why do we love Gundam? (was: Re: Camera and the Mohawk


Chien Ting Chin (chinc@sten.sunnybrook.utoronto.ca)
Tue, 26 Jan 1999 20:53:15 -0500 (EST)


On Mon, 25 Jan 1999, Alfred Urrutia wrote:
> On Jan 25, 4:10pm, BlazeEagle@aol.com wasted bandwidth discussing:
> > Why do we have to explain away about everything all the time? :) After all,
> > Aaron

Hear hear.

> explain what its new physical laws are. What is the sense of publishing
> dozens of Gundam mechanical encyclopedias and reference books, then? Art is

Very important point. The richness of details is very important. It
makes Gundam, Star Wars, Dune, Lord of the Rings believable and enticing.

And your comment about transformation of Macross is also well taken. BUT,
if you strip away the cool transformation and mecha combats in Macross,
you are left with a bad love story and a worse metaphysical babbling.
When you talk about cool mechas, OYW doesn't touch Macross (especially the
bad guy mechas). But under all the glitter of mecha combats, there are
many good stories Tomino is telling. Better yet, these stories are not
simplistic moral lessons.

My view of the minor scientific/technological flaws is (borrowed from
Tolkien):

Tomino is not the creator of Gundam universe, he's just a historian who is
trying to record what happened in those glorious and tradgic years. And
like all historians, he has limited and imperfect resources, and sometimes
he falls into the temptation of embellishing some minor details for
artistic effects. But mostly he's faithful, especially on politics and
important battles and human relationships. On technical stuffs, a
historian like Tomino is concerned that RX-78-2 had beam rifle (which has
enough ammo to destroy 10 Zakus) and atmosphere re-entry ability etc, but
he's not concerned with the placement and color of the commincation
antenna or E-cap or J-bottle whatnot. So when Tomino the historian-
animator-but-not-engineer drew Gundam, tried as he had, there were a few
flaws. You can't trust every little details on the anime as gospel truth!

So I thank Alfred Urrutia, Mark Simmoms, Probe, Z etc for checking out on
the technical details and keeping Tomino honest. And I read most of your
technical discussions with interest, but sometimes I also feel like "let's
get back to the story".

Hehehe I have a funny idea...

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



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