Juan Alberto B. Mercado (juanalberto.m@lycos.com)
Fri, 24 Nov 2000 16:48:05 -0800

What makes Gundam so special to us?
There are many reasons, but for me, I guess the answer would be the human portrayal and the true horror of war.

(Dont flame me for this but I will make some IMHO comparisons)

Gundam stands out as a series that pits man against man, ideal vs. ideal. Unlike Macross where man is in a struggle for survival against a malevolent alien invasion, Gundam shows conflict in society.
The interesting thing about this is that it makes decisions more difficult for the characters. Killing alien scum is easy enough, but what about killing another man who you know deep inside doesn't really want to do this, but is just doing it out of duty. Im not saying the Zeon are "innocent" but we have to admit that not everyone of them honestly feels Giren's sentiment. Most of the young soldiers are probably just brainwashed (like the Nazis)

In the anime world, I saw a notable few that conforms to this format. There are few shows pitting humans against humans who are not necesarilly good or evil. The only other anime I can think of is Heroic Legend of Arslan which shows a national crisis, a coup d'etat and religious fanaticism as the source of war and not just plain evil conquest.

This is probably the most mature of themes, and the most thought-provoking, and hopefully, I'll get to see more shows with same depth as Gundam on the lines of depicting social nature. I mean, just because its a cartoon doesn't mean it doesn't need to have substance.


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