The most common starting points that longtime Gundam fans recommend to newbies are the original Mobile Suit Gundam series from 1979, the resulting movie trilogy, or 2007’s spectacular hit Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
All of those are great, but if you’re not entirely sold on the franchise and want a quick taste of what it has to offer, you might prefer Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky, which is a film released in 2016 with a fairly short running length of 1 hour and 10 minutes.
The film does not require any prior knowledge of the Gundam franchise so new viewers should have very little difficulty following the story and understanding what’s going on.
I ordered the UK Blu-Ray release last week and received it today, and have been taking a look at the extras that Anime Limited / All The Anime have included.
Firstly, the set comes with a medium sized poster (as seen in my photo) that features the same promotional art used on the BD case and will fit on my wall very nicely. This is a much appreciated inclusion as the only other anime release I own that came with a poster was the collector’s edition version of Akira, and my bedroom could do with some more weeaboo rubbish!
It also comes with five art cards, three of which are promotional art for the film and two of which are Gundam models. They all look very nice and the colours used on the backs make them look very sleek whichever way round they are.
Like the Belladonna of Sadness release I wrote about last week, the British Board of Film Classification’s age rating (15 on this film) was part of the plastic wrapping, so it doesn’t take up any space on the cardboard box, and even the Blu-Ray case doesn’t have a rating on the front cover this time, which makes it all the more aesthetically pleasing.
The Blu-Ray itself is in 16:9 ratio and 1080p HD, and allows viewers to choose between the English dub or the original Japanese audio with subtitles. It should also be noted there are no bonus features on the disc, although I am very satisfied with the cardboard box, poster and art cards.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the UK Blu-Ray release of Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky to anyone who is interested in the franchise. There’s a lot in there for those who are already invested in the series, and its not a bad starting point for people who want to try it out.
You can buy a copy at Amazon UK.