Gundam F90 Chapter 1 Examination

Gundam F90 With Destroid Pack

What Is It: Gundam F90 is a 1990 prequel Manga to the Gundam F91 movie directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino. Gundam F91 was infamous for it being a scrapped 50 episode series, which had the first 10 fully written scripts compressed into a 2 hour movie. The results were less than stellar and it was up to Manga, Novels and other media to fill in the gaps surrounding the story. Crossbone Gundam a sequel to Gundam F91, written by Yoshiyuki Tomino himself, which continued the story of Gundam F91 was one of them, Gundam F90 a prequel manga was another. This manga would set the stage for some of the important events that happened in Gundam F91 as well as provide some important details for the world of the 2nd Universal century.

Summary: Gundam F90 begins with the Jupiter Energy Fleet Supply Ship Kobayashi Maru (Oh that’s a bad name for a ship these days) returning from Jupiter to the Earth Sphere. The captain remarks at how he’s glad the long voyage is almost over and that he is glad he’ll be back in time to attend his daughter’s birthday (Oh he’s toast). The ships operator detects an abnormal spread of Minovsky Particles in the area (These are capable of jamming radars and high density usually indicates a battle is in progress or about to take place). Sure enough the Kobayashi Maru is sunk by an unknown enemy and we flash forward three days to a test piloting of the new Gundam F90 mobile suit.

The test pilot Def is complaining about the length of the drill and how he wishes he didn’t have to sit in the cramped cockpit of a mobile suit for so long and that the Gundam F90 has poor ventilation. The supervisor tells him to cut the chatter and to focus on the next drill. Meanwhile on the Admiral Tianem (Named after the famous Earth Federation general who led the final assault on Zeon in the One Year War in Operation Star One) a Clop class ship, which the F90 is attached to, the scientist who designed the F90 and Lieutenant Rosch the man in charge of the test team are commenting on the units performance. Rosch says he is impressed with the SNRI’s (Strategic Navel Research Institute, the company that designed the Formula series of Mobile Suits) idea of scaling down mobile suits to enhance performance while minimizing target space and getting rid of useless armor that wouldn’t protect the unit in the age of beam weaponary anyway. He is also impressed that the Formula series is still highly maneuverable despite the smaller size (meaning less thrusters). The engineer says that SNRI hopes to return mobile suits to their original purpose of construction and to eliminate the use of them as weapons of war.

A speed test commences and it is determined that the Gundam F90-2 is faster as a result of its experimental Type Cai III processor (No explanation on what that is). In fact it is potentially 3 times faster than any other mobile suit. The test is aborted when the Gundam F90-1 piloted by Sid has an engine malfunction. Sid then detects an increase in Minovsky Particles in the area. Suddenly they are attacked by One Year War Era Mobile Suits (Over 40 years old at this point). Sid is blindsided by a much larger Zaku, but manages to regain his composure in time to announce the presence of “Zeon Phantoms”. The Phantoms then renew their attack.

Thoughts: It’s kind of typical of a Gundam series to kill off nobody characters just because they have family, so the opening bit was kind of lame. Not to mention that we learn nothing yet as to the significance of the Kobayashi Maru’s destruction. The chapter starts off by mentioning the differences between the old and new generation of Mobile Suits and is mostly occupied by drills and technical Mumbo Jumbo. In the latter parts when the outdate mobile suits show up it becomes apparent of the massive difference in size between the Gundam F90’s and the One Year War era Zeon units. It’s kind of neat to see the side by side comparisons of the units in battle, but the main question remains, who are these mysterious attackers and why are they interested in sabotaging the Formual Series test. Time will tell I guess. The chapter also ends on a neat cliff hanger so things should get interesting soon enough in Chapter 2.

Rating: Six Out Of Ten


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June 2007
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