Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Fri, 21 Jul 2000 23:28:55 -0700


Core wonders,

>My copy of Gundam Archive arrived yesterday (I love it). I noticed the
>acronym E.F.S.F. appeared on one of the page headings but (I think) not in
>the linearts. Which prompted me to ask what was the origin of this
>acronym?

  Actually, I can answer this one with some precision. Back in 1998, with
the 20th anniversary coming up and Gundm about to make its US debut,
Sunrise belatedly got around to establishing official English spellings
for everything in the original Gundam series. I actually have a copy of
the July 1998 draft of the name list (a perk from the work I was doing
for Bandai America at the time).

  As part of this big naming binge, Sunrise established English
renditions for the following terms...

  chikyu rempo -> Earth Federation
  chikyu rempo gun -> Earth Federation Force
  chikyu rempo uchu gun -> Earth Federation Space Force

  This name list document also has a mini-essay on why the UNT Spacy
acronym is verboten, since it misleadingly implies that the Federation (a
single nation) is akin to the modern-day UN (a group of independent nations).

>It still bugs me that, in the anime, everyone just said "Federal Army"
>(Japanese/Kanji), which was obviously shortened from the full name. But
>what's the full name? I think the anime also say "Federation" or "Earth
>Federation" (also Jap/Kanji) which sometimes means the government,
>sometimes the armed forces.

  This is generally addressed more specifically in the Japanese dialogue
- translators often take liberties with the precise phrasing. Generally
people will refer to either the "chikyu rempo seifu" (Earth Federation
government) or the "chikyu rempo gun" (Earth Federation Force, or Earth
Federal Forces if you prefer). The term "chikyu rempo" or simply "rempo"
("Earth Federation" and "Federation", respectively) are more abiguous.

  I can't recall anyone _ever_ referring specifically to the space forces
in the dialogue. I think Sunrise just threw that into the list to debunk
the UNT Spacy thing, whereupon the Bandai model folks fell in love with
the new acronym.

> I really hate both UNT Spacy (Macross) and
>EFSF. I don't like "SF" because that's only one of the armed forces,
>using the US system, there sould than be EFAF (air force) , EFN (navy),
>EFA (army), EFM (marines) and other smaller forces. So for example, the
>08 MS Team should be grouped under EFA.

  Absolutely. You'll note that the Medea transport plane that shows up in
Gundam 0080 is actually labeled "UNT Airforce," but by 0083 they'd just
started slapping the Spacy label on everything, no matter how inappropriate.

>This is a little more than a translation problem. I am not aware of any
>sensible collection of names for a lot of important Fed organizations:
>
>- the country/state (Earth Federation?)
>- the government (EF Congress? Parliment? Executive Council?)
>- the head of state (a president, chairman, prime minister?)
>- the military head (joint chief of staffs, supreme commander?)
>- the whole armed forces
>- the individual forces (navy, space force, marines etc)

  The nation itself is simply called the Earth Federation. The government
in general is called the Earth Federation Government, and its main
deliberative body is the Earth Federation Assembly. In the Hathaway
novels we have a meeting of the central cabinet instead, but I dunno
whether this is a structural change or not.

  The structure of the Federation government is as vague as its naming is
generic. But I get the impression its structure is actually a lot like
that of the UN, with a central security council running things on a day-
to-day basis (perhaps this is the group we see in 0083), with an assembly
convening periodically to pass bills and set policy.

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons / scorpio@best.com / http://www.gundamproject.com/
"It's your country, you can do what you want."

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