It’s really, really hard to go from watching 00 Gundam in its 720p GN particle emitting glory flying around to watching the RX-78-2 go around punching Zakus. I mean, I found Evangelion really old and I was really only able to see just how much had changed after I saw my housemate rewatching Gundam Wing.
Anyway, what was more surprising was that I was coming into MSG with my own preconceptions of what Gundam was. My Gundam knowledge consists of Wing, SEED, and 00, along with whatever bits and pieces I’d happened to glean from the UC.
The story was largely something I’d expected, which was thanks to SEED basically being a carbon copy of the original MSG. Even though I knew it was intended to be sort of an homage to the original, it really struck me just how much was lifted from the original. In the same way, it’s interesting to see how different 00 actually is from the original.
I’m not really a fan of the crew of the White Base. I suspect that it’s not because they’re bad, but because the intended audience is so different that they seem uninteresting to me. On the other hand, the villains are so obviously villains, even in the very deliberate attempts to humanize them. Honestly, the only character worth any notice to me was Char and it’s pretty clear that Char is the best Char clone ever.
I think the thing I enjoy most about UC is the mecha designs. The Federation’s mobile suit designs are pretty terrible, blocky constructs. But, Zeon’s mobile suits are awesome weapons of war. I can see why the Zaku II will stay forever in our hearts. My favourite one in action was Char’s Gelgoog, fighting in space with the RX-78-2. That double beam saber is hot.
I think that the first two movies were boring to me because I sort of knew that I’d have to put up with Amuro being whiny and the White Base being under siege all the time. The third movie made it for me, with all of the background for UC that I wanted: Char’s identity, the Newtype concept, the politics of Zeon, large scale battles, and so on.
The first two movies had me wondering if I should stop at MSG and skip over some of the longer UC series, but the third movie had me convinced on continuing through the timeline. Will it be enough to convince me to watch ZZ? I don’t know yet.