beaten up and desperately lacking in firepower.

The other characters dont really feature all that much in the few episodes there are. But they all play their part.


This OVA is from 1989 but is actually quite nice looking. The mobile suits looks like metalic military hardware and not shiny plastic toys. The GMs sort of are toylike but thats down to the GM design. The space colony looks like a mostly peaceful place. Lots of nice trees. The characters look as they should. Old men looking old hand having the right features for example. Theres a moment towards the end where shock is really well shown on two of the characters faces. Explosions and blood looks good. Theres a nice level of detail on things.


Much of the background music and the opening and ending songs are quite cheerful. This really does help create a feel of a peaceful place. Along with the opening animation. The ending animation features children playing in the wreckage of mobile suits and buildings and looking quite happy, despite the fighting that occurred previously. The battle music could be a bit better really. It’s menacing and all that, but is a bit 1980s …which I guess is to be expected but it does stand out. Some of the sad moments have this cheerfuler sounding music which give a sense of hope but just make the moment even sadder.


By the end you really feel for Al. Not much might have actually changed ..and yet his life would change because these events. The outcome of the mission did not matter, the war was declared over a few days later. There was really no need for these characters to fight. A very good ova. One that should be seen by gundam fans and due to its short and almost stand alone nature, by anyone after a war anime with a different perspective.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2011 9:28 am

    Out of the entire Gundam franchise, this OVA is the best at portraying the effects of war. There is no teenagers shouting ham-fisted ideologies or space nazis and shallow politics, just realistic characters. Al and his friends reminded me a lot of this fat kid I knew back in the 6th grade who also romanticized wars. Not sure if this type of people ever grow out of it without having war personally impact them like in 0080.

  2. July 18, 2011 12:01 am

    Now you must join the rest of us in watching this at Christmas while eating hamburgers – it is tradition!

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