Monday, January 1, 2001

Mobile Suit G Gundam

Genre: Action / Mecha
Parental Guidance Recommended
Credits: Sotsu Agency, Sunrise and TV Asahi.

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Cover Description:
The year is Future Century 60. To put an end to war, the Gundam Fight has been developed. Every four years, a competition is held. each country sends a Gundam Fighter to compete; the country who claims victory rules the earth sphere for four years. This year's fight, however, is different. Gundam Fighter Domon Kasshu is on a mission. To save his father and clear his family name, he must fight in the competition and also track down the mysterious and sinister Gundam his brother Kyoji escaped to Earth with. Armed with the powerful Shining Gundam, Domon and his partner Rain set out on a journey that will be greater than anything he can imagine!

NOTE: This description was written sometime in 2001 and was recorded in the classic Otaku Fridge as ??.??.2001. Unfortunately the database would not accept non-numerical values, so this review is now dated January 01, 2001 by default.

So this is a parody... >>> by firesenshi (??.??.2001)
In Future Century, the nations of the world has been divided into colonial space biospheres who find themselves now at war. However, to resolve who will be the leader of all neo-nations, they will have what seems to be a tournament called the Gundam Fights. The champion of Neo-Japan is Domon Kasshum, pilot of the Gundam The Shining and a strong-willed individual attached to Rain Mikamura. Finding himself now facing a stronger enemy of a powerful Gundam called The Devil, he is joined by his five allies from Neo-France, Neo-America, Neo-China and Neo-Russia who were once his foes. There seems to be a connection of Gundam The Devil to his father and brother...

I just recently concluded that if this is a parody, then it's a really great one. Though, quite frankly, I'd much rather prefer its later series Gundam Wing with its seriousness and talky political dialogues. The name of the main character's Gundam is The Shining. Its attack is called Shining Finger. Wow... did all the coolness of that shake you from your foundations? Unlike former Gundam series that preceded it namely the 08th MS Team and Gundam X, the story is very very simple. There is simply a tournament of Gundams to determine the leader. Ahh... but as this is Gundam, despite it being a parody, there is a twist in the story that even surprised and baffled me. That twist is actually good! Way unpredictable that turned out to be a cool concept! Still, you see, the concept of Gundams here is such that you merge with your machine which is actually a lot similar to Daimos. But as I love mecha, I'd rather drive them than physically and directly control them.

Plus, if you don't mind seeing a gundam from Neo-Mexico with a sombrero hat complete with the little round things called Gundam Tequila or one from Neo-Sweden that is actually with figure dimensions of a woman complete with blonde hair, you'll actually enjoy this.

Individual Rating: Art: 7; Story 7; Characters: 7; Sounds: 9

Gundam Fight... Ready, Go! >>> by Mark Poa (09.22.2005)
The Gundam franchise has been around for decades now and almost everyone has a favorite series. Fan girls seem to favor the Gundam Wing series for its angsty bishounen.

Newbies are being exposed to Gundam Seed and its Destiny sequel. Old-school anime fans swear by the original Gundam 0079 series. My personal favorite in this franchise is none other than the wackiest: G Gundam.

G Gundam or God Gundam breaks away from the war mold of prior and subsequent Gundam series. Yes, the purpose of the fighting Gundams is war, but G Gundam plays out more as an action-packed fighting game. Simply put, G Gundam puts giant robots inside a fighting game environment... where the finest martial artist is king and hot-blooded men speak with their fists.

The story follows Domon Kasshu, a Gundam Fighter from Neo Japan, as he searches for his brother and the Devil Gundam. Along the way, he enters into Gundam Fights with Gundam Fighters from different countries... culminating in a tournament in Neo Hong Kong for supremacy of the world and the title of "Gundam of Gundams". But the presence of the Devil Gundam has exerted an evil influence over this new Gundam Fight and Domon has to find allies to combat the menace of the Devil Gundam's DG cells.

...don't look at me. I only wished I made that stuff up.

As a mecha enthusiast, I think G Gundam's main strength is the quirky and fun robot designs. I'm pretty sure fans of the Gundam franchise's "true robots" were appalled to see Gundams modeled after clowns, fish, lumberjacks, cobras, and Sailor Moon... no, I'm not kidding. I was laughing my head off at some of the designs... but they are fun to watch and see in action. Even the villainous Gundams at the series' climax were pretty fun. Very memorable, indeed.

To complement the quirky Gundam designs, the series also boasts of fun, quirky characters and offbeat martial arts. If nothing else, you'd have to give the series' creators points for originality. Just as a sampler: you have the German ninja Schwarz Bruder; the American boxer Chibodee Crocket with his fear of clowns; the Russian prisoner Algo who's forced to Fight with a bomb to his chest; the Shaolin fighter Saisaishi (incidentally voiced by Ranma 1/2's Kappei Yamaguchi); the blind assassin piloting the Mandala Gundam; a clown Gundam pilot; and freaking Master Asia, who can defeat a Gundam with his bare hands. I'd have given them raves on originality for the idea of a GERMAN NINJA alone. I'm not even counting the seriously flipped out ways that Domon defeats some of his opponents (keep your eye out for the episode when he actually dislocates a shoulder to escape a tight situation!).

The center of these situations and characters is the partnership of Domon, G Gundam pilot, and Raine, his assistant, childhood friend and, as the series went on, love interest.

The romantic subplot, while seemingly out of place and a bit contrived in a fighting series as this one, actually adds a tone of melodrama to the series... not of course, that the series might need more melodrama, especially with Domon angsting a lot of the times.

The opening themes are very appropriate for this series. Both of the two songs really have the "hot-blooded shounen" feel to them, perfectly encapsulating the essence of the series. The ending themes are a bit stranger... preferring to have a somber, melodramatic feel which I think is meant to highlight the romantic subplot between Domon and Raine.

I really, really wish that a sequel for this series had been produced. I would have loved to hear the bells ring, the announcer shout "Gundam Fight... Ready, Go!", and hear the clash of Gundam robots in combat once again.

Individual Rating: Art: 7; Story 7; Characters: 7; Sounds: 9

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