-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Fri, 24 Nov 2000 20:53:07 -0800

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org [mailto:owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org]On
> Behalf Of Juan Alberto B. Mercado
> Sent: Friday, November 24, 2000 16:48
> To: gundam@aeug.org
> Subject: [gundam] Ain't nuthin like GUNDAM
> 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.

One of Tomino's underlying premises is that all governments are inherently
corrupt, becoming an entity unto themselves that place their own interests ahead
of those of the people. Idealistic young men are always recruited to fight the
battles of self-serving old men. The true loss of innocence comes when one
gives up one's dreams and buys into the status quo.

One of the most brilliant things that Tomino ever did was to invert everything
from the original Gundam in the sequel, Z Gundam. At the end of the original
series, the good guys win, only to find in the sequel that everything for which
they fought has been subverted. And this happens on both sides -- Char/Quattro
is just as unhappy with Axis as Amuro and the White Base survivors are with the
Titans and for much the same reason.

Similar things happened in America, with the rise of McCarthyism after WW2 --
for awhile, it looked like we might become that which we most feared.


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