Thursday, June 28, 2012

Misunderstanding About Gundam Top 5

Now that I've gotten your attention, read on. Basically, my Gundam Top 5 section is the most visited section of my blog, and I'm glad I've gotten so much traffic and activity due to it. That's why I've been trying my hardest to edit them and make them perfect in case they contain any errors. Unfortunately, some people seem to have the wrong idea about what these lists are really about.

In particular, I took note of one user, named Arc. If you're reading this, I really don't mean to call you out, but you're a good example. Arc contributed to almost every Top 5 list I made, and I'm thankful. Unfortunately, most of his comments were complaints about things he thought were "missing" from the lists. Take note of this one from my Top 5 Antagonist Mobile Suits list:

Turn X, you never had the love you deserved - even though you can basically kick all protagonist gundams's butt.

Reborns? this is the only gundam that can outclass the overpowered 00 Raiser

Sunanoo? yet another mobile suit that can par with 00 raiser

for AGE universe - we have Zeydra and Kronos

Nightingale? when Hinu can e listed why Nightingale can't?

Unicorn Banshee? I'm pretty sure this thing does not belong to the light side."

He basically listed the most powerful mobile suits he could think of. The reason this is meaningless is because my list was NOT about power. NONE of my lists, except for the "Top 5 Most Powerful Gundam", are about counting down power. Similar complaints occured in Top 5 Big Guns.

Again, that list was not about power. So what ARE my lists about? Well, you've REALLY got to read the intro paragraphs. They explain exactly what I'm trying to count down, and the guidelines for choosing entries for the list. But mostly, they are usually about the impact they leave in their series and the Gundam metaverse in general. It's really not a hard concept. Top 5 BEST, not most POWERFUL. If it was about power, I would say powerful. Half of it is how great they are, and the other half is based on my own opinion.

Basically, considering that these are mostly my opinions, there IS no wrong list. If you've ever asked where something is, you've asked a pointless question. Where? It's not on the list. That's it. People take these things too seriously. Note that I only do this for fun, I'm not out to compile an official list for people. That's what the Gundam Wiki is for. 


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Japanese Politicians Considering Building a Real Gundam

Yes, this is real news. I found this reported on Gundam Guy, who got it from Kotaku. You can find the whole article here:

Basically, Japan's Liberal Democratic Party is seriously discussing the construction of a real life Gundam for use in the Self Defense Force. They are apparently going to talk about it on Nico Nico Live, which reeks pandering to a young nerd audience. They did an estimate back in 2008, and they believe it would cost about $725,000,000 for the parts and materials required to build a Gundam-sized mecha weapon.

Now, a lot of people are furious over this. You would think anime nerds and Gundam fans would be all over the idea, but we've got to get realistic sometime. As a diehard Gundam fan, I would LOVE to see a fully functioning giant robot, but this is just bat-shit insanity. First of all, our current level of technology would make it impossible to actually create a functioning 60-foot robot. But more importantly, there really isn't a point to having giant robots fight our battles. It's cool in anime, but it would never work in real life.

Can you imagine a giant slow moving contraption trying to fight off fighter planes and smaller targets on the ground? It would never catch up, and be hit by a missile from a blind spot before it could even react. Now, when the LDP say Gundam, they actually mean just a mecha weapon in general, so it could just be something small like the robots in Avatar. That would actually work. But not a Gundam, which would crumble under its own weight with its slim legs.

The most important thing that's got everyone riled up is the fact that Japan is still in a recession. They are currently going through some tough times, so it really is insane for politicians to be talking about trying to build a giant robot when the cost could solve their problems already. It would totally be awesome, but...crazy.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Top 5 Wings in Gundam

Confused? Well, ever since the Alternate Universe series' started getting more and more over the top, there has been a noticeably increased presence of flashy backpacks and wings. While most Universal Century machines had simple backpacks with two or four thrusters, these newer designs have ridiculously fancy wings that serve no other purpose than to look awesome. And that's what this list will be running down: the most impressive-looking wings in the Gundam metaseries.

5.  Quad-Wing (Kshatriya)

I didn't think I could find anything from the U.C. era that had over-the-top wings, but luckily the Unicorn OVA has some incredible designs. My favorite among them is the Kshatriya, which wreaked absolute havoc in its introduction. Its special features are its massive shoulder binders, which have mega particle cannons, funnels, and miniature arms with beam sabers stored within them. The epicness of the Kshatriya is owed to these wings, which is why the Federation forces start calling it the "Quad Wing". There's no denying the power and stylishness of wings that are almost bigger than the mobile suit itself.

4.  Satellite System (Double X)

Ah, the forgotten Gundam. The Double X is one of the most under-rated designs in the entire Gundam multiverse. This is largely due to the fact that the Gundam X anime is under-rated in general. It's a shame really. The Double X is an impressive design, and its wings have a lot to do with that. They serve a significant purpose; the wings are actually solar panels that absorb microwaves in order to charge its Twin Satellite Cannon. The golden glow they give off signal some of the most epic moments in Gundam X, which is why they're deserving of this four spot on the list.

3.  Wings of Light (Destiny Gundam)

Say what you want about Seed Destiny; it had some of the best designs to come out of the Alternate Universes. Out of all the mobile suits, I feel that the Destiny Gundam is the most under-rated as it always gets overshadowed by the more popular Strike Freedom and Infinite Justice. Well, in terms of over-the-top wings, Destiny has them all beat. Called the Wings of Light, they mostly serve as an advanced thruster, but they also have the ability to leave after-images to confuse the enemy. Though of course, their real reason for existing is the fact that they are ridiculously flashy. They make for some great eye-candy, and an impressive Master Grade model kit!

2.  Moonlight Butterfly (Turn A Gundam)

Presenting the much-talked about leader of the Top 5 Most Powerful Gundam list. The Moonlight Butterfly is the Turn A Gundam's signature feature and weapon. Once these luminescent wings are activated, nanomachines are released that turn technologies into sand. These wings are basically the most powerful weapons in the entire Gundam universe, and are pretty stylish too despite being butterfly wings. It would be an insult not to include the world-ending Moonlight Butterfly.

1.  Angel Wings (Wing Zero Custom)

These are the wings that influenced me to create this list. The Wing Zero Custom has always been one of my favorite designs, and is definitely one of the most popular designs in the Gundam fan community. One would think that these gigantic angel wings are a bit too over-the-top, but that's actually what makes them so great. You just have to suspend your belief and appreciate how incredibly stylish they are. Instead of the traditional wings on the anime version, these angel wings have thrusters hidden all over its "feathers". While they don't serve a real purpose (besides atmospheric re-entry), Wing Zero's angel wings are definitely the most impressive looking wings in the Gundam metaverse.

Yeah, I realize I'm pretty biased towards my favorite Gundam considering I also chose it for the Top 5 Big Guns in Gundam list, but as I've said countless times, these are just my opinions, so you're free to disagree~

Check out my other Gundam Top 5 lists~


Friday, June 22, 2012

4 Mobile Suits That Need Master Grades

This isn't an official Gundam Top 5 list (its not even five), it's basically just my own personal wishlist. Basically, there are a ton of forgotten Gundam mobile suits that have yet to be given a Master Grade treatment despite being awesome designs. These are some of the design I believe deserve a MG immediately.

4. Akatsuki Gundam

While I'm not a fan of the Gundam in general, I think the design looks amazing in plastic model form. Why? Mainly because it is a shiny gold color. The no-grade 1/100 model still looks pretty amazing, and is probably the best you can get at the moment. So I was just thinking of how great a master grade would look if the no-grade already looks good!

Likelihood: 1.5/5

3. Tallgeese

The Tallgeese has always been a personal favorite of mine, mainly for the sleek white design and the fact that it was an underdog during Gundam Wing. The Tallgeese definitely has not been treated well in terms of gunpla. It never got a legitimate 1/100 scale release. Instead, the 1/100 Tallgeese III kit gave you parts to convert it into the Tallgeese I or II. Of course, you were left to re-color all the necessary parts yourself, so there just is no way for a casual fan to get a proper model of the Tallgeese. It's long overdue, but I think the chances are slim that it will get a Master Grade at this point in time.

Likelihood: 1/5

2. Heavyarms Custom

Another favorite of mine, the Heavyarms Custom is simply epic. The overkill arsenal of weapons, the sexy dark blue color scheme, that kooky clown mask, I love everything about it. This is one Gundam that has a relatively high chance of getting a MG. Recently, all of the original Wing Gundams got Katoki version MG's. Even the Deathscythe Hell Custom got a MG. The Heavyarms Custom definitely needs one too! The no-grade 1/100 is actually pretty impressive, but of course, it has aged severely.

Likelihood: 3/5

1. Gundam Double X

Ah, the Double X. One of the most underrated and forgotten Gundams ever. Gundam X in general gets tossed aside pretty often despite having some interesting designs. The old Gundam X line of model kits were actually the first models I ever bought as a kid, and I'm disappointed that they never really got any attention. The new HG releases of the X and X Divider are pretty damn impressive, but none of the X designs have a Master Grade yet. What better than the Double X?

Likelihood: 2/5

These are my personal favorites; what mobile suits would you like to see in glorious Master Grade form?


Monday, June 11, 2012

Mobile Suit Gundam (0079) Review

I've decided to do a short, concise review of each Gundam series I watch in order to give Gundam fans and newbies a quick look at each of the entries in the extensive Gundam franchise. Of course, what better to start with than the very first Gundam anime ever? Mobile Suit Gundam first aired from 1979 to 1980. Interestingly enough, the One Year War takes place in U.C. 0079 and ends in 0080...maybe that was intentional. I don't really know. Anyway, I think it's interesting to note that Mobile Suit Gundam was not actually popular in its initial run. In fact, it was supposed to be canceled prematurely, so it's quite amazing how iconic it has become in Otaku and Japanese culture in general. But I digress. Onto the review.

I think a lot of younger fans will find it hard getting into the older shows because of just how dated the animation is. Remember that this is 1979, over 30 years ago. The animation really IS dated; sometimes it's hard to see what exactly is going on in action scenes. You're basically given a slideshow. The Gundam is also drawn so inconsistently that I'm actually questioning what it's supposed to look like. Like I said, it's dated. All I can say is, this is just something you have to deal with if you're looking to try and appreciate a classic.

We don't need to worry too much about the animation, however, since it's the plot and iconic characters that make MSG legendary. The familiar story of a young boy getting caught up in a war started right here. MSG is considered such a pioneer because of its sophisticated plot and attention to the realism in its machines. It largely succeeds in evoking an emotional response through its depiction of the horrors of war. What I really appreciated was that they weren't afraid to kill off characters. It captured the reality of its subject matter. There's plenty of war politics to go around, and while some of it is really simple, it keeps the story sophisticated and deep.

The focal point of Mobile Suit Gundam is really in its human drama. Our main character Amuro Ray starts out as a whiny, selfish child who very reluctantly pilots the Gundam. However, he eventually finds himself unable to leave the Gundam to anyone else, and takes up the responsibility of protecting the White Base as everyone comes to rely on him. His abilities also grow tremendously to the point where even Char is no match for him. Getting to watch Amuro develop is easily one of the best parts of following this series.

He does not, however, hog the spotlight. Every draftee aboard the White Base is young and immature, and all of them grow together as they fight through every decisive battle. Though insufferable at first, I found myself growing attached to characters like Bright Noa, Kai Shiden, and Sayla Mass. We share in their struggle, and we share in their grief when tragedy strikes. They manage to offer a coming-of-age story, a romance, and a war epic all in one. Surely, the characters are the highlight in Mobile Suit Gundam.

Though, in all honesty, it's the Zeon characters that steal the show. There is something about the "villains" that give them a lot more depth than a lot of the Federation. It's easy to see that they are the antagonists, but what's not so clear is that most of them aren't necessarily evil. They just happen to believe in a cause that the "good guys" oppose. We get to see this in characters like Ramba Ral, who instantly became one of my favorite characters. He is a competent leader and soldier, and is shown to care about his men and his lover Hamon more than himself. He is a good man at heart, but is driven by his will to carry out his mission.

Of course, there is also Char Aznable, who is arguably the greatest character in the U.C. timeline. Char, while manipulative and troubled, is shown to have his own reasons for fighting as well. He fights to avenge his father and eliminate the Zabi family that destroyed his life. He slowly works his way through the Zeon ranks, manipulating events so that each and every member of the Zabi family perishes. His character and personality make him one of the main reasons to watch MSG, along with the legendary rivalry he forms with Amuro.

Of course, Mobile Suit Gundam definitely is not without its flaws. There are very noticeable pacing issues throughout the series, particularly in parts where there is no major plot-point. Because of this, the show tends to drag, and some people might find it hard to feel excited about coming back for the next episode. The show is basically at its best at the beginning and the end. The last few episodes also seem a bit rushed and packed together. Characters and machines are introduced and destroyed in a single episode, despite being interesting. I believe this is because the show was supposed to be canceled, so they had to rush everything for a proper ending. Finally, there are portions of the show that still have a bit of super-robot influence in them. Things like the Gundam Hammer and the G-Armour seem a bit silly and tacked-on. It's no wonder Tomino decided to get rid of them for the movie compilation.

Overall, I had a lot of fun watching Mobile Suit Gundam. It created some unforgettable moments, from Amuro's encounter with Lalah to his first battle with Ramba Ral and his "This is no Zaku" Gouf. Despite the incredibly choppy animation, I found the battle scenes to be exciting and one of the best parts of MSG. Perhaps it is because the soundtrack is so great. Every time a classic tune started played, I couldn't help but get into the retro anime action. The series also introduced Amuro and Char, two of the most beloved characters in the Gundam franchise. While its age and execution give it many imperfections here and there, there is no doubt that Mobile Suit Gundam is a classic that cannot be ignored by any fan of the franchise.

[Overall Score - 7.9/10]


Saturday, June 09, 2012

Mobile Suit Gundam, MG RX-78-2

I have just finished my re-watching of the original Mobile Suit Gundam, and I gotta say, I genuinely had fun. I first saw this anime when I was a wee lad in Korea, so I had almost no memory of it while I was re-watching, besides a few significant events and the soundtrack. Seriously though, I had a ton of fun watching it and it helped that I was flushed with nostalgia the whole time. Everything just screamed "classic", and almost every event was pretty much the beginning of a trend that would continue on for decades to come.

One thing I had to get over was just how dated the animation was. I mean, it did air in 1979, so that was just something I had to accept. It took some time at first, but I came to appreciate the retro look. I can't say this enough though: I love the music. Every theme is iconic, and I got goosebumps every time one of the tracks started playing during a heated firefight outside the White Base.

Nobody can call themselves a true Gundam fan unless they have actually seen the original Mobile Suit Gundam.  It pains me to see young kids these days that only know about Gundam 00 or Gundam Seed. This is an anime that pretty much revolutionized the real mech genre, and it is this show that eventually spawned one of the most iconic franchises in history. I'm preaching on a bit too much here, but I really just want to make it clear. I'm considering to start a new series of posts where I basically review each Gundam series, since I am in the process of watching every single one over again.

Anyway, to celebrate my watching of Mobile Suit Gundam, I also went and bought my first Gundam model kit in over a year. I felt that it was a crime to be a Gundam fanatic and not have a representation of the original RX-78-2 Gundam, so I decided on the new version 2.0 Master Grade. Already completed it too, so I may post a review up soon.


Friday, June 01, 2012

Watch All the Gundam!

Now that break has started, I have way too much time on my hands. This means I can spend time trying to re-vitalize this blog. To do so, I've decided to re-watch every single Gundam series ever. This way, I can start making even more Gundam Top 5's, and make them much more comprehensive. I've already started with the very first Mobile Suit Gundam, and I'm loving it! The soundtrack is soo nostalgic, every time classic Gundam themes started playing I just got chills. But yeah, after finishing the original, I'll probably go for Zeta Gundam, then watch Char's Counterattack. Expect great things!