Djallel Zouita (scirocco@gundam.com)
Thu, 06 May 1999 22:04:38 +0200


Mark Simmons wrote:

 
> [SPOILER BUFFER]
>
> * I like the opening a lot (though you don't get to see it until episode
> 2). It begins with a shower of still frames from previous Gundam series
> spiraling down a cosmic drain like in ZZ's "Silent Voice" opening, then
> goes into an L.Gaim-style montage of character faces. The song is a very,
> very '80s crooner, and really quite catchy. In the preview episode, you can
> see director Tomino gettin' down in the studio while the opening is being
> recorded. :-)

Yeah, that part with Tomino cheering that Saijyo guy, the song brings
back an early eighties feeling I really like, it reminds me a lot of
that guy who sung Ai Senshi and other songs for the movies. I was first
surprised because you wouldn't expect that kind of OP now (I mean J Pop
has become a trend, huh?)
The CG eye catch is quite nice too. I'm not sure I heard the opening
though, is it this moody song at the end of the preview episode?

On a totally different note, why is Tomino always wearing a cap? (in
recent footage I've seen at lesat but not in older one)
 
> Sighted in the opening is a mysterious character, a member of the Moon
> Race with a mop of white hair and funky socket-covering red shades. He
> seems to first appear in episode 5, judging from Shinji Kira's synopses. I
> suspect this may be royal guard chief Harry Ord.
>
> * Now, the cast. I really like hero Loran, who's as passive and mellow as
> previous Gundam heroes have been cranky and intense; as befits his "Laura"
> nickname, he's very feminine in appearance, though in the first couple of
> episodes you can see for yourself he's not a she. ;-)

Hehehe, is it me or do they just keep going around naked? (I mean, those
bath scenes and that woman sunbathing). I liked Loran too, he's a really
nice character from what I've seen and the voice actress isn't too bad.
Regarding voice actors, they're all quite good, although very "standart"
(Gwen sounds a bit like Hikaru Midorikawa IMO), I must say I'd love a
cameo (at the very least) from people like Yoshiko Sakakibara or Shuichi
Ikeda (the guy is *everywhere*).

 
> The Heim sisters, Kieru and Soshie, are pretty much as you'd suppose from
> their character designs; icy and aloof, and tomboyishly pushy,
> respectively. Aristocrat Gwen III Rheinford is hard to read at this point.

I kinda dig those moon kids too (Rolan's two fellows).
 
> * General production thoughts. I'm somewhat boggled by the pacing, which
> involves a lot of rapid cuts and abrupt scene transitions; in some critical
> plot points, it's frankly hard to see what's going on. Maybe they're just
> rushing so as to introduce the Gundam by the end of the second episode, but
> thus far the pacing has been a bit hurried and confusing.

Yes, it looks a bit like they're on a rush. But regarding the very
animation, I can't see why people were so focused on criticizing it, I
thought it was quite good and the backgrounds are nice!
 
> The animation is very nice, though, and the locales well-established. You
> do really get a feel for the Miyazaki/Victorian setting, all the better to
> shake things up when the Moonrace attack. While the actual attack, at the
> end of episode 2, is confusing and underwhelming, the buildup - with
> worried astronomers squinting at the lunar surface through their telescopes
> and weird radio static - is quite suspenseful.
>
> I didn't really notice Yoko Kanno's score. I guess it's hard to top the
> intrusive audio spectacle of Escaflowne. ;-)

Yes but it's still quite noticeable from what I've seen: I *loved* the
last two minutes of Episode 1 because of the score! The rest of ths
score might be somewhat "common" but when I rewatched it and focused a
bit more on the soundtrack and I must say it's quite good (and fits the
mood perfectly, that's why I didn't notice it at first).
 
> * Overall, how was it? Very character-driven, with lots of weird native
> rituals and casual semi-nudity (increasingly, a Tomino trademark). Very
> much a departure from the high-tech emphasis of traditional Gundam, and it
> feels a lot like a Wells/Verne homage - specifically, like War of the
> Worlds with mobile suits. Its relation to the larger scope of the Gundam
> saga is yet to be seen, but frankly, it's a much more inventive way to mark
> the twentieth anniversary than cranking out yet another space opera...

Yeah, that Miyazaki comparison was quite relevant in fact: for example,
that plane scene in episode 1 reminded me a lot of Kurenaina Buta (I
don't know the English name, Red Pig or something like that?). I like
that "simple" tone: that makes the characters very likeable. Too bad I
only saw the first episode so it might not be relevant about what's yet
to come but overall, it's quite enjoyable, very fresh but utterly
different from what we've seen so far (maybe not in the ideas).
My conclusion is that I almost wish it wasn't linked to any other
timeline, it has potential to stand by itself (yeah, I might be a bit
over enthusisastic :-))
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