Re: Monster of the Week? [Re: Zion Marine MS of 0079]

Chien Ting Chin (
Tue, 19 Jan 1999 20:59:57 -0500 (EST)

On Mon, 18 Jan 1999, -Z- wrote:
> No, the master story arc encompassing the entire series wasn't original
> with Gundam. It was, in fact, prevalent throughout the 70s. What Gundam
> did was treat the Giant Robot as a machine like any other, without a
> personality or "spirit" of its own.
> Tomino sold Gundam
> to Nippon Sunrise with the promise that it would follow the established
> format, with the exception that the boy himself, not the robot, would be
> the actual hero.
> At that, Gundam failed to live up to expectations and was terminated at 43
> eps, not the 52 originally scheduled. Gundam didn't really catch on --
> with an entirely different audience -- until the compilation movie was
> released a year or so after the series went off the air.

That's a very interesting history. But that raises many questions for me:

1. What are these other 70s anime with a story arc?
  I don't disagree with you on their existence, I just can't remember a
single one (that was broadcasted in Hong Kong). The closest I could come
up with were Yamato (Starblazers) and Galaxy Express 999. But IMHO, they
don't count, since apart from the first 10% and last 10% of each series,
every episode was a stand-alone story that was completely dispensible in
the story arc. If you tell me what they are I will run out and rent/buy

2. When did Sunrise decide to cut Gundam short? Obviously it wasn't a
suddent decision, since the TV series did come to an orderly end in 43
episodes. I am wondering if I can pick up a quickening of pace in the
series. I can say episode 13-15 was a slow stretch (reunion with Amuro's
mother, the timer-bomb attack on Gundam and that Zion deserter who looking
after a bunch of orphans).

3. Is it missing the point to say that Gundam distinguish from other anime
by focusing on Amuro rather than Gundam? I think it focussed on humans,
but also on many other pretty heady concepts, such as the human tragedies
of war, the humanity shown by some Zion soliders, and the burden and dark
temptations of Newtype power.

4. It's surprising that the movie caught on when the TV went a-miss. The
movie was far too compact and breathless. For example, Miharu Ratokie's
story was so quick that we hardly had time to get to like her before she's
dead and now we are supposed to cry for her.

5. If Amuro not Gundam was supposed to be the hero, then Tomino must had
no say at all on the title song. It went like "Fly! Gundam blah blah
blah, Fight! Gundam blah blah blah Mobile Warrior Gundam Gundam!", not a
word on any human.

6. Was it common at the time to edit a TV series down to 2 or 3 movies and
release them in theatres? Espeically one that didn't really caught on.

7. (a much bigger question) Obviously money drives everything, but what
money source was the main measurement for a TV-series' success? Rating?
Advertisment money? Merchandising (toys)? I can see how 0079 failed on
the merchandising front. The first 22 episode delivered only 5 robots (not
counting Zaku I) and 2 (not counting Megellan and Salamis) ships and a
fighter for Bandai.

CHIN, Chien Ting
Dept of Medical Biophysics, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
... o O *
Man is a bubble

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