Re: [gundam] Re: The Gundam

Mark Simmons (
Wed, 7 Apr 1999 19:37:16 -0700

Chien Ting Chin writes,

>> the Gundam movies conflict dramatically with the TV series they're based
>> on...
>whao! where? How?

  Well, setting aside trivia like condensing two separate battles into one
(as with the Jaburo invasion and the battles with Conscon's fleet at Side
6), and mecha substitution (replacing the G-Armor with the Cors Booster
and, in Gundam III, the Guntank with a second Guncannon), some of the more
dramatic conflicts include...

* Operation Odessa
  Did the White Base make it to the front, join the battle, and save the day
  when the Gundam intercepts Ma Kube's nuclear parting shot? Yes, in the TV
  series; no, in Gundam II, where it spends the whole times battling the
  Black Trinary.

* Texas Colony
  In the TV series, the White Base pursues fleeing Zeon forces from Solomon
  into Side 5, where it runs into a rescue fleet commanded by Ma Kube as well
  as Char's Zanzibar. In Gundam III, the Texas Colony sequence occurs when
  the White Base shows up at Side 5 for a pre-Solomon fleet rendezvous and
  decides to explore the colony. Which leads us to...

* Ma Kube's death
  In the TV series, Ma Kube picks up Dozul's widow and child after the
  fall of Solomon, then dies in battle with the Gundam at Texas Colony.
  In Gundam III, he's written out of the Texas Colony sequence, then appears
  after the fall of Solomon to pick up Dozul's family. And, if I recall
  correctly, he was also _added_ to a later scene with Lalah and Char as
  if to underscore that he definitely didn't die in the movie continuity.

>Western culture (Christians, Jews, Muslims) prefer the comfort and
>simplicity of a single God, a single Truth. Something is either a rose or
>not a rose, a cat is either dead or alive, there's no half truth. But
>Orientals (Hindus, Buddhists, Confucius, but I can't speak for Shinto)
>accept and almost embrace ambiguity, paradox, and multipule truths. Can
>this explain the difference between continuity difference between anime
>and American comics/scifi? I leave it to you to decide.

  I'm always leery of sweeping cultural explanations, but in this case,
maybe it is true that Westerners are simply more anal. :-)

>errr... almost completely. I think continuity breaks should be
>considered heavy-handed devices, like a colony-drop! If you use it too
>freely, it's gonna pollute everything. And personally, I think anime in
>general (not necessarily Gundam) use it rather too nonchalantly.

  I agree it's used nonchalantly - witness the gratuitous saving of Ma Kube
in Gundam III - but at this point, I've decided I don't particularly care.
To my mind, people who get their knickers in a twist about whether Exedore
has a blobby green cranium or a smooth redheaded one, and how to account
for the differences between the Macross TV series and movie, are simply
taking themselves too seriously. (Egan, that's not a slam on you - rather,
I'm disappointed with the Macross creators for feeling this even needed to
be addressed.)

  In a nutshell, I've come to feel that fretting about continuity is
largely a waste of time. For all that I complained about 08th MS Team's
fundamental abuse of Gundam history, these days I think it should be more
or less evaluated on its own merits. I can forgive even the insertion of
random mass-produced Gundams if the story justifies it (which, up until the
last couple of episodes, 08th MS Team wasn't really doing...).

-- Mark

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