Anime might be cool

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Retsam

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby Retsam » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:56 pm

Finished Parasyte, and it ended pretty strong. The show drags a bit towards the middle, but it's got a solid beginning and a solid ending, at least.

And, yeah, it's definitely a show with philosophical ideas, and for the most part, executes those ideas well. It raises a lot of questions like: are we hypocritical to say that we value life, but kill animals? Do humans "deserve" to be killed for the damage we've done to the environment? Would it be wrong for another species to treat us like we treat animals?

And pretty much all of these questions flow naturally from the premise, as opposed to some stories that feel like they've got philosophical questions ham-fistedly tacked on. It's less "two-characters stop and discuss philosophy because the story-writer wanted to put their views the show", but the character's philosophical views are inherently tied to the plot and the conflict.

At a few points, particularly the last episode, it fails on this account and resorts to blatantly explaining the philosophy to the audience, in case they didn't "get it" in the previous episodes, but I guess that sort of works as an epilogue, and overall the show was pretty good about that.

It's definitely something I'd recommend if you're looking for a somewhat thoughtful action show ... and can tolerate a somewhat grating dubstep-y soundtrack.

---

On the "much less-thoughtful action" side of the spectrum, I went and saw the Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale movie this week, and it was actually pretty good. I'd tentatively say it's the best writing SAO has had, yet: it's easily the best, outside of the Aincrad Arc, and quite possibly better written than Aincrad.

The premise is a very logical, natural extension of the setting - an AR game instead of a VR one - think Google Glass (on steroids) meets Pokemon Go meets SAO. Unsurprisingly, the movie's AR game turns out to be somewhat dangerous, (but it even with the possibility of permanent injury, it still seems like a lot more fun than Pokemon Go).

It actually does really well on the areas where SAO has consistently struggled since the Aincrad Arc ended:

For one, the villains aren't awful; they are actually somewhat sympathetic with reasonable motivations and their plan is largely coherent, (and they aren't just cringey rapists, this time). They don't get as much development as they probably deserve and so they come across a bit on the cliched side, but are still leagues above any other SAO villains.

It also does a lot better at balancing its focus on the cast: Kirito and Asuna are given equal focus for the first time since the Aincrad Arc (rather than sidelining Kirito to focus on Asuna in Mothers Rosario, or vice versa the rest of the time). They did pretty well with giving all the side-characters at least a moment in the limelight as well. (Except his sister, who is more or )

It largely keeps Kirito inactive in the first half of the film, and that's smart: it the film more room for Asuna and the side-characters, and then when it does, inevitably, come down to Kirito beating everyone with his massive OP-ness, it just works better, because it's the payoff to two hours of build-up, rather than something that occurs at the end of nearly every 30 minute episode.

And, it actually feels like a proper follow-up to Aincrad, both in terms of its plot connecting back to Aincrad, but even more so, because it actually focuses on the Kirito/Asuna relationship that was built-up in the Aincrad Arc, but has largely languished since then, with the show paying lip-service to their status as a couple, but not actually going anywhere with it.

Other pluses: the animation was, unsurprisingly, really good (SAO was already good on that front, even before you throw a movie budget at it), and there was copious amounts of Yuki Kaijura music.

It's not all positive, naturally. Some of its flaws are inherited from SAO, itself: like Silica, Lisbeth, and Leafa are all still pretty flat and boring characters who don't do much (and mostly just remind me how annoyingly harem-y SAO was), but also the plot sort of goes off the rails at the end, and the film doesn't end up having much substance to its fun, (though it feels like it could have). In other words, it's still SAO.

I don't think it's going to change anyone's mind on the series, but if you liked SAO on any level, it's probably worth checking this movie out.
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SpammyV
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Re: Anime might be cool

Postby SpammyV » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:06 pm

The Rocketeer wrote:Ah, it thrills my heart to know you've reached the shallow end of Tomino's return to ZZ, where he turns his countenance on all things lighthearted and hisses, "No, this must not stand."


It's not even that Tomino is bad at comedy. Xabungle and ZZ both go for genre aware lighthearted comedy and it works much better in Xabungle.

I think it really is that ZZ is supposed to follow Zeta as the next main Gundam series. I don't have anything against some of the antics in general, if it were a side OVA making fun of Gundam plots that would be fine. But going from Zeta to ZZ and also dropping every bit of world development in favor of "Beecha tries to steal the Zeta/ZZ/betray the Argama AGAIN" is getting to me.
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Retsam

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby Retsam » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:49 pm

Complete side-note: the last Naruto episode aired today. I never watched any of Shipudden, but I really liked the original, and it's just been such a constant for the last decade or so, it's odd to hear that it's ended. (Though there's a sequel series airing)
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The Rocketeer

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby The Rocketeer » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:11 am

SpammyV wrote:I think it really is that ZZ is supposed to follow Zeta as the next main Gundam series. I don't have anything against some of the antics in general, if it were a side OVA making fun of Gundam plots that would be fine. But going from Zeta to ZZ and also dropping every bit of world development in favor of "Beecha tries to steal the Zeta/ZZ/betray the Argama AGAIN" is getting to me.
Actually, I retract my previous assessment; your comment about Glemy made me think you were a bit further in, but maybe you aren't. Then again, it's been so long since I've seen ZZ that I don't have a handle on it anymore.

I was going to watch ZZ again after watching Zeta again, but then I ended up dropping Zeta— along with the writing I wanted to do about it. I know I keep alluding to Zeta's theme about relationships and how it colors the whole narrative, but to my shame and regret, I've allowed that to stand as the kind of flagrant ipsedixitism of which I otherwise expressly disapprove. One of these days I'll finally get around to it. Then again, I also kinda want to watch Victory at long last. I've had it in the chamber since I first watched the previous UC series, but was too burnt out on Gundam and so aggravated by the fecklessness of Char's Counterattack and F91 to carry on. But I should still finish rewatching the UC up to ZZ to refresh the context for Victory, but then if I'm rewatching Zeta anyway I really should write about it...

Oh, fuck it all. There's more important things to watch.
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SpammyV
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Re: Anime might be cool

Postby SpammyV » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:26 am

I mean it turns out Glemy actually just turns out to be creepy extremely early as it turns out his obsession with Roux isn't "I love that girl and I want to see her again" like Katz, it's "Ooh that girl tricked me that makes me mad but I'm gonna capture her next time I see her and then she's gonna love me." And he's insanely creepy around Leina too.

So I know after I finish ZZ it's time to watch Char's Counterattack but then I'm not sure what going to be next. Victory? F91? Thunderbolt? I also want to get through After War Gundam X since that show apparently makes most sense in context of the Universal Century (even though it's not a UC show) and I've heard loads of good things about Turn A Gundam. Which actually is a canonical UC show, Tomino said it was.

Tomino also gave an interview and placed G Gundam in the Universal Century timeline so... there was a lot of war and they blew a lot of shit up and then decided that blowing stuff up was stupid. Martial arts are way better.
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The Rocketeer

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby The Rocketeer » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:55 am

I'd never heard of Thunderbolt until I saw a picture of the Atlas Gundam just a few days ago. I was kinda shocked by it; it's an extremely stylish machine, which makes it look totally inappropriate for the setting. It looks like one of those inappropriately florid alternate colorations filling space in the Mobile Suit Variations books. Actually, that sounds harsher than intended; it looks like an Omnigear-class suit from Xenogears, which, despite my biliousness towards it, had some cool robots.

I'd warn you away from F91 entirely. Char's Counterattack is at least flawed in an interesting way, but F91 is a hypercondensed version of the first part of a longer story; as a result, everything that happens seems to come out of nowhere, especially character beats that presumably develop from arcs that the movie never bothers setting up. At the same time, the movie ends after what feels like the second act with no part of the story remotely resolved. F91 is the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 of UC Gundam, the difference being that Breaking Dawn actually had a Part 2 hit theaters; as far as I'm aware, F91 was the only part of a manga adapted to the screen, so there is no payoff to the any part of the story unless you want to follow on with the print version.
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mwchase
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Re: Anime might be cool

Postby mwchase » Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:14 am

I concur. F91 was... baffling? Baffling.
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John

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby John » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:18 pm

With the possible exception of the lower legs, that Atlas Gundam is one sweet machine. I am a total sucker for robots with rich articulation and a full range of motion in the limbs. And it doesn't hurt it's not candy-colored. The "sub legs", on the other hand, are pure derp. It kind of drives me nuts when Gundams are covered in kibble and cruft that would make it difficult to, y'know, walk or not fall over backwards.
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SpammyV
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Re: Anime might be cool

Postby SpammyV » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:55 am

And yet more ZZ Gundam! All the way to the big throwdown in Dakar now.

To an extent... all of these episodes blend into each other a bit. I mean, Puru appears so the purupurupurupurupurupurupurupurupurupurupuru begins, but I mean... Judau screams "LEEEEEEEINAAAAAAAA," Beecha and Mondo are still in this plot for some reason, Elle and Roux yell at each other. Chara was around doing stuff. Gotton was there. You know what I think it is up with Zeon officers? Haman. Mashymere is the hugest Haman fanboy and he was an idiot. Chara's trying to report stuff to Haman, she's nuts. Glemy is also a Haman fanboy and he's the biggest shitlord. And Gotton was the straight man to them all but the instant he starts thinking about Haman his ship blows up.

I can feel them start trying to bring in a little more depressing stuff into ZZ, but none of it is really sticking to me yet because almost no one in the show is taking things seriously either.

One thing that's sort of bugging me now is that these dumb kids keep going in and winning... Or at least not losing fights. They just shoot and yell a bunch and maybe a mook gets blown up. But I feel like their victory is less due to skill on their part and more due to having (in universe) overpowered prototypes and one-of-a-kind models like the ZZ, Zeta, Hyaku Shiki, and the last of the Gundam Mk. IIs(Remember when they had three of these?). I mean, I've gotten an in-universe explanation of why Newtypes take to piloting so quickly, but I still feel like it's more the units and less the pilots because they don't seem to be improving.

You know what the real difference is between Zeta and ZZ? The adult presence. In Zeta, Kamille was really teenage but there was Quattro there as a mentoring presence, not to mention Reccoa, Emma, Bright, Hayato, and Amuro. Kamille was surrounded by more mature figures and even if he did not agree with them they still played a part in helping him grow from being the angry kid who hijacked a Gundam just to get back at a Titans officer. But there's nothing for the ZZ kids, the writers have decided that Bright is incapable of influencing them and there are no other characters who have any emotional weight with these teenagers. The show is even trying to push this "All the troubles are adults' fault" angle, except these kids are no better. The instant they're not being shot at they stop being able to work together: Roux and Elle arguing, no one able or willing to reign Puru in, Beecha whining some more. In Mobile Suit Gundam, Amuro had his moments but they were balanced with "Kid has a point" and "But this was really stupid and hurt our cause." In Zeta every older character served to be a commentary or critique of Kamille acting immaturely. And in ZZ there's flat nothing.

Oh yeah and there's episodes about Zeon remnants on Earth still and I have never been real fond of that idea. There were six years between Mobile Suit Gundam and Zeta Gundam, and even with Operation Stardust and that colony drop, you're telling me that apparently thousands of Zeon soldiers were sitting on Earth still with all their equipment still intact. Was there no agreement to allow surrendering Zeon soldiers to return to space? I'm just baffled that this keeps coming up because it's so ludicrous to me. And these aren't cut off soldiers behind enemy lines who had no way of knowing the war ended, they know full and well that the One Year War ended in Zeon's defeat and (apparently) all the ruling Zabi clan dead. Oh man I can't wait to get to Unicorn and go through this again.

I'm going to wait a few more episodes before I comment on Leina dying, but at first blush I don't know whether it's just okay or whether Martian Successor Nadesico just blew it out of the water with their big "This ain't that kind of movie" moment.
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The Rocketeer

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby The Rocketeer » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:36 am

Give it seven more episodes.
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SpammyV
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Re: Anime might be cool

Postby SpammyV » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:37 pm

Oh right and I nearly forgot, this episode also featured a representative of Zeon talking about the environmental damage the Earth has sustained.

Image

Image
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SpammyV
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Re: Anime might be cool

Postby SpammyV » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:16 am

Hey, viewer, you remember when you said ZZ Gundam was a comedy? When you thought it was funny? WELL IS IT STILL FUNNY NOW, VIEWER?!
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The Rocketeer

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby The Rocketeer » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:09 pm

I can't deny it: I've been waiting for you to hit Dublin since you started ZZ. Every time you commented on the show, its tone and recurring habits, I'd nearly indulge myself before I'd think, "No. Wait for it."

I can't claim it gets worse from there; I consider the Dublin episodes the darkest moments of (what I've seen of) the UC. But it doesn't get much brighter, either. As of now, the mask is well and truly off, and Tomino is making up for lost time the only way he knows how. Keep those eyes open.
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Narratorway
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Re: Anime might be cool

Postby Narratorway » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:34 pm

The Rocketeer wrote:I've been waiting for you to hit Dublin


I c wut u did thar.
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SpammyV
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Re: Anime might be cool

Postby SpammyV » Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:09 pm

To be a little more in depth:

Before the colony even hit I was suddenly struck by a feeling like they had abruptly let the Zeta writers back into the room. Characters from previous series showing up and getting involved in the plot? Discussions about the wider implications of the war and not just treating it like an endless succession of Zeon mid-bosses and Judau sneaking onto Zeon ships? Referencing events that happened in the previous series? That's all more Zeta than ZZ. Also Hayato showing up again made me sad, at least because I was reading into his behavior his quiet battling with the feeling of being a failure of an adoptive father, letting his son die before he did, and not being there when it happened to even be able to attempt to save him. Poor Katz.

And then I spent the rest of the episode screaming messages to my other Gundam nerd friend raging at how when they're about to drop A FUCKING SPACE COLONY on a major city the Zeon soldiers feel the need to blow up bridges and sink ships filled with evacuees. How is letting at most a few thousand escape going to diminish the impact of the colony drop?! Suddenly I'm hating Haman's Neo Zeon as much as I hated Ghiren Zabi's Zeon. Was the Colony from Side 4 empty when they dropped it, or did Haman pull a Ghiren too and flood it with poison gas before dropping it?

Either way it just took getting over halfway through the series and if there'd been one or two more episodes about Beecha and Mondo trying to sell out the Argama I wouldn't have made it this far but I now give a damn about what's happening in ZZ.
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The Rocketeer

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby The Rocketeer » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:18 am

And then there's Glemy Toto. A while back, when you'd said that your feelings about Glemy suddenly reversed, I prematurely thought you'd made it to his Dublin reveal; I mean, I guess maybe Glemy does some strange things before, but it could always be folded into ZZ's trademark "opponents in a shooting war acting like frenemies in a Wacky Races episode." Yeah, about that, viewer...
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SpammyV
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Re: Anime might be cool

Postby SpammyV » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:08 am

I mean, that's mostly due to the way I usually come into robot shows half-spoiled on what's going on. I already knew that Glemy was going to be a shitlord, I just didn't expect him to be as much of a creepy possessive shitlord as it turns out he is. What with not wanting to just see Roux again and talk to her like Katz did with Sara, but being convinced that if he just kidnaps Roux again and holds her hostage she'll have to fall in love with him. I mean actually, with having some elements of Gundam Unicorn spoiled for me, I know that Glemy is even more of a shit than he already appears.

Because Glemy's kind of person is the kind of person who'd go, "Oh, we have an extra little girl cloned supersoldier just laying around. Welp, the thing that makes the most sense to do is sell the prepubescent girl to a brothel." Poor Puru Twelve...

But yeah. I don't really care about spoilers, at least not in the way other people do. The kind of spoilers I get from watching Super Robot Wars games or Gundam Generations games leaves enough out that only big battle moments are spoiled and the rest is usually left untouched, and I can compartmentalize well enough that even having known that Dublin was going to happen, I was still able to appreciate the shift in tone and the moment itself. Hell, if I hadn't known that ZZ Gundam was going to go through that major shift after the halfway point I may not have stuck with the show.
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4th Dimension

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby 4th Dimension » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:15 am

So anyway after a lengths hiatus from anime lands I started watching Konosoba. I quite like it, even though I'm not enamored with the ocasional pandering which is apparently norm today.
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4th Dimension

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby 4th Dimension » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:42 pm

BTW I finished watching both seasons of Konosuba and I have to say I quite like it.
The MC is a dick though and most of them are messed up in their own ways but I still enjoyed it. I guess I in my mind consider it the Archer variant of the usual fantasy anime. Only unlike in Archer here characters actually try to win and don't fuck things up by being careless dicks. For all his faults and they are a LEGION the MC does seem capable to figure out how to use the strengths of his criplingly overspecialized teammates.
As for the characters, actually Megumin is not my favorite. Wiz is for some reason, although Explosion-chan is the close second.
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SpammyV
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Re: Anime might be cool

Postby SpammyV » Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:54 am

Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam: Everything funny I wrote isn't anymore.
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The Rocketeer

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby The Rocketeer » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:29 am

Image
"I know that feel, Judau."
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The Rocketeer

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby The Rocketeer » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:22 pm

So I thought, "Wait, why am I letting that jerk Spammy catch up to me?" and started watching Mobile Suit Victory Gundam to keep ahead a while longer.

Victory Gundam is the story of Üso fawning over that boring blonde Katejina and totally ignoring best girl Marbet's beautiful skin and... Wait, let me start over.

Victory Gundam was made during a particularly rough time for Tomino, personally and professionally; he calls Victory absolute trash that no one should watch. I've finished episode 10 and have really been enjoying it so far. MSVG is what we today would call a soft reboot; it's in the same timeline as Mobile Suit Gundam and its successors, but moves that timeline forward about eighty years since the ultimate collapse of Zeon and pens a familiar tale on a fairly clean slate. As said, Zeon is long gone, but the Earth Federation seems to be on its last legs as well; the new game in town is Zanscare, based (I believe) in Side 2, and the series opens with one of their recent assaults on the surface. With no meaningful response from the dying Earth Federation, it falls to guerilla movements such as the League Militaire to hold off the spacenoids. Over the course of the first spate of episodes, all that you'd expect comes to pass: wide-eyed young man gets mixed up with the conflict by chance, turns out to be a crackerjack mobile suit pilot, and is reluctantly bonded to the trade of arms while coping with the unfamiliar horrors of war.

Victory distinguishes itself entertainingly, however. I'm really digging the tone so far, which manages to naturally incorporate a bit more levity without deforming into ZZ's "oh fuck they turned Gundam into an anime" territory. Apparently, Victory was supposed to be aimed at quite young children, which is why Üso is 13, even younger than previous too-young pilots of Gundam series past. That seems to be the only concession to the studio or sponsor's vision that Tomino actually bothered to incorporate, however; the show doesn't pull its punches with regard to violence in the least, and even in the first arc proves itself totally inappropriate for an elementary school audience. Hell, there's a scene where a captured League Militaire official is interrogated with his eyes and mouth restrained open, and the image is the most visually arresting since your mom's dildo parted the clouds above Dublin. That's the scene before his execution by guillotine is broadcast live for propaganda purposes. The other kink in marketing the show to young'uns is that Üso is only 13 on paper; my own guess before reading to the contrary was that he was 15, which I believe was Amuro's age at MSG's opening, but I'd have believed he was a short 16 year old with no trouble. His face, manner and voice all make him seem noticeably older than Amuro, who had this cherubic quality in the original series that conveyed his immaturity and innocence to a much greater extent than Üso, who's apparently been the head of his own household for some time with his sister figure Shakti.

The League Militaire, as an undersupplied resistance, lends itself naturally to the kind of Gundam episode premise that I typically enjoy most: limited resources and terrain figure into the accomplishment of goals in novel ways through the cast's clever thinking. Hopefully, this dynamic keeps up throughout the series. I also like how the guerilla's are, as you'd expect, made up of basically whoever was available or willing; it helps justify having so many young folks around, as is inevitable in Gundam, but Victory also has Marbet, who I think would really hit it off with me if we just spent some time old folks around, which were conspicuously absent from prior conflicts, with the exception of the occasional senior officer. It also helps justify their lenience toward various characters' running off and doing whatever the hell they feel like, by which of course I mean Üso, who of course has already deserted the resistance like twice. Even when Bright threw Amuro's ass in the brig for going AWOL, it felt a little ridiculous that Amuro wasn't dead meat after his shenanigans. With the League Militaire, they're already a much more informal group, and unlike past series, are operating more or less in the kids' backyard; it's much more sympathetic that Üso and Shakti really just want to hoverscooter back to their little cabin, especially after seeing their erstwhile CO's fucking head get sliced off on live television.

Even better are the ways in which Victory so far diverts or subverts the old model of MSG, Zeta, and ZZ. Most significantly, the series begins on Earth, and seems to be much more preoccupied with the invasion of the planet. The Zanscare suits have this insectoid aspect to them that makes them look more super robot or sentai inspired. But that works if they're playing up the perspective of Earthlings being invaded by space-dwellers; it's an alien invasion, so sure, make the suits look like alien invaders! Especially since Zeon's 80 years in the grave, thank God, and while we're contractually obligated to have a Gundam front and center, it would be really lame for Zanscare to roll in using Zaku XLVI's. It's still about forty-two episodes too early to call, but so far I'm picking up a lot of signs that all the things I believed thematically about Gundam were on the money. The opening narration of the series more or less spells it out. There's an undercurrent that mankind has stalled or even regressed, that the agony of man's transition to the stars generations ago may be coming to naught. The renewed focus on Earth, rather than space, is accompanied by the motif of a return to the middle ages. I really wanna see Marbet's underboob again where the series takes this, and what it finds to do with Zanscare and with Newtypes in the new generation of the UC.

With the theme of man's regression comes a technological regression, at least in some ways. I consider this an unqualified blessing. One thing that frustrated me about the advancement from MSG to Zeta and then to ZZ was a slow withering of focus on unconventional hardware and tactics to an arms race of ever more ridiculously overpowered beams. Hell, the RX-78-2 Gundam's beam rifle was already supposed to be a game-changing advancement that placed the power of a battleship's cannon in the hands of a mobile suit. Where did we go from there? Mega Cannons larger than the suits themselves! Where did we go from there? HYPER MEGA CANNONS IN OUR FUCKING FOREHEADS, BITCHES. The hyperbolic power curve of beam weaponry, when even the least beam weapons were already arbitrarily powerful enough to destroy practically anything they encountered, always struck me as this creatively bankrupt dip back into super robot territory in the most unhelpful place; it calls to mind Dragon Ball characters calling out power levels of ever higher orders of magnitude when they were already blowing up planets years ago: absolutely meaningless beyond even the capacity of spectacle to reasonably justify. Traded away with this emphasis on vague power over utility or tactics was the general disappearance of non-mobile suit hardware. Yes, I accept that mobile suits are the primary focus of Mobile Suit Gundam. I've come to terms with that, somehow. But MSG had this whole complement of air and land weapons and vehicles other than mobile suits that I really enjoyed, with space as the mobile suit's prime domain. You might rationalize that that was an artifact of the era in-universe, since mobile suits were still revolutionary new weapons that hadn't yet phased out everything else. But fuck that, I like seeing all the different toys being taken out of the toybox and smashed together. I don't mind mobile suits and mobile armors taking center stage, I just want as much other weird shit rounding out the supporting cast as I can get, too. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I know everyone's sick of tirades about diversity in entertainment. BUT IT'S SUITWASHING!

Hell, there's an enemy force that fights with what are essentially motorcycle tanks. And they're led by the most incredible human being that has ever graced the Gundam canon. He actually rolls up to a mobile suit battle with his moto-tank gang and says this:
The baddest dude in all MSVG wrote:By reviving the bikes of the middle ages, and reviving the tradition of driving, I've now become unstoppable!
I was so heartbroken when he blew the fuck up like ninety seconds later. I'd gladly trade in a few mobile suit designs for an even trade of stuff like that.

I was overjoyed to see projectile weapons treated as grave threats in Victory. It isn't just turning back the clock on the ridiculous overinflation of beam power; it actually turns back the clock on the original series, which began with some poor Zeon asshole shitting in his Pickelhaube when he realized that fully-automatic 120mm rifle shells bounced harmlessly off the Gundam's armor. They made the majority of the enemy's weaponry obsolete right out of the gate with the Gundam! And then you have Victory, wherein Üso picks up this bitchin' minigun thing and it's actually too powerful for him to use effectively because he can't aim the wild thing. Now, it's not that there needs to be parity between beam and projectile weapons. Beam weapons are still more powerful in Victory, and should be. But holding the majority of the arsenal closer to a given baseline encourages the show to stick to what I like: an emphasis on using resources cleverly and effectively to adapt to changing obstacles. You start to lose that when, in-universe, everything is reduced to "launch our GODLASER and point it vaguely toward the enemy." I think those wire-finger things in the Victory are silly as shit, but I'll be happy with them as long as they keep finding fun things to do with them.

Hell, Victory pushes the envelope with what beam technology can do in its own ways. But it finds novel uses for the tech, which is how it should be done. When I first realized they were using beam propellers to fly things around, I nearly burst out laughing, but the important thing is how it's used in the show. And hell, it even makes a certain amount of sense: if beams displace air, weigh (almost?) nothing, and can be precisely shaped, then why not make super-efficient, nigh-indestructible rotors that also serve as shields? I'll take that. The headscratcher is energy, which has always been the severely limiting factor for beam technology (a beam sword loses juice in a few minutes, but you want to fly around on four of them?), but I kinda get the sense that power supplies or beam efficiency are one of the few technologies that's actually better than it used to be, and beam energy might well be "free" as long as its coming right from the suit's main engine.

It ain't perfect.

The first episode is actually the fourth chronological episode, meaning the series begins in medias res and then shows the leadup to the opening over the next three episodes framed as the recollections of the character Shakti. It does not work at all, and while struggling to juggle the typical Gundam clusterfuck of silly ass Tomino character names and proper nouns, I couldn't shake this deeply unsettled sensation that I had mislabelled the episodes and was just watching the wrong one. After the switcheroo became clear, I immediately inferred that this was a bad retroactive decision to shuffle the episodes so that Üso would end up in the Gundam in Episode 1, and that this had been a decision forced on the show by executives in no way intended for the episodes themselves to support. Well, I checked the Gundam wiki article after watching the first ten episodes, and you know what? I was exactly fucking right. If I ever watch Victory again in the future, I'll have to make a mental note to just watch the first episode in its proper chronological place, because I still have no clue what was supposed to have happened.

The other big problem with the first several episodes is that Marbet won't return my calls Shakti really needs to develop a character. So far, her character has been almost nothing but internal monologues about Oh no, Üso is changing while she makes Anxious Anime Girl Face. This might be yet another fuckup induced by the stupid episode reordering; with the natural flow of the opening fistfucked, they needed some framing device to half-heartedly accommodate it, and they settled on Shakti reflecting on past events. Take away these bookend monologues, and maybe her character magically improves. Honestly, her character has improved; it's just working against the overbearing influence of the stupid opening four episodes.

Also, the Char clone in Victory, despite being a really neat character and an interesting contrast to his predecessor, has a mask that looks like a jockstrap on his face when he pulls it down to his chin.

So that's the first 19.61% of Marbet Suit Victory Gundam. I'm eager to stick in her. It. Stick with the show. Marbet's hot.
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SpammyV
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Re: Anime might be cool

Postby SpammyV » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:02 pm

Victory is on my list of shows to watch, although I'm not sure where the list goes after Char's Counterattack. Gundam X is definitely on the list as it's always sounded like it's nearly the UC, just they did more colony drops or Char's Axis drop worked. And then I definitely want to watch Turn A for being the epilogue to the UC. Also G Gundam. Tomino said G Gundam is UC. Between the Late UC stuff and Turn A/Reconguista.

Oh right and I have to watch Unicorn. I've been hearing Benagher's speech secondhand from Super Robot Wars games and G Generation Genesis and going, "Wow that's stupid do you have no ability to recognize patterns you idiot" and I need to see it firsthand.
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Narratorway
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Re: Anime might be cool

Postby Narratorway » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:50 pm

Her names Fingerhat?

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The Rocketeer

Re: Anime might be cool

Postby The Rocketeer » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:49 am

As always, you've hearkened to the most important point.

Even by the standards of Tomino's*... peculiar appelatory proclivities, Victory is proving a rich store of silly nominal fancy: Chronicle Asher, Duker Iq, Junko Jenko, Arbeo Pippiniden, and, yes, Marbet friggin' Fingerhat among many others. Üso Ewin (which actually sounds like a real name to me, as does Shakti Kareen) lampshades the name "Jinn Gehennam," but the clear implication is that that one's a nom de guerre. I can imagine all these jokers struggling to wrap their minds around Kate Bush's uncharacteristically hum-drum name.

*Is it wrong that I always picture Yoshiyuki Tomino as Gravelord Nito? Well, if it is, I'm still not going to stop.

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