A story involving giant manned humanoid robots that wield assault rifles and beam sabers is not something that can be called realistic. Even though we decided to look beyond this fantastic concept, the fundamental story of most series is still far from reality.
After all, for most of the Gundam series, the story pretty much revolves around boys who rarely have a military background but end up piloting the most advanced weapons at the time and single-handedly changing the tide of a war. massive. It’s not only unrealistic, but it’s also borderline unbelievable. That being said, there is a short series that did its best to present something that was grounded in reality. This series also happens to be one of the most underrated and underrated series in the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise. It’s called Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Teamand here are the reasons why this is the most realistic Gundam anime ever made.
The Story of Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
Before listing some of the reasons, let’s talk briefly about the history of Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team. Unlike most Gundam series, this one focuses on a small Mobile Suit team during the Year-Long War, specifically the 08th MS Team, which is part of the Earth Federation ground forces on land.
The main character of this series is a young man named Shiro Amada, a commander newly assigned to the 08th MS Team. This team consists of three people who pilot the Gundam, including Shiro, and two people who board a Hover Truck and act as support for the Gundams.
The primary objective of the 08th MS Team, along with other MS Teams that are stationed in the same location, is to locate and combat Zeon forces that have landed in the area. Unbeknownst to them, the Zeon are finishing a powerful new type of weapon at a base hidden under a mountain.
In most Gundam series, a newly formed group can act as a precise clock right from the start. But that’s not how it works in real life. Soldiers must know that their commander is capable enough to trust him with their lives in battle. The commander must know that his soldiers will follow his command down to the smallest detail, so that he can formulate the best plan. None of this can happen until they have the chance to work together at least twice. And that is precisely what happened in history.
During the first missions of the 08th MS team, the commander decided to pursue the enemy deep into their territory despite his team’s objection as he believes that none of them can execute their command properly. In response, his team let him do whatever he wanted and just decided to wait until he got back to base alone. These kinds of conflicts are to be expected in a new team. After all, it takes time for a group of people to come together and work as a real team.
Boring and uneventful time
Just because you’re on an important military mission doesn’t mean it’s going to be thrilling and exciting all the time. More often than not, you will see boring days where nothing really happens at all. We rarely see this bit of reality in other Gundam series. After all, the showrunners want to keep audiences engaged by blasting them with non-stop action and heart-pounding moments, right?
This is not the case with the 08th MS team. There are several times in the series where they get stuck waiting for enemies to show up. They have to endure the scorching heat of the sun while paying close attention to the sensors in their cockpit. It’s not exciting to watch, but that’s pretty much how this stuff happens in the real world.
Lots of technical issues
No matter how advanced and cutting-edge a weapon or piece of equipment is, once it is used in a real situation, technical issues will occur. The fact that the main Gundam in most Gundam series has rarely crashed or had any technical issues is actually a little odd. In fact, a new weapon that has never been used in actual combat before is actually more likely to suffer some sort of malfunction, compared to matured technology that has undergone multiple revisions and improvements.
The 08th MS team faces many technical difficulties throughout the series. From a total breakdown to some minor issues with the joints, a lot can go wrong with their Gundams. And like any other soldier in the field, they did their best to repair any kind of damage and malfunction with the tools and materials they had, and continue their mission.
Improvise, Adapt, Overcome
Apart from technical issues, soldiers in the field also often face a situation where they have to improvise and adapt in order to overcome any kind of problem. In most Gundam series, this type of adaptation and improvisation comes in the form of a special weapon pack for the main Gundam. Maybe it’s a booster, or maybe it’s a heavy weapon pack. It’s actually not so much an upgrade, but rather giving custom add-ons that can only be used by this Gundam.
There is no special treatment for the 08th MS Team Gundams. One of their Gundams takes significant head damage, so they just replace it with an available head part from other mobile suits. Shiro and his heavily damaged Gundam are caught in a blizzard. In order to avoid being frozen to death, he takes out the Gundam’s beam saber and uses it to melt the surrounding ice. So, as you can see, there are many times the characters in this series have to use their heads and whatever is available at the time to improvise, adapt, and overcome.
There are several reasons why this series is so great. But at the end of the day, the showrunners’ decision to present different instances based on the reality of military life during missions, even if it may not be exciting to see, is the main reason why Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team is by far the most realistic Gundam anime ever made.
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