Rodrick Su (rsu@tigana.com)
Mon, 29 May 2000 21:57:21 -0700


Gundam villains features many archetype during its long history. I'll offer
some analysis of some of the characters from Gundam, 0080, 0083, Zeta, ZZ,
F91, Victory, Wing.

Mobile Suit Gundam:

Char Aznable: The proto-type Gundam villain. Cool, composed and
calculating. At first, he appears to be in the mold of the archetype mask
villain featured in many '70s shonen anime. But as his motive and history
is flushed out, the character went on to become his own archetype. He is
not necessary in disagreement with the ultimate goal of Giren Zabi, who is
simply creating a more extreme version of Zeon Zum Daikun's teaching. He is
convinced of Zabi complicity in his father's death, and is quite patient on
carrying out his vengeance. There is an old Chinese saying "Ten years is
not too long for the gentleman's revenge", and Char's patient seemed to
embodied it.

Ranba Ral: the embodiment of professional soldier who tried hard not to get
involve in politic and concentrate on serving his country. This is an enemy
you can respect, and his character type seemed to get carried out in the
person of Steiner Hardy, another professional soldier.

0083:
Anavel Gato: a Char clone who lack charisma and seemed to be an one
dimensional character who scream Zeon doctrines without understanding what
the original teaching is. Unfortunately, this kind of character actually
exist in great abundance in real life.

Zeta Gundam:
Lyla Mira Lyla: another professional soldier. She also appears to be a weak
natural Newtype who can sense enemy indirectly. It's a wonder that the
Titan didn't grab her for their Strengthen Human and Newtype Lab. The first
of several mentors to the primary antagonist Jerid Messa.

Jerid Messa: the perpetual loser. I mean, why is he test driving a Mk. II
in the beganning of the show? Data gathering, shakedown and acceptance test
of Mk. II should have been completed at least 6 months prior to the
beganning of Zeta. And since Mk. II is a proof of concept mobile suit, it
is never intended to be mass produced. One thing that is a bit different
about Jerid, as the show progresses, his actual piloting skill does improved
to match somewhat that of Camille Vidam. Even as Camille is expressing his
laten Newtype power, Jerid seemed to have "volunteered" to undergo limited
Strengthen Human procedure so he can pilot Bound Doc. He also has the honor
of piloting 10 different models of mobile suit, destroying most of them, all
in one year. This effort ties Char's career, which is 17 years long, and
Jerid did it in 1 year.

ZZ Gundam:
Gremmi Toto: one of the most ridiculously developed character in Gundam
universe. The writer basically made his character as they were going along.
Thus, at the beginning of the show, he is a newbie pilot with a personality
of a lost puppy dog. In the middle of the story, he somehow developed a
Char mixed with the Jerid like inability to defeat the hero of the story.
At the end, he became a Giren Zabi clone with sinister master race plan. ZZ
has some good point, character development isn't one of them.

F91:
Dorel Ronah: almost an Jerid clone. A perpetual loser who can't beat our
hero. He likes to bullied others around.

Zabine Chareux: a Char clone, with an eye-patch instead of a mask. In F91,
he has no ulterior motive other than to follow the ideal of the Crossbones
Vanguard. In Crossbones Gundam, he decided that he had join the wrong camp,
and turn traitorous.

Victory:
Chronocle Asher: another Char/Jerid mixtured clone. Char-like for his habit
of wearing a mask. Jerid for his really awful luck against the hero.
Really don't have much of a redeming value.

Katejina Loos: unlike the abrupt character change of Gremmi Toto in ZZ
Gundam, her descend into bloodlust is gradual and understandable. Zanscare
Empire is founded upon a cult, and she can rationalized her action every
step of the way, including the first attempt to "pacified" Earth.

Wing:
Zechs Merquise: definately a Char clone, all the way to the "we must destroy
Earth to save it" mentality at the end.

Dorothy Catalonia: somewhat similiar to Katejina Loos, but much more
mercenary. Her primary goal seemed to be with whoever is in power. She
switch from Romefeller Foundation to White Fang without missing a beat.

[ Rodrick Su [ ]
[ rsu@tigana.com [ I might be crazier than you think. ]

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