The Gundam Thread

ayase

State Alchemist
The All-New Mobile Suit Gundam Thread



In light of the recent interest in the Gundam Unicorn watch-along thread and after consultation with its OP HdE, I've decided to bring back a "free" thread for talk about any and all things Gundam. It's a popular franchise which definitely has its die-hard fans here, but there are also some who are new to it and I'm sure there are still more who are yet to dip their toes in. This thread is for everyone - Those interested in asking questions about what they haven't seen, or sharing their opinions of what they have. I have no doubt given the sheer number of incarnations Gundam has that everyone can bring something different to the table (I'm big on UC properties but little else, others may be the complete opposite).

While I have no power in this regard, if I could just make one request on content - While freedom is a long-standing tradition of the AUKN forums, having noticed certain repeated topics that can detract from discussion in other threads, if posters could refrain from dwelling on the more technical aspects of media (means of obtaining, disc quality, prices etc.) it would be appreciated as we already have generic threads for that sort of thing. I think it would make for a more coherent thread if we concentrate on discussing the stories, characters, worlds and of course, mobile suits of Gundam.

For anyone who doesn't mind spoilers and dead links, an older version of this thread (featuring several now sadly departed* Gundam fans) can be found here. While I could have resurrected that thread, I think a new beginning and a clean slate is perhaps better for getting new people involved - Mobile Suit Gundam Thread: The Origin, if you like. I'l be posting some thoughts about my re-watches of the original Mobile Suit Gundam Movie Trilogy in light of having recently finished Gundam Unicorn later on to get the ball rolling but for now fans, would be fans and even critics of Mobile Suit Gundam, this thread is yours.


*From the forums, not dead (hopefully)
 
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Lutga

Mad Scientist
Fantastic - definitely sounds like a much-needed thread.

I'd be interested to know what everyone's 'gateway drug' to the world of Gundam was - basically, what was the thing that got you into Gundam in the first place?

For me, it was probably a combination of the Origin manga - which I still think are some of the most beautiful physical editions of manga I've ever seen released in the West,

and secondly, watching SEED. I know SEED kind of divides the fans, and a lot of people don't like the character designs (I've even seen people dismiss it as 'Gundam for girls') but I really enjoyed it - I think it takes a lot of what makes Gundam great and updates it for a more modern, casual audience. I always feel like Gundam plays a delicate balancing act between the out and out war/political stuff and the individual personalities/machinations of its characters - and you can sort of take a little of both (or the one you prefer) from the franchise. In SEED's case, I felt it played far more to the latter for a change.

I still find Lacus fascinating as a character, just because she starts out as such an airhead, but kind of evolves into this weird 'voice of humanity'/voice of the author vessel that Gundam always seems to work into the mix, preaching the whole 'Peace is the only way!' message. I think it requires a little suspension of belief at times, but I always like exploring themes around prominent media figures potentially being a voice to change humanity's direction - and whether something like that would ever happen to that extent in real life.
 

Phobos

Titan
My gateway was being introduced to gundam wing via a friend. Figured it was as good a place to start as any (mechs not generally being my thing) watched it and greatly enjoyed it, after a while I moved on to try and watch seed (I think, can't remember fully but pretty sure it was seed) and was just unable to get into it at all so ended up dropping it after a few episodes.

Not bothered watching any other gundam since, anyone recommend a decent place to jump in and give it another go?
 

Professor Irony

Railgun
AUKN Staff
Not having been part of the Wing generation and having detested Seed, the only Gundam series I'd unreservedly go to bat for is War in the Pocket. I think it was more successful in making me care about its characters in six episodes than many other series have been in dozens. It's very much part of that era when the children of WW2 had reached middle age and were reflecting back on their childhood, but I loved how effectively it switches from being a derring-do, Boys' Own adventure story to something far more real and scarring.
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
It smells of giant robot in here...

Gundam is, without question, my favourite giant robot franchise.

In my case, I'd been aware of the ins-and-outs of the property for a long, long while before I actually took the plunge and bought anything on DVD. My first show proper was The 08th MS Team, which really wowed me and left me wanting to see more of the UC stuff. I can't actually remember what order I went through the rest of the shows in, but I have everything that's got released in the West on my shelf.

I don't think I've ever seen a Gundam show that I didn't like. Even Wing, which I think is a complete train wreck of a story, has a certain charm and some great mecha designs. But the highlight of the franchise for me is probably Gundam 00. I think that's the strongest story I've seen yet with the Gundam label on it.
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
I think Wing is a really interesting one as I think it's certainly flawed in places, and can be hard to follow at times - but I think it's one of the better ones at capturing that whole humanity pushed to its absolute limits thing. It feels almost operatic in tone toward the end is it builds toward the final showdown - I really like the design of the Epyon too, it's probably one of my favourite suits. Even the mobile dolls with their shield generators were a cool concept.

Also, Wing is definitely one of the best OP themes of the bunch.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Lutga said:
I'd be interested to know what everyone's 'gateway drug' to the world of Gundam was - basically, what was the thing that got you into Gundam in the first place?
I can't even remember, which is worrying as it wasn't even that long ago - It was Blackwolf (OP of the old thread) who encouraged me to try Gundam after not being particularly enthralled by the whole idea of the mecha genre. It was either the original MSG movies, or I launched straight into Zeta because it was touted as the best.

I think more than anything, it was my love of expansive sci-fi and fantasy worlds that made me feel instantly at home in the Universal Century. No matter what you think of the quality of the plots (and I'll be the first to concede they often aren't all that great) the world and the relationships of the characters within that world are very well realised. There's history there that you can feel even before it's expanded on and in the present time when the stories take place, there's a feeling that the main characters, while obviously important, aren't the centre of the universe. Other events and people carry on regardless in the background, some of whom have been fleshed out in the various OVAs and manga over the years - The Origin and 08th MS Team certainly spring to mind.

Phobos said:
Not bothered watching any other gundam since, anyone recommend a decent place to jump in and give it another go?
Having just watched it, if you want something both modern and at the same time classically Gundam you can't really go wrong with Unicorn. Although its quality is such that it may spoil you slightly if you do want to go back and watch the older shows later.

Lutga said:
Wing is definitely one of the best OP themes of the bunch.
It's not bad, but 80s ja nai.
 

Gemsy-chan

Time-Traveller
I first watched Gundam Wing when it was shown on TV many moons ago (CNX i think which became Toonami). Then i discovered Mobile Suit Gundam and from there my horizon expanded. Next was Gundam 00 followed by Seed and Seed Destiny. My fave timeline has to be UC and Char is naturally my fave character.

My Gundam collections consists of...

Mobile Suit Gundam
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation
Mobile Suit Gundam F91
Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counter Attack
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny
Mobile Suit Gundam 00
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Second Season
Mobile Suit Gundam 00: A Wakening of a Trailblazer

I'm looking forward to owning more Gundam thanks to Right Stuf teaming up with Sunrise. I plan to buy Turn A Gundam and hope that ZZ is released at some point too. More than anything i excited to get Gundam: The Origin that i ordered from AL.

Oh and i have the next Gundam: The Origin manga pre-ordered.
 

serpantino

Vampire Ninja
Always wanted to get into gundam but there's so many series i wouldnt know where to dive in and none seem to be cheap & easy to acquire so I've really been put off.

Shame as it seems right up my street.
 

mangaman74

Akatsuki
My Gundam collection consists of,
Mobile Suit Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counter Attack
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED

My gateway show was Gundam Wing on TV. I then saw Endless Waltz followed by half of Seed (god that was bad - one of the few shows that I watched more than one episode but never finished) and then the original show followed by Char's Counter Attack.
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
Considering the physical edition shipped out this week - for those that have seen it, what are people's thoughts on the first part of Origin?

I liked that it took a notably different tone to what Unicorn did in its establishing episode by sticking firmly to the backstory instead of jumping into the position the manga starts with. It really nails the whole children and the trauma of war thing, in a way I think more recent Gundams have perhaps glossed over a little - it's the 'little' people (quite literally in this case) that really bear the brunt of conflict.

Also, Hamon is just brilliant in this.

I'm not sure how I felt about the CGI-heavy battle sequences - they undoubtedly look stunning, but I wonder if it almost goes 'too' far - it almost felt more like I was watching a cell-shaded video game or something, like Borderlands or something?
 

HdE

Comic Book Guy
I'm personally a little disappointed to hear that the new OVA series is going a CG route. I mean, sure, there was CG in Unicorn, but I'm becoming less and less enamoured of use of CG elements in anime. Some shows really overdo it. I just finished watching Vandread a while back, and the awful mesh between CG and traditional animation left me wondering why ANYBODY in Japan ever thought mixing teh two would be a good idea.

Part of the appeal of Gundam for me has always been the fact that the robot action is hand drawn - and in some of the older shows, it's really, really evident. Lots of lovely scratchy pen lines and cross hatching. I love that!

I vividly remember being overjoyed to see that none of the mecha in Gundam 00 were CG'd... something that gave that show a real feeling of quality and gravitas - especially given how insane some of the series' battles and mobile suit designs were.
 

NoSurprises

Adventurer
serpantino said:
Always wanted to get into gundam but there's so many series i wouldnt know where to dive in and none seem to be cheap & easy to acquire so I've really been put off.

Shame as it seems right up my street.
This was my main issue.

I just ended up buying the first origin film on a bit of a whim since I had the opportunity, and I really enjoyed it. It had action, political intrigue, a cool cast of characters, great animation (I was quite happy with the CG vehicles. Crowds and horses looked pretty dodgy though...) and a fitting soundtrack, I couldn't really ask for more.

I figured the very beginning was as good a place to start as any. Obviously I'm seeing all these characters for the first time, so it probably doesn't have the kind of impact it would for a series vet watching this as a prequel, and it's probably not the recommended way of doing things. But with some light Googling to understand the different factions they showed off, I managed to understand what was going on without spoiling the franchise as a whole.

I suppose it's like watching Star Wars from episode 1, rather than starting at 4. Except 1 isn't terrible in this instance. Though I'm still not sure about moving onto one of the other series afterwards, they look like they might be a bit of a tough watch being as old as they are. (Disclaimer! It's not that I don't like old stuff, Gunbuster is probably my favorite thing ever, but I'm not getting the same vibe from the opening of the first Gundam series. But perhaps I'm judging a book by it's cover).
 

Gemsy-chan

Time-Traveller
Just watched The Origin 1 and i loved it. The anime goes at a good pace through the story and love that you definitely can see its adapted from the manga with the characters.

The CG battle at the beginning was a bit disconcerting and takes some getting used to. It really did remind me of the Dynasty Gundam games, especially when the face of the character who is speaking pops up in the corner of the screen. Its not terrble, just takes some getting used to because of the Gundam that i've watched in the past.

My verdict is that i'm glad i got it and another feather in the Gundam-verse. I'm looking forward to the future releases of The Origin and seeing Casval/Char's background. Its very nice seeing my faveourite manga moving.
 

Gemsy-chan

Time-Traveller
I didn't watched it dubbed but with the japanese audio with subtitles. It has been nice that they kept the same japanese VA for Char from the original series to Unicorn to Origin.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
I was in a party in Final Fantasy XIV recently and Char's voice actor plays one of the cutscene characters. I somehow ended up getting my entire group of strangers talking about how great his voice is and everyone was doing Char impersonations for the rest of the dungeon ^^;

It's incredible how iconic his voice is in Japan.

Still haven't had time to watch my copy of Origin but I've taken it out of the box to look at it several times!

R
 

kamina888

Completely Average High School Student
Lutga said:
Fantastic - definitely sounds like a much-needed thread.
Seconded. Good that Gundam is back on fans radar. After Beez/Bandai USA closed I wondered what would happen to Gundam in the West, but I am glad that there are still options for fans who cannot/will not pay JP market prices (youtube streaming, rightstuf releases). Speaking of which is anyone considering ordering the Turn A sets?

Lutga said:
I'd be interested to know what everyone's 'gateway drug' to the world of Gundam was - basically, what was the thing that got you into Gundam in the first place?
For me, it was probably a combination of the Origin manga - which I still think are some of the most beautiful physical editions of manga I've ever seen released in the West,

and secondly, watching SEED. I know SEED kind of divides the fans, and a lot of people don't like the character designs (I've even seen people dismiss it as 'Gundam for girls') but I really enjoyed it - I think it takes a lot of what makes Gundam great and updates it for a more modern, casual audience. I always feel like Gundam plays a delicate balancing act between the out and out war/political stuff and the individual personalities/machinations of its characters - and you can sort of take a little of both (or the one you prefer) from the franchise. In SEED's case, I felt it played far more to the latter for a change.
Gateway Gundam? Well, I watched Wing first (probably on CMX), though I was not that impressed with it. It was the original Gundam movie trilogy that made me a fan as it delivered what I had been expecting of the franchise from the reviews and forum posts I had read.

As for Seed, I liked it more than I expected, given how unoriginal it was. I suppose it is the anime equivalent of Kill Bill as it steals so much after a while you stop noticing! Though having said that it does introduce some good ideas and characters of its own, and may be a good introduction for those who want to try a full TV series but are put off by the older animation style.
 
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