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  #2431  
Old 11-21-2018, 06:14 PM
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I'm honestly more interested in seeing NT (which is probably a pile of wankery, but very pretty wankery) than most of the other newly-announced stuff. Except more Build Fighters, that's always good silly fun.

Crossbone and Moon definitely interest me, though, if they actually manage to keep this up long enough to make them.
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  #2432  
Old 11-21-2018, 06:58 PM
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I could fuckin' use some decent Gundam in my life so here's hoping. The Tomino stuff will at least be pretty good and G-Reco is easily a top Gundam for me (Turn-A, G-Reco, G Gundam) so I'm always down.

Goddamn. Gundam. Love that shit. Hate that shit. But, no matter what, I'm gonna watch that shit
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  #2433  
Old 11-21-2018, 07:07 PM
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Crossbone's been showing up in all the SRW games lately, so that's more a question of when than if. Formula Wars is more of a OAV situation like Thunderbolt methinks, and Moon Gundam hasn't been running long enough to say.
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  #2434  
Old 11-21-2018, 09:51 PM
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Moon Gundam hasn't been running long enough to say.
It's about 2 volumes deep right now. I've only read about half (scanlators are a bit behind on the project) but Bandai seems to be pushing it pretty hard. It's on the cover of every Gundam Ace, and they just released a very high quality HG of the titular Moon Gundam - something that's not often done for Gundam manga this soon. (Beautiful gunpla, btw. I wish I had one.) The staff they have working on the manga tells me they've got Bandai's full support behind. The manga is going at a fairly leisurely pace, so who knows how long it'll take until it gets an adaptation, could easily be several years, but it's 10000% being made with every intention to make it into a Unicorn-style OVA series.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:22 AM
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New trailer for Gundam NT:

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  #2436  
Old 11-28-2018, 10:17 AM
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Is that a flashback or have they really still not figured out a reliable way to keep people from dropping fucking colonies. You'd think by this point.

Anyway, this still looks like yet another rehash of all the same old UC plot beats all over again, but it'll be pretty.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:50 PM
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Probably a flashback.

That NT trailer seems to ask the question, “Is it too early to milk Unicorn nostalgia?” To which it immediately answers, “I dunno but let’s find out!”
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  #2438  
Old 11-30-2018, 12:27 AM
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I wrote way too much about Gundam today, just to get some thoughts in order. This is train of thought-y and not well organized (Also not spell checked) but figured it could do some good here:

Gundam, in its initial incarnations under the creative mind of Yoshiyuki Tomino, focuses on the horror of war. Constantly towing the line between being a product to be sold and thus idolizing war to some extent and also vociferously criticizing war the original Gundam series’ are real neat to look at. The criticism of war shines through on two fronts. 

First, a disconnect between politicians/military leaders and the civilians/soldiers under them. The first series, Gundam 0079, focuses especially on this with a number of children thrust into war based on circumstances outside of their control. This theme is also manifested in a broader criticism of adults making decisions for others without understanding their circumstances. The protagonists of Gundam being children is important and pointed: children are empathetic, loving and feeling by nature and this is grinded down by war. As an allegory, I read this relationship as a to people on a broader scale NOT to lose their hearts (Their childhood innocence) to imposed rules, orders and expectations. Its a repudiation of an unfeeling, rationalist and, more broadly, utilitarian social formation. Literally, the common phrase in Gundam, to describe someone as “weighed down by the Earth’s gravity,” is to criticize their anchorage to the rational and to the real rather than the felt and imaginative. 

(Soooooo much to go into if we start talking about the meaning of space in Gundam and about Newtypes (And their weaponization) but that’s for another day.)

Second, this disconnect between decision makers and who they impact is shown to have traumatic effects on the characters in the world. This is fairly tame in Gundam 0079 but in its sequel Zeta Gundam and later series like Victory Gundam the trauma and horror comes to forefront (other Tomino works like Space Runaway Ideon, too). Tomino is an expert at infusing his world’s characters with and gentle humanity (Will talk more about this later) which is VERY deliberate to the effect that the perversion of their persons under the influence of war become traumatic for the viewer, too. Tomino, while making the darker of these works, I’m pretty damn sure was very depressed. 

Without getting into too much detail, Tomino’s early Gundam typically starts light hearted, as we follow the perspective of the child protagonists, to slowly become darker and darker and as war traumatizes them. The evil is revealed to be the inhumane decision makers and people who could potentially be friends or lovers are forced to fight and kill one another. Evil is always present in the executive decision makers (Tomino really rails against politicians in Gundam) while the pawns and both sides are humanized. The horror of war is explored through the trauma of the characters. This is the basic format: early Tomino Gundam shows that war is wrong through exposing the Horrors of the War. Importantly, these works are aimed at a young audience which, honestly, only further cements their importance as an antidote to the many, many works which only serve to glorify war or very limply deal with the evils of war in a handwave-y manner before gettin’ back to the killing.


(Tomino also has criticisms of technology in his works. The basics are such: the inhumanity and scale of war is enabled by the further development of war machines. All of his series have an ambivalent relationship with the titular mecha: both the heroic Gundam and the White Devil. But this ain’t the focus here.)



But, and now I can talk about what I’m here to talk about, Tomino very distinctly changes his focus later on. While Gundam 0079, Zeta Gundam, Victory Gundam and Gundam F91 focus on the Horrors of War through the method described above his later works focus on the Absurdity of War (ZZ Gundam fits in a middle space between these and is weird). Tomino is one of my all time favourite directors, and its these later works that make it so (Turn-A Gundam and Gundam Reconguista in G).



What is the distinction here? War is shown as pointless in his older works, but ultimately as a horrifying and tragic thing. His later works don’t shy away from trauma and horror but the focus is distinctly on making war into something ridiculous. I’m going to focus on Turn-A for a bit, as it is Tomino’s best work in my view:

War is absurd in Turn-A Gundam because of the humanity you see across the entire cast. Both the Earth people and the Moon race are given lots of screen time and the characters on both ends are shown as both their very formal, projected selves and in their casual, off guard selves. I really want to drive home Tomino’s use of comedy here. Nobody is immune to embarrassment from the highest political leader, to the protagonist, to stoic rivals. Slapstick comedy is used to drive home the humanity of the cast, despite the conflict going on. A cartooniness that really makes use of how expressive animation can be makes this comedy shine. Tender, beautiful moments between characters show the humanity of the cast. Comfiness is also a huge part of Turn-A, the moments of chilling between conflicts where characters develop inside jokes and we as an audience are drawn into these relationships. This is where Tomino as a director shines, for me. The focus is on small character ticks, embodied through a cartoony physicality as different characters move and embody the world in their unique ways.



Another point on comedy, the people of Earth in their unfamiliarity with technology are unable to properly fight with the robots they unearth in the conflict. They don’t have weapons and fight their opponents by throwing bombs with their mobile suits and otherwise improvising solutions. Fights themselves, generally at a small scale in Turn-A, are also funny things. Rarely are the factions aiming to kill each other, instead they’re just trying to project force. This is contrasted very well with the conflicts in the show that are of a large scale (E.g, a city being destroyed indiscriminately by enemies, or when the apocalyptic conflict that occurred before the show is shown) which ARE shown to be horrifying. But the stupid, little clashes which make up most of Turn-As fights are simply driven by ego and, having the whole picture, become things of irony for the viewer. War is absurd in Turn-A.


The antagonists in Turn-A being given their humanity, which is not always the case in older Gundam, shifts the role of villains significantly. Evil in Gundam, I propose, is based in selfishness and desire (Almost a Buddhist understanding of attachment causing ignorance, greed and envy for those who are familiar). While in older Gundam the selfishness and self righteousness of villains is typically portrayed as a monstrous thing, in Turn-A this is a shown as a small and petty thing. Gym is the main antagonist because he refuses to listen to others and idealizes war; Guin Rhineford is the other main antagonist because of his personal ambition. Gym in particular is a horrifying, brutal militarist but his whole character (His samurai aesthetic is a pointed criticism of Japanese militarism) is a ridiculous anachronism which is used to strong comedic effect. This is contrasted to the selflessness of the protagonist Loran who at the end of the show returns to being a humble servant, satisfied with living in nature fulfilling his duty for someone he loves. Ambition for the self is a foolish thing in Turn-A Gundam (Gavin Gooney dies from personal ambition, Corin Nander almost dies from it and only finds peace as a monk who renounces Earthly attachments, Poe Aijee is easily manipulated by her own personal ambition, etc). I term it foolish because it’s made not just be wrongheaded but actively embarrassing, Poe Aijee is a great example of this as her ego is such that she cries like a baby after losing a battle, Gym’s over the top militarism is meant to make the audience laugh, etc. The self-centred egos of the antagonists is a funny thing in Turn-A but equally its a destructive thing. THAT is the absurdity of war; ego and delusions of grandeur blind you to the people around you and prevent you from enjoying life.



The show’s themes are a bit more optimistic then old Gundam. This is shown in the basic set up: essentially the people of the moon had cryogenically frozen a number of people from the older generations (Gym, the villain is of this cohort). The warriors of the past are anachronisms in Turn-A Gundam. This serves a couple of functions: 1) War is a part of history which must be acknowledge and can’t be buried. This theme is doubly reinforced with Earth and its ancient weapons buried underground after the apocalyptic conflict which made the Moon race leave the planet in the first place. Made in 1999, I see this a pressing message to the Japanese youth now liable to forget about Japan’s imperialist past and the horrors the country experienced in World War II. Once again, the antagonist Gym being a caricature of a samurai really points this out. War and its history has to be addressed. 2) Humanity does indeed move forward, and there is hope in the new generation. This is shown through the main character Loran and the other members of the Moon race sent ahead as scouts who successfully gain an understanding of and empathy for both Moon and Earth’s people. 2) War is caused by miscommunication and this miscommunication is caused by the blindness of ego. This is explained above. Further, I think this show has strong Buddhist themes and imagery (will get into one day) and seems to criticize undue attachment more broadly (Loran is the hero because of his fluidity, openness and compassion).



Finally, Turn-A Gundam serves as a sequel to all other Gundam series, taking place far in the future. The weapons unearthed are the mobile suits of earlier Gundam series and these weapons are used paying no attention to the symbolic meaning ascribed to them in earlier Gundam series (This, once again, is to demonstrate the absurdity and it creates a lot of funny irony for viewers knowledgable on older series). I believe that the purpose of this show being a conclusion to all previous Gundam in terms of continuity is to serve as Tomino’s most forceful anti-war argument and, in a way, to argue against the almost self absorbed melodrama of earlier Gundam. Turn-A approaches its themes with irony but also with a sincere love for its characters. This is the key point, I think, in how Tomino exposes the Absurdity of War. It’s in the irony of the approach, as the viewers know more than the characters in the show do and thus the ridiculousness of their actions is made clear. I also think that Turn-A is like an antithesis to other mecha shows like Eva that veer into the self absorbed to an extreme (Important too that it is Tomino’s earlier work that paved the way for things like Eva). I think I’d like to write more seriously about this point later, or the issues with “Sad Boy/Edgy Boy Shit” and how they can actually be pretty dangerous in justifying bad behaviours.


I didn’t touch on Turn-As approach to trauma, which is super well done in my view, and kind of ties into a lot here.

Briefly on Reconguista:
 Reconguista is a show about incomplete information. In the first episode, the main character, Bellri, who is a cadet for a military force, ends up having to fight off an attack by pirates. During this attack his communications are cut off, the viewer is equally disoriented, and he has to make the best call he can given the circumstances. This encapsulates one of the show’s main themes very well, that being conflict is caused by the obstruction of communication. Rather than follow the political struggle and war more broadly like earlier series, Reconguista takes the form of an odyssey as we follow the protagonists as they travel to each faction respectively. During this process, the larger political conflict occurs in the background away from the viewer’s eyes. In this way, each faction is given a certain humanity as their motives are explicated but the specific conflicts themselves are obfuscated. The goals of the main character’s are to figure out how to orient themselves in this conflict, and we as viewers are taken along and made to question what the very point of the conflict is. This is a very different approach to irony, as the viewer is largely drawn into the limited perspective of the characters rather than having a backseat view of the full scope of the conflict. It’s unfortunate the show couldn’t be a full 50 episodes and that fans didn’t like it (Generally criticized as being disorientating, which is the whole point).
These are just some scattered, non-proof read thoughts. The irony and absurdity in Turn-A Gundam is one of my favourite things, honestly, and is why its one of my favourite shows. Tomino is a fascinating director who really leaves his own personal mark in his works.
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  #2439  
Old 11-30-2018, 12:07 PM
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I think that's all really astute, Galadrome, and I loved reading it!

I feel like a secondary reason why Tomino has shifted to highlighting the ridiculousness of war - the inflated, pompous buffoonery of hawks, the clownish self-importance of aces, how ineffective and flailing the whole affair is - is because it's harder to misinterpret than his older style. I'm sure we've all seen the "Cool giant robot" meme; you could extend that to "fascism is bad / what snazzy uniforms" and so on. My exposure's limited but I feel like you really don't see that misinterpretation as much for Turn A, or G-Reco, or even King Gainer

(Aside: have you watched King Gainer? If you haven't, watch King Gainer, because it is so, so in line with everything you're saying here)

and as a result they're much less popular. It's one of the reasons I love Klim Nick in particular.

While it's not your main point, I also wanted to go back to what you said about how Tomino infuses his characters with humanity. I watched Victory with my partner this year, and one of the things she noted was that yeah everyone dies. But the most brutal gut-punches for her were the ordinary folks who bought into the whole Zanscare thing and aligned themselves with these murderous space fascists, who spend the entire series standing in the middle of a bloody slaughter agonizing about why they're fighting children, or wondering how they got here when they just wanted a quiet cabin in the woods. It's a really insightful way of communicating the contagious corruption of fascism - these individual traumas are tragic, but they're also unavoidable because these people chose to seek their ends through support of violent tyranny. It's on them to find another way, but that's hard; much easier to blame your enemies or become a fanatic. But near the very end of the series, Uso does finally manage to convince the wife of a Zanscare soldier who he'd killed that she needs to get the fuck out; that it's on her to break her complicity in the empire's crimes. I mean, the fact that her own side starts indiscriminately bombarding her city helps, but still.
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  #2440  
Old 11-30-2018, 07:11 PM
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Yeah, that was a lot of good analysis. And also I really need to get around to watching my DVDs of Turn-A.
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  #2441  
Old 11-30-2018, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Egarwaen View Post
I think that's all really astute, Galadrome, and I loved reading it!

I feel like a secondary reason why Tomino has shifted to highlighting the ridiculousness of war - the inflated, pompous buffoonery of hawks, the clownish self-importance of aces, how ineffective and flailing the whole affair is - is because it's harder to misinterpret than his older style. I'm sure we've all seen the "Cool giant robot" meme; you could extend that to "fascism is bad / what snazzy uniforms" and so on. My exposure's limited but I feel like you really don't see that misinterpretation as much for Turn A, or G-Reco, or even King Gainer

(Aside: have you watched King Gainer? If you haven't, watch King Gainer, because it is so, so in line with everything you're saying here)

and as a result they're much less popular. It's one of the reasons I love Klim Nick in particular.

While it's not your main point, I also wanted to go back to what you said about how Tomino infuses his characters with humanity. I watched Victory with my partner this year, and one of the things she noted was that yeah everyone dies. But the most brutal gut-punches for her were the ordinary folks who bought into the whole Zanscare thing and aligned themselves with these murderous space fascists, who spend the entire series standing in the middle of a bloody slaughter agonizing about why they're fighting children, or wondering how they got here when they just wanted a quiet cabin in the woods. It's a really insightful way of communicating the contagious corruption of fascism - these individual traumas are tragic, but they're also unavoidable because these people chose to seek their ends through support of violent tyranny. It's on them to find another way, but that's hard; much easier to blame your enemies or become a fanatic. But near the very end of the series, Uso does finally manage to convince the wife of a Zanscare soldier who he'd killed that she needs to get the fuck out; that it's on her to break her complicity in the empire's crimes. I mean, the fact that her own side starts indiscriminately bombarding her city helps, but still.
I have seen Gainer and really enjoyed it! Especially that OP. I just was already mentioning a million things, haha.

All good points regarding Victory. It's been a while since I watched it and it seems that your points on the "contagious corruption of fascism" are really on the money. I hadn't really articulated Tomino Gundam's distinct anti-fascisim appropriately despite that being woven right into Gundam since its inception. Victory's use of the Zanscare Empire is certainly pointed. I think Victory is really underrated, honestly. A little bit weird (It's almost weird in that it isn't too weird) but I really like it.
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  #2442  
Old 11-30-2018, 10:10 PM
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I also appreciated your thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to write that up.

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Originally Posted by Galadrome View Post
I think Victory is really underrated, honestly.
I agree with this. I think that Victory is a really strong Gundam show.

For a long time before watching it all I ever heard anyone talk about was that one scene with Uso in the bath*. And yeah that scene is uhhhh not great and I can understand why someone might not want to watch a show with that content. If someone has a real serious objection to watching that, I understand. But at the same time, I think it became a kind of reductive way to dismiss the entire thing just in general.

*Or occasionally jokes about big wheels, which, yeah, okay, I get that.
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:20 AM
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Phew! Those are some words! I loved reading every single one. I don't totally agree with everything you wrote Galadrome. But that's ok!

Re: Horrors of war vs absurdity of war - that's an interesting take. I like it, it's not really something I'd considered previously. I'd probably spent less time in the past analyzing how he presents war as bad, and more on his takes of why wars happen to begin with. Tomino's works all deal with warfare, and more abstractly interpersonal conflict, in a way that (by my eyes) feels instructive. As a man who was born a month before Pearl Harbor, like others of his generation he grew up intrinsically knowing that war was bad, and likely felt morally obligated to inform successive generations that lesson through his works. 0079 takes for granted the idea that warfare is bad. It portrays the horrors of war as he knew it, assuming his audience would see the things he'd seen and realize the same answers. And it would make sense that over time, he'd adjust his approach to how to convey the ills of warfare when he probably felt he continually failed to reach his audience with his previous methods.

But as I was saying, what has often occupied my active thoughts on his shows is how he diagnoses that war and conflict come to be. 0079 simply accepts warfare as a fact. It's a thing that happens whether we want it to or not. Amuro and Char, despite having a mental connection more intimate than what any normal human could possibly experience, are still compelled to fight and hate each other because that's what war does to people. The source of conflict, of why that hatred existed between the two, or why the Zabi family are evil is never really discussed. And most of his later works feels like Tomino was compelled to diagnose the source of conflicts in order to help instruct viewers on how to avoid them to begin with.

Zeta is a treatise on ambition. ZZ focuses on corruption and the corrupting influence of power. CCA on the generational violence inflicted upon people by their forebearers and how we manipulate our descendants to carry on our hatreds. F91 focuses on the role ideology has in perpetuating violence. G-Reco focuses on the role information plays in stoking fears and manipulating people into encouraging violence. Turn-A is probably his most most intersectional show touching on little bits of everything, but focusing first and foremost on failing to learn from history. When you branch out further into his other non-Gundam works, his theories continues to broaden. Ideon is about the role toxic culture and xenophobia plays. Dunbine is extremely intersectional but one of its many theses is that technology (and power) might be inherently evil. King Gainer is largely about how the dogma of capitalism and selfishness inflicts violence on the people. And Brain Powerd, Brain Powerd is maybe his most introspective look at conflict's source, analyzing the fundamental differences between human beings and the natural barriers between interpersonal communication/understanding. Namely gender barriers and generational barriers.

That last show, Brain Powerd, I've really thought a lot about lately. It's such a fucking trip. My brain can't decide if it's secretly brilliant, or a steaming pile of hot garbage. Like, its gender politics are actually insane and offensive at surface level. Tomino indulges in just about every toxic stereotype about women imaginable, and treats them like they're true. But it's all in service of a larger message that people don't have to be slaves to their worst impulses, and that we all have goodness in ourselves that we can foster if we make it a point to do so. And that even though there are these gender barriers or generational barriers that serve to divide people, those divisions aren't deep enough to keep people apart and from loving one another. Rather those differences can be complementary rather than oppositional in nature if we let them.

It's also fascinating because it is the most clear and obvious rebuke of Evangelion that exists. Shows like RahXephon thinks Eva has a lot of good ideas, just poor execution. Shows like TTGL says you know what, it's OK to like pre-Eva stuff too; let's roll some of this back we can have both. But Brain Powerd says no, Eva is fucking gross and wrong, and here's all the reasons why. Brain Powerd takes a scenario not unlike Eva's and murders it, dissecting it with the arguments that 1) the kids are alright, and 2) there is fundamental goodness in humanity. Brain Powerd says to even the most evil and cruel characters, you were not born evil, and you don't have to continue to be this way.

Brain Powerd also has the most amazing moment in television history where the villain cartoonishly laughs in the face of the main character about how he fucked both his sister AND his mother, as the MC screams in agony in a way that would make Luke Skywalker blush. There is no way that was not the greatest Luke I am your father homage.
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Old 12-01-2018, 08:26 AM
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I agree with this. I think that Victory is a really strong Gundam show.

For a long time before watching it all I ever heard anyone talk about was that one scene with Uso in the bath*. And yeah that scene is uhhhh not great and I can understand why someone might not want to watch a show with that content. If someone has a real serious objection to watching that, I understand. But at the same time, I think it became a kind of reductive way to dismiss the entire thing just in general.

*Or occasionally jokes about big wheels, which, yeah, okay, I get that.
Really, Victory is super explicit about tons of things that prior Gundams left in the background or quickly panned away from. It dwells on the child soldier thing; one of the first "battles" is the obliteration of a civilian city; it highlights shell shock and trauma and the aftermath of violence. Even the big wheels, silly as they are, are explicitly weapons of genocide. I definitely would not recommend it to someone who wasn't already bought in to Gundam and prepared to see some really fucked up shit.

Also Lupé is a psychopath. Like I'm pretty sure she's the only Yellowjacket we see just shoot some dudes in cold blood.
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:53 PM
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Wisteria I'm for sure gonna check out Brain Powerd. I myself seriously think Eva and the shows that spawned from it need some rebuking. Not on Gundam, but the kind of self-absorbed sadness that Eva and other shows revel in and justify pretty much just appeal to people's worst tendencies and even encourage them. Eva specifically I think actually says quite a bit of good if you read it in the right way but I've seen the vast majority read it in the very wrong way and frankly I think a lot of shows that follow the Eva trend are straight up dangerous in their narcissism.
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Old 12-01-2018, 07:32 PM
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Brain Powerd begins with a whole collection of characters with a lot of the same hangups that the Eva characters do. Full-blown mommy/daddy complexes, selfish narcissism, and radioactive hedgehog quills, but at times amplified to be even more vicious and self-destructive. But while Eva sorta maybe esoterically walks some of that back at the very end maybe if you interpret it the right way who knows, Brain Powerd spends the entire show explicitly discussing how damaging those things are, and methodically rehabilitates its cast into more healthy and functioning adults. Not all of Brain Powerd is good (some of it is very bad!) but this part is something I walked away very impressed by.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:20 PM
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G-Gundam returns!



To Blu-Ray

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  #2448  
Old 12-06-2018, 10:52 AM
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Is that a flashback or have they really still not figured out a reliable way to keep people from dropping fucking colonies. You'd think by this point.

Anyway, this still looks like yet another rehash of all the same old UC plot beats all over again, but it'll be pretty.
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Probably a flashback.

That NT trailer seems to ask the question, “Is it too early to milk Unicorn nostalgia?” To which it immediately answers, “I dunno but let’s find out!”
Gundam.info streamed a 20 minute chunk of NT the other day, it's probably still up on their Youtube channel. And it's not a flashback per se, it opens with the main male POV character as a child just prior to the Sydney colony drop in 0079 and spends a few minutes establishing the character hook for the film/OVA. From what I saw, this is supposed to serve as a bridge between Unicorn 1 and 2 in a sort of Stardust Memories fashion (except not being made years after the fact).

Big takeaways from that chunk:
  • Main part of the movie takes place 1-2 years post Unicorn 1
  • Mineva is now formally the head of RoZ/Sleeves (or is so heavily implied)
  • Main plot of the movie is the hunt for the RX-0-3 Phenex, coupled with a mirrored character arc with the main male MC hunting for the girl from the open/Phenex's pilot.
  • Both the Unicorn and Banshee got disassembled post-Unicorn, because everyone involved basically shit their pants when they found out that that Full Pyschoframe units + actual Newtypes = flagrant violations of causality
  • That last bit is why the MC's faction is involved, as the head of the company he's associated with wants the Phenex to predict the future.
  • Also a fair number of character and setting references to other side materials/Unicorn 1, though Banagher hasn't showed up (yet?)
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:06 PM
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G-Gundam returns!
On the one hand, you get a tequila gundam shot glass.

On the other hand, you get an unripped version of the "have you seen this man!?" photo.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:51 PM
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Spoilers for much later in Zeta:

I very much disagree! The halfassery of Casval-Char-Quattro's extremely obvious disguise tells us a lot about the character, just like the over-the-top foppishness of his Char persona told us a lot about him during the One Year War. Casval doesn't give a shit about his Quattro disguise because he doesn't give a shit about the AEUG; he's going through the motions in a shallow attempt to convince himself that he's reformed. "Quattro" is an ill-fitting coat that he discards the instant Haman shows up and gives him an opportunity to jump back into the comfort of a good old-fashioned vendetta.
I'm rewatching Zeta, and I wanted to come back to this post about Char in Zeta -
I'd forgotten, but it's worth noting that after the assault on Jaburo fails and his reunion with Amuro doesn't immediately explode, Char spends more than a dozen episodes literally doing nothing. He returns to space in episode 16, leads a battle in 23, witnesses Blex' death in 24, and then is back to being a nonentity until the Axis arc starts in episode 32. He's gone for nearly a full third of the show. Blex begs him to take the reins of the AEUG on his literal deathbed, but Char totally abdicates decision-making to the lunar bigwigs, only stepping in to protect his ability to pursue his new vendetta.

I'm coming back to this because "Char in Zeta is reformed, CCA Char comes out of nowhere" has in my experience been taken as a given by the western fandom, but it doesn't seem to be present in the text of the show. Zeta Char gives no shits about the AEUG; he's purely driven by a self-destructive quest for personal catharsis. He's an antagonist who directly contributes to the conflict spiraling out of control, a mentor who abandons Kamille to sink or swim on his own, a leader who's unable to form connections to his subordinates, and embodies the very civic apathy he claims to be battling. His close allies are all ex-Zeon pilots who are looking for one last chance to stick it to the Federation.
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:29 PM
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I think that's a fair reading of Quattro, and not one I can really argue against with empirical evidence. The difference being however is that where you read a base-animus to the character, when I watch Zeta I read someone who is lost, struggling to find purpose, and largely deluding themselves. Quattro sees himself as the hero of his own story*, so missing the motivations of revenge from the first show, he tries to do what he thinks with his logical brain what is the right thing. But his heart is never fully in it. Because what he's good at and feels best doing (murdering people in mobile suits) is not what he's being asked to do, and he has very little actual attachment to the causes various people have flung at him over his lifetime (from his father's ideals on down). In CCA, he finally gives into peer pressure to take political leadership, but since all he knows in life is violence and hate, his solutions to political problems naturally take on the form of cynical, violent retribution.

As you note, the throughput from 0079-->Zeta-->CCA is a lot more coherent if you take the time to think about it. But it's not something that's super evident on a surface reading of things. If you aren't engaging in the Universal Century on a level Tomino shows demand with regards to using empathy to get inside the characters head spaces, on outward appearances you have Char palling around with the good guys one minute, then trying to commit genocide the next.

*As a side note, this is another huge issue with Char, where in Zeta shows him dealing with the crushing self-doubt associated with coming to terms with the fact that he isn't the center of the universe, and his attachments to Kamille is partially because he acknowledges his potential to be that Main Character he can support/live vicariously through, and it's probably another level of crushing when this kid he's beginning to put hopes and dreams into ends up veggie-fried.
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:58 PM
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That's a good point, both regarding Char's inner life and the surface read. I think your take on how Char's inner life gives rise to the behavior we see on screen is probably a good read; I think the biggest change for me in how I interpret Zeta is realizing that the series repeatedly shows Char failing to do the work despite whatever good intentions he may have.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:33 PM
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Uh hey, quick question: Does anyone know the meaning or an explanation behind the name Londo Bell?
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:23 PM
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If anyone can decipher Tomino naming schemes, then they probably have a graduate thesis in the bag.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:24 PM
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Gundam Names are pretty much all just Rule of Cool, but for a very specific definition of cool.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
Uh hey, quick question: Does anyone know the meaning or an explanation behind the name Londo Bell?
Quote:
Originally Posted by WisteriaHysteria View Post
If anyone can decipher Tomino naming schemes, then they probably have a graduate thesis in the bag.
Something Something he heard of the Liberty Bell once, "oh hey, that'll work great with" something something?
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  #2457  
Old 01-09-2019, 03:37 PM
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Allelujah Haptism
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  #2458  
Old 01-09-2019, 05:11 PM
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As an aside: two bits of Gundam news

1) Gundam NT is getting a limited theatrical release states side Feb 19th through the usual Fathom Events thing.

2) IBO is getting a spin-off.



But the catch is, it's a mobile game I think??
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Old 01-26-2019, 03:54 PM
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Having the first 23 minutes of Gundam NT as YouTube ads is a hell of a marketing strat.

But, to be fair, I did watch the whole 23 minutes.
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:30 AM
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I'm so irritated that NT is a one night only thing in theaters when most other anime has two days.

I have a class I prrrobably shouldn't skip that same night!
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