-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Sun, 01 Aug 1999 16:05:42 -0700


At 15:07 8/1/1999 +0000, you wrote:
>Wasnt there ever a reference to Char's death in Gaia Gear? Tomino was
>writing that at roughly the same time (1987) as CCA (1988).

Newtype Saga Gaia Gear was a 35-part serialized prose story that ran in
Newtype Magazine from April 1987 to March 1990 -- before, during and after
CCA. It was later broadcast as a "radio drama" issued on audiocassette in
December 1992. The original prose story was compiled into a 5-volume
novelization in April 1993 and the radio drama was reissued on CD in August
1993.

Gaia Gear is set circa UC 0203, although the story begins circa UC 0197 --
a full century after the events of CCA. The action centers around
16-year-old Afransia Char, a "memory clone" created by the anti-Federation
Z Organization to be its figurehead leader. As Afransia comes of age, his
implanted memories will kick in and he'll become a virtual reincarnation of
Char. Afransia, however, has a mind of his own, one that he had no desire
to give over to an historical figure, however glamorous.

Despite the tie-in with Char, Gaia Gear is carefully devoid of any
reference to anything copyrightably Gundam. Mobile Suits are now Man
Machines, etc. This was Tomino's way of liberating himself from the
constraints of Gundam, which he did not own or control, while still being
able to play with the concepts that he'd created and imbued into that series.

My own personal belief is that Gaia Gear was originally set circa UC 0110,
17 years after CCA, and that Afransia was either an actual clone of Char or
his natural son by Nanai Miguel, co-opted to fill Char's empty shoes by the
remnants of Neo Zeon. Although they were not written in chronological
order, this hypothetical original version would be the third part of a
trilogy, of which CCA (or, more precisely, either the Beltochika's Children
or Hi-Streamer variant of CCA) and Hathaway's Flash. All three are
involved with passage of new and more restrictive emigration laws, the Man
Hunter Agency (MHA or MaHa) and its mandate to enforce them. All three
mark a clear trend to bigger and better MS that was reversed in later years
with the downsizing that resulted in the F91.

This speculation is somehwat moot, since Gaia Gear was published as it was
and has existed in that part of the timeline for over 10 years now --
there's no way tp unscramble the egg, even if Tomino had any interest in
doing so. It's worth noting only because it explains the political and
thechnological anachronisms of Gaia Gear compared to the rest of the UC
timeline.

It's also worth noting that, although Char is invoked a number of times,
this story is not about him, but rather about all the people who use his
name and reputation to enhance their own. It's also about Afransia's
desire to live for himself, regardless of all the obligations and other
interests to which he's tied by virtue of his heritage -- a powerful theme
for the Japanese, I think.

-Z-

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