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Mostly posting this because I noticed it the other day, and I've recently discovered that no one else in all my social circles has actually watched the Gundam animes, but; Did anyone else ever notice that Gundam Wing was REALLY focused on Mobile Suits/Dolls instead of Gundams? Like, I grant that this was somewhat of a thing in the original Gundam series (at least until Char got his own Gundam), but remembering that it was establishing the entire extended canon and universe in which everything happened, that was kind of important. And even then, it was always a point that a standard Mobile Suit's performance (less customization) would NEVER match the Gundam, or any of it's successors. Likewise, SEED, 00, even Zeta and ZZ kind of shared this trait. But Gundam Wing kind of went in the opposite direction. At the start of the show, the Gundams are huge power-houses that are able to lay waste to entire armies. But pretty much from when we're introduced to the Tallgeese on, we start to see standard mobile suits that are keeping up with (and sometimes outperforming) the Gundams. The best examples of this are (in my view) probably the Mercurius, Vayeate and Virgo(s). These three all had specific abilities that matched, or outdid the Gundams, with the Mercurius' shield being about the only thing in the franchise to (successfully) nullify multiple shots from the Buster Rifle, the Vayeate flat-out having a Buster Rifle of it's own, and the Virgo merging those two technologies and then improving upon it (Virgo II). I'm probably alone here, but that seems nuts to me that this mass-produced AI-operated Mobile Doll, these grunts, had a weapon on-par with the title Gundams, and better defensive abilities than any of the Gundams. And the same applies for the Serpent in Endless Waltz; the thing was a more resilient, more well-armed, more technologically advanced version of the Heavy-Arms Custom. They literally mass-produced a Mobile Suit that was just an upgraded Gundam in every way. I respect that Gundams in Wing were a bit more strictly defined as Mobile Suits made with Gundanium (except Mercurius and Vayeate for some reason), but it still just feels weird to me that the anime went out of it's way to present the grunts as the biggest threat. The only real advantages the Gundams have over them by the end of the show are the pilots and ZERO System (in select cases). There's probably a discussion to be had about Mobile Armors, but I feel like that's still different to the notion Wing had of mass-produced dolls with the same firepower as the Wing Gundam. Anyway, not sure if there are any other Gundam fans on Top Tier, but if there are, do any of you remember any of the other animes pulling this kind of thing? Heck, do you have any random thoughts on the different Gundam animes you wanna share?
With Dragon Ball Super finished, I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about how good or bad it really was. What did it do for the Dragon Ball series, extended lore, video games, and merch? How has it helped/affected the anime industry, HAS it affected the industry, and how does it match-up to Z, or even GT? Now I want to preface this by saying that I don't actually have any figures. So I straight up cannot make educated (or even informed) guesses as to how it's affected the anime industry, or how well it's merch has sold. About the most I can say is that Super seemed to have attracted a fair amount of attention, with a LOT of anime-based serials focusing heavily on the series and doing articles episode by episode (which isn't too surprising for a headline Shounen anime), and quite a few streaming services paying it credit for growths in website traffic. How this has actually translated to the industry however, is beyond me. But addressing Super directly, for me, is a... Complicated feeling? Like, there's a lot of me on this forum defending certain decisions in Super. And tbh, I am okay with things like, assuming Trunks learned Galick Gun from Vegeta in the two years they spent alone together. I mean, if nothing else, I really doubt that Vegeta didn't at least TRY to improve his Galick Gun, and that's probably how we got the Final Flash in the first place. Unless he just... Winged the Final Flash against Cell. Likewise, I'm kind of... Well no, I was never okay with Super Saiyan Rage, but I could live with it. The main thing that bothered me was that it wasn't necessary. Like, if Trunks had just turned Super Saiyan 3, I would've gotten the EXACT same pay-off as with Rage, understood the transformation, and would've had none of the complaints. Actually, to be honest, I have a lot of small complaints like that. Like, why was Super Saiyan Blue necessary? Shit, why did we need Goku and Vegeta being able to turn into SSGod at will? We actually had just about the perfect "Final Form" transformation for Dragon Ball in God from a narrative standpoint. It was a transformation that didn't invalidate the past achievements and jumps in Super Saiyan because it was inconvenient. You needed a group of Saiyans, you needed to perform the ritual, and it took time to finalize the transformation. That is an excellent premise, and would've really put pressure on the heroes in certain situations such as with Goku Black. Imagine if the issue with the future timeline wasn't that Black would just magically get stronger for no real reason, but that he could access the Super Saiyan God form without the ritual (or timeline), and there weren't actually enough Saiyans in the future timeline for them to perform the ritual themselves. But putting these issues to the side, I think I was able to overall stomach most of the developments with Super (even when they actively retconned lore). Heck, I even found myself somewhat getting into it a lot of the time such as with Kaioken Blue (because fuck yeah, Kaioken), or Trunks' Final Flash (respecting that it was meaningless). But the switch for me, personally, was Mastered Ultra Instinct. When the hair went white. Holy shit did that sour my overall opinion on the show. In comparing GT and Super, I always kind of worked on the premise of GT had better ideas, but worse execution, while Super has worse ideas, but significantly better execution. And I genuinely always found that GT's execution was so bad that I just couldn't salvage anything from it. At all. The most I got was that I liked Baby up until the Strongest Form transformations. But after the reveal of the white hair... Holy shit, I actually think that Super may have been just as bad as GT. About the only positive I can give it is that I can watch certain scenes from it without any negative feelings. EXCEPT. That Dragon Ball Super was literally meaningless in regards to plot. The only thing that Battle of Gods did was introduce GoDs and angels. Frieza is dead at the start of Resurrection "F", and is dead at the end. Trunks' timeline is destroyed, and there's no fix. Until Whis magically comes up with a fix, and completely undoes any emotional impact of that entire plot-line (going on another side-rant here, this was just an objectively dumb move. Trunks saving his timeline could've been a really huge character arc in the Universe Survival Arc, where he was fighting not to save Universe 7, but to save his future. Not to mention how THAT would have affected Vegeta's motivations.) Universes are destroyed, and at the end, they're all instantly resurrected. The only difference in the world of Dragon Ball from the start of Super to the end of Super is that Frieza is alive again. Oh boy, that sure was worth 132 fucking episodes. And every single one of these arcs HAD to introduce a new transformation. Super Saiyan God, Super Saiyan Blue, Blue Kaioken, Rage, Evolution and Ultra Instinct, and then Mastered Ultra Instinct. It was always a meme that Dragon Ball had an issue with transformations, but oh my god, STOP. Please. None of these mean anything, and it's just... At least GT pretty much just did Super Saiyan 4. As of MUI, I actually feel that Super has only done harm to the series. Anyway, I intended this to be a kind of analysis post. I wanted to break down it's effects on the DBZ video games, and how it has helped from a business perspective, but instead I ended up having a rant. But what do you guys all think? Did anyone else have the same feeling I did of just being done with it by the time it finished? Or am I just expecting too much? I'd genuinely love to know the thoughts and feels of other long-term Dragon Ball fans when looking back on Super.