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Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN, Volume 7:…
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Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN, Volume 7: Battle of Loum

by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge's Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge's Exalted Permission. Title: Battle of Loum Series: Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin Author & Artist: Yoshikazu Yasuhiko Rating: 5 of 5 Stars Genre: Manga Pages: 420 Synopsis: The War between Zeon and the Federation erupts! What has been 2 page flashbacks in previous books takes on horrifying proportions as we see the destruction of a whole colony and its catastrophic plunge onto Earth. We see the War almost sputter to a stop and then inflamed into an inferno by people on both sides. My Thoughts: Oh man! This volume blew my mind. It was horrifying. It showed "War" exactly how many people view it. The story was terrifically good however. So much awesomeness packed into 1 volume. And once again, the art was the best part, but this time it was matched by the story. That is why this got 5 Stars. " ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Battle of Loum is the seventh volume in Yoshikazu Yasuhiko's manga series Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, a reimagining of the original 1979 anime series Mobile Suit Gundam which launched the massive Gundam franchise. The Origin provides an excellent entry point into the rather daunting Gundam universe for those who don't know where to start with it. I'd even recommend the manga to readers who don't have a particular interest in Gundam but who are looking for a great military science fiction series or space opera. Generally, I would consider myself a part of that latter group, though after reading The Origin I find that I am more curious about Gundam as a whole than I previously was. I have thoroughly been enjoying Vertical's deluxe release of the The Origin which is based on the Japanese collectors' edition. The seventh volume, originally published in Japan in 2011, was released in English in 2014 and includes additional commentary from Mamoru Nagano as well as the extra chapter "On the Eve" as bonus content.

After the Republic of Munzo declared itself the independent Principality of Zeon, political tensions continued to mount between it and the Earth Federation until an all-out war between the two groups ignited. Some of the other space colonies rally under Zeon's flag, demanding their autonomy and freedom from the Federation's rule. Others support the Federation and its efforts to keep humanity united. Neither side of the conflict is entirely in the wrong, but as the war continues so do the crimes against innocent civilians and colonists, many of which are manufactured by members of Zeon's ruling House Zabi who would use the war for their own designs. There are warmongers to be found among the Federation's ranks as well, though. But then Zeon does something unconscionable. Supposedly in an effort to end the war quickly and decisively, an entire space colony is crashed into the planet and the effects are devastating.

Battle of Loum recounts two of the most pivotal events of the war between the Federation and Zeon. The first chapter or so is devoted to the colony drop of Side 2 and the massacre of the colonists that precede its ultimate destruction. It is an appalling tragedy and the number of casualties is enormous, both of Side 2's residents and the worldwide population of Earth. Yasuhiko's stunning portrayal of the colony drop is extraordinarily effective. In addition to the showing astonishing damage inflicted, he explores the motivations behind it, the controversy and doubt surrounding the act, and how individuals respond and react to the plan and its execution. The colony drop is nothing short of an atrocity. It's chilling to see the propaganda touting the glory of war contrasted with the very grim reality and horror of it all. The images of the colony breaking apart and smashing into Earth and the resulting devastation and loss of life are haunting.

As can be assumed by the title of the seventh volume, the Battle of Loum is the other major incident of the war upon which Yasuhiko turns his attention. Although the Federation has the advantage of numbers and resources, it is outmatched strategically and technologically as Zeon proves just how powerful and versatile the newly developed mobile suits can be. The Battle of Loum is a turning point in the war. Neither side comes out of it unscathed, but the Federation suffers a major defeat. The seventh volume of The Origin is very dramatic, with intense space battles and devious political machinations. There are those who honestly desire peace, but there are also those on both sides of the conflict who seek war. The inclusion of "On the Eve" brings the narrative full circle to the events that begin the series. The Origin is a magnificent piece of science fiction. It's scope is epic, but Yasuhiko never forgets the very personal human drama that underlies it all.

Experiments in Manga ( )
  PhoenixTerran | Dec 5, 2014 |
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In a brutal civil war, half of humanity has been wiped out, while Zeon's army of Zaku mobile suits is the ultimate decisive weapon. With the Federation's first Gundam out of action, teen Amuro Ray miraculously stumbles on a second unit--the awesome RX-78 Gubdan. Now, in control of a machine with unparalleled destructive power, will Amuro's actions save the colony's survivors or destroy them?… (more)

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