Fans of Gundam Love their Franchise Like Saji Loves Louise

So yeah the blog is named after a Macross reference, but I’m a Gundam fanboy too, and part of my fascination for the franchise has to do with the behavior of its fandom. I’m not exactly jumping out my seat to applaud Gundam 00 (though I find the recent episode 20 to be quite good), but I do see a lot of RAEGHAET concerning the show. It’s almost like Code Geass again, where I get to read opinions that make me wonder why the person opining is still watching the show.

But after thinking about it, it can only mean love. Not that hate = love, more like hate isn’t the opposite of love the way indifference is the opposite of both. But how can all this behavior be read as love? We don’t need to look very far; the currently airing second season of Gundam 00 has the best analogue: the lover boy Saji Crossroad.

Saji doesn’t see Louise as she is, only as she is in his imagination.

But Louise doesn't have to be so, if she doesn't want to. And in season one, she was a spoiled little twat. Nostalgia is stronger than alcohol.

But Louise doesn't have to be so, if she doesn't want to. And in season one, she was a spoiled little twat. Nostalgia is stronger than alcohol.

Fans want Gundam to stay a specific (almost static) way. Innovation will be treated as unwelcome deviation, if it is even given that benefit of the doubt.

[…] much better when it was season 1. At least they had plot-lines in reason, not perfect mind you, but a hell of alot better than this. It seems Gundam has gone from war-drama to “I-will-protect-because-you-are-my-precious-moral-crutch” shounen Naruto clone with mecha

I haet Naruto

This show is utter crap. Lyle is a little bitch and when someone steps up to do the job he should have done 10 minutes ago, he punches the guy? I seriously hope Lyle ends up like his brother. Setsuna even told the douchebag he was going to take the shot. If Lyle goes rogue the next episode(as seen in the preview with the gun), I hope someone throws him out an airlock.
This season is on par with Seed and the only thing saving it from Destiny levels is the nonuse of reused footage. I mean the fact alone that Anew was too stupid to steal the 00, which was his whole mission, shows the insane amount of stupidity among the Innovators. CB is no better, first they don’t use Anew as a hostage? Then they keep getting pwned by the Innovators who keep getting pwned by 00. I would just like either CB or the Innovators to get some kills against each other without 00 screwing up a good fight. I mean there are only four good mechs in this show it seems, Ribbon’s godly mech(we know he has one), Ali’s mech, Mr. Bushido’s mech, and 00. Oh btw the stupidity with the BENDING energy beam is so high that someone deserves to be slapped. I can’t help but feel this whole show would have been much better if they had ripped the Innovators part out and just made it CB vs A-Laws as this whole thing is just ridiculous. Yes the Lyle speech to Revival was very rapist like and I was just laughing my ass off the whole time.

Laughing his ass off

suddenly my wild imaginations of Sunrise plundering and pillaging the universe that built much of my anime fandom now looms large, like a haunting spectre that threatens to leap from my swirling, fevered dreams to the world of the living. Little solace I take in the fact that the professed ages of the main cast (32, 24, and 20) might indicate more nuanced storytelling and mature themes befitting of an older audience that grew up with the franchise, capable of appreciating the classic plotlines of past… Oh who am I kidding. It’ll be all hax mobile suits, WTF retconning, and not-so-ambiguously gay underpinnings.
Sunset Guy

Someone tell me if I’m really supposed to enjoy this as a serious opus. I’m seriously enjoying it as a cartoon with big violent robots, pretty characters, and an oddly serious story. It’s light fare at its best! Macross I always take seriously because I’m retarded for it. Code Geass forced me to take it seriously because as much as I want to enjoy it only for entertainment purposes – it is very very good (I don’t care what anyone else says). Gundam is good fun, especially 00. It’s never going to be original because it’s just a derivative of itself so I’ve stopped asking it to be any different. If they were to make OVAs again, then I demand it lives up to 08th MS Team and War in the Pocket.

ghostlightning added these pithy words on Oct 26 08 at 10:16 pm

Saji is a chauvinist meathead.

I'm surprised she didn't shoot him. Either due to indignation or clumsiness.

I'm surprised she didn't shoot him. Either due to indignation or clumsiness.

Fans hate the fujoshi pandering but demand yuri.

Speaking of yuri versus yaoi. What is with Sunrise? They throw out malelust subtext like candy in a good chunk of animes that they have made (the ones I have watched at least) but when it comes to yuri it’s a no-no?

Relevant to the fandom's interest?

Relevant to the fandom's interest?

Saji’s reasoning is fail.

Saji's position is fighting is unilaterally evil. What's behind it is bitterness about a girl, AND NOTHING ELSE.

Saji's position is fighting is unilaterally evil. What's behind it is bitterness about a girl, AND NOTHING ELSE.

TIERIASLAP, weak but had a good sermon backing it: "It was you who caused their deaths, because of your foolish behavior. 'I'm different.' 'This has nothing to do with me.' 'It could only happen in a different world.' A delusional attitude like that will result in ill will you're unaware of, and brings on consequences like these."

TIERIASLAP, weak but had a good sermon backing it: "It was you who caused their deaths, because of your foolish behavior. 'I'm different.' 'This has nothing to do with me.' 'It could only happen in a different world.' A delusional attitude like that will result in ill will you're unaware of, and brings on consequences like these."

Fan justifications to insist how terrible the show is, episode after episode are well, read on:

The entire second season has a been complete letdown. I’m done now with this series. The innovators blow, ribbons is apparently a complete dumbass. And they killed of andrei THE FRICKING HERO OF THE SOVIET UNION! What was so wrong with the original cast that they had to replace them all with the useless innovators?! Ali’s gotten no screen time which is the biggest crime of all. Not to mention katie wasn’t allowed to use her intellect at all this season either.

You’d figure that the federation would rather use the guys that defeated the gundam previously rather then this crew of idiots…

SMARTER THAN THE WRITERS, AND JOO

Saji is still useless. He has done nothing so far to even justify the air time they’ve given him. Haro could have taken the 0-Raiser out to Setsuna all by itself. Saji was only there to warm the seat after he pisses his pants.

SAJI ‘AN HERO’ CROSSROAD

Saji blames Celestial Being, makers of Gundam.

It's one thing to hold the corporation responsible, but to the point that it can't possibly do right by anyone is absurd.

It's one thing to hold the corporation responsible, but to the point that it can't possibly do right by anyone is absurd.

Fans blame Sunrise, makers of Gundam.

It is officially settled with Nena’s failure to kill Wang that Sunrise cannot kill a character due to a lack of balls and good writing. Sunrise purposefully benched the people who can and would kill Meisters.

OFFICIAL BANDAI SPOKESPERSON GUY

LOL are you effing kidding me!? Directors at Sunrise hold off on killing characters when the ratings start to plummet because some group of fanboys/girls whine about there favorite characters being killed off. Why do you think we have Lyle instead of a whole new Meister?

Director Mindreader

Sunrise was actually doing okay for once as far as how a character looked-with the exception of Michael, Soma, and Ribbons-but then they bought in the whole multi-haired colored cast /sigh

Not a RAECIST

Gundam fans love Gundam, no doubt. They tune in to rage, hate, and whine about 00 every week (Saji is an easy target). But they fail at love, just like Saji Crossroad.

[…]

I’m primarily a Gundam fan by conditioning […] from personal experience, Macross fans are much more civil and “normal” than Gundam fans, whose favorite hobby is to troll their own fandom (tee-hee). […]

Am I above all of this? Nah. I’m just like them. I too, find Saji very difficult to love. I wish the Gundams Virtue/Nadleeh and Seravee/Seraphim moved as smoothly as the Dendrobrium Orchis/Stamen. I wish Trans-Am wasn’t just turning pink and becoming faster, and more powerful. I too wish Gundam Meisters would angst only as much as Uraki Kou and turn into MEN OF DESTINY like he did. I too wish for more yuri subtext (though I’m not as bothered by all the gayness among the male characters).

So we’re weirdly hypocritical and fail at loving Gundam. We’re probably really upset at Saji because he reminds us so much of ourselves – if we really think about it (I was 20 years old once too). But of course there are exceptions and I’d like to think I’m friends with them.  I do not justify, condone, promote, condemn, nor judge this behavior. It is what it is. It’s great that Gundam has as many fans as it does. It truly is. I do resolve that I complain much less and get better at remembering love, and if the upcoming new Gundam series does deliver a lead character my age (32), then Gundam does love me back as well.

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, Gundam 00, meta and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Fans of Gundam Love their Franchise Like Saji Loves Louise

  1. Turambar says:

    I never really had too much of a problem with Saji’s character myself after he finally had a role in the series unlike back in season 1. I mean, I put up with Shinji Ikari so I really can’t complain about Saji’s bitchy attitude with any real justification.

    • ghostlightning says:

      I put up with Shinji Ikari so I really can’t complain about Saji’s bitchy attitude with any real justification.

      Excellent point. I took it even further-I forgave Shinji and accepted that’s really how he is. I haven’t done so for Saji yet.

      Now I’m not asking anyone to start liking Saji or whoever else – it’s fun to dislike characters within a show too. I just find it funny as well when people do dislike a character, they conclude that the show is a failure for such.

      • Turambar says:

        Well, perhaps not to the degree of a failure, but I’m sure there are legitimate critiques of 00’s failings as well. For example, Wang Liu Mei’s entire character was handled extremely poorly and her death felt more like the writers didn’t know what to do with her exactly out side of killing her off to me. There are also issues with the speed with which Anew and Lyle developed their relationship, causing the bedroom scene to feel like it came out of no where. Ultimately, it mutes the impact of the previous episode to a degree.

        Well, you get the picture.

      • ghostlightning says:

        I personally stay away from formalist criticism that belongs more in a writing workshop.

        I also acknowledge the intentional fallacy wherein I know I can’t divine the writers’ decisions or reasons. I purposely stay away from “writers didn’t do this/writers should’ve done that” kind of speculation.

        Not that your points are invalid, it’s just a matter of taste for me.

  2. This is more the behaviour of /m/ and select subset of viewers as opposed to the behaviour of the fans in general, though it still gets somewhat annoying when they try to invade other sectors of the internet with it. I wouldn’t go so far to compare it to what happened with Code Geass quite yet (mostly because your average fan just isn’t buying into it at all because most of it is uninformed and opinionated BS), but you can almost always expect a certain upswing in negative opinion towards the end of any given mecha series, usually giving way to a more even view of the show after it’s all over if things turn out satisfactory for the majority.

    This is a given though, be it from recall and nostalgia bias in people thinking that early episodes absolutely must have been better in every single conceivable way, to pre-finale jitters in hoping for a satisfying ending. Whether real fans just pull a complete 180 and turn on the show like Code Geass R2 remains to be seen however.

    I think the average Gundam fan is smarter then that though and won’t jump on a bandwagon like what happened with Code Geass R2. A lot of people are looking at this and going “WTF are you talking about?” and laughing at it whereas with Code Geass I have little doubt that the average viewer would have hitched right onto these ideas if for no other reason then to feel like they fit in with a trend and the way the wind appeared to be blowing as far as popular opinion of the show was concerned. This is because I’ve come to feel that the average Gundam fan is very different then your average Code Geass “fan”.

    Frankly a lot of the people who watched Code Geass R2 showed that they had no love for the mecha genre at all, nor the story that Code Geass told (the shows visible internet viewership grew exponentially between the first and second seasons and I attribute it primarily to people joining in to watch because of word of mouth alone) and were in it for just one thing and one thing only. Be it shipping for a certain character, being part of the crowd who is viewing a runaway hit show (a bandwagon effect in and of itself), or whatever, they just weren’t interested in fully experiencing the show as a true mecha fan so much as merely being there for the moment and going with the crowd. As such they were far more susceptible to myths, misquotes, trolling and just flat out BS speculation about the show and it’s quality compared to the average viewer of Gundam 00 who probably knows what he/she is getting into and who has probably been a fan of the franchise and mecha for a lot longer then your average CG viewer.

    Of course then there are those types of fans who are stubborn as fuck (pardon my language please) and who think that unless every show features OYW level technology and that every character is some gruff soldier type that it is automatically shit, poorly written and blahblahblah. I prefer not to associate with those types of Gundam “fans” because their outlook runs completely contrary to my lifestyle of looking for any way in which to broaden my horizons or to see a new spin put on old ideas. If these people had their way then Gundam would never have evolved beyond the OYW and it would always be the same story over and over again, and frankly it probably would not be the anime powerhouse that is today and probably would have died out in the 80’s because people would have long since lost interest. Lack of variety is what killed the original Super Robot boom (60’s-early 80’s) and it could have just as easily killed Gundam if it weren’t for the franchises admirable ability to reinvent itself and try to reach out to new fans with each iteration.

    So if these unflexable people insist that Gundam always has to be this, this and this, but can’t have that or that, then they really just have no understanding of what makes up the franchise known as Gundam, and I am not sure they can be called true Gundam fans.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Epic comment. You raise many, many valid points.

      I’m not sure what constitutes ‘true’ fandom/fanhood either.

      Does it have to be the deeply forgiving attitude I have for Macross? I hesitate to set standards of behavior.

      In any case I just wanted to show how us fans can sometimes behave in weird and irrational ways. Fanaticism and reasonableness don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

      We can all just sit back and laugh at ourselves from time to time.

  3. schneider says:

    @ ghostlightning

    LOL, you remembered that comment.

    @ Kaio

    Would you watch Gundam Witches, if it ever happened? 😛

  4. @Schneider: I honestly have no idea.

  5. @ghostlightning: At the very least it has to start with giving the show a fair chance right from the get go and to not just start bitching the second it starts airing. As you know I know exactly where those comments came from and who made them and yeah…..those comments are the work of full time trolls, not Gundam fans. The idea of loving anything about Gundam 00 (or frankly anything not sanctioned by /m/) is not on the table for them as it is for actual fans because that is not their goal. The only thing running through their mind is, “How can I trash this show in the most grandiose manner possible, and how much lulz and cred can I GET while doing it”.

    You’ve come a long way my friend, but you still have much to learn with regard to the difference between /m/ HAETers and the actual mecha fandom.

  6. Crap…triple post. Anyway if you want to get some insight into the core mecha fandom I suggest visiting MAHQ and listening to the podcasts there as well. They’ll still dress down parts of mecha shows that they don’t like or felt were poorly done, but they’ll do it with a degree of class and good humour AND they’ll also mention the parts that they do like, which is as you’ll notice something missing entirely from the content of those posts you shared with us. Part of being a fan is being able to address the good along with the bad, and not just one or the other every time you go to post somewhere.

    If you only see someone complaining full tilt in every single post without ever saying even one good thing about a show then it’s a good chance that you have a troll on your hands. If you only see someone praising a show nonstop without ever stopping to account for even the slightest flaw then there’s a good chance you have a fanboy on your hands.

  7. Son Gohan says:

    I concur that there is a bias against Sunrise after the disappointing SEED Destiny. It seems that one blunder marred their reputation forever.
    And the guy who complains about the lack of yuri subtext in Sunrise shows clearly never watched My Hime / My Otome…

  8. I haven’t seen 00, but I still get a kick out of reading people rant about shows lol

    You know GL, if you want to see a show with characters I think you’d be able to relate to, watch Planetes. I could see that being your favorite anime.

  9. @21stcenturydigitalboy: That’s probably the only way to really get a kick out of it. To me it just ends up conflicting with what I know to be true about these shows, and really you can sort of get comedy out of half making stuff up, but you have to let reality do a little bit of the work for you as well.

  10. Camario says:

    That’s actually a rather fitting analogue, all things considered.

    This is one reason (other than being just too busy / lazy) why I’ve kinda stopped watching Gundam 00 for a few weeks, so that I can just marathon the whole thing when the ending finally comes and then the noise will be reduced to a minimum after one last hurrah. Spoilers? Meh, I’ll either forget the finer details or won’t mind…it’s not like I’m not used to them.

    In the meanwhile…the more radical complaints remain a fun or funny read, but maybe they’re a little too distracting at the same time. I get the feeling I’ll only really appreciate the show, or at least its second half, by myself.

    And just to get some “me-tooing” out of the way…the Gundamn!@MAHQ podcast is definitely a good and actually pretty informative listen, give it a shot if you haven’t already. It’s no /m/ (which is both good and bad) but then again there’s not much else like it out there.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Thanks man, I have only listened to one Gundamn! episode, but I’ve joined the MAHQ forums after lurking for a while.

      It’s pretty intense awesome over there. It feels like I’m with mecha geeks rather than creative writing experts. Lulz.

  11. Sakura says:

    Do I think the second season of 00 could have been better?

    Hell Yes!

    But you know what, there is plenty of sweet mecha blowing crap up so its all cool baby XD

    I think some fans need to just save themselves the aneurysm and just accept Sunrise is just not going to change how they do some things.

    You aren’t always going to enjoy absolutely everything about a show unless its fabulously kick ass, you just have to hope there is more good than bad.

    Without a doubt though Sunrise needs to stop the whole Seed naked thing. Just NO SUNRISE NO, STOP IT!

    Oh and if the homoerotic undertones are there for the benefit of female fans then they can stop with that crap too. Why does every hawt guy have to end up being in crap tons of bad yaoi fanfiction or ambiguously gay?

    I don’t really want to see the pilots make googly eyes at each other. This girl wants to see them BLOW STUFF UP IN THEIR SWEET MECHA!

    But that will probably never change so you learn to live with it.

    Some romance is nice I’ll admit. I’m probably the only person who actually didn’t mind La Flaga’s return in Seed Destiny. Because I’m also a sappy romantic and was really happy he and Maryū got a good ending.

    If you’re ever gonna watch anything you gotta learn to accept the bad along with the good.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Lol yeah!

      It is quite disturbing to look at Setsuna and Graham with their manginas floating around in GN Particle land.

      But we can all complain, only that the how of complaining can also be done with dignity and class.

      In the meantime I do accept the bad with the good. I’m confident Gundam 00 will be as enjoyable as I expected it to be at the end of it all.

  12. Kiri says:

    Hmm. I like this post a lot. It’s a good breakdown analysis and quotes are always a good touch. I think I outgrew getting seriously pissed off at fellow fans a while ago — the nature of the fans will be the nature of the fans, and I don’t think there’s a point in fighting it or critiquing it or feeling condescending towards it because that’s like getting pissed at a dog for barking at something that has it riled up. Maybe it can be annoying sometimes, but is it really worth it to whine about it all the time? I appreciate that there are people that can observe the behavior of a fandom without condemning or condoning it.

    I consider myself a poor Gundam fan in many ways, mostly because I haven’t seen a lot of the classics though I always say I intend to. But yes, it’s true, 00 has disappointed me in many respects even if I’m not sure how much I expected out of it to begin with. Oh well; it’s also true that there are still things I enjoy about it, and I’m far from outright hating the series, so whatever, right? It’ll be over soon enough. 😛

    • ghostlightning says:

      Thanks! I’d like to think that I don’t ‘compete’ with other fans, even though I think I’m probably one of Macross’ most dedicated fans ever. As a Gundam fan I’m quite new, but I don’t really care if I’m a ‘better’ fan than the average.

      I don’t particularly enjoy entertaining ideas that ‘I’m better than you,’ or some other kind of egotistical one-upmanship, even though I am egotistical anyway (no point denying).

      It’ll be over soon, and I’m glad to have enjoyed the last 2 episodes I’ve seen.

  13. DonKangolJones says:

    I think this is one of the most relatable posts I’ve read of yours so far. I was one of those fans that doubted on 00, partly because of SEED Destiny. And if you get to know me, you’ll know I have a deep dislike for that show. But I haven’t had any real problems with 00, I thought it was one of the better written Gundam shows I’ve watched. And 00 S2 just continues that trend.

    I’m a frequent visitor to forums for these popular shows and I’ve read similar comments time and time again. I don’t know how many times I finished watching an episode of R2, got online and saw pictures of trainwrecks & plane crashes posted on the comments. While this was annoying, I couldn’t really condemn it either. Because if I felt the same way, I would join in. Whether it be positive or negative feedback, there is something very communal and therapeutic about being able to discuss something you’ve seen and are passionate about with hundreds of other people.

    And finally, Saji…… I actually LIKE his character more in S2 than the first. I thought he was a completely useless, disappointing character while watching that series originally. But I very much see his purpose in S2 and understand him more. It shows one of the ways the world has been twisted by the events of the original.

    YAY! I finally posted.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Thanks man!

      I’m a frequent visitor to forums for these popular shows and I’ve read similar comments time and time again. I don’t know how many times I finished watching an episode of R2, got online and saw pictures of trainwrecks & plane crashes posted on the comments.

      Yes, it does get tiring doesn’t it?

      there is something very communal and therapeutic about being able to discuss something you’ve seen and are passionate about with hundreds of other people.

      Yes, this point of yours can’t be stressed enough.

      Saji nearing the finale has definitely decreased his whining and hemming to fight; which was a big part of what made him annoying. Truthfully I could stomach a useless background character that never did anything, rather than a useless important character who got people in trouble while complaining loudly and moralizing and crying the whole time.

      Saji is probably the least of the three Gundam losers I don’t enjoy watching:

      3. Saji Crossroad
      2. Hathaway Noa
      1. Katz Kobayashi

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