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Mobile Suit Gundam: Blue Destiny by Mizuho Takayama (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 12, 2004 by  



The manga adaptation to the popular Sega Saturn “Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story” trilogy video game, this one-volume manga by Mizuho Takayama may not give any finality to the storyline but it does provide a fascinating, exciting and action-packed storyline in the Universal Century storyline regarding the battle between the Earth Federation and Principality of Zeon.  Definitely a Gundam manga worth reading!

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Image courtesy of © 1999 Mixx Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Mobile Suit Gundam: Blue Destiny (機動戦士ガンダム外伝―, Kidō Senshi Gandamu Gaiden)

STORY AND ART BY: Mizuho Takayama (高山 瑞穂)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kodansha Ltd.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Mixx Entertainment, Inc.

RATED: N/A

Available in 1999

For over 20 years, the world of Gundam has reigned over all other mecha anime and manga series!!! Mobile Suit Gundam: Blue Destiny continues the Gundam legacy with the adventures of Federal Forces second liutenant Yu Kajima and his special unit of  mobile suits!  Join the battle now!

Kidou Senshi Gundam (Mobile Suit Gundam), the long running, successful series and franchise which began with Yoshiyuki Tomino and Hajime Yatate (note: Not a real person but a pseudonym for the collective contributions of the Sunrise animation staff) original television series produced by Sunrise in 1979.  A series which was inspired by the American novel “Starship Troopers” from 1959.

In the last three decades, we have seen the story of “Mobile Suit Gundam” evolve since 1979 with many manga, novels, video games and anime series with the original Universal Century and the After Colony (an alternate universe).

So, when it comes to following manga, there are some who can delve right into it and others who prefer to watch or read things in chronicle order of the actual timeline.

What is the main storyline of this war between Federation Forces and the Principality of Zeon?

Set in a fictional universe, human colonization throughout the galaxy has led to millions living in colonies known as “sides” and living under a united government known as the Earth Federation.

Politician Zeon Zum Deikun of the colony cluster located at the second Earth-Luna Lagrangian Point known as “Side 3” has declared independence from the Earth Federation in U.C. 0058.  While the Earth Federation has tried to apply economic pressure to Side 3, the colony created its first national guard unit.  By U.C. 0068, Deikun was assassinated by Degwin Sodo Zabi.  And the new leader has renamed the Republic as the Principality of Zeon and the colony has gradually made their colony a military stronghold.

Zeon developed mobile suits to fight against the Earth Federation and a war between the Principality of Zeon and the Earth Federation has led to a large number of deaths, both sides losing half their population due to NBC weapons and producing a nuclear winter.

Because of the huge losses of half of the human population in various colonies and on Earth due to the war, bot the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon signed the Antarctic Treaty in U.C. 0079 to ban the use of NBC weapons and colony drops.  But the Principalituy of Zeon send their Earth Attack Force and declared war on the Earth Federation and it would be the beginning of the “One Year War”.

By this time, the Principality of Zeon has control over 70% of the Earth’s surface but the Earth Federation is determined to fight back and reclaim their land.

Which leads us to “Mobile Suit Gundam: Blue Destiny”:

In 1996, a new storyline for a trilogy of games titled “Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story: The Blue Destiny” was created for the Sega Saturn that would take place during the One Year War (January 3, 009 – January 1, 0080).

The story received a manga adaptation courtesy of mangaka Mizuho Takayama and published in Haoh Magazine.  Unfortunately, the publisher folded but the sidestory single volume of “Mobile Suit Gundam: Blue Destiny” was released in America courtesy of Tokyo Pop’s Mixx Manga in 1999.

“Mobile Suit Gundam: Blue Destiny”is set in U.C. 0078 and revolves around Yuu Kajima, an Earth Federation pilot participating in the Battle of Loum.  He is the leader of the Marmot Team, the Federation’s experimental corps who test out their latest technology before its mass produced and distributed to Federation Forces.

One day, he and his other pilots, 2nd Lt. Phillip Hughes and Warrant Officer Samana Feuris are sent to destroy a few Zeon Zakus. And while the crew was able to do their job, out of nowhere, they are attacked by an out-of-control blue mobile suit.

While scientist, Captain Chamra and his crew are doing their tests on the mysterious blue mobile suit, they are surprised to see how it works on its own and is declaring an EXAM System Launch.

While the blue mobile suit is winning, Yuu manages to damage it an attack. But when he does so, he sees an image of a woman with wings coming out, saying “Someone stop me…!”.  Yuu is now wondering, who this woman that he saw with wings, could be.

Meanwhile, the Zeon receive reconnaissance reports on the Gundam units and how it fared in battle against the Zaku’s but also on the blue mobile suit.  Major Nimbus Schtazem and his men realize that Captain Chamra, who was one working with the Principality of Zeon’s Professor Chlust Morses is using the EXAM technology that they were testing and brought it to the Earth Federation side.  And they are determined in bringing the technology back but also punishing Chamra for being a traitor.

As for Captain Chamra, he is surprised that someone had hurt his blue mobile suit so badly and now he is determined of recruiting Yuu Kajima in piloting the blue mobile suit.  But as Yuu and his team look into data of the blue mobile suit, they are shocked that any reference to it has been deleted from the database, knowing it is probably an inside job.

But for now, Yuu and the pilots must brave through several attacks from the Principality of Zeon, especially attacks from their top units piloting the Doms, especially an attack from Major Nimbus Schtazem who is determined of getting the Blue Destiny… but for what reason?

We have seen “Mobile Suit Gundam” manga releases that tie-in to the Japanese video game releases.

For Americans, this is quite problematic as many of the Gundam games created in Japan, rarely are released in America.  The only true conclusion one will have is by playing the video games and it does add to the problem of one not knowing how the story will end for a character.

For “Mobile Suit Gundam: Blue Destiny”, there are three “Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story” video games (released in 1996-1997) for the Sega Saturn and chances are that only a few Americans, especially those who can read Japanese will know how the story ends.

While one can easily peruse online of how the story ends, it’s unfortunate that the manga series for “Mobile Suit Gundam: Blue Destiny” was never completed because the storyline was captivating and it was interesting to read a storyline that dealt with a group that tests out mobile suit technologies before they become mass produced.

Yuu Kijima is definitely a fascinating character with wonderful piloting skills, a moral character but having been chose to pilot the blue mobile suit that is literally possessed by the memories of Maria Welch, an EXAM navigator and a Newtype who was used by Professor Krusto Moses (of the Principality of Zeon) and corrupted Maria and while Maria went into a coma, her memories were sealed inside EXAM.

Interesting enough, EXAM was used on two mobile suits…the blue mobile suit which Captain Chamra escaped with and is now used by the Earth Federation and the MS-08TX(EXAM) Efreet Custom piloted by Zeon Ace Nimbus Schterzen.

Maria, the EXAM unit wants Yuu to free her by destroying the EXAM unit, so her soul can be free and no one can use her ability for evil.  While, Nimbus wants to recover the unit in hopes he can free Maria.

So, two men who are enemies, on two yet similar paths are to go head to head with each other in battle.

While the story does end in the manga, the entire  storyline can only be seen through the three video games.  If you want to know how the story concludes, you can read it here.

I am a big fan of the “Mobile Suit Gundam” Universal Century storyline and I absolutely love the manga, anime and video game series.  So, when I usually hear about a video game tie-in ala manga adaptation, knowing from previous history, you know that you’re not going to get any major conclusion and you’re going to have to play the game.  Problem is, those games were never released in the U.S.

Fortunately, “Mobile Suit Gundam: Blue Destiny” is one of the exciting Gundam manga adaptations with slight differences from the video games by the inclusion of characters but for what it’s worth, it’s an enjoyable, action-packed single manga volume that does make you feel like playing the game.

I know this is not the type of manga that people wanting a true conclusion or another volume to give some type of closure to the reader, but the publisher of “Kido Senshi Gundam Gundam” folded, so the manga never was completed.  So, I can understand those who will refuse to read this manga because they have no interest in importing the game, especially if they can’t understand Japanese, nor do they have access to a Japanese Sega Saturn.

But if you are in the mood of reading a fascinating, exciting Gundam one-shot booklet that may not have a final ending, I recommend giving “Mobile Suit Gundam: Blue Destiny” a try.

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