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Mobile Suit Gundam F91: Formula Wars 0122

 

Review by Chris Guanche

April 11, 2020

 

Summary

 

In UC 0122, the Earth Federation Forces battleship Abrams deploys test pilot Bergh Scred on a training mission in the Gundam F90. Capt. Wybull Gardner tasks him with capturing an enemy pilot from the Zeon remnants known as the Oldsmobile Army. Bergh is surrounded by old Zeon mobile suits, but manages to destroy them. After the Gundam F90's combat data is successfully delivered to the EFF, Gardner appoints Bergh as the suit's official pilot. Warrant Officer Annafel Marmoset congratulates Bergh, along with teammates Lt. Wilder Katz, Lt. Wesbar and Lt. Albert Ea. Later, the Abrams enters Earth orbit to drop its mobile suit team planetside for an attack on the Oldsmobile base. Bergh performs re-entry using the Gundam F90 P-Type equipment, while his teammates use ballutes. During the fierce ground battle, Bergh makes use of the Gundam F90 D-Type equipment. The battle ends with the destruction of the Oldsmobile base, but Annafel is killed during the operation. The team returns to the Abrams in space and comes under attack from a custom Gelgoog piloted by Oldsmobile leader Charle Rochester. Wilder's Heavygun attacks with a beam saber, but is blocked by the Gelgoog's beam shield. Charle then pulls out his naginata and destroys Wilder's Heavygun. The Abrams then provides cover fire, which forces Charle to retreat. Back on the ship, Bergh wonders why he's crying when he didn't even like Wilder. Soon after, work is completed on the Gundam F90 V-Type equipment. An alarm sounds throughout the ship, and Chief Mechanic Braun Wooder tells Bergh that a spy stole the reserve Gundam F90 unit. Bergh gives chase in the Gundam F90 V-Type and is informed that the Oldsmobile spy is Wesbar. Bergh tells Wesbar that he doesn't want to fight him, and Wesbar calls him naive. The two trade weapons fire, but Bergh manages to land a fatal beam rifle shot that destroys Wesbar's Gundam F90. Bergh angrily fires his beam rifle and vows that he'll never forgive the Crossbone Vanguard.

 

Later on, as the Crossbone Vanguard's Iron Mask begins making moves, Bergh is informed that the Oldsmobile Army has captured the EFF's lunar base. From the captured base, Charle has a mass driver catapult fire a meteorite at an EFF ship to destroy it. On the bridge of the Abrams, Gardner tells Bergh that he's the only one who can handle their new model mobile suit. Bergh heads down to the hangar and sees the new Gundam F91, which Wooder explains was based on all the data collected so far on the Gundam F90. Charle broadcasts a demand that the Earth Federation recognize the Oldsmobile Army as an independent state, or he'll use the mass driver to attack Earth with meteorites. Bergh prepares to launch in the Gundam F91, but Gardner cancels on the basis that the suit's existence cannot be made known to the Oldsmobile Army. However, Wooder suggests that they flood the area with Minovsky particles, and Gardner changes his mind. Bergh takes off and uses the Gundam F91's beam launcher to destroy the mass driver. Charle then launches in his Gelgoog and comments that he'll have to capture the Gundam F91 and present it as a gift to the Crossbone Vanguard. The two engage in close-range combat, but thanks to the Gundam F91's superior mobility, Bergh is able to slice off one of the Gelgoog's arms. Charle retreats toward a Crossbone Vanguard Mobile Fortress, and Bergh fires the VSBRs (Variable Speed Beam Rifles), destroying the Gelgoog and the Mobile Fortress. Afterward, the Gundam F91's bio-computer is sealed and sent to SNR (Strategic Naval Research Institute) for further study. Not long after, the Crossbone Vanguard makes its move in UC 0123 and invades the Frontier IV colony.

 

Commentary

 

If Formula Wars 0122 reads as disjointed and brief, that's because it is. This short manga is an adaptation of a 1991 Super Famicom game of the same name, but "adaptation" is a word that does a lot of heavy lifting in this case. I've never played the game, but it's clear that the manga adaptation is rushing through the game's story, as characters appear for a panel or two before dying, and entire plot points like the Earth operation and Annafel's death are quickly glossed over. As a result, all the characters here are just standard Gundam cliches, and even some old plot tropes pop up, including yet another theft of a Gundam F90 by the Oldsmobile Army. Maybe the full story as told in the game is interesting, but this manga is far too short to attempt to cram it all into, and that makes it a poorer product.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

2.5 out of 5 stars
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