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Old 12-11-2000, 10:10 PM   #1   [permalink]
heerogf
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Angry

ok, i posted this thread after i saw "why the %^#@& Gundam" thread by heart_havok
it's a review on GW by this guy name christopher (he give GW only 1 star), i found it at http://www.mediajunkies.com
this review bash GW a lot so if you're a very sensitive GW fan, i suggest you don't read this
it's really long, but i think it'll be worth reading

After colony 195 a new war is one the horizon, one of glamorous provincial royalty, big space battles in giant robot suits, and hours of complete theoretical nonsense. The Gundam series had been highly touted as one of the longest running and consistently popular series in Japan. Gundam Wing is only a fraction of the complete series. Although Gundam Wing is superficially cool it suffers horribly from prolonged theoretical discussions about the future of war and peace that offer the viewer nothing but self-indulgent circular logic and frustration. There is so much potential in this series that is wasted and diffused, it makes even the featured Gundam robots themselves barely worth the effort to see. This series is unfortunate at best.

Gundam Wing is a fractional continuation of the expansive Gundam universe. The story begins during a shift of power following a significant historical event. Foreseeing a loss of political freedom rebels from Earth space colonies wage a covert campaign to stop power hungry politicians from taking control of the government. Giant Robot suits called Gundams are sent to earth to wage this war and vindicate those who live under the control of the Earth Sphere Alliance. As politicians and nations position themselves to take power in the new world order the Gundams begin to cut through their forces.

It is clear from the start that the writers of this series were trying to create an epic tale of glamour and intrigue set before the supposedly glorious background of a burgeoning war. At first the story seems potentially intriguing by pitting professionally single-minded warriors against a power hungry bureaucracy. Unfortunately this is to little avail because eventually everyone gets lost in pointless discussions about theories of society and peace. This type of discussion in itself wouldn’t be bad in itself but the writers go nowhere with it by beating down the same trite and self-indulgent points that eventually prove abysmally unrewarding.

I can see the direction in which they were attempting to head with this. They were trying to incorporate classic samurai warrior logic into a modern political conundrum. The gundam pilots were of course the samurai, the Earth Sphere Alliance was supposed to be the various nobles that occupied Japan before WW1, and the Romafeller Foundation was supposed to be the newer centralized national government that we are more or less familiar with today. This story plays off of incidents in Japanese history where the samurai were essentially disbanded in lieu of a new unified standing army. Gundam Wing tries to mimic this by having the Gundams (samurai) pitted against the Romefeller foundation (new nationalist government). The main characters of this story fall appropriately into their respective historical roles. The Samurai, knowing only the life of the professional killer, do what comes naturally and fight this change on in the most direct way possible, an outright fight of skill.

One of the big points being made during this time revolves around the fact that samurai shouldn’t be allowed to act independently and that all armies and fighting men should to be unified under one command. In the context of Gundam Wing this is similar to the insurrection by the Romafeller foundation to gain control of all of the political factions under the earth sphere alliance and subsequently eliminate any competition. But, the whole impact of this similarity is lost as characters discuss all of the unenlightening theory behind their intentions while rarely accomplishing anything. This story could have been told with far greater success if they had limited the duration of the series to a fraction of its current length. As a result the writers would have been forced to streamline much of the dialogue and the story may have felt like it was actually going somewhere.

For all of you would be storywriters out there let me give you a few words of advice. Write about characters, not about the universe in which they exist. Real people make decisions and then do something about it. Their environment may contribute to a decision but as with real life a given environment is mealy a backdrop to the actions of characters. Action is always far more interesting than talking about the theories behind a given decision, regardless of how exciting those theories may seem on paper. There are ways to share your social views without lecturing. Let the reader discover your views through well-developed characters by seeing how those characters react to the situations that make up their life.

Now don’t get confused by my use of the word action. I’m not necessarily talking about giant robot space battles here. I mean any action, from picking up laundry at the dry cleaners to racing in the Indianapolis 500. Action is always interesting.

When you read or watch anything that is well written you will see that a character will only speculate on things when they relate directly to something tangible in their lives. They will never outright tell the viewer what to think, only imply it through…you guessed it, ACTION. All of this should be orchestrated through the careful construction of situations and character interaction. Gundam is a perfect example of a story that lost its character focus early on and tried to fill in the gaps with dissertations on theories and the human condition. The result is that it eventually tumbles off into self-defeating rants and nonsensical logic, which utterly destroys a viewer’s enthusiasm for the characters. That sort of rambling should be saved for things like research papers and opinion columns (I bet you were waiting for that one).

After all of that criticism you are probably wondering why Gundam even got one star from me, let alone any. Well there are some momentary flashes of light that somehow kept me watching. When the story did finally stop preaching there were some downright cool things going on. First of all, any fan of giant robots has to got to love the Gundam’s themselves. They are huge, fast, meticulously rendered, and can really wipe out the bad guys. Another highlight was how the first couple of episodes of the series really got me excited about what would happen next. The first episode was one of my favorites when the first Gundam made its appearance in an intense firefight between the pilots Hiero and Sechs in the atmosphere high above earth’s surface. Other highlights for me included most of Hiero’s incidents in the high school on earth and Cattra’s descent into madness at the controls of the Wing Zero.

So there are some things I did like about the series. But, in the end there were just too many faults to stomach. I’ll have to view some of the other Gundam series and see if they hold up to their reputation.



I have to say this is not the first review on gw that i have read, i surf all over the net and try to read as much gw review as much as possible, and 99% say that gw is a bad show, it's really hard to find a good review on gw since most of the critics hated this show
so please, give me your feedback and tell me what you think?
















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Old 14-11-2000, 02:34 AM   #2   [permalink]
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Everyone has an opinion. His was well though out and articulate. I just disagree with him completely on the same reasons why he hates it so much. I like variety in anime, and though I haven't fully exposed myself to Mech anime yet, I like the theoretical thrust the story has. I was never into Gundam Wing for the action. Endless Waltz is another story!
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Old 14-11-2000, 02:32 PM   #3   [permalink]
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This guy was being a butthead. He misspelled characters names all over the place, and it wasn't like it is an easy thing to do. If he had even watched the entire series (which it seems apparent to me he hasn't), then he would've noticed that "Cattra" is QUATRE, or number four, and "Sechs" is ZECHS, or zero, and "Hiero" is HEERO, or number one!!

And the "impending war"? Uh ... moron ...

I can't believe 99% of the reviews you've seen gave it a bad review. I guess that means that most of the fans don't have a chance to make a review for it or something.

I tell you, the reivew I gave NGEFan on GW was excellent, and GW will always remain excellent to me ...
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Old 14-11-2000, 06:19 PM   #4   [permalink]
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Finally!! somebody reply to my thread
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Old 14-11-2000, 06:49 PM   #5   [permalink]
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I wonder if Havok will reply to the other Gundam thread...what site did you pull this from? Media Junkies? I need to go there and 'talk' to some people...
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Old 15-11-2000, 06:26 PM   #6   [permalink]
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CATTRA? what the heck? that sounds like a girl's name! he could have done research. *HISSSSS* Rei ish mad!
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Old 16-11-2000, 02:27 PM   #7   [permalink]
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And what was all this about Gundam being the Samurai in the 1900s!? I mean, they were disbanded in the 16-1700s, weren't they!?
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Old 16-11-2000, 02:49 PM   #8   [permalink]
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Quote:
Originally posted by heerogf
I can see the direction in which they were attempting to head with this. They were trying to incorporate classic samurai warrior logic into a modern political conundrum. The gundam pilots were of course the samurai, the Earth Sphere Alliance was supposed to be the various nobles that occupied Japan before WW1, and the Romafeller Foundation was supposed to be the newer centralized national government that we are more or less familiar with today. This story plays off of incidents in Japanese history where the samurai were essentially disbanded in lieu of a new unified standing army. Gundam Wing tries to mimic this by having the Gundams (samurai) pitted against the Romefeller foundation (new nationalist government). The main characters of this story fall appropriately into their respective historical roles. The Samurai, knowing only the life of the professional killer, do what comes naturally and fight this change on in the most direct way possible, an outright fight of skill.
I think he used the samurai as an example because lots of people have heard of them, they just don't know much about them. I think he used generally known Japanese pop culture to indirectly say that he's right.

Uninformed Reader: "Oh, he knows enough about the samurai to make the connection between GW and samurai logic. He must know what he's talking about [font1]since I have no clue what a samurai really is[/font1], so he's gotta be right."

But I thought the Samurai were the honorable warriors, not the connotation he gave them here. Sounds like he's talking more about ninjas and ronin than samurai.
Quote:
For all of you would be storywriters out there let me give you a few words of advice. Write about characters, not about the universe in which they exist. Real people make decisions and then do something about it. Their environment may contribute to a decision but as with real life a given environment is mealy a backdrop to the actions of characters. Action is always far more interesting than talking about the theories behind a given decision, regardless of how exciting those theories may seem on paper. There are ways to share your social views without lecturing. Let the reader discover your views through well-developed characters by seeing how those characters react to the situations that make up their life.
Now this is awful. He comes clean and says giving rich background information on your story is pointless. He seems to think that anime with a political message shouldn't go into depth about the politics behind the message. I always thought the GW flow worked well: discussion for a few minutes, fight scene, discussion, move to fight scene, discuss consequences, etc. I think it's balanced well. Anime doesn't have to be action, action, action. Eva has many points where just about nothing happens onscreen, but you learn so much about the story, the finer details of the characters' personalities, and you get a very mature, calculated feeling from it. Now Gundam certainly doesn't have the power Eva does, but it isn't about the weighty topics that Eva brings up. I think he's trying to judge GW in the wrong genre.
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Old 16-11-2000, 03:22 PM   #9   [permalink]
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I agree! ^^
He really acts like he knos a lot about Samurai, but it seems to me that he really doesn't know all that much.
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Old 20-11-2000, 04:55 PM   #10   [permalink]
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eh .... about the names. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the review guy watch the japanese verison and directly translate all the name using english alphabet by sound of the japanese name.

I watched NGE and all (I do mean all! old and new!) Gundam series and most of the gundam series are just fight fight fight fight. Well, GW attempt to try something different. Instead of the G-Gundam (1994) series (In my opionion, the whole show looks like a video game, but I like it all the same) which the whole plot just revolved around supermove in gundam and tension system, GW try to sent some new message to the young viewer. They try to impose new view and idea that .... humm, lets say younger TV viewer wouldn't be interested about. Would you like a 1-hour long talk show telling you why human being like war and the resons behind it? Not very likely. The point is, GW's view on war and all its theory may not be the one you agree on and may not even be the reality of the world, but at least they try to introduce some new idea into the younger people's mind. And I think the effort alone in GW desired more than 1 star, let alone the cool graphic and great twists in the plot.
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Old 20-11-2000, 07:01 PM   #11   [permalink]
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Would you say the other, older series are worth watching? I've heard that all the different variations tie in with each other in some way...
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Old 21-11-2000, 01:51 PM   #12   [permalink]
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humm .... That's pretty hard to say.

I think they are worth watching because it is very different from the "new" gundam series. The story plot is pretty good and give a detail view about how gundam started and why gundam is more advanced then all the other MS. Of course, the older's series graphic may not seem too good, but think about how long ago it was made and you will forgive these minor detail(s). (My other gundam fan often complain that the older series's theme and music is very gay) But I think if you are really into gundam you should watch them. But if you think action and graphic is everything and you don't give a damn about the story, don't watch the older series.

And here is some of the things I learn about gundam from the older series.
1. MS was first designed to extend the ability of human colony worker.(eg:robot arm to help carrying heavy object) It was not design to be use in war.
2. In the older series, the main character always win, regardless how inexperience the guys is or how much damage his/her (rarely a her too, by the way) MS had taken.
3. The main character is alway a NEWTYPE. A NEWTYPE is a evolved person who have a super-high concentration of his or her mind. This "conmind" can be used to power his/her MS, shield damage (MS and person), scare away enemy, quicken the pilot's reaction, detect the present of the enemy and slow down (in the newtype's eye) enemy action. It could do almost anything, but don't get annoy by this or you will never enjoy the story.

Oh yeah, all the older series alway tie in with each other.
Some of the prime example are like: The first gundam pilot fight all the way with his rival from the first gundam serie till Z gundam serie and end at V gundam serie.(hard to explain, you have to watch it). Zeta gundam use to be the best and the main MS in Z gundam but in ZZ gundam Zeta gundam is just a sidekick.

[Edited by destroyor on 22-11-2000 at 03:54 AM]
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Old 21-11-2000, 06:00 PM   #13   [permalink]
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well, I'll hafta give it a try anyway.
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Old 22-11-2000, 11:26 PM   #14   [permalink]
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I'd have to agree with everything the person said. He is perfectly right, but I would still give Gundam Wing 4 stars instead of one because the show is always enjoyable.
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Old 23-11-2000, 02:40 PM   #15   [permalink]
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I think the person is not right because he is expecting too much from GW. The main arguement of his reasons is, heck, read the quote. (If you don't want to read the whole thing just read the bold lines)
Quote:
After colony 195 a new war is one the horizon, one of glamorous provincial royalty, big space battles in giant robot suits, and hours of complete theoretical nonsense. ... Although Gundam Wing is superficially cool it suffers horribly from prolonged theoretical discussions about the future of war and peace that offer the viewer nothing but self-indulgent circular logic and frustration. ... Unfortunately this is to little avail because eventually everyone gets lost in pointless discussions about theories of society and peace. This type of discussion in itself wouldn't be bad in itself but the writers go nowhere with it by beating down the same trite and self-indulgent points that eventually prove abysmally unrewarding. ... For all of you would be storywriters out there let me give you a few words of advice. Write about characters, not about the universe in which they exist. Real people make decisions and then do something about it. Their environment may contribute to a decision but as with real life a given environment is mealy a backdrop to the actions of characters. Action is always far more interesting than talking about the theories behind a given decision, regardless of how exciting those theories may seem on paper. There are ways to share your social views without lecturing. ... Gundam Wing is a perfect example of a story that lost its character focus early on and tried to fill in the gaps with dissertations on theories and the human condition. The result is that it eventually tumbles off into self-defeating rants and nonsensical logic, which utterly destroys a viewer's enthusiasm for the characters. That sort of rambling should be saved for things like research papers and opinion columns. ... So there are some things I did like about the series. But, in the end there were just too many faults to stomach.
This guys said "there were too many faults to stomach.", but really, he only find one single and major fault. He think that the theoretical discussions about society, peace, political conflicts, and etc are all "pointless", "self-indulgent circular logic" and "frustration". Well, the reviewer probably had read somethings like research papers and opinion columns or had encounter something somewhere in his life about all the above topic. Compare to a professional arguement on paper about war, Gundam Wing's theory may seem bad. But what do you expect, GW was just a trying to introduce some idea such as theory about war to people who, by one reason or another, had not had experience on the subject. And I think some of the point from Wing Gundam are pretty well made too. ( How peace can't be achevie by throwing away the weapon. You have to change human mind by fighting a suffering, painful war. Thus acheving peace.) You can't degrade an anime by comparing to the serious arguement made in research paper to the one in an anime design (in my opinion) to made money out of anime fans (such as myself) while degrade the anime again using anime standard (lecturing is bad in an anime). Look at NGE, there is lecture and discussion all over the place about human mind and emotion. Does that made NGE a bad, one star anime then?

In his standard, I think he should watch G-gundam. I am sure he will find it without "lecture", "pointless theorical discussion" and "rewarding". (Pick with unrealistic action and fights!)

Thank you for reading this boring long post. Thank you.
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