The Gundam Thread

Vincentdante

Death Scythe
Gundam NT - Well this was dull somehow a sequel from UC that took all the worst aspects and made them worse, rushed not good characters weak villains and some good action. Not the worst Gundam nowhere near good either. It’s just there. Let’s hope Hathaway’s flash is better.
Or if they do do another sequel like the end hints at.

So it's basically Thunderbolt 2, which incidentally is also waiting for a sequel which may never come.
 

HellCat

Stand User
Gundam Info will be streaming English subbed F91 starting tomorrow from 2am

Waits to be shouted at again that this isn't the Gundam thread but surely AL have plans to release this and thus this is free advertising/sampling for that release
 

Dai

Brigade Leader
I'm a heathen, so my favourite entry in the franchise is G Gundam. It runs out of steam a bit in the latter half, but the first half is gloriously bonkers, especially the Egyptian mummy episode and any time Master Asia appears (the only guy who can take down a giant robot with his belt). I'm glad Imagawa decided to direct this instead of Escaflowne, since it worked out better for both shows.

There's plenty of UC stuff I enjoy too though, especially the original movie trilogy, Zeta, Thunderbolt, and 0080. I'm looking forward to my copy of Turn-A arriving soon, since I've never seen that one.
 

WMD

Dragon Knight
Mobile Suit Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans
What an amazing series this was! The main theme of child abuse made it a heavy and brutal show to watch. Coupled with the horrors of war that Gundam has always excelled at this show really was very good. The characters were fascinating, the story well paced and engaging, the animation was great and the action really good too.

There was almost a Shakespearean tragedy vibe to the whole thing. There were times a character would die and in the moment could feel so meaningless but it would send the story off in a new direction so would be full of consequence.

Also the OPs were the best of any Gundam I've seen. All in all probably the best Gundam show I've seen so far.
 

WMD

Dragon Knight
Until you see the actual best one which is War in the pocket :p

In all seriousness I'm looking forward to reaching IBO in my backlog.
Haha. It blows my mind that until about 18 months ago I hadn't really seen any Gundam and now they're day 1 pre orders for me! So hopefully everything gets released here eventually!
 

thedoctor2016

Harem King
IBO is the best probably but I don’t view as a Gundam as there is no good or evil in it. Part of its ending rubs me the wrong away (the fate of the two main women really) when for me Gundam is dumb war allegory Good Vs Evil. Not message about child soldiers I think that’s a reason why I don’t like 00 I see what they are doing but not what I like Gundam for. After War is now my fav probably because it saved my fandom after the last few I watched being rubbish. (Bar 0080 but again that’s a war drama and I’ve seen the story done better elsewhere so is knocked by its generic message As good as it is)
 

WMD

Dragon Knight
IBO is the best probably but I don’t view as a Gundam as there is no good or evil in it. Part of its ending rubs me the wrong away (the fate of the two main women really) when for me Gundam is dumb war allegory Good Vs Evil. Not message about child soldiers I think that’s a reason why I don’t like 00 I see what they are doing but not what I like Gundam for. After War is now my fav probably because it saved my fandom after the last few I watched being rubbish. (Bar 0080 but again that’s a war drama and I’ve seen the story done better elsewhere so is knocked by its generic message As good as it is)
Interesting you view it that way. For me what makes Gundam great is its exploration of the horrors of war rather than being about good vs evil. In fact Gundam is full of good characters on the bad side and bad characters on the good side.

I love Gundam because you get interesting characters in opposition to one another and it doesnt shy away for tough subject matter. The original series didnt shy away from having the main character suffer from PTSD for instance. In this case it was child abuse. But for me it was still very much Gundam.
 

Yami

Hunter
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam


Popular culture makes a habit of idealism and wish fulfillment - the happy ever after fairy tale ending - but we all know that even the most optimistic ending has the risk of a messy epilogue. The Great War led to the Treaty of Versailles which ultimately led to the Second World War...the aftermath of which was several decades of Cold War and proxy wars fought across the globe. You catch my drift. The elimination of a power player creates a vacuum and vacuums have to be filled. It is here that Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam picks up after the original ends with our heroes victorious. It is here that the series succeeds - in showing how micro-conflicts between persons can blow up into macro-conflicts on the battlefield, the messiness of war, the tangled mess of loyalties and alliances and how history is doomed to repeat itself. It finds itself caught up in the cyclical nature of tragedy in a similar fashion to how the Star Wars saga would some years later.

Where I think the series is less successful is where its away from the battlefield. As with every Tomino work I've seen, plot drives character rather than the other way around which I think is the biggest criticism I would have of him as a writer/director. Our protagonist, Kamille, is really no different at the end of the series than he is at the beginning. Even with characters that do have an 'arc' like Reccoa Londe, there doesn't seem to be adequate explanation as to the motivations for them to change. Female characters are particularly underserved, frequently being portrayed as being less capable pilots than their male counterparts or easily swayed by the allure of men. They are all, obviously, good with the kids as this series also has a couple of pre-schoolers on board as it is in no way child abuse to put toddlers at risk of death on a battlefield rather than dropping them off at a day care centre somewhere where they can be properly looked after. Because there has to be a convenient way of emphasising a character's femininity and motherly instinct.

Nevertheless, its successes outweigh its failures. The animation has improved from the original series as has the score. Tomino's pacing has improved from the original Mobile Suit Gundam and even from what I consider to be his overall masterpiece, Space Runaway Ideon - while I think that you can cut away at least a handful of episodes from those series and not lose anything of consequence, in Zeta there is relatively little filler. There's more consistent momentum and less of a 'battle of the week' feel.

I find the comment above regarding 'good vs evil' interesting, as I would say that Zeta - an early entry in the franchise - already does away with that concept quite thoroughly. There's a lot of grey.
 
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Vincentdante

Death Scythe
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam


Popular culture makes a habit of idealism and wish fulfillment - the happy ever after fairy tale ending - but we all know that even the most optimistic ending has the risk of a messy epilogue. The Great War led to the Treaty of Versailles which ultimately led to the Second World War...the aftermath of which was several decades of Cold War and proxy wars fought across the globe. You catch my drift. The elimination of a power player creates a vacuum and vacuums have to be filled. It is here that Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam picks up after the original ends with our heroes victorious. It is here that the series succeeds - in showing how micro-conflicts between persons can blow up into macro-conflicts on the battlefield, the messiness of war, the tangled mess of loyalties and alliances and how history is doomed to repeat itself. It finds itself caught up in the cyclical nature of tragedy in a similar fashion to how the Star Wars saga would some years later.

Where I think the series is less successful is where its away from the battlefield. As with every Tomino work I've seen, plot drives character rather than the other way around which I think is the biggest criticism I would have of him as a writer/director. Our protagonist, Kamille, is really no different at the end of the series than he is at the beginning. Even with characters that do have an 'arc' like Reccoa Londe, there doesn't seem to be adequate explanation as to the motivations for them to change. Female characters are particularly underserved, frequently being portrayed as being less capable pilots than their male counterparts or easily swayed by the allure of men. They are all, obviously, good with the kids as this series also has a couple of pre-schoolers on board as it is in no way child abuse to put toddlers at risk of death on a battlefield rather than dropping them off at a day care centre somewhere where they can be properly looked after. Because there has to be a convenient way of emphasising a character's femininity and motherly instinct.

Nevertheless, its successes outweigh its failures. The animation has improved from the original series as has the score. Tomino's pacing has improved from the original Mobile Suit Gundam and even from what I consider to be his overall masterpiece, Space Runaway Ideon - while I think that you can cut away at least a handful of episodes from those series and not lose anything of consequence, in Zeta there is relatively little filler. There's more consistent momentum and less of a 'battle of the week' feel.

I find the comment above regarding 'good vs evil' interesting, as I would say that Zeta - an early entry in the franchise - already does away with that concept quite thoroughly. There's a lot of grey.
Good write up, one area I disgaree is where you say Kamille is the same at the end from the start. I disagree because I think Kamille doess mature somewhat, while at the start he is easy to anger and quick to pick a fight with authority. Towards the end he's a bit more chill and more ready to listen to other people. The biggest difference where a character develops in a Tomino work I think to your regular show is that it's a much slower process, what I mean is characters maintain their core personality but with gradual improvments which is admittedly hard to notice during the course of the show but something you notice when you think back on it. Like how Amuro Ray's personality in Zeta is kind of indicitive to the growth he had in Gundam 0079.
 

Yami

Hunter
Good write up, one area I disgaree is where you say Kamille is the same at the end from the start. I disagree because I think Kamille doess mature somewhat, while at the start he is easy to anger and quick to pick a fight with authority. Towards the end he's a bit more chill and more ready to listen to other people.

I didn't really get that - at the beginning he's brash, arrogant and with an inflated sense of self-importance which fuels his conflicts with authority. At the end he still comes across as brash, arrogant and self-important - the difference being the context: he actually is important and his opinions are relevant, so the conflict itself disappears. I concede that he is more intelligent, but do learned behaviours = character development? I'm not sure. Perhaps.

I thought Amuro's character development in 0079 was much more substantial.
 

Vincentdante

Death Scythe
I thought Amuro's character development in 0079 was much more substantial.
I agree with this, between what I consider the 3 "main shows" (0079, Zeta, ZZ) Kamille is certainly the weakest character by far (Judao is probably my favorite character) but I think there is some growth to him still as I mentioned in my post.
 

thedoctor2016

Harem King
ln regards to good vs evil I do agree at the start it’s Grey but then when Axis Zeon show up and Scirocco becomes in charge of the Titans easily the AEUG become the good. And as much as I do love CCA part of me feels it regraded people like Char and Amuro and made it about Lalah when I still feel Zeta moved them Past that
 

Dai

Brigade Leader
I didn't really get that - at the beginning he's brash, arrogant and with an inflated sense of self-importance which fuels his conflicts with authority. At the end he still comes across as brash, arrogant and self-important - the difference being the context: he actually is important and his opinions are relevant, so the conflict itself disappears. I concede that he is more intelligent, but do learned behaviours = character development? I'm not sure. Perhaps.

I thought Amuro's character development in 0079 was much more substantial.
As we found out in G Gundam, the true measure of character growth is whether you can make your Gundam turn gold.
 

WMD

Dragon Knight
I agree with this, between what I consider the 3 "main shows" (0079, Zeta, ZZ) Kamille is certainly the weakest character by far (Judao is probably my favorite character) but I think there is some growth to him still as I mentioned in my post.
Yeah I didnt like Kamille at all and Zeta is the worst Gundam I've watched. Not trying to say it's bad as such but I've enjoyed all teh other Gundam I've watched more.

I previously had this to say about how the 3 mains relate to one another
I agree. Once you've seen the saga as a whole it's very interesting to see how each part assesses childhood to adulthood. MSG forces the kids to grow up and it doesnt go great for them. Even in CCA Amuro hasn't really been able to grow up and move on. In Zeta the kids want to be seen as adults which just causes a lot of resentment and it ends very badly for Kamille. In ZZ the kids reject the war and attitudes of the adults and do what they think is right. And they are the only ones to obtain any sort of happy ever after.

As a thematic trilogy it's very good in that sense.
Another angle on it is how they each relate to WWII generation and those that followed. Amaro represents those who had their lives stolen by the war and were never able to recover a normal life. Kamille the generation who grew up in the shadow of Heros who gave their lives and could never live up to their honour and destroys himself in the process. And Judao the generation removed from direct memories of the war who could finally live again and carve out the path they want to take.

The first 3 seasons are certainly an interesting thing to dissect and analyse.
 

Vincentdante

Death Scythe
Another angle on it is how they each relate to WWII generation and those that followed. Amaro represents those who had their lives stolen by the war and were never able to recover a normal life. Kamille the generation who grew up in the shadow of Heros who gave their lives and could never live up to their honour and destroys himself in the process. And Judao the generation removed from direct memories of the war who could finally live again and carve out the path they want to take.

The first 3 seasons are certainly an interesting thing to dissect and analyse.
I quite like this analogy. I have always seen some connections to the era the shows came out in as is natural. Amuro was forced into service because of the war and just kind of being at the wrong place at the right time, and has some serious PTSD in Zeta. Kamille is just kind of angry at the world which is on the brink of another full scale war if people aren't careful. Judau starts out as kind of a scrappy punk orphan abandoned by society, but between the three main characters Judao had the most dramatic character change when he thought his sister was killed which was a huge turning point for the theme of the entire show in retrospect. These are all analogies to be made for the era each show came out in.
 

WMD

Dragon Knight
I'm now up to date with the AL Gundam releases so here are my thoughts on the last one.

Turn A Gundam
What a fascinating series. Ultimately it's far from my favourite Gundam and kind of felt like hearing a cover of one one of your favourite songs. It has a lot of the elements you like and is nostalgic but doesnt quite live up to it.

It was interesting that almost every character has a flat arc in this show. People are always butting heads but no one ever changes. Sochie is the one exception but she she does all her development in the first few epsiodes. I'm not saying that necessarily detracted form the show. The cast is massive and varied (with a few overly goofy characters in it) but it sort of lowered the stakes a bit.

It was also interesting that for a show about military powers how badly organised everyone was with groups constantly just going off and doing their own thing. I guess it ties in to how "primitive" the Earthers and at the start and how inexperienced the "Moonrace" is. And to be fair that lead to some interesting power dynamics and for the show to have several "sneaky" political characters.

Overall I enjoyed it but it wasnt as hard hitting as it could've been and certainly not as much as other entries in the franchise.
 
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