MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

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toysdream
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MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by toysdream » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:44 pm

So a while back - more than six years, wow! - we had a thread called Gundam: What's Official? which discussed the Sunrise policy on what Gundam works are and aren't considered official. As you may recall, the rule turns out to be very simple:
Only filmed works are official.
That doesn't necessarily mean that the rest of the Gundam media universe has to be rejected outright, but as editor Yuka Minakawa says in the afterword to "Gundam Officials," it does mean that the filmed works have priority and everything else is somewhat second-class. (I guess this is the same approach Lucasfilm takes to the Star Wars movies versus the licensed spinoffs.)

Anyway, I was just looking at the latest edition of the MS Encyclopedia, and I noticed that there's a note on the first page which addresses this specifically in terms of mobile suits:
This book is not meant to cover every work which bears the Gundam name. The standards for inclusion are as follows:

Basically, it includes setting art from the official filmed works produced by Sunrise, and the semi-official works derived from them. As for mobile suits that appear in comics and novels, semi-official setting art created under Sunrise supervision is included.

And as for games, setting produced under Sunrise supervision is included, but most of this is unofficial unless it has appeared in official works.
So even within the MS Encyclopedia, we have three tiers of material: official filmed works, semi-official derivatives (I guess that probably means variation series) and stories produced under Sunrise supervision, and unofficial games. Although the games are produced under Sunrise supervision, as the previous thread discussed, it seems they're held to a looser standard since they're not intended to be official in the first place. (But "most of this is unofficial" suggests that the Harmony of Gundam stuff, for instance, may be higher-ranking.)

-- Mark

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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by Calubin_175 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:56 pm

With Gundam AGE, since many wacky designs debuted to the audience via the PSP game, many of which were designed driven by gameplay mechanics, Unknown Soldiers and EXA Log validated a select few of them.

Ever since Gundam Seed, parallel print media(Gundam Ace, HJ, DHM) side stories have been done for every TV series. These are definitely of the highest order of being official.

Now the question is with the recent expanded adaptations of 80s and 90s Gundam TV series with the mangas G Gundam, Wing Glory of the Defeated, Zeta Define and 0083 Rebellion. Certainly these are much more credible than the random alternative manga adaptations were had with Kazuhisa Kondo in the past.

Obviously, plot wise we should always stick with TV series, but the new MS introduced in the new mangas don't seem to hurt.

There is also Master Archive/File.

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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by battletech » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:10 pm

Where does that put The Zeta new translation movies or the new The Origin anime series coming out?
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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by toysdream » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:22 pm

Calubin_175 wrote:Ever since Gundam Seed, parallel print media(Gundam Ace, HJ, DHM) side stories have been done for every TV series. These are definitely of the highest order of being official.
Well, not really. According to the MS Encyclopedia, these Sunrise-supervised side stories - or at least the mecha from them - are semi-official. Only filmed works are official. Very simple!

This does raise the question of things like Zeta Gundam Define, Frozen Teardrop, Gundam Thunderbolt, etc. Since these were published after the MS Encyclopedia was compiled, we can't use it as a complete guide to what counts as a "Sunrise-supervised semi-official" side story. Perhaps we should just look for a Sunrise supervision credit in the comic itself?

battletech wrote:Where does that put The Zeta new translation movies or the new The Origin anime series coming out?
I'd assume the Origin series will be official, whereas the Origin manga was semi-official at best. Likewise, the animated version of Gundam Unicorn is more official than the original novel - it makes a bunch of changes to the story and timeline, too.

As for the New Translation movies, I guess that's an alternate version like the First Gundam movies versus the First Gundam TV series, and anything in them is valid in some sense. The First Gundam movies, after all, didn't completely erase the TV series; it's still assumed that the White Base fought in Operation Odessa and that M'Quve used the Gyan to fight Amuro at Texas Colony, even though neither of those happened in the movie continuity. (In fact, based on the movies, M'Quve didn't actually die.) Perhaps you can just pick your favorite bits from either version...

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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by balofo » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:59 pm

Does Crossbone appear in this edition?

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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by toysdream » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:23 pm

Now you mention it, no it doesn't. That's interesting!

The featured manga include MS Igloo 603, Ecole Du Ciel, both Advance of Zeta serials, Gundam Sentinel, Double Fake, Gundam Fight 7th, G-UNIT, Battlefield of Pacifists, and Gundam The Origin.

I'm not sure whether Gundam F90, Formula Wars 0122, and Silhouette Formula 91 count as games or models or comics. The F90 section says "From Comic," but it includes all the model kit designs and none of the comic-only stuff like the Oldsmobile version of the F90, while the featured Oldsmobile machines are all from the Formula Wars 0122 game.

The MS Encyclopedia also includes a page for the Hathaway novels, and the Beltorchika Children novel is acknowledged by the inclusion of the Hi-Nu Gundam and Nightingale under the CCA-MSV section.

-- Mark
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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by balofo » Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:05 pm

Thanks. BTW Mark have you ever seen back lineart for the Mars Zeon F90 Gundam? After years I've finally seen back and details lineart for the 122 Formula Game units but not for the Mars Zeon F90 Gundam, which is funny since it even carries the machinegun(beam?) on the rear skirt hardpoint.

And I didn't know it was made spefically for the comic, nice info

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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by AmuroNT1 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:44 pm

I kinda wonder if Crossbone doesn't get excluded because the only lineart that seems to exist is the loose, not-very-technical images Hasegawa did for the back of the collected volumes.
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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by toysdream » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:55 pm

I don't think it's so much about the quality of the setting art, as the status of the actual comic. When you look at the list of featured comics, it's actually pretty restrictive. If this is the lineup of Sunrise-supervised semi-official side stories, then it's a pretty exclusive club.

Other excluded titles, by the way, would include Char's Deleted Affair, Developers, Gundam Katana, and Gundam X: Under the Moonlight - not to mention all the Crossbone spinoffs.

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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by Kuruni » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:36 am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they seperate Gundam Evolve from the rest as well? (and drop G-Saviour entirely, as usual :mrgreen: )
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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by toysdream » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:48 am

Yep, Gundam Evolve is in a special section for "Experimental and Event Films", alongside all those amusement park rides and event presentations (Green Divers, Gundam Crisis, Gundam The Ride, etc).

Oh, and as for the Oldsmobile version of the Gundam F90, I note that it's included in the black and white section but not in the color pages. (There is color art for it in an old issue of B-CLUB, but I just checked and they don't show the back view there either.) I don't think there's a particular meaning to something being in the black and white pages but not the color ones, or vice versa - if it's in the book, it's in the book.

But speaking of notable omissions, I'd point out that the Z'od-iacok has never been included in the MS Encyclopedia. It's possible that this 200-meter mobile armor was too much for Sunrise to accept as "semi-official", although it's shown up in the video games, and even spawned a G-Generation descendant.

Likewise, there is indeed no G-Saviour. They've never covered that in any edition of the MS Encyclopedia, or its spinoff video game (which had some pretty excellent mecha designs).

-- Mark

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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by Calubin_175 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:59 am

http://www.hlj.com/product/MDW91215/Gun

So this is the latest version? Does the drawing material one includes the black and white lineart similar to those from Entertainment Bibles?

I missed this one. I will just wait for the next version with all the 35th anniversary boom and Origin stuff. This is probably the first time they have an optional drawing material version.

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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by AmuroNT1 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:00 am

toysdream wrote:But speaking of notable omissions, I'd point out that the Z'od-iacok has never been included in the MS Encyclopedia. It's possible that this 200-meter mobile armor was too much for Sunrise to accept as "semi-official", although it's shown up in the video games, and even spawned a G-Generation descendant.
I do hate to get mildly off-topic, but the subject came up and you're the best guy to ask. What is the apparent rights issue that seems to afflict Sentinel? I ask because with Extreme Vs. Full Boost around the corner, said issue was cited as the reason why Ryo Roots isn't in the Ex-S Gundam's cockpit. Nobody seems entirely sure, but some were saying it's probably connected to how some Sentinel machine like the Z'od-iacok are only referenced in one version of the story.
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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by toysdream » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:05 am

That sounds like fan conspiracy-mongering to me. The Sentinel characters, and the Z'od-iacok, have appeared in plenty of previous games; it seems unlikely that some weird rights issue suddenly emerged in the last few years that selectively prevents Bandai from using specific parts of the story.

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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by AmuroNT1 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:11 am

Someone claimed to have translated an interview with the game's producers where they cited "various issues" as to why Ryo wasn't in the game. Maybe they were trolling, I dunno. Either way his absence is pretty unusual, not only for the reasons you stated but because his VA Keiji Fujiwara is already in the game as Ali al-Saachez.
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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by Enileph » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:17 am

Sentinel Series have a copyright problem or something like that. Basically I think Sunrise/BandaiNamco owns the MS design and characters and things like that, but the story belongs to another party. So having the MS and character show up is of little problem, as long as the whole story is not played out or moved to the big screen. That having said they have done it before, in one of the old G Gen(I think "G Gen F") the story is played out.

Also, unlike western production like Star Wars, the whole official/canon part is not as tightly organized, nor would the fans normally be big about that. Contradictions would pop out left and right along with retcon type of creations. Alternative timelines are not usually distingulished. Official materials that fails to show up on the tv screen are posted as stories and what not and models being sold. (Think F90 series)

Even Sunrise/BandaiNamco would happily produce products and models for those not-so-official MS if they are ppopular enough, and they are mostly considered to be somewhat official creations (mostly in the form of a "design project" of the in-universe world if not a real MS)

So in the end, for a MS to be able to show up in HG or things like that is kind of a big thing.

Obviously that still excludes some MS, no matter how famous and popular they are, like Char Custom RX-78.

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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by AmuroNT1 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:03 pm

Well, I was just wondering if there was ANY explanation for Ryo's absence in Full Boost, especially in light of his appearing in G Gen, and figured that if anyone had an explanation it'd be Mark. Anyway, I'll quit derailing your topic now (not in the least because I'm interested in the subject as well).
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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:36 am

Enileph wrote:Sentinel Series have a copyright problem or something like that. Basically I think Sunrise/BandaiNamco owns the MS design and characters and things like that, but the story belongs to another party. So having the MS and character show up is of little problem, as long as the whole story is not played out or moved to the big screen. That having said they have done it before, in one of the old G Gen(I think "G Gen F") the story is played out.

Also, unlike western production like Star Wars, the whole official/canon part is not as tightly organized, nor would the fans normally be big about that. Contradictions would pop out left and right along with retcon type of creations. Alternative timelines are not usually distingulished. Official materials that fails to show up on the tv screen are posted as stories and what not and models being sold. (Think F90 series)

Even Sunrise/BandaiNamco would happily produce products and models for those not-so-official MS if they are ppopular enough, and they are mostly considered to be somewhat official creations (mostly in the form of a "design project" of the in-universe world if not a real MS)

So in the end, for a MS to be able to show up in HG or things like that is kind of a big thing.

Obviously that still excludes some MS, no matter how famous and popular they are, like Char Custom RX-78.
For Sentinel, Sotsu agency has the copyright for All Gundams, but Model Graphix has the specific copyright for designing the Sentinel models(MG didn't work for Sunrise nor Bandai nor Sotsu, they are simply partners)
This is basically why amatuer GK models seldom has Sentinel models, if you want to sell a GK model in a show, you need to obtain copyright from both companies, which will become very expensive. More times you see the SD versions, since the copyright was managed a bit differently and a bit cheaper.
Even when Bandai want to sell Sentinel models, they need to obtain the specific copyrights from Model Graphix as well, which lowers their profit thus they seldom do so, this also made it pretty hard for Sentinel units appearing in SRW(an S Gundam did appeared in the 4th, but that was ignoring copyrights and it was just a hidden unit, not even published in guide books)
Bendai tried to avoid these problems as much as possible, thus they only go with the FAZZ, which is mostly just ZZ FA with different colours, Z plus which obviously comes from Zeta, and S Gundam(with its different equipments), which surely has a pretty high revenue prospect. They did tried the Xeku Eins in HG and Gundam Converge, don't seem to work. The Mk-V or G-V was pretty much just hidden behind the Doven Wolf(which is obviously Sotsu copyrighted in ZZ) and a lot of people speculated the Unicorn series(Anime, Manga, etc.) was for filling up the slots with replacements like the Silver Bullet for the Mk-V, Delta plus for the Z Plus, etc.(Or this is just Katoki's own hobby)

Another problem might be the poor stone heads in Bandai that didn't change their views much since 1989.
Remember how they got a poor relationship with Model Graphix's Sentinel crew when they almost dumped the whole project thinking a non-visualized series will never work? They are quite obviously having the same mind set even after Sentinel's success, and we seldom see them publishing models from novels at all, and manga units are normally quite rare as well and seldom enter their main stream series like HG and MG.(never mind PG, that's not enough of those to be considered mainstream, RG is pretty new so I'm not counting that yet.)
They even MGed AGE, a poorly received anime unit, but not the more popular novel/manga units.
They are changing these few years, so we do see novel units popping up in the MG line like the Hi-Nu and Destiny Impulse, or even the Early version of the W EW non appearance units, but looking at the AOZ series, I don't really have my hopes that high for the copyright troubled Sentinel units like EWAC Nero.

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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:00 am

toysdream wrote:That sounds like fan conspiracy-mongering to me. The Sentinel characters, and the Z'od-iacok, have appeared in plenty of previous games; it seems unlikely that some weird rights issue suddenly emerged in the last few years that selectively prevents Bandai from using specific parts of the story.

-- Mark
Actually, Model Graphix seems to be improving in terms in relationship with Bandai after G20.
Thus we see more Sentinel stuff popping up here and there, especially in games.
The copyright issue is not as serious as it is spreaded, mostly just a money problem nowadays.
It's not really a conspiracy, since the problem was encountered by the GK modelists, and is purely an economic problem.
In games, the copyright issue is usually not really that much, Banpresto or Bandai pay a certain loyalty fee, and they probably earns a pretty good sum from the games anyway, all they need to do are adding a bit code and graphics to the game, that cost is minimal. But models are much more problematic since they do need to spend a lot of money in creating the moulds and spending a lot of resources to make the actual models, and if that didn't sell, they lose a lot.
Bandai, thus is usually conservative, and only issues popular units, like the Gundams, and not the grunts.

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Re: MS Encyclopedia: What's Official?

Post by Strike Zero » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:07 pm

MythSearcher wrote:More times you see the SD versions, since the copyright was managed a bit differently and a bit cheaper.
Right, I'd heard about something like this before, that SD versions of mobile suits are covered under a different copyright from the regular versions. It seems strange at first glance, but when you think about it more, the idea of them being considered completely different designs does make sense.
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