Asides from pioneering sci-fi anime in general, the original Mobile Suit Gundam established the two design philosophies that the franchise would carry to this day. There is the Zeon aesthetic, which is characterized by bulkier shapes and the iconic mono-eye. Its counterpart – the Earth Federation aesthetic – is characterized by a slimmer shape and visor-like head camera. While the Zeon designs branched into all sorts of creative designs over the years. The Federation designs have been a mixed bag. Sure, the Gundam designs are the focus of every entry of the franchise, but the same cannot be said for the mass-produced grunts.

While many of the grunts look pretty spiffy, there is a serious want of variety when it comes to the Federation’s arsenal… That is, until Gundam Unicorn.

Enter Katoki Hajime in a headband and war paint, crashing through the glass roof of Federation grunt MS designs clenching a giant bowie knife between his teeth. After doing a 360 degree flip in the air, he proceeds to karate kick the old GM philosophy with an unlikely inspiration: the Methuss from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, which was known for its role as a mobile battery pack over anything else. Nevertheless, the result of this violent combination is the RGZ-95 ReZEL, the successor of the failed ReGZ. It’s big, it’s mean, and it finally managed to prevent the Zeonic grunt designs from completely stealing the show. An HGUC model was inevitable, and given how excited I was over the ReZEL, my purchase of the kit was a forgone conclusion. So, how does the Federation’s new poster boy fare in model kit form? Pretty well, I’d say!

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