RE: [gundam] "Generations" of Gundam Preference

Y. Choe (
Fri, 26 Mar 1999 17:30:42 -0800

> the tone may change, maybe even the flavor, but the theme's are always
> the same: gundam promotes freedom of ideology and makes a solid stand
> against imperialism--ideological, economic, political, and others. it's
> a grand statement--that the only way man will prosper is if it
> entertains all perspectives and does not succumb to the dictates of one.
> short of saying "there's more than one way to skin a cat"

Aside from couple of Gundams, I always get the feeling that Gundam has
several themes running beneath it. First and foremost is the cost of war,
especially to the civilians and soldiers alike. The MS Battles are intense
and collateral damage is very severe. The damage factor goes sky high when
we bring in the ever popular colony drops, ABC weapons, and what not. In
many cases, we see that collateral damage hit hard (from F91, the scene of
mother dying brings it up a notch... And lest we forget, battle hit home
quite closely in the original series/manga). You see characters react
differently to the damages done, lost lives and comrades, etc. It's very

The other theme that I see with Gundam is who is to say who is right? In
0080, two people fight against each other for same goal, but for different
motivation. So who is right in that case? In 0083, the Federation in split
into two sides, one of the corruptor, and the other of duty. In CCA, the
seemingly right decision for the Federation becomes the choice that nearly
wipes them off the face of the Earth, literally. The world is full of
choices. Our action may be the right action for the wrong reasons, or wrong
action for the right reasons, and Gundam stories have done well portraying

> tomino's inspiration for starting it was to debunk the prevailing trend
> in robot cartoons at the time--little plot, mostly advertisements for
> the toys. tomino wanted to prove that even robot shows could show some
> depth and class, while be entertaining at the same time.
> it is against this criteria which we should judge gundam to see whether
> it has successfully remained faithful to its creator's vision.

It is a vision that has served Gundam very well, but seems to be falling
aside a bit every now and then. G Gundam and W Gundam, despite its high
caliber storylines, has the most Toy Merchandise feel to it. It is the kids
that watch the Gundams on TV, and it is Gundams on TV that drives the

It is also a vision that other's have lived up to, especially by Gainax and
their "masterpiece" Evangelion. May be some incoherent fluff to some, but
no one can argue that series has set a new level of expectation of Giant
Robot Genre, much like Gundam did nearly 20 years ago.

So what holds for the next 20 years for Gundam. I think Turn A will very
much be the standard of things to come. I won't doubt one bit that Tomino
has some ace up in his sleeve, and this will be the crown jewel of Gundam
Saga, inspite of its detractors (who are mostly crying about Mecha design

> gurglegurglegurgle.
> yeek. did i just sound like an activist?
> no more cornflakes at night for me...

Try doing this with a Nap and a Chocolate Fudge Pudding!

Y. Choe

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