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Mad Zookeeper

Help with getting into Gundam

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Posted (edited)

Ok so for years I've put off getting into Gundam for several reasons. Mainly this was because I found the entire franchise so... daunting. Gundam is considered to be one of the biggest names in anime, if not the biggest, it's also a colossal franchise with tones of series, timelines and spin-offs. It seemed like a pure headache to get into but I'd like to try. But there are a few things I want to know.

1) I was going to start with the original gundam and work my way from there, is that the best idea?

2) Are there any parts of the franchise that's hard to come by for us western audiences.

3) Is there a lot of manga tie in stuff I'd have to hunt down?

I'll also admit I had a little look at some of the mechs and this beauty really caught my eye.

latest?cb=20120818110432

Edit: Having looked up the devil gundam a little more, without spoilers, I have another question.  Is it possible to watch G Gundam without having watched any other gundam series first.

Edited by Daitarn 3

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Just stick with the Universal Century continuity.

And definitely start with the original series.

gundam-timeline.jpg

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It's good to see someone who is willing to start off Gundam  with the Original series instead of starting off on Wing Gundam.  I'd definitely recommend watching the original series.  If it is too daunting for you, you can watch the 3 compilation movies instead.  It compresses the whole series into 3 separate movies.

As for the alternate universe, you can watch them freely as they are not related to the Universal Century.  G Gundam happens to be my favorite Gundam and it's a must watch if you like martial arts.  A little bit of info as well, G Gundam was directed by Yasuhiro Imagawa who is famous for directing Giant Robot Series like Giant Robo, Getter Robo Armageddon and Tetsujin28 to name a few, so you will notice some themes that are consistent with Super Robot Series.  G Gundam also happens to be the first Gunpla I built.  Can't believe it has been 20 years already since.  I'm still sore that the English port of G Gundam mutilated the series naming convention.  

Build Figthers seems to be missing from that list though.

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Thanks for the advice.

I'll defiantly start with the original now. I did watch a handful episodes of Wing back in the day but aside from being able to recognise Wing, Deathscythe and their pilots by sight, I remember literarily nothing about the show's plot. As a rule I try to start as close to the beginning of a franchise as I can anyway. It's not the days of toonami and what ever you can find on vhs anymore.

I'll follow the main timeline and focus on the One Year War martial first, since it's all closely tied to the original. That said I'll make G Gundam the first I look into once I'm better experienced with the franchise. Yasuhiro Imagawa worked on it then I'm gonna have to check it out, I love his super robot shows.

22 hours ago, Salkafar said:

Just stick with the Universal Century continuity.

Is some of the off branching stuff not very good?

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3 hours ago, Daitarn 3 said:

Thanks for the advice.

I'll defiantly start with the original now. I did watch a handful episodes of Wing back in the day but aside from being able to recognise Wing, Deathscythe and their pilots by sight, I remember literarily nothing about the show's plot. As a rule I try to start as close to the beginning of a franchise as I can anyway. It's not the days of toonami and what ever you can find on vhs anymore.

I'll follow the main timeline and focus on the One Year War martial first, since it's all closely tied to the original. That said I'll make G Gundam the first I look into once I'm better experienced with the franchise. Yasuhiro Imagawa worked on it then I'm gonna have to check it out, I love his super robot shows.

Is some of the off branching stuff not very good?

I wouldn't say that they are good or worse... I mean some of the UC stuff isn't great either.

But, the thing with the Alternate Universe is that some can be VERY different than what "Gundam" originally is. Sticking with UC Gundam first will definitely give a better foundation to what Gundam is. Most of the AU's are very good, but tend to mix the way the series can be defined.

Like G Gundam can be considered basically Dragonball Z Gundam. It's heavily martial arts based and handles things VERY differently. Some people liked this, some hate it.

It really is better to get the grounding of what original Gundam is, THEN move into the alternate universes.

...then again, some of the AU's are my favorties... Like Gundam 00 and G Gundam.

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Also one reason to focus on the Universal Century is that a lot of other universe heavily borrows elements from UC.  Most Staple is the Char Aznable Stereotype.  It's very hard to miss this in every other series.  Although you can watch them chronologically, you can also skip the other UC timelines if you want to focus of the characters.

Amuro Ray, for example, is the main character of the original Gundam.  He is present in Z Gundam but not as the main character.  Then he returns in Char's Counterattack.  Though the side stories are enjoyable on their own.  War in the Pocket specifically is a tear jerker.

Also noted that Hathaway's flash is missing from the timeline, but then again, Hathaway's flash hasn't been released in animation form yet.

I'd also like to comment of the Seed timeline, Seed, for me is tolerable, but Seed Destiny is too emo for me.  Not to mention the appearance of Jesus Yamato.  Yeesh.

Also, I've been told to avoid G-Saviour, although out of all the franchise, this is the only one that I have never seen.  Oh, this and Turn Away Gundam. :lol:

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3 hours ago, durendal said:

Also one reason to focus on the Universal Century is that a lot of other universe heavily borrows elements from UC.  Most Staple is the Char Aznable Stereotype.  It's very hard to miss this in every other series.  Although you can watch them chronologically, you can also skip the other UC timelines if you want to focus of the characters.

Amuro Ray, for example, is the main character of the original Gundam.  He is present in Z Gundam but not as the main character.  Then he returns in Char's Counterattack.  Though the side stories are enjoyable on their own.  War in the Pocket specifically is a tear jerker.

Also noted that Hathaway's flash is missing from the timeline, but then again, Hathaway's flash hasn't been released in animation form yet.

I'd also like to comment of the Seed timeline, Seed, for me is tolerable, but Seed Destiny is too emo for me.  Not to mention the appearance of Jesus Yamato.  Yeesh.

Also, I've been told to avoid G-Saviour, although out of all the franchise, this is the only one that I have never seen.  Oh, this and Turn Away Gundam. :lol:

Seed for me was one that I started enjoying, despite some of the characters, because I latched onto one specific character and thought

" As long as I watch Mwu La Flaga be awesome, I'm ok with the series." Especially when he inherited the Strike Gundam, one of my top 10 designs. Even when they "killed" him off, it was a pretty epic finish, so I was ok with it... Then Destiny went and "ruined" him so bad.

Destiny is just trash. Sure, I knew that the writers were adjusting their stories even in the first season, but Destiny is so blatantly trying to get you to like that little jerk of a main character and eventually just say fuck it and make Kira and Athrun the protagonists fully again.

Some really good music though. lol

And yeah, Turn A Gundam is just so very ugh. I generally dislike anything that Tomino has done since the first series. I am not a big fan of Zeta or ZZ either. Zeta is just full of unlikable characters and ZZ's complete 180 from the super serious Zeta to humor to serious again halfway through is jarring at best. It's probably why I like some of the AU's more, as their tone and focus is much more on point. Plus no Tomino bullshit.



G Saviour is no worse that the first live action Guyver movie... but completely forgettable though.

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16 hours ago, Matt Bellamy said:

Seed for me was one that I started enjoying, despite some of the characters, because I latched onto one specific character and thought

  Reveal hidden contents

" As long as I watch Mwu La Flaga be awesome, I'm ok with the series." Especially when he inherited the Strike Gundam, one of my top 10 designs. Even when they "killed" him off, it was a pretty epic finish, so I was ok with it... Then Destiny went and "ruined" him so bad.

Destiny is just trash. Sure, I knew that the writers were adjusting their stories even in the first season, but Destiny is so blatantly trying to get you to like that little jerk of a main character and eventually just say **** it and make Kira and Athrun the protagonists fully again.

Some really good music though. lol

And yeah, Turn A Gundam is just so very ugh. I generally dislike anything that Tomino has done since the first series. I am not a big fan of Zeta or ZZ either. Zeta is just full of unlikable characters and ZZ's complete 180 from the super serious Zeta to humor to serious again halfway through is jarring at best. It's probably why I like some of the AU's more, as their tone and focus is much more on point. Plus no Tomino bull****.



G Saviour is no worse that the first live action Guyver movie... but completely forgettable though.

You know, I actually liked Z Gundam.  Though Camille can be too emo sometimes, at least Bright was there to b!tch slap him. :lol:   Z Gundam in particular is my favotire Gundam, but the transformation is too cumbersome (speaking gunpla-wise).  Heck, I have the SD, MG and PG models.  Speaking of Bright Noa, he is probably one of the most notable characters in the Gundam Universe, as he is practically present in almost all of the series.

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Personally, I would recommend watching anything in the UC Timeline in chronological order, or at least in terms of release, through Char's Counterattack. I haven't seen anything after that, but from my understand those series (Gundam, Zeta, ZZ and Char's Counterattack) build off of each other in some way and it would be best to watch those in order.

Otherwise, I don't really think it matters. Sure, other series take aspects of the original show (the Char archetype, as mentioned above, being a big one) but it doesn't really matter, unless you really feel that you need/really want to know the basis of said archetypes before experiencing them.

If you like the super robot genre (and the Devil Gundam design), I'd almost suggest starting with that. I believe it's the only super robot show of Gundam metaseries and could be a good introduction for you. Of course, since you are already interested, starting with the original is good, too.

As for the side stuff in the sense of manga, etc. I haven't read any of them (well, I did read the original novels by Tomino, but those aren't canonical, so I'm not sure they count), but it hasn't stopped me from like/understanding/enjoying any of the series that I have watched. If you're really into a particular series and want more from it, then I'm sure it would be great to track them down... not sure about the ease, though.

There's a lot of Gundam I haven't seen and that's almost the glory of it. You still have a lot of entertaining shows without needing to track everything down, but it's all there if you want it.

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Speaking of other non-anime Gundam Series, I quite enjoyed Sentinel Gundam.  I know I posted the translation in this board somewhere, I just can't find it right now.  I'm actually tempted to buy the 1/100 MG Ex-S Gundam Deep Striker Gunpla.

Image result for s gundam deep striker mg

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That's an interesting design. Non-anime, so I'm assuming manga? I assume one of the stand alone alternate universes?

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3 hours ago, Anxiety said:

That's an interesting design. Non-anime, so I'm assuming manga? I assume one of the stand alone alternate universes?

Light/Picture Novel Side Story set in the UC universe.

The Deep Striker ( pictured in orange) is an MS Variation of the EX-S Gundam.
Msa-0011-ext.jpg.ff0c5378658258459e8b8148b50deb3a.jpg

*edit*

My Bad. It's an MS Variation on the regular S-Gundam


Msa-0011.jpg.2ddb9439d54497b06bdf87de144d7b73.jpg

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Yeah, there are a lot of interesting story from the Novels.  They may be alternate or side stories, but they sometimes get the canon treatment.  Unicorn Gundam is one of these.  It initially started as a novel, then an Original Video Animation, then a full TV series.  I think the next one will be Hathaway's Flash.  I really do hope they animate Sentinel Gundam.

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Posted (edited)

Again thanks everyone for your advice. I’ve recently finished Aura Battler Dunbine and am now watching Space Runaway Ideon. While not part of the Gundam Franchise, from my understanding they were created by the same person and have similur themes and tones, despite being Super Robot series. They both pretty much convinced me that Gundam is going to be more then worth it.

 

Edited by Daitarn 3

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4 hours ago, Salkafar said:

Ideon??

Good luck, anon.

816726024424_anime-space-runaway-ideon-b

It's a super mecha show from 1980. It takes a lot of ques from Gundam with more complex story telling and themes. The series the conflict between humanity and the Buff Clan, a group of human aliens. The Buff Clan are searching for something they call the Ide and arrive on a human colony planet. The humans have been studying the ruins of what they call the "Sixth Civilisation" and had found three vehicle relics and a spaceship. A member of the Buff Clan rushes to the planet in search of the Ide, which results in the human military getting into an altercation with retravel team sent to get them back. At the same time a boy named Cosmo Yuki, son of one of the arachnologists, and his friends try to use the relic vehicles to escape the conflict and inadvertently cause them to combine into a giant robot. They are able to fight of the retrieval team but the Buff Clan then launch a full scale assault on the colony which forces them to go on the run, using the relic ship to escape. So far the story has revolved around the humans constantly fleeing the Buff Clan and using the robot, which they call "Ideon" to fight them off. There have been several attempt to broker some kind of peace but misunderstanding, accidents and hot tempered individuals on both sides have only served to further set the two races against each other.

The Ideon itself is noteworthy because it's considered the first of the Godly or All-Powerful mechs, such as EVA Unit 01 and Gurren Lagann. While it did not display this power at first, in fact most of it's original weapons were missle pods and cannons the humans installed on it, from what I've read it' eventual power far outstripped any other super robots at the time and is still a contender for one of the most powerful mecha ever. 

dqhbsnou8aayios-e15403631391831.jpg?w=70

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1 hour ago, Daitarn 3 said:

816726024424_anime-space-runaway-ideon-b

It's a super mecha show from 1980. It takes a lot of ques from Gundam with more complex story telling and themes. The series the conflict between humanity and the Buff Clan, a group of human aliens. The Buff Clan are searching for something they call the Ide and arrive on a human colony planet. The humans have been studying the ruins of what they call the "Sixth Civilisation" and had found three vehicle relics and a spaceship. A member of the Buff Clan rushes to the planet in search of the Ide, which results in the human military getting into an altercation with retravel team sent to get them back. At the same time a boy named Cosmo Yuki, son of one of the arachnologists, and his friends try to use the relic vehicles to escape the conflict and inadvertently cause them to combine into a giant robot. They are able to fight of the retrieval team but the Buff Clan then launch a full scale assault on the colony which forces them to go on the run, using the relic ship to escape. So far the story has revolved around the humans constantly fleeing the Buff Clan and using the robot, which they call "Ideon" to fight them off. There have been several attempt to broker some kind of peace but misunderstanding, accidents and hot tempered individuals on both sides have only served to further set the two races against each other.

The Ideon itself is noteworthy because it's considered the first of the Godly or All-Powerful mechs, such as EVA Unit 01 and Gurren Lagann. While it did not display this power at first, in fact most of it's original weapons were missle pods and cannons the humans installed on it, from what I've read it' eventual power far outstripped any other super robots at the time and is still a contender for one of the most powerful mecha ever. 

dqhbsnou8aayios-e15403631391831.jpg?w=70

 

His good luck statement is because he DOES know about the show.

Cause damn. It's pretty screwed up at some points.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Matt Bellamy said:

 

His good luck statement is because he DOES know about the show.

Cause damn. It's pretty screwed up at some points.

Ah I see, sorry Salkafar.

And yeah nether of you are kidding Matt.

Edited by Daitarn 3

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Well I finished Ideon and Be Invoked. What a wonderful and depress series. With that out of the way I’m all set for Gundam. I’ll be buying Mobile Suit Gundam tomorrow.

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17 hours ago, Daitarn 3 said:

Well I finished Ideon 

Already? That's 39 episodes! Damn.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Salkafar said:

Already? That's 39 episodes! Damn.

You know, the show was so good I didn’t even notice how fast I got through it till now haha. 

As an update I’ve ordered the Bluerays of:

Mobile Suit Gundam 1 & 2

The 08th Team Collection 

MS IGLOO Collection

 

 

 

 

Edited by Daitarn 3

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Posted (edited)

An Gundam is here. Just grabbed my self a bottle of Dr Pepper and ready to watch. 

Edited by Daitarn 3

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10 episodes in and I gotta say... I was a total Moron for not watching this sooner. Given the time it was made the shows writing puts all the giant robot shows of the 70s to shame. It’s not quite as grim dark as Ideon (which came out the year after if I’m not mistaken) but has depth and darker elements. 

Animation wise while it’s dated by today’s standards, having spent years watching series from this era I can say Gundam was very well animated for its time. It still suffers from the weaknesses of this era’s style but far less then a lot of shows that come to mind.

Im also seeing why Char is so popular. Such a charismatic and intelligent antagonist, it’s little wonder he stole the show. 

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Glad you're enjoying it!

 

The original always had some of my favorite MS designs, even though I have to agree that I was never all that into the style of the animation.

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So I’ve finished the series today and everything I said before still stands. Gundam is awesome. It’s characters, plot, politics, backstory, battles and mechs are all wonderful.

As I watched the series I looked up all the mechs on the Gundam wiki, skipping spoilers, and it reminds me of reading up all the zoanoid data filed but better given how much detail is put into how these things work.

There is one thing I’m a little mixed on. Newtypes. Now I had heard of them via the SRWs games but never really payed attention. Given that Gundam is know as “real robot” I assumed this was something that cropped up later to keep things interesting. But imagine my surprise when the series hints of them early on, names them  third of the way in and has them actively having superhuman abilities. Now how this series makes use of them is not an issue, it feels like something ripe for abuse. Kind of like being force sensitive or super saiyan. 

Great ideas that end up become an overused crutch for the franchise to lean on. Or maybe I’m just being jaded.

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