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  #1  
Old 07-05-2009, 04:43 PM
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Default Help Me Gundam.

So I watched the third Mobile Suit Gundam movie again yesterday evening. It's nice, after two jumpy, thoroughly compromised messes, to watch a film that presents something like a coherent, dramatically-sound narrative, excusing, of course, some occasionally goofy dialogue. The point of this post isn't to take shots at a quarter-century-vintage highlight reels though. I'm now equipped to revisit the Gundam metaseries. It's just that I'd like some assistance charting a course through its, er, treacherous waters.

At various points, I've watched the entirety of Gundam Wing, The 08th MS Team, War in the Pocket, and Char's Counterattack, though nearly all of those in the distant past. I've spent enough time on /m/ to understand how grave an omission it is that that list features neither Turn A Gundam nor Zeta Gundam. I'll undoubtedly get to those sooner than later, but besides that pair of 800-pound gorillas, everything is fair game.

What are the merits and flaws of the various series, heedless of vintage, universe, or their status as 'canon'? Could it be that the OVAs are better than the main event, or do they serve as little more than showcases for mecha porn and the effects of staff changes? What about the manga? I've heard people swear by Crossbone Gundam, and perhaps Gundam: The Origin serves as a better vehicles for the original series' story than the compilation films.

Guys, let's talk about Gundam.

Last edited by Peach; 07-05-2009 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:53 PM
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I find your thread title offensive to Italians!

Ahem. Anyways. As someone with very little experience or knowledge with Gundam except what gets flown overseas, I like The 08th MS Team very much. I loathe G Gundam though. Sorry, fans.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:53 PM
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I'm no Gundam expert, but I have to say that watching Char's Counterattack before seeing Zeta is a horrible travesty that needs to be corrected as quickly as possible.

Also never ever ever ever ever try to watch ZZ.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:10 PM
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I really do want to see the first, original series. Unfortunately, the DVDs seem hard to find and apparently the U.S. DVDs of the abridged movies have been discontinued. I remember being told that the movies work well in summing it up. Either way, I kind of wish I could find either the movies or the DVDs of the series.

Which of the other Gundam series are really good to see? 08th MS Team, etc.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:25 PM
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I have them on VHS! My Mom got them for me back in like ninth grade when I actually wanted Gundam Wing. I really enjoyed the original gundam universe alot more though. It was so much more human, and the more vintage robots were just cool. I have a little 2 inch tall Zaku and Gelgoog on my computer right now.

Now I have no interest in the alternate universe series' however. They seem so much more gawdy and flippant than the original universe.
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2009, 05:26 PM
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It's funny you should post a Gundam thread today, since I just popped in 0080 to rewatch while eating dinner.

You have a few options when it comes to checking out UC Gundam. Some people like to go in chronological order of release or by timeline. Either one works fine, since you have seen the movies (which are considered canon unlike the TV series) you can pretty much go to 08th MS Team, 0080, or MS IGLOO, 0083, or Zeta. All of them are worth checking out (although I cannot vouch for IGLOO)

Turn A can be watched pretty much anytime since it is not strictly UC. I haven't seen it myself either.

I did however once read Tomino's Gundam novels several years ago, however finding those reasonably priced is not very likely. They make a significant number of changes from the original (including everyone being recruits, an actual sexual relationship between Amuro and Sayla, Amuro's death followed by Char joining with the White Base crew as a pilot of another gundam. They weren't great, but definitely an interesting read as a sort of "what if" written by the creator of the series.

And since someone brought up Gundam, has anyone heard anything about a potential Hi-Def release of the original movies with the original mono soundtrack? I only have the trilogy on VHS since I refuse to buy the current US DVD one with the changed sound effects/music and would love to upgrade (with subtitles) even if it cost me Japanese prices.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:45 PM
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SEED is slow to start, but gets really freaking great from about episode 30 (or whenever the Alaska arc starts) onward. The last couple of episodes are a bit "and then X dies, and then Y dies", but they accomplish the rare-for-anime feat of actually making you give a damn about most of the supporting characters before wiping them out wholesale. They also take some of the focus off the sterotypically troubled teen hero and put it on adult characters, which is refreshing to anyone who isn't a 14-year-old Japanese girl.

Oh, and unlike so many other Gundam series, it got the psychology right: the good guys are almost always overwhelmed and fighting against difficult, if not impossible odds. This isn't a series like Wing or 00 where there's wholesale slaughter of overmatched mooks by the good guys to the delighted shrieks of killcount-obsessed fanboys. Because of the setup - which I'm not going to spoil - every fight is more about survival than the norm for Gundam, particularly in the first half of the series.

Plus, it's basically original Gundam mixed with Macross. Now that all the whiny "oh, they're just retelling the original series" reception from the hardcore fans is long past, it's aged very well (especially the soundtrack, which has a very John Williams-y, timeless feel to it).

Sadly, the same can't be said for its sequel, SEED Destiny, which was a haphazard attempt to continue a storyline BEFORE they abruptly came to the realisation that no one liked their new lead characters 13 episodes in.

Last edited by Sven; 07-05-2009 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:21 PM
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I absolutely loved G Gundam, but it's not really Gundam.

It seems like you've already hit most of the UC Gundam stuff, too.
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  #9  
Old 07-05-2009, 07:29 PM
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I'd like to recommend the forgotten Gundam series, After War Gundam X. It's got a good story, some kick ass mechs, and even though it's run was cut short they still managed to have a decent ending.
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2009, 09:32 PM
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The subject has popped up a few times before, but if you haven't seen Zeta, the movie trilogy isn't a bad place to start. It makes some changes(with plot holes to go with them), but overall it condenses the story pretty well. And oh god, the new animation is gorgeous, though it does make the old footage stand out that much more.

You mentioned manga; even if you've already experienced the original series, whether movies or tv, the manga version by Kazuhisa Kondo is pretty great. It makes some changes in the mobile suit/mobile armor designs and also in the plot scenarios and fight scenes, but overall it's a really good retelling of the original series. It might be tricky to find, though; either order it online or try and find it in a comic shop.

I really oughta give SEED a try one of these days...
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  #11  
Old 07-05-2009, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
As someone with very little experience or knowledge with Gundam except what gets flown overseas, I like The 08th MS Team very much.
This right here. 08th MS Team is fantastic.
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  #12  
Old 07-05-2009, 10:36 PM
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The climactic battle in episode 10 of 08th MS Team is approximately one billion times better, in every conceivable way, than any action scene in a recent movie about giant robots that I will avoid naming. It not only has great choreography, but it also has a significant amount of plot and character weight behind it. Plus, the final outcome is something that a certain director who I will avoid naming could never have the maturity and thoughtfulness to conceive of.

That sequence is one of my top candidates for the title of Greatest Giant Robot Fight of All Time.
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  #13  
Old 07-05-2009, 10:44 PM
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Can someone tell me weather or not Gundam Wing is truly the pile of crap I've always taken it to be? I've never really gotten an impression on what its place is among the fandom at large. Like a lot of tender young nerds, it was my first exposure to Gundam, and I mostly hated it. It's been nearly ten years and I don't really have a clear vision of it any more other than angsty, god-moding pretty boys and dull monologue-ing.

And Just Communication. And White Reflection.
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  #14  
Old 07-05-2009, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
Can someone tell me weather or not Gundam Wing is truly the pile of crap I've always taken it to be? I've never really gotten an impression on what its place is among the fandom at large. Like a lot of tender young nerds, it was my first exposure to Gundam, and I mostly hated it. It's been nearly ten years and I don't really have a clear vision of it any more other than angsty, god-moding pretty boys and dull monologue-ing.

And Just Communication. And White Reflection.
I absolutely despise Gundam Wing and cannot for the life of me explain why it has such a large, rabid fan-base.
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  #15  
Old 07-05-2009, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bungle700 View Post
The climactic battle in episode 10 of 08th MS Team is approximately one billion times better, in every conceivable way, than any action scene in a recent movie about giant robots that I will avoid naming.
I can't remember but was that the one where the old grunt everyone thought wasn't skilled turned out to be very skilled and stealthily took out an entire platoon? Memory is vague here.

(He caused the enemy combatants to sweat and say, "This guy is an ace!" I think.)
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
Can someone tell me weather or not Gundam Wing is truly the pile of crap I've always taken it to be? I've never really gotten an impression on what its place is among the fandom at large. Like a lot of tender young nerds, it was my first exposure to Gundam, and I mostly hated it. It's been nearly ten years and I don't really have a clear vision of it any more other than angsty, god-moding pretty boys and dull monologue-ing.

And Just Communication. And White Reflection.
Just go watch a couple of episodes The hivemind is not going to help you get a good, un-biased look at the series.

...that said, this part of the hivemind really likes Turn-A and G Gundam for entirely different reasons. Turn-A is Gundam where they stripped out most of the action and concentrated on the characters and it's great; G is Gundam where they stripped out most of the characters and message and concentrated on awesome robot action and it's great.

Crossbone is also excellent, with the usual UC mix of characters and action. Also features a likable protagonist, which is sort of rare for Gundam. And I have to throw in another vote for X, which features another likable protagonist, though I haven't finished watching it yet. 0083 is worth watching because yay gorgeous animation and Dendrobium, but that's about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven
SEED is slow to start, but gets really freaking great from about episode 30 (or whenever the Alaska arc starts) onward. The last couple of episodes are a bit "and then X dies, and then Y dies", but they accomplish the rare-for-anime feat of actually making you give a damn about most of the supporting characters before wiping them out wholesale. They also take some of the focus off the sterotypically troubled teen hero and put it on adult characters, which is refreshing to anyone who isn't a 14-year-old Japanese girl.
This is the exact opposite of every single thing I have ever heard about SEED, and the exact opposite of what I've seen of it through SRW.
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  #17  
Old 07-05-2009, 11:12 PM
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I absolutely despise Gundam Wing and cannot for the life of me explain why it has such a large, rabid fan-base.
1) Anime
2) With Pretty Boys
3) With Implied Homosexual Relationships
4) And Giant Robots
5) And It Aired On Basic Cable

It was readily available, so instead of having to buy twenty five VHS tapes at $20 a pop, they just had to tune in at 4/4:30 every afternoon.
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:43 PM
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But it has political intrigue! And a character called Treize Khushrenada. Khushrenada!
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:14 AM
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But it has political intrigue! And a character called Treize Khushrenada. Khushrenada!
It certainly has politics.

But, intrigue? Not so much.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:21 AM
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Oh look, my thread. *settles in*

Nice to see someone else who doesn't like the movies as much as the original series. I'm glad that I have a kindred spirit! Seriously though, the original series is one of my favorite pieces of sci-fi ever. That being said, here's what I can say from what I've watched:

(Going in chronological order, then series order)

The Original Series: Like I said, my favorite. Quite a few "holy shit moments" scattered throughout. Quite fond of everyone from Amuro to Sayla to Char. Even the kids manage to be endearing at times. Believe it or not, I'm also a big fan of the original animation. Tons of nostalgia to it.

08th MS Team: Very sweet at times, but the love story is... eh. Major brownie points for the fact that it stars the grunts, and that it goes further toward the realistic depiction of giant robots than usual. Good music too. The final battle (you know which one I mean) is probably one of my five favorites in all of Gundam.

War in the Pocket: Slow start, capped off by two gut-wrenching final episodes. In terms of sheer quality, I think this might be the best Gundam ever.

Gundam 0083: Kou and Keith are unbearable at the start. Kou's relationship with the girl is silly. The only thing that saves it at the start is Gatou and the GP02, and even he is a bit of a Klingon. Has a couple excellent moments though, particularly when Gatou does the old, "Solomon! I have returned!" The final battle is pretty intense, but the connections between the girl, Kou and Gatou was... um... an ass pull. Still, decent enough prequel to Zeta.

Zeta Gundam: I really, really liked Zeta. It's how a sequel should be -- it completely flips around the original, introduces new cast members, and stands extremely well on its own. The end is a classic. I'll pretend that the movies never happened.

The Zeta Gundam itself is just an excellent design, but I'm also quite partial to the Mk. II. Loses some points for everything having to do with the cyber-newtypes. Loses further points for Katz, who is a punk until the very end. Char proves that he's the real star of the Gundam saga in this show -- more's the pity that he is so completely derailed by Char's Counterattack. Emma Sheen is my second favorite franchise female (behind Sayla). Yeah, lots to love about Zeta.

Gundam ZZ: Unfortunately, this is a show that's so far been so bad that it's somehow managed to tarnish my memories of Zeta. It makes utter fools of everyone from Bright to Yazan. It has a colony with Aztec ninjas. I know it gets better but... but... I'm twenty episodes in, and I die a little more everytime I watch this show.

Char's Counterattack: Too long and poorly paced. Char comes out of nowhere -- all the sudden he's just back and fighting Amuro, like it's One Year War or something. They were practically buddies during Zeta Gundam! And didn't he and Amuro get over Lala during Zeta Gundam? This movie really drove me crazy.

(And that's all the UC Gundam I've seen so far)

Gundam Wing: Haha, so stupid, but in a fun way. I've heard that Zechs' nickname with the fans is "Low Rent Char." This show is basically a low rent version of the original show. That said, I find the pilots endearing, and the Katoki redesign of the original Wing Gundam makes it one of my favorites.

Gundam SEED: This was my first Gundam, and I really liked it at the time. Starts off as a clone of the original, but kind of finds its own voice after a while. Liked the idea of Coordinators, as opposed to Newtypes. Not sure about the designs in this one -- I think the original five (Strike, Blitz, Buster, Aegis and Duel) are my favorites in the whole SEED-verse. After that, it just gets ridiculous.

SEED Destiny: Derails SEED in every way possible. "Jesus Yamato" is born here. Also note that SEED Destiny takes place two years after SEED, but has technology equivalent to Victory Gundam (shields and wings of light). Victory Gundam took place somewhere around a hundred years after the original! The recycled plot lines, recycled mobile suits and the derailed characters just make me bitter toward this show.

Stargazer: Interesting idea, but very, very slow.

Gundam 00: The first season began with everything I want in a good sci-fi show -- intriguring premise, somewhat realistic world with somewhat realistic politics, and intriguing characters. It arguably peaked around Episode 10, when the Russian pilot launches his attack on the main character. After that, it got pretty schlocky -- characters dying for no real reason, silly mobile suit designs (the bling ship at the end of Season 1, for instance), the Trinities. Especially the Trinities. I started watching Season 2, then dropped out right around when "Mistah Bushido" was introduced. I'll pick it up again but... yeah.

And those are my thoughts on all of the shows I've seen to this point.

If I had to pick, I would say that OVAs are the best in terms of overall quality, simply because they're more compressed and focused than the series (which tend to meander).

The movies are always too long. Always.

Unicorn Gundam looks like it's going to be awesome.

And that's all for now.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bungle700 View Post
The climactic battle in episode 10 of 08th MS Team is approximately one billion times better, in every conceivable way, than any action scene in a recent movie about giant robots that I will avoid naming. It not only has great choreography, but it also has a significant amount of plot and character weight behind it. Plus, the final outcome is something that a certain director who I will avoid naming could never have the maturity and thoughtfulness to conceive of.

That sequence is one of my top candidates for the title of Greatest Giant Robot Fight of All Time.
Yes, this. It's pretty much the high point of the entire franchise to me.

08th MS Team and G Gundam are my favorites, but basically for completely different reasons. If you don't think it's hilarious that Mexico's space colony in G Gundam is shaped like a giant sombrero, then the series is probably not for you.

Turn A Gundam is just behind those two as far as my favorites go. It starts out kind of slow, but Loran is generally a pretty likeable dude and Harry Ord is the best Char since Char.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:48 AM
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If you don't think it's hilarious that Mexico's space colony in G Gundam is shaped like a giant sombrero, then the series is probably not for you.
From the sounds of it I think G Gundam was made just for me.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:51 AM
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Yes, this. It's pretty much the high point of the entire franchise to me.
I'll second that. Thinking on it, I really can't think of a better fight in any of the Gundams that I've seen. Maybe Kamille vs. Scirocco, which is pretty lofty company in my estimation.

The best part about that fight is that Norris' domination feels completely plausible. He has good tactics, moves around well, and puts on a clinic against the good guys. It takes Shiro being equally brilliant to finally bring him down, and even then Norris basically wins in the end. Just excellent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoonyGundam View Post
Turn A Gundam is just behind those two as far as my favorites go. It starts out kind of slow, but Loran is generally a pretty likeable dude and Harry Ord is the best Char since Char.
Been meaning to watch Turn A, if only because it's the "distant finale." I liked what I've seen in SRZ Alpha Gaiden and SRW Z quite a lot. Harry Ord's sunglasses are silly though.

Quote:
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If you don't think it's hilarious that Mexico's space colony in G Gundam is shaped like a giant sombrero, then the series is probably not for you.
It's a well done super robot anime, from what I've seen. Lots of over-the-top, fun attacks. That's why it's so great in SRW. Funny, my favorite thing having to do with G Gundam was not even in the series:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4qb2...eature=related

I think this fight makes both Wing and G look good. Seriously, lol.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:06 AM
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From the sounds of it I think G Gundam was made just for me.
The only caveat is that you have to watch it subbed.

Mexico's Gundam is called Spike Gundam in the dub instead of Tequila Gundam, and nobody deserves to be denied Tequila Gundam.

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Harry Ord's sunglasses are silly though.
No, your sunglasses are silly.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
I can't remember but was that the one where the old grunt everyone thought wasn't skilled turned out to be very skilled and stealthily took out an entire platoon? Memory is vague here.

(He caused the enemy combatants to sweat and say, "This guy is an ace!" I think.)
That's the one! One of the best things about the fight is that Norris is the only character in the series who qualifies as an ace pilot. Everybody else is good at their jobs, but they're still just regular folks, not the superhumans that populate most Gundam series. But then Norris makes his appearance on the battlefield, in his custom mobile suit, and you know right away - even if the main characters don't - that he's the real deal. He's probably been busting heads for longer than they've been alive, and he's got the skill to prove it.

Quote:
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I'll second that. Thinking on it, I really can't think of a better fight in any of the Gundams that I've seen. Maybe Kamille vs. Scirocco, which is pretty lofty company in my estimation.

The best part about that fight is that Norris' domination feels completely plausible. He has good tactics, moves around well, and puts on a clinic against the good guys. It takes Shiro being equally brilliant to finally bring him down, and even then Norris basically wins in the end. Just excellent.
And it good Gundam fashion, it's hard to decide who to root for during the battle. You want the main team to succeed in their goal and you don't want to see them get killed, but at the same time all Norris is doing is saving innocent lives and helping out the woman that he's sworn to protect. I wasn't sure if there was a satisfying way for the battle to end, but the eventual conclusion was perfect.

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Originally Posted by `Hrist View Post
War in the Pocket: Slow start, capped off by two gut-wrenching final episodes. In terms of sheer quality, I think this might be the best Gundam ever.
I'm a big fan of War in the Pocket as well. I think it's definitely required viewing for anyone interested in the Gundam franchise.
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  #26  
Old 07-06-2009, 05:17 AM
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Gundam Wing = Boy Band Mech Pilots

It's still the only one I've watched start to finish, because it was on Cartoon Network back when I was still way into that channel. It was an okay show if you didn't expect too much of it. It did that thing where all the characters act like they're being incredibly profound and ideological when actually the plot is paper-thin and no one's motivation makes any sense and they only make decisions based on what's going to look really cool for the next fifteen seconds. Kind of a precursor to Advent Children.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:42 AM
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Watched the first half of Zeta, and I want to see the rest quickly. It has aged rather well, and I am impressed with how the series' devotion to the "rules" of the UC universe makes for some interesting fights.

08th MS Team is fantastic, and doesn't wear out its welcome.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:05 AM
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I like me some Gundam, but so much has already been said in this thread that I don't feel I have a lot to contribute.

So far I've seen hte original movies, 0083, Wing, G, Seed, Destiny, 00, and some bits of War in the Pocket and 08th MS. On my definite "to see" list are Z (series), turn-A, and maybe X.

Oh, and then there's SD Gundam. Not the recent SD Gundam Force, which is a crappy cookie-cutter kid's show, but the late-80s to early-90s vintage paraody episodes, which are completely awesome. I wish more of them were easier to track down.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Kirin View Post
Oh, and then there's SD Gundam. Not the recent SD Gundam Force, which is a crappy cookie-cutter kid's show, but the late-80s to early-90s vintage paraody episodes, which are completely awesome. I wish more of them were easier to track down.
These include an homage to Wacky Racers, with Yazan as Dirk Dastardly. It is truely a beautiful WTF moment. I think there is like a laugh-a-lympics style episode too... Gundam is best when not taken too seriously.

Zeta is awesome but it's a huge commitment. I would suggest watching CCA directly following the original movie trilogy for maximum cohesiveness.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:58 AM
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Andrew Andrew is offline
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Gundam 00 will leave you wondering when Ali-Al is going to yell "I love you, Kashim!"
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