I am quite relieved to report that the show starts rolling by ep.06. Up to this point I contemplated writing something like: "If this is the best Gundam franchize has to offer, I do not want to know what the second best might be". But perhaps now it won't be necessary.
Manabi Straight also took its time to line up all of its ducks, but since I was on a diet of seinen for years, I knew right away that it was going to be good (granted, Kamichu deceived me by a strong start, but I was not alone; anyway, it's an exception). However, I have no clue what to watch for in mecha or military action. So I had no choice but to be patient and trust the 08th MS Team to deliver eventually.
The OP tried very hard to send the right signals about the Real Robot, which helped somewhat.
Aside from the plot, animation was rather middle of the road for 1995. Some of it was outright cartoonized, but fortunately not all.
Post-action relaxation with light show.
Cheating with lightning and ambient darkness.
Since the DVD v.1 is not available to me, I was reduced to downloading a few episodes, and they turned out to have a strange 17:12 aspect ratio. This is the first time I see anything like it. The R1 DVD is mastered in 4:3.