I’m not a fan of the mainstream Gundam shows.

April 8, 2009 at 7:46 pm 4 comments


Unlike most people, I’m no big fan of Gundam.

Something ticks me off about the entire franchise. And it’s not because of the fact Bandai is using the venerable franchise as a marketing ploy to sell more overpriced boxes of plastic bitz.

It’s that it touts itself as anti-war, but for the life of me, it does not show a solution to fighting, instead putting it on a pedestal and saying to have peace, we must fight (a big problem I also have with Eva, only that it has other issues I don’t like as well). Nor does it show the effects of war.

Instead it glorifies violence and the whole process, and overwhelms the viewer with gratituous violence, telling us pretty bluntly that war = violence, and violence is bad because it will come to bite you in the ass. We already get a lot of that in the media, and we know an eye for an eye makes the whole bloody world blind.

There’s also a dangerous lack of the grittier side of the war. The role of the ground forces, for example, is something not covered in the mainstream shows, but in the side stories. Nor does it show how war affects people apart for all the violence.

Now, one can criticize me and go “Hey Drm/Hamster, but your favorite shows do that too!”. I agree, they don’t really show the grittier side of war (Macross is particularly guilty of resorting to Gundam tactics), but hey, at least Macross shows an alternative. And actually does said alternative path in the most awesome and silly manner. And Overman King Gainer is so ridiculous one cannot call it “anti-war”.

That’s why I’m no fan of Gundam. However, I recommend everyone to watch The O8th MS Team. It’s how Gundam should have been done, in my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

This post has been brought to you by IKnight, this grumpy dude, White Wolf, and sup/tg/. Part of a series talking about war.

Entry filed under: Anime.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. primeparadigm  |  April 8, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Dude, check out Gundam 0080: War in a Pocket. 6 episode OVA which I feel is the best and most successful of the franchise in conveying an anti-war message in Gundam. Can be a bit too slice of lifey for some in the middle.

    Reply
  • 2. Hectotane  |  April 9, 2009 at 1:20 am

    I’d recommend the 08th MST as well, along with 0080 Pocket War and 0083 Stardust Memories. But they need to get rid of the lame “romance” angles first to be fully recommended.

    Reply
  • 3. The Animanachronism  |  April 9, 2009 at 2:13 am

    I guess I agree, with a few caveats: some parts of the franchise do tout themselves as explicitly anti-war, but I think a lot of the time the fans assume that the whole thing’s anti-war when large parts of it plainly aren’t. So I wouldn’t just blame the anime in isolation.

    I think some of this boils down to jpmeyer’s comment (quoting some theorist or other) that you can’t really make a purely anti-war film, because simply by portraying war with an exciting medium like film you’re glorifying it. But I agree that Macross and others are probably better at getting around the problem. (I think the original SDF is a very humane story, despite, or perhaps partly because of, its silliness.)

    Reply
  • 4. Hitoa  |  October 12, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Fuck you

    Reply

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