The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Dustman » Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:40 pm

Hm, is it time for my hot take on this series? Well, I guess it's more like a room temperature take at this point. But yeah, I think so. It's more or less over so I think I know what I want to comment on.

This was definitely an odd series. I felt that the first two episodes were stylistically very interesting, particularly the second for its use of montage. But the next two felt rushed to their climax and more than once it seemed as though there were missing scenes that probably weren't finished. Of course, the director's cut is likely to fix this so I have no reason to complain just yet.

I don't really care that Zeon "wins" in this story. Partisanship on fictional sports teams always rubbed me as preposterous and it sobers up at the end anyway by reminding the viewer that this is all just a short lived, personal victory. From that perspective, the fact that this is a personal story makes the outcome justified to me, if not conflicted in executing a coherent message.

Daryl and Io have a solid rival dynamic. Daryl lost his body to the war while Io lost everything of sentimental and emotional value. Daryl was thus able to maintain his humanity while Io became a bloodthirsty killer to fill the void with an adrenaline high, much as Claudia would end up resorting to heroin. Daryl's victory then, while aided once more in the contrivance of a lightning strike, is the more justified ending because of Io's cruelty. There really wouldn't have been much of a point to this story other than mindless violence if they had both died. And it would have been even less gratifying if Io had won, as he would have concluded the story as a monster who knowingly tormented handicapped soldiers.

But to be fair, Io is at least a tragic monster. He became what he is because he has nothing left and is constantly in danger of losing even the scraps of what remain. He lost his family, his home and in the end, even his lover. But the horror of that is how Daryl is destined to share his fate. Though he overcame the ecstasy of regaining limbs through battle due to the epiphany that his struggles caused him to find love with Karla, her ability to recover from her psychological trauma is unlikely and Daryl is doomed to lose his home to the upcoming occupation. And with the death of the Principality, so too goes the momentary pride of sacrificing his body or even capturing a Gundam for the good of his nation.

Even for Zeon and Daryl, the implications of this ending are very grim. Unfortunately, I think coherence on such an idea is muddled by the bizarrely cavalier rush to tragedy and the seeming irreverence of a happy ending whatsoever. Theoretically, it's refreshing to see a Gundam series this bitter and marketed so exclusively for adults but I think it relies on shock value without earning an emotional response. (The director of Valvrave has a predilection toward mean spirited violence? Say it ain't so!)

Anyway, those are my preliminary thoughts on the web version. I'm interested in seeing what more December Sky can do in adding some polish to its story presentation. But if nothing else, this has definitely made me interested in the manga. I'll make a point of brushing up on that before seeing the final cut, for contrast and to get a better understanding of the original story.

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Shinji_Shinigami » Mon May 02, 2016 3:27 pm

Hmm that was an interessting choice of art stlye for that mini series. As well as Animation as the way of presentation. Using music as a medium felt like Macross though far better executed, since it was not directly part of the plot.

Though the ending leaves a lot for the imagination, i suppose there will be a follow up "second season"? Would be kind of a waste to leave it at that.

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Chris » Tue May 03, 2016 8:05 am

Shinji_Shinigami wrote:Though the ending leaves a lot for the imagination, i suppose there will be a follow up "second season"? Would be kind of a waste to leave it at that.
Given that the rest of the story is about the EFF fighting a cult of killer Buddhist monks, it's probably better to just leave things where they are now.
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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Kuruni » Tue May 03, 2016 10:21 am

Chris wrote:Given that the rest of the story is about the EFF fighting a cult of killer Buddhist monks, it's probably better to just leave things where they are now.
:shock: That sound like something straight from Wuxia novel.
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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Dustman » Tue May 03, 2016 11:49 am

Chris wrote:Given that the rest of the story is about the EFF fighting a cult of killer Buddhist monks, it's probably better to just leave things where they are now.
That's almost as dumb as a long lost satellite where its inhabitants have regressed to building pyramids and worshiping a mobile worker.

...you know, thinking about it that way, maybe a Buddhist death cult ain't too bad >_>

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Kuruni » Tue May 03, 2016 12:40 pm

Well, unlike a cult of killer Buddhist monks, a story about long lost satellite where its inhabitants have regressed to building pyramids and worshiping a mobile worker won't risk RL controversial. Replace the word "Buddhist monks" with "Vatican priests" and it should be a little more clear.

In short, Buddhist monks are real (although they aren't suppose to be killers), Moon Moon is not.
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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Dustman » Tue May 03, 2016 2:44 pm

To be honest, I'm not really concerned with that? I mean, I'm just drawing a humorous contrast about how well such a thing could be made to fit the setting. As far as controversy, we've already seen religious extremism as an overt theme (and with direct commentary on the real world) in Gundam 00, so that doesn't seem like taboo for Sunrise. I'm not familiar with the Thunderbolt manga and how it actually portrays the alluded module of concept, but on its face, this actually doesn't sound like it is too far outside the box for UC when we've been to places like Moon Moon. If anything, should Thunderbolt's Earth arc have anything to do with Asia (a blind guess on my part based on the cover of Vol.4), it probably works far better just based on what we already know of the region from 08th MS Team.

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by excalibur2008 » Tue May 03, 2016 8:54 pm

Kuruni wrote: In short, Buddhist monks are real (although they aren't suppose to be killers),
Must not be paying attention to the extremists in Myanmar.

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by balofo » Tue May 03, 2016 9:04 pm

I want they to continue just for Atlas and Acguy action

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Kuruni » Wed May 04, 2016 11:27 pm

excalibur2008 wrote:
Kuruni wrote: In short, Buddhist monks are real (although they aren't suppose to be killers),
Must not be paying attention to the extremists in Myanmar.
I said "not suppose to be". I've saw enough ZOINKS monks that I'm glad how faith is unimportant in Buddhism teaching.

...and that is also another reason why they better not animate it, unlike Abrahamic faith, Buddhism has deeper root in Japan and despite most Japanese are irreligion Japanese monks can be as bad as yakuza :mrgreen: . So what if they insult Islamic terroists in 00? It's unlikely that actual Islamic terrorists will attack Sunrise. But insult Buddhist monks, and their animator may gone missing... :mrgreen:
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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Dustman » Thu May 05, 2016 1:30 am

Uh, lets just stop that process of discussion while we still can. I feel like we are coming dangerously close to trying to sort out worldly knowledge from observational preconception in a way that will be flattering to nobody. In short: Don't go there, girlfriend.

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by pirx » Thu May 05, 2016 2:21 am

Poor Amuro with his outdated RX78-2, if he only knew what insane amount of super-advanced other tech was available for him during One Year War...

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by excalibur2008 » Thu May 05, 2016 3:32 pm

pirx wrote:Poor Amuro with his outdated RX78-2, if he only knew what insane amount of super-advanced other tech was available for him during One Year War...
Well he was supposed to get the Alex until the butthurt Zeon ruined everything.

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Dark Duel » Thu May 05, 2016 5:12 pm

Compared to the other stuff - including/especially Thunderbolt - that's been shoe-horned into the OYW timeframe in the last couple of decades, the Alex is almost underwhelming, honestly. Not that I don't like it (I do, a lot more than much of what has been seen in other media set during the time period).
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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Sun May 08, 2016 12:54 pm

I'm glad to see an ending where Zeon wins for a change, even if only temporarily. Considering how basically every Gundam series ends returning to the status quo, in which the EF government inability to do things right keeps proving more conflicts, I'm surprised that we haven't seen some spinoff/IF universe in which Zeon does win the OYW or a later conflict. If we go by what could happen in Gihren's Greed, the perfect victory for Zeon actually seemed like the best possible outcome, showing that even the EF characters got good endings, such as Shiro (with both legs) and Aina ending together, as well as Kai & Miharu, Bright & Mirai, etc.

Anyway, back to Thunderbolt, I'm a bit puzzled by the situation of the EF forces: both their normal suits and shuttles should have larger oxygen reserves. For instance, let's recall how much Aina and Shiro lasted on their own on a wrecked ship, or Amuro and the White Base crew at A Baoa Qu. On the other hand, Inthink it would have been safe to try scavenging resources from the wreckage of their own ships before attempting to do so from the Dried Fish. In particular the Salamis have reentry capsules with supplies that should have had a fairly large chance of having survived, even if the ships themselves were rendered inoperable. Ultimately it feels like a forced situation to put Karla in danger.

One thing that got me confused is where did Darryl got his new prosthetics at the end of the episode. We get a scene showing the destruction of the Dried Fish and Karla surviving just on their normal suit. And I find it a bit unlikely the the rescue ship had some spares readily available just like that. I wonder if more crew of the Papua survived, or if perhaps the Zeon forces were the ones that destroyed the ship after taking any remaining survivors and supplies, including any leftover prosthetics, perhaps even some of the data on the reuse system and Psycho Zaku?

Last, but not least, can we assume that the whole point of the EF's mission was finding an alternate route to Side 3 without having to cross Solomon? In the original series the EF forces skip Granada, and in the novels they take Granada but skip Solomon. Could it be that the EF intended to take their forces directly to A Baoa Qu while ignoring the headquarters of both the MAF and SAF fleets.

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Dustman » Sun May 08, 2016 2:32 pm

Gelgoog Jager wrote:If we go by what could happen in Gihren's Greed, the perfect victory for Zeon actually seemed like the best possible outcome, showing that even the EF characters got good endings, such as Shiro (with both legs) and Aina ending together, as well as Kai & Miharu, Bright & Mirai, etc.
All true but lets be mindful of the fact that this ending fades on the Sword of Damocles that is Gihren's Solar Ray. Worse yet, this is to say nothing of an expressed desire within the anime itself that he will purge the Earth Sphere of the untermensch. I think that even a kooky scheme like Durandal's could ultimately be construed as more humane in its implementation.

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Sun May 08, 2016 3:12 pm

In the perfect victory ending we can also see how the remaining population on Earth is being sent to space, which shows that the "cleansing" you mention doesn't translate into killing the people on Earth. Perhaps more dubious could be the claim Char made in The Origin manga to the natives that help him find the entrance to Jaburo, indicating them that Zeon ha no intention of exiling people that are not provoking harm to the Earth's ecosystem. We can probably assume that the alliances Neo Zeon made with the African forces during the 1st Neo Zeon War had a similar background.

In the Ecole Du Ciel manga there was even a name for the such believe, which was Elysium IIRC, indicating that Earth was a sanctum and that all of mankind should move to space in order to protect it. The biological weapon Astaroth from Rise From The Ashes, which was meant to allow vegetable life to grow at a several times faster rate, was also supposedly developed in order to help nature reclaim its territory.

I do can see how in contrast the colony drop might seem a contradiction, but again in Gihren's Greed we see a successful colony drop in Kaburo which seems to actually be quite limited in the damage it provoked to the surface. Ultimately I think Gihren do was limited on the actions he could take against Earth to go in accord to the Zeon Zum Deikun's theories which also included the migration of mankind to space in order to save the planet. I don't think that doing something such as burning 1/3 of Earth's surface, like Patrick Zala intended with Genesis, would have been an option for him.

Considering that the original objective of the space colonization in U.C. was precisely to move all of human population to space in order to save Earth, I don't think it that an ending that resulted in the migration of all of mankind to space as a consequence of Zeon winning the war would be a bad one at all.

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Dustman » Sun May 08, 2016 4:11 pm

You're obviously highly invested in extended media and I truly respect that commitment. Because of this, I'm also sorry to say that I have to dismiss the continuation of this thought experiment as I find the internal logic of a video game to be irrelevant to the point I was hoping to make. What I'm trying to infer is that as an applied scenario to the world of the anime, exclusionary to revelations made within the insulated confines of games or manga and anything of the sort, this utopian conclusion would be no such thing from what we know of Tomino and Sunrise's Gihren Zabi.

That's all I really wanted to say, that the anime applies to Gihren's Greed and not vice versa. That separation is the inherent appeal of its scenarios, the reason that it can engage in alternate histories which are otherwise unsupported by the context of its source material. Hoping to apply the exclusive logic of deliberately outlandish outcomes such as these is somewhat losing sight of its internal functionality. And even if we were to disregard this classification, I'd like to reiterate that even the game itself, by ending on the image of the Solar Ray, makes a fairly obvious point that Gihren remains a tyrant and holds onto it as both a deterrent and solution to opposition should his system not end up being conducive to the will of its people. Excuses and recontextualization for the proposition of ethnic cleansing still do not ease this kind of explicit reality.

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Sun May 08, 2016 6:59 pm

A couple of things:

-What you see at the end of Zeon's Perfect Victory ending is just a closed type colony, you can even see the "lid" on it, not to mention another such colony in the background.

-You do realize that unlike the EF's portable Solar System, Solar Ray is essentially a defensive weapon only? It's powered by the solar mirrors of all of Side 3, which means that it can't be used away from Side 3 and in turn is unable to attack any target on the other side of the Moon. Also, following you own logic, Solar Ray is only capable of firing once as per the events of the anime, after which key components are burnt, crippling the weapon.

-Last, but not least, I will not say that a Zeon victory would be the "perfect ending", but at least it does seem to be a "better" ending that the ones that leave the EF in power have been, which give rise to further conflicts which cause even more casualties.

Not to mention that over years the whole ethnical cleansing could even come under debate given that more and more recent works point towards Zeon not widely using weapons of mass destruction as we were originally told. Mark has pointed out that it seems that the only colonies gassed were the ones that were being used for colony drop operations, which as per Cina's background were carried out by soldiers not knowing what they were doing. And the idea of the EF and Zeon using nukes during the early conflicts has been basically dropped out entirely by every work referencing those battles. Even the destruction of the Sides as showed in Gundam Thunderbolt comes at odds with the indications that the Sides have been repopulated in later years and the mentions that Zeon actually captured colonies in order to use their facilities.

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Re: The Official Gundam Thunderbolt Anime Thread Mk I

Post by excalibur2008 » Mon May 09, 2016 10:41 am

Gelgoog Jager wrote: Not to mention that over years the whole ethnical cleansing could even come under debate given that more and more recent works point towards Zeon not widely using weapons of mass destruction as we were originally told.
Which is Zeon fanboy rectconting and comes off as an anime fanboy version of historical whitewashing.

It completely ignores Gihren flat out saying one of the goals in the war was wiping out half the human population. Or hell Char in a speech basically saying the Earth Federation kicking the Zabis asses was a good thing, it was letting the Titans run around like jack booted thugs and being spineless wimps to Haman that he was calling them out on.

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