This 13-part story, originally released in 1996, tells the
tale of war in the trenches between the Earth's Federation
and the Zeon forces in the year UC 0079, towards the end of
the One Year War. Unlike Gundam Wing, this series focuses
on normal soldiers in normal mobile suits, trying to fight
and survive in combat. The series stars Lieutenant Shiro Amada,
a good-hearted leader who commands an odd crew of troops,
including Karen, Eledore, Terry and Michel. The characters
are well-developed and show true heart and depth, even for
such a short series. While some of their reactions and motivations
can be a little cliché, on the whole, they provide
a great basis for a good story.
The ultimate goal of the story is a confrontation between
Shiro and the war-carzed engineer Ginias Sakalin, who's flying
creation, the Apsaras, proves to be a danger. Also involved
is Ginias' sister, Aina, a strong woman who grows emotionally
attached to Shiro. Her emotional conflict between her emotions
for Shiro and her loyalty to her brother set her up as a strong,
There are a number of things that just seem to click with
this series. First of all, the action is solid. While there
aren't any overly dynamic "show-boating" like in
Gundam Wing, the battles feel terse and intense. There's more
of a feel like the events are actual skirmishes in a war.
Also, the characters, including Shiro, work to provide a less
serious tone to break up the flow of the story. Characters
aren't quite as intense all of the time and there are even
a few down-right hilarious moments.
One of the stellar parts to this series is the quality of
animation and backgrounds. Locales are well illustrated, detailed
and have a wonderful color palette. The action moves firmly
and the characters, while not overly detailed, still convey
emotions with their actions and postures.
08th MS Team is a great series. While not as overly deep
and political as Gundam Wing, the characters definently feel
like people you can sympathize with. Even with a few traditionally
hokey events, the series packs a solid punch of quality visuals
and story. Catch this one either on DVD or on Cartoon Network
while it's still available.