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Old 2006-10-25, 01:16   Link #1
asaqe
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Two personal thoughts about Gundam...

Now lately I have been thinking about two things; pacifism and Gundam and the idea about is Tragedy (and a good death count) needed in gundam. The first thing about Pacifism is how Gundam generally treats Pro-War Characters like dirt. In battletech that would be a very good quality to have no qualms about about combat(Hadnt heard of a main battletech character who hates war, in fact if Kira has been in BT timespace, he would shot for his anti war beliefs). Do you believe another director should create a main character who's a mercenary bent on fighting anywhere who will pay him well or do you believe in peace is good cause to fight for?

Another opinion of mine is the fact why does some people disagrees with the lack of tragedy will make a gundam series less enjoyable. I did see some opposition on how every gundam series should be a kill em all of sorts in a topic where we were asked how can we make SEED better and I suggested the idea. Of course some dislike how killing characters off is an good anwser. So what do you think?
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Old 2006-10-25, 01:51   Link #2
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Mhm, about the first idea - i dont think a mercenery will do... i mean who will entrust a gundam to a mercenery? And its not like we have a load of pacifists in Gundam - some may believe in peace but are ready to kk&d for it regardles of it being right or wrong.

About the second part - one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. People dont grieve over a statistic. Bigger death count =/= tragedy and emotional impact.
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Old 2006-10-25, 05:03   Link #3
wingdarkness
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If you remember correctly Gundam X is the one G-series that actually dives into the realm of mercenary pilots...Even Garroad's intial inclination with stolen suits was to do jobs for pay...Enil El and her crew were all about head-hunting (whether it had been real heads or Mobile suit ones)...Let me not even mention the exploits of the Frost Brothers who used mercenary actions as a front for their own objectives...As for the rest you pose some interesting questions, I'll have to think a little harder and come back with some interesting answers...
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Old 2006-10-25, 07:59   Link #4
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You can add the gundam boys of Wing to the list of mercenary pilots.. err pseudo mercenary pilots that is.
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Old 2006-10-25, 10:26   Link #5
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Or we could have a Victory-ish type mobile suit where a Gundam is basically just a highly customized grunt suit, instead of a super-powerful heavy hitter. That would work for a mercenary.
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Old 2006-10-25, 10:29   Link #6
4Tran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asage
The first thing about Pacifism is how Gundam generally treats Pro-War Characters like dirt. In battletech that would be a very good quality to have no qualms about about combat(Hadnt heard of a main battletech character who hates war, in fact if Kira has been in BT timespace, he would shot for his anti war beliefs). Do you believe another director should create a main character who's a mercenary bent on fighting anywhere who will pay him well or do you believe in peace is good cause to fight for?
There's a few things I'd like to touch upon. First off, the definition of a pacifist is someone who disavows the use of violence. Accordingly, the only major Gundam character who qualifies as one is Relena. Everyone else is pragmatic enough to use violence in order to further their goals.

Furthermore, I'm not sure what you're getting at in regards to "Pro-War". Generally speaking, even the people who advocate using war as an instrument of policy understand that it will have grave consequences like people dying, destruction of infrastructure, loss of finances, and the like. Therefore it's quite natural to dislike aspects of war. In addition, the only real reason for fighting a war in the first place (at least for the belligerents involved) is in the hopes of a better peace. War is not an ends in and of itself - it's only a tool for accomplishing other goals.

Finally, I don't think that it's entirely fair to make a comparison between the Gundam universes and the Battletech universe. The former are characterized by the characters growing up in a time of long peace, with the occasional punctuation of short, violent wars. The Battletech universe, on the other hand, is in the midst of an ongoing war that has lasted for centuries. That these universes have vastly different outlooks on war is only to be expected. Even in this case, Kira would fit right in with the likes of Kai Allard-Liao and Victor Steiner-Davion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asage
Another opinion of mine is the fact why does some people disagrees with the lack of tragedy will make a gundam series less enjoyable. I did see some opposition on how every gundam series should be a kill em all of sorts in a topic where we were asked how can we make SEED better and I suggested the idea. Of course some dislike how killing characters off is an good anwser. So what do you think?
The greatest strength of Gundam shows is the way they set up interesting situations, and their greatest weakness is that they tend not to be written very well. Killing a lot of characters neither plays on Gundam's strength nor does it address its weakness. Hence, while there may be situations where a story is improved by characters dying, but there are just as many cases where it is not. If every Gundam show became a "kill 'em all", then it would just make the Gundam franchise all that more pigeon-holed and predictable. In my opinion, the best way to improve Gundam is to have better writing. (And for the creators to stop listening to the fans, but that's not really relevant)
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Old 2006-10-25, 10:52   Link #7
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Apparently what you have going is somewhat an idea of a world of soldiers who find peace only in war, or mercenaries who can only live their live in the battlefield, somewhat among the fields of ideas afloat in Metal Gear and Red Eyes. The conceptual gist itself is nothing wrong, but the genuine conception is that unlike the general world of war that such people live in, the concept of Gundam relays more on soldiers or to a further extent, people who fight for the sake of ending a war, be it by conquering the other side totally, or by bringing the war to a point where a favourable peace treaty for both sides can be negotiated. Even pro-war idealist do not fight simply because more wars will be born out of the conflict, and if anything, it's just how they believe the war should be ended that varies between anti-war/pro-war soldiers/fighters. Of course peace is a good thing to fight for, as soldier fights for peace. If Gundam wants to improve it's story telling concepts in the reigns of what you're insinuating, the first thing it should do is exploite how soldiers who only have their guns and their battlefield live in a world that doesn't need them. Red Eyes, a faux-war manga for one takes this idea very well.

As for the second point, I've said it a million times before, and not everyone agree with me, but I think that character deaths are freaking overrated. The value of characters, be it minor ones, major ones, endearing ones, ones you love to hate...everyone in general is how one places a particular stereotype in an engaging situation/story that allows proper expansion of a character's profile and how it's executed and tailored for the purpose of that character's existence. Naturally there will be character deaths, but the importance is in how the story is written to fully use the character's death to truly further the story in every aspect rather than just throw a bomb at us for no specific reason.
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Old 2006-10-25, 19:52   Link #8
Tak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asaqe View Post
Now lately I have been thinking about two things; pacifism and Gundam and the idea about is Tragedy (and a good death count) needed in gundam. The first thing about Pacifism is how Gundam generally treats Pro-War Characters like dirt. In battletech that would be a very good quality to have no qualms about about combat(Hadnt heard of a main battletech character who hates war, in fact if Kira has been in BT timespace, he would shot for his anti war beliefs). Do you believe another director should create a main character who's a mercenary bent on fighting anywhere who will pay him well or do you believe in peace is good cause to fight for?
Compairing Gundam and Battle Tech is like compairing apples & oranges. At the end, all it comes down to is "which one is your favorite universe". Althogh I personally dislike the way they portray Battle Tech's future history. If anything, its pure BS. Although I used to love using the Marauder to kick people's arses, just so I can prove Macross mecha designs are so much superior!

But, personal preference aside. Battle Tech is not neccessairly about people being 'pro-war' it certainly seems that way because if FASA can't get a war ongonig, where the hell are they gonig to make profits off the table top? Its like Warhammer 40K, all these TT games are designed with a never-ending story as a backdrop. Realistically, Battle Tech is about survival. Surely the inner sphere and the outer sphere's continous conflict exist because neither side want to be invaded and taken over. Moreover, as 4Tran pointed out, the folks in Battle Tech are ready for, and used to war because they were born in a galaxy of conflicts that lasted centuries. However, based on numerous Battle Tech literature, alternatives other than war were often exploited when they prove viable.

In Gundam, the situation is different. There was a prolonged peace, until war suddenly struck. Moreover, most characters in Battle Tech are grown-up adults and accustomed to war, while the characters in Gundam are mostly kids! Some barely in their teens (Victory Gundam, anyone?)! Though, about what you said in regards to Kira, I doubt anyone in the BT universe would shoot him. He is easily the best pilot they will ever get. He'd be the most prized commodity if he ever ended up on the BT universe.

Speaking of mecha mercenaries, ever played Zone of Enders II? Dingo was a good character, cold-hearted and professional. He doesn't whine about war, but that does not mean he likes it. He was just being pragmatic about using war as a tool to achieve his political agenda, nothing more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale
As for the second point, I've said it a million times before, and not everyone agree with me, but I think that character deaths are freaking overrated.
Yet, a lot of Tomino deaths are intentionally careless, and trivial. Surely I wouldn't want him to direct my death scenes. In CCA and V. Gundam, characters die left and right for the heck of it. There is no remorse, no regret and no rememberance. Many dead characters were forgotten almost IMMEDIATELY, as if nothing had happened. If anything, his deaths are UNDERRATED. I ain't letting him touch my death scenes, hell...

- Tak
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Last edited by Tak; 2006-10-26 at 00:55.
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Old 2006-10-25, 20:07   Link #9
Demongod86
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Gai Murakumo is a merc with a gundam, for the record. Lowe also to an extent...

Well, they're not that much of gundams, but meh...;
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Old 2006-10-25, 21:26   Link #10
wingdarkness
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Originally Posted by Nightengale View Post

As for the second point, I've said it a million times before, and not everyone agree with me, but I think that character deaths are freaking overrated. The value of characters, be it minor ones, major ones, endearing ones, ones you love to hate...everyone in general is how one places a particular stereotype in an engaging situation/story that allows proper expansion of a character's profile and how it's executed and tailored for the purpose of that character's existence. Naturally there will be character deaths, but the importance is in how the story is written to fully use the character's death to truly further the story in every aspect rather than just throw a bomb at us for no specific reason.

Well as you probably know my feelings on this I think there is fine contrast in the differences we have on this subject...Character deaths can serve a purpose and they can also be something trivial (It doesn't have to be just one)...I just think it's unfair to single out Zeta (which you aren't doing directly, but I know your opinion of it) when it was probably the first show of it's time to take that path...It was somewhat of a prototype for the created genre and whether or not it was endearing to you doesn't change the fact it's tone was somewhat uncharted (Also highly rated and critically respected if that counts for anything).... I mean there are several G-series where supreme death or the "Kill'em all" concept isn't even a factor (Hell CCA, Victory, and Zeta are the only ones really--what's that like 3 out of 25 incarnations?)...I just think the perception is so overblown...

The people who like the serious an unapologetic nature of death on the battlefield are the ones who are really in the minority here, yet it doesn't seem that way...It seems like everyone who is against "Kill'em all" or unapologetic death scenes tries to capsulate that frustration thru-out the entire fandom...An obvious factor has to be the way character deaths are treated in C.E. Gundam. If I say I want more characters to die or for death as a whole to be or feel realistic currently in Gundam, I don't think that's overrated at all...I'd say coutless escapes from obvious death situations to the point most of the fandom is desensitized by all perceived death in a series is far more OVERRATED...In other words letting characters live in the most preposterous of ways destroys the value of a character or story far more IMO (especially when it's being done to what seems the nth degree--I mean this is Gundam not shonen fighting)...Sometimes a character dying shouldn't HAVE TO further or fully-embody a storyline, sometimes that unexpected bomb is what reminds us of what's really at stake (What's really taking place)...That this isn't just a game, filled with 1ups and extra-men...

Atleast that's how I see it...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tak
Yet, a lot of Tomino deaths are intentionally careless, and trivial. Surely I wouldn't want him to direct my death scenes. In CCA and V. Gundam, characters die left and right for the heck of it. There is no remorse, no regret and no rememberance. Many dead characters were forgotten almost IMMEDIATELY, as if nothing had happened. If anything, his deaths are UNDERRATED. I ain't letting him touch my death scenes, hell.
Victory is totally different in it's portrayle, unlike Zeta for the most part it does glorify and have a sense of drama and rememberence to it's death sequences...Countless scenes of victim's ghosts or implied ghosts return or flash the screen in tumultuous fashion that preys on the audiences sympathy...Like I just said a passage ago, the perception really doesn't reach the reality of death in Gundam...The people who want to see more realistic or less than bashful results are the ones really getting shortchanged...

And that's not to say "Kill'em all" = Believably Kill someone...
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Old 2006-10-25, 22:54   Link #11
Nightengale
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@Tak Ehrm....since when was my alias called asage?

And the issue at hand really does depend on how and which in the manner of purpose. At times, it can really be argued how character deaths and the emotions that spawned within the context of the death occured. But what my distaste of character death really spawns from is the recurring idea of death represented over and over in a menial fashion. A lot of characters in Victory died. Some had their own reasons in death, some died for thier effects on other characters, but the limitations of their impact towards the story and characters that live are apparent after awhile, and after some point, you do get the itchy feel that some characters died again to serve the same purpose again when it has no need since it creates no new purpose and there was little emotion either. Some good examples of many many deaths that looked similar, but each one different in their own right and how they served to move the story is Legend of Galactic Heroes and Fist of the North Star. The latter particularly involves strong emotion behind characters, and their concept of dying differs as each one fights for their own battle. Some fear death, and serve the idea of death-fearing and some embody the sadness that fuels another, etc etc etc. Legend of Galactic Heroes....doesn't really need explaination from my part. So many deaths, so many reasons, and the intrique line it draws from each stems another root of a different character.

@wingdarkness Well, we've been through this, and I don't dispute your opinion in which a want for a stronger realism isn't unfounded in which the concept of constant survival does create a semi-unrealistic approach on some basis within the story (( some )), but I believe that what should be canned is more of what I could say, mysterious revivals from the dead. Even so, it's not exactly something that is constantly repeated either from all aspects of Gundam and depending on who and when it's executed, it doesn't problematicly derail the entire story. Take Gundam X's ending for example.

But that's hardly my point when addressing asage's personal thoughts. Zeta had it's own story to tell, such as other Gundams had it's own story to tell. Turn-A didn't need a mood of "shit, the next day may be my last" and "this is war, kid. Swallow that fact or die trying." to be a good series. In fact, just because a series doesn't feel that good, (( like most people's opinion of GSD )), will it improve miraculously just because the last 10 episodes all of a sudden creates a war-mood by killing off many named characters? No. When the story revolves around the harsh reality of war like how Zeta wanted to tell, then it's perfectly fine. I've said before that character deaths are acceptable and I had no qualms in Zeta wanting to kill off so many characters, but my main problem with it was execution, not body count. Fafner killed off a lot of character as well, but I ranked a lot of those deaths strongly since I thought the execution was really well done.
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Old 2006-10-26, 00:14   Link #12
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I think that kill em all can be effective if used correctly. Gundam 0080 is a prime example of this (although many of you seem to dislike it for the lack of action). 4/6th of the significant characters die during it. One of those in particular is probably the most powerfully portrayed as well as ultimately futile death in Gundam.

CCA on the other hand, fails to address some of the deaths significantly. I didn't have a problem with the characters dropping like flies in combat in general, but they killed a character who survived Z and ZZ and took less than 10 seconds showing his death. If I didn't know him from Z and ZZ, I probably wouldn't have even realized the significance of him as a character.

Last edited by Scorch; 2006-10-26 at 00:15. Reason: Typo
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Old 2006-10-26, 01:44   Link #13
Tak
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Originally Posted by Nightengale View Post
@Tak Ehrm....since when was my alias called asage?
When I made a typo, obviously I blame my pinky on that one. I am sure you can overlook my insignificant error and still retain our relationship on the best of terms


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale View Post
And the issue at hand really does depend on how and which in the manner of purpose. At times, it can really be argued how character deaths and the emotions that spawned within the context of the death occured.

. . . .

Some good examples of many many deaths that looked similar, but each one different in their own right and how they served to move the story is Legend of Galactic Heroes. . . .
I hate to say this, but Gundam deaths are often very predictable and usually I have a feeling that so-and-so character is going to get the shaft. Most of the time, I end up being right. Although I can generally shove predictability aside if the producers can make death scenes seem graceful and meaningful. Unfortunately, thats not the case most of the time. When Stella died in GSD, I more or less continued watching with a little more than a shrug. "Whatever." was my feeling for her end.

The sad thing is, to me, many Gundam deaths are more or less a plot device.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes is an entirely different ball park here. You never really know who is going to die, ever. Maybe with the exception of Siegfried, but even so, you didn't know when or how. Regardless, his death had a meaning, and the impact is clear, because even you, as the audience, felt it. Most of the characters in LoGH accomplished much prior to their end, and you really get to know their lives very well, before you witness the merciless hand of the author-deity who took their lives away.

In one of his notes, Mr. Tanaka voiced his regret in ending Siegfried's life too early. According to him, if he could do it again, he would let Siegfried live until Reinhard assumes the golden throne. Although he later wrote several side stories and a new prequel, they came too late as a form of compensation for that beloved character.

- Tak (And when you-know-who died, oh man, that broke my heart...)
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Last edited by Tak; 2006-10-29 at 23:22.
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Old 2006-10-26, 06:35   Link #14
tritoch
 
 
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Originally Posted by Scorch View Post
I think that kill em all can be effective if used correctly. Gundam 0080 is a prime example of this (although many of you seem to dislike it for the lack of action). 4/6th of the significant characters die during it. One of those in particular is probably the most powerfully portrayed as well as ultimately futile death in Gundam.

CCA on the other hand, fails to address some of the deaths significantly. I didn't have a problem with the characters dropping like flies in combat in general, but they killed a character who survived Z and ZZ and took less than 10 seconds showing his death. If I didn't know him from Z and ZZ, I probably wouldn't have even realized the significance of him as a character.

The mechanic Astanage[spelling?]. Heck that was meaningless.. I fumed for days after he died in CCA.
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Old 2006-10-29, 22:26   Link #15
4Tran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingdarkness
The people who like the serious an unapologetic nature of death on the battlefield are the ones who are really in the minority here, yet it doesn't seem that way...It seems like everyone who is against "Kill'em all" or unapologetic death scenes tries to capsulate that frustration thru-out the entire fandom...An obvious factor has to be the way character deaths are treated in C.E. Gundam. If I say I want more characters to die or for death as a whole to be or feel realistic currently in Gundam, I don't think that's overrated at all...I'd say coutless escapes from obvious death situations to the point most of the fandom is desensitized by all perceived death in a series is far more OVERRATED...In other words letting characters live in the most preposterous of ways destroys the value of a character or story far more IMO (especially when it's being done to what seems the nth degree--I mean this is Gundam not shonen fighting)...Sometimes a character dying shouldn't HAVE TO further or fully-embody a storyline, sometimes that unexpected bomb is what reminds us of what's really at stake (What's really taking place)...That this isn't just a game, filled with 1ups and extra-men...
In order for an element like this to contribute to making the story more realistic, there has to be some attempt to make it feel realistic. Zeta, Victory and Char's Counterattack treated the combat like a video game/comic book hybrid to begin with - I mean, does the combat in these shows really feel any more realistic than Mobile Suit Gundam? How about Gundam X? Or Gundam Seed? Or Gundam Wing? I'd say that all of these show display combat with about the same low level of believability. While you may think that having more characters die can make it feel as if the consequences are more like real war, the fact that the instrument of these consequences, i.e. the combat itself, is not credible undermines any endeavours in this respect. In essence, no amount of characters dying can really impact the story in terms of realism.

That said, having characters die can affect the story on an emotional level. And those three shows are occasionally successful, and occasionally unsuccessful at that kind of impact. However, the number of people dying doesn't really contribute anything in and of itself. In the end, character death is a storytelling tool much like any other. Used well, it can greatly benefit the story; used poorly, it just ends up being a distraction; and if it's overused, then it becomes uninteresting. In Gundam, this tool's effectiveness is decidedly mixed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale
Zeta had it's own story to tell, such as other Gundams had it's own story to tell. Turn-A didn't need a mood of "shit, the next day may be my last" and "this is war, kid. Swallow that fact or die trying." to be a good series.
As an addendum, the way Zeta had Camille talk about how "that's the way war is" can be extremely grating because it is posited so clumsily.
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