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

-Z- (
Tue, 19 Jan 1999 19:48:44 -0800

At 20:59 1/19/99 -0500, you wrote:
>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

I was thinking specifically of Birth Of Japan (1970), Science Ninja Team
Gatchaman (1972), New Human Casshan (1973), Alpine Girl Heidi (1974), Space
Cruiser Yamato (1974), Dog Of Flanders (1975), 3000 Ri In Search Of Mother
(1976), Space Pirate Captain Harlock (1978), Future Boy Conan (1978),
Galaxy Express 999 (1978), Gatchaman II (1978), SF Saiyuki: Starzinger
(1978) and Rose Of Versailles (1979) -- but there may be many others I
don't even remember.

BTW, if you can stand shojo, I highly recommend Rose Of Versailles, which
covers two decades of French history, from the introduction of Marie
Antoinette at court to the Revolution. Future Boy Conan is also notably
for its story arc and the development of the characters.

The first anime with a master story arc of which I'm aware is Ribbon no
Kishi (1967) -- AKA Princess Knight and Choppy & The Princess.

As to what percentage of the story must be devoted to the master story arc
and how much doesn't, well, there were entire episodes of Babylon 5 that
were non-arc. The very fact that there *is* a master arc and that the
charavters and story evolve according to a predetermined plan is the
relevant factor.

>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.

Gundam de-emphasized the mecha and introduced a wide range of characters
who worked at cross-purposes and were even self-defeating. The heroes were
not totally heroic and the villains weren't totally villainous. There were
good people among the nominal villains and bad people among the nominal
heroes. No one came through entirely unscathed and everyone made mistakes.

>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.

Much like real life, wouldn't you say? There are no beginnings and
endings, just peaks and troughs along the way. Whether you laugh or cry is
up to you and depends entirely on how you see the world and what it means
to you.

>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.

I believe that Tomino actually wrote a couple of the songs, but not the theme.

>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.

Compilation movies are usually even worse -- entire series bummed down to
90 minutes or so. Gundam was done in three 140-minute installments and
actually had a half-hour or so of new animation done for the third movie.

Of course, that was *after* the first Gundam movie succeeded beyond
anyone's wildest expectations.


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