is a six episode 1989 Japanese science fiction original video animation series. It is the first OVA series in the Gundam franchise. It was directed by , written by Hiroyuki Yamaga with character designs by Haruhiko Mikimoto. As suggested by its subtitle, "''War in the Pocket''," it is a small, personal story; a side story focusing on the experiences of an eleven-year-old boy during the One Year War and his learning of the real meaning of war. A significant departure for the Gundam franchise at the time, ''Gundam 0080'' has received wide acclaim from critics.


''Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket'' is a side story to the main ''Gundam'' franchise continuity. The ''Gundam'' series is set in a fictional calendar era known as "Universal Century" and it establishes that there is a so-called "One Year War" between the Earth Federation and Principality of Zeon—the setting for the original series—, and ''War in the Pocket'' is set in the last days of the war. In Universal Century 0079, Zeon intelligence has identified a prototype Federation Gundam under development in a Federation base in the Arctic. Elite Zeon MS commandos are dispatched to destroy the prototype, but before they can accomplish their mission the Gundam is launched into space. When the Gundam turns up in a Federation R&D base inside the neutral space colony Side 6, the Principality launches a covert operation to destroy the Gundam utilizing the commando team originally dispatched to assault the Arctic base, including young rookie Bernard "Bernie" Wiseman. However, the raid fails and the entire team is killed except for Bernie. After crashing his mobile suit, Bernie manages to befriend Alfred "Al" Izuruha, an elementary school boy enamored with a romantic vision of warfare and excited by Bernie's status as a mobile suit pilot regardless of his allegiance, and Al's neighbor Christina "Chris" Mackenzie, secretly the Gundam test pilot. As Bernie tries to repair his damaged mobile suit while hiding out within the station, he develops a close friendship with Al and slowly becomes infatuated with Chris, both pilots remaining unaware of each other's true natures. As time passes, Bernie discovers that Zeon will destroy Side 6 with a nuclear weapon if he cannot destroy the prototype Gundam. Feeling that he has no choice if the station is to be saved, Bernie takes his mobile suit and goes to engage the Gundam. Believing Side 6 to be under Zeon attack, Chris is ordered to pilot the Gundam in the station's defense, and she and Bernie engage in a destructive battle within the station. Al discovers that the Zeon ship carrying the nuclear weapons was captured, meaning Bernie has no more reason to fight. Alfred goes to try and stop Bernard, only to see Bernie's mobile suit destroyed and an injured Christina pulled from the heavily damaged Gundam, which leaves Al horrified. Afterwards, Chris tells Al that she will be leaving Side 6, and asks Alfred to say goodbye to Bernard for her, still unaware that she had actually killed him. Al does not have the heart to tell her the truth and agrees to her request. The series closes with Al's school holding an assembly in which the principal talks about the effects of war. Al, remembering his time with Bernie, begins to weep uncontrollably during the speech. Al's friends, misunderstanding his grief, try to reassure him that another "cool" war is bound to happen soon.

Voice cast


''Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket'' was produced by animation studio Sunrise in association with toy company Bandai. Kenji Uchida was the former representative and Minoru Takanashi was the latter's producer. The series was created to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the ''Gundam'' franchise, created by Yoshiyuki Tomino in 1979. ''War in the Pocket'' was directed by Fumihiko Takayama, known for his work on ''Orguss 02'' and ''WXIII: Patlabor the Movie 3'', marking the first time anyone other than Tomino directed a ''Gundam'' show. The screenplay was written by Hiroyuki Yamaga, with scenario by , while the character designer for this series was Haruhiko Mikimoto.


''War in the Pocket'' was originally released in Japan in VHS and Laser Disc as a six-part original video animation series between March 25, 1989, and August 25, 1989. Bandai Visual re-released the series three times; first, into two three-episode DVD volumes on December 18, 1999; then, as a DVD box set on April 22, 2011, as part of the "specially priced" DVD series "G-Selection"; and later on a Blu-ray disc box set on August 29, 2017. The first North American home media release of ''War in the Pocket'' was handled by Bandai Entertainment with dubbing produced by Animaze. First announced in 1998, Bandai originally released it in a VHS box set along with ''Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory'' on March 9, 1999. From September 14, 1999, to November 23, 1999, the company released it into three two-episode VHS volumes, followed by a six-episode box set on December 7, 1999. In December 2000, Bandai announced its DVD release for the following year, but in 2001 Bandai changed the October 2001 release date, to January 2002 and then February 2002. ''War in the Pocket'' was released in two DVD volumes between February 19, 2002, and April 23, 2002. Two "complete collection" re-releases followed; a collector's edition box set was published on July 12, 2005, followed by a DVD under "Anime Legends" imprint on March 23, 2009. Bandai initially planned to broadcast ''War in the Pocket'' in the United States in 2002, but Sunrise set a September 2001 airdate. Ultimately, the anime aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami Midnight Run block, starting from November 5, 2001. It was also aired by the same channel on its Adult Swim block, from November 2002 until December 2002, and then on "Saturday Video Entertainment System" block, starting from March 1, 2003. Following the 2012 closure of Bandai Entertainment, the company discontinued their home video distribution. In July 2016, Right Stuf announced it would release the anime on DVD in late 2016 in partnership with Sunrise. Next month, it was delayed to early 2017; Right Stuf and Sunrise released it on January 3, 2017.

Episode list

Related media

Print media

A large amount of printed fiction related to ''War in the Pocket'' has been produced. A gamebook, written by Yūtarō Mochizuki and illustrated by Studio Hard, was released by Bandai on March 20, 1989. A novel based on the anime, , written by Hiroyuki Yamaga and illustrated by Haruhiko Mikimoto and Toshiyuki Kubooka, was published as a bonus item for the April 1989 issue of Tokuma Shoten's ''Animage'' magazine. created a manga version serialized in Kodansha's ''Comic BomBom'' between its April 1989 and August 1989 issues. Kodansha first released it in ''tankōbon'' format on July 17, 1989, and republished it on August 18, 2003, under the "Platinum Comics" imprint, and on November 6, 2006, under the "KC Delux" imprint. A "visual comic" adaptation was published in Bandai's magazine in two editions, starting from July 1989. Kyosuke Yuki wrote and Haruhiko Mikimoto illustrated a novelization of the OVA series published by Kadokawa Shoten in October 1989. As part of the ''MS Saga – Mobile Suit Gundam in Comic'' anthology, MediaWorks published a manga by on February 1, 1994. Asahiya Publishing released two "film comics" titled ''Mobile Suit Gundam 0080 the OVA Movies'' in June and July 1998.


The musical score for ''War in the Pocket'' was composed by Tetsurō Kashibuchi. Two pieces of music performed by are used as the series' opening theme, , and the ending theme, . Two soundtrack albums containing the instrumental and vocal music of the OVA were released under the title ''Sound Sketch I'' and ''II'' by King Records on March 5, 1999.

The first is a seventeen-track CD, while the second contains fourteen tracks; most of the vocal songs are performed by Shiina and Megumi Hayashibara. Songs from the show have also been included on some ''Gundam'' music compilations, including ''Gundam Singles History'' and ''Gundam Songs 145''.

Reception and legacy

Critical reception

The series has received wide acclaim from critics. Justin Sevakis of ''Anime News Network'' called it "one of the most emotionally powerful war stories ever animated." Lauren Orsini of ''Anime News Network'' gave it an A rating for the subbed version and a B− for the dubbed version, praising its "powerful message" and stating this "short but weighty emotional tale" is "as human as ''Gundam'' gets." Chris Beveridge of ''The Fandom Post'' gave it an A− rating, stating that "this show stands the test of time with its story and its animation" and characters "you can connect with", and concluding that it is "Highly recommended." Evan Minto of ''Otaku USA'' gave it a "Recommended" rating, calling it "Gundam as it was meant to be" and stating that it's "a short, poignant story of lost innocence in a world torn in two, and effectively makes the case that in war, we are all victims". Ollie Barder of ''Forbes'' called it "A Heartbreaking Masterpiece" and "a good introduction to the captivating world of ''Gundam''".


Yoshiyuki Tomino, who was not involved in the show's production, was interviewed for the ''Newtype'' magazine April 1989 issue, after the release of the first episode. He praised the director's effort to make the show realistic and focused on things other than Mobile Suit battles. He also commented on two glitches, one being the portrayal of a blue sky in the colony rather than the other side of the cylinder, which is only about 6.4 km away; and the children being out during a wartime alert. Tomino thought that school resuming with combat in such close proximity was unrealistic, when a more sensible response should have been to close the school immediately and guide the children to shelters. ''Gundam 0080'' marked a significant departure from the constant background theme of Newtypes featured in the Universal Century Gundam universe, since the original ''Mobile Suit Gundam'' up until ''Char's Counterattack''. The absence of this theme raised the series' appeal towards audiences without special liking of ''Gundam'' and Tomino's work and would continue in many following ''Gundam'' stories narrating about ordinary soldiers and people in these conflicts. ''Gundam 0080'' also began an enduring tradition of retroactive redesigns. Yutaka Izubuchi updated the original ''Mobile Suit Gundam''s dated mechanical designs and costumes, and since then every new creative team has offered its own take on the classic Gundam props. Micah Wright ranked ''War in the Pocket'' his fifth favorite animated series in 2002. Its DVD box re-release in 2011 was the third best-placed animation on Oricon's ranking of best-selling DVDs in the week of April 18–24, selling 3,739 copies. The 2017 re-release sold 6,352 copies, and ranked third on Oricon's animation Blu-ray Disc chart.



External links

Official website
* * {{Toonami-anime Category:1989 anime OVAs Category:Action anime and manga Category:Arctic in fiction Category:Bandai Entertainment anime titles Category:Drama anime and manga 0080 Category:Science fiction anime and manga Category:Sunrise (company) Category:Toonami Category:Films directed by Fumihiko Takayama