Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Fri, 4 Aug 2000 10:18:34 -0700


Nightingale writes,

>Another good use of GunMech is whenever I want to look
>up some numbers (height, weight, etc), the size of
>GunMech's card files give me the instant 'click' which
>reference should I look up first.

  Fair enough - and, on balance, their specs are more accurate than those
in the MS Encyclopedia (they still have the Pallas Athene and Nemo wrong,
but they fixed obvious boners like the Galbaldy Beta, and updated their
Zaku specs to the latest figures).

>Other than that,
>I've basically given up any reasonable hope on any
>books published by Hobby Japan. I am now pretty much a
>convert of Kodansha, Kadokawa, and Mediaworks and
>other indie publishers w/ nice flesh of brilliance on
>Gundam books.

  Yep. After a so-so start, Mediaworks has really picked up - their
GunPla Manuals are great, the Data Collection series is just as good as
the old Entertainment Bibles, and the production quality of the MS ERA
reprint blows the original version out of the water. It's nice to see
Kodansha getting back into the game as well, since they're sitting on a
treasure trove of rare material. Kadokawa's recent output is less
impressive - the Gundam Episode Guide books are a weak echo of the 100%
Collections of yore...

  Aw, what a crank I am! :-)

>Well much of the materials are directly from
>Kodansha's long out-of-print Pocket Encyclopedia
>Series of MSV (3 volumes). I managed to get hold of
>vol.1 (Zaku edition) and vol.2 (Zeon's MS/MA edition)
>and I am absolutely impressed by its care for details
>and creativity. I am determine to get the final volume
>(Fed's MS edition) to complete the set (and get more
>education on Gundam :)

  Those books rock. Mark Schumann has managed to acquire the complete
set, and I borrowed them long enough to translate & transcribe most of
their contents... I can send you my notes on volume 3 if you like. Now
that Gundam Century has been reprinted, and the Sunrise record
collections have been largely reprised in the form of Gundam Archive, the
MSV book series (and Bandai's MSV Handbook series) are the last holy
grail for Gundam nuts like us...

  That said, I'm surprised how much of the material in the MSV Collection
Files is new. Not only did they bring 0080 and 0083 into the continuity -
often in incredibly ingenious ways - but they came up with new ideas on
the older mobile suits. I'll admit I lifted their discourse on the
tactical role of the Gyan pretty much wholesale for my site. :-)

>Would it be possible that they treat 08 saga as a UC's
>heresy? :P For all the hard work done by Kondansha's
>staff in the 80's to explain the One Year War in full
>circle, 08 managed to spoil the party in pretty
>convincing fashion. I hope they are not small-minded
>as I feared.

  I dunno... despite the timing issues, most of the stuff in 08th MS Team
is quite compatible with MSV orthodoxy. For example, the elusive third
MSV book claimed that there were two production runs of the GM - an
initial lot of 42 units deployed on Earth, and a second run of 288 units
of the type we see in the animation. (This was repeated in the Master
Grade GM kit manual and in the new MSV Collection File.) Lo and behold,
08th MS Team gives us a batch of early GMs used exclusively for ground combat.

  So it's not that 08th MS Team really contradicts the MSV canon (except
for the misplaced Zaku Cannon). I reckon they were just tired after
reconciling all the other shows. :-)

>Oh god, then Efreet and Efreet Custom are alien kids
>of OYW :)

  Yep. The standard explanation for the Efreet is that it was designed by
the staff of the California Base, independently of the development wars
raging back in the Zeon homeland... so it really is an orphan.

>If YMS-08A was indeed created by Zimmad,
>then how come its top design features get merged with
>Gouf, a MS created by its business rival Zeonic?

  That was the decision of Zeon's military authorities. You can bet
Zimmad wasn't too happy about it. However, the new book goes on to say
that the C-5 type Gouf - the testbed for the Dom - was just one of
several Gouf variants produced under license by Zimmad. So perhaps, in
return for giving Zeonic their technology, Zimmad got a piece of the
production pie... which in turn put them in a better position to win the
next contract.

>If the new MSV 'Earth' book (which i haven't bought yet)
>skip the 'Gouf' bit then it's in confict w/ its old
>MSV Pocket reference, but that way it can explain the
>passing of the torch (more or less) from YMS-08A to
>Dom.

  Nah, they still claim that the YMS-08A was merged with the Prototype
Gouf. (Which makes sense - note that the original Prototype Gouf didn't
have leg thrusters for jumping.) But it's said that some of the
technology from the YMS-08A was re-used in the Dom.

>Don't forget we still have the alien childen of
>Efreet series, but then again they must be treating
>the Gundam games (Cross Dimension 0079, Blue Destiny)
>as another UC heresy...

  Maybe so - I was disappointed they skipped the Efreet. But it's not
unprecedented for a new Zeon design to recycle the model number of a
canceled one; witness the MS-11 (original Gelgoog -> Acht Zaku), MS-16
(Zeong -> Xamel), supposedly even the MS-10 (Gyan -> Pezun Dowadge). So
it's not impossible for the MS-08 number to be shared by two unrelated
mobile suits...

-- 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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