Re: Gundam and location
Thu, 24 Dec 1998 14:55:24 -0800

At 08:25 12/24/98 -0800, you wrote:
>One of the more consistant thing about the plot of Gundam is the
>location of where the story take place. Most of the Gundam I know
>about will have a somewhat extended portion of the story taking place
>in space, and some on Earth. The only 2 exception that I can think
>of are Char's Counterattack and F91.

Well, the two movies had the problem of time limitations, but CCA actually
jumps around quite a bit: the Moon, Side 3, Side 2, Axis, Earth orbit.
Remember that Side 2 is as far from the Earth and Moon and the Earth and
Moon are from each other and that Side 3 is 60,000 km on the far side of
the Moon.

First Gundam begins at Side 7, move to Luna-2, then North America, at which
point White Base travels around the world to reach Jaburo in South America.
 In this regard, Gundam can be considered another take on a classic story,
the Odyssey. The return to space is not all that direct, either, as White
Base has several adventures, including the sojourn at Texas Colony, before
rejoining the Federation fleet for the battles at Solomon and A'Bao'A'Qu.

This odyssey formula continues through the next two series. Z Gundam
begins in Side 7, moves to space and a trip to Side 1 and the Moon, down to
Earth in the attack of Jaburo, then around the world to Hickory (formerly
Vandenburg AFB) and Cape Canavaral, thence back into space to Side 2, the
Moon, Axis and all points in between. ZZ starts in Side 1 and follow a
similar course, with the Earth odyssey again taking up much of the story.

Tomino likes to throw in a lot of exotic, yet recognizable, locales with as
many famous, if not entirely familiar, landmarks as possible.

Gundam 0080 is unique in that, while we get glimpses of the Arctic base
(but, surprisingly, don't see Chris there) on Earth and the Granada base on
the Moon, it's set almost entirely within Side 6 Bunch 35. While there's
neither time nor rationale for an odyssey here, we *do* get the Grand Tour
of the colony: docking facilities, residential and industrial areas,
maintenance tunnels and exterior infrastructure. All that's missing is the
agricultural satellites.

Gundam F91 is an oddity, but as I understand it, the two-hour movie
represents only a fraction of what Tomino had planned. Had we gotten a
full series, or even one of these newfangled 26-episode shows, I'm sure
we'd've gotten another Earth odyssey in there somewhere. Or maybe
something even grander, if we can count the Crossbone Gundam manga series
as the end of the arc begun with F91. Crossbone expands the sphere of
operation all the way out to Jupiter!

Gundam 0083, despite being a non-Tomino production like 0080, is clearly
back in odyssey mode. Opening with the Battle of Solomon, we jump to
Australia and journey to Africa, then ascend into space to the Moon,
Solomon, Axis, Earth orbit and, finally, North America.

V Gundam has always struck me as an update of First Gundam. The Earth
odyssey is much shorter, possibly because it begins in an exotic local and
journeys across Europe to Gibraltar and thence into space: Hiland, Side 2,
the Moon, odd little Blue-3, back to Earth orbit and Angel Halo, then home
again to Earth.

08th MS Team is certainly following the pattern, although we apparently
have the much-anticipated jaunt back into space for the Big Space War. We
start in Earth orbit, with our most spectacular view ever, then descend to
Southeast Asia and across Siberia to Odessa and thence (I assume) to Jaburo
or the close proximity thereof for the final confrontation with Apsaras III.

In all, Gundam follows a formula which saw Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and
Dorothy Lamour through a half-dozen "Road" pictures, the collective theme
of which was (as the 1940 song stated) "Far Away Places With
Strange-Sounding Names"....


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