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  #2071  
Old 05-03-2017, 02:40 PM
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I haven't seen G-Reco, but I feel like I would have difficulty following a story where characters subtly lie to and misdirect each other when it's in another language, especially if attention isn't called to those misdirections.
I understand that hesitation/doubt, but I feel keen viewers can get by just fine w/o being fluent in Japanese language/intonations. It's just a matter of keeping track of context. Who are people talking to? Do they trust them? Do they have a reason not to tell the truth? Does this conflict with anything else they've recently said? Do what they say and what they do match up? How would I feel in this situation if I were them?

An example: Early on, the MC Bellri finds himself ostensibly as a captive on board a pirate ship. He tells his captives he wants to defect and help them, but that doesn't really make a lot of sense, and thus some viewers get confused there. Later we see him in battle actively attempting to return to his side and diffuse the fight, but circumstances keep him from doing so (his allies don't know he's piloting the robot he's in, assumes he's a bad guy, and shoots at him). You don't really need to understand Japanese intonations to get that "oh, he was probably lying to his captives earlier." It's just a matter of logical deduction from piecing everything together. Later, just so the audience knows for certain, Bellri's childhood friend asks him while they're speaking privately what's going on and Bellri confirms his intentions to her that he hasn't defected and wants to learn more about this 'enemy' by spying on them and gaining their trust.

It might be a bit much to keep track of, especially if you're just there to watch big robots hit each other, but it's not a hard task. It just takes focus and patience on part of the viewer, and a willingness to engage in the show on a different level than you'd normally have to with a silly cartoon.

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Originally Posted by Egarwaen View Post
I think a big part of it is also that Tomino has gone farther and farther into refusing to engage in military celebration, which western audiences demand.
This part always boggles my mind. Because like, I dunno what Gundam any of these fans have been watching, but that's been a core part of the franchise since forever. It's like when I read Star Trek fans on the internet say sexist or racist things and I'm like
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  #2072  
Old 05-03-2017, 03:05 PM
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G-Reco's story works a lot better if one approaches it on the macro level— keeping focus on the factions instead of the individual characters. Trying to suss out each character, their motivation and shifting loyalty can be maddening, especially since they're so briefly sketched; but if they're treated like pieces in a broader struggle, it's a lot easier to keep track of.

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This part always boggles my mind. Because like, I dunno what Gundam any of these fans have been watching, but that's been a core part of the franchise since forever. It's like when I read Star Trek fans on the internet say sexist or racist things and I'm like
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  #2073  
Old 05-03-2017, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by WisteriaHysteria View Post
It might be a bit much to keep track of, especially if you're just there to watch big robots hit each other, but it's not a hard task. It just takes focus and patience on part of the viewer, and a willingness to engage in the show on a different level than you'd normally have to with a silly cartoon.
Tomino also demands that his audience evaluate when a character's words and actions are at odds, and what that means. He does try to make this easier by having characters narrate what they think they're doing, but not why they're doing it. And some of his characters are seemingly deliberately ambiguous!

There's also the problem that this demands a good translation; I've seen bad fansubs where - based on comparing to later official subs - the fansubbers seem to have flipped the meaning of a character's line so that it "makes sense" with other lines, with the end result being that the narrative as a whole becomes incoherent. I'm pretty sure even some of the NA Bandai Entertainment releases have this problem.

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Originally Posted by WisteriaHysteria View Post
This part always boggles my mind. Because like, I dunno what Gundam any of these fans have been watching, but that's been a core part of the franchise since forever. It's like when I read Star Trek fans on the internet say sexist or racist things and I'm like
A lot of NA Gundam fans got into the franchise through 08th MS Team or 0083, which are considerably more on the side of "OOOH RAH ARMY", and the MS Gundam movies, which cut out many of the "war is dumb" subplots. In my experience, at least, a lot of the NA fandom also tends to be very invested in side-stories and supplementary works, to the point where they'll be privileged over the original source material in online fan resources. And those tend to be much more straightforwardly militaristic.

Really, you run into a lot of the same problem with Macross. It's really common to run into NA Macross fans who pine for a new Macross in the style of the original's war story framing. While I don't know how widespread it was, I saw a lot of people reacting to the Sidonia trailer along the lines of "Finally a worthy successor to Macross!"
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  #2074  
Old 05-04-2017, 08:51 AM
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Yeah, I didn't see original MS Gundam until I'd seen almost half a dozen other Gundam shows. Actually I can't entirely remember if I've seen the whole thing still... I know I've watched the compilation movies and at least some of the TV episodes, but I'm not sure if I ever went straight through. (Though at this point I've also read the novels and all of The Origin, so I've certainly gotten all those Tomino and Yasuhiko themes drilled into my head.)

Anyway, on G Reco, it's an interesting show regardless, and really the worst that can happen is you find yourself wanting to look up a faction chart if you start to lose track of who's doing what, of which plenty exist online. And man there are a lot of fascinating mecha and ship designs to stare at meanwhile... I feel like Tomino crammed in every idea he'd had over the past decade or two, which may partly explain why there's so many factions, just to have somewhere to put them all.
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  #2075  
Old 05-04-2017, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by conchobhar View Post
G-Reco's story works a lot better if one approaches it on the macro level— keeping focus on the factions instead of the individual characters. Trying to suss out each character, their motivation and shifting loyalty can be maddening, especially since they're so briefly sketched; but if they're treated like pieces in a broader struggle, it's a lot easier to keep track of.
I actually take the opposite approach to G-Reco - don't try to track the factions at all, because none of the factions exist as coherent entities. They're all big balls of dysfunctional actors with wildly differing priorities. While there's a lot of characters, there's generally only a couple who are driving the action at any given moment, so think about their history and relationships.

G-Reco's made much simpler because most of the characters have at least one motivation relating to war in a time of relative peace. Bellri wants to stop it but is secretly excited by it; Aida wants to stop it and is terrified of it. Mask wants a war because he wants to prove himself; Klim Nick wants a war because he's a thrill-seeker escaping an oppressive and overbearing parent.
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  #2076  
Old 05-05-2017, 05:29 PM
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Finished AGE a bit a go (Wow was that ever the worst ending in Gundam)

Started G-Reco and I am blown away thus far. Totally a great return to form, the animation and direction are both incredigood. Fuckin love seein Tomino
ass shit again.
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  #2077  
Old 05-07-2017, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Egarwaen View Post
A lot of NA Gundam fans got into the franchise through 08th MS Team or 0083, which are considerably more on the side of "OOOH RAH ARMY", and the MS Gundam movies, which cut out many of the "war is dumb" subplots.
0083 was for all intents and purposes my first Gundam - I got the first few VHS tapes way long ago, and even then as a dumb kid I could tell the main theme was "YO, WAR IS BAD". Pretty much every story in 0083 is about how revenge is bad and consumes people. And no military faction in 0083 comes out looking good at the end. Same with 08th MS Team. Except that one was even more about "fighting is bad!" when the main story is about two people who love each other from opposite sides of the conflict.

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Originally Posted by Egarwaen View Post
Really, you run into a lot of the same problem with Macross. It's really common to run into NA Macross fans who pine for a new Macross in the style of the original's war story framing. While I don't know how widespread it was, I saw a lot of people reacting to the Sidonia trailer along the lines of "Finally a worthy successor to Macross!"
IMO, a lot of the problem there is that those 'fans' mostly aren't Macross fans, but Robotech fans. On a side note, with that description of Sidonia, you're pretty much sealed the deal on me never ever watching it.

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Started G-Reco and I am blown away thus far. Totally a great return to form, the animation and direction are both incredigood. Fuckin love seein Tomino ass shit again.
G-Reco was the first (and probably last) time I got to watch a Tomino-thing as it aired, and I'll cherish that experience forever. Watching G-Reco week-to-week was a blast.

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I actually take the opposite approach to G-Reco - don't try to track the factions at all, because none of the factions exist as coherent entities. They're all big balls of dysfunctional actors with wildly differing priorities. While there's a lot of characters, there's generally only a couple who are driving the action at any given moment, so think about their history and relationships.

G-Reco's made much simpler because most of the characters have at least one motivation relating to war in a time of relative peace. Bellri wants to stop it but is secretly excited by it; Aida wants to stop it and is terrified of it. Mask wants a war because he wants to prove himself; Klim Nick wants a war because he's a thrill-seeker escaping an oppressive and overbearing parent.
I promote this message. You can follow the factions if you want, and everything is consistent with itself and makes sense, but that's not really the point of G-Reco?

The entire story of G-Reco is essentially Bellri/the Megafauna traveling around to all the different places and factions to try and understand who these people are and why they're itching to go to war. And it turns out, everyone's stories and motivations are not monolithic. The world is a really complicated place filled with tons of different people. You can't just easily label people as enemies, and most folks you could get along with and probably be your friend if you gave each other a chance.

Meanwhile, the primary antagonists are the antagonists because they don't see the world that way. They speak in ways that dehumanize and demean those in rival factions. And instead of trying to understand others, they invent reasons to justify their hatred of others and why they need to fight them (like Mask's rants about Bellri becoming a dictator).

The factions really aren't important, what's important for understanding the thrust of the story is that you know the principle players and what their motivations are. Especially when characters change allegiances or support multiple factions at the same time, because characters will opportunistically take advantage of whatever resources or people to further their goals - goals that likely don't even reflect the goals of their organizations.
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  #2078  
Old 05-07-2017, 03:26 PM
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While 0083 and 08th MS Team are still anti-war, they are - at a surface level - much less skeptical of the military as an institution than Tomino'a Gundams, or even the super Gundam trio (Wing/SEED/00).

Take 08th MS Team. Yeah the story is about two people on different sides who are in love, and the madness of escalation and super-weapon development. But the action is usually about elite military units doing awesome stuff, and elite soldiers being badasses. Even the core super-weapon plot is iirc resolved by "professional military is better", with a crack sniper team taking down the bespoke super-weapon. I remember that being seen as a very profound point in the NA fandom back in the day - "at last a Gundam where the pros do it right instead of being upstaged by a snotty, undisciplined kid".
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  #2079  
Old 05-08-2017, 11:42 AM
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I feel like I should clarify that I didn't view G-Reco as, like, a big epic showdown of a five-sided war. What I meant was that I found it helpful to take a step back and look at the story on a larger scale to counteract the confusion that the (in-unverise) misinformation and misdirection can bring. Knowing the greater factions— even if ever-changing due to infighting, betrayals and splits— helped me keep track of exactly who was where.
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  #2080  
Old 05-08-2017, 12:09 PM
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I remember being put off by discussions of the cheerleader thing in episode one. Did anything ever happen with that to make it do something interesting in the series? Was it central over the course of the series, or more of a one off early on?

And how is the treatment of women in G-Reco more broadly, outside of the cheerleader thing?

Because it's a Tomino show, I imagine it's operating on like a thousand different contradictions smashing into each other endless at a full force. So it's definitely within the realm of imagination that there could be a weird cheerleader culture but also interesting women in the show. I've been curious about this since discussion about the first episode mentioned this a lot, but I don't think I heard it brought up much in the broader context of the show.

(I'll watch eventually regardless, I'm just curious about this...)
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  #2081  
Old 05-08-2017, 12:11 PM
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The cheerleaders thing was only really relevant to establish two characters; Bellri's equivalent of Fraw Bo (sp?) and Mask's underling/love interest. I think the leftovers only show up in a few reaction shots for Capital Tower after the first few episodes.
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  #2082  
Old 05-08-2017, 12:30 PM
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And how is the treatment of women in G-Reco more broadly, outside of the cheerleader thing?
It has some problems and some high spots.

Aida is notably bad; Tomino's said that he envisioned her as being both a princess character and Cahill's lover; the production staff said that having an older lover made her a terrible princess and he couldn't push past that. So she just kind of goes nowhere.

On the other hand, there's a lot of characters who are just women and it isn't a big deal - Mick Jack, for example. Or Steer, the aptly-named helmswoman of the megafauna. Bellri's mom is a smart and competent politician. And I actually really like Noredo Nug and Manny Ambassada's character arcs; while they start as cheerleaders, I feel like their stories are about not just being cheerleaders for the boys.
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  #2083  
Old 05-08-2017, 12:44 PM
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Nice, I'm glad to hear all of that.
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  #2084  
Old 05-08-2017, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Egarwaen View Post
Bellri's mom is a smart and competent politician.
Wilmit is also the rare mom character who survives.

Raraiya is also pretty good; once she regains her mental faculties, she's one of the best pilots in the show, and not just as Bellri's support.
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  #2085  
Old 05-08-2017, 02:17 PM
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I remember being put off by discussions of the cheerleader thing in episode one. Did anything ever happen with that to make it do something interesting in the series? Was it central over the course of the series, or more of a one off early on?

And how is the treatment of women in G-Reco more broadly, outside of the cheerleader thing?
The troop of cheerleaders really only exists to give context to the setting. In the beginning, the MC Bellri and one of the primary antagonists Mask both hail from a psudo-military training organization that pumps out officers for their region/faction's self-defense/security organization. The cheerleaders are really only there to visually demonstrate that this organization is mostly academic, light-hearted, and not overly militaristic. But when international tensions ratchet up, and all involved factions begin positioning themselves for war, this organization goes full-fascist and any hint that the cheerleaders were even there to begin with disappears.

Personally, I think G-Reco's treatment of women is excellent. Prominent women occupy all positions of authority and expertise throughout the show. Their agency and their abilities are never questioned on the basis of gender. And in fact, if there is a gender bias in the show, it's against men. Most of the bad actors or agitators for war are men in the show, and it's largely the women who are left as the rational minds to pick up the pieces once the men die/are sidelined. Most of the Megafauna's (this show's White Base) noteworthy crew are women, and the ship is commanded by a woman. And I really enjoyed the fact that in the final battle, Bellri is off having a duel with Mask that largely just amounts to a stalemate, meanwhile it's the female pilots of the Megafauna that actually do all the heavy lifting of ending the conflict and taking command of the battle/organizing the aftermath. There's some individual aspects here or there that might appear to be problematic at first glance, but in the big picture it's usually balanced out or there's a rational reason for it. (Example: I didn't like Manny's character arc at all, but it's balanced out by men doing the same putting-blinders-on-for-love kind of thing, so it's not like she's just being a silly hormonal woman.)

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Originally Posted by Egarwaen View Post
It has some problems and some high spots.

Aida is notably bad; Tomino's said that he envisioned her as being both a princess character and Cahill's lover; the production staff said that having an older lover made her a terrible princess and he couldn't push past that. So she just kind of goes nowhere.
I honestly really liked Aida, thought that she had a tremendous character arc, and find that anecdote from Tomino about her character to be kinda meaningless. In the beginning, it appears that she starts out as this enigmatic potential love interest for Bellri. And Bellri pines for her though most of the show. It's easy for the viewer to get sucked into Bellri's POV and feelings there. But then there's a series of character revelations where it not just turns out that Aida and Bellri are secret siblings, creating the obvious incest problem, but the fact that Aida has secretly resented Bellri the entire time because Bellri was responsible for the death of her lover at the beginning of the show. And it's kind of a powerful moment where the MC has to deal with the fact that he never considered her perspective and feelings and agency. He was never going to get the girl and he takes it hard for a while, but eventually he comes to terms with it, and the two build a functional and meaningful relationship as siblings. And Aida, through her travels and experiences on the Megafauna, and basically being forced to spend time with her lover's killer, as well as spending the whole show interacting with people from all different walks of life through all the various factions, grows as a character to see and value the perspectives of others and becomes a competent and stately leader as opposed to the kinda spoiled princess she was in the beginning. There's a point towards the end where Aida grows to the point where she forgives Bellri, and tells him he shouldn't carry the weight of being Cahill's killer - a fact that visibly and increasingly stresses him out while in battle - and it's a beautiful, cathartic moment for the two siblings that I really enjoyed.

Last edited by WisteriaHysteria; 05-08-2017 at 02:29 PM.
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  #2086  
Old 05-08-2017, 02:18 PM
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Raraiya is also pretty good; once she regains her mental faculties, she's one of the best pilots in the show, and not just as Bellri's support.
Yeah, I was pleased she eventually came into her own, at least. Having her with this ridiculous infantilized personality (due to temporary cognitive issues brought on by low oxygen exposure, which seemed a little suspect though I'm no expert) for the first half of the show was one of the more grating elements, for me.
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  #2087  
Old 05-08-2017, 02:27 PM
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Most of the bad actors or agitators for war are men in the show, and it's largely the women who are left as the rational minds to pick up the pieces once the men die/are sidelined.
I'd disagree with this; I think this style of writing falls into the "nice girls" trap. I think G-Reco manages to avoid it; there are women who are among the warmongers as well, including Mashner, Flaminia, and about half the G-IT pilots.
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  #2088  
Old 05-08-2017, 02:36 PM
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I'd disagree with this; I think this style of writing falls into the "nice girls" trap. I think G-Reco manages to avoid it; there are women who are among the warmongers as well, including Mashner, Flaminia, and about half the G-IT pilots.
The only character there you quoted that's truly a warmonger was Mashner, and she bites the dust along with anyone else who is truly a warmonger in the show. On the other end, Flaminia and the G-IT pilots side with the "We're going to war!" factions, but not because they're irrational actors hell-bent on warfare. They're either duped into conflict through their loyalties, or are operating on incomplete information. Both of those two you list rationally lay down their weapons and come to peaceful, amicable terms at the end of the show rather than being beaten into submission.
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:53 PM
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The only character there you quoted that's truly a warmonger was Mashner, and she bites the dust along with anyone else who is truly a warmonger in the show. On the other end, Flaminia and the G-IT pilots side with the "We're going to war!" factions, but not because they're irrational actors hell-bent on warfare. They're either duped into conflict through their loyalties, or are operating on incomplete information. Both of those two you list rationally lay down their weapons and come to peaceful, amicable terms at the end of the show rather than being beaten into submission.
I'd also missed counting Barara.

My point was that G-Reco isn't "women are inherently peaceful and in touch with their emotions and thus better" - that's just as sexist a trope as "women are here for T&A", but it's also one that G-Reco avoids. Barara and Mashner are both as hell-bent on war as any of the men; Mashner because she's seeking accolades and advancement, Barara because she's got the hots for Mask and... It's hard to say beyond that, since she seems to be a deliberate cypher?

I also disagree on Flaminia and the G-IT pilots; Chickara is unwilling to give up on her ideals of advancement through conflict, and dies for it, and while Kun does lay down her weapons, my read was that she does so because she knows Bellri will kill her if she fights him, not because of any revelation or reevaluation. Flaminia, likewise, never reevaluates her decision that war is an acceptable means. There's just no-one left who's willing to fight for her ends.
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  #2090  
Old 05-08-2017, 03:28 PM
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I wouldn't say that's just as sexist, but it's a different kind of sexism. And like I said before, there's examples of everyone doing everything, so it's not like the show falls for that pitfall, but by and large, the show respects its female characters and their abilities/agency.

Your description of Barara is really why I dislike that entire storyline between her, Mask, and Manny. However, they're the antagonists, so it doesn't really make sense to hold them to some lofty moral standards.

My reading of the G-IT Corps - you have a group of people who really bought into their leader's jingoistic mentality. So when he died prematurely, they did their best to carry on his will, but they lacked hotheadedness and innate desire for conflict. I rewatched the ending not so long ago, and Chikara isn't any more or less prone to fighting, she's just a tragic war casualty, the same as Aida's father. And Kun, she doesn't lay down her weapons for fear of her own life, Bellri's conversation with her and his refusal to fight violently convinces her that they want peace and that the G-IT Corp doesn't have to fight to get what it wants. I think it's pretty telling after the battle, Kun muses to herself how she wishes her dead paramour had known how good/nice the people of Earth were. Flaminia is a little hard to decipher because there honestly isn't enough info about her. But IIRC when she does a heel-turn, she admits she's terrified of the combat potential of the G-Self and of Earthnoids, and her motivations are defensive in nature, versus someone like Kumpa who was racist and seemed bent on ethnic cleansing. IMO she's like a reverse Bellri, where when Bellri learns about and empathizes with his 'enemies' while living among them, he grows to trust them, where as she isn't able to shake off her suspicions and distrust until after the show's resolution. The ending demonstrates that everyone is on good terms at the end, and that she's obviously more or less came around that these people she hung out with for a while are indeed acting in good faith and that she doesn't need to be scared of their intentions or capacity for violence.
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  #2091  
Old 05-08-2017, 05:49 PM
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The treatment of women is way better in Reconguista than most Gundam.

In AGE it's horrible. There is only one or two women whose character arcs aren't tied up with a man. The love interests especially were grafflebags.
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  #2092  
Old 05-26-2017, 05:55 PM
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I started watching Zeta Gundam for the first time. I've watched up to episode 13 so far, which— glancing at the compilation movies for a second— seems to be the end of the first act (the assault on Jaburo).

I know it's not an original observation, but it's really fascinating to see the very first Gundam sequel be so bold. The Federation are the villains now, having grown more oppressive and adopted Zeon's tactics and weaponry in the intervening years, and the heroes are the scrappy resistance. The original cast is regulated to drive-by cameos, with the sole exception placed in an entirely different role. Char's face turn isn't surprising, he's a breakout character after all, but the lengths they went to remold him— new name, new role, new mech— is.

Zeta's tonal shift is a welcome development. Though hardly dour (and certainly not lacking in humour), it feels a bit less silly, a bit more grounded, a bit more serious. The change is best reflected in the battles: the various mechs are fairly evenly matched, there's considerably fewer cannon fodder around, and pilots are less tied to a single mech. Even Kamille's Gundam is one of three identical units, and despite all his skill, is regularly troubled by Hizacks. It all feels more appropriate to the setting and story.

Kamille's an interesting protagonist. He's basically Amuro cranked up to eleven; where Amuro was basically a good kid, Kamille is a brat. He's petty, jealous, wishy-washy, impulsive, violent and just childish in every possible way. It can make him frustrating to watch, but it also means he's extremely unpredictable, in a good way. He's a much better centre for a story, I think, especially since Kamille's childishness allows Quattro to fit into a benevolent mentor role.

Kamille's rivalry with Jerid is a real highlight. It starts over something so petty it's unbelievable, and then as the show progresses it barely as a rivalry: Kamille outmatches him from the get-go and barely thinks anything of him, and Jerid just spends the whole time losing more and more standing as the series goes on. It's such a sharp contrast to MSG, where despite the personal animosity, Amuro and Char ultimately seemed to have a grudging respect for one another. But there's nothing between Kamille and Jerid; no respect, no match, no care. It's completely pointless, which makes it poignant but also hilarious. I love it.

PS: People get slapped/punched/kicked a lot in this show. Not even gently! Kamille just punched Quattro so hard that he shed tears before slamming into the wall and crumpling. Like, damn, dude.
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  #2093  
Old 06-17-2017, 03:33 AM
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I really didn't like Zeta when I watched it and as much as I liked a lot of the concepts and the overall plot I found that, moment to moment, the characterization was inconsistent and it was always a bit too melodramatic. Aesthetically it's GREAT.

Build Fighter is like the best commercial. I am going to buy a Gunpla now lmao.

Build Fighter Try is a less good commercial, but that's okay. It doesn't have a great supporting cast like BF and it's triple protagonist thang means it can't really focus on anybody else both of which don't let it reach the same levels of stupid greatness that BF does.
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  #2094  
Old 06-17-2017, 06:19 PM
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The original Gundam didn't click with me when I watched the movie trilogy, but I read The Origin over the past few months and I can't recommend it enough. I have to agree with the consensus that it's one of the best things associated with Gundam out there. I hadn't read anything by Yasuhiko Yoshikazu before, but apparently he primarily writes manga based on historical events, and that really came through in his adaptation of this material.

Sometimes the Char flashback material felt a little underbaked, at times, compared to the adaptation of what was in the show. In one of the essays in the collection, he writes about the reason he wrote the flashback material at all, and he says it's all because of Tachi. In the Ramba Ral/Hamon section, he introduced a minor character called Tachi, and he started to wonder about the relationship between the three of them. And so all because he wanted to tell the story of this random walk on minor character, everyone ended up getting 1200 pages of Char, Sayla, and Zabi backstory, where Tachi is still only an incidental character floating in the background.

Anway, The Origin was so good it kind of makes me want to give the original series another try, maybe with the TV episodes instead of the trilogy. I read a comparison chart that talks about some plot elements and how they differ in TV/Movie Trilogy/The Origin, and it seems like the movie trilogy cuts a lot of what were I found were memorable moments that made the minor characters stand out. Maybe that will work for me better than the movies...
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  #2095  
Old 06-18-2017, 10:10 AM
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Having consumed four+ different versions of original Gundam at this point (including the novels, plus a bunch of video game versions that don't really count), I'm definitely in the camp thinking The Origin is the most enjoyable and memorable version. But they all have something to offer. And it's admittedly been ages since I've watched any of the TV series at this point.
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  #2096  
Old 06-23-2017, 10:49 AM
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Zeta is pretty tops, but it's nowhere near as good as ZZ.

I've only read chunks of The Origin and watched the OVAs, but from my exposure to it I prefer the TV show. The comic and OVAs sure are pretty, but a lot of the stuff it expands on or recontextualizes are either unnecessary or change things in ways I don't like. And the pacing of the show is excellent (well, up until the last 3 or so episodes).

The first episode of the Twilight Axis webisode thing is up and...



It sure is... something...
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  #2097  
Old 06-23-2017, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WisteriaHysteria View Post
I've only read chunks of The Origin and watched the OVAs
The animation adapts the worst part of the comic, and the pacing comic works as a total work rather than in fragments.
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  #2098  
Old 06-23-2017, 04:00 PM
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Oh right, I forgot the Origin OVAs, so five versions I guess. Except they're mostly only animating stuff that wasn't in the original series so it doesn't really overlap like the rest.

But anyway, yeah, the Origin OVAs are very pretty but the pacing they ended up with is atrocious.
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  #2099  
Old 06-23-2017, 06:48 PM
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I finished Zeta Gundam. Damn, what a show. I loved it. Thoughts below:

The show sags a bit in the middle, as it gets too caught up in Amuro's story, or starts revisiting concepts (Four's return and re-death), but the introduction of Axis Zeon is a real shot in the arm. Suddenly, there's a new, complicating dimension to the post-MSG political landscape, with immediate consequences in the Gryps War. Watching both the AEUG and the Titans jockey for an alliance, as Axis gleefully plays them off each other for their own ends is great and really breathes new life into what was a static conflict.

I like that, even five episodes out from the end, each side is holding firm and it's not entirely clear how the war will resolve— right up until the Titans are decapitated and left in a state of confusion and chaos, and suddenly all bets are off. The last two episodes feature the disorganized Titans rallying a desperate defence; a tired AEUG trying to deliver the final blow; and a scheming Axis still playing the two off each other to come out ahead; and are appropriately chaotic. The scale of the battle, the ever-changing duels, and the sheer death and destruction is exciting and all kinds of brutal.

The finale is filled with great moments, but what stood out the most was the Quattro–Haman–Scirocco battle in the Colony Laser, and the subsequent standoff in the theatre (joined by Kamille, then Fa), which is really a great encapsulation of the chaotic nature of it all. Also great (but on a different level) was Jerid getting his ultimate comeupperance in the most hilariously pathetic way— literal seconds after talking tough— and it passing with barely any recognition from Kamille. I've said before that I love Jerid for being the ultimate deconstruction of the archrival, and this proves it.

I do have a couple of problems with the show, though.

As far as the plot goes, Scirocco is a bad antagonist. He's sort of a Char figure, a member of the villainous group who has his own, self-centred agenda; but unlike Char, nothing really comes of it. Scirocco's goal is simply to take over the world, which isn't a very interesting motive to hang over the show for so long, but he also never comes close to pulling it off— he usurps control of the Titans, but so late it doesn't make any difference. And because he's not much of a pilot, he doesn't interact with or even impact the main cast much, so the personal connection just isn't there. I think his showdown with Kamille is, like, the second or third time they've met? It's a bit limp, for a final battle. At least they make up for it with a spectacular death.

More broadly, the show has a problem with its women. Now, I know this is an 80s show, so I wasn't expecting something progressive and feminist here, but even within that context it's pretty bad. Zeta continually and consistently portrays its female characters as motivated primarily by love, or as unstable and emotional (due to brainwashing and manipulation, admittedly, but the men in similar circumstances don't suffer this fate), and often both. Sure, sometimes it's done well enough (Four), but Zeta returns to this well time and time again, with worse results every time: Reccoa's character is completely derailed, and Rosammy is a particularly outlandish rehash of Four. The only character to escape this is Emma, and it's no coincidence she's one of the best characters in the show.


With Zeta finished, I'm unsure what to watch next, since there's three possible follow-ups: Gundam ZZ, Char's Counterattack and Stardust Memory. I assume ZZ is a better choice than CCA, but I hear conflicting opinions on this. But I'm mostly curious about SM, since it goes back and expands upon the Titans. Could I watch SM now, or does it assume knowledge of (and spoil) ZZ?

Truthfully, I'm a bit reluctant to dive into another 50-episode series so soon, so it would be nice to watch something on the shorter side… but if ZZ is the best option, then that's the way I'll go.

Last edited by conchobhar; 06-23-2017 at 09:39 PM.
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  #2100  
Old 06-23-2017, 10:01 PM
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Mightyblue Mightyblue is offline
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Stardust Memories takes place before Zeta, and details the events that start the Titans. 0083 instead of 0087.
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