Gundam:An Anime From Japan
Greetings I thought its been long overdue that a thread on one of if not indeed on the whole greatest anime franchise's should grace this forum. Recently the sole worthwhile voice on Mecha on the wastes of youtube released a video on Gundam:0079 well worth a watch if your have 3 hours to kill by  a man you may not have heard of Argonbolt a video maker I have followed for years now.

I consider the man a nice throwback to the headier days of nerd culture in the 2000s and his video here a great commentary as it were on the first Gundam not only in details of production or popping stupid myths about its history in a humorous fashion. Argonbolt in discussing the first Gundam and what preceded it, what influenced it touched on the exact same anime, and manga  that has come up over and over again in threads and in our shoutbox.

Here is a man clearly a bit liberal focused on just making people understand this great anime he likes making the exact same connections as men far from him! Which brings me to why I feel the series should be discussed here its clear despite what one would assume on first impression that a decades old giant of a franchise started by one man Yoshiyuki Tomino and his team  telling a war story canceled because their sponsors wanted a toy seller would be of any interest to men seeking beauty and truth in art. But it is of great interest in fact dedication its influence rippling down to the very avatars of the fine company I believe assemble here every day.

Gundam is indeed a bright light showing not just the power of the medium of anime but in one decade from 1979 to 1989 with less total run time than Star Trek The Next Generation the Universal Century would become a behemoth changing Japanese and then global culture in ways big and small. I don't want to set a exact focus(I am of the mind I can't because the output of material to look at is staggering even if narrowed) but its this first decade I have well watched and studied and where Gundam series that were latter exported to the West would get all their DNA. Its this DNA I wish to examine this inner vision born of one man but also many others(even some women apparently!), that would create so much characters one in particular a villain that would inspire generations design that would ripple across anime concepts that would become the bedrock of what we know as the medium of anime-but I have blown enough air, I am posting this for your thoughts after all. One last word, if you haven't seen Gundam go start with 0079 the tv series or even the compilation films if your really pressed for time it is well /ourgundam/. 

Gundam is one of the greatest achievements in the history of television pop-art and easily some of the greatest screen-original science fiction ever made. Essential Amarna-core.

I haven't watched your man yet but I'll embed him in my post just so he's visible.



I really love Gundam. I only completely saw the original series but that was enough for me to be totally won over. It was my favourite kind of media experience where I want in feeling like I was just respecting some history, and I loved it. It felt totally new and utterly engaging. I put the thing off for so long because I simply couldn't believe that something that came out in 1979 that I had mentally associated with toys could be so powerful. Given the culture most of us grew up in it's easy to believe that something this good simply should not be possible. It's an incredible triumph of artistic vision in a commercial field in my opinion comparable to the success of Star Wars.
Nice yukikaze enjoyer.
I am a Wing enjoyer and a strong proponent that Anime will become Real first through Gundam and then through Waifu (many argue for the opposite direction.)
Is there a Gundam series/arc/whatever similar to Gunbuster or Appleseed? I liked those two and always wanted to get into more mecha stuff, but Gundam seems impenetrable with how much history is behind it, so wouldn't mind a rec'd starting point.
Hell, for as intimidating LotGH seems to be at the outset, it at least has a definitive "start here."
(02-24-2023, 12:52 AM)combiner Wrote: Is there a Gundam series/arc/whatever similar to Gunbuster or Appleseed? I liked those two and always wanted to get into more mecha stuff, but Gundam seems impenetrable with how much history is behind it, so wouldn't mind a rec'd starting point.
Hell, for as intimidating LotGH seems to be at the outset, it at least has a definitive "start here."

As I said 0079 the first series be it the tv run or the three compilation movies are likely the best place to start. Gundam is a vast series I was once intimidated myself, but when you realize its not all interconnected but rather the work of many different creatives that happen to share some similar elements its much easier to ease oneself into seeing the works. A interesting contrast is how Japanese mega series like Gundam or Kamen Rider have such a model  compared to Western media which is abysmal at keeping the elements that make up the work AND keeping things fresh. One does not have to take my word this aspect is something that was noted by a producer for Gundam Uchida Kenji

Uchijda Kenji Wrote:It was still the 80s, so the anime industry hadn’t yet encapsulated what the targeted fans wanted. Generally, a series’ characters were one use only. Even with shows like Ultraman airing — where they repeated their structure — nobody thought about refining and continuing with the same characters. Of course, we could look at American classics like Batman and Superman as a reference for how to make a series live on, but we didn’t want that kind of method. That’s why we focused on the selling points of the previous series and what made it Gundam, not eternalizing it.

I plan to make a post exploring this deeper but my point as of now is Gundam has a clear start in 0079 but despite its vast size one can approach it as one wish it does not depend on having background nerd info but is the expressions of various artists(I still think production order is best however...)
Read old books.

Watch old anime.
The normie view of Gundam is to start with Zeta, mostly because there is a serious step up in animation quality from the original.  I started with Gundam '79 and liked it but it often looks like a Hannah-Barbera cartoon. Maybe you can't get past this.  You'll also hear to start with Wing, which is in an alternate timeline and as you would expect generally feels more modern than the earlier series (often in a bad way imo).

Ultimately it doesn't matter.  The individual series are pretty self-contained; if you watch MSG 79 you might want to then watch Zeta to see what happens next with all these people, but you could just as easily go the other way around: see Zeta, then check out '79 if you're curious about the backstory on everyone.
Glad to hear that they're more or less self-cotained, in that case I'll look around and see which is stylistically most appealing, and then look into "must watch" series. Zeta does have that kind of look I like.
(02-26-2023, 08:43 PM)combiner Wrote: Glad to hear that they're more or less self-cotained,

Zeta is not really self contained at least it very much uses elements set up in 0079 its more like a season two. I do not think a good time would be had jumping in without watching 0079 as entire character arcs are just continued from it with little exposition.

(02-26-2023, 05:21 PM)Unformed Golem Wrote: but it often looks like a Hannah-Barbera cartoon.

This is false not on a subjective artistic level but a technical level. One of those viewpoints I made this thread to in time disprove. this is a good article on it which I'll quote at length


Notably OP only compares with other anime mainly of Gundam's time +/- a few years that's because as noted by any Western cartoonist with talent had been reduced to the level of it would have been better to do stick figures.
I'll let this still of a Hannah-Barbera classic The Super Globetrotters act as a sample of where Western cartoons where at compared to Japan above in terms of design and drawing quality.

Released the same year as Gundam but does not look like it no?
MSG79 is good on its own, has good quality animation, and is worth watching. But it still looks old, it's pointless to argue about this. Your linked post even admits as such (and it's also right about SDF Macross, which has far worse low points). Lots of people who like film have trouble getting into older works for the same reason regardless of their objective quality.
(02-27-2023, 04:46 PM)Unformed Golem Wrote: Lots of people who like film have trouble getting into older works for the same reason regardless of their objective quality.

I think the right term is filtered but your right on no reason to further argue this. Instead I will make a post on a aspect of the show I really liked

In 0079 Gundam compared to what was going on overseas in the other land of a big sci fi boom America, the One Year war is more like a real grand war and not just a set piece. The constant churning of new gear, offensives grand battles and theaters all have their role to play in the plot. But it is not the focus the real focus is on the crew of the White Base fighting as basically special partisans with their young crew and edge in tech on this stormy sea from the stars to Earth to back again.


They have to fight larger than life figures and overwhelming odds. A struggle to survive and fight defines the shows run, the often repeated meme view of er its about war and child soldiers being bad being a one dimensional view of this element.
I too will stop arguing about the animation style -- which is easy enough to judge on its own, and contribute some content.

What really interested me about MSG was just wanting to know what the fuss was about. I'd seen NGE and knew people into "gunpla". It's obviously influential and lots of people, including some individuals I trusted, said it was good. Do you really need to watch another seasonal no one including you will remember in 3 years?

Gundam isn't super clever, but it does an excellent job of getting across that these characters are an important -- but small -- part in a much wider war. Amuro is The Guy, but way more is happening just on the ship (carrier) than our boy hero flying his robot. There are a lot of different people you spend a lot of time around; some of them you like and some you just have to put up with. You travel a lot and sometimes even have a few hours or days just to chill out even though you ultimately can't get away until it's all over. There's a hot girl who works on a resupply ship that you see occasionally.

A lot of guys get into Gundam for the cool robots. And there are a lot of cool robots. Both sides develop, test, and field new equipment in response to changing battlefield conditions. This has become pretty familiar and has obvious storytelling benefits but MSG's treatment of it is still the gold standard and holds up very well. I don't worship hardware, especially cartoon hardware, but even for someone who doesn't care too much it's a nice touch, good worldbuilding. Again: small part of a much larger effort.

MSG isn't anti-war and it isn't making a statement about child soldiers or some bullshit; this is an opinion people heard on Reddit and repeat because it makes them sound smart while stroking the goatee they grew to hide their developing double chin.

One thing I do like about MSG is that it doesn't care about a lot of stuff I personally don't care about. Amuro is a military pilot now, he's serving underway in a major war, there's not some contrived reason for him to go to school. There aren't any harem/waifu dynamics. Fanservice is pretty minimal.

Maybe you won't love it. I thought it was good but didn't become a gundamhead. But it's worth your time. I pretty much guarantee that even if you only kind of like it, you'll still find yourself judging other anime against it.
Quote:MSG isn't anti-war and it isn't making a statement about child soldiers or some bullshit; this is an opinion people heard on Reddit and repeat because it makes them sound smart while stroking the goatee they grew to hide their developing double chin.

This hand-wringing over character age (a choice made deliberately to appeal to the target demographic) came later after a period of reflection and doesn't become part of the plot until the 2015 installment Iron-Blooded Orphans. As a plot device, Amuro and Char's young age is viewed as an advantage - they conceive of and achieve goals their elders dismiss as impossibilities. The concept of a Newtype, a spaceborne homo superior, and the character Zeon Deikun's entire philosophy is an abridged Nietzchean futurism in a future that makes it immanent. Total gem.

In terms of watch order, I'd recommend the two film trilogies covering MSG and MSG:Z, then MSG: The Origin, ending with Char's Counterattack. ZZ's second half is interesting and it does tie up a few loose ends from Z, but the fact that it's presented in a made-for-television format and much of the plot happens in a vaccuum means it can be skipped. I prefer the film trilogies to the original series' runs because it trims the fat that becomes necessary when animating weekly serials. After a while, it's quite noticeable when frames of a mobile suit shooting at nothing are reused ad nauseum. MSG: Unicorn falls into the trap of crafting a story in a world where the great conflict has already been resolved, leaving the characters in a sort of limbo where they can only persist by parroting the ideals and actions of their predecessors. It can be skipped, though it is nice to look at and the character designs hearken back to older animation styles. If you watch all of this and still want more, the OVAs Thunderbolt, War in the Pocket, 08th MS Team, and Stardust Memory are all decent.

Later installments are derivative and formulaic, but many are enjoyable. MSG: Wing is a shonen anime instead of a childrens' space drama. 00 is Wing rebooted and placed in a timeline that more closely mirrors our own. MSG: Iron Blooded Orphans features child soldiers and bleeding-heart liberal women, but has a surplus of giant robots, flashing lights and colors, and an assortment of related eye candy. Mobile Fighter G Gundam is a braindead tournament fighter anime. I haven't seen the others so I don't have an opinion on them.

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