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Jaynz
2010-05-13, 03:21 PM
In preparation for my move, I went through a LOT of Gundam material all at once. I'm going to take some time today to go over what I saw and my quick thoughts on each series and movie. This post will be about the loved-or-hated "G Gundam". G Gundam was the second 'big Gundam' release series in the United States, being aired on Cartoon Network immediately after Gundam Wing (in the exact opposite order of its original airing in Japan). In the US, the series overall tone and insane marketing campaign (many, many toys flooding the shelves) quickly undid the popularity that had accumulated with Gundam Wing, forcing Bandai to return to its reliance on Power Rangers. A simplistic assessment, but is it one that's really fair on the show?

Sadly, it probably is. Even in Japan the series has a bit of 'love or hate' relationship with the fans. It's also very easy to see why. G Gundam is a 'riff' of popular anime of the early 1990s, meaning that it's not quite a parody, but it's decidedly unrealistic and runs with some of the more absurd tropes found in Sailor Moon, Yu Yu Hakisho, and (obviously) Dragonball Z. Worse still, the entire first-arc plot is a direct lifting of the 'Robot Jox' movie and novel, with only the names changed to protect the not-so-innocent. If you're accustomed to Wing or Universal Century, G Gundam will likely make your head explode.

The story's primary focus, overall, is the nannite-engine called the 'Ultimate Gundam' which was created to rebuild Earth's collapsed eco-sphere. Unfortunately, the Military of Neo-Japan sees only weaponized potential in this Gundam and try to capture it, causing it to malfunction and be reborn as the 'Dark Gundam'. This comes as a new set of quasi-Olympic games are about to return, which will allow one colony to control the Earth Sphere's government for four years. These games consist of having a representative Gundam from each nation battle it out randomly on Earth until there is a victory. Enter our hero, Domon Kassue, who enters the games as cover to find the Dark Gundam, which is piloted by his brother.

Despite a fairly solid and gritty opening, the show quickly moves into 'riff' territory with the over-the-top martial arts displayed by Domon and his fellow competitors. Sometimes this is played straight with some very good results (such as the first time Domon enters hyper-mode), but it often winds up being just a bit silly. The silliness ramps up through the games as we see more and more ridiculous Gundam designs (and, despite what you may think, the "Sailor Moon" Gundam is one of the better ones). Even the Dark Gundam itself owes much of its design to the hentai-villain Overfiend, though fortunately not nearly as sexually explicit.

On the plus side, there are some fairly solid Gundam designs in the series (such as the Shinging, Rising, Burning, Dragon, Spiegel, and Master Gundams) and there's actually a fairly solid plot through most of the series. It's also very hard not to root for Domon when you hear 'this fist of mine glows with an awesome power!', and it's oddly contagious (pretty much all the main characters do this at some point, and it's even slipped into non G Gundam characters in the games). It also helps that most of the characters are genuinely likable, and any angst shown is handled well and completely understandable.

On the final down side, the ending is just so ridiculously over the top (particularly with Neo-America's secret weapon) that it caps the entire series with the worst elements of the series, leaving an overall bad impression. It's a bit unfair and unfortunate when compared to the more solid storytelling in the episodes immediately prior.

So, overall? G Gundam was indeed a fun and light-hearted series for the most part and fairly easy to get into. On the downside, the constant riffs and silliness (which can often be inappropriate) can rip a more serious-minded viewer right out of the show. Ultimately, it's all to easy to see why some fans would hate it, while other fans would love it. It's completely different from all other incarnations of Gundam, but on its own merits is a passable, if not great, show.

Sades
2010-05-13, 09:28 PM
Never saw it myself that I can remember. Watched Gundam Wing for awhile but turned lukewarm/grew up and turned a bit jaded with everything, including gundam and anime in general. The Gundams were cool, though.

Moved to Cartoons & Comics.

Sunstreaker2
2010-05-14, 12:01 AM
I LOVED G Gundam.

Probably one of my top 5 favorite Gundam series/movies/OVAs (the others being Wing, 00, Double Zeta, and 0080).

Transformer Kamen
2010-05-14, 07:34 PM
You're assessment is pretty accurate to my own view: not unwatchable, but not a must see either.

The Doctor
2010-05-15, 05:26 AM
Out of all of the version of Gundam I prefer the UC timeline. The other timelines are tolerable except the G Gundam timeline. I had a problem with a Gundam (a machine) turning gold and practically going super saiyan. The american gundam carried either a 44 or 357 magnum and wore boxing gloves. The zeus gundam wore sandals and drove a chariot. Ummm I can't go on.