[gundam] Just a minute...

Tue, 2 Feb 1999 00:38:46 +0900 (KST)

Whoa, long time no e-mail, folks.

[Re: GUNDAM 52]

>Allow me. This is from Mark's post, dated 1 Jan 1997:

Thanks! I missed the very post 'cause I was away from the ML at that
period, I guess.

Mark S. wrote:

>Some months ago, I came into posession of a really cool set of books
>on the original Gundam TV series. Published by Sunrise and titled
>"Mobile Suit Gundam Record Collection", these five hardcover books
>were published over the course of 1980

Wow, those books should have been long out of print, and I heard that
Sunrise sold them ONLY through the mail ordering service. How did you
find those lovely treasures? :)

>Far as I know, these are also the first Gundam books ever published
>- none of my other books (Roman Albums, Kodansha story books, Rapport
>Deluxe books, etcetera) were published until 1981,

Rapport's editorial staffs claimed that their 'Animec No.16 Extra :
Mobile Suit Gundam Encyclopedia' was the first Gundam-only guide book
ever published in Japan (I forgot the release date though) and 'Record
Collection' was the second (and the first 'official' compendium, you
know) Note that the book mentioned above is not the same one with the
later-published 'Rapport Deluxe : Mobile Suit Gundam Encyclopedia - The
1YW Edition'. (whose release date is sometime around 1991)

>Japanese TV shows are apparently divided up into "cools" of 13 weeks
>each (is this a mangled English broadcasting term?),

I checked my Japanese dictionary and realized that it is 'Kur' (from the
German word, not English).

>and it was decreed that Gundam would be cut from the full 4 cools to
>a mere 3.

So was Gundam X, wasn't it? (History repeats itself...)

>the Gyan is the "Bakuji",

Sounds like 'white china' in Japanese. You know, that cunning Ma Kube was
also a fabulous china collector.

>Here, the Brau Bro is called the "Gelgoog" - see
>what I mean about Tomino's name-shuffling?

The usual pattern of the infamous 'Tomino Memorandoms' - as the original,
unfinished, incomplete blueprint of what he was making just out of his wild,
wild, wild imagination tracks.

>the fleet and dispatches space Azzams (space Azzams!) to mess 'em up.

Sounds like Gundam F90 manga, in which the heroes confronted a bunch of
Oldsmobile vintage mechas including Space-utilized Azzams!

>Giren sends Char some reinforcements - a batch of the new mobile suit
>"Galbaldy" (again, Okawara drew this up after the fact) and the
>"semi-esper" youth Paccadelia,

One mystery solved then! Several years ago I found his name in my friend's
New MS Encyclopedia ver 3.0, written below the color illustration of the
Galbaldy [Alpha] in MS-X section. Hey, if they didn't change their mind and
went on with the project instead of Zeta, maybe we could see how Paccadelia
looks like... no?

>The attack on the Jupiter Energy Fleet begins.

Interesting. He finally did it with that dready-daddy Crossbone Gundam,
the target and the situation were a bit different though.

>"Ha-ha", Giren jeers, "You're too late! I've set A Bao A Qu to

Yuk! The stereotyped ultimate boss character he was!!! :->

>the Gundam is finally done in by the silliest of the lot, the dopey
>Gigan. The Zion answer to the Guntank, this is a mobile suit torso
>mounted on a buggy with a tank turret on top of its head. Tomino
>doesn't even bother to specify the name of the pilot

It reminds me of the last chapter of novelized version, in which Amuro
was *accidentely* killed by some whats-his-name rookey pilot under the
command of Char. (And after that, poor Amuro-kun became a sort of 'Star
Child' like Dave Bowman, hah! :)

>The note about Amuro's paranoid streak was quite illuminating for me. I'd
>never thought about it in this light before, but the kid does have a
>definite track record here.

It's somewhat new viewpoint on the character, I agree.

And thanks a million, Mark! You did really good job! ;->

Probe mumbled:

>> On the other hand, if the series had run the full 52 episodes, we'd have
>> been treated to more brilliant Yaz character designs.
>But then we won't get to see Char's final victory over Zabi's family.
>Personally I wouldn't like to see Amuro winning every single credits
>there are.

Yeah, if it had ended like that, it might be looked like another clone of
the classic Nagahama-Tomino giant robot anime theater, like Voltes V.
(Prince Heinel disappeared, Char also disappeared, but the only one of them
made his comeback later, and the man was definetely NOT Heinel. :)

>Also, Amuro would not have a chance to face Char and get amonished and
>confused. I think in the sword fight with Char, Amuro realized he is a
>superior Newtype, but it's Char who understand the true potential and
>traps of being Newtype.

Good point. Char is another true hero of the show, for he did have what
Amuro didn't at that time, I guess.

[Re: copyright question]

Eddy & Jim argued:

>> I think they are the animation company that did the original TV series.
>> Their logo (looks like Mt. Fuji) is displayed prominently (in fact, full
>> screen) in the beginning of each Gundam movie.
>That's not the symbol of Sotsu Agency. It's the trademark for Matsu-
>take???(Pine-Bamboo) movie. The company that release Gundam
>movies to the theathers.(But since the industry is vertically
>intergrated in Japan, it's also a movie studio. Can't think of anything
>good that come out recently.)

It's 'Shochiku'. The big-time (once upon a time, in fact) movie studio who
*distributed* all the movie versions of Gundam, 3 TOS segments, CCA, F91,
0083 Last Blitz of Zion, and so on. They don't produce particular anime
films themselves, they just *release* them. And according to some sources,
the first MSG movie was also their debut in the anime business, that was,
a kind of fearless challange.

Speaking of the company names, I happened to come across the magazine
'Housewife's Friend' imported in some bookstore last month, and its original
Japanese name was... SHUFU-NO-OTOMO, not SHUFU-NO-U... Oh what the hell of
that complicated Japanese kanji-reading systems.

Dyar comments:

>Sotsu Agency is the licensing and distribution company the
>authorizes the manufacture and distibution of Gundam trademarked products.
>Sunrise *holds* the copyright, the Sotsu Agency *enforces* it.

He's right. As its name shows, it is a *copyright management agency*.
(It worked with some other shows' copyright such as 'Space Knight Tekkaman
Blade' produced by Tatsunoko Production...)

[Re: New Gundam series/special for 1999?]

Mark reported:

>> a recent anime mag interview (NewType? G20? I forget) that it's
>> intended to be an adult show aimed at older viewers. Well, we'll see.

What if he referred to just *Japanese* adult viewers who had grown up
with the shows like Ultraman or Space Sheriff Gyaban or so on? ;;-)

Probe worried:

> Well... I guess it's possible that some older people watch "Power
> Rangers" so... What I'm afraid of is that Sunrise/Bandai is completely
> misunderstanding its target audience.

Or worse, maybe they want to bring out something like 'Gundam 0079 : The
War for the Earth' or that doomed 'GUNHED'. You know, there are so many genres
in Tokusatsu [Japanese live-action F/X-centered fantastic movies] which has
a broad range from the b-class monster horror movies like 'Gojira' [not that
Hollywood Godzilla!] to the hand-to-hand fighting heroes like 'Masked Rider'
... Yeah, most of them is just for toy-addicted kiddies nowadays, but then,
so was the original Gundam, at first, at least.

Anyway, my point is, the final version of the said special doesn't have to
be another Power Rangers clone, if Bandai / Sunrise haven't gone mad
completely. [and I hope not] And moreover, they don't have to produce
another show if what they want to do is really sentai-mono, 'cause they
already DID IT [not perfectly though] in 'Gundam meets Saint Seiya plus
Dragon Ball and Street Fighter in its high time' called G-Gundam!

"Shuffle Alliance Puncheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" ;-)

Kota wrote:

> OTOH, Gundam A Project, currently being referred as "Turn-A Gundam", is a
> series Tomino is claiming that it will be able to recognize all the gundams
> done so far, including series from alternate universe.

A news reporter from Monthly Newtype was very puzzeled by that statement
of Tomino, and tried to explain the real meaning of that, but failed.
Maybe he referred to some kind of multiverse background setting that will
be able to encover the entire Gundam-titled franchise / continuity, or

> Tomino is very enthusiastic about this project, and he is willing to
> keep going for few years, although the series is planned

What I'm worrying about is, what if he made another whole bunch of crap
just like what he did in the F91? The F91 itself had some potential and
many good aspects to work with [I think], but the trend was not on their
side, and *Tomino* was simply too old to work another miracle. What if
that nightmare reprised itself in front of the whole world this time, eh?

[Hey doc, I might have got Amuro Syndrome, the most critical paranoid
ever! :)]

[Re: Gundam fans read SF]

Allow me, so much mailers on this subject that I couldn't mark who is who..

> I keep day-dreaming about writing a psychological fanfic on a Newtype set
> in 0078-79, the hero is a Zeonic Newtype guniea pig, someone very similar
> to Lalah Sun, but with a messed-up head. But I am the first one to tell
> you that I can't write.

A friend of mine wrote a short pastiche titled 'THE FIRST NEWTYPE' focused
on the similar theme several years ago... though she made it Feds who did the
experiments in early 0060's, so I couldn't help regarding it as 'THE FIRST
(sorry, it's written in Korean and I don't have time to translate it.)

>>> Asimov's Foundation, but I didn't like it when he started merging
>>> a lot of his old fics into it, specially Daneel Olivaw.
>> Are you sure that was an afterthought to merge them together? I
>> got the feeling that he intended that to be from the beginning.
> I dunno, it was the impression I got...I could accept that
> Hari Seldon's future came from a time derived fromthe Cave of Steel
> idea, but to have the sudden insertion of R. Daneel Olivaw into
> it was a bit too much.

were two separate continuity, until Asimov himself got to be involved in
the not-so-successful project to tie up all his popular works in a
single universe. So FOUNDATION TRILOGY and the first two ROBOT NOVELS
(THE CAVES OF STEEL and THE NAKED SUN) had nothing to do with each other,
but his later works (especially written in 80's) started to mix up two
continuities into one constant flow, by inserting so many explicit
references for each other.

So FOUNDATION'S EDGE contains the references about the forgotten ancient
artifacts named ROBOTS and the mysterious entity called the ETERNITY
(yeah, from THE END OF ETERNITY!), and its direct sequel FOUNDATION
AND THE EARTH deals with the travel of heroes who seek out for the
lost civilization of SPACERS (!!!) and the legendary mother planet
Earth, and they finally encounter... R. Daneel Olivaw! The next saga
titled PRELUDE TO FOUNDATION goes back into the last days of Imperial
Trantor, reveals so much undocumented details of young mathematician
Hari Seldon, and his quest for answer leads to the encounter with
Daneel, who wanted to find a valuable way to preserve the humankind,
and the research of Psychohistory begins. (sounds like 0083, eh? :)

did the similar job, hence THE ROBOTS OF DAWN mentions about the ancient
scientist Susan Calvin and her telephatic robot (the short story from I,
ROBOT) as well as Andrew Martin and his beloved Little Miss (the novella
BICENTINNIAL MAN, the best robot story of Asimov I think), and even the
Passtolff's wild dream of Psycohistory. The sequel ROBOT AND THE EMPIRE
shows how the earth was contaminated by radiation and why the humankind
had to spread around the galaxy, founding the Galactic Empire. (Gool ol'
Isaac DID all this!)

Well, and there is three EMPIRE NOVELS that tell the story of the early
days of Fax Trantorica... but it's another story...

(I've read all those novels in translated Korean version, so if you'd find
some spelling mistake, please excuse me. :)

>> Perhaps the tragedy and burden of a superhuman, all-seeing hero destined
>> to bring destruction and death to trillions had being more eloquently
>> presented in some other works?
> Olaf Stapleton's ODD JOHN comes to mind....

If you want to find that kind of works in anime field, try TOWARD THE
TERRA created by Keiko Takemiya. It deals with the classic superhuman
vs. human concept with the great epic story. It's kind of cheesy and
too much sentimental for you, maybe (for this animated film was originally
based on shojo manga that accepted the taste of conventional sci-fi) but
I've NEVER seen any other anime that deals with the Esper theme in social
and historical level as this series did.

If you don't want that kind of story, just pick up other heroic superhuman
sagas like LOCKE THE SUPERMAN by Yuki Hijiri (one animated movie and two
OVAs, and so many comic series) or BABEL II by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, the
ultimate classic in this genre (I recommend the original comics rather than
that too-much-compressed OVA version or too-old-fashioned kiddie TV version).

The former focused on the neverending adventures of the pathetic immortal
hero (sounds like ...AND CALL ME CONRAD / THIS IMMORTAL by Roger Zelazny
eh? :) who always get to be involved in many weird events that can change
the fate of his world or so. And the latter shows us the long battle between
the good and evil in somewhat [relatively] hardboiled fashion.

Sorry for going out of topic too far if you were disturbed... :)

> I have to disagree with you about "genetics" being a factor in Newtype.
> there's one subtext that comes through, it's that being Newtype is a form
> of mental, emotional and spiritual enlightenment. [...]
> *everyone* is a Newtype ... they just aren't *aware* of it yet....

A friend of mine told me the similar assumption, based on the last scene of
the first Gundam TV series, in which Amuro got succeed to *connect* with
other WB crew's lestless minds, to tell them *ESCAPE AT ONCE!* remotly. :-)

>> I'd love to see a good, weird newtype story, especially one that taps
>> Probe's wirdo theories about death and the collective unconsciousness.
>> :-)
> Heh heh heh... there are already _two_ stories like that around... the
> first is "Tribe 8" by Dream Pod 9 [...] and the second is "Evangeleon"
> itself! Notice how the wierd traincar-scenes and the final Instrumentality
> are so evocative of the original Gundam NT scenes?

In EVA, CHILDHOOD'S END, BLOOD MUSIC, and IDEON got all mixed up, at least
in my viewpoint. ;->

> Ghost in the Shell is a perfect example of a heady cyberpunk
> metaphysical musing packed in a tight entertaining story.

I don't know about Shiro's original manga series, but Oshii's animated
movie version reminds me of STAR TREK : THE MOTION PICTURE a lot! (the
final fusion of a human and a machine that leads to the creation of a
whole new kind of lifeform! yay!)

> who was the specific person involved with Gundam that was inspired by
> Starship Troopers when creating the show? Was it Tomino, or someone else
> on the Sunrise staff?

Don't know about how Tomino himself was invloved, but certainly a producer
of Nippon Sunrise read the book and proposed to add its taste to the anime
they were producing, and the man who recommended the novel to him was none
other than Haruka 'DIRTY PAIR' Takachiho! ("Legend of Mobile Suit Gundam"
by Kenji Inomata, published by Diamond-sha, circa 1994)

> I've seen Ryosuke Takahashi quoted as being influenced by the powered
> suit concept when approaching Kunio Okawara to design smaller, more
> military-style mecha for VOTOMS.

And he's back with GASARAKI's Tactical Armor, the most powered-suit-like
gadgets in anime history ever! (except for STARSHIP TROOPERS THE ANIME :)

> I have a very vague and immature theory that I like to bounce off you
> folks. In the East, the tradition de-emphasize the Individuals, so a
> respectable monster like Godzilla can kill hunderds of people with a
> careless sweep of his tail, but a Western monster like Alien who takes
> about a second or two to kill a single human is already consider a really
> horrific one.
> Likewise, the Japanese heroes must also be very big, not just to match the
> baddies pound-for-pound, but also to distinguish themselves from the puny
> individual humans.

Interesting idea. To add one more point, in the East they deal with the
monsters or aliens as some kind of *powerful environmental disaster* just
like earthquakes or chinami, while in the West they merely see them as
sort of *invaders from the outside world* just like international criminals
or foreign military forces. The East almost always emphasized on the power
of giant collective while the West focused more on smaller and more
independent individuals in many cases. The difference of the way people
thinks of the things around them should have lots of influences on the way
they create the fictional images for entertainment, I think.

-Sunwook Kim

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