Mark Simmons (
Wed, 28 Jun 2000 17:34:28 -0700

Henry Bigone asks,

> Can the list tell me the good and bad of EVERY Gundam show, so I can know
> what to get. Thanx.

  I'll throw in my two cents real quick-like...

> Gundam 0079

  Great story, vital background for watching the sequels. The TV series is
longer and wins for sheer detail, but the movies cut out some silly stuff
and feature some really nice new footage directed by character designer
Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. Still my favorite Gundam story.

> Gundam Blue Destinie

  I liked the comic a lot when it was in Japanese, so I can't complain too
much about the Mixx version. The games have a bad rep, though.

> Gundam 0080

  Very good - not only a fresh take on the One Year War era of the original
series, but also ties very nicely into the original continuity. Short at six
episodes, and only a few action sequences (though they're very intense).

> Gundam 0083

  As much as we tend to bag on this one in hindsight, the first time you see
it, it'll blow your mind. In the techno-action-eye candy vein of Macross
Plus or Top Gun, with some awesome setpieces. Watch it as soon as possible
to get you hooked on Gundam in general, then you can always complain about
the plot later to prove what a veteran you are. ;-)

> Gundam Zeta

  Pretty good sequel, with some fresh takes on the Gundam world, but the
plot meanders a bit. I also hate most of the main characters. :-)

> Gundam Double Zeta

  Dim-witted followup to Z Gundam aimed at kiddies. Some cool mecha stuff,
and the animation's a bit better than Z Gundam, but it's probably the worst
series in terms of story.

> Gundam Sentinel

  Not a comic, as some have claimed, but a text novel iluustrated with model
kit photos. Very Tom Clancy-esque, full of mecha jocks, and the only female
character is a computer AI. Nice hardware, though.

> Gundam Char Attack

  I personally love Char's Counterattck. It makes little sense as a followup
to Z and ZZ, but there's some cool technology and plot stuff, and you get
lots of Char and Amuro rivalry. Looks beautiful, too - I'd say it ties 0083
and Endless Waltz for best-looking Gundam animation.

> Gundam Crossbone

  The comic's sort of a gag homage to Leiji Matsumoto (creator of Space
Battleship Yamato and Captain Harlock) crossed with Jules Verne, and the
art's a bit silly-looking, but I thought the story was great. Cool enemy
mecha, too.

> Gundam F90

  Stupid story, decent art.

> Gundam F91

  And they say Gundam Wing is a ripoff of the original series! Almost a
complete replay of the original story, in which the creators of the first
Gundam series rip off their own work. The novelization adds a lot of
interesting depth to the story, but the too-brief movie is mostly just lame.
The high point is the opening sequence, a civilian's-eye view of Gundam
warfare rivaled only by 0080.

> Gundam Hathaway Shine

  Some cool technology stuff, but otherwise these novels didn't do a lot for

> Victory Gundam

  Loved it to bits; it's my second favorite UC story after the original
Gundam, and tied with G Gundam and Gundam Wing for my overall number two
spot. Really involving characters, interesting extrapolation of the UC
Gundam world 75 years after the One Year War, super gruesome. The
animation's pretty poor, but I can deal.

> Gundam G

  Totally wacko alternate-universe story, directed by the guy who did the
recent Giant Robo videos (which should give you some idea what the plot's
like). Very fresh, very involving characters, emotionally wrenching
ending... and it sure is different!

> X Gundam

  Hated it. Biggest ripoff of the original series since F91, and even F91
didn't give us newtype dolphins and that annoying waif Tiffa. I only made it
through the series to uphold my claim to have seen all of Gundam.

> Wing Gundam

  Liked it immediately from the first episode on, and I still think it's a
neat show. Kinda throws all the UC series into a blender and throws in
dreamy boy-toys to boot. The characters are so mysterious as to be ciphers,
and the plot is so complex it's almost unintelligible, but it has a great
style and its own kind of crazy momentum. Endless Waltz, with its tight plot
and exploration of the characters' pasts, avoids the TV series' shortcomings
and is just plain delightful... shame it's just three episodes.

-- Mark

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