-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Sun, 04 Jul 1999 15:02:24 -0700


More comments from the PEANUT (People E-mailing Alternative 'Nterpretations
of UC Timelines) Gallery....

>X-Mailer: CTM PowerMail 2.4v6 <http://www.ctmdev.com>
>x-sender: scorpio@shell15.ba.best.com
>Date: Sat, 3 Jul 1999 18:50:31 -0700
>To: Dafydd Neal Dyar <Z@gundam.com>
>From: Mark Simmons <scorpio@best.com>
>Subject: Re: [gundam] Anaheim Corp. products
>
>Hi Dafydd,
>
> More eavesdropping comments...
>
>> Event from Hathway's Flash and Gaia Gear have been included in
>> officially-published timelines, most notably the V Gundam timelines
>> published in Newtype Magazine and its associated books.
>
> Careful with the attribution there. NewType is _not_ the authority on
>Gundam timelines; the de facto official timeline (I'll use that term here
>since it's been recycled in Sunrise publications like the Big Bang Event
>program) is Shindosha's timeline, which has been republished and revamped
>in the Entertainment Bible and Data Collection series, Kodansha's MS WARS
>book, and suchlike.
>
> Ten years ago, there was another timeline in circulation, which reared
>its head in such diverse places as the Gundam 0080 visual comics, NewType
>issues, and the MS ERA book. (I suspect that this one was the work of
>Studio Hard, another perennial producer of Gundam publications.) But I
>haven't seen this one used in any publications over the last decade;
>nowadays, everyone who needs to reference a Gundam timeline uses the
>Shindosha one.

The Gundam 0080 Visual Comic timeline was the first original Japanese
timeline that I ever saw. The MS Era timeline had already been embraced
with open arms by all of the American fans with whom I was in communication
at the time, on account of it being in English.

> The relevance here: While events from the Hathaway novels are
>referenced in the Shindosha timeline, Gaia Gear is not. In fact, Gaia
>Gear has _only_ been mentioned in timelines published by Kadokawa, the
>publisher of the actual novels. It seems that, as far as other publishers
>- and Shindosha, the freelance keepers of the current official timeline -
>are concerned, Gaia Gear is _not_ canonical.

And rightly so, since Tomino went to such great lengths to ensure that
there was no actionable vestige of the Gundam franchise to be found in Gaia
Gear. Still, it's interesting to note how the action of Gaia Gear fits
into the UC timeline, especially in light of the way G-Saviour seems to
respect it, with the same 30-year "generational" gap as from CCA (0093) to
F91 (0123) to V (0153).

I still think that Gaia Gear belongs circa UC 0113, as the conclusion of a
trilogy that began with CCA (0093) and continued with Hathaway's Flash
(0103). There's no way to unscramble that omelette, however, so we're
stuck with this anachronism almost a century away from where it logically
belongs, replete with a reiteration of anti-Spacenoid legislation and the
MAHA to enforce it.

> U.S. fans have a longstanding habit of throwing all available timelines
>into a blender, rather than considering sourcing or attribution. As a
>result, the presence of specific events in any timeline ever published
>anywhere becomes fudged into a perceived stamp of canonical authenticity...

Guilty as charged. Although it should be added that sourcing and
attribution weren't considerations back in the early days of Gundam fandon,
when Japanese language skills were rare and generally unreliable. Fans
more often than not just took whatever ball they were tossed and then ran
with it.

>> The novels are apparently considered Canonical, but the manga are not.
>
> The V Gundam Entertainment Bibles were published before Crossbone
>Gundam came out. Shindosha is revamping its timeline incrementally in the
>pages of the Data Collection series, but since they've only gotten as far
>as F91, it remains to be seen whether they'll roll Crossbone Gundam into
>the timeline this time around.

It's written by Tomino, which has *got* to count for something, and it
continues and resolves the storyline begun in F91.

The more I see of Crossbone, the more I wish that F91 had been done as a
full series, possibly with the movie as an introduction. Crossbone Gundam
- Episode 1: Gundam Formula 91....

>> Characters, events and mecha from games like Blue Destiny are also
>> apparently considered Canon. Well, they are, after all, a form of
>> animation....
>
> That's debatable. They haven't been cited in timelines, by Shindosha or
>anyone else. What other yardsticks would you suggest for defining things
>as canonical?
>
> (Mind you, I don't have a guideline of my own to propose. Then again,
>I'm not terribly concerned with taxonomy.)

"Canonical" means according to the Canon, which is an official list of
approved texts. In the case of anime, the Canon is the body of animated
works and those non-animated works deemed to be true and correct by the
author(s). Tomino is the principal author, but he doesn't own the body of
work and so we have these interesting little contradictions developing over
time.

(As we might in any case, given the Japanese predeliction for variations on
a them across different media. Example: the Gundam novels versus the anime.)

An ideal UC timeline would include every event in every episode of all of
the anime, including events recollected or alluded to by the various
characters, such as Emma Sheen's meeting with Amuro Ray two years prior to
Z Gundam. If a character is 20 years old in UC 0079, it follows that s/he
was born 20 years earlier and an entry to that effect seems appropriate
among the entries for UC 0059. If something happened when that character
was 10 years old, an entry regarding it should appear among the entries for
UC 0069.

The ideal timeline would be as useful a tool for the writers of actual
Gundam continuity as for the fans, but it would appear that continuity is a
relatively little concern, witness the 08th MS Team debacle.

If you would plug all of the Gundam information of which you are congnisant
into the Shindosha timeline, such that the history of the Gundam world were
truly laid out at a glance, I would gladly toss my own feeble attempts at a
meaningful timeline out with the rest of the trash.

>> >In addition, despite the difference in calendar, it seems that
>> >Turn A Gundam is a far future UC story line, at least according to what
>> >has been seen so far. Of course, Tomino could still dig up something
>> >from G, Wing, or X in this... :-)
>>
>> All will be revealed in due course, I'm sure.
>
> Well, with the latest batch of dug-up mobile suits, we're three for
>three Universal Century (counting the Gundam Hammer). As our heroes flee
>the devastated Inglessa fiefdom for neighboring Luziana, they find out
>what the Luziana branch of the Militia has been using. They call it the
>Bolgernon, but I think we'd all recognize it as the good old Zaku...

Cajun Zaku? Cue the zydeco!

(Note, also, that "Cajun" is a corruption of "Arcadian"....)

> Thus far, there's no evidence that Turn A overlaps with the alternate
>universes in any sense other than thematically. But hey, they could still
>dig up the Nether Gundam next week...

Tomino's running this show and I think he may be inclined to ignore the
other timelines completely.

>-- Mark

-Z-

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