A few months ago, Bandai and Sunrise announced that Mobile Suit Gundam: Twilight Axis, a sequel to Gundam Unicorn with nods to Gundam F91, would be receiving an anime adaptation starting this month. It was also announced that it would be comprised of five 3-minute episodes and one 8-minute episode for a total runtime of 23 minutes. In other words, six episodes of Twilight Axis equal a single normal episode of, well, just about anything else. And the release of the first episode this month proved that this could be a far more problematic format than many had already assumed. You can watch the first episode for yourself. Even if you’re not a Gundam fan, it’s only 3 minutes of your time.
If you didn’t read the video description, I wouldn’t blame you for not understanding what the story is about. It feels so rushed, and not to a normal extent. It’s expected that with only three minutes it would be rushed, but the story isn’t even told coherently in those three minutes. It jumps from scene to scene, forwards in time, backwards in time, the pacing is just all over the damn place. And you can tell that these scenes aren’t even supposed to be connected because one minute there’s music playing, then it abruptly stops, only to pick back up two scenes later as if it had never stopped.
The music is beautiful, the art is amazing, the character designs are good, and if you read the description, the story seems intriguing. However, this first episode is not a good introduction to Twilight Axis. If anything, it almost seems like self-sabotage, like they purposefully made it incoherent to force people to go and read the source material if they actually want to understand it. And then of course there’s the model kits that go with it, and from what I understand, the HG 1/144 Gundam Tristan kit isn’t very good and it’s based on a very old mold. In other words, the show feels more like a throwaway that’s meant to guide people to the source material and related merchandise.
Now, maybe the episode that airs in two weeks will change my opinion, but I somehow doubt that. This episode felt more like a trailer, and it was bad at even being that. And you won’t be able to watch the rest of the series wherever you want too as the rest of this ONA(Original Net Animation) is exclusive to some fan club that I’ve forgotten the name of. Not that you can’t find alternative places to watch it of course. I’ll probably keep watching to see if it ever pans out, and if it ever gets a compilation release with the episodes stitched together, I hope that they rearrange the scenes to actually flow in order rather than the haphazard way they’ve been thrown together thus far.
But hey, at least I can listen to the beautiful OST in the trailer. You hear it in the episodes, but as I mentioned before it gets cut off and abruptly picks back up later. It’s much better in the trailer where it actually gets to play through.