@Cliffy: Gundam?

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@Cliffy: Gundam?

Post by Hound » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:48 pm

I think I'm going to try and watch some of the Gundam cartoons. You've watched most if not all of them right?

I've got the first 10 episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam and haven't watched them yet. They're subtitled, is that how you watched them?

I'm probably going to stick to the main (U.C.) continuity at first. From what I gathered there's 4 main series (Mobile Suit Gundam, Zeta Gundam, Gundam ZZ and Victory Gundam) and then some short series and movies in between. Anything in there stick out as just awful or are they all worth a watch?

Then there's G Gundam, the Gundam Wing series, Gundam X, Turn A Gundam, the Gundam SEED series and Gundam 00. Any of those you could recommend I avoid?

I guess it doesn't have to be just Cliffy to reply here but he's the one I know for sure is familiar with all this. If anyone else can help me out with some advice feel free to chime in...

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Post by Cliffjumper » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:44 pm

I only really did the UC stuff myself, plus the sort-of UC if you want it to be Turn A Gundam.

I watched the first series in the dub - while apparently it's slightly inferior to the subs, but it's still IMO very good, fully professional with some quality talent. Zeta's avaliable with a professional dub too, which again is very good, though it's by a different studio and all the retuning characters have different VAs.

I enjoy both Gundam (which everyone but me calls Gundam 0079) and Zeta more as the movie trilogies - it cuts out a lot of the crap. TBH, both suffer a bit from the lead kid being pretty much unlikeable, but both have a lot of other stuff going for them. The original is a bit slower, seeming especially directionless between about the fifth and 20th episode, but if the characters have grabbed you by then it can still be good. The original also doesn't look much better than, say, G.I. Joe, art-wise.

The third series, ZZ Gundam, is a bit of an acquired taste. The first half is a lot more light-hearted - I like it, it's nice to have a less whiny lead and for things to be taken a bit less serious, but it's not for everyone. It's also actually fairly inessential - plans to have the two original leads in the thing were aborted when they got the go-ahead for Char's Counterattack.

Char's Counterattack is superb, a really great mecha film, but it works best when you've seen at least the first series (or film trilogy).

Victory Gundam is the only UC one which left me cold... It's set a fair time further on in the timeline, with little connection to any of the rest of it (Char's Counterattack ties off the real meat of the continuity nicely in my mind), and is packed with largely unlikeable, derivative characters. It also ups the body count considerably, but because you don't care about the characters it doesn't matter.

Turn A Gundam takes a sort-of Beast Wars/Dreamwave approach to the various timelines, grabbing whichever bits it wants, but it's basically in its' own continuity, with the references more like easter eggs for fans. It's got a largely different tone to the UC stuff, a lot less grim without being outright light-hearted - it's probably best to sum it up as generally optimistic. It's another that some people like and some really don't - I think it's one of the most beautiful series ever made (I cried at the end, genuinely), but it is a slow burner.

Most (if not all) Gundam series tend to fall into a bit of a lull after the first few episodes until midway through, where there's not an awful lot happening in plot terms, but the characters get built on. If the characters grab you, it's good stuff, if they haven't it can be tedious.

And all the 1980s ones suffer from annoying comic relief toddlers. They're not usually in it much, usually just a wacky scene or two an episode, but they are annoying and they are in there without much to redeem them.

Also, it would be remiss of me not to mention Ideon as an "if you like Gundam, try this too" - it's by the same chap who did the UC Gundam stuff, and is summed up as the Gundam universe and storyline but with a preposterously overpowered Voltron-style robot dropped into it.

I can probably source online versions of most, if not all, of this if needs be...

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Post by Cliffjumper » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:53 pm

I forgot about 08th - it's a mini-series set in and around the first series (but made later), and is pretty superb, showing the adventures of a grunt-level mecha team. It works best when you've seen the other stuff, though.

Recommended viewing order:

Mobile Suit Gundam (either series or film trilogy)
Zeta Gundam (ditto)
Char's Counterattack

Then 08th out of sequence for maximum contrast to CCA. Then Turn A, then ZZ if you fancy it.

ZZ, Turn A and Victory haven't had any official Western releases; there are Hong Kong sets with subs, but the subs are terrible. Thankfully, fansubs can be found to download fairly easily.

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Post by secretcode » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:22 pm

Cliffjumper wrote: Mobile Suit Gundam (either series or film trilogy)
Zeta Gundam (ditto)
Char's Counterattack
I agree with this 100%. Also, stay away from SeeD and 00. Both have really bad pacing, and after 6-7 episodes of both, you feel like you already seen all the shows have to offer. And it's pretty close.
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Post by Rattrap's tail » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:36 pm

If only they had made Crossbone Gundam into an anime....

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Post by the_escaflowne_2k » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:25 pm

Aside from what has been posted already, Wing is alright if you can get passed the initial indecision of how they were going to progress the characters and a pretty disagreeable main, it has some design high lights for me and the follow up movie is beautifully animated at times.
SEED is passable, the look was struggling with it's new use of digital animation, the characters are annoying and badly designed and pretty much every episode has three flashbacks due to the extra digital animation costs.
SEED Destiny I can't comment but as a direct sequel to the above released shortly after I wouldn't hold high hopes.
00 If you can get through to episode 15 the next 9 are amazing (the last 1 less so mind), the mech animation i amazing (character less so) and the characters aren't actually that annoying.

Personally, 08th MS Team is brilliant throughout and it would be my recommendation.
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Post by Hound » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:58 pm

I'm 6 episodes in and I love it. The animations is pretty much like Robotech or Voltron, which is certainly better, well more consistent, than TF or GIJoe. The story is fantastic so far. I'm watching the Japanese audio with subtitles which makes the little kids not really annoying at all really. Their strange little Japanese sounds are actually amusing to me.

I was amazed by how many people you see get slaughtered in this thing. Right from the beginning people are dying and then the Gundam takes out two bad guys brutally. Very serious stuff, very adult.

I actually have the first 2 DVDs of Gundam Wing, which I bought back in like '99, and when I watched them I really couldn't understand what was going on. So what I really like most about Mobile Suit Gundam is that the plot is pretty clear from the start. You know who the good guys are, who the bad guys are, why each side is fighting and what for. It's nice to have that and it's nice to have a bad guy that's not a complete **** up, even though he's not exactly winning he's still a genuine threat. After watching GIJoe and Transformers for the last couple months it's a nice change of pace.

So I bought the DVD set off Ebay. It was pretty inexpensive and it's got the english audio too if I want to see what that's all about. I figure it's worth owning probably...

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Post by Cliffjumper » Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:11 pm

Mmm, I really love the first few episodes. If you've not seen much like that (like I hadn't), it's the thought put into it - like Amuro scything a Zaku in half dramatically only for the thing to explode and blow a hole in the colony wall, which when you stop and think about it makes perfect sense when you imagine the sort of powerplant something like that would have to have, or the way he blows through all his ammo in ten seconds flat. I've always loved little touches like the pink goo they release when there's a hull puncture on the White Base. It's reassuring that someone's actually sat down and thought about stuff like this, rather than just making them planes or naval ships but in space.

I personally find it drags a little bit from around the time the White Base arrives back in Earth orbit to it actually making it back to Federation lines - Char takes a step back and there are other Zeon commanders and it gets a bit repetitive for a few episodes, plus Amuro gets a bit more annoying for a while and it all coincidences with screentime being given to some of the preposterous features Clover had grafted onto various toys (most of which are counter-intuitive to the realism), but it all comes back together nicely. More of a blip than a full-on decline.

Never thought about the kids from a dub/sub point of view... though now I think about it, it could be the reason why the kids in Ideon (who are basically the same characters) don't bother me in the least. Mind, the last tiem I did try and watch it in subs I got mighty confused by the large number of voice actors they both share...

The first series tends to get a lot of back-handed criticism, due to the suits not being as OTT as later stuff or the animation being relatively dated, but I really don't see it, and finds it stands up better than any of the other "full" series with the exception of Turn A.

I tried going back and watching Wing after seeing the UC stuff and it still didn't grab me - the heroes are too whiny and dull (Duo Maxwell being the exception - he feels like he's fallen into the show from a different series), the whole thing's too pious and it does nothing any of the others don't... It's main plus points seem to be being full of very pretty badasses with very pretty, easy to remember mobile suits and being very easy to follow. It was a great choice for kicking off Bandai properly launching Gundam in the West to an audience larger than Animephiles and Gokin buyers, but now it's done the hard work there's no real need to go back and revisit it.

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Post by Blaster » Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:14 am

Gundam Wing is apparently in the process of being remade.
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Post by secretcode » Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:47 pm

In Manga form, yes. Basically it's an alternate telling with all the EW Suits being used instead.
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Post by Hound » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:47 pm

Just finished Mobile Suit Gundam.

Wow, they didn't hold back with people getting shot in the head did they?

All in all I really loved it, though all the "New Type" stuff in the last several episodes I found myself cringing at. It lost a bit of the realism for me when it started giving characters super-powers.

What I really liked most was stuff like Amuro not wanting to fight in a war and deserting for a bit. Amuro's whole journey as a Gundam pilot I felt was done really well. I felt Ryu's death was handled very well too, the way all the characters mourned him and all that.

I was a little confused by Slegger and Mirai suddenly in love after he slaps her around though.

Still it was a lot of fun. Now I'm going to have to figure out whether to watch 08th MS Team or Zeta Gundam next.
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Post by Cliffjumper » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:43 pm

Zeta is Newtype heavy, if that tips the scales - it starts off not touching it much, but by the middle of the season it basically takes over; however, the gradual return of much of the Mobile Suit cast is a real pleasure. 08th focuses on a very ordinary grunt team - relative to Mobile Suit, the action's not as spectacular (for the most part, though one episode does whip out what's probably the best fight scene in the whole franchise) and the plot's not as expansive.

I could never really figure out what Sleggar was for - he pops up, is a bit of a dick for a few episodes, dies without having changed much.

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Post by Hound » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:32 am

I downloaded the Zeta Gundam movies. I figure I'll watch those then decide whether I want to buy the series or not after but I'll definitely watch the 08th MS Team series right after the Zeta Gundam movies regardless.

You know what pissed me off about the DVD set I got? It had the Japanese audio but the English subtitles were shit. Like I don't even see how you could call them English, they were that bad. It's like someone who spoke no english whatsoever plugged the Japanese into some online translator and cut and paste whatever words came up.

The episodes I downloaded had terrific subtitles. Makes me wish I'd just watched the whole series that way. Still, the English dub was mostly good and I still got a chuckle from the children even in English. They were funny.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:15 am

Ahh - Hong Kong set, by th sounds of it. This is the main eason I got used to watching the dubs.

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Post by Hound » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:11 pm

I watched the first Zeta movie last night and it was great.

This means I'm going to buy the series, oh my poor wallet.

It's not the concept of new types that bothers me. It's just that the way it just suddenly comes up in the last handful of episodes seems to undermine Amuro's accomplishments as a Mobile Suit pilot. You watch him go from barely being able to get the Gundam to stand up to taking out the best pilots the Zeons have and then find out it's because he's got special powers.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:55 pm

Yeh, that aspect is annoying... But trust me, the concept does get more irritating in Zeta, especially when the Titans send a seemingly endless string of unbalanced Newtype Cyndi Lauper-a-likes after Kamille. Mind, the Movies might spare you a lot of slack... It's been a while since I saw them and I can't really remember what was series and what was film.

The first Zeta movie is superb, though - I really, really like the reintroductions of Amuro, Kai and Hayato (plus, of course, Quattro). It's my favourite part of the series, simply the rebels against the Titans, really nicely done.

Fun fact: Sayla isn't in the series (well, with any lines) because her voice actress wasn't avaliable for recording, and recasting is considered a big no-no in Japan. So the series was rewritten not to feature Sayla. Completely different mindset.

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Post by Hound » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:09 pm

Cliffjumper wrote:Fun fact: Sayla isn't in the series (well, with any lines) because her voice actress wasn't avaliable for recording, and recasting is considered a big no-no in Japan. So the series was rewritten not to feature Sayla. Completely different mindset.
She, Yō Inoue, was on safari in Africa. Sayla does have a speaking role in the 3rd movie, which they used an archived recording of Yō Inoue's voice for because she'd died in 2003.
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Post by Cliffjumper » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:30 pm

Mmm, she also voiced Sheryl in Ideon, which is a big factor in why I can't watch the subs. She's a very very good voice actor. It's just amazing compared to the regular recasting you get in Western animation - you wouldn't expect a major character to be omitted just because the original actor wasn't avaliable (e.g. can you imagine them rewriting TF Season 3 just because the original Cyclonus guy died?).

Sayla does make a silent cameo in the original series, IIRC. In-universe, though, it's very strange that such a major character just basically disappears

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Post by Hound » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:27 pm

Hmm, didn't they nix plans for Cliffjumper to show up in season 3 because Kasem quit?

They did actually recast Four Murasame and Fa Yuiry for the Zeta Gundam movies though.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_Sui ... ion_movies
They don't say why though...
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Post by Cliffjumper » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:09 am

I dunno, you hear it about Cliffjumper (and Jazz, what with Scatman Crothers), but when you consider their toys were long-gone and Season 3 ignores the majority of the pre-Movie cast (I mean, Bumblebee who shipped again in the 1986 series and was one of the leads of the first two years ends up with about six lines the whole season) I really can't see that they'd have been given much to do anyway - certainly not enough to justify signing both actors on, anyway.

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