Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt vol. 5 – Story and Art by Yasuo Ohtagaki (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

Prepare for a new threat to both Federation and also Zeon…the Nanyang Alliance and also the debut of Io Fleming’s new Gundam, the Atlas Gundam in vol. 5 of “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt”.

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© 2012 by Yasuo Ohtagaki. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Vol. 5

STORY AND ART BY: Yasuo Ohtagaki



RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: November 21, 2017

On Earth, political turmoil has led the Nanyang Alliance to challenge Federation control. Now in possession of Zeon’s priceless Reuse P Device technology, the Alliance moves forward with its plans. If they can develop the stolen tech, it could make them invincible. Both Io Fleming and Daryl Lorenz begin new operations against the Alliance on dangerous missions that are sure to bring them face-to-face once again…

Over a year later, after the Federation and Zeon signed an armistice, the Nanyang Alliance is challenging the peace, considering they have stolen Zeon’s Reuse P Device technology and are now utilizing the technology to become the new invincible force.

As Daryl Lorenz team confront the Nanyang Alliance and engage in a fierce firefight, the Principality of Zeon has a group wanting to secretly work on a suicide mission to destroy what appears to be a newly built Pegasus-Class Federation Battleship.

But the Federation has a secret that will now be unveiled…a new Gundam known as the Atlas Gundam piloted by Io Fleming.

Also, include is the “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Side Story – Sean: The Desert Rat” featuring a story about black market merchants scrounging for salvage of wrecked mobile suits and weapons in the desert.  The Desert Rats and Zaku Pilot Rusty find an MS unit but also vying to salvage is the Desert Hawk Brigade.

What is “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt” about?

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.

As Io won the first meeting between the two, this time around, both the Federation and Zeon plan to escalate the battle as the Federation plans to send the Gundam in one more time to finish the job, but leading the Gundam are young recruits. Meanwhile, Zeon follows Daryl Lorenz piloting the new Psycho Zaku.

And with a sneak attack, they are able to decimate the Federation. With only a few survivors of the Federation, what happens when Earth Federation’s Moore Brotherhood enters a Zeon ship?

Also, the Federation’s Io Fleming and his Gundam takes on Zeon’s Daryl Lorenz and his new Psycho Zaku for control of the Thunderbolt Sector and significant losses are taken in by both sides, until Federation forces come to back the decimated group, thus capturing Zaku technology, while Lorenz and other remnants manage to hide on Earth.

But a new faction has showed up and manages to secure technology that can prove to be dangerous against the Federation and Zeon. How will both sides deal with this issue?

And a year later, what is on the mind of Io Fleming and Daryl Lorenz? Will these two meet in battle once again?

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.

The first few volumes focused on Io Fleming and Daryl Lorenz, two outstanding pilots on opposite sides.

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.

The fifth volume takes place after the One Year War with an armistice between both the Federation and Zeon and now a new threat, the Nanyang Alliance who have stole Zeon technology that could literally make them invincible.

As, Daryl Lorenz and his Psycho Zaku receive a major upgrade, so has Io Fleming with his Atlas Gundam.

And this issue, we get to see both Io and Daryl in action once again!  So, there is no doubt we may see these two face off each other but for now, there are other pressing matters primarily the threat of the Nanyang Alliance but also rogue Zeon who do not intend to follow the armistice.

The character designs, artwork and storyline by Yasuo Ohtagaki are wonderful and I really like how the emotion of the characters are depicted. The story has been action-driven, detail of the artwork has been excellent and for mecha fans, “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt” vol. 5 show the growing threat of the Nanyang Alliance but also showcasing Io Fleming’s new Gundam, the Atlas Gundam.

Vol. 5 also features a lengthy side story titled “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Side Story – Sean: The Desert Rat” about black market desert merchant salvagers and if you thought things were dangerous in space, things are just as deadly in the desert.

Overall, a fantastic volume of “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt”!

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