garrick lee (goner4sure@yahoo.com)
Fri, 9 Mar 2001 17:51:57 -0800 (PST)


*preemptively and retroactively dodges all stomps
headed his way*

anyway...

after mulling it over with 0080 and wing, i think i've
closing in on my problem with g wing. i still like
wing, overall, but there's always been something that
prevents wing from being inducted into the "all time
favorites" category, to me.

gundam wing is detached. for all its theatrics, it
remains distant to the viewer...just something on tv
that fails to leave a more lasting impact. i dunno if
it's the 90's thing -- to be detached, emotionless,
lackluster and to take things in stride, to be "cool".
  some neo-gothic-zen thingamajiggybob as embodied by
heero yuy (don't anybody give me that "it's spelled
hiro yui, dammit" crap, i'm in no mood for anal
idiocy). wing just doesn't warm up in a way that's
cozy, in the way it shakes a leg at byzantine baroque
shakespearean storytelling. it doesn't tackle the
issues of war, love and peace head on and in your face
like traditional gundam does.

the threat of war and tragedy of ceaseless fighting is
flat and unmoving in gundam wing.

yes, there were many scenes of carnage in wing --
quattre in the town, with the old man selling fruits;
wufei and salieh and the resistance fighters; quattre
and the maganarc; trowa and the circus being
demolished by oz loyalist nuts; etc.

but they all failed to move. the characters were two
dimensional in the figurative and literal sense -- and
i'm not just talking about the 5 boys...even noin,
une, salieh, the 5 mad scientists, trieze,
zechs...they were cookie cutter characters without any
real and serious depth. shoot me for a mad dog, but
relena, with all her out of this world philosophy was
the most developed character in wing. they don't act
like they have interest or desire in life, despite all
the prep talk by trowa or catherine about how precious
life is. they're not affected by the conflict in the
way amuro and the whole crew of white base was in
0079, or al and the children in 0080. the 8th ms team
showed the displacement of life in war with the crew
and their own agendas aside from the war they were
fighting (elledore, anyone?). even 0083 did a better
job of showing the human-ness of the characters. wing
doesn't come close. all issues of war and tragedy are
theoretical and statistical in wing.

to me, superrobot fighting style of wing isn't a big
problem. macross got away with more superheroic mecha
hijinks than wing (remember hikaru catching minmei in
the canopy shenanigan?), but maybe because macross had
a more compelling drama...and that it's a character
story at heart...

as someone who grew up on super robot anime, i can
heartily assure people that you can still tell a good
story with non-realistic non-militaristic fight
choreography.

(as an aside, people often slam macross 7 for
regressing to a "monster of the week" show in later
episodes -- i don't think "regress" is the proper
word, and i don't think that's a valid accusation in
the first place...but you'd have to like the super
robot classics in the first place and remember the
fact that 'monster of the week' shows were a very
valid template for animes of old...very valid and
still hip, in my opinion :P).

-garr

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