The gap between Mobile Suit Gundam and Zeta Gundam was filled with the exciting release of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. In Japan it was very popular upon it's airing, when it came to America via Cartoon Network's Toonami: Midnight Run programming in 2002 it was met with quite a bit of fanfare as well. When I first watched it one night I thought it was amazing compared to the other series that I had already seen, mostly because I had only just seen Mobile Suit Gundam and Gundam Wing at that point.
Now, 4 years later, I can truly appreciate it more. I've seen all of Zeta Gundam, Char's Counterattack, 08th MS Team, Gundam F91, and some other Gundam series from different universes since then. When I bought this boxed set a few months back I then watched it with better knowledge. It gets very interesting in the final episodes because you can see how it's transitioning into Zeta Gundam. The plot twist at the end is an eye opener as well.
Kou Udaki and Anavel Gato are better protagonists than the newtypes in other series because they have the weaknesses that the newtypes don't; they have to make up for it with true grit.
I find Gato to be a very likeable character even though he fights for Zeon, he is honorable and isn't dirty in the way he does things unlike some other Zeon thugs. As for Kou, he's a pushover in the beginning of the series. However, he becomes quite impressive (and possibly comparable to a newtype) in skill as the series approaches its finale. That's why I like Kou and Gato so much more than Amuro and the various other newtypes, it's not a battle of who has the better psychic powers of perception. These guys have to rely on instincts and guts.
I think the viewer connects to them more because of that.
A great Gundam series and a great anime series as well, it speaks for the regular human pilots. Buy this; it's a worthy addition to any enthusiast's collection or even a casual anime fan's collection.