|5, 11, 17, 22|
|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Kidou Senshi Gundam
I've been meaning to see this series for quite a while now considering many folks consider it one of the major mecha titles that brought about ongoing plot and character developments instead of a "monster of the day" approach. For the most part, Gundam does do a decent job at doing just that as it explores how war effects the crew aboard the White Base. Many of the crew aboard are young civilians who find themselves forced into engaging the Zeons in battle and not used to the regular life-or-death situations faced by soldiers fighting a war. It is also not afraid to show the harsh realities of said war as characters among both sides are shown dying in battle (including civilians at some points), Zeon spies infiltrating the Federation, the White Base dealing with supply shortages and heavy damage to their ship, the planning of battle strategies and regularly overcoming increasingly difficult battle conditions. A number of the show's characters even get a decent amount of fleshing out with plans of their own that they have behind the scenes, their internal pressures they face as a result of the war and wondering if it is even worth fighting out. This depth also extends to those among the Zeons to show that some of the soldiers are not so heartless compared to their leaders and that even said leaders have their redeemable traits beyond trying to create a dictatorship on Earth.|
All isn't perfect with the show as a number of issues I noticed that kept this series from slipping into Buy territory for me. I won't fault the visuals being outdated as an issue considering how old the show is, though it is apparent at points that there are some animation errors and reused animated frames, such as the mobile suits being launched from White Base. While characters like Amuro and Char get their moments of focus and depth, others that would appear prominent influences on the characters like Frau Bou for Amuro do not get as much focus. The show also has its moments of shoddy plot developments as it did not really hint to the coming of Newtypes that are introduced later in the series, some plot developments are hardly explored such as the fate of Amuro's father and some filler episodes that felt out of place with the realities of war that Amuro and the White Base crew would deal with. A number of episodes also felt a bit episodic at the start of the show as the White Base crew deal with a threat from the Zeons in each episode and manage to overcome said threat by the end of it.
Overall, Mobile Suit Gundam has its fair share of both positives and negatives when it came to being an early mecha title with ongoing plot developments. While the show does do well with exploring the effects war has on the populace and the young, inexperienced crew aboard the White Base, it also has some shoddy plot developments and has a bit too much of an episodic feel during a number of its earlier episodes. Still if you are a fan of mecha and/ or older anime titles, then Mobile Suit Gundam is a definite watch as it does do a decent job of keeping you interested in how the crew aboard White Base will fare against the Zeons.
Last updated Friday, February 25 2011. Created Friday, February 25 2011.
Kidou Senshi Gundam
One of the things that I've made a point of doing in recent years is continuing my classic anime education. Mobile Suit Gundam is a classic anime series that I'd been aware of since 1989 when I lived in Japan, but my distaste for mecha titles (shocking, considering how many I've watched and liked) kept me from taking the time to watch it. However, when manga titles I enjoyed (and their anime counterparts) like Genshiken, Hayate the Combat Butler, or Keroro Gunsou make constant Gundam references and jokes, I finally decided that I couldn't go on without watching this classic anime title that fathered the modern day "real robot" mecha genre.
At its core, Gundam is a tale of war, the horrors of war, and what a group of civilians learn to do in order to stay alive when they are thrown into war through no fault of their own. This core makes for some good storytelling and there is plenty of that as the series progresses. However, in order to achieve this, there are some incredible leaps Tomino-sensei expects the audience to take. This is in how a group of untrained civilians take over key roles on a top secret battleship known as White Base. Since most of the trained crew has been killed, I can understand the need for civilians to fill the roles, but realistically, even though they had injured trainers with them and lead by a dying captain, the idea that White Base could so easily survive military clashes with the Zeon enemy is a little hard to believe.
This "ease of victory" issue is further accentuated by Amuro, the teenaged civilian who's father was head of the top secret Gundam mobile suit project. I was able to accept that Amuro is a genius and a quick learner. I was able to accept that Gundam's computer systems learn from battle experience and become better to compensate for a less than adequate pilot. I was able to accept that Gundam was such an advanced prototype weapon's system, that it easily outclassed every mobile suit weapon that Zeon had in the fight. What I had great difficulties with is that even though the Federation were attempting to evacuate the new mobile suit units, Amuro and others had easy access to the Federation mobile suits. Further to that, there's an oh so handy Gundam Operator Manual sitting around for Amuro to read so he can start kicking butt immediately. _ Yeah, whatever.
As the crew gets more experienced and then are left hanging as a decoy to keep the Zeon's preoccupied, I begin to accept the different characters sliding into their new roles. Tomino-sensei attempts to show how the riggers of war are very stressful and the like and keeps a sense of reality mixed with the highly fantastic idea of a mobile suit like Gundam. Amuro gets the most character development, which is understandable considering he's the lead. Other characters like Kai and Sayla get decent character development, but some characters don't get much, unfortunately. I will admit that I liked seeing Amuro grow from an immature, irritating teen to someone with a great sense of responsibility and duty.
The series doesn't handle romances particularly well. It is clear from the start that Frau Bow and Amuro are childhood friends and that Frau Bow has romantic feelings for Amuro. While this is a case of unrequited love, it is sadly the best developed romance of the series. Amuro has a few unrequited love moments for a couple (or three) different girls. Kai gets a brief romance that helps him grow. There's a strongly hinted romantic feeling between Mirai and Bright, but then Mirai suddenly is madly in love with a character she's never even given a hint of having feelings for and that just did not work for me at all. I know this is a shounen series, but I still would have liked for things to have been handled better.
On the Zeon side, the series runs through a whole host of commanders for White Base and company to encounter and defeat. Of these, only the character Char is established as the main villain, often going into the realm of the cliched opponent that is super strong, has a fearsome reputation, but is always thwarted by the inferior hero, forced to retreat, but is always back to fight another day. Toward the end of the series, Char pretty much shifts out of the real of cliched and becomes somewhat more interesting, especially when Amuro can legitimately meet him head on in battle.
Animation wise, Gundam holds up pretty well despite the years. There are obviously moments of cheapness in the animation and there are some laughable mistakes in the art when one looks for it, but otherwise, it really holds up well. The music is pretty much what one would expect for the time and I've no complaints there.Bottom line: Mobile Suit Gundam is a fairly well-written shounen action, mecha series which not only started a franchise, but launched an entire genre. The characters and situations are pretty good as a fair amount of the realities of war are injected into a fantastic sci-fi series about a giant mecha. While some elements at the start are pretty tough to swallow, once the series gets past these early hurdles, I found the episodes to be very interesting, both in terms of action and in story and character development. Well worth watching.
Last updated Saturday, July 23 2011. Created Sunday, September 19 2010.
Kidou Senshi Gundam
(Three episodes watched):|
I saw some episodes when this series was shown on Adult Swim several years ago, and wasn't particularly impressed. Nowadays, however, it's precisely because, as .Hack//Phil put it, "This is the anime which started a phenomenon", that I've started watching it from the start. Hearing countless mentions of this classic series on other shows made it clear that I couldn't pretend to be an anime historian without familiarizing myself with it. It's clear that the animation is painfully obsolete in comparison to what's being produced nowadays, and even somebody like me must grin and bear the repetitive, undetailed, slow moving frames. To be honest, it may be impossible for a person who hadn't even heard of anime until it had already evolved vastly beyond the stage it's at here to appreciate the thrill viewers would have experienced back in 1979. Actually, I read that much like Star Trek, Gundam didn't do well in it's initial run and attained it's holy status later on through syndication. At any rate, I'm hoping the plot shapes up. Char is pretty cool!
Last updated Monday, December 24 2007. Created Monday, December 24 2007.
Kidou Senshi Gundam
Great anime series, starts out kinda stupid with a bunch of kids kicking a highly trained military's ass (of course they do it with the best weapons). But after a couple episodes or so, they start having some trouble. It is much better when they main charactors have real difficulty and start getting beat then having them just wipe everyone out with no effort at all. I am currently in the middle of the 10 volume series, and I love it. This is such a great anime, if you don't have the means of watching, do yourself a favor and find a way to see this anime!|
This is the anime which started a phenomenon. Really good series, this is one of the best that I have ever seen. DO NOT, I repeat, do not judge this anime off of any other Gundam series, some suck beyond belief. This is a highly respected, and highly recommended anime. Keep in mind it first came out in the late 70's/early 80's, they don't have amazing computer affects, but it shouldn't matter.
Note: If "not-so-good" animation is a problem for you, avoid this anime at all costs! But the animation does improve (somewhat) throughout the series.
Last updated Wednesday, June 25 2003. Created Wednesday, April 23 2003.
|Not offical site, but holds information on all Mobile Suit Gundam series including fan art, message board, and models|
|Gundam offical site|
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