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Denithan

Thinking about Gundam

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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?

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It's been awhile sense you posted this but hell, I have a gundam model thread here and I'm almost as big of a Gundam fan as I am a Megaman one. 

 

I personally hate Wing. I'll admit some designs are cool and logical, like Sandrock and the Goose's, but like, when Heavyarms take a beam saber from Wing to the chest and nothing by a few sparks fly off I tend to toss the show off my "This was kinda cool" radar. One thing though you may be forgetting is that the grunt units in Wing were not made of the same metal. The Gundam's were insanely more durable. If you wanna talk the Serpent Leo's, which are super badass, You'll notice it took a dickload of hits to damage the 3 gundams that were fighting them. And hell, I'd even wager that Sandrock's shontel's getting wrecked was more of a 'used it till it broke' deal than it taking stray bullets. 

 

 

I can't fault you for liking Wing. I like IBO, like, alot. Guison Rebake is one of the coolest gundam's I've seen in a long time. My favorite is still Mudrock but man does that tasty brown four armed badass give him a run for his money. My favorite series though is 08th MS Team, and G Gundam. 

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On 5/21/2019 at 2:01 AM, Vile said:

 If you wanna talk the Serpent Leo's, which are super badass, You'll notice it took a dickload of hits to damage the 3 gundams that were fighting them. And hell, I'd even wager that Sandrock's shontel's getting wrecked was more of a 'used it till it broke' deal than it taking stray bullets.

I'll give you that it took a lot of hits from the Serpents to really damage the Gundams, but it is worth noting that they didn't really manage a clean hit with anything more than their gatling guns. In terms of actual specs though, the Serpent is flat-out an upgraded version of Heavy-Arms. The big difference in performance mostly comes down to pilots and the fact that the Serpents were even LESS maneuverable than Heavy-Arms (which is really saying something).

But honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of Endless Waltz because of how it uses the mobile suits. I actually really like the redesigns of the Wing Gundams, but it never really does anything with those designs and the battles are secondary. It sort of works, because Wing was a series much more focused on rhetoric and philosophy, but it just felt like they didn't really know what to do with what they had.
Rant aside, I was really more talking about the Virgos and their corresponding parts. I'm still not sure why they're not Gundams given they're made of the same stuff, but... Eh?
Heck, even the Taurus was a really prominent threat prior, and the Wing Gundam gets shot down near immediately after Heero encounters an experienced enough pilot (who was admittedly a homage to Char, but every Gundam series has one). It just always felt more like Wing was more concerned with the mass-production/distribution of weapons than on the super-weapons themselves?

I freaking love IBO if it's worth anything. I've never really gotten a lot of the issues people had with it either? I welcome that it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I thought it was kind of refreshing as a Gundam series. I'm a bit more partial to the Vidar personally though. Not huge on the Kimaris Vidar, but Vidar pre-upgrade just... Does something for me?

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Vidar is a lit unit. I was oogling the protoype model of it hard trying to figure out what colors I would like on it before it thoroughly debuted. As a fencer, I do love how it's a fencing based unit, and he has duel pistols. What's not to love? Kimaris-Vidar is ugly. Only cool thing it has is the knee-cap hidden drills. 

 

IBO though was just... different. It was refreshing after years of baby gundam to finally get something that was meaty and not a watered down bottle of formula. I enjoyed Unicorn, but the ending to that was just bullshit. I loved Build Fighters soley for the idea behind it... and also because Build Fighters was amazing in terms of characters and writing. Try and DIver though suck. Only good thing about try is the Gyancelot and R-gyagya. Because Gyan is my favorite mobile suit. But anyway, you had those that only had a threat of "meh models" which... as modeler I get, but the weight of it isn't as severe. AGE was just kinda childish and it felt more super robotty, G Reco made me feel mental handicap. So then comes along IBO that follow absolutely NO prior formula to gundam. Hell I still say the first season felt like an RPG with them upgrading units based on what they found. You can pick out Barbato's weapons and armor from previous fights. The cast owned, even if Mika was kinda dull(but realistic because that kid was 100% autistic). IBO was full of plot twists you don't see coming. I've referred to it often enough as Gundam of Thrones because, it really is GoT: Gundam Edition. The only plot twist I called from the get go was Vidar's identity. From what Rustal says S2E1 it's a dead ass giveaway. Some of those deaths though, they either get you super emotionally, or catch you COMPLETELY off guard... like the... Do we have spoiler tags here? I don't want to list it but lets just say it's three gun shots and you likely screamed at the tv. 

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We do have spoiler tags, but for the life of me, I've never figured out how to use them properly. To be honest though, you've kind of captured what I loved about IBO right there; it was not scared to kill off it's own main cast, and that always kept me on my feet while watching it. It also helped with those more lighthearted moments, because it contrasted with the bleak reality of their world.

 

Weirdly, I think this is how Gundam functions best. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Build Fighters (didn't like Try either though), but it lacked the same impact of other series. But even with how much Gundam really focuses on war, and the horrors of war (SEED, Wing, 00, Unicorn, Mobile Suit Gundam, etc.), IBO feels like one of the only ones to really explore how violent and deadly it really is. Also, the Vijnana system is so much more blood-chilling and plausible than Newtypes and SEED Factor |:

That said, you can probably guess it, but I would actually place Wing and SEED among my favorite Gundam series. Partly because I grew up with them, so nostalgia, but going back to them now, they make some interesting commentaries. After that is probably (definitely) Zeta Gundam, which I've always found the archetypal Gundam series.

As an aside, I'm also a fencer. I've never been a modeler though, unfortunately.

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