Gundam
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Xinder Offline CORRECTION COUNTER: 131

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19th December 2015 06:37 PM
Post: #1
Yes, this is a thread for the entire Gundam franchise. I don't think the individual series have enough pull to justify giving them all their own threads, so we'll keep it all in here.

As you all know by now, I love Gundam. I am doing a full streamthrough of the franchise right now and we're starting on ZZ the first week of 2016 if you want to join us here: https://broni.es/thread-16247.html


WHAT IS GUNDAM?

Gundam is a mecha franchise begun as an anime but spreading to encapsulate manga, light novels, full novels, video games, and even a live-action movie at one point. I'd be very much surprised if you have never heard of Gundam before now with how widespread it's become.

The original Mobile Suit Gundam started in 1979 as the brainchild of Yoshiyuki Tomino (A.K.A. "Kill 'Em All Tomino"). Tired of all the mecha series involving ridiculous powers that didn't make any sense, Tomino desired a series that treated mechas as military machines with no great supernatural powers. Of course, that's not what Gundam ended up becoming, but that's more the fault of executive meddling than Tomino. Where Tomino wanted a serious mecha anime, Sunrise wanted to sell toys. Notably, the original series was so poorly received when it originally aired that it had to be cut from the planned 50 episodes to a mere 43.

Gundam these days can be anything. We currently have Origin: An OVA covering the formative years of Char's life before redoing the One Year War; Iron-Blooded Orphans: A more serious war drama (as you can tell from the title); and we recently had the less serious Gundam Build Fighters and Mobile Suit Gundam-san. There's really nothing Gundam can't be. But there are similar themes throughout most, if not all, of the Gundam series. Common themes include the idealization of pacifism and a strong negative depiction of war. Usually (but not always) the protagonist will be a pacifist, if not at the start of the series, then they may become one by the end.

Gundam is also credited for the invention of the Real Robot genre, which involves mechas being used in a more realistic way that can be mostly explained by modern physics. This is opposed to the Super Robot genre, which gives mechas what amounts to supernatural powers (see: Gurren Lagann). Later Gundam series straddle the line between Real Robot and Super Robot, with series such as G Gundam crossing the line completely into Super Robot.


tl;dr

It's a show about giant robots with deeper themes about how war is bad.


SOUNDS COOL, WHERE DO I START?

Well, ideally you'd join us for the streamthrough every week. But I guess you don't have to. So here's some recommendations:

Mobile Suit Gundam - Yes, the original. It's pretty outdated, but it's still very much enjoyable as an anime. If you can look past the dated animation and casual sexism, you can have a good time with this show. It also really sets the stage for what Gundam should be.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam - Yeah, I just listed the first two series as the best starting points. But hear me out: Zeta is my favorite Gundam series of them all. It doesn't need knowledge of the original to get into, but that does help you get the most out of it. It manages to hit all the points that the first series did in a much better way while adding in new themes that mesh well, all combined with a very likable cast and some fun action. I can't recommend Zeta enough.

0080: War in the Pocket - This is an odd one. I'll recommend it as a good starting place if you think you don't like Gundam, because it may surprise you.

The 08th MS Team - And this one I can recommend to anyone who thinks they don't like mecha anime at all. This is easily the most Real Robot that Gundam ever was. Gundams are treated as essentially giant walking tanks. There's nothing really special about them except that they're really good war machines.

G Gundam - If you like Super Robot, start here.

Gundam Wing - I honestly think this is one of the more shallow series with a cast of unlikable characters (except Duo) looking back on it. But it was what originally made me like Gundam when I was a kid. Nostalgia still affects me when I think about it, and I can't deny that.

Gundam 00 - 00 is the first modern Gundam that's really any good. So if the other shows are too dated for you to get into, this might be able to change your mind.


WHAT'S AIRING NOW?

I already told you if you read everything, but I guess I can say it again.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin


Iron-Blooded Orphans


and coming early next year:
Thunderbolt




If you are going to discuss specific plot events from any series, please spoiler tag with the name of what series you're talking about. for instance:
Zeta:

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Xinder Offline CORRECTION COUNTER: 131

Posts: 39,397
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25th December 2015 06:07 AM
Post: #2
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Merry Christmas!

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