Monica/Akira-chan (monica@pipeline.com)
Wed, 16 Jun 1999 00:24:41 -0700


Wow. So much mail.

=)

Some random mail from me about some of what's been floating about...

As one of the girls who's been around longest squealing about GWing (wow...
it's been a while since I've really done that on this list tho... or on any
for that matter) I have to say that I don't feel this ml is "hostile" to
the gwing crowd, but it's also not the usual forum in which that bishonen
aspect is really discussed. On the whole, I am a fan of story and plot
versus mechs; the gundams are integral parts of the usual storyline of any
gundam series, but it depends on the actual segment whether or not it's
really the focus. Take for example, 0080 vs 0083. The gundams and mechs
were important, but it took a much different role in 0083 and in 0080 -- so
much so that there is a rather noticible split between the fans of one
series over another, and there are also different reasons for why they
actually like the series.

I think that to look at the "bishonen-ness" of gwing and thus label it not
really gundam is wrong. It's not Gwing's fault that the look used by the
character designers was one of cute boys -- look at the other series
Sunrise was producing at the time. Ryu Knight, Dirty Pair Flash, Gundam X,
Cyber Formula, and of course,most infamously, Reideen the Superior. The
current trend is to draw in a manner that will appeal to girls as well as
boys -- the purpose is _always_ to sell merchandizing. It's just that this
particular Gundam was marketed in such a way as to get the girl crowd
involved as well -- the aforementioned plushies, pencil boards, character
artbooks, the Newtype collection, etc.

Gundam Wing had a strong storyline on its own. It has within it much of
what original Gundam had -- the ambiguity of "rightness", the distaste for
war (I think that this particular series, taking the ending Endless Waltz
offers, goes the farthest in rejecting war altogether), even the blatant
Char ripoff (okay, that's not something that really lends to the plus side
of its ledger). It's just that the main boys are gifted, not in newtype
powers, but in training and a whole lot of ridiculously good luck. It's not
fair to say that the main characters are too young to be so powerful, or
that it's not realistic enough -- original Gundam wasn't really that either.

The bishonen aspect itself isn't nearly as bad as some other Sunrise shows,
most obvious example being Reideen the Superior. _ten_ bishonen (plus
villian) who had to get naked before they could become sentai super hero
types. There was actually a pretty decent story in that one too, tho... ^_^
Gwing has a lot of fun story within it, and even without the UC Gundam
storyline to back it up, the plot kept you really riveted to the seat,
especially when you don't know who's what and where, politics and
ideology-wise.

Personally, I think that he Gundams themselves were just embarrassing. THey
_looked_ like they're were toys on the tv screen -- i couldn't possibly see
them as feasible in any way and boy, were the actual mech fights damn
cheezy. I think that's probably a reason most hard-core gundam model fans
don't really like GWing -- the material from the show is really
substandard. The OAV did something to correct that, but still...

On another note, the yaoi aspect of GWing is one which is widely recognized
and to soem degree exploited and focussed upon. However, let it be said
that beyond the pretty boys, there is very little to give you the
impression that it is yaoi-focused. (okay, other than trowa and quatre, who
are pretty questionable). Tack the yaoi elements on to the fact that the
fans of the show started to associate that sort of thing with the anime. It
happens at random times to lots of shonen shows -- Slam Dunk, Papuwa, Yu Yu
Hakusho, Kenshin -- not all shows who ahve pretty boys are necessarily
going to have a yaoi fandom the way GWing has, but it helps...

Personally, I think that a lot of the male-bonding aspects would be seen as
prime yaoi material by many, if it weren't for the time lag (orig gundam
being what 20 yrs old now?) and the unappealing art. Now that it's more
customary to have everyone be rather attractive (not just in Gwing! Even
shows like Gaogaiger...) it's easier to think up stuff like that in your
head.

Hmm... i'm not really sure what I was trying to say w/this, beyond the fact
that not every GWing fan will only be a Gwing fan. I'm personally in love
with Orig Gundam and 08 ms team is really growing on me. X, i thought was
pretty cheezy, but i'll probably give it a few more episodes before i just
stop watching it... etc etc etc. I'm not a mech fan, and I won't claim to
be one. I don't particularly care too much about that aspect of the show,
except in how it really applies to the story in general. (I mean, I know
what the Nu-Gundam and the RX-78 is... =P) Still, that doesn't disqualify
me from being a Gundam fan, now does it?

Monica

-----
Monica/Akira-chan/Heero/Hayama/Naga/Kircheis no Miko- Proud TABBE! Member
monica@pipeline.com, mshin02@uclink4.berkeley.edu, knomiko@yahoo.com (alt)
http://www.pipeline.com/~monica/ - main web page ^_^
CLAMP, LoGH, Touch, RKen, Gundam, EVA, DearBoys, RoV, Subby, K-sama
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