The first“episode” of Gundam: Twilight Axis has been released and if the “series” is anything to go by the adaptation of the obscure novel will go down as one of Gundams most misguided ideas in recent memory. So much is wrong with this property it is hard to know really where to begin, however I think one must start at the most obvious: run time.
Gundam: Twilight Axis once it is all said and done will have a run time of 23 minutes give or take a few seconds. To put that into perspective comparable Gundam novels such as Gundam Unicorn which Twilight Axis serves as a loose sequel too spawned a multiple episode OVA series and a full 24 episode recut anime which aired last year. By now you must be asking yourself how are they going to make this work?
The answer to that simply is it does not... at all. Gundam Twilight Axis is a mess of epic proportions with odd cuts, confusing premise, and pacing issues so glaring it makes Brynhildr in the Darkness look good in comparison. When the words “Even Pupa did it better” starts popping into ones head you know a disaster of epic proportions may be in the making.
What is profoundly sad about this however is the potential lost in this production. Twilight Axis seemed at first to be a very cool and interesting choice of novel to adapt. As it seems very clear the novel was written by a Gundam fan with Gundam fans in mind. To say Twilight Axis is not beginner friendly would be an understatement of epic proportions.
However with all these connections to great stories like War in the Pocket (The Gundam Tristain is based on the Gundam featured in that OVA Series) and of course Unicorn. Twilight Axis had the chance of been seen as a key piece of Universal Century lore. Sadly with this adaption by standing next to giants it looks all the worse in comparison.
At the end of the day Gundam Twilight Axis makes no sense from a conceptual standpoint. It is too steeped in Universal Century lore to be open to a new viewer who may be interested in Gundam thanks to the amazing modern classic Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans. While at the same time it is too oddly designed to appeal to a long time Gundam fan and anime fans in general. This is made all the worse as Twilight Axis is beautiful and well scored, there just isn’t enough of it.
Following on the heels of Iron-Blooded Orphans, Unicorn, and Thunderbolt Twilight Axis always had a steep comparison. Sadly it fails to live up to its illustrious brothers on every level, stay away friends there be dragons here.