Gundam NT has a title more clever than the actual movie.
NT can be interpretrated as Narrative as well as New Type
With that out of the way I would like to rename this movie to Gundam NTBS
(Gundam Newtype BullShit)
To this movies’ credit it does a good job with its symbolizism and has a lot of great ideas. The movie also looks and sounds good. The mobile suit designs are appealing (with two exceptions)
I do not hate this movie, but my friend does, he hates this movie as much as I hate Gundam thunderbolt season 2 (which is a lot). He looked at this movie and asked: THIS IS WHAT COMES AFTER UNICORN!?!?!?!
The characters have no personality except for the main antagonist whose entire character is insanity. He looks like he belongs in Tokyo Ghoul, not gundam.
The main character has no agency in the story and is pushed along instead of moving it forward like he is supposed to. Characters from Unicorn make cameos but ultimately do nothing. Ghost girl character keeps repeating the exact same line every ten minutes which gets annoying after a while.
The fight scenes looked pretty (at first) but have no substance to them. They quickly go downhill in quality and become boring though.
Ultimately this movie was really bad and should be skipped if possible. If you love Unicorn I implore you to skip this.
As someone who has yet to see Unicorn Gundam, I was worried that my enjoyment of Gundam NT would be hampered. To my surprise, however, the quality of the film is irrelevant to whoever has watched Unicorn Gundam or even has seen a previous Gundam series at all. Gundam Narrative is just bad. Whether the person watching it is a die-hard UC fan or a newcomer to the franchise, the movie is terrible on its own merit.
Here is Gundam NT's biggest flaw: its paper thin and boring story. The story, at least, does a decent job of explaining the events that happened previously which are relevant and important to the events of NT, meaning that people who missed out on Unicorn won't be completely lost. The big issue here, however, is just how uninteresting. The film just drags on and on with this philosophical nonsense about how humans should not be tampering with the power of gods or the corruption of the Federation in testing on children. It doesn't do anything profound to portray these themes, and the characters just talk about these issues in rather bland dialogue.
Another issue to note with the story is how detached it feels to the viewer. It attempts to portray violence or traumatic events in such a way that the person watching the movie will feel shock or empathy, but it fails at this task. The movie shows these events, but fails to show to a significant extent how the effects of such horrors. The beginning of the film, for example, shows the destruction caused by Operation British, in which a colony was dropped on Earth, in the original Gundam, but it is presented like something out of a Hollywood film. It lacks any sort of nuance or emotional attachment.
Considering that this is Sunrise, it is to nobody's surprise that Gundam NT's animation is absolutely spectacular. It's fluid and detailed. The mecha action is well animated and fun to watch. My biggest gripe, however, concerns character design and mecha design. On the topic of character design, Zoltan's design just looks ridiculous. He has such an over the top and blatantly evil look as if he were pulled out of a Saturday morning cartoon. His one red eye is just cheesy and unnecessary. On the topic of mecha design, it was pretty disappointing. Considering the story only takes place one year after the events of Gundam Unicorn, I wasn't expecting a huge departure from that series' designs, but I expected more than what we got. The Gundam Narrative's design, the Narrative is what this film's lead Gundam is called by the way, looks generic and uninspired, as if the designers simply slapped elements from previous Gundam designs together and just called it a day.
The English dub I honestly have no complaints over. It's well acted and gets the job done. My biggest gripe, however, is the music. Having heard tracks from Unicorn Gundam and his work in other shows such as Kill la Kill I expected something decent at least. I will admit that I am not the biggest Sawano fan, but I just couldn't bring myself to like any of the tracks he made. The vocal songs were just generic pop songs and failed to induce any excitement in the scenes they were present. The instrumental songs were insignificant, and I honestly can't think of a single track that I enjoyed.
Here is Gundam NT's other greatest flaw: it's characters. I honestly couldn't believe just how annoying and uninteresting the characters were. For starters, Jona Basta is a terrible lead. He fails to show any character development or growth throughout the movie and simply mopes his way through the film's duration. He has no outstanding qualities or anything that makes the viewer care for him. The film does nothing to ensure the viewer actually becomes invested in Jona's character or his struggles because of how lackluster he is.
Another character that requires special mention is the main villain, Zoltan. Zoltan is a terrible villain because, like Jona, he has absolutely zero unique qualities or anything that makes him unique. The writers fail to give Zoltan any depth, for there is literally nothing about him that we learn. We learn nothing about his past, motivations, or struggles. His only purpose in the story is to serve as some sort of arbitrary villain for the main characters to fight in some sort of grand finale. He's just some crazed guy who only seeks to fight for no reason whatsoever. The only character in the entire story which shows some sort of growth or development is Michele Luio, but even that is hardly anything to talk about.
The fight scenes, though fun to watch, were still boring in that I had no emotional investment in them. It was like I was watching some guy clash two toys together. Why should I care about these characters possibly dying if I have no reason to? Why should I be watching this when I could be watching something else? There were times were I was legitimately tempted to walk out of the theater simply because of how bored I was with it.
The creators of this film state that this will be the start of another chapter for the Universal Century, which has me worried for future entries. Just read the summary online if you really want to be caught up with the lore. It's a waste of your time.