Federation troops and Zeon forces carry out a fierce battle in the Thunderbolt Sector in what was once Side 4 "Moore." The Thunderbolt Sector is a shoal zone composed of the debris of destroyed space colonies, named for the electrical discharges from the metal debris. MS pilot Io Flemming is among the Federation soldiers who are dispatched to the area, where Zeon sniper Daryl Lorenz awaits them on the battlefield.
(Source: Gundam Wikia)
Review: Kidou Senshi Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky – A Dance of Mecha Giants
The Gundam franchise has always been home to spectacular mecha combat, intriguing political intrigue, and multidimensional characters. ‘Kidou Senshi Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky’ stands tall among its siblings, equally continuing this tradition of excellence. Today, I, ‘The Anime Critic’, will guide you through its highlights, artistry, and why you should absolutely not miss this piece.
Set during the One Year War’s final stretch, ‘December Sky’ plunges us into the Thunderbolt Sector, an area of space littered with debris from destroyed space colonies and ships. It’s a deadly sea of electricity, fatal to any who journey into it. However, hidden among this treacherous chaos are two rival factions; the Earth Federation and Principality of Zeon.
Emotionally-driven Federation pilot Io Fleming, and the Zeon sniper Daryl Lorenz, find their fates intertwined as their respective sides of the battleeloquently highlight the horrors of war. Moving beyond mere good versus evil tropes, ‘December Sky’ gives us a rich tapestry of complexities and human struggle that forms the crux of the narrative.
‘Space Jazz vs Orchestral Music’ – if I were to concoct a tagline for ‘December Sky,’ that’d be it. Music underscores the entire narrative. Io Fleming’s love for jazz contrasts sharply with Daryl Lorenz’s classical orchestration, crafting this duality that syncs beautifully with their onscreen rivalry. It paints a sensory spectacle that’s just as impressive as the visuals.
Speaking of visuals – Oh boy! The animation in ‘December Sky’ is downright amazing. Sporting a more matured art style in comparison to previous Gundam instalments, the mecha designs are meticulously detailed and the action sequences are adrenaline-inducing, to say the least. Equally striking is the character animation that never shies away from displaying the emotional toll of the ongoing war.
‘December Sky’ further deserves praise for its gripping narrative. The One Year War makes for a compelling backdrop and the series doesn’t shy away from its tragic implications. The well-rounded characters deal with loss, hatred, despair and fleeting hope, making the story resonate on a deeply human level.
Overall, ‘Kidou Senshi Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky’ is an excellent addition to the ever-growing Gundam franchise. Its mature art style, magnificent soundtrack, emotionally-driven storyline, and complex characters all synergize to produce a stunning piece of anime artistry.
Whether you’re a longtime follower of the Gundam series or a newcomer looking for a place to dip your toes, December Sky is a commendableoption. Its standalone nature allows new viewers to appreciate the series without prior knowledge, while rewarding longtime fans with rich contextual elements.
Should you rent, buy, or stream? Definitely, do all three. ‘December Sky’ is not a one-time watch but a monumental experience you’d want to relive. It’s truly a Symphony of War fought by Mecha giants, and trust me fellow anime lovers, this concert is worth every second!
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