Lets start off with 8th MS team. By far THE Best Gundam War Story every made IMO. The Characters weren’t campy children that happened to fall into the cockpit of a mobile Suit, they were a bunch of soldiers (as if right out of a Vietnam War Film…simply badassery) who were just trying to survive while trying to keep loose so they didn’t get so wound up and crack. Shiro Amada by far has to be my favorite Commander. He has that air of being a die hard, devil may care commander whose cool headedness in combat make sure any and all comrades will make it out of a battle alive, yet when hes with Aina, he shows his hesitantness and humanity. his compassion and willingness to try and understand his enemy and find common ground (even love) with them showed a balance of hero and human. the rest of the cast had their own set of problems. Sanders was considered a jinx but was an outright badass in his own right, Karen was that heroine who on the outside was a tough as nails but on the inside was as vulnerable and sad. Mikale is that tech head you love, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, hes the classic Trooper who left his sweetheart back home, only to find out shes sleeping with another man and sends the poor bastard a “Dear John” Letter. Aina, shes a fox. Not only is she a badass pilot, shes a sexy one to say the least. Ginias is the typical mad scientist but he only shows it toward the end of the OVA, but still a pretty decent bad guy, but not as bad as that asshole Isan Ryer, who was willing to hang the entire team just to make an example of Shiro. As for Kojima, awesome Officer, and has the cajones to stand up to Ryer and tell him off. As for Norris Packard…im not gonna beat about the bush…hes a F**K Mothering BADASS! Nuff Said!
The Mecha are awesome (The EZ8 was one of my favorites), The Story is freaking well done, and the character development is done well. Besides the epic battles of strategy and then the even more epic battle between the 8th MS team and Norris Packard, the intimate stuff seen in between (like those scenes with Shiro and Aina in the mountains together) is quite compelling and sets a standard for what a war story in Gundam needs to be.
Now for 0080: War in the Pocket. What can I say, this thing is my personal favorite, even if I hated the ending (yes I know it was necessary but that don’t mean I have to like it lol). Christina Mackenzie is as much a fox as Aina, only the reason I like her more is…well…ive said it before and ill say it again: Im a Sucker for Redheads Alfred Izaruha is that classic kid who has no clue that war isn’t a game and when he comes to realization (spoiler alert, when he witnesses his friend Bernie get turned to “hamburger meat”) he breaks down after seeing the cruelty of the reailty of war. Bernie is the determined Soldier who believes in duty and when he had the chance to run, he chose to stand and fight, though in the end it was futile…noble, but futile. The other Cyclops Team members were pretty badass, but my favorite out of them has to be Misha and his freaking badass that is the Kampfer. The Story that teaches that War is not only not a game but its a brutal creature that if youre not careful dancing with, you could not only loose the people you love, you could loose who you are and even your life, really made me say “Well done”.
The Aqua Mechs are cool, but frankly its meh to me. The Zaku II Kai is a cool upgrade to the Traditional Zaku II and im surprised they didn’t put this in Stardust Memory (more on that when we get to it). the Gelgoog Jaeger has to be my most favorite Gelgoog variant of all time, even if it got very short screen time. The Kampfer is a freaking beast of a blitzkrieg MS, and is the kind of Suit I could see as part of my “Hall of Mobile Suit Grunts” collection. and the Alex…Oh Science H. Logic, and (LONG STREAK OF VERY PROFANE STUFF THAT COULD GET ME BANNED FROM THIS FORUM FOR LIFE)! What can I say about the RX-78-NT-1 “ALEX” Gundam that I haven’t said across this Forum?! Its a beauty of a machine, The cockpit explained the evolution from the RX-78-2 Gundam’s Core Block Cockpit to the RX-178 Gundam MK II’s Linear Cockpit. The paintjob is gorgeous, the Chobam armor falling off it in Ep 4 was freaking badass, and the Gatling Guns…OH THE (CENSORED) GATLING GUNS! This Suit Has to be, rivaled only by the RX-93-V2 Hi-Nu Gundam, My favorite suit of ALL TIME!
All in all, both of thes OVAs were little gems that I personally own and enjoy and I hope any newcomers to Gundam do as well