Re: [gundam] More Turn-A Info in May Newtype


Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Mon, 12 Apr 1999 10:54:35 -0700


Probe writes,

> Honestly, if they still have cars and stuff I'm beginning to suspect
>this is _not_ a culture 'bombed back to the stone age' but rather a
>culture that still _has_ technology, or at least certain technologies, and
>has simply prefered to ignore or suppress others. A Tomino-paradise! It
>would be kinda like what would happen to the US if after say, the Vietnam
>war, we decided to completely stop making weapons and fighters of any
>kind, stopped building cities and decided to ban automobiles, etc.
>Hundreds of years later, what would this country be like?

  Hmm... it seems that we have one of two things going on here. Either
Tomino is saying that, without war to spur humanity to progress (the May
NewType indicates that the Turn A world has been at peace for centuries),
we'd all regress to happy little Elio running farms and fetching water from
the well... or he's saying that we'd be better off if we did that on
purpose.

  Looking at Tomino's track record, he's always seemed to prefer those who
take arms against evil; his heroes are always those who fight for justice
when everyone else is content to turn a blind eye. From this standpoint,
one might expect him to be critical of stagnant peaceniks.

On the other hand, his recent interviews indicate that he's kinda sick of
techno-fetishism, and wants to explore a more balanced lifestyle. Check out
Shinji Kira's writeup on the preview episode, at
<http://www.kt.rim.or.jp/~skira/gundamhp/tagundam/onairreport/tagundam_preview.h
tm>. Here's Tomino on why he's not doing a newtype story this time out:

"Turn A Gundam world could be the answer against the story of Newtype
theory. What I am trying to say is that the mankind is not machine, so the
theory of evolution (such as the theory of Newtype) cannot totally figure
out the mankind. The mankind is at last mankind."

  If I might read between the lines a little, it sounds like he's saying
that the newtype concept was an evolution of mankind enabled by technology
(including the technology of space travel). Turn A is supposed to present
an alternate possibility for our future, one that doesn't hinge on gadgets
and high tech.

What I suspect we might be seeing here is a comparison of these two
concepts. Like the Jupiter settlers in Crossbone Gundam, the Moonrace have
likely been pushed to an extreme of technology-assisted advancement by the
sheer adversity of their living conditions. The Earth inhabitants,
meanwhile, have lost or rejected technology and achieved a state of
blissful balance with their environment. From the writeups in the May
magazines, it sounds like one of the themes for the series is to explore a
clash of cultures who have pursued radically different development paths...

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons <mailto:scorpio@best.com>
MacAddict: the magazine! <http://www.macaddict.com/>
Gundam: the Project! <http://gundam.anime.net/>
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