One day, I realized I have become a certain kind of Gundam fan: I needed to watch everything (or as much of the franchise as I can). This meant trying to watch shows I’ve already dropped due to extreme dislike, and going on to watch shows that I have been duly warned by knowing and caring friends: Mobile Suit Gundam Seed.
I would rather watch terrible Gundam shows, than terrible shows of any other kind.
This is both true, and harmless enough. However,
I would also rather watch terrible Gundam shows at times, than even other kinds of shows that are both popular and acclaimed.
This sounds like “gratification gained from pain, deprivation, degradation, etc.,inflicted or imposed on oneself, either as a result of one’s own actions or the actions of others, esp. the tendency toseek this form of gratification”; which is a dictionary definition of masochism. But I don’t stop there.
I make others watch with me. I rounded up a bunch of fans on Skype and watched the whole show over 2 weeks. I’m not so utterly black-hearted that I pick people who haven’t seen the show to watch with me; it’s too cruel to foist a 50 episode show of dubious merit onto people. So, I called on people who have seen the show, who are Gundam fans too, and happen to have seen only the Alternative Universe shows. So, no UC oldfags. If there was an oldfag bias in the group, it would be solely from me.
But ghostlightning, that’s so awful of you. You’re still making people watch something you think will suck. After all you did drop the show twice prior!
No, I’m just helping them remember love. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.
As it does turn out, the show is rather terrible. The fans who I watched it with confirmed it as well. SEED was the gateway Gundam for these people and they haven’t seen the show for a long time (seven years for at least one of them). However, the shared viewing experience was actually very fun. Misery plus company can result in good times and it certainly did for us.
- Variable damage (weapons arbitrarily get weaker, targets arbitrarily become impervious to weapons)
- Large beam weapons, and/or spread out beam weapons that are both pin-point and area of effect attacks for all intents and purposes.
- Shouting matches concerning ideology and morals during fighting. And by during fighting I mean when you’re supposedly giving your all to lock on and shoot the other guy, concentrating like hell to avoid gunfire; or swinging a robot sword hand using levers, pedals, and buttons.
- Standing around and not finishing a target off so as to allow a dramatic dialogue or scene to pass, then getting killed precisely because said drama was allowed to pass.
- Stealing into, or just plain stealing mobile suits easier than stealing panties.
- Remote beam weapons flying within reach of beam swords/melee weapons.
- Hell, finding it easier to engage opponents with swords than it is to shoot them
- HUGGING ROBOTS IN SPACE.
The good news is that there wasn’t any hugging robots as I feared there would be. For specific examples of related problems, here are a few:
- In the beginning episodes, it is clearly demonstrable that Vulcan machine gunfire (often mounted on the heads of Gundam mobile suits) are clearly ineffective against other mobile suits. The bullets cannot pierce the armor of the basic mass-production mobile suits. In the finale, these weapons are fired at suits (by supposedly elite pilots) that have demonstrably and recently displayed resilience to far more powerful beam weapons.
- Large scale engagements with zero casualties: a lot of firing exchanges, zero hits. It’s as if the entire battle was fought at tremendously great ranges and by utter noobs. This is exacerbated by the fact that in many cases, involving either the Coordinators (enhanced humans) and the druggies (enhanced soldiers) none of these pilots who are all competent enough to hit multiple smaller moving targets in a single attack, CANNOT HIT THE ARCHANGEL (capital ship).
- Pilots like Yzak for example, can land three kicks in a row on an opponent Gundam that he can’t hit once with his guns firing continuously before and after landing those kicks.
- Useless orders, which defy the laws of physics…
[enemy fires lasers LASERS]
Murrue Ramius: EVADE!
[what the crew must be thinking: EVADE WHERE?]
[Murrue Ramius: THE FUCK DO I KNOW, BUT IF WE GET HIT MY BOOBS JIGGLE]
[Somehow, the Archangel moves just in time so the lasers miss]
Murrue Ramius: GOTTFRIEDS…
[what the crew must be thinking: …]
Murrue Ramius: FIRE!
[what the crew must be thinking: AT WHAT?]
[Murrue Ramius: THE FUCK DO IN KNOW, ONE OF THOSE GUNDAMS, THE BAD ONES OBVIOUSLY!]
[Gottfried laser cannons beams are never even shown]
What would make sense to me, is how the helmsman/pilot of the ship would NOT actually need an order to evade after the enemy shoots at the ship. The order to stay put and absorb the damage should be the order that needs to be spelled out. Never mind the processing time to both recognize the threat, issue an unspecified order to evade, and figure out which way to turn somehow resolves before the ship is actually hit.
At the very least, the order to evade should either indicate the area where to go, or at least give specific directions which way the ship should align itself. Also, instead of just naming which weapons to fire, and issuing unspecified fire orders, at least indicate the target of the barrage. This isn’t like Legend of the Galactic Heroes wherein fire orders are given by admirals to the whole fleet, and the massed fire are concentrated on massed targets and not specific units.
There is also this thing about incessant, and insufferable recaps. There are entire episodes devoted to recaps, one after the other. Often, non-recap episodes will used flashbacks again, and again, and again… I remember Cagali meeting Kira for the first time… the show keeps re-playing that flashback over and over and over. This is really horrific if this chart is actually true.
But wait ghostlightning, Gundam SEED is a great story of friends kept apart by the madness of warmongers all too willing to sacrifice lives for personal ambition! It’s a story of love as a force of peace, and the courage to stand against evil authority. It’s a story of super humans who are willing to accept ordinary humans even if they’re so much better than ordinary humans who are weaker and just as evil! Surely this is really the value in watching a Gundam show. Who cares about the robot action making sense?!
Hmmm… let me check the title of the show and I’ll get back to you. In the mean time, I’ll quote what I think is a fair and perhaps even generous assessment of the show from Mecha Anime Headquarters:
Well, that’s the end of Gundam SEED. As a series finale, I’m a bit disappointed by the end presented here. This series started out as a straight copy of the original series, but it eventually started to go down its own path with the story. With that in mind, I was expecting a different ending. Instead, what we get here is little more than a replay of the ending of the original series, Zeta Gundam and Gundam F91 all rolled together. There are of course some deaths here. First, Clotho is surprisingly killed by Yzak. Though Yzak could never fight well against Kira, he managed to score two Gundam kills and do pretty well. Next, in the tradition of Gundam pilot girlfriends, Flay is ruthlessly killed by Rau. It seems that her death could have been completely avoided had Kira not flown over to her. I’ve never cared much for Flay and found her to be a useless character that was never used properly, but she manages a bit of redemption here. Patrick dies in Gihren Zabi style, but personally Gihren had a better death. Finally there’s Rau, who for the whole series was an enigma wrapped in a riddle until it was revealed he’s just a psycho who wants everyone to die. The ending is also quite abrupt and has a rushed feel. This could have been avoided if more episodes concentrated on story rather than being pointless clip shows or poorly scripted character development. This series could have had an epic finale and done something new, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite achieve that. Maybe the next Gundam series will do better.
Maybe indeed. I am going to watch Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny next, and no one can stop me. And no, I DON’T hate Gundam SEED even if it sucked hard. I don’t have time to hate, too busy remembering love. BUT I do hate Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam .
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