Why EVERYONE is Wrong About Gundam & Robot Anime in General

Except myself, that is.

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Gundam (and robot anime in general) is a weekly (more or less) 30-minute toy commercial. Well, it is, and it isn’t. Or, it’s not a very good one. Or, Bandai sucks at making 30-minute toy commercials. Maybe it just doesn’t know what its doing anymore, even though Gundam remains the hottest property when it comes to robot toys.

I watched Mokei Senshi Gunpla Builders Beginning G (OAV) which crystallized a few strong opinions I’ve had about the robot hobby. First of all, Gunpla Builders attempts to re-script how to get into the Gundam hobby, and it is generally made of fail.

[Kira-Fansub]_Mokei_Senshi_Gunpla_Builders_Beginning_G_OVA(BD_1080p_AAC) [154D9647].mkv_snapshot_00.42_[2011.03.20_22.44.49]

Instead of making Gundam anime that sells Gundam toys. How about an anime about Gunpla itself with the barest minimum context from ANY of the 30 years worth of Gundam anime?

It attempts to justify the overall plan for the 30th Anniversary of Gundam in 2009; the highlight of which is the 1:1 RX-78-2 GUNPLA statue in Odaiba. This toy is portrayed in the anime as something that inspired a new generation of Gunpla hobbyists.

The Cart is Now Before The Horse.

I have no problem with the idea that the merchandise is more valuable than the anime, from the perspective of the license owners. As an investor and entrepreneur, I get it. The failure here is the fantasy of these investors and entrepreneurs (behind Bandai) that the toys are more important to the hobbyist than the stories, characters, and universe represented by the toys.

Worse, the show takes on the theme of being a TRUE FAN, a TRUE GUNPLA HOBBYIST. In other words, Gunpla Builder takes on the theme of authenticity. On one hand it’s commendable that there’s no overt push for conspicuous consumption. It’s actually very cool that the values pushed involve customization, personalization, and mastery of skill.

The glaring omission is knowing, let alone mastery of the story of Gundam. There is no mention, NOTHING about Gundam as anime. THE GUNDAM ANIME DOES NOT EXIST IN THIS JAPANESE UNIVERSE. GUNPLA EXISTS IN A VACUUM. GENERATIONS OF GUNPLA ENTHUSIASTS LOVE GUNPLA FOR GUNPLA’S SAKE. WHO CARES ABOUT GUNDAM!?!?

Seriously.

It’s a fun show. I thoroughly enjoyed myself watching it. I would love to play the Gunpla Battles. The show remembered love for all sorts of moments from 30 years worth of Gundam anime. But after watching it I realize that these things are meaningless for Haru, the protagonist, as it must be meaningless to any kid who picks up the hobby following his path.

[Kira-Fansub]_Mokei_Senshi_Gunpla_Builders_Beginning_G_OVA(BD_1080p_AAC) [154D9647].mkv_snapshot_19.03_[2011.03.20_23.28.57][Kira-Fansub]_Mokei_Senshi_Gunpla_Builders_Beginning_G_OVA(BD_1080p_AAC) [154D9647].mkv_snapshot_30.14_[2011.03.20_23.29.37]

I’ve nothing against people who love toys for their own sake. My only beef is with the act of putting on airs of authenticity, of the elitism this engenders while omitting the source material entirely. By all means make Bearguys, Dendrobium Zakus, and Byaku Shikis. These are awesome. I can be okay with all these fucking blue Sinanjus. But not knowing what you’re parodying doesn’t make you a genius. It makes you dumb.

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My favorite Gunpla Meister is DC Suratos. He’s genuinely amazing, and does a lot to promote the hobby and goodwill within the Gunpla community. He is also quite ignorant about Gundam. He discovered the Nobel Gundam one day and fell in love with it, gushing about his first female Gundam (there are no other female Gundams). Does he know about Allenby Beardsley? Gundam fights? I’m afraid to find out. But as a Gunpla guy, he’s tops. Check out his gallery (amazing), and his tutorials (invaluable).

If this is the kind of fan Bandai is interested in making, as the next generation of Gundam fans… after 30 years and into forever, FUCK YOU BANDAI. Seriously, go fuck yourself.

Haven’t seen any Gundam at all? Don’t know where to start? Find your Gateway Gundam!

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in fanboy, for the lulz, Gundam and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to Why EVERYONE is Wrong About Gundam & Robot Anime in General

  1. Sakura says:

    If that’s where they are headed, then I seriously have to endorse your last sentiment there.

    I mean love my Macross models, but I don’t think I would have loved them as much had it not been for the anime. Without the anime my Valk is just a Tomcat with sweet paint job, which for me, wouldn’t really be enough reason to purchase it.

    Similarly the Gundam models wouldn’t mean much to me without the characters or stories behind them.

    • Liar’s Day Post, baby.

      I’m with you about loving the source material, but some people have been assholes about it towards those who care less about the lore (as modelers refer to it).

      REMEMBER, THE GUNDAM FANDOM IS THE SHITTIEST. So no surprise if some people get offended or hurt within it (or peripheral to it).

  2. schneider says:

    I haven’t checked the Gunpla OVA yet, but what you wrote here is very dire. I usedto have this uneasy thought that Bandai is gunning to make more Gunpla fans, instead of Gundam fans, and this makes me fear for the worst.

    I know a lot of Gunpla modelers, and while they still watch Gundam, most of their appreciation for it comes from the mechs. Specifically, they watch it to see which kits from the show to buy. It just kills me when I try to talk to them about Char, how Victory is bad, or the awesomeness of G, and end up shooting air.

    There is nothing bad about that. But can’t we have Bandai trying to appeal to Gundam anime fans, too? I mean, it’s one thing to build a Qubeley, but it’s another thing to associate it strongly with Haman Karn (and all the awesomeness that stems from her). Otherwise it’s just a froggy-looking robot in white and pink. I won’t be able to enjoy Gundam mecha as much as I can without context.

    Also, I can appreciate DC Suratos’ craftsmanship, but I abhor his style, design liberties or not. That Tieren… kill me now.

    • Hehe.

      Troll post; my insincere apologies.

      There are extremes no doubt. Some Gundam assholes really act like jerks (SURPRISE) to those who are ignorant of much of the lore. Obviously this behavior only serves to antagonize the borderline fans. Why should they invest more in knowing the lore when it means they have to bow to the assholes who would love to continue acting superior towards them?

      And what if they don’t really care about Gundams anyway? So what if they treat the kits as basically Lego blocks? Is that really so bad?

  3. jomz says:

    I agree. The love for the model exists for me because I love the show. I have greater appreciation for them because I know of their background. If I didn’t, those models will be nothing but cool-looking robots, and nothing more.

    • Same, but not everyone will be like us, and us being this way doesn’t make us righteous and give us the right to make others be like us…

      …or does it?

      • jomz says:

        To each his own, I guess.

        I may not be that awesome when it comes to building models, and I do appreciate a good model builder.

        I guess knowing the story adds more character.

        • Yeah, it’s a plus I think, but I don’t want to make it some kind of albatross to stifle a modeler’s creativity. It really depends on what the modeler’s goals are.

  4. foshizzel says:

    I had a few of the models, however little sisters and gundam models do not mix well after she removed the arms hahaha I couldn’t fix the damn thing. I have seen some impressive color edits on like Freedom and Justice, like black and gold and reds! I love when fans alter the original colors and go wild with it.

    Gundam will always be fun for me! Accept SD Gundam that can die in a fire! I don’t like cgi chibi mecha that talk O_O

    • I packed my models away, since I don’t have enough secure space (glass display cabinets) and I have a growing daughter.

      It’s all good and this apparent hate post is all in good Liar’s Day fun.

  5. otou-san says:

    As someone who’s never been really into models (I’m a bad robot fan), it’s hard for me to say. The last mecha model I built was a Robotech VF and I was a tiny lad who barely knew what a Minmay was, doing a very bad job on it. I like looking at the pictures of the models, to some degree, but ultimately the thing that has driven me to Gundam has nothing to do with 3-dimensional robot thingies.

    So maybe I’m actually just as bad as the Gunpla dorks who don’t know who Char is, but on the other side of the coin?

    • It’s all good, and far be it for me to actually condemn people — as this is all for Liar’s Day fun for me.

      I don’t actually think anything I write here has any significant influence in anything, so I felt it was harmless to do this (and I did email DC in advance). I suppose I could milk this apparent drama for all it’s worth (as one of the commenters here seems up for a good old flame war), but as you know — that’s not the game.

  6. Hums says:

    That head is 1/35 scale.

    Boy are you going to be angry when they announce the show replacing SD Gundam:3kBBW is a full Builders series. Because they’d do it too. Really though Builders wasn’t made to generate new fans it was a short OVA to celebrate the 30th Gunpla anniversary. Not Gundam’s 31st.

    • The Tieren is 18 meters tall, as big as a Gundam, as big as frickin’ Mazinger Z. If that head is correctly scaled, then that’s at least a Knightmare Frame (average height of 3.8 meters) using the Tieren as a powered suit kind of like the mecha in The Matrix Revolutions, Avatar, or the original James Cameron Aliens work mech used by Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) against the Alien Queen.

      Also, as much as I favor Gundam the anime over the toys, this is really my version of a Liar’s Day post. I don’t really hate Bandai, toy fans, etc. Gunpla sales pay for shows like Gundam Unicorn. I’m more than happy with this kind of arrangement.

  7. To someone who is all Gundam and no Gunpla, this is truly a disturbing tale. The mecha themselves mean nothing to me without the story behind them. My allegiances and love are built through the stories behind the metaverse. I suppose this sounds a lot like a fantasy football/baseball buff being all enamored by the individual points achieved by their chosen players as opposed to caring about the actual outcome of the game.

    If I found out that the NFL was gearing their sport to this type of fan then I would spit on my TV and curse the organization. I don’t have a problem with the fans, I have a problem with them being prioritized over the “true” fans who actually buy their gear and go to their games.

    • The “priority” stuff gets touchy I suppose.

      But along similar lines one can just as easily (see X below) dismiss someone like me (who watches downloaded anime fansubs) as not a “true” hobbyist, or fan.

      This is why we can’t have nice things, etc etc

      This is a Liar’s Day post my friend. Thanks for playing!

  8. I owned a lot of model kits before I’d seen their shows. I mean I just wrote about Gundam Deathscythe as a nomination and I’ve neither seen nor intend to see Wing. My brother also had mechs from most of the franchise before watching next to any of it lol.

    From what I understood, Bandai had been moving in Gunpla directions for a while, as Patz told me Gundam 00 was “just about the pretty robots.” (or was it SEED? Either way.)

    I’ve got no problem with this, it makes damn sense after all. I can hardly complain that the people trying to sell toys finally figured out how to do it right. And I think it’s just as worthwhile to be into robot toys as it is to be into robot anime, and no one would be better to launch the hobby to new heights. And with Unicorn Gundam being the perfect Gundam, maybe we don’t need any more. Someone else can handle the future of robot anime, while they focus on the toys.

    Then again, really, if you cared about the robots and not the shows you probably wouldn’t care to watch the shows, so maybe that makes no sense and they should just stick with robot anime.

    Either way, I’m pretty sure this was just a fun OVA and has nothing to do with the future of Gundam anime. Then again, there *is* Danball Senki, too… maybe it’s a movement after all.

    • It’s all good bro. As you can see in the reactions to the post, there are extremists who judge each other quite harshly.

      They’re the loud ones and cause friction and conflict in the interactions within and across their hobby communities. Otherwise it’s all good. I think elitism is both comical and inevitable, and I think Liar’s Day is a great occasion for me to make fun of it.

  9. DC Suratos says:

    Nice read, I actually enjoyed reading that. As much as I hate to admit, I love watching the animes in the office, BUT would not watch it at home though as I’d rather do Gunpla.

    Nice insight but I do not like the idea of creating a gap between anime fans and modelers… those are 2 totally different things. A pretty good modeler does not need to know what Char eats fro breakfast… and on the same note, an anime fan does not need to know the great engineering behind the model kits.

    Totally different thing but anyone could enjoy both I guess.

    • schneider says:

      But wouldn’t it be good to be both? I’m not saying Gunpla enthusiasts (who don’t watch Gundam) are inferior to Gundam fans (who don’t make Gunpla) or vice-versa, the former could amass an impressive amount of well-made kits, while the latter could amass a huge DVD collection, and in-universe Gundam knowledge. Being the best of both worlds would make the ultimate Gundam fan in my book, but that’s a very rare breed indeed. I suppose it’s too much to ask from any Gundam fan.

      As for myself, I have crap modeling skills and zero DVD buying power, so I substiantiate my being a Gundam fan through accumulating franchise knowledge, and blogging about it.

      But the real fear that I have is that Bandai just stops making anime outright and focuses solely on toys, period.

      • DC23 says:

        I understand bro… as toys/models ( maybe ) have more selling power than anime. I hope I am right that the Gundam franchise sees BOTH anime and toys as essentials for their staying power though.

        I am 80% modeler and only 20 % anime fan… maybe even less… BUT I would hate to see them stop doing animes for the fans.

      • X says:

        I share the sentiment with regards to Bandai. But, I’d like to add that you’re not the only one who’s right about the Company.

        I don’t want to defend, nor curse Bandai, though honestly I do end up doing the latter especially after it’s recent crap releases (PG Strike Freedom sugarcoated to be far superior than the PG Strike’s frame, but it’s not, MG Wing EW aka recolored vKa and MG 00Q which fails in comparison with the NG, yes, NG Exia in terms of detail). Bandai Kinda redeemed itself, at least with me, with the MG Epyon.

        I can go on with mine disappointments, but, that’s not really an issue. I’m but a guy who likes to bash plastic.

        Thing is, Bandai makes money both ways. In a marketing perspective, there are people who get into the hobby because of the anime, and there are people who get into the anime because of the hobby. With modelers, though, the anime is hardly that important, especially when were doing our latest “verMyNameHere” creations. The merchandise IS more important than the anime as mechandise does make more money, but the anime, after all, helps it sell the merchandise and get more followers into the hobby. Regardless, if indeed Gundam is in a vaccum, both merchandise and and anime will still sell without the other, but that’s an entirely different ball game.

        I’ve been insulted, yes, insulted, by certain a “master modeler,” saying that I don’t know enough of the UC lore to “touch” a UC kit (namely the Kshatriya). Tell me, how does knowing about the lore help me with the kit when I’m basically redesigning it?

        So, no, a modeler doesn’t have to know anything about the Gundam lore to enjoy simply assembling the kit, painting it, or making a full-blown redesign to personalize it, but I guess, watching the anime is also good, by good, I mean the crappy plot behind 00 movie. The MG kit came first, then the anime. A LOT of people hated the anime, but the kit still sold.

        Gundam, after all, is fictional. Unlike scale modeling, Gundams are more flexible in terms of what one can do with a kit, whereas scale models are strict in terms of historical accuracy and lifelikeness. Not to say that the current Gunpla style aren’t “lifelike.” In fact, more and more Gunpla modelers are either scale modelers themselves, or are adapting scale modeling techniques.

        As for Don’s Tieren, he clearly stated it was a 1/144 scale that was converted to a 1/35 scale with the addition of the figure. I should know, he showed it to me online when he was building it.

        Also, there are after all, several female Gundams and Mobile Suits aside from the Nobel, though they don’t look quite “female” to most. There’s the Regnant (technically a Mobile Armor), The Gadessa, the Palace Athene (one of my personal favorites), the GN Archer, and a few others that qualify as “female” suits, not just because they’re piloted by women. The Strike Rouge, one may argue, is just a pink Strike piloted by a woman.

        Sure.

        At any rate, I’m no Gundam fanboy. But I am for all intents and purposes, a Gundam fan, and proudly a Gundam modeler…

    • Thanks, the idea that I’d personally support such a divide… is the joke.

      While I expected some modelers to be irritated by what I say here (because they’re not my readers); I didn’t quite expect my regular readers to get baited this bad.

      Usually the elitism in our part of the sphere is regarding taste between shows… I thought it was old hat so I found a different “angle” for Liar’s Day.

  10. WhatSht says:

    i wanna build a gundam model, but im a 15 years old, still stuck in school, no money of my own. i would love to change the colour scheme on the Freedom(i like the design of it
    ) from blue wings to red wings and completely inverting the colours except for the torso and naming it “Dark Freedom”.

  11. karry says:

    “The mecha themselves mean nothing to me without the story behind them.”

    Somehow Battletech fans and Warhammer fans are getting by without stories just fine.

    • X says:

      BattleTech and WarHammer are RPGs after all. People make their own stories up playing the game, if I’m not mistaken. That’s an entirely different marketing strategy.

      Though, Warhammer does have the Ultramarines movie.

    • They’re games.

      I was a Classic Battletech player. Pen and paper and all that. Bought the source books. I met my wife networking with former Mechwarrior (pen and paper) players (she played a pilot of the MAD-Marauder; yeah the one that looks like a Glaug).

      I’m also a former Mechwarrior: Dark Age (miniatures) tourney player, along with my 2 kid brothers. Between us we have 15 or so tournament championships. My youngest brother is the first ever National Champion in the Philippines.

      We never could afford Warhammer though.

      So let me tell you how we feel relative to this issue: Battlemechs look like shit. They’re often ugly and ungainly. We loved the Duane Loose illustrations of the 2025 era units — those designs ripped off from Dougram and Macross. Yeah they looked better, but we loved them because of the lore. We really got into Cameron and the Star League leaving, the Succession Wars, and then the Clan Invasion.

      We have all the Stackpole books (and the rest). Dark Age stories sucked, and ultimately curbed our enthusiasm for the franchise which by then was fueled by nostalgia.

      Some fans may be doing just fine, but maybe it’s always been about the game for them, and never about the mechs. The mechs are awesome, but secondary draws.

      • karry says:

        “They’re games. ”
        Will you deny that there are people who are into this just for the miniatures ? I know a couple of folks who do play games, but they play with their own mecha miniatures, handmade into something of amazement. And Warhammer is the same, i do know people who do NOT play Warhammer, but they buy the orc squad miniatures just to handpaint them and make dioramas out of it, and things like that, to go on the shelf.

        • X says:

          Agreed. I know of a few people who simply collect the miniatures. There are Pokemon collectors who don’t really play the games. And I believe that’s how one can gauge the success of a “franchise” when one category is not dependent on the other when the categories themselves have a good enough market base.

        • Anecdotes don’t lie I suppose.

          This is why everyone’s right about Gundam!

          Happy Liar’s Day and thanks for playing.

  12. Lokey says:

    As both a Gundam and Gunpla fan, I gotta say I’m fairly disappointed. I like to put together the kits because I like the Gundams. It seems weird they wouldn’t have the source material mentioned at all. Say if someone new to the whole Gundam franchise were to watch this show, they would be totally lost. And since this seems like a episode length commercial, that doesn’t exactly make sense from a marketing standpoint. Wouldn’t you want to get people interested in all of gundam, so they would buy the DVDs also?

    • Specialization? I dunno.

      I had always thought that the anime always implied “buy the toys,” and never thought badly of them for it (I like the toys). I can’t say the same applies to this show with regards to exploring the anime.

  13. vendredi says:

    Merciful heavens, they actually went out and made an OVA about the Gunpla hobby. I mean, sure, the Gunpla hobby gets mentioned in a lot of other material (Sgt. Frog and Genshiken come to mind) but boy, I’m not sure if Bandai is an absolute genius or just scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

    You know, perhaps that’s part of the success of the Gundam franchise, as you sort of imply in this post on the importance of the background. If it is a 30-minute toy commercial, it’s a very good one in the sense that it doesn’t present itself so blatantly. It gets you invested… and drags the plot through so many and holes trainwrecks that it is remembered looong after you’ve finished watching. Long enough so that one day, months or years after you’ve finished the show, when your eyes pass by your local hobby shop shelf and catch a glimpse of “Bandai”, all those mixed feelings of love and loathing will come welling back up…

    And really, the sheer genius of it is that you’re never quite sure if it’s intentional or just incompetence…

  14. X says:

    I share the sentiment with regards to Bandai. But, I’d like to add that you’re not the only one who’s right about the Company.

    I don’t want to defend, nor curse Bandai, though honestly I do end up doing the latter especially after it’s recent crap releases (PG Strike Freedom sugarcoated to be far superior than the PG Strike’s frame, but it’s not, MG Wing EW aka recolored vKa and MG 00Q which fails in comparison with the NG, yes, NG Exia in terms of detail). Bandai Kinda redeemed itself, at least with me, with the MG Epyon.

    I can go on with mine disappointments, but, that’s not really an issue. I’m but a guy who likes to bash plastic.

    Thing is, Bandai makes money both ways. In a marketing perspective, there are people who get into the hobby because of the anime, and there are people who get into the anime because of the hobby. With modelers, though, the anime is hardly that important, especially when were doing our latest “verMyNameHere” creations. The merchandise IS more important than the anime as mechandise does make more money, but the anime, after all, helps it sell the merchandise and get more followers into the hobby. Regardless, if indeed Gundam is in a vaccum, both merchandise and and anime will still sell without the other, but that’s an entirely different ball game.

    I’ve been insulted, yes, insulted, by certain a “master modeler,” saying that I don’t know enough of the UC lore to “touch” a UC kit (namely the Kshatriya). Tell me, how does knowing about the lore help me with the kit when I’m basically redesigning it?

    So, no, a modeler doesn’t have to know anything about the Gundam lore to enjoy simply assembling the kit, painting it, or making a full-blown redesign to personalize it, but I guess, watching the anime is also good, by good, I mean the crappy plot behind 00 movie. The MG kit came first, then the anime. A LOT of people hated the anime, but the kit still sold.

    Gundam, after all, is fictional. Unlike scale modeling, Gundams are more flexible in terms of what one can do with a kit, whereas scale models are strict in terms of historical accuracy and lifelikeness. Not to say that the current Gunpla style aren’t “lifelike.” In fact, more and more Gunpla modelers are either scale modelers themselves, or are adapting scale modeling techniques.

    As for Don’s Tieren, he clearly stated it was a 1/144 scale that was converted to a 1/35 scale with the addition of the figure. I should know, he showed it to me online when he was building it.

    Also, there are after all, several female Gundams and Mobile Suits aside from the Nobel, though they don’t look quite “female” to most. There’s the Regnant (technically a Mobile Armor), The Gadessa, the Palace Athene (one of my personal favorites), the GN Archer, and a few others that qualify as “female” suits, not just because they’re piloted by women. The Strike Rouge, one may argue, is just a pink Strike piloted by a woman.

    Sure.

    At any rate, I’m no Gundam fanboy. But I am for all intents and purposes, a Gundam fan, and proudly a Gundam modeler…

    • Check the date of the post.

      Yeah. That’s right. It’s Liar’s Day.

      Sure I’m a hardcore anime fan, and can’t really call myself a modeler (due to lack of skills). But fuck it if I actually thought I’d be doing anyone any good by creating an elitist divide between people who like the things I like!

      What I’m more interested in is making the anime lore accessible to modelers because I think they’d have more things to play with when they work. While I’ll always favor straight builds, I’m not one to stand against creativity. The lore is there as another perspective, not necessarily better than using Star Wars lore on Gundam Plastic. So by all means do what you do.

      What I won’t agree with is dismissal from either side, at the same time making claims to authenticity as a fan.

      (btw, I wrote DC about a week ago, warning him about what I’m up to LOL).

      • X says:

        Yes. Don did mention it to me that you wrote him. And yes, I do know it’s April 1. For all you know, this is MY April Fools prank on you.

        Regardless, it doesn’t change the “issue” if there ever is one, whether one is being serious or not. See, though you do have a point, I didn’t become a modeler because of the anime. The lore doesn’t or shouldn’t affect a modeler’s “ability” to “play” around with the design of the kit. It’s a plastic robot. A toy simply to those who don’t who don’t know better, owing to the fact that it is indeed marketed as a toy aside from the fact that it does sell because it is marketed as a toy. A model to the lot of us who do more to it than simply assemble it.

        So, I guess, your point is still lost in the reasoning. April 1 is almost done, and I’m not “dismissing” any side still. You’re a hardcore anime fan, by your admission, as such you probably know the back history of anything anime and would probably win a Gundam trivia contest. I consider myself a fan first (I didn’t really care about modeling before, I was a happy snapper-camper until I started wielding a knife, before that, I just like robots), but also a modeler. I look up what’s more essential to my craft, like ACTUAL building materials and tools, than why machines are called Gundam (not to say I haven’t looked them up). Watching the anime doesn’t affect my creativity whatsoever, and that’s MY point. I’d still bash plastic as I do. But you see, as far as my experiences go, the elitism mainly comes from one side, and though I’m not generalizing, that’s basically from those who don’t handle the plastic.

        • Tell your antagonist to STFU — he isn’t me, no need to be all butthurt. You won’t find such things here on WRL. Nothing is necessary to enjoy something your own way. It seems ignorance has been your friend and by all means stay friends. Lore can be your friend too, but if you don’t want to be friends with it you don’t have to. Go enjoy your plastic hobby and keep funding ours!

          • X says:

            I did tell him that, but in a gentler way (paraphrasing myself: “the hell with your lore”). I’m not butthurt either, how would I? But, you’re assuming I’m ignorant of the Gundam lore. I do read up and watch a few things here and there, if I hadn’t mentioned that already. I’ve watch both episodes of Unicorn so far, both seasons of 00, and though I didn’t like Seed or Destiny, I’ve watched them just because they were conveniently aired on CN. I’ve also tried to watch the older series, and have been trying to find the Turn A, just because. See how much a “fan” I could be without trivializing myself?

            So who’s being ignorant now.

            As far as funding your hobby, your elitism shows. That’s hardly the case, and thus shows further your ignorance. Bandai and Sunrise, though merged, still have separate revenue streams. The anime doesn’t really fund the, er, “toyline,” nor the merchandise fund the anime. They do support each other, marketing wise.

            Also, I don’t really consider watching downloaded animes a “hobby.” At all.

          • Well, if you’re going to be dismissive like that — despite how I’ve taken pains to explain that I’m supportive of your choices in the face of my stated bias. I’ve nothing left to say to you except thanks for reading and making blogging Gundam as interesting a hobby as it is.

  15. X says:

    BTW, for one who claims to know the lore, it’s quite amusing that you deflected the “female” Gundam bit.

  16. kadian1364 says:

    I’m surprised to learn that Gunpla Builders is an actual cartoon. The concept is like Otaku no Video or Genshiken, except even more niche. Like if the Pokemon card game got its own anime, it provides a commercial adaptation to a spin-off activity, which may in turn generate its own fandom. Such a vicious cycle…

    • X says:

      It already has generated a separate “fan base” that is, I believe. But, The Unicorn series didn’t come out as anime until quite recently, and yet, sales of the Unicorn and the Sinanju are quite high, which, already dispels the notion that the anime is needed by the merchandise.

      Thing is, even before the anime came out, Bandai did the predictable of reissuing the Unicorn and Sinanju in Titatnium, then later two variant of OVA Unicorn kits.

      Beginning Gunpla, in this case, is a dual marketing scheme for both the anime and the line. The anime is actually geared towards kids who basically view the kits as toys.

    • >>Like if the Pokemon card game got its own anime

      WANT

    • It’s all related and part of a “mature” industry. Chickens, eggs, etc. kind of meld together like some avian pie. Avid modelers would be interested in the latest high-end unit. Say, whatever happens some of them would be interested in the next Master Grade or Perfect Grade units because they’re fans of the line and the possibilities they present in expressing themselves — regardless of what shows they’re from.

      Casual fans of toys, not so much I imagine.

      • X says:

        How can you presume what modelers want, when you’re not even interested in modeling?

        Real modelers don’t really care what grade they are working on after all. We do complain, most of the time, but at the end of the day, we make do what we get or have, and even take it a challenge to make something else of what we have.

        Can “hard core anime fans” like you say the same? Whereas I can simply look up what you know about anime, you can’t very well dow what modelers do.

        So there. It’s April 2. April’s not so fool anymore.

        • Of course I’m interested in modeling! I’m just not good at it! I own a bunch of kits and I’m not happy with the job I did with them — compared to what I see guys like DC can do with them.

          It should be VERY obvious that I look up to what you guys do, and don’t advocate hating on anything by anyone on a serious level.

          Furthermore, I don’t really speak for many people as I don’t pretend to be influential or representative. So you shouldn’t take my words as representative of anime fans in general or the people you interact with.

          Now that I’ve attempted further to clear that up, what else can I do for you?

          • ubiquitial says:

            Jesus Christ what a fight. And between two idols of mine, too. I don’t even get what it’s over anymore, it seems more like a war of attribution than anything else. I will say this, though. Blogging is a perfectly valid hobby. And ghostlightning is one of the best. It takes experience and insight to dissect shows like he does. And while it might not require the hours of labor modeling and scratchbuilding does, it’s still justifiable.

  17. Matt Wells says:

    Bandai putting toy sales before the story and quality of the show meant to sell the toys?! Le Gasp! Ain’t they been doing that since SEED? No, no, my mistake. They’ve been doing that since Victory Gundam :)

    Troll lo la Troll lol ol lol TROOOOLLLLLing! That said, for a joke post you STILL raised thought provoking discussion. Your some damn cerebral, you know that? All said and done, I’m too cack handed to try model building, so as long as massive toy sales get me a GOOD new gundam series, I couldn’t care less about the fans who only care about the toys.

    The only way a problem might occur is when the number of die hard gunpla builders outnumbers the actual number of people who watch the show. Wait, scratch that, the only problem is when Bandai and Sunrise greenlight a new show they know is going to suck shit just to rake in a heap of cash from fans too devoted to care! As is the case with every Gundam show since SEED until the Second Coming of Christ AKA Unicorn.

    Putting toy sales doesn’t HAVE to be a bad thing: were Bandai not interested in trying something different and selling toys to little kids, we would never have got G Gundam. The difference between G and SEED though is that while they’re both toy commercials, Sunrise took the time and effort required to make G Gundam a GREAT show from less than promising beginings. Same goes for Gaogaigar. Hence why we remember love for G Gundam, and liberally shit on SEED for its vapid, uninspired plot and dull characters. Alright mechas though…

    • I have purchased a bunch of model kits over the years despite my lack of ability in competent building (let alone painting). I’m in awe of people like DC who do it so well.

      As for the cerebral content, I know I can’t get away with more blatant internet meme-ish kind of approaches. I really just found a topic that isn’t talked about among anime circles but what turns out to be a divisive thing among modeling hobby communities. As X, above shares, some assholes are dismissive of the modelers who care less about the franchise lore.

      As for myself — my first encounter with Gundam was when my younger brother bought a Zaku II 1/144 home (0080: War in the Pocket). It was in the early 90s and there were no Gundam shows in the Philippines yet. We loved building it, and proceeded to buy a Marasai, Char’s Gelgoog, and Quess’ JAGD-DOGA.

      However, it was VERY frustrating for me that I didn’t have access to the stories of these units. I didn’t know how they fit along the timeline, or whether it made sense for them to show up in the same battlefield. Being a Battletech fan and even as a teenager I was a geek enough to appreciate technological trees and arms races (thanks to the excellent technical readouts that you can find similar reads in the database of the Mecha Anime Headquarters.

      Some modelers though, are less players or consumers of narratives but are rather like… engineers. Even so, I used to teach literature at my University’s College of Engineering. I think expression and creativity is enriched by an appreciation of the contexts of things.

      The conflict in this post boils down to this (as do most conflicts regarding hobbies):

      WHO GETS TO LOOK DOWN ON WHOM?

      Those who’ve known me for some time, would be able to tell that this is the last thing I’m interested in doing… and is why I think it’s an excellent subject for a Liar’s Day post.

      • X says:

        Context is an excuse used by those who can’t do.

        Anyways, I’ve had fun with your Liar’s day post. It sure revealed a lot of truth about what you can and can’t do.

        • And what do you mean by this statement?

          Then again, never mind, no need to reply.

        • Matt Wells says:

          Detecting a lot of hostility from X above me there. And Gundam Sousei is easily one of the greatest tie-in manga I’ve ever read, if only for Yasuhiko looking like Paptimus Scirocco and for Itano lavishing as much detail on a fight scene as he does when he draws Char rocket launcher-ing off Kycillia’s head. The lol-tastic approach to “real events” only makes me lament that the real Tomino isn’t more like this one.

          “Grit those teeth Toru Furuya!” http://www.mangafox.com/manga/gundam_sousei/c001/10.html

          And if your really in the mood for Gundam in-jokes…

          • kadian1364 says:

            This video actually reminds me a whole lot of Angelic Layer, essentially a kids show about battle Barbies. Kids (girls mainly) name them, dress them up, and carry them around like dolls, but also enter them in big sanctioned fighting competitions. The twist is that Angelic Layer wasn’t based on any existing toy franchise, but CLAMP’s somewhat subversive take on the toy battling genre. It was formulaic, but genuinely fun and well done because it wasn’t concerned with pushing merchandise, instead building story and characters.

      • DC23 says:

        Your Filipino???!!! :)

        Thanks for the compliments btw.

        I am the perfect example of a modeler who does not know sheesh about the anime actually. I loved the Wing series when I first saw it back then… the only series I’ve watched from start to finish. :)

        • Oo naman. Kita ko nga yung mga litrato mo kasama mo kids mo. Ako rin, may anak na babae (1 year old). Being a Filipino presents several challenges in the anime hobby, namely the difficulty in obtaining original media that’s relevant to my readership.

          It’s actually easier to obtain kits, if one has the capital for it. Keep up the great work (and the good pictures).

          • DC23 says:

            HOLY SHEESH! never realize it until you mentioned Philippines. I added you to my blogroll since you emailed me. Keep it up too kabayan! :)

  18. Fredrex00 says:

    Reading this post (even if it was for April Fools Day) reminds me a lot of how many times a creator will put a great and meaningful message behind their work and then have it slowly turn into an advertisement for toys. It happened with Godzilla, where the first movie was supposed to summarize the pain and suffering the Japanese felt when they were hit by the Atomic bomb in two of their major cites, and then as Godzilla become more popular he became an icon for children and now we have “cute” little Godzillas that help hold onto our toilet paper and dispense drinks. Its kind of eerie to see it happen again with Gundam when Tomino wished for the show to depict the horrors of war and the savage nature of humans when the franchise has become at times just a model kit commercial.

    • The dichotomy is a false one. Gundam is neither a work of art, nor a commercial venture exclusively. Both can be true (and is the case based on intention, if not fact). Just because Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Starry Night” became living-room prints, bedsheets, and t-shirts appropriated by dozens of commercial ventures doesn’t negate its other purposes (art object, art history lesson, art teaching material).

      This is just further meta that informs my decision to make this joke, as it were.

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  20. Mark RJ G. Cruz says:

    Nice
    I like it

    I only got my models because of the anime series

  21. Josh Carandang says:

    I’ve encountered a guy in class who liked the Gundam franchise for the models and not the anime. Dude, that’s just wrong. I’m a Gundam fan since 1999 and I’ve watched the anime and built the models. The shows and media put the substance into the hollow shell of the plastic model. I pity him for not truly appreciating the franchise for what it is. i really like what your post is driving at. More power and peace out.

    • Not wrong, just a different way of consumption.

      It’s not wrong to not be a Gundam fan. If modelers are having fun with Gundam merchandise, it’s not a problem at all. The stuff allows more and better anime to get made. So, it’s cool.

  22. luffy237 says:

    For me, i would like to see the anime of the gunpla. wouldn’t it be awesome if they actually made Gundam Sentinel or Char’s counterattack: Beltorchika’s children into an anime? we would be able to see the Ex-s and the Hi-nu in action. yes gunpla is gunpla but the anime is where we can know the story of where and why the MS were created and the pilots behind them.

    anyone remember’s the gouf custom in 08th MS team? that was a great scene. or when we first saw the unicorn gundam in episode 1 of the OVA transformed to NT-D mode. it gave me goose bumps!

    oh and also the final pose of the RX-78-2 epic stuff. hehe

    i really hope sentinel gundam is the next anime after unicorn. or advance of zeta.

    • I too, would love to see those shows animated; especially if done in the quality of Gundam Unicorn.

    • Matt Wells says:

      Hey now, careful what you wish for! If they begin adapting the novels, we could just as easily end up with Hathaway’s Flash than Sentinel! More Quess Pariah anyone? :(

      If they were to adapt some of the spin offs, I’d rather they began with Crossbone Gundam; it’s one of the few where Tomino was directly invovled, and they’d essentially be animating a story which we already know to be great. They could promote it as the sequel to F-91, seeing as how much they’re making of the connection between Unicorn and Char’s Counterattack.

      • luffy237 says:

        yeah crossbone would be a good start. hathaway’s flash? well we would be able to see the Ξ Gundam. :D

        • Matt Wells says:

          Not even good Gundams excuse the existence of Hathaway Noah. How a man that awesome had a kid THAT LAME, I’ll never know.

          Still, having the little bastard getting inadvertently executed by his dad, and having the ghost of Quess telling him she never gave a shit about him…why, they almost validated her existence! :)

  23. Elvin says:

    Just read through your post and found it quite interesting. I think in Gunpla or Gundam, traditionally, the model kits tend to be bought by fans who have watched the anime(s) (seed, UC, destiny, double O, etc) as the anime fans loved the anime and wanted to collect their favourite mobile suits. Or in some cases, one would try to collect all of them.

    The bulk of the modifications or modellers who modify their model kits came as we humans have our own likings and designs and apply them onto the model kits to “represent” our version of “what I would have designed it as”

    I think Bandai realizing that, released the various Mobile Suit Variations in the Gundam Seed season (destiny as well). You can see loads of customized mobile suits in that anime ie the whole Astray range is basically an MSV series. following that, and after gundam 00 series ended, gunpla builders anime has been release which feature more variations.

    I find the G builders anime much like gundam evolving into one of those digimon, pokemon type anime where gunpla-ers construct their gunpla and battle each other. This anime, without knowing the history of the mobile suits and which anime they come from is pretty much meaning less as Bandai can simply release loads of Mobile suits which are unrelated to the Original Gundam animes and the whole franchise will become a pokemon/digimon type series.

    Beginning Gundam is the first in line, which is in a world of its own and having no connection whatsoever to any of the previous gundam series.

    For me, I am an anime guy and built/collected the models as I loved the anime and the characters who pilot them. There are a few kits which I bought based on the design though but I always made an effort to finding out their background and what role they played in their respective animes.

    • First of all, check the publication date — this should explain much.

      Otherwise, I’ll take you up on some of the thoughts you put forth. Regarding Bandai coming up with a Pokemon-style game using the Gundam license, I’m all for it. Yes, I think this is an EXCELLENT gateway mechanism for kids to get into; with the hope that some of them will grow up to become fans of the more mature offering within the Gundam franchise. I think this is one of the more important things that need to happen for robot anime to come back into the mainstream.

      I want the game to be cheap, accessible, easy to play, and become a MASSIVE hit.

  24. kriz says:

    Wwweeelllll…Since we are at it let me throw in a little twist.

    I wonder were I would stand in a situation of this nature?
    Ex-street artist (wall art) who watched his first (NON-Translated Robot Anime) in 1979/80 (Gundam) before I knew exactly what it was called. I got my hands on a Macross and Orguss Kit somewere around 1983-85, Granted none of these Franchise’s were very popular or very well known in the UNITED STATE’S around that time as they have been in the last decade.

    What has always puzzled and irritated the hell outta me is when PEOPLE try and philosophize about things that really dont make a difference in the world anyways,
    I am 40 yrs old and I have been/and taken part in most fads and such for instance the first video games (Commador/atari) , Martial Art’s movie’s(Bruce lee), Japanese Shows broadcasted in America (marine boy/simba/space giants).

    I made this brief outline to say this……(I like anime) for its artist/creative properties But in the same instance the model’s for their creative flexibility.
    Personlly I could give to craps about the lore or time line’s ect ect, I have watched every anime most people don’t even know/remember most thing’s in life are not consistant and should evolve and branch out……How else did we make it from the stone age?

    If you love art and creativity whether it be Plastic or Hand drawn art cell’s, who care’s……….just LOVE IT FOR WHAT IT IS. BTW……Business is Business, Most companie’s are going to vear toward the market trend regardless of what we (consumer) think’s or want’s anyways.

    Nice Post bro.

  25. I agree with you on most of it. And yes i agree that bandai is making these kind of modelers. But there is hope. there are still modelers that get in the Japanese magazines by making then more detailed but still originally themed. obviously i love to try and make a custom like i want them to.

    but after seeing 90% of all gundam series not SD. i think that apart form the cannon fodder. all the models are customs in there own way. not to say i think everyone should make there gunpla super custom. but that is the general idea of most models. like i know that RX 178 is a newer version of RX78 and the RX78 is a variant of the GM models. which sets my point. in the universe the models are already customs. why is making your own custom not justified.

    don’t get me wrong. i like most models as the are. i just want to add more detail to a kit. but making it your own is a personal choice and not something coming from bandai personally.

    so i agree that most modelers only customize and not keep to the original. but that is theres choice and not for you or bandai to decide.

    DC makes very custom work. ok but that is his choice. but thats why its interesting to. seeing the same thing over and over can be boring. but customizing your own kits can be more fun. So is it better to always make the original and not customize. NO. inspiration comes in many forms. and that needs to be done. if you agree ore not that is your opinion but being so judgmental of it is hard and not needed.

    you blame bandai and in some way also the builders. i don’t agree with you on that. bandai makes business decisions. its what needs to be done. if that results in making that kind of builder. Oke you don’t agree. would you rather have them stop making anime and gunpla. than instead of whining about it. do something about it. go do a groupbuild for “no customs” ore start a forum. but do not give someone else the blame.

    this is all my personal opinion. please understand that its not a attack at you. i agree with you on a few things but not the whole post. i’m just adding to the discussion. :)

    • LOL

      I’m not laughing at you, I apologize if it seems to be the case.

      I don’t actually espouse these views, especially to the degree of harshness and the arrogant manner it is delivered. Look at the publication date of the post. It should explain everything.

      I don’t presume to tell DC, the fans, or Bandai what to do. My hobby is mostly in the service of appreciating what I like and finding new things to appreciate. So whatever makes it fun for you, as long as it doesn’t harm others, go for it!

      Peace bro!

      • Aha i get it now. :D

        i did not realize it. as i never look at dates :P

        i still stand for my points if it where a real rant post so to say ;)

        i linked it form DC’s page.

        Peace

  26. Cyan says:

    Great article, really thoughtful written :)

    I personally agree that story is the first and main reason why I love gundam and eventually buy the gunpla.. But you must’ve been a die hard, cause I don’t feel the fear or anything that will ruin my entertainment. If nothing good come up, I’ll just re-watch gundam 00 all over again (and play with my gunpla) :D

    • Thanks for the kind words, but if you look at the publication date you’ll understand this post more (so I hope).

      I don’t really presume to tell anyone what to do and how to enjoy their hobby or run their business. Thanks for visiting We Remember Love, may you find a lot more posts on Gundam in the archives.

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  28. Zeta Newtype says:

    Hahahah! This was win! Good post, sir!

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  31. Ciel says:

    Gunpla is something they made for when u like the series, when you like a mobile suit you just want to build one, the fanbase would decrease then they would lose money, then they’d be unable to show certain shows, and soon enough bandai would cease to exist, they made gunpla for the reason that its a big help for not only budget, but also to make fans happy and keep a good amount to continue running

  32. Ciel says:

    Also I live in America and not many at my school know of gundam, although pretty much everyone in my school is a anime fan just maybe 2-4 others know what the gundam series is, and most of my friends say “dude what are you doing, building a transformer or something?” So I just reply ” it’s a Gundam.” No pun intended

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