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Hound
2012-04-04, 07:28 PM
Ok, first Cliffy, don't get too excited, I've still got like 3 Gundam series to watch, which will probably take another couple of months, but I'm thinking of watching Ideon after that as I have DVDs of the two Ideon movies so I might as well watch the series and then the movies.

Now I know I don't need to watch the actual series as I read up a little on Ideon and apparently the first movie gives you a nice synopsis of the show and along with the second movie you pretty much get all you need to know. However, me being me, I've got to watch it all or I'm not satisfied.

That all said I joined a Gundam forum last week and have been posting there a whole lot. I happened upon a thread dedicated to Tomino's other anime shows. The review given for the Ideon show was not kind. He had good things to say about the movies but not the actual episodes. They sound like episodes of Lion Voltron, formulaic, repetitive and so very boring to sit through.

After sifting through a few threads here, I've found that it wasn't clear whether or not you actually watched the episodes or just the movies. So what I'd like to know is if you did what did you think of them? I'd like a frank appraisal. What's the bad, what's the good? I'm wondering if I should just settle for watching just the movies?

Cliffjumper
2012-04-04, 07:54 PM
Recommended viewing pattern from me is the movies. Then if the characters grab you, go back and do the series. The series is better than Voltron, but it's a similar style. The first... 25 episodes are gentle character building; slight, often repetitive plots that give space for the cast to grow and develop. The second half of the series is superb, better than anything Gundam's done in any way, shape or form.

The first half of the series is slow enough to put those not determined off. The downside is there should really be two movies. It's not a clear break; "A Contact" basically covers the first... 29 episodes - in about 84 minutes. Be Invoked covers episodes 37-39 and adds on a proper conclusion (the broadcast #39 just sort of stops). Not only are some key events missed altogether in between, but some massive storylines are compacted to the point of nonsense (most notably the story of Gije).

If there was a 'middle' movie taking some of the pressure off A Contact and covering more of the later episodes to set up Be Invoked in more depth for those who haven't seen the series the films would be perfect.

As it is, I'd still recommend seeing the films first, just be prepared for the occasional thing to leave you a little baffled, and "A Contact" is quickly paced to the point of confusion. IMO "Be Invoked" packs enough of a punch to stand up with minimal background, it's a genuine masterpiece. The series needs you to be on its' side to have a chance.

For the record, Gundam fans tend to be very down on any anime which takes a more fantastical approach, hence the way Turn A isn't held in a particularly high regard.

Knightdramon
2012-04-04, 08:05 PM
Ideon is AWESOME.

Having said that, I'd recommend finding the time and slowly sitting through the episodes. The first movie basically shoehorns about 30 episodes into what, two hours?

Second movie is beyond awesome. It works like the end of evangelion films; TV ending is a scrapped low budget POS, actual movie is all out. And I do mean all out.

It does get very repetitive though. The series are very formulaic as others have said, it's mostly the villain\mecha of the week format.

The good is that the titular mecha is portrayed as one of the most, if not the most powerful robot in the universe.
The good is Gije. He develops and he was likeable. The captain was also top notch.

The bad is more or less the usual Tomino bad. Annoying kids, mecha of the week format, two dimensional enemies and so on.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-04, 08:14 PM
I dunno, I don't mind most of the Buff Clan generals - there's a nice mix of them lasting anywhere between 1-6 episodes which keeps things guessing. I'd rate the kids as slightly less annoying than the Gundam ones too, and at least Deck comes through nicely.

I don't think I've seen a finer cast of regular characters in an anime series which, as superb as the Ideon itself is, is what really makes it stand up - Cosmo, Bes, Karala, Sheryl, Gije, Deck and Harulu all grow really nicely as it goes on, and the likes of Rapoh, Hatari, Joliver, Daram and Moera all get their moments in the sun.

The battle scenes are very formulaic early on, which is very Voltron - it's a sense of "what can we come up with to stop the Ideon forming until the last scene?" for about the first 20. I would say, though, it's not that much more repetitive action-wise than the segment of the original Gundam between White Base leaving Side 7 and properly linking up with the Federation - and with stronger characterisation to boot. And without anything as insulting as Ryu's death either.

Sunstreaker2
2012-04-04, 09:28 PM
Not Ideon, but how are L-Gaim and Dunbine?

Hound
2012-04-04, 09:34 PM
So it is what I've heard it is but the character stories make up for it?

If I do watch it I'm going to watch the series first. I always do things that way. Start at the beginning. Or at least I try to. I suppose I've got awhile before I have to decide, but that I'm inquiring about this at all means I probably will.

Thanks a lot Cliffy! :p

I've not watched L-Gaim and Dunbine but in the thread at the Gundam Forum someone did say that Dunbine was really good.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-05, 04:24 AM
So it is what I've heard it is but the character stories make up for it?

Yes, basically - it can be a slog in places but is worth the effort. Personally I didn't find it quite as formulaic and repetitive as its' reputation suggests.

Hound
2012-04-05, 03:48 PM
Fair enough. I tend not to make too much of a judgement on a show until I've seen the entirety. Unless it's just really awful, of course.

I've pretty much decided that I'm definitely going to watch it, especially as getting the episodes looks to be pretty easy. I've just got to finish watching the last few Gundam series that are left.

Cliffjumper
2012-04-05, 04:12 PM
Okay, if you're going to watch the series watch 1-38 (well, 21's a clip show that doesn't add anything) then "Be Invoked". Episode 39 is nearly all in Be Invoked, but without the cheap "Oh shit, we're cancelled" ending. By all means watch it (and "A Contact") afterwards as curios, but not first time around.

LMK if you need discs; don't get the HK DVDs (http://counter-x.net/ideon/merchandise/perfect_collection/index.html). The subs are awful and the second half doesn't seem to have been released in that form.

Sunstreaker2
2012-04-05, 04:37 PM
Hey Cliff, how are Dunbine and L-Gaim?

I heard that Tomino apparently wanted to get them released outside Japan, which is pretty cool...

Hound
2012-04-05, 05:01 PM
LMK if you need discs; don't get the HK DVDs (http://counter-x.net/ideon/merchandise/perfect_collection/index.html). The subs are awful and the second half doesn't seem to have been released in that form.Nah, don't worry about it. I can just make my own...

Hmm, Aren't there some added and reworked stuff in A Contact?

Cliffjumper
2012-04-05, 05:30 PM
Yes, but it contradicts the series. It's not just a straight summary. Three characters (off the top of my head; there may be more) have totally different deaths and battles from something like four episodes are stitched together at the end (one other has a different death in Be Invoked, but it actually works due to the format). And that's just the big stuff - as noted, several characters are stunted as a result. It's very well done, but it is different. It won't do any harm to watch it between episode 38 and Be Invoked, but it's possible it will just confuse you. It functions best as a short cut on rewatching; if you want the gist of the story over again but don't have time to watch the whole series.

Oddly, Be Invoked includes several specific references to the TV series that aren't covered in A Contact.