core@gundam.com
Mon, 14 Aug 2000 21:32:32 -0400 (EDT)


Echo|Fox wrote:
> Errg, this is going to be hard to write so I don't offend anyone. Please,

You did fine no worries. And interesting topic too.

In the following discussion, remember that I am a classical un-Wingnut. I
watched 0079 way back in 1981 and I still think 0079 is better than sliced
bread. I have seen only the first 3 eps of Wing and that experience had
not driven me to buy the DVD right away. My Wing knowledge is collected
from the bits and pieces from the web and GML. It seems unlikely that I
will like Wing (when I see it in full) as much as many UC shows.

> Now, contrast that to today, where the Cartoon Network's airing of Gundam
> Wing has brought in a whole new generation of fans, unlike any that have
> existed before. Personally, I'm not sure whether its a blessing or a
> curse. Wing is obviously the flashiest of series, and thus the most easily

I can't see how that can possibily be a curse. After all, it's Gundam,
not Sailor Moon, not Pokemon, not some dumb Hollywood cartoons. Even if
none of the Wing Kiddies convert to UC, I still consider that's a blessing
in itself.

> accessible to new fans, but its also the anti-thesis to "Tomino" Gundam,

That's hugely debatable, considering "Tomino" is extremely hard to pin
down. (it's fair to say each of the gurus on GML has a different idea on
what "Tomino" is about) But I haven't seen Wing so I will like others
take up this case.

> airing MSG first quite possibly could have bombed, and that would have
> been a serious blow to Gundam Fandom in North America. Furthermore, we've

I also seriously doubt that, people complain about 0079's "dated"
animation. But "animation" is very low on my priority. Heck, I am the
kind who would stay up late to watch old Looney Toons and even Popeyes
(not that they show them nowadays).

Nevertheless, it's undeniable that Wing's success was key to convincing
the suits (ahem) that 0079 can make it here. But I think it's a statement
about the TV execs rather than the fandom.

> - I was in a local model shop the other day trying to buy a few more
> Gundam Markers (blast! they didn't have any other colors in stock), and I
> saw 3 kids around the Gundam aisle. One had a MG RX-78 in one hand and a
> 1/144 Deathscythe in the other and said (gesturing to the RX-78) "I don't
> remember this from Gundam, it's boring looking". Bear in mind, this is

That's not just Wing Kiddies, honestly how many UC fans thinks that RX-78
is not "boring"? The only kind of fans who rate RX-78 as the best Gundam
are those who watched 0079 back in the early 80s. The rest falls into the
group who love Wing Gundam Custom Zero Kai Heavy Armor Booster Type Mk.II
and the group who love MSZ-010S Enhanced ZZ Gundam Double Zeta with
Big Mother F**king Gun.

I don't think any one group is superior to the others. For me personally,
a Gundam with angelic wings is not my thang, nor is the Mega Hyper
Launcher or Dendrobium. But I am an aging cynic, not a marketing guru.
If kids these days prefer flash, I won't loose one minute of sleep over
it. It's like umm... I identify better with Wing Kiddies than Pokemon
Kiddies, or Backstreet Boys Kiddies.

> Super-Hyper-Mega-Omega-Death-Jesus-Christ-Its-Coming-Straight-For us
> Gundam

See above, I don't think UC Gundams (e.g. Z, ZZ, Sentenial, 0083) are that
much more more realistic.

> - Reading alt.fan.gundam which seems to be fairly evenly split between the
> aforementioned Wing Kiddies, converted Wing-to-UC fans, and a smattering
> of UC gundam people. In comparison to the example above of a normal GML
> conversation, you've got stuff like "Who would win in a fight Gundam Wing
> or DBZ".

On other "distinguished" ML and NG, you see similarly enlightened debate
with topics like "EVA would knock Gundam flat on its ass" or "Valkyrie can
take on 5 Gundams at the same time". Over here in the US, we have
Hercules/Xena lending a helping hand to Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Judaic and
Christian characters. Wing vs. DBZ is hardly different.

PS: I think DBZ is pretty comparable to X's Satellite Cannon, no?

> - A friend of mine from IRC owns gundam-wing.com, and his e-mail address
> is > is duo@gundam-wing.com. He routinely recieves e-mailes from kids who are
> having difficulty differentiating fantasy from reality ("What's it like to
> be a Gundam pilot?", "Are you and Heero gay lovers?")

Ugh... that's pretty distrubing... But how old are these kids? I used to
think Kamen Rider and Ultraman were real too... I think around 6 or 7
when I learned things on TV aren't real, I think hmmm... Actually I don't
think I ever confused cartoons with reality. (Both Kamen Rider and
Ultraman are live-action)

> Every time I start to shake my head and wonder, I realize that they _are_
> just kids, and I'm sure I did the same thing years ago, except it was

Yeah that's true. But pulling in someone off-topic now, we were debating
violence on TV at lunch time, I am a big proponent for non-censorship. I
watched millions of murders on TV when I was a kid, but in real life I am
the biggest non-violent breeding heart type around. That's because I (and
most HK kids at the time) could seperate TV from reality. Now if kids
can't figure out the Duo or Heero don't exist and try to imitate their
actions, that's pretty dangerous.

> looking for help on the "Endless Dual" (their spelling) game their son

Ugh, Dual is so boring, we are talking about a "Endless Menage a Cinq"

> why they e-mailed me, but hopefully that's at least one wing fan who'll
> take the time to learn.

I think what you (and other UC fans) did is good. But I just want to
moderate the tone a bit. There's a certain snobbishness amongst UC fans.
I think that's like a classical fan dissing a jazz fan, or a jazz fan
dissing a rock fan, or a rock fan dissing a heavy metal fan, ad infinitum.
What's the point? There will be some Wing fans who will convert to UC and
maybe even say something like "heh, it's kind of embarassing, but I
started with Wing". And there will be some Wing fans who will never
convert to UC and say things like "First Gundam is so yesterday!" I don't
think we UC fans should feel the "duty" to "educate" Wing fans. We
sometimes sound like missionaries

"Forsake thy pagan gundams! Come to the temple and beg for forgiveness
from the one true Gundam RX-78-2!"

If we take that altitude towards Wing fans, how are we supposed to behave
with other anime or SciFi fans?

Another thing I notice is that some oldtimers have this "I was watching
raw videos with crappy fan-scripts in damp basements when you were still
in diapers" thing. Basically, now that every street kids know Gundam, it's
not cool anymore. The price of widespread popularity is crass
merchandization and casual fans. We can't bitch about the slow acceptance
of Gundam on one hand and then bitch about the "dumb" fans on the other.

Name: Core
Patient ID: #1
Room: http://side7.gundam.com/newtype_asylum/
Condition: Critical

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