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


Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Mon, 12 Apr 1999 12:21:46 -0700


Probe writes,

> I've gone back and re-read that Tomino interview and I think I've got a
>handle on what's really going on with Turn-A now. Very interesting, I
>think we're going to be surprised by Tomino (at least a little)

  Yep, and I think we're now reading off the same page...

> The other possible future is a world where mankind is improved not
>through technology but through human interaction, where people have
>realized that Tech has not improved the quality of their lives (beyond a
>certain point). Hence, they still _have_ technology, but it is simply a
>tool, not something that they strive to produce and advance for the sake
>of advancement.

  Again, this reminds me of the Amish, who accept and reject technologies
on a case-by-case basis.

> The NT-paradise alluded to in the UC-Gundam series is the story of
>mankind that has literally become fused with machines and technology...
>but Tomino is sick of the tech-fetish of the original Gundam series

  Can't say I blame him. Looking at the modern world, one has to wonder
whether technological advancement is really a net benefit. Sure, if it
weren't the wonders of high tech we wouldn't be watching these shows,
building those models, or nattering on this list... but on the other hand,
we wouldn't be technofetishist stress cases who get carpal tunnel syndrome
slaving away for multinational corporations while we wage video-game war by
remote control. Net positive or negative?

> Given that, I'm curious as to how he's going to do it in a show
>featuring giant robots, without resorting to funky mystical stuff (though
>it's possible).

  That's the $20 million question, ain't it? Gundam W posed a similar kind
of question regarding weapons - note that they keep having to pull out the
Gundams to defeat some rouge group that doesn't believe in disarmament, and
that the final resolution of the story (in which even the Gundams are
destroyed) is final only if there are really no more armed fanatics out
there.

  By the same token, how sustainable is a pastoral utopia if it can get
trampled by the first band of techno-thugs who happen along? And if you
have to dig up weapons of your own to fight them, what does that make you?
If Tomino really follows these dilemmas to some kind of a conclusion, I'll
be pretty darned impressed.

>Frankly, I think a cool story like one where a pastoral
>Earth is invaded by high-tech humans from another age can be done very
>nicely without the aid of giant robots. Frankly, I think it would have
>been neater if the Militia in Turn-A either had no robots at all, or
>simply refused to use anything that they couldn't make themselves.

  Though it's not clear whether the Earth inhabitants are really conscious
of technology taboos. One of the prime movers in the story is Guen, a young
turk who wants to revive the old technologies. Is he defying the rules of
society, or is he the product of an era where those rules and decisions
have been forgotten?

> Maybe, though it seems to be implied that the Moonies too have lost
>technology and have become somewhat degenerate.

  Perhaps so, but the harshness of their environment must have forced them
to keep _some_ of their edge. At the very least, they haven't fallen as far
as their terrestrial kin.

> If that is true then I have great hope for this series as Science
>Fiction, giant robots and the UC-Gundam continuity aside. I hope they show
>the pointlessness of mecha in this new world order, or something like
>that... i.e., a new-age of Gundam!

  Or potentially a conclusion to the saga, which would be a feat in and of
itself. Either way, I have very high hopes for this one...

-- 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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