With this and this, the Gundam franchise has enough anime awesomeness to wage war for the next decade. Discuss.
Btw, whiners can go suck a truck of earthworm penises.
Haven’t seen any Gundam yet? Find Your Gateway Gundam!
War is right. Wasn’t it Executive Otaku that mentioned the fractured nature of the Mobile Suit Gundam fandom? Well this will just add MORE to it.
Didn’t need an EO to tell anyone how fractured the fandom is. Oldfag vs. Newfag only begins to describe it. This bifurcation includes but does not limit the following: UC fag vs. AU fag. Realfag vs. G Gundamfag, SEEDfag vs. GSD apologists, UC fags vs. ZZ Gundam apologists (fucking motherfuckers). Everyone vs. Wingfags, etc. etc.
The fandom is just soooo ripe for trolling, and it will be trolled again and again and again.
Honest Question: Just how drunk did you guys get before the song and after it?
When AGE was first announced, I had the knee jerk reaction of going for that beer, not because it gave the impression of being for kids, but rather that it was so against the expectations I had set for the new project at first. I love watching shows that aim towards a younger audience, but I was worried about this direction the franchise was apparently taking.
It didn’t help that Level-5 was also involved here, and in the story department no less. Being one of the players of their games, while they certainly can make some pretty fun games to play, the stories … aren’t up to par to say the least. Far too much LOLHino in them.
That being said, about a day later, I started to get a more positive perspective. I mean Hino was pretty excited about this, calling it the move that will help Level-5 move to the next stage, so while I was still cautious about it, I wanted to believe him that he wont screw up here. Not where there is much at stake.
That and I remembered that a lot of my favorite anime are kid shows. Erin was a straight children show and its far more compelling than most anime nowadays (and older even). So putting aside all that, and reading how much Hino has been getting disheartened from all the criticism, I got to the point where I got past my initial reaction and am now looking forward to the show more than ever.
At the moment, I have a taken the stance to give Level-5 the benefit of the doubt. I can understand that many aren’t really welling to do the same (mostly do to too much Level-5 storytelling) and that’s fine, people can have their preferences, if they don’t like Level-5 and don’t think the anime will be their cup of tea, their free to do what they want. I do laugh at the comments that are circulating around now though. ”This isn’t Gundam!” ”Gundam is going to end!” ”This show is shit!” etc. nonsense like that are always amusing to read.
About Origin, I’m interested in it automatically, but at the moment I’m more excited about AGE from the two, since I had already went through the Gundam 0079 experience like 4 times already, from the original to the dub to the completion movies to the game, excluding the re-watches. So I can only get excited about seeing the same thing just a couple of times right? (even though from what I understand Origin is far more detailed and has some differences from the TV show (such as the romance and some character dynamics apparently) so there might be some new things there to watch)
So yeah, the future looks like it’s bringing us more and more wars, from all fronts.
Didn’t get drunk at all, except from our own hot-blood and love for manly robot anime songs! (We sang Yuusha no Tanjou, The Winner, Crossfight, Aura Battler Dunbine, and Skill!)
Here’s the thing about Gundam AGE: it’s perfect. Not just for the Gundam franchise, but for anime in general. Robot anime has increasingly been the passion of the following distinct demographics:
1. Annoying elitist Oldfags
2. Annoying teenage Newfags
The first group keep getting older, crustier, more irritable, and pissed off. Nobody wants to even try robot anime knowing that these guys will pick on them and act superior. The second group tend to appreciate robot anime in terms that annoy oldfags — they enjoy the shonen fightan style of flashy battles, they proclaim the few robot anime they’ve seen as the best shows ever, and they are unwilling to watch and appreciate most older shows. The third group doesn’t watch robot anime for the robots.
Of course there are the general anime fans, the casualfags, etc. These groups aren’t bad at all, but they tend not to watch robot anime for the robots. The robots are incidental to them, and instead judge the robot anime for general merits such as plot, verisimilitude (worse: realism /facepalm), character development (groan), and originality (kill me now). They will like a few shows transcendent of the robot anime genre, and mark them down for the ways that they remain being robot anime (I just died again).
Here’s an example of the possible reactions to say, Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin anime:
1. Oldfag: Man they better do this the RIGHT way.
2. Newfag: I hope it doesn’t look you know, old.
3. Fujoshi: Meh. Huh? Garma x Char wait what?
4. GeneralElitist Anime Fan: Why do they keep making OYW rehashes? This franchise is so dead.
5. Casualfag: Hmmm. New animation? May check it out.
Of course, these aren’t the only possible reactions. Casualfags may prove to be quite negative too. As for me, I think Gundam Unicorn is the best way to present a Gundam show: with the appropriate seriousness, focus on combat, include the grand thematic sweep, and use spectacular production values. To do this with the main storyline is a very good thing. For almost 2 decades, we’ve seen AU Gundam shows re-present the main Gundam story in attempted fresh ways. Each subfranchise has its own fans: W, SEED, and 00 had their own takes on the Universal Century narrative and its themes. These shows have been useful in bringing some of the newer fans to discover the rest of Gundam.
This is why Gundam the Origin is so good: There’s no need to repackage the main narrative into an alternative universe. It IS the main narrative, in TV anime form — stripped of all the compromises the original production staff had to make as pioneers of real robot anime. Also, new animation with higher production values to me is ALWAYS worth watching.
This may create newfags, and may transition existing newfags into their oldfag journey. BUT, Gundam the Origin being such an adult show may not really create fans of Gundam and robot anime in general in large numbers so as to infuse the community with growth and new blood. For this, you have to go beyond the UC, beyond your typical AU show (read: it can’t be something like 00 which was very faux adult). Gundam AGE on the other hand, is perfect for this.
I couldn’t ask for anything better. Yes, I asked for something like this, in very specific terms:
My Wishes for the Robot Anime of the Future.
I want Gundam to create a mass base of fans at the grade school level, just as I was a fan when I was a kid. I saw super robot shows in kindergarten and saw Macross in the 3rd grade. I want the game and merch tie-ins to be brilliant. I want the kids to go fucking nuts over this. This is what will sustain all of us. This is what will sustain the war effort for another decade.
The Origin is going to rock and there’s no doubt about it. We can always count on Mr. Lightning to state truths like this in the best, most educated and articulate way possible.
When I heard about AGE I said, “Yeah! Medabots meets Gundam! Should be sweet! I love kids’ shows!”
When I heard about The Origin I said, “Thank you, God, for letting me live this long. Finally. Finally,” and then I proceeded to cry tears of transcendent joy.
Thanks man, you give me a whole lot of credit. But yes, these are the thoughts that I’ve been having all year and these two projects couldn’t have come at a better time.
On a personal note, it sure gives this blog something to write about for the next year or so.
Gonna need to revamp the character designs if they want to pull in dem Fujoshi, because right now, CharxGarma’s about all they’ve got.
Yeah, this won’t be the kind of show that the fujoshi are usually spoiled with, unless they’re more like Ohno from Genshiken.
2 beers, tops? Wasn’t drunk.
Some people don’t take issue with AGE being a kids’ show, but they find the character designs and mecha unappealing.
I gotta say, the character designs are going to be tough for me to adjust to… but the Gundam’s design is something I just don’t get. WHYYYYYY?
I have a soft spot for chest orbs, really. At least it doesn’t have a humongous backpack!
Someone cover that hole! Unless it wants to let Z Gundam into its heart a la Paptimus.
Looking forward to Gundam Origin. A lot!!
I’ll give Age a shot when it comes out.
Origin is for us adults, but AGE is what will make the Gundam franchise strong. AGE may not be that good, or enjoyable for us, but remember who’s it competing against: Bakugan, Yugi-oh!, Digimon, and of course Pokemon.
Well, if we go by the comments from Bandai and Level-5, AGE is supposedly more family oriented, so it for a younger audience alright, but it might not target the same audience of Digimon/Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh etc.
It may not exactly, but it’s close enough. Maybe they’re afraid of getting crushed by the Pokemons who knows? In any case I acknowledge the effort to introduce the youngest possible audience to their flagship franchise.
To get more Gundam, wage more war. It’s the only logical answer to the need of all the mecha otaku of the world.
You and logic don’t seem to make sense in the same sentence.
Anime version of Origin? NNNYOHGAWD CUMMING. Ahem. I am excited by this. More Universal Century is always welcome, and the best kind of Universal Century is the One Year War. Origin is perobably the best overall version of the original Gundam series; you get the pleasure of sights like Amuro’s first fight, Gundam’s re-entry to Earth and Ramba Rall all over again, but everything is so much more is fleshed out and developed.
We see how Char got his name and Casval Daikum died, more of Ramba Rall being awesome, more Sayla-Amuro shippage, the original all white Test Type White Devil, and FAR less comedy episodes and lol-Tomino. Less bratty kids saving the ship from Zeon spies, less episodes devoted to White Base running out of Salt, and no banned episode with Zaku Martial Arts. Great news, I just hope Bandai doesn’t scrimp out on the animation, or alters Yasuhiko’s character designs, or changes Amuro and Char’s voice actors, or blah blah blah, bitch bitch bitch…
Now Gundam Age looks intriguing. The lighter, kid friendly atmosphere is noteworthy. Seems the titular Gundam may have adaptive programming to allow it to function on the battlefield for a century, learning and improving its tech to cope with new opponents. Genuine Aliens in a Gundam series, or a Nadesico style twist with Spacenoids instead of Jovians? The way they say the show will cover 100 years in one series is interesting, most other Gundam shows generate that level of continuity ion 30 years or more. Should leave lots of room for inevitable spin offs. Digging the retro character designs and mecha, they seem to be a deliberate throwback to the original series. Reminds of a show called Vifam, of which I’ve only seen the credits, because nobody has subbed it yet.
I wonder if they’re going for a meta take on the Gundam franchise itself? The first of what looks like three parts to Age will be 70′s style hijinks, with a plucky kid protagonist, comedy sidekicks, enemy ro~beast of the week, and a Gundam tip-toeing right on the edge of Super Robotdom. The second part will go all Zeta on us, older characters back in supporting roles, more mechs, more intrigue, and everybody dies. Light to Grimdark. I can only imagine that the third and final part will go all Victory on our asses, with everybody dying, the survivors are all crippled and/or lying about the fact that they can’t stand each other and envy the dead, for they are free.
All in all, exciting news. Until these shows arrive, we have official DVD releases of Turn A and a subbed releases of the original TV series to tide us over, and the second half of Unicorn after those. Good times to be a Gundam fan. Aside from licensing ZZ, Victory and X, Bandai could do little else for us. Now fingers crossed that when these projects are complete, they’ll begin work on a Crossbone Gundam TV series. They could probably fit the whole story into a mere 13 episodes. Hell, why not go one better and make a proper F-91 TV series? They’re spoilt for choice, and so are we.
And now I just saw the Karaoke vid. Tears of Time were shed. MANLY Tears of Time.
if your description of Origin is accurate I have the weirdest boner right now. I already had high expectations but if it really improves that much on the original series…holy shit they better not screw up this adaptation
Since I’m not a Gundamfag I’m just going to enjoy watching the unavoidable troll wars about AGE from the sidelines :3
You can go ahead and check out the manga. It’s gorgeous and awesome. The troll wars will be initiated by young punks who can’t wait to become elitist oldfags and hate on AGE because it’s the new thing.
Like I said to arabesque, to have both shows somewhat satisfies what I asked for when I wrote about what I wished robot anime of the future would be like.
Basically, something for veterans of the genre to look forward to: which is less about novelty but rather more of the same things we already love but with better execution… then a real honest-to-goodness kids’ show.
It will be very interesting if Gundam AGE is the kind of success that will spin off more mature stories that allow its core audience to grow up with it — the same way the main UC storyline got progressively darker (ZZ Gundam notwithstanding, fuck that show), or consider how the Harry Potter franchise grew up along with its first readers: from kiddie to dark emo.
As for your other thoughts… I think I’d enjoy an Xbone anime even though I can’t even finish the silly manga. F91… I dunno LOL.
I like the idea of AGE “growing up” with its audience. Even though I’m no fan of the Harry Potter series, I always appreciated what it did there. My sister began reading the series in fifth grade and though she finished it up after taking some time off, was more or less the same age as the characters, which she said had a really big impact on her life. The closest thing I have to this in my experience are the Sonic the Hedgehog games, which actually got worse for the most part as I got older (I laughed audibly when sadakups mentioned how Sonic fans are unpleaseable). However, I can honestly say that I never failed to try out each new installment with an objective point of….blah blah blah whatever. They changed it, now it sucks. Hopefully, AGE and the Gundam franchise at large will continue to improve with each successive generation.
When I was reading the Robotech novels, I was around the same age as Rick Hunter and I was caught in my own love triangle (where my own personal Kaifun caused me no end of grief). I can’t say it grew up with me though since I’ve seen Macross since I was 7-9 thereabouts. I wish there was something in my life that worked the same way Harry Potter did for your sister.
That said, the transition from 0079 to CCA does reflect the ageing of the fandom.
Thanks for the link, great post with plenty of food for thought. I had meant that the show might get progressively darker as it goes along, hence the 100 year timespan. But AGE becoming a new, UC style continuity that grows with its viewers? Great idea, perfect for getting kids into the franchise and keeping them fans.
And yes, Crossbone is a silly, silly manga. For a guy who got into the franchise through G Gundam, this was not a problem. The one complaint I have is that the last six volumes of the sequel are unscanned, so the entire saga is unavaiable. What I like about it is that its Tomino doing a lighthearted, funny Gundam series whilst not making it suck ass eg. ZZ. Its Lol-Tomino done right, be it the Parrot Haro, or the way a Spacenoid adapts to Earth Gravity within a day.
The only bits that made me scream WTF both involved monkeys, both times it had them piloting Mobile Suits (yes, really). The second time was notable for being an ancient One Year War project initiated by Garma Zabi to create Aritficial Newtype Monkeys. Yes, I did type that correctly. Newtype monkeys. And the artist wrote that one, Tomino had nothing to do with it!
Crossbone is lighthearted fun, there’s a lot to love and enjoy, and its short, so there’s little cost in investing your time in it. It validates the existence of F-91 in the first place, has memorable supporting characters (like an 80 year old OYW veteran who took down six Doms in a Ball), awesome pirate Gundams, beam shield technology that doesn’t scream super-hax God mode, and a LIKEABLE teenage protagonist!
Tobia is basically a hot blooded Usso from V Gundam, minus everyone he loves dying every episode. Probably my favourite UC main character. His response to a lucid Princess preaching about how Newtypes were destined to lead humanity into a peaceful future (which somehow equaled leaving his friends to die alone fighting genocidal maniacs) was particulalry memorable: he Bright Slapped the living shit out of her.
I read a volume, and can’t sustain my interest in it. Also, I never really got into the F91 gang so that’s another reason perhaps.
I really enjoyed Crossbone for what it is: a lighthearted, sometimes silly adventurous romp through deep space, just like Matt said. The Crossbone Gundam are some of the best Gundam designs, in my opinion, because it’s like the Vanguard decided “We know it’s ridiculous to dress up our mobile suits and mother ship like we’re 18th century pirates but we’re gonna do it it anyway, even thought we aren’t, technically speaking, pirates.” It’s like an actual “real world” U.C. acknowledgement and invocation of the rule of cool.
Exactly what Reid says. Its fun above anything else, and the last time a Gundam series was fun for the sake for being fun was G Gundam. Both series are cool and simultaeneously ridiculous, hence why I love them.
What Chris Guanche said.
As for my thoughts, I have seen a lot of Gundam shows, liked some more than others so seeing a new AU and UC show, while Unicorn is still around is good enough for me.
I don’t have problems with AGE despite the character designs, but I’m curious on how the concept of having three generations of protags will work on the show. With all the information at the moment which includes scans and a two-minute trailer, there’s nothing much for me to judge on. But it doesn’t matter what my initial thoughts are as I’m definitely going to watch it.
Don’t really have time to muddle through podcasts so you’ll have to tell me what he said. Like you, I’m definitely going to watch it anyway even though the show obviously isn’t made for my tastes. This is why they’re adapting Origin as well.
Some of the points he made:
1. Sunrise is doing “franchise sustainability”, i.e., introducing a new generation of viewers (read: kids) to the Gundam franchise. The same happened to G when it was announced since it was the first AU Gundam show, and we know how that show became one of the favorites, and it was targeted to kids who weren’t born during the UC shows. Years later, SEED was announced and raging ensued, and again, it was targeted to kids who were still young to watch G, Wing, X and Turn A, and we also know how it created a generation of fanboys and fangirls to the franchise, whether we like it or not. And years later, AGE was announced and same reasoning applies.
2. Gundam has always been a toy commercial since 1979 aimed for kids. Having a good story is just a bonus.
3. AGE’s protags are aged 13, 14 and 15, which makes them the same age as Usso, Judau and Garrod, respectively, so why the rage for them being kids while majority of Gundam TV shows, with the exception of G and 00 S2, have kids as protags.
4. Just like the Sonic Cycle, the Gundam Cycle exists:
a. Bitch about how the last Gundam show was either filled with too many Gundam cliches or was too different and is not Gundam
b. New show is announced. Bitch about how it is filled with too many Gundam cliches or is too different and is not Gundam
c. Show airs. Bitch about how it sucks because it is filled with too many Gundam cliches or is too different and is not Gundam
d. Show ends. Bitch about how the show sucked because of too many Gundam cliches or is too different and is not Gundam.
e. Repeat the cycle.
He said a lot, but these points are the ones that stood out for me. I can’t exactly vouch for it, but it’s actually interesting.
All those points are true. See my response to arabesque above and notice how it should complement what Chris said.
Great minds think alike, huh?
Dunno about great minds, but Newtype powers have been reported to allow different individuals to share thoughts (as a response to the vastness of space).
The Origin anime announcment makes me yearn all the more for a “For the Barrel” animation adaptation…or one that follows the storyline of the Gundam novels and then continues the story on after the uh, different ending. >:)
That’s asking for too much at this point. I’d pick the manga over the novels when it comes down to it.
You’re right, of course; but still, in a perfect world where things like this could happen, you know it’d rock. Especially For the Barrel. Heck, I’d be happy just to find a full scanlation of the thing.
I say bring it all on. We need more Gundam mecha action as part of a healthy lifestyle.
New gundam fags that I know – Awesome new Gundam show! (AGE)
Oldfags that I know – What happened, Gundam?! (AGE)
Sums it up pretty much.
Oh well, I’d watch it anyway regardless. Oh, and Takahiro Sakurai voicing Char in the Gundam remake? I’m wondering how this will turn out if its for reals.
“What? Ikeda isn’t going to be doing Char?
You don’t need to wonder. That’s exactly what’s going to happen.
Why couldn’t it be Ikeda? It’s not like he’s dead or anything!
If Bandai doesn’t bow to public pressure, they quite probably will replace all the old voice actors. Bright’s current voice actor should get in, but he isn’t the original. The only ones they will face some problems with is of course replacing Fuya and Ikeda, those guys can still do the same damn voice after 30+ years, and few other actors could do their roles justice. Fuya in particular is pushing 60, and his voice still doesn’t sound a day over 18.
FURUYA. Not FUYA. Damn Moonspeak people crazy names and my inability to remember them.
The only way I can describe the Gundam Fandom is like politics within the continent of Westerros where 7 kingdoms compete for the Iron Throne, as depicted in A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. Some of which are so stubborn, clinging on what others see as a false sense of pride, and others simply idiotic and bloathed with a false sense of individuality.
I do not know what to expect of Gundam anymore, in fact I’ve already given up on asking what they have to pose. This is sort of like Star Trek: The Original Series, spawning shows tangent to the original that I may not want to watch anymore: Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine and such. Though I’m not sure if this also demonstrates the kind of fandom warfare Gundam showcases, or if there’s a fandom warfare present at all, I’m not sure. The difference may have layed on the sheer independence of each spinoff to the next, whereas in Trek each adaptation is either a continuation or a prologue to the other.
I don’t have much say as to how I could even rank even a list of 3 random Gundam shows, provided I haven’t watched nor read everything yet. It’s like being the weird kid who watches the other kids rioting in a playground, not knowing what each side is fighting for, nor knowing who’s winning.
Well, you have to ask the right people.
The easiest way to understand Gundam is to divide it into two sections:
1. The Universal Century continuity (the UC, the original show and storylines)
2. Alternative Universe (G, W, SEED, 00, and the upcoming AGE)
The shows in #2 tend to (but not always) re-tell the original story or re-package its elements using a new-ish setting, new characters, and obv. new Gundams and mobile suits. These shows appeal to what’s current in anime, making Gundam more accessible to the generation that’s viewing this particular show for the first time.
The shows in #1 are made to appeal to the original fans, and fans who’ve come to love the original Gundam stories.
It shouldn’t be confusing if you understand this fundamental distinction.
But whatever happens, do NOT start with SEED Destiny. I say Destiny and not SEED because I met people who actually started with that show but HATED SEED. It just blows my mind.
I’m intrigued by the comparison to A Song of Ice and Fire (admittedly, mostly because I’m a huge junkie for the series who has waited six f*cking years for this next fix of Martin-y goodness). Is Universal Century representative of the fallen house Targaryen? (I suppose this would make King Aerys the Mad “ZZ Gundam” and “Origin” Daenerys, threatening to sweep back across the fandom with a huge-ass army and a bunch of dragons?)
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Origin: Super excited. I’ve been saying they should do a high-budget remake (in b4 sarcasm about AUs being remakes) of the original for years.
Age: Is the third one the long-awaited female main pilot or just another trap? (And, what does it say that I’d be much, much more surprised by a female main pilot than yet another trap main pilot?). I like the dragon-mechs. It will probably be crap (AU Gundam projects have yet to score above mediocre in my book), but it might satisfy the “Gundam for Kids” to pull in new fans that you were seeking a while back.
Ecole du Ciel should be adapted and that certainly had a female main pilot.
Yeah, I’d watch an adaptation of Ecole du Ciel, but I couldn’t get through the manga. I could probably tolerate the moe if the fight scenes were animated, though.
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I was disappointed because it wasn’t Crossbone Gundam directed by Imagawa. Or maybe my expectations are just too high.
But seriously, the Age Gundam is like… They got the beginning Gundam and V Gundam, slammed them together and called it a day. So generic!
I would’ve preferred something like this, given that Gundam The Origin project exists. But yeah, the Age Gundam is seriously beat up by the ugly generic stick.
Someone forgot to mention another factor that any attempt at making AGE acceptable to younger fans a formidable challenge: right now it has to confront that seemingly impenetrable posse — Naruto, Bleach, DBZ, One Piece, and Gintama.
It’s not a problem in Japan, I think, but elsewhere (especially here at home) it’s going to be a hard sell for AGE.
Yeah, unless it comes up with an affordable toy/game tie-in.
I think my favourite quip I made about AGE was chatting with my friend, when he said he was ultimately skeptical because it “looked like it was for kids”, so he doubts the writing and presentation would leave much for him to chew on.
And then I answered, “So did Zambot 3.” :d
Nice comback! And what else was a show specifically aired for kids? Gurren Lagann.
If only Tomino were actually directly involved in any of these… especially in AGE.
I thought Tomino intended Turn A Gundam as his last say on the franchise.
Yeah he did.
Though, recently, he did say something about being interested in doing something like Ideon again…
Then he made the shitty Z Gundam movies, and a short called Ring of Gundam that’s made of pure WTF.
I actually thought those Z Gundam Movies were… Alright.
I like how its resolution basically deleted ZZ Gundam from the canon LOL
ZZ deleted itself from canon when Judau Slapped Bright. Such a feat is impossible, even by the standards of anime physics, and the Zeta Movies were the result of the Universal Century universe rebooting itself into a continuity that would prevent that unholy Space Guido from ever setting foot in a Gundam. Bright was still doomed to live in a Universe where his son made Katz Kobayashi look competent and GAR.
Even though I won’t qualify that statement in any way.
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