Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket: Review + All you Need to Know

gundam 0080 war in the pocket
TitleGundam 0080: War in the Pocket
DirectorFumihiko Takayama
Rating★★★★★ (5 stars)

Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket is a 1989 anime OVA series set in the Gundam universe. The series is directed by Fumihiko Takayama and produced by Sunrise.

Today, we’ll give a deeper look into this fantastic anime which is a great addition to the Gundam franchise.

Synopsis of Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket

Gundam 0080 is very different from the previous shows, having a much smaller scale.

The story takes place during the One Year War between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon, and follows a young boy named Al who becomes caught up in the conflict when a Zeon mobile suit is sent to his town on a secret mission.

The series is widely considered to be one of the best entries in the Gundam franchise, praised for its well-written characters, emotional storytelling, and realistic portrayal of war.

Review of Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket

Let’s categorize every aspect of it and give the final rating:


The scale of the story might be smaller and less things happen, but this clearly a character-driven show and it serves really well its purposes. Rating: 5/5


Hey, this is the first Gundam show that haven’t any useless and bad character! This is really a progress in the franchise (though we’ll still have many others in future shows). Rating: 5/5


The animation is quite impressive. As it is an OVA, its production quality is higher than a TV show – especially one with dozens of episodes, as the first Gundam series. Rating: 5/5


The music in this show is amazing. The opening stayed in my head since the first time I listened to it. Since it’s an anime that relates to Christmas, it gives me kind of a nostalgic feeling. Rating: 5/5.


What can I say? I’m a fan of this series and I think it’s a breath of fresh air in comparison to the previous Gundam anime. No other Gundam show feels quite like it. I’d love it if other Gundam anime would focus more on the character development and relationships. A true masterpiece. Rating: 5/5


Here are the main characters from the series:

Al (Alfred Izuruha)

A young boy who lives in the Side 6 colony and becomes fascinated by mechas. He’s the main character that follows the conflict between Zeon and the Earth Federation inside his colony.

Bernard (Bernie)Wiseman

A Zeon mobile suit pilot who is sent to Side 6 to destroy the Gundam. He starts the show seeming like a self-centered person, but his real character is shown throughout the series.

Christina Mackenzie

A member of the Earth Federation forces and a friend of Bernie. She might seem a gentle woman, but in fact she’s the pilot of a Gundam model.

I didn’t bother adding other character bio, because the three main ones are the ones in the list above.

Negative Points of Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket

The show might have some problems for some. They’re not bad points for me, but I’ll point them in case you’re wondering:

1. Limited Action Scenes

The series has limited action scenes and focuses more on character development and relationships. It’s more of a drama anime rather than an action one. The show DO have action, but it’s not the focus.

This may not appeal to viewers who are looking for more action-packed content. In these cases, the previous Gundam shows may be a better fit.

2. Limited world-building

The series is set in a specific location and follows a specific group of characters. As I said before, it’s much more small-scale in comparison to other Gundam shows.

As a consequence, it doesn’t explore the greater world of Gundam and its politics as much as other Gundam series, since its focus is on the characters themselves.

3. Slow pacing

Some viewers may find the pacing of the series to be slow, which can make it difficult to maintain interest. I don’t think so at all, but the show’s episodes are not packed with action scenes like other Gundam, so keep that in mind.

4. Depressing themes

The series deals with some heavy and depressing themes, which may not be suitable for all audiences. If you have a faint heart (like me), be prepared to cry.

Positive Points of Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket

The positive points of the show really are many, but I’ll try to summarize it:

1. Good Character-driven story

The series is known for its focus on character development and relationships, which makes the characters feel more real and relatable.

It’s different from other Gundam and it’s worth checking out – even if you prefer action shows full of mecha battles.

2. Well written and emotional script

The series deals with some heavy themes and has a strong emotional impact that can resonate with viewers long after the series is over.

The script is well written and the dialogue is natural and believable – especially compared to some dialogues in the original trilogy of TV shows.

3. Realistic portrayal of war

The series portrays the war in a realistic way, showing the impact of war on civilians and the cost of war on both sides. In many Gundam shows, we only see the battles, but in War in the Pocket, we see the consequences after them.

The series explores the themes of innocence and the horrors of war, through the eyes of a child and his perspective on the world.

The pilots are young and idealistic people, and it’s sad to see them suffer at such a young age.

4. Detailed animation and visuals

The series features detailed animation and high-quality visuals, since it’s an OVA. This gives a sense of realism to the world and the characters. Maybe the animation is even better than Char’s Counterattack.

5. Good soundtrack

The Soundtrack for the series was composed by Tetsuro Kashibuchi, and has some classic tracks.

6. Short and concise

The OVA is 6 episodes long, and the story is concise, making it easy to watch and enjoy without feeling overwhelmed (which might be difficult to most Gundam shows, most of them having 50 or so chapters).

Should you watch Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket?

So, should you see it or not?

Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket is a must-watch for any Gundam fans, and even mecha fans and anime fans in general. It goes well beyond just robot battles and delves into character development and pretty touching moments.

The animation and art style are also pretty nice, especially considering it was produced in the 90s. The battles were amazing too.

Overall, Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket is a must-watch for fans of the Gundam franchise, as well as for anyone interested in anime that deals with mature themes such as war and loss.

It is one of my all time favorites in the whole franchise – and I watched almost all of it!

Questions about Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket

Can I watch Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket without prior knowledge of the series?

Even if you’re not familiarized with Gundam, you will fully understand the story of Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket. Maybe you don’t understand the details between Zeon and the Earth Federation, but the overall plot is pretty understandable.

Can I start watching Gundam with Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket?

Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket is a very good start point to get to know the Gundam franchise, since it’s not so focused on mecha battles and is rather small (only 6 episodes). It’s a very good pick for everyone who wants to get into Gundam and don’t know where to start.

What is the meme comparing Bernie to a Hamburger?

Spoilers: in the end of the show, Bernie is killed by Christina in a mecha battle. When Bernie’s cockpit is open, it is said that his body became “just a pile of hamburger”. Because of this, many people on the internet joke about him being a hamburger.

Vítor Costa

Brazilian mecha and sci-fi anime fan. PhD in Polymer Science and Technology by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

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