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Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Vol. 1 – Story and Art by Yasuo Ohtagaki (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 3, 2016 by  



The character designs, artwork and storyline by Yasuo Ohtagaki are wonderful and while this is only the first volume, I look forward to seeing how this manga series develops overtime because so far, this storyline is awesome. “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt” vol. 1 is recommended!

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© 2012 by Yasuo Ohtagaki. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Yasuo Ohtagaki

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Signature

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: November 15, 2016


An epic story of war and survival set in the legendary Gundam universe!

In the Universal Century year 0079, humanity is divided between Earth and huge space colonies known as Sides. The colony known as Side 3 proclaims independence as the Principality of Zeon, and declares war on the Earth Federation. As the conflict nears the one-year mark, the Earth Federation and the forces of Zeon are locked in a fierce battle for the Thunderbolt Sector, an area of space scarred by the wreckage of destroyed space colonies.

Into this maelstrom of destruction go two veteran Mobile Suit pilots: the deadly Zeon sniper Daryl Lorenz, and Federation ace Io Fleming. It’s the beginning of a rivalry that can end only when one of them is destroyed. The lightning-streaked debris fields are about to become the stage for an epic duel where death is the only true winner.


Back in 2012, mangaka Yasuo Ohtagaki wrote and illustrated the manga “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt”.

With eight volumes published, the series would receive a 4-episode ONA anime adaptation and a second season is slated for adaptation.

The manga is set during the One Year War (U.C. 0079) and the Earth Federation’s Brotherhood and the Principality of Zeon’s Living Dead Division are in battle in the Thunderbolt Section, a zone that is littered with debris from the destruction of space colonies and because the area has numerous electrical discharging.

Fighting for the Earth Federation is Ace pilot, Io Fleming and for the Principality of Zeon, Zeon’s best sniper, Daryl Lorenz is focused on killing Fleming.

When Io and Daryl come across each other in battle for the first time?  Who has the upper end?  And which of these two will become victorious?


When it comes to the Universal Century Gundam stories, they are my favorite.  And while many of us have been entertained by stories involving Amuro Ray, there have been a variety of stories that have taken place in the Universal Century, some more deeper than the others and others just focusing on the action.

“Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt” may seem like the latter because of the action focusing on Earth Federation vs. the Principality of Zeon but once the manga goes into character development, the storyline focuses on how people are growing tired of the war.  People sick of seeing deaths of friends and loved ones.

Io Fleming is a man born from a wealthy family and he and his friends are thrusted into war.  Fleming is secretly dating Captain Claudia Peer, a captain who is sick and tired of war and that the Earth Federation keeps sending teenage pilots as reinforcements and always depressed and tense when Fleming, the Beehive’s best pilot goes to fight against the Principality of Zeon.  Along with Fleming and another childhood friend, engineer Cornelius Kaka, all three were born in privilege and are now assigned to the Beehive.

Fleming is an excellent pilot and surprises the Principality of Zeon when he shows up and takes many of them out with his Gundam and always playing his jazz music through a pilot radio station.

Meanwhile, on the opposite end are the Living Dead Division of the Principality of Zeon.  A group that is put together of people who have been significantly injured or maimed and are still fighting with prosthetics.

Their best fighter,  Zeon Chief Petty Officer Daryl Lorenz, is an excellent sniper and wants revenge against Fleming for killing his teammates.  He has lost his legs in battle and carries a retro-style radio that he listens to in battle.

We see the other side as those who feel they are wronged and want revenge against the Earth Federation for the death of their loved ones.

Zeon scientist Karla Mitchum is responsible for giving the soldiers prosthetics but when her loved one is killed, she wants Daryl to rid of the Earth Federation, especially the man responsible, Io Fleming.

But we see how the grass is definitely not greener on the other side and how difficult life was for children growing up in the Principality of Zeon and in order to make sure their families were taken care of, they had to join the military at a young age.

So, the first volume of “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt” gives us another look at the unfortunate situations of war and how it takes its toll on the people of both sides.  While “Mobile Suit Gundam” often showcased the technical side and the strategies of battle, while action is commonplace with “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt”, its the character dynamics that makes this manga shine.

The character designs, artwork and storyline by Yasuo Ohtagaki are wonderful and while this is only the first volume, I look forward to seeing how this manga series develops overtime because so far, this storyline is awesome.

“Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt” vol. 1 is recommended!

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