-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Sun, 29 Oct 2000 13:48:58 -0800

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org [mailto:owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org]On
> Behalf Of Loran Cehack
> Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2000 22:03
> To: gundam@aeug.org; gundam@aeug.org
> Subject: [gundam] what's the Musha?
> I've heard of the "Musha Gundam" but I don't know where it's from. Is it
> from G Gundam? It sorta has a G Gundam look to it

"Musha" is a Japanese term for warrior, but it's very specific, referring to
armored samurai of the Sengoku (Era of Warring States) period that ended with
the elevation of Ieyasu Tokugawa to Shogun in the early 1600s, just as "knight"
refers to the medieval armored cavalry of the Middle Ages in the West.

A little over ten years ago, circa 1989 I think, Bandai introduced a line of
1:100 Gundam models made to resemble "yoroi" (samurai armor), which it called
Sengoku Musha Gundam. There were three models altogether: Musha Gundam Mark II,
Musha Zeta Gundam, and Musha Double Zeta Gundam. In addition to the yoroi
armor, the accessories, such as beam sabers and rifles, were styled as katana
and matchlocks, respectively. As Sunwook Kim has already noted, the Musha
Gundam concept was originally presented in a modeling magazine as a fictitious
line, so I assume that this is a case of life imitating art -- and maybe getting
young modelers to emulate Plamo Kyoshiro.

Diecast and plastic 1:60 scale toy versions followed, consisting of a standard
version of the Gundam in question with snap on yoroi armor. Some fo these
reappeared later without the Musha Gundam snap ons, but the holes into which the
armor plugs would go still in evidence.

For some reason, the Musha Gundams didn't go any further, despite being highly
prized in later years and amazingly attractive to anyone who has ever seen them.

Instead, the concept was passed on the Super Deformed (SD) Gundam and BB Gundam
(an SD variant that actually fired BBs from its weapons) lines, where they
became a big hit. There was an SD Gundam Cloth series, in which a "chan" style
figurine of Amuro, Char or a generic pilot figure can be dressed in snap on
armor that turns it into the SD Gundam piloted by that character, and on of
these is a Kyoshiro figure that's clothed as the SD Musha Gundam Mark II.

I vastly prefer the "Real Type" Musha Gundam, but they're rare and expensive
now, while the SD Musha Gundam may be found in quantity and relatively low
prices. I, for one, wouldn't mind a return of these fascinating MS and think
that an animated movie, OAV or TV series based on them would make an excellent
addition to the franchise.


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