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Old 2006-08-03, 09:16   Link #1
4Tran
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What is Gundam?

To avoid pollution on the "own Gundam series" thread, I'm splitting out the issue of how Gundam is defined.
Quote:
Originally Posted by me
Based on the previous Gundam shows, it looks like as if the franchise is becoming more and more restrictive. Basically, "Gundam" is almost defined by the following elements (these are especially true for the longer length works):

1. Young/teenaged (male) protagonist.
2. White (and blue and red) prototype protagonist giant robot.
3. The main weapons are beam rifles/cannons and beam sabers.
4. Near-future setting. No nonhumans.
5. Action takes place in the Earth Sphere. Mankind has settled in the Lagrange points.

While these elements aren't entirely present in every work, the exceptions prove the point more than anything else. I'd be really surprised if any major future Gundam works differ exceptionally from these precepts. The Gundam creators sort of tried to break away from this in G Gundam, but Nighengale is quite correct in pointing out that it still stayed true to the "core of Gundam". I think that it's sort of unfortunate that the later works didn't try to be more daring, to try exploring fresher material.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonli
Another Gundam that broke itself out of the norm has to be Turn A Gundam. That series really impressed me, too bad it failed financially because of the non-gundam-ish designs that alienated fans. I wouldnt mind if one day they would make a CE version of Turn A.
I really liked Turn A as well, but I don't think it was all that different from the other Gundam shows. While it did start quite uniquely, and it had a very unorthodox setting, it quickly settled into a style quite reminiscent of the other shows. By the time Turn A reached outer space, it pretty much worked exactly the way the others did. It's almost as if the creators tried to break out of Gundam's constraints, but they couldn't quite suceed.

Normally, I say that originality is overrated, but I think that Turn A greatly benefits from having a very distinct setting. Any future attempt by Gundam to explore the same general concepts is pretty much doomed to a dismal reception. On the other hand, if you are talking about how the Cosmic Era can craft a more introspective show with emphasis on character interaction in the style of the early parts of Turn A, then I agree wholeheartedly the creators should give it a try. While the main formulaic elements have been firmly established, there's still plenty of room to play with as long as the creators have the courage to be a little more adventurous.

As a side note, Gundam shows have also been plagued with relatively poor writing. The dialogue, in particular, tends to be especially weak. This is a trend that I really hope that future works can buck.
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Old 2006-08-03, 10:02   Link #2
Nightengale
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Gundam is a giant franchise, the leading figure in the mecha world of anime, and it spawns all over into animation, games, cards, models and any form of medium that attracts money.

Seriously, I think Gundam suffers from being known as a robot show rather than a war show with humans piloting robots. One thing I've noticed is the trend of conceptuality that Gundam drives the story of cool robot action/battles and the contrast of slower, more methodical structure of telling a story on characters piloting robots in war. And thus, I think it's fairly obvious that almost every Gundam anime employs episodes where the battles fought weren't meaningful and while a minor part of the story, it could've contributed so much more as a character episode than a more fighting episode with only little character development.
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Old 2006-08-03, 10:32   Link #3
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale
Gundam is a giant franchise, the leading figure in the mecha world of anime, and it spawns all over into animation, games, cards, models and any form of medium that attracts money.

Seriously, I think Gundam suffers from being known as a robot show rather than a war show with humans piloting robots. One thing I've noticed is the trend of conceptuality that Gundam drives the story of cool robot action/battles and the contrast of slower, more methodical structure of telling a story on characters piloting robots in war. And thus, I think it's fairly obvious that almost every Gundam anime employs episodes where the battles fought weren't meaningful and while a minor part of the story, it could've contributed so much more as a character episode than a more fighting episode with only little character development.
I remembers as a child (primary-school), watching the original Gundam, and complaining about all those scenes of talking and not enough mecha battles.

Ironically, if I was watching GSD instead back then, I would have loved it.
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Old 2006-08-03, 10:57   Link #4
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Another series that turned away from the origanl Gundam was SD Gundam. And we all know how badly that did..... <_<
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Old 2006-08-03, 13:58   Link #5
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It also kinda sucks how most main Gundam series always takes the same formula in terms of story.

1) suprise attack from enemy side.
2) leave colony and fly around space for a while. (or earth)
3) drop to earth (or go to space)
4) reverse the process
5) climatic battle in space

And god....how many more "drop the colony on earth" plots are they gona use.
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Old 2006-08-03, 14:29   Link #6
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Hey it's a plot line that still works! Why ruin a good thing!?
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Old 2006-08-03, 19:25   Link #7
4Tran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale
Seriously, I think Gundam suffers from being known as a robot show rather than a war show with humans piloting robots. One thing I've noticed is the trend of conceptuality that Gundam drives the story of cool robot action/battles and the contrast of slower, more methodical structure of telling a story on characters piloting robots in war. And thus, I think it's fairly obvious that almost every Gundam anime employs episodes where the battles fought weren't meaningful and while a minor part of the story, it could've contributed so much more as a character episode than a more fighting episode with only little character development.
I think that part of this problem dates back to the tradition of giant robot shows where there's a sortie/battle in every single episode. I've noticed that in Gundam shows, this holds true for every non-recap episode of every TV series up until Seed. The sole exception that comes to mind is the first episode of Turn A - more of an exception that proves the rule. Turn A is probably the show that could have benefited the most from having a few non-combat episodes. Zeta and ZZ could also have done with a few less meaningless fights, and a little more story development. This is sort of why I'm rather pleased that they decided to break away from the one battle per episode policy in the Cosmic Era series. Still, I actually think that they would have been better off if they had dropped about half the battles from Destiny. Then again, this would probably alienate the action fans (more so than they were already alienated).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rin-Sama
Another series that turned away from the origanl Gundam was SD Gundam. And we all know how badly that did..... <_<
I'm not sure what you're talking about. What I saw of SD Gundam was great! It boiled down the familiar characters to their essences, and presented them unrelentingly as caricatures of real human beings - and all in the search for a few laughs. It was insightful, witty, and had perhaps the best writing of any Gundam show prior to Turn A. It... oh, wait... you're talking about SD Gundam Force! Never mind then...

I haven't seen SD Gundam Force, but I would imagine that it would be a bit of a stretch to compare it in any way to any of the other Gundam shows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonli
It also kinda sucks how most main Gundam series always takes the same formula in terms of story.
I think that this statement is overly generalized, but it definitely has a grain of truth to it. Perhaps the Gundam franchise should take a page out of the Macross book and try to reinvent itself a little. My one reservation to this is that the Gundam creators are reluctant to change too much. I hope that Seed Destiny is a step in the right direction in this regard - while it uses the elements of the formula you pointed out, its dramatic impetus is in an entirely different direction.
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Old 2006-08-05, 12:07   Link #8
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hey i watched a couple of episodes from gundam seed and i wanna know a question u know the one girl with red hair wut was she doing on the space palne
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Old 2006-08-05, 13:22   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant
I remembers as a child (primary-school), watching the original Gundam, and complaining about all those scenes of talking and not enough mecha battles.

Ironically, if I was watching GSD instead back then, I would have loved it.

I think that's the main question.What is the target of gundam?Once you answer that you can look the details(settings,mecha etc).
I think one probleme is that under the name gundam there're shows with completely different targets.
I think it's safe to say that the OAVs(or OVA?I never remember) are for old teenager and young adults(probably male).Most of times they are more serious.It's really obvious for Stargazer.
But the main gundam shows(50ep)have a different target. They are younger and aren't always male (If I remember well,they wanted to boost female audience with GS).
It's hard to please every one and it gets worse with time.When you have the new generation of kids and the old generation which is adult now,you almost have to create two different shows in one (if not three if you want to attract females,I suspect we owe them the ZxY syndrome but I could be wrong ).

When the main question is answered,you know if your show has more action or plot and character dvlpt.
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Old 2006-08-05, 14:11   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichigo112
hey i watched a couple of episodes from gundam seed and i wanna know a question u know the one girl with red hair wut was she doing on the space palne
This isn’t quite the right thread for your question, but I’ll try to answer it. If you’re talking about the girl in the rescue capsule with the other refugees, then her name is Fllay Alster, and she just escaped Heliopolis with everyone else. If you’re referring to the girl who’s ship got blown up, then her name is Lacus Clyne, daughter of the PLANT chairman Sigel Clyne. Her ship was on its way to the site of Junius 7, where her mission was to commemorate the destruction of the colony.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeusIrae
I think that's the main question.What is the target of gundam?Once you answer that you can look the details(settings,mecha etc).
I think one probleme is that under the name gundam there're shows with completely different targets.
I agree with you in regards to the target audience for the OVAs. However, I think that you’re over thinking the issue when it comes to the TV series. The primary audience for every single Gundam TV show has always been male children aged 6-12. This can be verified in the case of Destiny by just looking at the winning entries for the Zaku-Zaku campaign (episode 29?). All of the other demographics are of a lesser importance. While the Cosmic Era series managed to grab a large portion of the female 14-20 demographic, it’s still not anywhere near the primary focus. In fact, I sort of think that this strength of this phenomenon sort of caught the creators by surprise – I don’t even think that they had the proper merchandising lines available to exploit this breakthrough.

I think that the greatest problems in Destiny actually stem from trying to please the traditional Gundam fans. My opinion is that they should have ignored this segment altogether and just went ahead with telling their own story.
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Old 2006-08-07, 02:27   Link #11
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Originally written by me: "Then again, that might not be bad in and of itself. At the very least, it would let the Gundam franchise be a little more adventurous."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale
True, but sadly, even Gundam has yet to reach the level of Miyazaki/Ghibli where the very name of Ghibli stires crowds. Sure, Gundam is famous, but it has yet to reach a point where they can truly be adventurous in their overall presentation and still win in fans. Turn-A made an impression, and it didn't bode well with public despite major advertising and hype.
I'm not sure that fame has anything to do with it. Gundam is far more famous than Macross, but I feel that the Gundam franchise is far more unwilling to be adventurous, and more willing to be pigeonholed. The last time a Gundam TV show really tried to do something new was G Gundam over ten years ago! As above, Turn A started out very differently, but the creators still felt that they had to churn out an ending very much in line with older shows. Partially, I think that the relatively poor reception stems from the very fact it was different. And that's really the problem: Gundam is too easily pigeonholed it's way too easy for people to just look at an outline for a new series and dismiss it as too unGundam.

Contrast this with Macross: the original SDF Macross is as grim and dark as anything seen in Gundam, but something as silly and different as Macross 7 can still be one of the most popular parts of its franchise. But SD Gundam Force is instantly condemned as a kids' show, or Seed Destiny is castigated for relatively minor flaws; when their true crimes are being quite different from the rest of the franchise. It really seems to put a damper on any type of experimentation when it comes to Gundam.
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Old 2006-08-07, 07:06   Link #12
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It does kind of suprise me that Macross manages to do things differently everytime while Gundam is still stuck at one spot...yet still much more popular.

I personally think Gundam wouldnt change this formula until i graduate from University (4 years), by that time probably Gundam would be deemed a below average or mediocre show that forces the producers to ultimately change its formula for the better. And like how one of the posters pointed out before, the series itself is controlled by the model producers, some of the plot points are forced to change so that it would boost model sales. Such as Deakka's defection, im sure if the producers didnt limit Fukuda and his wife...destiny and Seed would probably be much more enjoyable.

Off topic: I got a few questions to ask, was Macross 7 actually widely accepted by its fans? Did it do well financially? I personally hated the show...it really turned me off....although i still forced myself to finish the series....

How about Robotech? Is it doing better than Gundam internationally? Or is it only more popular in the States? Would you actually prefer Macross over Robotech?
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Old 2006-08-07, 08:04   Link #13
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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im sure if the producers didnt limit Fukuda and his wife
Err... Did you live under a rock in the last year and missed out on all the news concerning Fukuda's wife?

There was no limit from producers, that was just a rumour. Fukuda got screwed BY his wife (in the non-sexual sense) and nearly Crashed & Burned GSD because of it. Just ask the production staff.
(It's amazing how overdue scripts can ruin everything. It's just unprofessional for the chief scriptwriter to hand her scripts in late.)

Could there be some influence from Bandai? Sure. But thus far the major failings of GSD had nothing to do with them. Fukuda was barely able to keep the show afloat as it was, so it is unlikely Bandai will shoot themselves in the foot by demanding sudden and dramatic changes mid-production. The issue from Bandai wasn't "We want to sale XYZ gundam, can you give it more screentime?", but was instead "Another filler episode? Are you sure there is enough time remaining to have an ending that wasn't a laughingstock and ruin our reputation? Are we going to be able to sell ANY GS Destiny models at all?"

Here is a nicely written post by WingDarkness on this subject that I have taken a liking to. I generally don't agree with most things proposed by WD, but his posts have a certain special flavour that I have yet to learn to duplicate.
http://forums.animesuki.com/showpost...&postcount=201
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Old 2006-08-07, 08:29   Link #14
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Thank you for enlightening me in that situation.

But that doesnt deny the fact that they are limited by the producers. Clearly ms.wife must have been having trouble with the scripts for real reasons not just because she's a bad writer. As i've said earlier the model producers can actually manipulate Fukuda and his wife to change the events of the series. Maybe she's having trouble producing the scripts because of the limitations imposed by the model producers?

Im just speculating, bust Wingdarkness' post doesnt deny the fact that mainstream gundam shows are largely influenced by model sales.
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Old 2006-08-07, 08:50   Link #15
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonli
Thank you for enlightening me in that situation.

But that doesnt deny the fact that they are limited by the producers. Clearly ms.wife must have been having trouble with the scripts for real reasons not just because she's a bad writer. As i've said earlier the model producers can actually manipulate Fukuda and his wife to change the events of the series. Maybe she's having trouble producing the scripts because of the limitations imposed by the model producers?

Im just speculating, bust Wingdarkness' post doesnt deny the fact that mainstream gundam shows are largely influenced by model sales.
Actually, no.

The GSD production crew got pissed off because Fukuda allowed his wife to hand in the script later and later. It got to the stage when one animation director exploded on his own personal blog with anger.

Why can't she be a bad writer? The GSD staff members believe she is, and frankly I will take their words for it.

And you seemed to not understand the concept of priority and how serious it was. The entire GSD series nearly died halfway through airing. No corporation, no matter how greedy, will risk killing its own franchise.

Do you know how serious it would be to stop a show on primetime? Do you know how many heads would roll had it happened?

GSD was collapsing. If it was Bandai's fault, we would have heard about it by now. Any and every evidence of fault points to Fukuda's wife, even when Fukuda tried to cover for her.

Corporations are greedy, not suicidal. Or do you believe they graduated from the same university as Dr Evil?
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Old 2006-08-07, 09:15   Link #16
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^Bandai is the diet-coke of evil, they're just not evil enuff...Hmmm, where have I heard that saying before??

But think about all the promotions, in-show tie-ins, and pre contracted advertising (for them and the TV station) that would have been blasted had GSD ended (Bandai would have had to pay for all that $hit and risk alienating future ventures)...They really had no choice but to keep serving us slop, because anything would have been better than production ending...That would have been a black-eye for anime...Especially when everyone knows Gundam is the most lucrative anime franchise in Japan...
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Old 2006-08-07, 09:17   Link #17
Nightengale
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Wow, this has got to be one of the few post that strikes Morosawa more than Fukuda.

Anyway, I wouldn't exactly say that Morosawa is a bad writer. She had her share of contributions in various good animes, but all of them often point to one thing.

Morosawa works best when she's asked to handle short stories in form of OVAs or when her husband, Fukuda actually writes half of the script for the series. Contrary to popular belief, Fukuda is actually capable of writing and coordinating scripts, but he suffered the Ishida Akira/Athrun effect where his lack of confidence at something he wasn't adept at (( not a scriptwriter by original profession )) eventually allows his wife to handle at least 90% of the anime which script she writes. The only anime that didn't was G.E.A.R Dendoh, where Morosawa contributed like....15%.

GSD suffered from bad writing. Even as a fan, I won't deny that. But that has nothing to do with what is Gundam, so back on topic, guys.

Edit : Shouldn't it be 2nd lucrative? But I suppose Ghibli doesn't really count as a franchise.......

Talking about stopped production, when the hell is 12 Kingdoms going to be continued!? That's a black eye there.
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Old 2006-08-07, 10:21   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale
GSD suffered from bad writing. Even as a fan, I won't deny that. But that has nothing to do with what is Gundam, so back on topic, guys.
Actually, I wouldn't totally call this entirely offtopic. I personally think that based on all of the longer Gundam works (and most of the shorter ones as well), weak writing can be regarded as a defining characteristic of the franchise. In this regard, Destiny fits right in. What does take it offtopic is that this thread isn't really about Destiny in particular.


More offtopic:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonli
Off topic: I got a few questions to ask, was Macross 7 actually widely accepted by its fans? Did it do well financially? I personally hated the show...it really turned me off....although i still forced myself to finish the series....
I don't know if Macross 7 was initially well received by its fans, but it was still a fairly popular series. The math is quite telling: it had a 49-episode TV run, bonus episodes, a separate OVA, a mini-movie (~30min), and tons of audio CDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale
Talking about stopped production, when the hell is 12 Kingdoms going to be continued!? That's a black eye there.
Talk about the opposite of bad writing. Production on more Twelve Kingdoms probably won't start until Ono Fuyumi releases more books. Sadly, without new material to generate some excitement, there isn't any real impetus for putting out more of the anime.
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Old 2006-08-07, 11:06   Link #19
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Uh huh, I see, understood.

If she was "The One" that butchered the whole Destiny series....why didnt the top officials of Bandai/Sunrise just fire her? Change the script writer...if it was this serious they should take extreme measures. Unless Fukuda's influence on the company is really big or something.
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Old 2006-08-07, 11:22   Link #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rin-Sama
Another series that turned away from the origanl Gundam was SD Gundam. And we all know how badly that did..... <_<


Well Anime aside, SD Gundams has long been around, I remeber buying tons of plamo when I was a kid which is in the 80s and they were HUGE back then despise they are only a line of toy side product without anime.

What makes them cool back than were that there are SD gundams that looks like samurais and knights and commandos and they all have their little words, the plamo will also inculde a page of continuous manga that shows story and their personalities. They were relatively cheap (about $3-4 USD) compare to regular size Gundams in either ($20-30) .




Quote:
Originally Posted by jonli
Uh huh, I see, understood.

If she was "The One" that butchered the whole Destiny series....why didnt the top officials of Bandai/Sunrise just fire her? Change the script writer...if it was this serious they should take extreme measures. Unless Fukuda's influence on the company is really big or something.

Unfortunately, her script changes does meet the demand of mass market and in the end that's what matters.

Personally, what messd up GSD's plot, IMO, was that the focus shift from Shinn to Kira too abruptly, and ends up with Shinn really not serving any point in the series. While I love Kira/Lacus, and enjoy all the kira ownage. I wish they stick to what they intended originally by either stick with Kira as main character or stick Shinn even if he s#ck.

Last edited by Undertaker; 2006-08-07 at 11:33.
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