L. M. Lloyd (ubik@austin.rr.com)
Wed, 31 May 2000 19:55:07 -0500

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I have lots of friends that rant and rave about the great writing of
B5, so I am not going to argue the point. I personally find the
characters in B5 rather contrived, but I also realize there is a
contrived nature to the characters in Gundam. I am just more
forgiving of a show that can dish up the great mech designs of
Gundam, while I could care less about B5's tech.

I will say, however, that I think B5 is sorely lacking when compared
to Gundam in that the enemy they face is ultimately the physical
embodiment of evil and its machinations. Whereas in Gundam, the enemy
is often a rather likeable fellow who just happens to have a
different ideology. In fact, as a whole I find it to be a bit of a
cop out whenever writers make the enemy unimaginably evil. One of the
things I have always thought put Gundam ahead of most of the rest of
sci-fi, is that who the bad guy is, often is dependent on what
character you are watching at the moment. B5 on the other hand had
the forces of good, the forces of evil, and most of the interactions
you speak of are an issue of characters trying to strike compromises
and deals with the two sides in order to preserve or gain something.
This is better than something like Star Wars, but still not quite as
far a departure from the mold as something like Gundam or VOTOMS. UC
Gundam reads like the American war of independence, and the only
decision of what is good or evil comes directly from whether the
story is being told by the British or Americans. To my knowledge B5
never devoted a season to showing the reasonable motives of the
shadows, then showing how valiantly and bravely they did whatever
they could to defend themselves from Sheridan's psychotic genocidal

- ----- Original Message -----
From: Blackeagle <cdupchurch@hotmail.com>
To: <gundam@aeug.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2000 1:15 PM
Subject: Re: OT Alan Moore comics (Re: [gundam] Gyan ancestors? was
Re: Gelgoog!)

> I don't think that Babylon 5 fits your definition of a mainstream
> show in SF guise. Sure JMS pitched it to the hollywood execs by
> saying it was 'Casablanca in Space' but that definition really
> only applies to the first and maybe the second seasons.
> >Here I have to say that I think you are just more sensitive to
> >Japanese stereotypes, than you are to American stereotypes. For
> >example Char is a more complex, fleshed out, and interesting
> >nemesis that any example I can think of in any American sci-fi
> >show. The typical American sci-fi nemesis is always cast in one of
> >a very few restrictive stereotypes, and frankly I can not think of
> >a single American show, off the top of my head, where the main
> >nemesis
> >returned in a sequel as one of the headliner protagonists, only to
> >return later as an arch-nemesis.
> Again, while I don't particularly like most American SF, I've got
> to speak out in defense of B5. If you take a look at some of the
> character arcs in Babylon 5, they're just as complex and fleshed,
> if not more so, than Gundam characters. Comparing a character
> like Londo Mollari, Garabaldi or G'Kar to Char Aznable, I think
> the former's character arcs are more interesting, mainly because
> we get to watch the whole gradual transformation of their
> characters. Char goes through a lot of changes, but some of the
> the most interesting parts, character development wise happen
> offscreen. (to be fair though, B5 had more than 4 x the amount of
> screen time of an average Gundam series to accomplish these
> character transformations)
> ________________________________
> Chris Upchurch a.k.a. Blackeagle
> cdupchurch@hotmail.com
> WARNING: System Failure!
> Unable to insert amusing tagline.
> ____________________________________________________________________
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> -
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