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Im re-evaluating my opinion: the best way to watch the original Gundam is the movie trilogy

NecrosaroIII

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The original Gundam series came out originally as a 43 episode series. It was a failure and ended its run early (though the studio was given enough warning to rewrite the climax of the story so it could end within its allotted time). A year or so after its release, the series was re-edited into a trilogy of films. For years, I've been recommending the TV series over the movies. I re-watched the trilogy on Netflix recently and this viewing changed my mind. For first-time viewers, the movies are the way to go. The new footage and subtle changes really add a lot to the story.

Mobile Suit Gundam I is the weakest of the films, which is a shame because it's one of the strongest stretches of the show. While the first 3 episodes are mostly left intact much of the early stuff with Char pursuing White Base to Earth is cut out. This is a shame because Char is just so fucking cool. Even so, there are bits of additions that are fantastic here. For one thing, the concept of Newtypes is introduced much earlier in the story. As early as the first movie they begin discussing if it is possible that Amuro is able to pilot the Gundam so well is because he is a Newtype. In the original show, they don't really begin discussing this until the final arc of the story. The ending is a bit weak since the climax happens about 2/3rds into the movie, although the final scene is pretty dope. 7/10

Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow is fantastic. To be honest, this part of the show is kind of a slog so having it condensed down is a huge improvement. There are some highlights. I love some of the musical cues. This movie does well to frame this portion of the story around the loss each of the crew members faces while on Earth. The final battle is a highlight. I also love the music cue in the end. Really ramps up the tension and you feel the "chase". Plus Ai Senshi is an amazing song. 8/10

Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space is the crowning jewel. The show during this section was facing budgetary setbacks and was facing cancellation so it looks wonky at times. However, for the movie, much of these sequences were re-animated and re-framed. There is a lot of new sequences that expand the story and drama more. Not to mention they swapped out Hayato's Guntank with a Guncannon (should have given him a GM IMO, but I guess they didn't want a central hero with a mook suit). The Lalah stuff is handled MUCH better in the movie. The whole movie is a 10/10.

I don't think you can go wrong with either the TV show or the movie. Both have their pluses and minuses. Hayato kind of gets the shaft in the movie. And some of my favorite sequences that really sold the setting for me aren't in the movies. But the movies are so much more punchier and the introduction of key themes earlier is wonderful.
 

lachesis

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I recently rewatched the trilogy since it came up on Netflix. Actually, though - I think some of the anti war messages were much better represented in the TV series due to its length.

Movie trilogy is indeed cool and some of the newly drawn scenes are nice - but lack of character building due to short running time was more apparent. The trilogy maybe good for introduction to original UC series- but to really get into it, I think the TV series is highly recommended, even though it’s pretty old imho…. Same goes to Zeta as well.
 
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sol_bad

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I had no idea the original series was a failure, I'm yet to see it or these movies. How did Gundam become so popular after a failure?
 

RavenSan

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I haven't watched a Gundam since Wing/Endless Waltz.

I've decided that I'll only watch anime when I'm working out (cuz I'm a fat piece of shit) -- I'm about 60% of the way through Full Metal Alchemist -- so now I'm gonna do Gundam next.

Good lord there is a lot of Gundam anime.
 

NecrosaroIII

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I haven't watched a Gundam since Wing/Endless Waltz.

I've decided that I'll only watch anime when I'm working out (cuz I'm a fat piece of shit) -- I'm about 60% of the way through Full Metal Alchemist -- so now I'm gonna do Gundam next.

Good lord there is a lot of Gundam anime.
Make sure to watch both the original FMA and Brotherhood. Both are good for different reasons.

Yeah, there is a lot of Gundam. I heavily recommend the Universal Century timeline shows and OVAS (except Igloo, which is horseshit). If I had to narrow down the shows to what I consider "essential", it'd probably be:

Original series
Zeta Gundam
Char's Counterattack

0080
Unicorn

G Gundam
Gundam Wing
Turn A

Gundam 00
Iron Blooded Orphans
Gundam Build Fighters

There is other great stuff not included, but this list will get you started and give you a good overview of what Gundam is and where its going. For example, the recently released Gundam Hathaway is a phenomenal movie. An instant classic. But I'm not entirely convinced it's vital to the franchise yet. Time will tell based on how movies 2 and 3 are.
 
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Space Runaway

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Yeah pretty much.

Also their main animation director, Yasuhiko Yoshikazu, dropped out mid series due to a life threatening illness which led to a lot of those infamous weirdo Gundam artwork and sequences you see meme'd on the net. With the movies he was able to return and fix most of that stuff.

Though when it comes to Zeta, definitely watch the tv series over the movies.
 
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lachesis

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Make sure to watch both the original FMA and Brotherhood. Both are good for different reasons.

Yeah, there is a lot of Gundam. I heavily recommend the Universal Century timeline shows and OVAS (except Igloo, which is horseshit). If I had to narrow down the shows to what I consider "essential", it'd probably be:

Original series
Zeta Gundam
Char's Counterattack

0080
Unicorn

G Gundam
Gundam Wing
Turn A

Gundam 00
Iron Blooded Orphans
Gundam Build Fighters

There is other great stuff not included, but this list will get you started and give you a good overview of what Gundam is and where its going. For example, the recently released Gundam Hathaway is a phenomenal movie. An instant classic. But I'm not entirely convinced it's vital to the franchise yet. Time will tell based on how movies 2 and 3 are.

Great list - I would add ZZ though. As much as I didn't like the first half of the ZZ, I have to admit that later half was quite good.
Silent Voice being one of my favorite Gundam opening song from 80s. :)

Original - 1 year war
Zeta - Gryps conflict
ZZ - 1st Neo Zeon uprising
Char's Counter Attack - 2nd Neo Zeon uprising

0080, 0083, The MS 08th Team... all being OVAs.. so they basically skippable - but I think it really enriches the whole UC saga.
(Except, I still don't like Nina Purpleton from 0083 with passion. Urgh.)

I was pleasantly surprised how Unicorn also enbraced the story of 1st Neo Zeon uprising as well.
 

NecrosaroIII

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I love ZZ and recommend it, but I think in a lot of ways it doesn't really add too much that the original and Z didn't already cover. I was thinking more in terms of a streamlined list that gives an overview how the franchise in general. I have a guide on how to approach more of a deep dive.

 

Sub_Level

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Not only do I recommend the movie trilogy, OP, but I recommend the English Dub. They mispronounce things like crazy & there are some cringe lines. But the flow of dialogue feels very frantic & natural. You will not hear a dub like this anywhere else, its hard to explain. I know I'm in the extreme minority opinion there, though.

And yes, Encounters in Space really is a gem. That early scene where the TV networks are televising one of White Base's battle as it intersperses footage of Amuro's delirious father is brilliant. By that point the White Base crew are professional killers, a far cry from the ragtag group that we see in Movie 1. Amuro kills like 7 Rick-Doms there or some shit.

But my favorite aspect of the movie is Kycilia.



She has charisma & presence in every scene. Gets an absolutely wicked death by Char, a truly badass moment (word badass gets overused but it fits Char more than most). Gives Haman a run for her money if you ask me.

Anyways I'm halfway through Zeta. Its fascinating how Amuro is treated. For much of MSG he just wanted to be a guy. Now that he's just a guy he kind of wants to be a war hero again. But he's not the only fish in the water anymore with all these other Newtypes & cyber Newtypes. Really appreciate Zeta's expansion of the world & characters.
 
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Tschumi

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I'm confused about Gundam.. i just wonder: where's the cool? I watched the original series and it didn't strike me as particularly badass, i watched a later series and it just seemed to be a remake of the original series.. where is the awesome dramatic series with badass robots and mature themes that convinced like every teen in Europe to love linkin park those many years ago?

Edit: in case it isn't clear this post was an appeal for educating on the things i discuss
 
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NecrosaroIII

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Is the later series you watched Seed? I'll agree it's a pretty bad remake of the original. I wouldn't describe Gundam as "bad ass". At least the Universal Century shows. I think I appreciated the callousness it had for the loss of life. Take Miharu's death. Its so undramatic.


I don't really know how to describe that moment. It just captures the fragility of life. Some Gundam shows try to be "bad ass". But that was never wfhat drew it to me.
 

Sub_Level

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I'm confused about Gundam.. i just wonder: where's the cool? I watched the original series and it didn't strike me as particularly badass, i watched a later series and it just seemed to be a remake of the original series.. where is the awesome dramatic series with badass robots and mature themes that convinced like every teen in Europe to love linkin park those many years ago?

Edit: in case it isn't clear this post was an appeal for educating on the things i discuss

Those teenagers probably watched Gundam Wing.

It is indeed cool with some of the best mech designs in the series, but the writing in Wing is inconsistent and even childish at times. What may have started as an intriguing political drama ended up being a fujo bait soap opera. Its still held near and dear to many western fans' of course.

If you want a short series that has the coolness of Wing with some more traditional Gundam "war is hell" writing, check out 08th MS Team.



Basically Gundam meets Vietnam (with a little romance thrown in because its an anime, but its not front-and-center).
 
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Tschumi

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Those teenagers probably watched Gundam Wing.

It is indeed cool with some of the best mech designs in the series, but the writing in Wing is inconsistent and even childish at times. What may have started as an intriguing political drama ended up being a fujo bait soap opera. Its still held near and dear to many western fans' of course.

If you want a short series that has the coolness of Wing with some more traditional Gundam "war is hell" writing, check out 08th MS Team.



Basically Gundam meets Vietnam (with a little romance thrown in because its an anime, but its not front-and-center).
Thanks mate, I'll revisit the series with this in mind.. your pick for the best iteration of Gundam?
 

Dr_Salt

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I'm thinking about watching them to be able to watch Hathaway. I kinda started the first one and even tho I enjoy old anime the animation in this one isn't too hot. I hope the story is at least solid.
 
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Sub_Level

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Thanks mate, I'll revisit the series with this in mind.. your pick for the best iteration of Gundam?

Thats a tough question. I'll say 0080 War in the Pocket. Despite not being directed by the series creator, its probably Gundam in its most purest anti-war form, while ironically featuring some of the coolest & best animated action scenes.

Bonus: David Hayter (Solid Snake) is part of the English dub & does a fantastic job.
 
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Renoir

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Those teenagers probably watched Gundam Wing.

It is indeed cool with some of the best mech designs in the series, but the writing in Wing is inconsistent and even childish at times. What may have started as an intriguing political drama ended up being a fujo bait soap opera. Its still held near and dear to many western fans' of course.

If you want a short series that has the coolness of Wing with some more traditional Gundam "war is hell" writing, check out 08th MS Team.



Basically Gundam meets Vietnam (with a little romance thrown in because its an anime, but its not front-and-center).
This and G Gundam is only Gundam I recommend.
G Gundam is great for the fantastical shonen stuff. 8Th team is definitely more Grit and the better story.
 

NecrosaroIII

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08th MS team isn't that good. It's only well liked here because it's the only UC OVA that got wide spread release stateside. 0080, 0083(as frustrating as it is), Unicorn and Origin are all way better
 
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08th Team is good if you're new to Gundam like but it's not very good no. Not as bad as Unicorn or Stardust Memories though. I'm not even bothering watching Gundam NT the UC is getting thrashed with mediocrity.

Also Victory is good. 🐻
 

lachesis

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Thanks to this thread, I've been re-watching Zeta TV series again.
Damn, that Tomino talking style, or how unfriendly his storytelling really is. How in the flying F that he gets away with such unnatural dialog, is beyond my comprehension really.

He's brilliant in screenplay for sure... but man o man, that dialogue - and some of the "unexplainable" stuff and characters - whom they turn 180 degree on a dime.

It's like a normal person would say

Amuro: Hey Char, can you pass me the salt
Char: No - it's closer to you, so you pick up yourself.
Amuro: You dick!

to

Amuro: Hey Char, can you pass me the salt
Char: Without borrowing someone else's hand, you cannot do anything by yourself, Amuro?
Amuro: But that's your ego!
Char: Lalah Sune was a woman who could have been my mother!

Thanks to his way of talking, I had to re-wind several times to even comprehend what's being said (in Japanese).
I did hear that they did try to "translate" Gundam Hathaway for normal talk... so hopefully it will be easier to understand.
 
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I came in here thinking it was the porn&wank>than sex&std thread.

I thought, what amazing porn could they be watching to still be debating that?!

Imagine my confusion...

The telling think is I happily wrote 4 or 5 of you off as crazies before cottoning on to my mistake.
 

lachesis

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You're letting yourself be pulled down by Earth's gravity.

or some shit

I can't even count how many times Quattro Vagina says "your soul (Tamashi) is tied down by Earth's gravity"... LOL.

To be perfectly fair, I haven't heard English dubbing on any of it. Maybe it's better as the translators/VA themselves probably thought "wtf" many times while doing so.

I have both 1st Gundam and Zeta on DVD set... (US release) - perhaps I would give the dubbing a go. I tend to stick to the Japanese VA, as my listening being pretty decent...
 

Sub_Level

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To be perfectly fair, I haven't heard English dubbing on any of it. Maybe it's better as the translators/VA themselves probably thought "wtf" many times while doing so.

The line delivery in the Zeta dub is good with the actors doing the best with their material. The actual writing sounds very unnatural though; wooden like a literal translation rather than something meant to sound natural in English.
 
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NecrosaroIII

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I actually like Tomino dialogue. It's definitely odd but it's interesting at the same time. I like how direct they are

Hathaway definitely has Tomino dialogue. And Tomino characters doing Tomino things. It feels authentic rather than being written in committee
 

Bitmap Frogs

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I'll give them a chance, because although I don't like anime generally speaking (other than the occasional awesome movie like akira, gits, ghibli, etc) I do have a guilty pleasure for mecha shows.

I have tried watching gundam before and I didn't much care for it. Unicorn creeped me out with all the giant-little kid species and related gags and hawthorne bored me - ultimately didn't finish neither.
 

lachesis

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Well, being a Gundam fan since early 80s (I think I got into Gundam around 1981, as a 2nd grader - I was really into Gunpla and later on MSVs) - when I watched the old series back then, I didn't understand a lot of intricate the stuff, but still ended up loving it. I think honestly it was the big mechs duking out with gigantic beam sabers and all, or how Tomino thought out the space colonies and things like that. Then again, I'm one of those old generation that in 2021, that everyone would be doing inter-galactic travel and flying cars etc.... and I was really into the mechanical stuff in Gundam series, especially reading up the specs, powers etc.

I also read several novels of his, and to be honest, it was more understandable because it was laid out in text, where I could think over the meaning. On anime though - things get blurted out so quick in succession, a lot of times I go like "Huh?" In the novel, he was pretty good at explaining stuff though - like how Kamille would write hand-written notes more like a collection of words rather than in sentences - that in that future, nobody really writes with pen & pencils etc... or how the Ele-car system would work, or how colonies sustained itself etc.... or how Argama's living block were rotating to create gravity et al.

Tomino style dialogue, indeed is unique aspect of his anime. When young (I mean pre/mid puberty), I thought it was actually pretty cool, and even thought maybe that's adults way of talking... till I actually became an adult myself. ;)

Looking forward to watch Hathaway on Netflix - after I get done with Zeta and maybe ZZ re-watch. I wouldn't really call Tomino dialog being "direct" though.
It's direct in delivery, but only in a sense that's coming from outside of your expectation... sort of like a direct-hitting uppercut when your eyes were focused/anticipating incoming straight or hook.

But.. I have to admit, that while re-watching the original trilogy, I actually had a lot of laughs thanks to Amuro's retort/comeback one-liners. :D Same goes to a lot of Kamille dialogs. :)

Edit: Just been watching some more of Zeta TV series on my 17" CRT monitor - using my old PS3, set up as 480p. (Up to the point where Kamille gets his Zeta Gundam. Actually I'm feeling pretty bad for Jerid now. Not really sure why he's even there to begin with) Anyhow, old 80's animes do seem to come alive even in SD on CRTs for some reason... Sign of being old.. Think will stream original Gundam Trilogy on Netflix on this setup... maybe this time in English dubbing.

 
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NecrosaroIII

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I love Amuro. His development is hilarious. "I CAN PILOT THE GUNDAM BETTER THAN ANNYYOOOOONNNNNEEEE" to the man he is in CCA. I know Char gets alot of the spotlight, but Amuro deserves a lot of credit too
 
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