Do anime shows and movies suck?

Posted by H-man 
May as well come full of circle to the source of many of our Japanese toys obsessions....

Okay, so I've been hearing about this "Attack on Titan" craze taking up Japan (and much of Asia) by storm this year. Humans protecting themselves from man eating Giants (or Titans) behind a giant walled city and the brave soldiers who try to kill these monsters... the giants themeselves were creepily bizarre, varying in sizes and most looking like giant naked Japanese people who just happen to like their little humans raw...

So yeah, I checked a few episodes out on Hulu Plus and 14 episodes later, god help me, I'm friggin' hooked. Even to the point now that I'm hastily looking for any available pre-orders of the Figma Mikasa Ackerman figure and the bizarre Nendroroid Colossal Titan playset complete with little people that he can munch on.

It's a madness.... I swore off getting into anime series after wading through "Full Metal Alchemist" only to find out that there are now new complete reboot series of the original show. Well eff that...stoopid anime not going to get me sucked in. Until this one came along...

Oh hey, there's a LAST EXILE sequel that I didn't know about........
Yeah, my students have been raving about the Titan show, and a good friend of mine mentioned it as well. Fullmetal Alchemist (the first TV series) was the last anime show I really enjoyed.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Anime where the whole story is written out, beginning, middle, AND end--before a single cell is painted--are usually the ones I dig. I generally can't stand stories that meander until they jump the shark...

Macross Frontier was the last modern anime I watched (uh, unless it came out before that Mazinger Z one that was terrible). Frontier was pretty contrived, but at least it was entertaining and solidly-paced.

Right now, I'm watching Ulysses 31. :P
the last anime i watched was Yamato 2199....i enjoyed the heck out of it...

Last Exile sequel you say...hmmm
I probably shouldn't step in here, as I tend to follow roughly an average of 20 new shows each anime season, though that number tends to drop by the end of the season depending on how they play out. I like examples of almost every genre and subgenre, though some more often than others.

But that said, well...

Guys. Be careful before stepping into the Last Exile pseudo-sequel. Most fans of the original weren't really satisfied with it. I didn't care so much for the original but mostly enjoyed the new series, though was left a bit unsatisfied at the end. It was...okay. I liked a lot of what it tried to do at least. The protagonist is a bit of a Mary Sue and might rub many the wrong way, but I kind of saw where that was going from the start and didn't mind it too much. If you just want a return to the general setting and a story with a mostly new cast, you might do okay with it, too.

Attack on Titan is pretty great, with some stunning action choreography and animation, though a lot of padding, especially in the most recent arc. I do get the feeling I'm watching some far-right propoganda at times, which isn't helped by the controversy over Dot Pixis being deliberately modeled after this dude: [en.wikipedia.org] . But I'm hooked on the show too.

I could never really get into Full Metal Alchemist...I remained fairly curious for some time, but after what I heard about where it went later, I just never got around to bothering with it.

I agree the best anime tend to be the ones adapted from works that are completed (though sometimes that can backfire too), allowing for better structuring in turn, along with fully original anime works that are conceived as a whole from the start. Although sometimes I like ones that are more forced to make it up as they go along due to the improvisational and surprising nature of the results...when handled right. But that's more the exception than the rule. More often this results instead in relying on formula and well-trodden tropes for padding. For one example, I'll often drop a series flat that I was on the fence on if there is an episode about chasing a small animal (usually a cat) in the first couple of episodes... (notable exception being Cowboy Bebop!)

I hope you didn't mean Imagawa's Shin Mazinger Z-hen series, Sanjeev? I thought it was rather excellent, particularly the ending (if frustrating that there will likely never be a Great-hen). I gained an all new respect for Baron Ashura from that series...

Pretty much every Macross series (and hell, most anime in general) is particularly contrived in some way, really. I felt Macross F simply picked up that ball and ran with it, pulling the disparate threads of the Macross canonical universe (that is to say, everything except Macross II) together into a fairly cohesive mish-mash. It evoked all the parts of Macross I've liked most, and I could forgive its other shortcomings for that alone, not to mention that it was a pretty audacious thrill ride along the way.

Yamato 2199 is a must see. Really, out of all the recent series I've liked, it's one of the few I could wholeheartedly endorse to nearly any fan. The only real issue I see with it is the female costume design (and the occasional accompanying "male gaze" of the camera accordingly), which is obvious otaku-bait. Not to say the original series didn't have its share of fanservice (as Veef has pulled out several screencaps out to support here in the past), and the female characters (new and old) are for the most part far stronger and more interesting than they ever were in the original, at least, but it does feel misplaced all the same. However these cuts are generally short and not the main, ahem, thrust of the series. As space opera, it is SUPRISINGLY solid stuff. Some of the best I've ever seen in anime.
Wasn't there already a thread with discussion about how anime sucks and is a dying medium, what with all the rehashes and extreme otaku focus?

Attack on Titan is pretty good, one of those instances where the anime is better than the manga because the art is much better, the action is better choreographed, and if nothing else the hair colors help distinguish characters from looking like each other.

For instance, the manga went right into the action, then went through a long flashback, which was super confusing (at least to me). The anime did it chronologically.

That being said, as a monthly manga series that runs at a snail's pace, it'll be interesting to see what they do with the anime. There's no way they have enough manga content to do a second season, and won't for a while. So filler, or alternate ending? Either one will be a bummer.

That Colossal Titan Nendoroid is too weird for me, but the Figma Mikasa is cool.

I'm also surprised by the number of manga-based anime getting remakes now that the manga are further along or finished. Hunter x Hunter, FMA, Hellsing, Sailor Moon (soon), EVA, etc. This doesn't even include the remakes of classic anime properties (Mazinger Z, Gaiking, Jeeg, Yamato, etc.)
Is Yamato 2100 available officially in subtitled form anywhere online? Would definitely like to check that out.... don't make me resort to "One Piece" after I'm caught up with "Titan"!!!
Sanjeev (Admin)
I think the other thread was why otaku suck, right? Same thing, I guess... :P

Anyway, I agree with your take on Macross Frontier, Bry. Entertaining, but clearly over-wrought, as far as modern anime goes. It just feels like it was written via focus group and refined via corporate committee, y'know?

Shin Maz was fucking terrible though. I mean, I *do* like what they did with Baron Ashura and how they introduced a lot of (seemingly) interesting secondary characters. But the show was pretty much predicated on everything that was wrong with the Battlestar Galactica remake (and so many other fan-wanking shows): a bunch of bullshit "mysteries" they introduce all over the place--and never explain--just to increase the tension and intrigue. All flash. Zero substance. I'm seeing this type of story-telling in a lot of places nowadays...even Game of Thrones is starting to bore me now that the novelty of the killing of main characters (and the ensuing political intrigue) is starting to run out...

Shin Maz SPOILER: Oh, and the trick ending where Doctor Hell wasn't *really* trying to take over the world all this time--he was actually trying to save it from the apocalypse??? Come-the-fuck-on. For a minute there, I really thought a cartoon was about to give me a frontal lobotomy. Imagawa will always get my love for what he achieved with Giant Robo...but since then...meh. Even his T-28 retread was a snooze-fest.

I need to catch up with Gundam Unicron (it's not that I'm strictly UC...I just don't have the bandwidth to keep track of all the alternate timelines anymore), Yamato 2199, and I guess this Attack on Titan. But as I've mentioned before, I ain't watching shit until they're done and I can get some legit reviews. I can't afford to waste that kind of time on fanboy-pandering drivel. Fool me once...
Isn't that plot twist in Shin Maz the same as in Giant Robo?

That does explain a lot, though. Both shows take a lot of liberties in including concepts from other creations done by the original creators (Groizer as a bad guy?). And GR was great at throwing stuff up on the wall with no resolution in sight. Shin Mazinger Z reminded me a lot of the bevy of Getter Robo remakes we've gotten (hey look, an army of Getter Draguns... and hey, a Mazinger that transforms into a rocket punch), where it's just a ton of fanboy stuff and magical physics and way over the top action; as a fanboy, I liked it, since Go Nagai was pretty over the top anyway. First time I've heard it compared to BSG, though.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2013 06:52PM by fujishig.
Sanjeev (Admin)
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fujishig
Isn't that plot twist in Shin Maz the same as in Giant Robo?

Haha...very similar, yes! But obviously, if you go back and watch both shows, the similarity is *extremely* superficial. In GR, Von Fogler was only really a villain through the misconceptions and faulty memories of the other characters. It was really fascinating how that whole twist was written, actually. The core of GR was the characters and their shared histories and (often questionable) memories of the past.

But in Shin Maz, Doctor Hell was pretty much the same flat, mustache-twirling villain he's always been! But at the very end, the good guys just realize that he was trying to save the world FROM "Hell" the whole time. Lame.

As for GR throwing crap up on the wall, yeah, Imagawa was definitely guilty of that at least towards the end, with new villains and heroes kinda popping up outta nowhere...but I still feel they were really secondary to the main cast and plot. In Shin Maz, it wasn't just new characters, it was dumb plot twists...like, this woman was married to this guy and she *could* be Koji's mother...or whatever dumb shit they tossed in and never explained. Haha...it was exactly like the last few episodes of BSG, man! Oh, now THIS guy's a Cylon? And wait--you're really an angel?? Well, what the fuck.

Yeah, and what's up with Groizer always being a bad guy??? LOL

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fujishig
Shin Mazinger Z reminded me a lot of the bevy of Getter Robo remakes we've gotten (hey look, an army of Getter Draguns... and hey, a Mazinger that transforms into a rocket punch), where it's just a ton of fanboy stuff and magical physics and way over the top action; as a fanboy, I liked it, since Go Nagai was pretty over the top anyway...

^^I totally agree. The recent Getter's were so...unfulfilling. I'm a fanboy, too, so the flashy shit got my blood simmering a little...but it's all cock-tease. No release.

That's often the problem with most stuff that's geared towards fanboy-pandering or the nostalgia markets. No actual attention paid to good story-telling. Like, the reason I dig the Marvel Studios movies is because they feature pretty decent story-telling (at least compared to the non-Marvel Studios Marvel movies...and pretty much *every* DC movie other than Dark Knight), in addition to the pandering. And GR, in my opinion, featured REALLY strong story telling--both in plot and characterization--which is why I think it succeeds as a non-sucky anime.
Well the Marvel Studio stuff (and other comic book adaptations, like the DC Animated Timmverse) are being told to a new audience, so it's on them to fully flesh out the characters to the point that someone new to the characters can understand what's going on; then they pile fanservice on top of that. People who weren't fans of Mazinger Z or Getter Robo would be utterly confused, and probably even turned off, by the nonsensical plots.

With Giant Robo, I'm not sure if it was because they used slightly older/more obscure characters, or because the whole thing was just over the top and it was relatively novel at the time, but I think fans just turned their brain off and accepted what was going on at face value because everything was crazy.

I never actually got around to finishing BSG (or Lost for that matter), so I'm a little saddened it all falls apart later.

I think this was covered in the otaku thread but one of the problems I see with anime is that a lot of it is insular and there's a ton of fanservice (of all kinds), but less of a focus on memorable characters/stories. Maybe I'm just watching the wrong things. Maybe it's just the nostalgia speaking, but I recently picked up the Patlabor TV series on Blu-ray and watched Noa's introduction to the team and just felt like there's really nothing like it in current anime.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Yeah, I mean, I think the focus on good/proper story-telling applies whether you're introducing a new audience to an existing franchise or not. I think the Marvel Studio stuff (and you're totally right: also the animated DC stuff back in the day, for sure) did a good job of introducing the source material to a new audience...AND they're telling a decent enough story. Man of Steel (just as a counter example)? Not so much...

But you're totally right: Shin Maz and the newer Getter Robo stuff was a hot mess. As for Giant Robo, did you really think it was that crazy? I mean, sure, the characters had super powers...but weren't we just talking about Marvel and DC superheroes?? ;) I don't think I'd ever even *think* of using the phrase "turn off my brain and accept what's going on" with GR. I just find that show to be so amazingly sophisticated on so many levels...

Or...did you mean "over the top" in the sense that it sorta threw out the original plot from the manga (thus risking alienating existing fans of the franchise)? I've never read the manga...and I only saw the Johnny Sokko compilation movie as a kid.

And one piece of advice: forget BSG. Don't bother with the ending. Unless, of course, you have stupid amounts of free time to waste and have a superhuman tolerance for bullshit. I never got into Lost, but I'm told it was pretty unsatisfying as well (though not as catastrophically bad as BSG).

Anyway, I think you're right about how otaku (fanboyism) has fucked anime into the state it's in. Sad, really...but I guess I'm content to catch the few diamonds in the rough here and there. Finished watching Ulysses 31, by the way. It did not suck. ;)
H-man: *2199*, but nope, not yet at least. The Japanse BDs have English subs included, though. They are working on bringing it over as Star Blazers 2199, but no word on the how or when yet.

Yeah, Mac F does have a bit of a comercialized veneer to it, but I felt they still did a good job working in so many things I liked about the Macross universe that I had not seen revisited since Flashback 2012, really. Mac 7 never really did it for me, Mac Plus was good but too short and felt subtly racist (Zentraedist?) in its portrayal of Guld, and Macross Zero...well....at least F gave that one a bit more of a purpose in the end, I suppose.

I see where you are coming from on Shin MZ. I guess for my part, I was expecting that about Doctor Hell from the beginning...maybe both due to the (only half-fulfilled) flash forward episode, and because I was expecting a Giant Robo style "the mad doctor was right after all" explanation at some point. But I agree it was too forced, they should have at least given more forshadowing on that account. So I didn't mind it. Also to be fair, I've never really gotten much into the old Nagai super robot shows before this (excepting Yamato and such, I'm mostly an 80s+ guy, even if I grew up with Shoguns and Micronauts and such), and went in with low expecations (but hoping for another GR), so the times it didn't quite meet the bar I didn't mind so much, as I was mostly watching it to scratch that geek itch.

I don't agree on the BSG comparison. From what I could see and have read, they DID have a plan to continue the story with Great-Hen and wrap up the remaining loose ends there (as it is, they did address all the ones set for Z-Hen, just nothing that was to be addressed in the next arc). I feel they gave us that prologue "Finale" as a roadmap of where they would take us, had the show gotten the sales it needed to continue. Unfortunately, it was not renewed for Great-Hen, so half of those loose ends were left untied. But I didn't mind it. You could kind of draw some conclusions from that intro episode, and otherwise, hey, Ashura won! Everyone's screwed...we took the path that didn't lead to the Great-Hen ending after all.

BSG was just total BS though...they were making it up as they went along and wrote themselves into a corner. I dug it up until the last hour of the show (I had my own pet theory how everything could work out rationally, for the most part, even the really random-seeming crap near the end...so I was fine with all that thus far...), at which point the deus ex machinas started raining down from the heavens followed up with some of the most tecnhophobic, heavy-handed luddite dreck I've had the displeasure to experience. I was completely stunned. The closest experience I've had to that since was the ending of the Re: Cyborg 009 movie. Holy shit, Kamiyama, WTF?! You don't bill something as "naturalistic SF" and put in a huge number of mysteries only to throw up your hands at the parlor scene at the end and handwave it away with supernatural garbage, unless you are completely incompetent as a series creator. Contrast this to Bablyon 5, which had a set conclusion planned from day zero, and the difference is night and day.

Hold off on Titan for sure. Given the manga is still running, I highly doubt the show will give a satisfying ending just yet.

Hm, to me the Avengers movie had a lot of issues. Actually I haven't seen many western superhero films that I've liked other than the Nolan Batman trilogy and a couple other exceptions. The only Marvel ones that I've watched (not many, I admit) that I liked were the first two X-men films.

You want a truly good superhero-ish (stretching the definition, I know) anime? Try out Fate/Zero. Urobuchi knows his shit, and they did an amazing job adapting his novels. I can't really recommend the other Fate (or Nasuverse) stuff though, at least not as anime shows. Definitely the best thing I've seen of its kind since GR.

Patlabor is a really excellent series. There really isn't much else out there quite like it.

I wish I could erase Man of Steel from my memory. I want those hours wasted from my life back now, along with the ones spent on BSG.

Oh yeah, someone lately is doing a scanlation of the original GR manga...I've only looked at the first couple of pages, but was pretty stunned by Yokoyama's style...it's quite clear how much influence Imagawa took from it for the anime.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Macross 7 didn't do anything for ya? Really?? I find that *still* the most entertaining Macross production overall. I mean, sure the original series has the whole Robotech nostalgia thing for me (though I prefer just watching DYRL...since me and my buddies scored a VHS of the "Clash of the Bionoids" dub when we were kids! Boy, was that confusing...since all we knew at the time was Robotech!). But Macross 7 was pretty consistently strong throughout, ended well, and because the "musical star" was a adamantly-pacifist male lead of a garage rock band, it flew in the face of all the boring tropes of the other shows.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy Frontier. I just don't have a particularly strong urge to go back and watch it again. I think I woulda liked Frontier better if I could actually tell what the fuck was going on during the fight scenes! LOL Them shits were confusing as FUCK. Does anyone actually enjoy stuff like that? It was similar to Bayformers car-streamers-in-your-face-now-robot.

Macross Plus was okay, but the love triangle stuff wasn't super interesting to me. Macross Zero was just plain boring. And the quasi-spiritual crap--along with the pseudo-science shit with the downed UFO (or whatever it was)--was just plain dumb.

Anyway, I felt the "mad doctor was right after all" ending to Z-Hen was a bit of a kick in the grundle to those who grew up with the franchise and were expecting to see Dr. Hell portrayed as the cool villain he always was. That's like a new Star Wars production showing Boba Fett to be a kind, gentle guy with a heart of gold. Or...something. But, yeah, I loved Tranzor Z, I loved Mazinkaiser, but Z-Hen can suck it. The ending came out of nowhere and just demonstrated lazy writing and an emphasis on fan service...whereas GR's ending was brilliantly laid-out and not at all self-contradictory.

All that said, I wasn't even remotely aware that a Great-Hen was intended to be made as a direct, immediate sequel (what does "Hen" mean, by the way???). I'm not an "anime fan". I'm a fan of *good* scifi--animated or not--and a nostalgic fan of shit I happened to grow up with...so I'm not aware of half the stuff you guys often talk about. If there WAS a Great-Hen planned, then yeah, I guess I'm forced to reign in my ire...

But we're pretty much on the exact same page with BSG. I'm a bit less forgiving, perhaps, because I mostly couldn't stand the last season. Really, I think the show's decline started around season 3...but the decline was more or less gradual until the 5th (final) season, where the everything just nose-dived (-dove?). Never saw the Cyborg 009 movie (wasn't even aware it existed, which again goes to show you how outta touch I am!), but that's REALLY disappointing to hear because I enjoyed the first volume or two of the translated manga greatly. But, yeah, Babylon 5--despite its fits and starts due to being cancelled, restarted, changing networks, etc.--was *excellent*. We need more shit like that.

Avengers was hardly a masterpiece, by any stretch, but I feel it was a faithful rendition of how fun the source comics were (at the best of times, anyway). I loved Dark Knight...Batman Begins was decent enough...but the last one was absolutely atrocious. The scripting, the acting...everything felt phoned-in. The Fox X-Men movies were okay (the first two, anyway). I looked at Fate/Zero...I dunno, man...that might be crossing genres a bit too much for me...maybe someday...

Man, I'd LOVE to see the original GR manga translated!

Oh, and getting back to super robot anime, I've been re-watching Legend of Daikumaryu on and off lately...and I'm still absolutely loving it. I think THAT show might be the "perfect" formula. It's for kids, so it's just plain fun and lacks any of the pretentious pseudo-science/philosophical bullshit of the Getter stuff or Z-Hen...but at the same time, there is PLENTY of fan-service for nostalgic adults who grew up watching Gaiking. Like, the episode where they (re-)introduced the Volution Protect mode for Daikumaryu had hot-blooded geek tears running down my face! So fucking good! Just a damn shame the show did so poorly...fucking kids these days... LOL
At first I thought you guys were saying that they had always intended for there to be a followup to Giant Robo...

Yeah, by turn your brain off, I meant stop trying to connect the dots with the old series and just let the over the top nature of the show and quickly-introduced characters just overwhelm your senses. I need to rewatch it again. I never did watch the Ginrei specials, which many seem to dislike.

Did Z-Hen really do that badly? Was it because kids couldn't get into it, or old timers didn't like it? (I have no idea who it was targeted to, or what time of day it aired).

Back in the day before everything came out translated in one way or another, I'd read the write ups and synopsis in Animag or whatever, and oftentimes the plot seemed to work so much better in my imagination than when I actually saw the anime. For instance, Nadesico seemed like a cool blend of (then) modern space opera and super robots, but I didn't like it quite so much when I actually watched it. Then they completely went away from the concept in the follow up movie, which anime seems to do a lot, and I don't quite understand it.

Also never watched all of Frontier. Heck, never even watched Zero. Usually I watch a couple of eps then wait for the domestic release, but that didn't really turn out too well. Plus I don't have as much time as I used to (I remember powering through Gasaraki because I had spent so much money on it, despite it putting me to sleep multiple times... no way that happens now).

So any good mecha shows out there? I'll someday finish Unicorn, but the Gundam TV freight train seems to have slowed. Usually I see the toys long before I see the anime, but I haven't seen many really cool new robot designs lately.
Sanjeev (Admin)
I never watched the Ginrei Special either...and I'm not planning to anytime soon. Sometimes, stories just end. And that's okay.

That's kinda why I often HATE follow-up movies to anime series. The Macross Frontier movies weren't bad because they share the same spirit as the shows, but like you mentioned, the Nadesico movie, the Escaflowne movie, the umpteen Evangelion movies...all make me want to barf on my shoes.

Anyway, I wasn't aware Z-Hen did badly, but if they were planning on continuing it with Great-Hen, then it musta tanked. I guess I'm not surprised by that. I mean, Legend of Daikumaryu was about as good a mecha cartoon as it gets...but they didn't even make half the toys planned for it!

Heh...it's funny how similar a lot of us are: back in the day, I used to read Animag, Animerica, and Mecha Press here and there...and, of course, check out the latest VHS fansubs available at the comic conventions we used to go to in high school! I kinda liked Nadesico (the tv series anyway) though! Granted, that was a series I got into via fansubs--I hadn't read/heard anything about the show prior to that, so I had no expectations. When it turned out to be a doofy comedy, I was pleasantly surprised. And I thought it ended well too.

Gasaraki was a total snoozefest for me too...heh, yeah, I got burned by buying those DVDs too!

Hey, was RahXephon any good? I heard that was decent. Never caught Godanner or Gurren Lagann either. For me, swinging cartoon titties do little more than evoke imagery of ronery otaku fapping away in their parents' basements. But times is hard, yo...and I miss cartoon robots! ;)
I actually really liked RahXephon (so did KenA). It's definitely one of those "Evangelion Clones" mixed in with a dash of Raydeen but this one actually has a plot and mythology that makes some sense, has characters you can root for (and thus earning some truly heart breaking moments) and doesn't whiff on the ending like most of these shows tend to do. I'd recommend it!

All this slamming of BSG though... hmmm... maybe I should start a "Do TV Shows Suck" thread....
Ah, Mecha Press...

I liked Rahxephon, which actually had a cohesive story, IIRC, plus I liked the art style. Just got the Variable Action High Spec too which is as cool as a robot with wings on its head can be.

I have the DVDs of Gurren Lagann, I have toys of Gurren Lagann, for some time I contemplated spending a truckload of money on the Blu-rays of Gurren Lagann, but I've never watched it in it's entirety. It's another one of those victims of my not having as much time as my youth. The last "mecha" show I watched complete was Code Geass, that weird blend of mecha and CLAMP human designs. I've been meaning to pick up Gundam OO again, but man it's hard to watch that after taking a prolonged break, I have no idea what any of these pretty boys are talking about.

I liked what little I saw of Godonnar, though, mainly because of the homage to Go Nagai/Super Robots; I thought it was much better than stuff like Aquarion or Gravion.
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Sanjeev
Macross 7 didn't do anything for ya? Really?? I find that *still* the most entertaining Macross production overall. I mean, sure the original series has the whole Robotech nostalgia thing for me (though I prefer just watching DYRL...since me and my buddies scored a VHS of the "Clash of the Bionoids" dub when we were kids! Boy, was that confusing...since all we knew at the time was Robotech!). But Macross 7 was pretty consistently strong throughout, ended well, and because the "musical star" was a adamantly-pacifist male lead of a garage rock band, it flew in the face of all the boring tropes of the other shows.

Yeah, maybe if I gave it another chance sometime, but I was watching a lot of anime that was airing around that same time and it just felt like it was borrowing too many of the recent tropes at that time I was seeing in other shows. So it didn't really click. I like a lot about it though.

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That's not to say I didn't enjoy Frontier. I just don't have a particularly strong urge to go back and watch it again. I think I woulda liked Frontier better if I could actually tell what the fuck was going on during the fight scenes! LOL Them shits were confusing as FUCK. Does anyone actually enjoy stuff like that? It was similar to Bayformers car-streamers-in-your-face-now-robot.

That's strange, I don't remember having that issue so much with Macross F...maybe too much stuff like Gundam Seed/Destiny where I *would* agree with that on, where by comparison I found the battle choreography in Mac F relatively straightfoward! :)

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Macross Plus was okay, but the love triangle stuff wasn't super interesting to me. Macross Zero was just plain boring. And the quasi-spiritual crap--along with the pseudo-science shit with the downed UFO (or whatever it was)--was just plain dumb.

Agreed on all those points! The best of Mac Plus for me was Sharon Apple and the mecha stuff...the actual story was kind of meh. But nice setting and production values. :) Mac Zero also had the production values but was otherwise utterly uninteresting to me. I did like that Macross F made good use of both as elements in its own backstory, though, and seemed to give Mac 0 more a sense of purpose in relation to the larger context of the series.

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Anyway, I felt the "mad doctor was right after all" ending to Z-Hen was a bit of a kick in the grundle to those who grew up with the franchise and were expecting to see Dr. Hell portrayed as the cool villain he always was. That's like a new Star Wars production showing Boba Fett to be a kind, gentle guy with a heart of gold. Or...something. But, yeah, I loved Tranzor Z, I loved Mazinkaiser, but Z-Hen can suck it. The ending came out of nowhere and just demonstrated lazy writing and an emphasis on fan service...whereas GR's ending was brilliantly laid-out and not at all self-contradictory.

Ah, I can understand that. I really need to go back and watch and/or read more of the 70s era stuff. I'm mostly 80s-plus with the exception of Yamato and such.

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All that said, I wasn't even remotely aware that a Great-Hen was intended to be made as a direct, immediate sequel (what does "Hen" mean, by the way???). I'm not an "anime fan". I'm a fan of *good* scifi--animated or not--and a nostalgic fan of shit I happened to grow up with...so I'm not aware of half the stuff you guys often talk about. If there WAS a Great-Hen planned, then yeah, I guess I'm forced to reign in my ire...

"Hen" in this case means "arc" or chapter...the implication of the naming of the series was that it was the first arc or chapter of a set. Had the sales and/or ratings been good enough, the show would have continued at least twice as long, going into the "Great Hen". Half of the episode zero flash-forwards were from the Z-hen, the other half from the Great-hen...were it approved. But yeah, it bombed in the ratings, so such was not to be. I believe the "gimmick" hinted at for Great Mazinger was that it would transform into a giant sword (and some of Nonaka's concept art for the show reflects that).

I can see why you'd be pissed if you thought all the unresolved mysteries were just them BSing. If you go back and watch episode zero though with the "series road map" in mind, you can pretty easily see what they had wanted to do with the next half of the series and how it would have addressed that.

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But we're pretty much on the exact same page with BSG. I'm a bit less forgiving, perhaps, because I mostly couldn't stand the last season. Really, I think the show's decline started around season 3...but the decline was more or less gradual until the 5th (final) season, where the everything just nose-dived (-dove?). Never saw the Cyborg 009 movie (wasn't even aware it existed, which again goes to show you how outta touch I am!), but that's REALLY disappointing to hear because I enjoyed the first volume or two of the translated manga greatly. But, yeah, Babylon 5--despite its fits and starts due to being cancelled, restarted, changing networks, etc.--was *excellent*. We need more shit like that.

I think the only reason I was more forgiving past season 3 was that it was still mostly going in the direction I expected that fit with the theories I had about the story path. When it finally hit that swath of deus ex machina though, I realized that I had been expecting too much. Frankly, BSG 1980 would have been a better ending than that...

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Avengers was hardly a masterpiece, by any stretch, but I feel it was a faithful rendition of how fun the source comics were (at the best of times, anyway). I loved Dark Knight...Batman Begins was decent enough...but the last one was absolutely atrocious. The scripting, the acting...everything felt phoned-in. The Fox X-Men movies were okay (the first two, anyway). I looked at Fate/Zero...I dunno, man...that might be crossing genres a bit too much for me...maybe someday...

Yeah, I've not been much of a mainstream comics reader (I used to read a lot more indie and alt comics back in the day, but that's mostly trailed off in favor of manga...though there are exceptions) so I don't really have a basis of comparison. I probably should get around to watching Iron Man at least one of these days. I agree that the third Batman film was the weakest of the three...it more felt overly long and drawn out to me though than anything else. But I liked it enough for what it was. I've actually avoided watching the third X-men film due to all the warnings I've heard...I was pretty disappointed to hear that it had changed hands.

Fate/Zero...well, that might be so, but I felt it was a good super-heroic epic and well-written, even if not a traditional "superhero" series...call it somewhere between superhero and magical realism/contemporary fantasy (more the latter than the former). But by the end, I was feeling similar emotions about the series that I got from watching GR, which is more where I'm coming from there. But yeah, I might be stretching a bit there.

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Man, I'd LOVE to see the original GR manga translated!

[mangafox.me]

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Oh, and getting back to super robot anime, I've been re-watching Legend of Daikumaryu on and off lately...and I'm still absolutely loving it. I think THAT show might be the "perfect" formula. It's for kids, so it's just plain fun and lacks any of the pretentious pseudo-science/philosophical bullshit of the Getter stuff or Z-Hen...but at the same time, there is PLENTY of fan-service for nostalgic adults who grew up watching Gaiking. Like, the episode where they (re-)introduced the Volution Protect mode for Daikumaryu had hot-blooded geek tears running down my face! So fucking good! Just a damn shame the show did so poorly...fucking kids these days... LOL

Hm, I'll look out for it...should I watch some original Gaiking first for comparison, or just go in blind?

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fujishig
At first I thought you guys were saying that they had always intended for there to be a followup to Giant Robo...

It's funny, I just read somewhere recently that Imagawa had once said if Giant Robo had done as well in Japan as it had in the overseas market, there likely would have been more. I'll have to see if I can track that quote down.

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Yeah, by turn your brain off, I meant stop trying to connect the dots with the old series and just let the over the top nature of the show and quickly-introduced characters just overwhelm your senses. I need to rewatch it again. I never did watch the Ginrei specials, which many seem to dislike.

The Ginrei specials were just a goofy joke. They were eh, okay, but kind of dumb and don't really add anything to the experience. I doubt I'd ever rewatch them, but I don' t really mind that I did, they were just kind of "there".

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Did Z-Hen really do that badly? Was it because kids couldn't get into it, or old timers didn't like it? (I have no idea who it was targeted to, or what time of day it aired).

I honestly don't know what the reason for the lack of views/sales was or which demographic let it down the most. I'd have to go back and check for when it was slotted, but my guess would be late night like most anime these days. Most anime shows (except the really huge ones) lately just buy dead airtime late at night the way infomercials do here and many supplement it with streamcasts in one form or another.

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Back in the day before everything came out translated in one way or another, I'd read the write ups and synopsis in Animag or whatever, and oftentimes the plot seemed to work so much better in my imagination than when I actually saw the anime. For instance, Nadesico seemed like a cool blend of (then) modern space opera and super robots, but I didn't like it quite so much when I actually watched it. Then they completely went away from the concept in the follow up movie, which anime seems to do a lot, and I don't quite understand it.

I'm kind of the opposite, back then I'd usually have watched stuff by the time the magazines reviewed it, so I usually took issue with many of the first early impressions of shows (because of the lagtime between the show coming out raw and the magazine's print date) and would be like "hey, give it a few more episodes before you make that sort of conclusion!" Heh.

I'm actually a big fan of Nadesico (the movie is actually among my favorites in the genre), but I do know that this in particular was a case of transmedia tie-ins and failed deals. There are two Sega games that fill in the gaps in the story (particularly "The Blank of 3 Years" which is set between the series and movie) which I expect I'll play some day but have read synopses of online. Sato had envisioned the movie also as the first in a trilogy, but (like most of his "planned continuations"), this never got the funding to continue. However I rather liked the way the movie left off with a bittersweet mix of melancholy and a touch of hope. I admit I am a bit of a sucker for stories that skip ahead in time and leave the viewer to sort out what may have happened in the interim from a few clues and references.

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Also never watched all of Frontier. Heck, never even watched Zero. Usually I watch a couple of eps then wait for the domestic release, but that didn't really turn out too well. Plus I don't have as much time as I used to (I remember powering through Gasaraki because I had spent so much money on it, despite it putting me to sleep multiple times... no way that happens now).

Man, I still need to finish Gasaraki...I got through about 2/3 of it I think?

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So any good mecha shows out there? I'll someday finish Unicorn, but the Gundam TV freight train seems to have slowed. Usually I see the toys long before I see the anime, but I haven't seen many really cool new robot designs lately.

I wish I could say yes, but nothing really is coming to mind at the moment from recent years. There's a few so-so ones recently, but nothing I'd really recommend and say, yes, watch this. I'll think on that some more in case I forgot something, though.

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Sanjeev
I never watched the Ginrei Special either...and I'm not planning to anytime soon. Sometimes, stories just end. And that's okay.

*nodnod*

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That's kinda why I often HATE follow-up movies to anime series. The Macross Frontier movies weren't bad because they share the same spirit as the shows, but like you mentioned, the Nadesico movie, the Escaflowne movie, the umpteen Evangelion movies...all make me want to barf on my shoes.

Ah man...yeah, I liked the Mac F movies, but Nadesico actually has a real special place in my heart.

I'm watching the Eva reboot movies and have mixed feelings there. I thought the first two were fun, and the third started off interesting (remember what I said about liking big time-skips earlier? Probably it's why Gunbuster is one of my old faves), but then kind of started returning to the Shinji-tus Quo. I'll watch the fourth one, because I want to see how they end things this time around, but not without some trepidation.

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Anyway, I wasn't aware Z-Hen did badly, but if they were planning on continuing it with Great-Hen, then it musta tanked. I guess I'm not surprised by that. I mean, Legend of Daikumaryu was about as good a mecha cartoon as it gets...but they didn't even make half the toys planned for it!

Yeah, the robot merch buying market is pretty limited these days. :(

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Heh...it's funny how similar a lot of us are: back in the day, I used to read Animag, Animerica, and Mecha Press here and there...and, of course, check out the latest VHS fansubs available at the comic conventions we used to go to in high school! I kinda liked Nadesico (the tv series anyway) though! Granted, that was a series I got into via fansubs--I hadn't read/heard anything about the show prior to that, so I had no expectations. When it turned out to be a doofy comedy, I was pleasantly surprised. And I thought it ended well too.

For me, I was always too impatient to wait for subs, so I was always trying to get the latest shows ASAP raw, usually through local mom and pop Japanese rental shops. :)

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Gasaraki was a total snoozefest for me too...heh, yeah, I got burned by buying those DVDs too!

It was pretty meh from what I recall...I was hoping to get back to it someday, and yeah, I got the DVD box once on the cheap, so that's one investment with only a partial return thus far for me too. I did like some of the bits with the Noh theater elements, the politics, and the mecha designs. But just a bit too monotone.

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Hey, was RahXephon any good? I heard that was decent. Never caught Godanner or Gurren Lagann either. For me, swinging cartoon titties do little more than evoke imagery of ronery otaku fapping away in their parents' basements. But times is hard, yo...and I miss cartoon robots! ;)

RahXephon was pretty good up to the end. Basically it was Raideen mixed with Evangelion. Unfortunately the Evangelion side of things won out in the end, and I felt I got BSG'd by the show as a result. But the setting was interesting and the obvious Raideen shoutouts were cool. I'd suggest watching a few episodes from early on, but not investing in watching the whole series.

Godanner was a bit too cheesy for my tastes. Gurren Lagann you might like though...it's really two shows in one, with the first arc being a very shounen series with lots of stuff that reminds me of both Xabungle and also the old kiddy SD robot shows like Lamune&40NG Knight (not to be confused with the Lamune spinoff localized here) and Wataru, while the second arc, set seven years later (I call these gaps in shows like this and Nadesico the "Lazyner Skips") has more of a traditional mecha/super robot feel to it. The climax scene of the series was worth it alone for me, which takes the ever growing mecha scales to its most Tex Avery-plus logical extreme. You haven't seen nothing until you see robots the size of galaxies chucking smaller galaxies at each other...

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H-man
I actually really liked RahXephon (so did KenA). It's definitely one of those "Evangelion Clones" mixed in with a dash of Raydeen but this one actually has a plot and mythology that makes some sense, has characters you can root for (and thus earning some truly heart breaking moments) and doesn't whiff on the ending like most of these shows tend to do. I'd recommend it!

Hm, I had the exact opposite reaction to the ending. Ah well. :)

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fujishig
I liked Rahxephon, which actually had a cohesive story, IIRC, plus I liked the art style. Just got the Variable Action High Spec too which is as cool as a robot with wings on its head can be.

That DOES sound rather appealing...

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I have the DVDs of Gurren Lagann, I have toys of Gurren Lagann, for some time I contemplated spending a truckload of money on the Blu-rays of Gurren Lagann, but I've never watched it in it's entirety. It's another one of those victims of my not having as much time as my youth.

Have you watched it sequentially or skipped around? Some folks prefer the first arc, others the second (I'm in the latter camp). I kind of skimmed through the first arc, and when I showed it to my roommate, I started him with the recap of the first arc that comes between it and the second and he was fine with that. :) I just found the first portion a bit too kidsy for me in places, but there are others who love it for that, and more power to them. :) It's kind of a nice way to recreate that oldschool anime fun for newbies without having to make them watch animation drawn in an older style that seems to be poison to their eyes. ;)

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The last "mecha" show I watched complete was Code Geass, that weird blend of mecha and CLAMP human designs. I've been meaning to pick up Gundam OO again, but man it's hard to watch that after taking a prolonged break, I have no idea what any of these pretty boys are talking about.

I really enjoyed Code Geass myself, but I know it's not for everyone. Gundam 00 turned me off right away, but I did enjoy Seed and even Destiny (which most folks hate), if not quite as much as Seed.

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I liked what little I saw of Godonnar, though, mainly because of the homage to Go Nagai/Super Robots; I thought it was much better than stuff like Aquarion or Gravion.

Hm, I started all three of those, but the only one that I felt I might go back to someday is Gravion...which I felt was pretty fun in a kind of retro 80s/early 90s way with a strong "Hirano" and "Obari" feel to it. But I only watched an episode or two of each.
Yeah, I watched Gurren sequentially. I know it shifts in tone and is apparently awesome, just haven't gotten back around to it. Honestly Crunchyroll is keeping me busy (and I don't watch all that much on it, but it does allow me to sample a lot).

I liked Code Geass... actually, all the talking kinda reminded me of Gasaraki, but it's much flashier and therefore didn't put me to sleep. I'm also a sucker for new mecha being introduced every couple of episodes. I also liked that you really don't know who to cheer for.

I liked Seed; despite cutting corners on the animation, I thought it was a pretty good adaptation/reinvention of the original Gundam, albeit with more Gundams and more kids. Then Destiny cut the animation budget even more, and starts off like Zeta except in this version, Camille takes a backseat to Amuro halfway through and never recovers. 00 has too much talking, like I said before, I have to either read a recap or rewatch it because I have no clue what the heck's going on anymore.

How's Lagrange? Anyone watch it?
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fujishig
Yeah, I watched Gurren sequentially. I know it shifts in tone and is apparently awesome, just haven't gotten back around to it. Honestly Crunchyroll is keeping me busy (and I don't watch all that much on it, but it does allow me to sample a lot).

A lot of good stuff on Crunchy lately!

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I liked Code Geass... actually, all the talking kinda reminded me of Gasaraki, but it's much flashier and therefore didn't put me to sleep. I'm also a sucker for new mecha being introduced every couple of episodes. I also liked that you really don't know who to cheer for.

Code Geass really seems to polarize some fans. I often hear critics refer to the series as a trainwreck, but I never thought so nor understood that opinion really. I enjoyed its many twists and turns...sure it's not a realistic mecha series in terms of plotting, but it is good fun melodrama and one where I enjoyed a slight reversal of typical hero and villain archetypes.

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I liked Seed; despite cutting corners on the animation, I thought it was a pretty good adaptation/reinvention of the original Gundam, albeit with more Gundams and more kids. Then Destiny cut the animation budget even more, and starts off like Zeta except in this version, Camille takes a backseat to Amuro halfway through and never recovers.

I agree! Although I thought it was more a "what if Quattro became the lead" rather than Amuro in the case of Destiny. Athrun always struck me as Char/Quattro in the two shows and it really seemed that much of the focus in Destiny shifted to him. I was a latecomer to the series and watched most of both in large marathons, which allowed me to skip the many recap episodes, so that probably also helped my impression. I really also liked how Seed seemed to incorporate elements of other Gundams as well as even other series (I got a lot of Nadesico, Harlock, and Macross vibes among others...and the BaCue feel like a nod to Zoids).

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00 has too much talking, like I said before, I have to either read a recap or rewatch it because I have no clue what the heck's going on anymore.

Yeah, the initial premise didn't really click for me, too. So far Seed/Destiny is the only non-UC canon Gundam I've really liked...it may well be my favorite (heresy, I know...but I need to rewatch Zeta to think about it some more).

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How's Lagrange? Anyone watch it?

Lagrange is pretty fun and silly...more a mecha satire/comedy than something to take seriously, but it has some nice mecha designs and a generally upbeat, optimistic mood to the show that is refreshing. It became a running joke with my friends about just how bad the security is at the base in this one, but I think that was part of the genre satire. It's a bit overshadowed by Sato's other series at the time, Mourestu Space Pirates, which I thought was particularly entertaining (and has some subtle implications near the end of being set much later in Nadesico's universe if you know what to look for...or one very parallel to it). I didn't recommend it only because I was trying to think of more serious mecha works of late...which I'm coming up more dry on.

Oh yeah, Suisei no Gargantia was quite good (other than one kind of dumb fanservice episode in the middle that was obvious filler) and actually had a sort of "lost 80s/90s series" feel to the premise. The mecha aren't really the focus of it, but there are some, and Chamber was particularly notable.

Valvrave is an outright deliberate mishmash of robot/mech anime tropes that is fun to watch if a bit facepalm-inducing at times.

I couldn't get past the first episode of Majestic Prince, but some may enjoy it. The robots are cool at least.

Anyone watching Gatchaman CROWDS? It's quite a deconstruction...almost nothing like the old Gatchaman and thus may be disappointing for purists, with a very different premise and story, but nonetheless quite entertaining and much more interesting than it appears at first on the surface. In any case it quite deliberately takes nearly every expectation you'd have about Gatchaman and turns them on their head. Identifying all the reversals and buried common threads and such is part of the fun of the show though...
Sanjeev (Admin)
Hmmm...maybe I'll give RahXephon a shot at some point then. Harv, you should definitely post a "Do TV Shows Suck" thread! LOL I'm sure that'll get a lot of action these days. :P

Godannar and Gurren Lagann are on the maybe lists, too. I guess I'm more interested in checking out old school stuff before shows like these. For example, I've been meaning to check out Zambot 3 now that subs are available. Also, I only ever got through the first half or so of subbed Voltes V before getting derailed. Same with Grendizer. And Tranzor Z.

Crap, I got work to do... :P

Bry, you're a fucking MACHINE. Do you understand/read Japanese?? I could never sit there and watch something in a language I couldn't understand and not eventually wanna blow my brains out. Also, it seems like you've researched the SHIT outta all these shows! LOL Dude, I barely have time to read this fucking thread, let alone watch these shows...OR research them online!

Anyway, thanks for explaining "Hen". I don't feel quite *as* bad about there being no Great-Hen...if his gimmick was that he transformed into a sword. I found that part SO fucking lame. More flash. Still not a lick of substance. Oh, and there was an episode 0??? WTF.

LOL...BSG 1980 probably WOULD have made a better ending than what we got in the new show! Oh, and thanks for the link to the GR manga. Love those sites, man. I'm currently digging Kinnikuman on mangahere.com.

As for Legend of Daikumaryu, it's a tough call whether or not to go back and watch Daikumaryu Gaiking first (if you hadn't already grown up with it). Normally, I'd probably say no because it's mad corny, and if you don't have that nostalgic attachment, you may just find it boring. BUT...you're like a fucking giant robot cartoon historian! By watching DG first, you'll get a much better appreciation for LoD. It's certainly not necessary, but all these tiny details that would normally be taken at face value will suddenly become much more relevant with knowledge of the old show. Like, the way they handle the Face Open mode is fucking genius.

I gotta question, though, what on earth you liked about the Nadesico movie?? That piece of crap seemed about as unfun as everyone says Man of Steel was! You take a light, fun, humorous cartoon with a solid upbeat ending...and then follow it up with a dark, brooding, boring movie that's ultra-serious and confusing as fuck because it apparently takes place years later. Why? Sure, it could be an interesting puzzle to figure out what happened in the intervening timeframe...but who cares? It's just as interesting a puzzle to calculate the rate at which the grass in my front lawn grows. And the latter would likely be the more enjoyable experience.

Don't bother finishing Gasaraki. It doesn't get any better. Only watch if your brain absolutely demands closure.

Gundam Seed never seemed interesting enough to warrant my time. And I've never heard of most everything else you guys've mentioned. :P

Oh, one more recommendation to make: check out Dougram. It's old school, but it's better than it has any right to be! The pace is slow-ish, but it's consistent and I find the politics of class and colonization fascinating. The mecha designs are some of my favorite of all time, but the ironic thing is that the actual mecha action in the show is relatively boring! If you're interested in old anime, you need to see this. I found it MUCH more interesting than MS Gundam or many other "classics" of that era.
I love Dougram, though again I haven't watched all of it. When I was a kid, I'd get the Japanese terebi magazines at my local Japanese market and live vicariously through the toy catalogs. Then once every few years my grandma would come back from Japan with the motherlode. So most of my nostalgia is all about the mecha designs/toys, and not so much the shows themselves. Well, that and Kamen Rider. Speaking of, I know kids don't play with toys anymore, but nothing really ever replaced the Brave series in terms of Japanese kids toy robots, huh? I mean they have Super Sentai and Transformers (and the Go stuff is very Brave-ish) and maybe stuff like Gyrozetter, but other than that where're all the mecha toys?

I'll make another confession: I've never made it through all of Votoms either. And I have it, in some kind of lunchbox set, too. I'm hoping to make it through L-gaim if only for the connection to Five Star Stories (plus the mecha design). The last 80's mecha show I watched in it's entirety was Aura Battler Dunbine, I think.

I guess I've gotta go back and watch that Gaiking remake.

To digress into manga, Kinnikuman has always been one of my favorites... starts off as an Ultraman parody before finding it's pro wrestling roots and then goes crazy from there. I'll never understand how they got so far away from what made the original fun when they came up with the sequel (or Ultimate Muscle here). Or maybe I just outgrew it, and nostalgia keeps the original fresh or something.
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Sanjeev
Godannar and Gurren Lagann are on the maybe lists, too. I guess I'm more interested in checking out old school stuff before shows like these. For example, I've been meaning to check out Zambot 3 now that subs are available. Also, I only ever got through the first half or so of subbed Voltes V before getting derailed. Same with Grendizer. And Tranzor Z.

I need to do more of this myself. I'm more focused on 80s shows at the moment though...just finished Southern Cross recently, working gradually on Xabungle and Dougram. Turn A Gundam, too, but that's 90s. These are all on my backburner though.

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Bry, you're a fucking MACHINE. Do you understand/read Japanese?? I could never sit there and watch something in a language I couldn't understand and not eventually wanna blow my brains out. Also, it seems like you've researched the SHIT outta all these shows! LOL Dude, I barely have time to read this fucking thread, let alone watch these shows...OR research them online!

I do know some Japanese (and am working slowly on some Microman-related translations). I was too interested in anime and manga in my younger days to wait for translations that didn't seem they'd ever get made to come along, so I've mostly learned stuff by osmosis, lol. It helped I grew up in a neighborhood with a large Japanese-American population. :) My Japanese is pretty fanboy-centric though (better geared for reading/listening than communicating) as a result and I hope to take some formal classes again next year... I'm kind of a Japanophile in general, but anime and manga's always been a core focus for me since my late childhood. I mostly blame August Ragone (http://augustragone.blogspot.com/ ), who came on the local kiddy Japanese SF program "Captain Cosmic" (which mostly ran tokusatsu shows like Ultraman, Space Giants, and Johnny Socko, but also got Star Blazers) one day in the middle of Star Blazers' first run in 1979 and talked about the Japanese origins of the show and shared some samples of the merch. Well, him and the late Bob "Captain Cosmic"/"Creature Features" Wilkins himself, of course.

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Anyway, thanks for explaining "Hen". I don't feel quite *as* bad about there being no Great-Hen...if his gimmick was that he transformed into a sword. I found that part SO fucking lame. More flash. Still not a lick of substance. Oh, and there was an episode 0??? WTF.

Depending where you watched it from, it might have been listed as episode 1. It was the one titled "Finale" and was basically a preview epsiode showing teasers of many of the climaxes from the series.

Aw, I don't know about the sword, but I really dug the whole "Fist of Zeus" thing and the ties with God Mazinger and whatnot, along with the whole bane of Ashura thing. I thought that actually had plenty of substance right there. But then again, I did set my expectations a bit low and am not so well-read on the originals for comparison still.



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LOL...BSG 1980 probably WOULD have made a better ending than what we got in the new show! Oh, and thanks for the link to the GR manga. Love those sites, man. I'm currently digging Kinnikuman on mangahere.com.

Ha! No problem, I should check that out too. I just finished vol. 1 of Giant Robo...it's interesting, Yokoyama's storytelling is a bit more drawn out than I expected...GR's hardly seen any action so far and we're halfway through? Although seeing GR2's pre-Rocket Punch attack was quite cool. The way the action plays out reminds me a lot of Herge's Tintin...I wonder if that was published in Japan around that time or earlier. I remember seeing a Mazinger manga translation out there somewhere too that I read the first couple of chapters from to compare with Z-hen.

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As for Legend of Daikumaryu, it's a tough call whether or not to go back and watch Daikumaryu Gaiking first (if you hadn't already grown up with it). Normally, I'd probably say no because it's mad corny, and if you don't have that nostalgic attachment, you may just find it boring. BUT...you're like a fucking giant robot cartoon historian! By watching DG first, you'll get a much better appreciation for LoD. It's certainly not necessary, but all these tiny details that would normally be taken at face value will suddenly become much more relevant with knowledge of the old show. Like, the way they handle the Face Open mode is fucking genius.

I'll probably give the original a look some first then. I love the cel art I've seen from it, and the mecha designs always appealed to me (actually the designer, Dan Kobayashi, had a hand in designing the cybernetic bits for Henshin Cyborg and Microman).

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I gotta question, though, what on earth you liked about the Nadesico movie?? That piece of crap seemed about as unfun as everyone says Man of Steel was! You take a light, fun, humorous cartoon with a solid upbeat ending...and then follow it up with a dark, brooding, boring movie that's ultra-serious and confusing as fuck because it apparently takes place years later. Why? Sure, it could be an interesting puzzle to figure out what happened in the intervening timeframe...but who cares? It's just as interesting a puzzle to calculate the rate at which the grass in my front lawn grows. And the latter would likely be the more enjoyable experience.

I'm not sure I can easily explain it...perhaps because I did like the contrast and that "puzzle" aspect to it. I liked seeing where the characters were a few years later and trying to extrapolate from how we got from point a to point b. But I also liked the style of presentation and pacing, the in media res start, and some of the ironic ways things had turned out. I suppose it was also kind of a way to see Nadesico if it had been played more straight then for laughs for contrast. And like I mentioned, I kind of have a soft spot for stories that jump over chunks of time like that. There's other aspects I liked too, but I concede it's probably my own odd acquired taste. :)

In any case, I don't feel the movie diminished the original series though, unlike the ending to BSG which I felt made it hard to appreciate the rest of the show since all the nudge and wink mysteries were one big handwave in the end.

I admit I'd have liked to have seen more of what happened directly after the abrupt ending of the original series, though.

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Don't bother finishing Gasaraki. It doesn't get any better. Only watch if your brain absolutely demands closure.

That's a shame, but I think I was getting that feeling the further I got into the series, and might be why I never returned to finish it. :(

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Gundam Seed never seemed interesting enough to warrant my time. And I've never heard of most everything else you guys've mentioned. :P

I pretty much ignored Seed (and Destiny) when they aired because I got the same vibe about it. But something someone said about it in relation to another show I was enjoying at the time after they had just ended which sparked my interest, so I watched the first episode and found myself instantly hooked. The story is kind of by the numbers, but they do a good job of finding many of the parts of the past Gundams that made them entertaining and remixing them into something self-consciously reflective of that. That said, I feel it has more of a super robot feel at time than a post-Gundam mecha opera. Mostly in a good way.

Out of the other stuff we mentioned, mostly from just the last couple of seasons, I'd most recommend Suisei no Gargantia (Gargantia of the Verdurous Planet). It's a short, self-contained series, only a single season long, but has a lot of the feel of a classic 80's show, in a good way. Not to mention a great space opera-based prologue episode to start it off with.

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Oh, one more recommendation to make: check out Dougram. It's old school, but it's better than it has any right to be! The pace is slow-ish, but it's consistent and I find the politics of class and colonization fascinating. The mecha designs are some of my favorite of all time, but the ironic thing is that the actual mecha action in the show is relatively boring! If you're interested in old anime, you need to see this. I found it MUCH more interesting than MS Gundam or many other "classics" of that era.

Yes! Dougram is on my current watch list and I've done a few episodes so far. I need to get back to it. Given that Votoms may well be my favorite mecha series of that period (a box set purchase I do not regret one bit!), I really need to do this next (and maybe some Panzer World Galient). Votoms certainly convinced me that Takahashi really knew how to tell a mecha story better than anyone else of that era. The other big one for me of late is Xabungle, which has blown me away so far...I had no idea that Tomino could be so hilarious!

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fujishig
I love Dougram, though again I haven't watched all of it. When I was a kid, I'd get the Japanese terebi magazines at my local Japanese market and live vicariously through the toy catalogs. Then once every few years my grandma would come back from Japan with the motherlode. So most of my nostalgia is all about the mecha designs/toys, and not so much the shows themselves. Well, that and Kamen Rider. Speaking of, I know kids don't play with toys anymore, but nothing really ever replaced the Brave series in terms of Japanese kids toy robots, huh? I mean they have Super Sentai and Transformers (and the Go stuff is very Brave-ish) and maybe stuff like Gyrozetter, but other than that where're all the mecha toys?

Indeed. The focus for kids in Japan has moved to post-Pokemon/Yugioh/Beyblade transmedia toy/anime/games and the like, if not to video games entirely. :(

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I'll make another confession: I've never made it through all of Votoms either. And I have it, in some kind of lunchbox set, too.

It's a pretty awesome show in the end, IMHO. Admittedly I was partly compelled to finish it once I'd heard a couple of spoilers about the ending.

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I'm hoping to make it through L-gaim if only for the connection to Five Star Stories (plus the mecha design). The last 80's mecha show I watched in it's entirety was Aura Battler Dunbine, I think.

I need to rewatch Dunbine...that's one I watched entirely in raw Japanese back in the late 80's/early 90's but could really benefit from some translation. I also need to finish King Gainer, speaking of finishing Tomino shows. I was getting close to the end on that one.

L-Gaim I've only heard mixed things about, so it's not quite as high on my "rediscover" pile. :)

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To digress into manga, Kinnikuman has always been one of my favorites... starts off as an Ultraman parody before finding it's pro wrestling roots and then goes crazy from there. I'll never understand how they got so far away from what made the original fun when they came up with the sequel (or Ultimate Muscle here). Or maybe I just outgrew it, and nostalgia keeps the original fresh or something.

Another endorsement there...okay, I'll definitely check me out some Kinnikuman later. :D

--Bry



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2013 07:04AM by microbry.
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microbry

Anyone watching Gatchaman CROWDS? It's quite a deconstruction...almost nothing like the old Gatchaman and thus may be disappointing for purists, with a very different premise and story, but nonetheless quite entertaining and much more interesting than it appears at first on the surface. In any case it quite deliberately takes nearly every expectation you'd have about Gatchaman and turns them on their head. Identifying all the reversals and buried common threads and such is part of the fun of the show though...

You know.... this past weekend I actually came across a random episode having never heard of it (yeah, for this GatchaNut, it threw me for a loop) and what I saw confused and frightened me... but now that you've explained it and put it in proper context, I may try it again with the first episode....but first impression is that it is definitely not your father's Gatchaman!

Man... up to episode #22 (23?) on "Attack on Titan".... the whole Female Titan storyline was pretty insane... basically one continous action chase sequence (spread across 7 episodes was it?) with a brutal (even heartbreaking?) outcome.
The Gatchaman CROWDS director has a bit of a rep for being a bit avant-garde. I dig what he's trying to say with the show, though I wish it had a bit more of an animation budget. I'm very curious how it will wrap up.

Yeah, Titan has been really quite a run, I'm pretty sad to see it isn't continuing into the next season. I'm sure with its popularity that we will see a further continuation of the series later, though.

I also just watched episodes 23 and 24 of Yamato 2199 (no subs out yet, just raw Japanese) and can't wait for the final two episodes... definitely some of the best anime space opera I've seen, ever. I can't get over just how well they've expanded upon the original show.
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Sanjeev
That's not to say I didn't enjoy Frontier. I just don't have a particularly strong urge to go back and watch it again. I think I woulda liked Frontier better if I could actually tell what the fuck was going on during the fight scenes! LOL Them shits were confusing as FUCK. Does anyone actually enjoy stuff like that? It was similar to Bayformers car-streamers-in-your-face-now-robot.

The fights are better considered "mechas doing awesome stuff synched to music" than anything else, IMHO.

As for recent anime shows that I liked, this is mostly regulated by what I can find subbed on DVD.

Watched this year:

- Gundam (original) compilation movies: These were okay. The animation really sucks now and then though, and some storylines felt contrived in the movies - I don't think I would have liked to watch some parts of the original show.
- Gundam Char's Counter Attack: Pretty good.
- Gundam 0083: Nice mecha, absolutely loathe some of the characters and the plot is dumb. Most of the plot seems to be the result of a disbelievable lack of security and risk containment on the part of Anaheim Electronics. In the real world that would have gotten a bunch of people in prison or shot.
- Gundam F91: Actually fairy watchable. Except for the way the "Bugs" are defeated - diving right into Super Robot territory from there on. It also has this weird 1990s anime humour that is kinda cheap.
- Segoku Basara season 2: Less good than first season. Still fun.
- Princess Mononoke & Howl's moving castle: My first Miyazaki movies. Really loved the first, the second was also good, but less than the first. I need to get more from Studio Ghibli. :)
- Eden of the East: Made by the same guy who did Stand Alone Complex. Better than I expected, but not as good as SAC. Maybe a lack of Tachikoma?
- Iria: A classic :) Rather run of the mill though.
- Summer Wars: Quite good. No mecha though.
- Eureka Seven (Movie): So-so. I preferred the TV series.
- Mawaru Penguindrum: Mind. Screwed. And I still need to buy the other half...
- Sakura Wars the Movie: I'm going to commit heresy amongst fans by saying that I prefer the TV series. :P
- Bodacious Space Pirates: This one was a pleasant surprise. Although I had read that it was fairly fanservice free, I was still a bit concerned about a show based on a light novel called "Miniskirt Pirates". The miniskirts are there, the situations that should provide a good eyeful of panty are there, but thankfully there's no panties in sight for both the viewer and in-show males. The plot is good, there's some character development, and the "schoolgirl as a space pirate" is not done to death as I was afraid it would be. Also, cool ships.

--
SilhouetteFormula.Net
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thomas


The fights are better considered "mechas doing awesome stuff synched to music" than anything else, IMHO.

That's a good point...

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- Gundam (original) compilation movies: These were okay. The animation really sucks now and then though, and some storylines felt contrived in the movies - I don't think I would have liked to watch some parts of the original show.

I need to rewatch these now I finally watched the full original series a couple years back. The show was interesting from a historical perspective, but the movies really trim away a lot of the fat.

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- Gundam Char's Counter Attack: Pretty good.

Another I'll get to rewatching someday...I always found Char's character change and the ending unsatisfying, and for some reason a lot of the MS designs didn't grab me as much as I thought they would.

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- Gundam 0083: Nice mecha, absolutely loathe some of the characters and the plot is dumb. Most of the plot seems to be the result of a disbelievable lack of security and risk containment on the part of Anaheim Electronics. In the real world that would have gotten a bunch of people in prison or shot.

It's a fun ride, but yeah, some real character and plot issues.

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- Gundam F91: Actually fairy watchable. Except for the way the "Bugs" are defeated - diving right into Super Robot territory from there on. It also has this weird 1990s anime humour that is kinda cheap.

Never got to this one, although I have an LD(!) of it lying around somewhere. Maybe I'll give it a shot later.

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- Segoku Basara season 2: Less good than first season. Still fun.

Yeah...first season was the best. Can't beat Norio Wakamoto as Oda Nobunaga, either.

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- Princess Mononoke & Howl's moving castle: My first Miyazaki movies. Really loved the first, the second was also good, but less than the first. I need to get more from Studio Ghibli. :)

Indeed! You'll be in for a treat. Generally I like the earlier stuff better, with some exceptions. Ponpoko, Laputa, Porco Rosso, Nausicaa, Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away, and Castle of Cagliostro (pre-Ghibli Miyazaki) are all stand-outs for me in particular.

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- Eden of the East: Made by the same guy who did Stand Alone Complex. Better than I expected, but not as good as SAC. Maybe a lack of Tachikoma?

Agreed! He also did Re: Cyborg 009 recently, which was a real mess, unfortunately (I was quite psyched up about him doing it, and the first half was pretty good at least).

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- Iria: A classic :) Rather run of the mill though.

Definitely on my rewatch list.

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- Summer Wars: Quite good. No mecha though.

For some reason I couldn't sit through this one, got about halfway through or so. I like the idea, but something about the execution bothered me that I can't put my finger on.

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- Eureka Seven (Movie): So-so. I preferred the TV series.

Still haven't seen yet, but watched both Eureka Seven and Eureka Seven AO...the latter of which most old fans hated, but I kind of enjoyed for its own merits. I did feel like the end of both series was a bit messy though...some of the continuity issues at the end of the original Eureka Seven really bothered me...and I usually can wave that sort of thing off.

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- Mawaru Penguindrum: Mind. Screwed. And I still need to buy the other half...

I loved Ikuhara back in his "prime" before he disappeared from the anime world for several years. Utena was a masterpiece. So I was very much looking forward to Penguindrum and his return to anime directing. I couldn't make it more than a third or so of the way in. Maybe its because he didn't work on this one with Yojii Enokido...I don't know.

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- Sakura Wars the Movie: I'm going to commit heresy amongst fans by saying that I prefer the TV series. :P

Hm, I've only seen a bit of the show, and not the movie. I felt it didn't quite live up to my expectations from the games somehow.

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- Bodacious Space Pirates: This one was a pleasant surprise. Although I had read that it was fairly fanservice free, I was still a bit concerned about a show based on a light novel called "Miniskirt Pirates". The miniskirts are there, the situations that should provide a good eyeful of panty are there, but thankfully there's no panties in sight for both the viewer and in-show males. The plot is good, there's some character development, and the "schoolgirl as a space pirate" is not done to death as I was afraid it would be. Also, cool ships.

AKA Mouretsu Space Pirates. I loved this show, even if the titles are all kind of dodgy sounding. Great demonstration of tactics, a likable, upbeat cast, and a fun interpretation of what "space piracy" could mean. Directed by Tatsuo Sato, who also was supervising director on Rinne no Lagrange at the same time (after being away from the spotlight for a while coming back to do two SF shows at once was quite a treat!) and is best known earlier for directing Nadesico and Stellvia. He even slipped in some clever Nadesico references (unless those came from the original novels, not sure) near the end of the series. Though my favorite references are the coy Sailor Moon nods.

Hm, I should note some of my most recent favorites. I'll save that for next time. ;)
Sanjeev (Admin)
fujishig, if you enjoyed what you've seen so far with Dougram, you won't be disappointed. It stays consistently solid and ends appropriately. But, yeah, if it weren't for the Revell "Robotech" repackaged Dougram kits, I might never have given the show a try. My nostalgia, too, comes mostly from vintage toys and model kits I was exposed to as a kid...Force Five and Godzilla movies notwithstanding.

Beats me what kids are into nowadays. I feel like a dinosaur when I see the smarter, less violent (but more consumeristic) shows kids watch now.

Was Dunbine any good? I think Nekrodave told me it was boring. Also, I was mostly warned to avoid VOTOMS. It's a classic in terms of mecha design, but the shows are pretty dumb. Or so many folks have told me [except Bry...LOL].

Oh, another point about the Gaiking remake and I'll shut up about it. I just finished rewatching it the other night. The ending is great, and it's absolutely LOADED with references to the original show. I now think it's worth it to catch up on the original stuff just to see all the clever shit they put in. The only other suggestion I would make is to skip the pink hippo episodes (I think 24-25...you'll know it when you get to them!). They're a little too campy for my tastes...and don't advance the plot *at all*.

I never got into Ultimate MUSCLE at all, but I have no real interest in checking it out. Like you said, the fandom for the original stuff is extremely vibrant, so whatever...

Bry, I never knew about August's show. Sounds wild! I'm sure that would have been a huge influence on me. Anyway, to each their own, regarding the Nadesico movie, but I certainly agree that it doesn't detract from enjoyment of the tv series. I just pretend it doesn't exist! Certainly NOT the same as BSG...

I don't buy the defense of Mac F's fight scenes. Mecha doing "awesome" stuff synched to music? A) You have NO idea what that stuff IS. It's just sorta implied that it's awesome. Lame. B) The music sucks.

I liked 0083...probably my favorite Gundam show (though that doesn't say much because I generally don't like most Gundam anime). I agree that the characters are way too Top Gun for me (think 80's emo-insecure dude versus half-mom, half-love interest female lead). But I found the plot pretty good. Is the only complaint about the plot that it was too easy for Gato to steal the Unit 2 in the beginning? Have you ever been on a military installation during peacetime???

Anyway, I started watching Planetes about a year ago, but I never got past the 6th or 7th episode. I liked what I saw, but anyone know if the show ended well?
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Sanjeev
Was Dunbine any good? I think Nekrodave told me it was boring.

I thought it was fairly decent when I watched it back in the day, but I'll admit it isn't the most exciting of Tomino's series, and probably is a bit too drawn out.


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Also, I was mostly warned to avoid VOTOMS. It's a classic in terms of mecha design, but the shows are pretty dumb. Or so many folks have told me [except Bry...LOL].

Ha, how different the circles we are in can be. All my 80s mecha friends held up VOTOMS as one of the best and most important of the "real type" mecha series to see after Gundam. The main thing I like about it is that it is directed unlike any other mecha show I have seen from that era...very minimalistic dialog on the characters' part, none of that spouting back and forth during combat you always see in Tomino-style works. Takahashi focuses on "showing" over "telling" and does a great job also of conveying tactics without over-explanation. And as a mecha tale, it really goes the next step toward realism and skewing away from "heroic" robots...the 'dogs are disposable and treated as such, much more so than the Mobile Suits of Gundam and such. Now that said, most of the spin-offs and continuations are more miss than hit.

That said, it does have a very pulp sci-fi feel to it and the loner, always-surviving hard boiled main character is at times on the edge of almost self-parody without ever really crossing that line (aside from Banjo Ginga's memorably over-the-top episode preview narrations...most famous for the "drinking the bitter coffee of Uudo City" line). This aspect of the series might be a bit too much for some. For me, though, Chirico is a real icon of that era.

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Oh, another point about the Gaiking remake and I'll shut up about it. I just finished rewatching it the other night. The ending is great, and it's absolutely LOADED with references to the original show. I now think it's worth it to catch up on the original stuff just to see all the clever shit they put in. The only other suggestion I would make is to skip the pink hippo episodes (I think 24-25...you'll know it when you get to them!). They're a little too campy for my tastes...and don't advance the plot *at all*.

Pink hippo (what was that, a Moomin reference?)...got it...was that in the original or the remake?

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Bry, I never knew about August's show. Sounds wild! I'm sure that would have been a huge influence on me. Anyway, to each their own, regarding the Nadesico movie, but I certainly agree that it doesn't detract from enjoyment of the tv series. I just pretend it doesn't exist! Certainly NOT the same as BSG...

Yeah, well actually it was Bob Wilkins' show, but August was a regular contributor/consultant and guest.

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I liked 0083...probably my favorite Gundam show (though that doesn't say much because I generally don't like most Gundam anime). I agree that the characters are way too Top Gun for me (think 80's emo-insecure dude versus half-mom, half-love interest female lead). But I found the plot pretty good. Is the only complaint about the plot that it was too easy for Gato to steal the Unit 2 in the beginning? Have you ever been on a military installation during peacetime???

Well, that's certainly a popular trope in mecha anime anyway. I liked the series and ought to give it a rewatch someday...I used it as a gateway show for at least one or two folks when I was in college. :D

I still need to watch Planetes. I better finish Moonlight Mile first... :)
MSW
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Sanjeev
Anyway, I started watching Planetes about a year ago, but I never got past the 6th or 7th episode. I liked what I saw, but anyone know if the show ended well?

Yes it did, the most satisfying ending to any TV anime I've ever seen.
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MSW
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Sanjeev
Anyway, I started watching Planetes about a year ago, but I never got past the 6th or 7th episode. I liked what I saw, but anyone know if the show ended well?

Yes it did, the most satisfying ending to any TV anime I've ever seen.

That's QUITE an endorsement (on top of others I've read). Noted!
Sanjeev (Admin)
I think the main criticism of VOTOMS--again, according to what folks have told me--is the human stuff. The mecha action is top notch, the militaristic aspects are on point...but Chirico is a total angsty teen's wet dream. Lame. I realize angsty teens ARE the intended audience...but I'm a grown-ass man; I don't need more Wolverine in my life. :/

Other than that, though, yeah...I'm also told it's the most important mecha show since Gundam. I can respect that. I think Ben mentioned there was an OVA or two that focused less on the brooding tough-guy, and thus were more critically palatable. I'll try to check those out at some point...

I have no idea what a "moomin" is, but I'm pretty sure it's episodes 24 and 25 of Gaiking that you prolly wanna skip. It's like everything leading up to (and including) episode 23 is high-tension and building towards one fucker of a showdown...but then they sorta shoe-horned in a two-part block of comic relief.

But you know something, Bry, I get the feeling you have a less...discerning palate...than I do! LOL You may actually dig those episodes! Or at least not roll your eyes like I did!

Anyway, so regarding 0083...someone stealing a weapon of mass destruction is a popular mecha anime trope? Maybe, but I can't imagine THAT, in and of itself, turning anyone off from the show.

I also enjoyed 0080, but weirdly, the music of all things really annoyed the shit outta me. It just seemed like EVERY piece of incidental music was out of place and kinda ruined the tense or sad moments...

Oh...and, yeah...I've been hearing that Planetes ended amazingly well too.
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Sanjeev
I think the main criticism of VOTOMS--again, according to what folks have told me--is the human stuff. The mecha action is top notch, the militaristic aspects are on point...but Chirico is a total angsty teen's wet dream. Lame. I realize angsty teens ARE the intended audience...but I'm a grown-ass man; I don't need more Wolverine in my life. :/
I suppose so...I didn't really see him quite that way, but yeah, the Wolverine analogy isn't far from the mark, probably. What was nice though was that unlike most series like this, they don't really let us inside Chirico's head. There's no internal monologue, no "woe is me" whining, none of that crap. Instead he is more a cipher (albeit a mostly transparent one) that we are expected to understand through context, his behavior, and the rare bits of narration or interactions with other cast. And that's what I particularly liked about the directing. Were this Tomino, we'd have very little dead air and constant character commentary. There are full episodes of Votoms with almost no dialogue at all...the rest told visually. And with as much anime as I watch, I can say that I don't think I've ever seen any other anime series like that.

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Other than that, though, yeah...I'm also told it's the most important mecha show since Gundam. I can respect that. I think Ben mentioned there was an OVA or two that focused less on the brooding tough-guy, and thus were more critically palatable. I'll try to check those out at some point...

That said, there's also some pretty awful OVAs too. ;)

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I have no idea what a "moomin" is, but I'm pretty sure it's episodes 24 and 25 of Gaiking that you prolly wanna skip. It's like everything leading up to (and including) episode 23 is high-tension and building towards one fucker of a showdown...but then they sorta shoe-horned in a two-part block of comic relief.

But you know something, Bry, I get the feeling you have a less...discerning palate...than I do! LOL You may actually dig those episodes! Or at least not roll your eyes like I did!

LOL...it really depends. I try to watch a variety of genres and material, but I also have a short tolerance for some things, particularly if it gets too kidsy. But we'll see. :)

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Anyway, so regarding 0083...someone stealing a weapon of mass destruction is a popular mecha anime trope? Maybe, but I can't imagine THAT, in and of itself, turning anyone off from the show.

I also enjoyed 0080, but weirdly, the music of all things really annoyed the shit outta me. It just seemed like EVERY piece of incidental music was out of place and kinda ruined the tense or sad moments...

Oh...and, yeah...I've been hearing that Planetes ended amazingly well too.

Yeah, the music was the only part of 0080 that I felt was kind of awkward, too. But a great OVA series.
Sorry, the trope I meant was the ever-too-lax security around the VERY STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT prototype robot or such. It's one that I think Rinne no LaGrange actually poked fun at quite a bit.
Great, need to go track down where I put Dougram. As a kid, when I came across those funky legged tanks, I was sold. As a kid, I remember doing a really dumb trade where I traded my little diecast Dougram figure for... a pencil case. I mean, it was a really cool pencil case and all, but still. And even though they basically stole the designs, I liked that the Battletech Shadowhawk brought it back.

The Planates manga is awesome, though the anime is also in my backlog...

Char's Counterattack was another one where I read the synopsis first and it just didn't make any sense to me. Of course, I was enamored by the big Nu Gundam model kit I had just built... it was a pre MG era, but it was spectacularly molded, and awesome all around (except for those dumb fin-funnels).

If not for lax security, none of the teenaged protagonists from all these 80's mecha shows would've gotten near the prototype mechs that they used to change the war with. Of course, 0080 was different all around; no newtypes, no young pilot, and the bad guys fail in their bid to capture/destroy the prototype in the beginning. But you'd think, in the UC world, at least, they'd learn to lock up their prototypes.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Regarding Chirico, I guess I'm just growing a little tired of those "wish-fulfillment" stories Gcrush keeps talking about (and speaking of whom, where the fuck is he in this thread??). Like, characters like Chirico or Wolverine are blank slates by design. They're tough and cool and unemotional...and completely unrealistic and grotesquely oppressive (even towards themselves). They're just vessels for young angsty boys to project their egos into...because young angsty boys are *taught* to idolize toughness, coolness, unemotionalness...and oppressive behavior.

Boring.

Back to Gundam. Lax security around a strategically important prototype weapon or whatever...gotcha. Well, in MSG, they weren't even at war with anyone, so that was kinda outta the blue. And in 0083, it's three years after the *end* of the war! I dunno...

Char's Counterattack was pretty awful. How do you go from Zeta to that?? Amuro and Char's characters seemed rebooted or something. And the ending was totally shit-tastic. Oh, and that Quess character made me want to light myself on fire to end the agony. Yeah, the mecha designs were dope, though...
Weren't they still at war with Zeon at the start of MSG (which is why they were developing the Gundam to offset the advantage the Zaku had), just in a stalemate? I realize that they were creating the prototype in secret in the colony and all... it just seems to happen every single time. Up the security so the enemy/terrorists/whatever don't get ahold of your nukes (quite literally in the case of 0083)!

Heck, even that turd Hathaway from CC gets to pilot a prototype that he stole in the novels.

Personally, I never wanted to be Wolverine... he seemed messed up to me, certainly not a role model, but interesting because Claremont wrote him as almost completely opposite of what the X-men and other heroes traditionally were at the time.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Oh my bad! You're totally right--I'm forgetting all my UC future-history! The Zaku II had been developed before the RX-78...so it was definitely wartime. Oh well. Gundam mecha designs have always been the focus of my interest...not so much the cartoons.

I thought early Wolverine stuff (especially Claremont/Miller) was pretty solid because he had more personality and interacted more interestingly with other characters. They focused on his history, and that was pretty cool.

Nowadays, I think he's terrible. He's now a nearly-immortal killing machine...and is no longer short, stubby, and ugly.
Again not anime, but Vertical has been releasing awesome hardcover collections for Yoshikazu Yasuhiko's Gundam the Origin manga retelling (if you want a refresher without having to slog through the original series or movies). The third volume just came out.
My copy of Gundam Origin vol. 3 just arrived from Amazon. Let me tell you that they are beautiful editions. Vertical is consistantly my favorite publisher of manga here in the states. I may not like all of their titles, but they always treat them with care. Earlier on Chip Kidd even did cover designs for them. Their hardback volumes of Osamu Tezuka's Buddha are amazing.
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