G Gundam is obviously famous for being the second real curve-ball that the Gundam franchise dealt, the first being Double Zeta. Following Tomino’s melancholy withdrawal from the franchise following Victory Gundam, Sunrise turned to Yasuhiro Imagawa, thinking that they could control the up-and-coming director into make something fit for their own purposes. Little did they know that they’d hired a man who exercised a ferociously tight grip on his work, and the result is probably the most different and memorable installment in the Gundam Franchise, and one that would go on to be one of the most memorable in the genre as a whole.
There’s honestly not a lot I can say about this show that anybody doesn’t already know, so I’ll keep it brief: I loved this series. It’s basically a mecha series that incorporates shonen battle anime elements, becoming sort of like the Gundam version of Dragonball Z, where various weird and wonderful Gundams from various nations use their strange and colourful techniques to battle for supremacy. The series is notorious for having some of the weirdest designs in a Gundam series, which is arguably true. While not all of the designs are great, the best ones are front and centre, designs like the Master Gundam and the five units of the newly-forged Shuffle Alliance are iconic.
The writing tends towards being overblown and melodramatic, which won’t suit everyone, but I liked its style, even though I thought the overarching plot ended up being somewhat pedestrian and lacking the nuance of older series. It makes up for this with the raw personality of its cast and the flair with which it employs them.
This is usually the first Imagawa production people end up watching, but me, being a hipster, got it back-asswards, watching other series like the 2004 Tetsujin 28 reboot, the Giant Robo OVAs, Shin Mazinger Z and the first couple of episodes of Getter Robo Armageddon. With that in mind, it’s interesting to see how much DNA these seemingly very different series share, such as:
Abstract, almost story-book-like storytelling: (Eg. aspects such as Gundam Fighter’s faces being superimposed over those of their gundams in dramatic moments, and other similar techniques)
Outlandish, almost mystical masters of Martial Arts (Eg. Sai Saici and Master Asia vs the Agents of Justice from Giant Robo)
The masked stranger (Schwarz Bruder, Nikoponski from Tetsujin, Ginrei’s first apprearance in GR)
The enthusiastic narrator (The man with the eyepatch vs. Shin Mazinger Z’s narrator)
Characters speaking in synch to make a point (Practically G Gundam’s whole cast vs. Stinger and Cohen in GRA)
The guilty scientist who ends up full of regret (A major character in G Gundam, professor Shizuma in GR, Dr. Saotome in GRA, Kabuto Kenzo in SMZ)
And so on. All in all, it’s been really interesting to see the similarities. You probably don’t need my recommendation to see this series, but have it anyway: G Gundam is a true classic.
I spent more time yesterday than is healthy reading about the latest vulgar stupidities happening in the Gamer Gate situation. God. What a soup sandwich.
Since it started I’ve wanted to add my voice to the choir of support for folks like Anita Sarkeesian, and all women and men who dare to speak up in the name of equality and fairness. You guys are awesome, powerful people, and I admire you.
But I’m just an inarticulate art nerd, so allow me to express my feelings with this picture. Bao lang is my favorite character in Atomic Robo. She’s a big ball of badass in a tiny little package. Her weapon of choice; the indestructible AK-47 -an international symbol of revolution and social change.
This is for all you Social Justice Warriors, Rogues, Clerics, and Wizards out there. Roll for Initiative motherfuckers!