Sunday, March 30, 2014
Anime review: MS Igloo 2: The Gravity of the Battlefront
Intended to be a follow-up to the original MS Igloo stories, MS Igloo 2: The Gravity of the Battlefront (or the more simply stated, The Gravity Front, depending on your interpretation) opts to focus on the everyman within the Federation soldiers on Earth. This leads to a distinctly different storytelling method than the original MS Igloo’s focus on experimental technologies that the Zeon forces dabbled in over the course of the One Year War. In fact, MS Igloo 2 seems to teeter back and forth between weaving a tale of individuals wrapped up in ragtag units ala 08th Ms Team and adopting a sort of military journal format.
Each episode focuses on a different protagonist, but the routine is the same – there is always a character who has some bad reputation for carrying death in their wake, and by the end of each episode, there will be plenty of death and destruction. The problem with this approach is that by the end of the first episode, you already know how the other two will play out. The beginning, middle, and end of these stories are practically identical, despite the fact that they zoom in on pilots of different Federation vehicles.
The greatest offense MS Igloo 2 commits, however, is that it incorporates a literal ghost, a female phantom who is the physical manifestation and/or cause of all these characters’ bad luck. In the end, you more or less come to forget about what battles the characters were involved in because the heavy reliance on this hokey horror element is so out-of-place within the Gundam franchise. Sure, Sanders was rumored to be cursed in episodes of 08th MS Team, but that resulted in a presentation that was purely his own stress and self-doubt. There was never a spook following him around, and that is because spirits and specters don’t work well at all within the mecha genre, let alone one with such longstanding traditions as Gundam.
If there is one Gundam series that feels the result of a blatantly half-assed effort, it is MS Igloo 2. There is barely any reason to care about the characters or story, and the ‘creative elements' are just plain stupid. The quality of the CGI may be notably higher than the previous entries in the MS Igloo OVA series, and the motions of both humans and mobile suits are more fluid and lifelike. You can polish a turd all you want, but it doesn’t make it any less of a turd.
My rating: 4.75 (out of 10)