What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

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bhayes82
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What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by bhayes82 » Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:44 am

I just realized something. Char's Counterattack doesn't get the credit for being the 'turning point' for the franchise. it gets honored for being a great classic anime film but..the original series, the MSG trilogy and Zeta made history but with Double Zeta, you can tell that the Tomino and his team were attempting to take the franchise in another direction. A more goofy/looney tunes direction. the 'backlash' from the fans made them re-write the series and Tomino conceived the CCA story.

if u watch the art style of the first 3 seasons, its VERY cartoony looking in comparison to the films and the OAV's that came later. that animation/art style was standard for its time and u can see the quality of animation got 'better' and 'better' each season and the shows had depth but the shows were meant to SELL toys to kids. == i read that Zeta gundam was Sunries' answer to the success of SDF Macross. The idea being a mecha anime series that has a robot with a transforming jet mode.

with Char's Counterattack, they took the old designs and made the old characters look 'MATURE' and 'REALISTIC' looking, the mecha, the locales, the tone - it became something that can be taken seriously

and after that the franchise took off....Char's Counterattack set a standard for the rest of the prequels, sequels & side stories that came after

imagine if Double Zeta had been a HUGE hit - we might not have what we have now.

the original 3 seasons by themselves are just decent oldschool anime but they come off as OLD and KLUNKY at times and don't hold up as well visually today at times.

i recently showed Zeta and MSG series dubs to a nephew of mine who likes Origin, 08th Team,0080 and Thunderbolt and his gut reaction to the original series and Zeta was very JARRING. he was like "wow...this looks really old!"

Victory Gundam returned to some of the simpler art style we saw in Zeta/Double Zeta but more polished. but the original 3 season of gundam (MSG< Zeta, Zz) are nice to SEE how the franchise started...but visually they don't hold up as well for newer audiences.

but CCA, F91, 08th Team, 0080, 0083 to this day STILL hold up very well.even in 2021.and have the depth and visuals.

Origin, Thunderbolt, Unicorn, Narrative and now Hathaway are continuing the legacy and the standard set by CCA.

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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:44 am

bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:44 am
Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?
So... my question to you is, what makes you assume Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ fell short of the mark?

Its average viewership share was only 0.38% less than Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam's in the Kanto region. That's not a huge delta, and Double Zeta was a mainstay of titles like Super Robot Wars for quite some time.


bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:44 am
[...] but with Double Zeta, you can tell that the Tomino and his team were attempting to take the franchise in another direction. A more goofy/looney tunes direction. the 'backlash' from the fans made them re-write the series and Tomino conceived the CCA story.
Tomino and the rest of the Sunrise creative team were trying to add a little levity to the proceedings to make the continuation of the story directly after the relentlessly dark conclusion of Zeta less daunting for viewers. It was a calculated move to avoid Darkness Induced Audience Apathy and clear the air a bit before moving on to the darker but not quite THAT dark drama planned for the second half.

From its inception, Gundam ZZ was always planned to have a darker second half. The rewrites had little or nothing to do with audience feedback. They were prompted by the fact that the original plan for the second half was a return to, and resolution of, the rivalry between Amuro and Char. Char's Counterattack was green-lit during the production of Gundam ZZ's first half, which forced them to scrap their plans for ZZ to have an Amuro-Char story arc and come up with something new in a relatively short time.


bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:44 am
if u watch the art style of the first 3 seasons, its VERY cartoony looking in comparison to the films and the OAV's that came later. that animation/art style was standard for its time and u can see the quality of animation got 'better' and 'better' each season and the shows had depth but the shows were meant to SELL toys to kids.
The change in visual design can be partly attributed to a change in staff... the departure of Zeta Gundam's character designer Yoshikazu Yasuhiko and his replacement by Hiroyuki Kitazume, and Mamoru Nagano leaving its mechanical design team due to creative differences with the rest of the staff. There was a conscious effort being made to make the series more accessible to a younger audience as well, though.
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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by bhayes82 » Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm

Is it not a fact that there was a backlash from the fans and viewers when ZZ aired and the creative team reacted by making changes. Are you trying to imply that in your point of view ZZ reasonated with the fans on level with Zeta when it aired? I mean seriously, I don't need statistics and data to prove that ZZ is NOT beloved. it wasn't loved THEN and its not now. that series didn't have the impact that the team had intended. Even tomino has made comments where he expressed regrets about the 1st half of the series...and that its okay for fans to ignore it if they don't like it.

what i'm saying is that its painfully CLEAR that the backlash from ZZ's first half influenced their future decisions. Sure i'm sure their were other factors involved too.

but Char's Counterattack was supposed to be THE END of the franchise from what i've read. but instead what it did was OPEN the door for prequels and side stories. without Char's Counterattack the OAV/Side-Story-verse...would NOT exist.

the first 3 seasons of Gundam were TOO cartoony looking to be the foundation for the side story continuity. those seasons were good shows but they come off as a giant toy commercial that has what feels like is dated animation by 2021 standards. ZZ especially was a BIG toy commercial for the kids. which is understandable.

MSG, Zeta, ZZ by themselves are just really good for their time anime mecha shows. Char's Counterattack opened the door visually. From what I read, the fans wanted MORE so Tomino wrote the hathway novels and sunrise made 0080 War in the Pocket. as a 'test' and then we got 0083...and rest is history.

but lets say that ZZ's 1st half was as beloved as Zeta and was a big ratings and critical success...and had they concluded the series the way they had originally intended and no char's counterattack had happened...the franchise would be in a different place now.

i mean, i think its good that there are Alternate Universe stories because one can't expect new fans to look at the original 3 seasons. they OLD and LONG and the animation (

but i respect those seasons for their originality. the OAV's (0080, 0083, 08th team, Origin, Thunderbolt) just add so much more DEPTH to the one-year war that didn't exist prior.

i mean it must've felt amazing for the Japanese fans at the time to see CHar's Counterattack and see their favorite chracters and the overall world of Gundam redesigned to be more realistic, streamlined, serious-looking and less on the cartoony klunky side...

that's all i'm saying.

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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by MythSearcher » Mon Jul 19, 2021 9:45 pm

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:44 am

Its average viewership share was only 0.38% less than Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam's in the Kanto region. That's not a huge delta, and Double Zeta was a mainstay of titles like Super Robot Wars for quite some time.
Ahem, I wouldn't say "was", it is still a mainstay in SRW for it not only appeared in the most recent ones, but also as the main plot.
The only period it was not involved is during the Z series, which, is only 5 titles.(6, if you count the DLC content)
bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm
but Char's Counterattack was supposed to be THE END of the franchise from what i've read. but instead what it did was OPEN the door for prequels and side stories. without Char's Counterattack the OAV/Side-Story-verse...would NOT exist.
What opened the door is Sentinel if you look at it like that.
But first, 0080 was out not long after CCA, and not really made because of CCA.
Sunrise was testing out low budget OVA at the time, so they decided to make it after the Patlabor OVAs. It is not completely unrelated to CCA but only because the rental of the CCA film was popular at the time that they wanted to try out a more film/movie like style instead of Patlabor's more TV anime style.
The director Fumihiko Takayama was chosen because the episodes liked by the producer Minoru Takanashi from Bandai Media are all from him, and Takayama don't understand what's the appeal of punching inside large tin boxes and thus you get little mecha battle scenes in the show and it became more about the interaction of people.
The sales of 0080 in turn influenced 0083, because ep. 4~6 of 0080 was selling better and Bandai deemed it is because Gundam NT-1's battle scenes are making it more popular, so they decided to add more Gundam and more of them battling in 0083.
And 0083 is basically Bandai's answer to Sentinel, in which their relationship turned sour with Model Graphix ironically because of their treatment to Sentinel and don't want to just make it into an anime, they got some of the production crew like Katoki Hajime to produce a new show for them.

Sentinel is also a plan before CCA aired. It was delayed because Bandai was being stupid, but their plan was to have Sentinel fill in the gap between ZZ and CCA, so they can sell some products during that time. So CCA didn't really opened the door to side stories, Sentinel was the first one to do so and its success along with 0080 is the main force pushing for non-Tomino directed titles.

Also, in case you don't know, the title CCA can be traced back all the way to 1984, before even Zeta was aired, and was to be the title of a sequel novel of FG and that was dropped because of Zeta. Tomino then wanted to use it as the title of Gaia Gear, and before the novel serialised, the ad for it was Mobile Suit Gaia Gear: Char's Counter Attack.(機動戦士ガイア・ギア 逆襲のシャア) and only dropped that subtitle after the actual serialisation.

Finally, if you leave it to Tomino to decide, CCA would not be the realistic tone show we see now. From ZZ onwards he kept wanting Mamoru Nagano as the main mecha designer, and no, he isn't looking for the cool designs like in L-Gaim and FFS, Tomino praised Nagano's designs to be comical and with a bright image that appeals to children, and the samples shown in B-Club are 3~5 head ratio models. He likened the enemy grunts to Osamu Tezuka style, so you can understand what style they are. With a very strong "No" from the sponsors and Nagano's bad relation with the other staff members at the time, he was pulled from designing most of the mecha, ships, vehicles of ZZ and CCA. (Bandai didn't seem to have as such a strong opinion in the beginning of ZZ, they even made his ZZ design into a commercial at the time and advertised it as such and that is the only place you can see Nagano's ZZ design now, as a model held in the hands of a kid. But Tomino request of "Do not reuse any design from FG, Zeta and ZZ" may also be why Nagano's design was all dumped into the garbage can.)
Last edited by MythSearcher on Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Mon Jul 19, 2021 9:57 pm

bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm
Is it not a fact that there was a backlash from the fans and viewers when ZZ aired and the creative team reacted by making changes.
While I don't have an exhaustive library of publications from that period, I can't find any remarks from anyone involved in the development or production of the series that suggest that the series was retooled in mid-production due to negative audience feedback. On the contrary, the show's ratings were nearly as good as Zeta's throughout its run. It's a well documented fact that the series was retooled partway through its run because Char's Counterattack was approved at Sunrise early in its production, necessitating removing the entire Amuro-Char rivalry story arc that'd been planned for its second half and set up the movie.

bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm
Are you trying to imply that in your point of view ZZ reasonated with the fans on level with Zeta when it aired?
I'm saying I cannot find any evidence to support your contention that it was hated when it came out. Its series-average viewership numbers are only slightly lower than Zeta's.

That it's not as well-regarded as what is arguably the all-time most celebrated Gundam series does not constitute evidence that audiences hated it.

bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm
I mean seriously, I don't need statistics and data to prove that ZZ is NOT beloved.
So, it's safe to assume the reason you "don't need" those things is because they contradict your whole argument?

bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm
it wasn't loved THEN and its not now. that series didn't have the impact that the team had intended. Even tomino has made comments where he expressed regrets about the 1st half of the series...and that its okay for fans to ignore it if they don't like it.
It's a contested sequel, for sure, but it remains quite popular to this day.

Just because you don't like it doesn't mean nobody does. There's a reason this series is such a popular inclusion in the SRW games and homaged by a laundry list of shows over the years.

bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm
what i'm saying is that its painfully CLEAR that the backlash from ZZ's first half influenced their future decisions. Sure i'm sure their were other factors involved too.
But that's an assertion without evidence... an assertion contradicted by evidence, in fact.

If there was a substantial audience backlash against the series, why isn't that reflected in its viewership numbers? If it was hated, it wouldn't have pulled viewership numbers nearly as good as Zeta's. If that alleged backlash had such massive impacts on the series as to require a major retooling of the story in medias res, why is that "fact" never a point of discussion in any contemporary or subsequent interviews about the series?

bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm
but Char's Counterattack was supposed to be THE END of the franchise from what i've read. but instead what it did was OPEN the door for prequels and side stories. without Char's Counterattack the OAV/Side-Story-verse...would NOT exist.
This claim seems to be one of those cases of fans "creatively" interpreting much more limited statements by the creators.

Char's Counterattack was advertised as the conclusion of the rivalry between Amuro and Char, the resolution of a major story arc that'd begun back in the original series. It was not presented as being the end of Gundam itself... Sunrise was not about to make hamburgers out of a highly promising cash cow. Tomino clearly wasn't intending to go ending Gundam anytime soon when he wrote the novels that became the basis for Char's Counterattack. He intended to end the story of Amuro and Char, explicitly killing them off in Beltorchika's Children, but he included a sequel hook of sorts that manifested a year later as Hathaway's Flash.

I recall similar rumors doing the rounds back in the early 2010s when a Newtype article about the second Macross Frontier movie misspelled "The Finale" as "The Final", prompting certain people who couldn't read Japanese to go claiming that the movie was to be the end of the Macross franchise as a whole... a claim that was proposterous on the face of it, and proven wrong practically immediately.

Moreover, Gundam side stories existed before Char's Counterattack. Gaia Gear is one of the prime examples there. The prototype for Gundam Build Fighters, Plamo-kyo Shiro, predates Char's Counterattack by SIX YEARS. Never mind the novels and manga adaptations of the various titles.

bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm
the first 3 seasons of Gundam were TOO cartoony looking to be the foundation for the side story continuity. those seasons were good shows but they come off as a giant toy commercial that has what feels like is dated animation by 2021 standards. ZZ especially was a BIG toy commercial for the kids. which is understandable.
I hate to break to you, but ALL OF GUNDAM has always been a big toy commercial. That's literally why the original series had a "new enemy robot of the week" format for a while. That's why the Gundams are brightly colored. That's the reason the protagonists are always teenagers.

Far from being put off by the "cartoony"-ness, audiences ate that sh*t up and super deformed Gundam gachapon toys were quite popular at the time. So much so that it led to the creation of Mobile Suit SD Gundam in parallel with Char's Counterattack... the first installment of which was an animated short released with Char's Counterattack in March 1988. SD Gundam was well-received and new features continue to be made for it to this very day. :roll:

bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm
but lets say that ZZ's 1st half was as beloved as Zeta and was a big ratings and critical success...and had they concluded the series the way they had originally intended and no char's counterattack had happened...the franchise would be in a different place now.
Probably not a substantially different place... Zeta and ZZ demonstrated to Sunrise and Bandai that Mobile Suit Gundam was a near-unprecedented cash cow, accounting for 20% of Bandai's home video sales at the time. It was pretty much inevitable that the franchise would get more TV anime and more movies approved simply because of how commercially successful it was.

bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm
i mean it must've felt amazing for the Japanese fans at the time to see CHar's Counterattack and see their favorite chracters and the overall world of Gundam redesigned to be more realistic, streamlined, serious-looking and less on the cartoony klunky side...
I think you're generalizing from yourself again, to be perfectly frank.

Audiences in Japan were pretty OK with Gundam as it was. Char's Counterattack wasn't a massive watershed moment, it was merely the capstone of an already impressive monumental achievement that was making Sunrise and Bandai approximately ALL THE MONEY.
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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by MythSearcher » Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:25 am

bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm
Ah, forgot to add some statistics.
In the 2007 TV anime revenue per episode review, the top 20 anime titles, only 4 Gundam titles made it in the list:
FG, Zeta, ZZ and W.
ZZ's popularity really isn't that low in the Gundam franchise AND in the overall anime, if not, it will not make it into the list showing how much each episode of that anime earned.
(1st is EVA, then FG 2nd, Zeta in the top 5, ZZ and W are in the teens)
We also have the anime making most money in each year from 1978~2021:
https://youtu.be/L5cKtcFVRGM
1979 is FG, 1985 is Zeta, 1986 is ZZ.
So, yes, it is a critical success at its time, if not, it will not be the one raking in most of the sales, or you are saying no other 1986 anime is a success and all of them failed, and every single anime outside of the top 20 list are not loved.

Saying ZZ is not loved then and now is a bit of an understatement. I mean, I don't like it, and hated the Gundam Team, but it wouldn't still be the main plot element of the newest 3 SRW titles and it wouldn't be one of the best sellers if people don't love it.

BTW, FG is deemed the second turning point of anime, first is Space Battleship Yamato and 3rd is NGE, and then there were none.
CCA isn't considered as influential as FG in Japan, period.
CCA was out in 1988, almost a decade after FG, and a film instead of a TV anime.
CCA's "More realistic" style comes from that very fact, because a film has more budget and resources to make and the colouring can be more detailed. Also, Sunrise was a tiny company when they aired FG, they don't have the budget to go stylish, unlike SBY, where just the grey colour platelet has a larger selection of colour than the whole FG colour set and Char's reddish pink was only selected because they had surplus of it and it is going to expire, thus needed to use lots of it.
Also, Zeta's art style was actually pretty non-cartoony at its time.

Bandai also seems to be pretty fond of ZZ, when they needed a transitional model from previous shows, the first thing they are willing to do is FAZZ, and Z plus only came next.

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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by Chris » Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:15 am

bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm
Is it not a fact that there was a backlash from the fans and viewers when ZZ aired and the creative team reacted by making changes. Are you trying to imply that in your point of view ZZ reasonated with the fans on level with Zeta when it aired? I mean seriously, I don't need statistics and data to prove that ZZ is NOT beloved. it wasn't loved THEN and its not now. that series didn't have the impact that the team had intended. Even tomino has made comments where he expressed regrets about the 1st half of the series...and that its okay for fans to ignore it if they don't like it.
Don't conflate the reaction that Western audiences have about ZZ to that of Japanese fans when it aired. As others have noted, you're making assertions without evidence. I'd love to know the source of this Tomino comment you mention, because most of the time when he's asked about ZZ, he usually answers by saying that he doesn't remember anything from that long ago.

The ONLY point I can think of about ZZ being less popular than Zeta is this: almost 20 years ago, I attended a talk that G Gundam Director Yasuhiro Imagawa gave in Miami ahead of the show's premiere on Toonami. In talking about what led to the creation of G Gundam and alternate universe shows, Imagawa said that model kit sales dropped off in the second half of both ZZ and V, and after Bandai acquired Sunrise, G was the Hail Mary attempt to turn things around and determine if Gundam would continue or not.

No matter what anyone may think of ZZ, and I'm definitely not a fan of the first half, it has remained popular in the decades since it was created and has been represented in games, model kits and more recent anime connections like Unicorn. It's fine to not like it, but don't make assertions without evidence just to support your dislike.

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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:00 am

MythSearcher wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:25 am
We also have the anime making most money in each year from 1978~2021:
https://youtu.be/L5cKtcFVRGM
Should Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ be on a list of anime top sellers? After all, the opening credits boldly proclaim "It's not anime!". :wink: :lol:

(Incidentally "Anime Ja Nai" was one of the most popular anime theme songs of the 80's as well.)
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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by Mafty » Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:41 am

It makes sense that ZZ was popular locally; Dragonar was made to act as something of a remake of FG, and possibly supplant Gundam by starting a newer show with less ties to older works, needless to say Dragonar didn't succeed at that.

Also I'm surprised to see Macross II on that list, I'd always heard that it underpreformed...

So...what was the least commercially successful Gundam series? (I hear X and AGE thrown around alot).

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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Tue Jul 20, 2021 12:11 pm

Mafty wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:41 am
Also I'm surprised to see Macross II on that list, I'd always heard that it underpreformed...
"Underperform" is relative... Macross may not be as prolific as Gundam but it's one of few titles that can claim similar levels of popularity and influence in the mecha genre. When excellence is your normal, being merely "above average" is underperforming.

Mafty wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:41 am
So...what was the least commercially successful Gundam series? (I hear X and AGE thrown around alot).
Prior to researching, my guess would have been Reconguista in G given its mixed reviews, shortest run, and Tomino having to apologize for its confusing plot... but I would have been wrong. The metrics show that the worst Gundam series in terms of commercial performance is Gundam AGE by a substantial margin.

Gundam AGE had the worst average viewership numbers of any Gundam series - frequently coming in as unmeasurably low in its target demographic (4-12) - and averaging 1.01% for the entire series. There are frequent mentions of the plamodel sales being below expectations as well. The initial sales of the blu-ray failed to top even 2,000 units (even G-Reco did twice that) and even after a month first-volume sales barely cleared 2,300. Plans for the official video game set an ambitious goal of selling 1 million copies... but after a full calendar quarter after its release had only moved 55,500 copies.
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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by bhayes82 » Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:03 pm

Chris wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:15 am
bhayes82 wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:12 pm
Is it not a fact that there was a backlash from the fans and viewers when ZZ aired and the creative team reacted by making changes. Are you trying to imply that in your point of view ZZ reasonated with the fans on level with Zeta when it aired? I mean seriously, I don't need statistics and data to prove that ZZ is NOT beloved. it wasn't loved THEN and its not now. that series didn't have the impact that the team had intended. Even tomino has made comments where he expressed regrets about the 1st half of the series...and that its okay for fans to ignore it if they don't like it.
Don't conflate the reaction that Western audiences have about ZZ to that of Japanese fans when it aired. As others have noted, you're making assertions without evidence. I'd love to know the source of this Tomino comment you mention, because most of the time when he's asked about ZZ, he usually answers by saying that he doesn't remember anything from that long ago.

The ONLY point I can think of about ZZ being less popular than Zeta is this: almost 20 years ago, I attended a talk that G Gundam Director Yasuhiro Imagawa gave in Miami ahead of the show's premiere on Toonami. In talking about what led to the creation of G Gundam and alternate universe shows, Imagawa said that model kit sales dropped off in the second half of both ZZ and V, and after Bandai acquired Sunrise, G was the Hail Mary attempt to turn things around and determine if Gundam would continue or not.

No matter what anyone may think of ZZ, and I'm definitely not a fan of the first half, it has remained popular in the decades since it was created and has been represented in games, model kits and more recent anime connections like Unicorn. It's fine to not like it, but don't make assertions without evidence just to support your dislike.
fair enough. I was under the impression that Zeta was groundbreaking and was a critical and ratings success in japan and the sequel was highly anticipated and upon airing the 'first half' of ZZ caused such a strong 'backlash' both among the fans, critics and ratings began to drop so Tomino and his team re-wrote the 2nd half of ZZ to be consistent with the tone of Zeta and developed the Char's Counterattack story.

perhaps i should re-title this thread 'the impact' of the 'mature' animation style used for Char's Counterattack and how it furthered the franchise and opened the door for the Side-Story-verse (0080, 0083, 08th Team, Origin, Thunderbolt)

don't get me wrong, there are things within ZZ that are cool. the way the Double Zeta transforms and other cool things within the series. Like u said, Unicorn makes lots of references to ZZ.

but just reflecting on things. it really 'felt' like they were attempting to take the franchise in a 'DIFFERENT' direction with the first half of ZZ.

and i'll be honest, if a good quality DUB ever happens for ZZ, I 'might' end up liking the series a lot more.

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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by Mafty » Tue Jul 20, 2021 6:20 pm

Looking at Tominos career ; he often followed something serious with something funny; the infamous Super Robot Deconstruction Zambot 3 was followed by the more normal Super Robot Daitran 3, Ideon was followed by Xabungle, and L-Gaim and ZZ were lighter than Zeta and Dunbine. Later on we haver series like King Gainer and Reconguista in G that have more of a comedy element, and Turn A which is less comical, but surprisingly not as dark.

IMO The comedy element in ZZ is admittedly kinda jarring; but even the second half doesn't necessarily get (or consistently stay) dark. Plus once the story starts getting more serious you actually get quite a lot of cool looking mechs and battles.

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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:32 am

bhayes82 wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:03 pm

fair enough. I was under the impression that Zeta was groundbreaking and was a critical and ratings success in japan and the sequel was highly anticipated and upon airing the 'first half' of ZZ caused such a strong 'backlash' both among the fans, critics and ratings began to drop so Tomino and his team re-wrote the 2nd half of ZZ to be consistent with the tone of Zeta and developed the Char's Counterattack story.
Okay, this part I can tell you they rewrote the 2nd half because it was such a success that they decided to pan out the story and make CCA, since Char was originally planned to be in ZZ(he appeared in the OP), he needed to be edited out of ZZ to the film, thus the rewrite.
I personally suspect he was originally has a similar role currently filled by Glemmy Toto, that is, rebel against Haman.
And CCA's main plot likely was originally in the 2nd half of ZZ, that is, dropping Axis on Earth, because the film was very short notice and Tomino is famous for reusing resources.

Come to think of it, the Nagano designs of deformed and comical 3-5 head ratio mecha for ZZ and CCA might have been reused in Brain Powered and/or Overman King.
Mafty wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 6:20 pm
Looking at Tominos career ; he often followed something serious with something funny; the infamous Super Robot Deconstruction Zambot 3 was followed by the more normal Super Robot Daitran 3, Ideon was followed by Xabungle, and L-Gaim and ZZ were lighter than Zeta and Dunbine. Later on we haver series like King Gainer and Reconguista in G that have more of a comedy element, and Turn A which is less comical, but surprisingly not as dark.

IMO The comedy element in ZZ is admittedly kinda jarring; but even the second half doesn't necessarily get (or consistently stay) dark. Plus once the story starts getting more serious you actually get quite a lot of cool looking mechs and battles.
A lot of popular shows have this, look at Eva, we also get comedy mixed into the show.
Last edited by MythSearcher on Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:37 am

bhayes82 wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:03 pm
fair enough. I was under the impression that Zeta was groundbreaking and was a critical and ratings success in japan and the sequel was highly anticipated and upon airing the 'first half' of ZZ caused such a strong 'backlash' both among the fans, critics and ratings began to drop so Tomino and his team re-wrote the 2nd half of ZZ to be consistent with the tone of Zeta and developed the Char's Counterattack story.
Unfounded rumors like this are why fact-checking before you post is so important.


bhayes82 wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:03 pm
perhaps i should re-title this thread 'the impact' of the 'mature' animation style used for Char's Counterattack [...]
There really wasn't one... and it wasn't "mature" either.

Put simply, there was nothing at all remarkable about an anime feature film with an original story like the Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack movie having higher quality animation than a TV anime or a compilation film made using TV anime film stock. That's the normal and expected outcome for an animated feature film, which like OVAs have a larger budget per minute of animation and less constrained production schedule allowing the studio to produce higher quality, more detailed animation.

The only thing audiences would've found remarkable about the animation of Char's Counterattack would've been that it was one of the first films to attempt to composite hand-drawn "traditional" 2D animation with 3DCG animation. Sunrise engaged the services of Toyo Development Co. - now known as IMAGICA Lab - to create 3DCG models that could be textured with hand-drawn animation for certain difficult detail shots in the film like space colonies rotating.


bhayes82 wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:03 pm
[...] and how it furthered the franchise and opened the door for the Side-Story-verse (0080, 0083, 08th Team, Origin, Thunderbolt)
As MythSearcher and I both pointed out to you, it did no such thing... Gundam was already doing a number of side story and alternative media projects well before Char's Counterattack debuted.

It was the ending of the original Universal Century story arc involving Char and Amuro, but that was all it was.
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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by Kuruni » Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:21 am

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:37 am
It was the ending of the original Universal Century story arc involving Char and Amuro, but that was all it was.
I will give one extra; it might started the whole yaoi fandom, although those fujoshi didn't reveal themselves until W.

And I think we can agree that the one series that really open the gate to side-stories is none other than original MSV.
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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:41 am

Kuruni wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:21 am
Seto Kaiba wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:37 am
It was the ending of the original Universal Century story arc involving Char and Amuro, but that was all it was.
I will give one extra; it might started the whole yaoi fandom, although those fujoshi didn't reveal themselves until W.
Wait till you see Judah X Karmille. (facepalm

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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:46 am

Kuruni wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:21 am
I will give one extra; it might started the whole yaoi fandom, although those fujoshi didn't reveal themselves until W.
It was inevitable... Tomino devoted an entire feature film to resolving Char's unrequited man-crush on Amuro, to the point of Char sending him secret gifts, arranging a rendezvous with a beautiful view of Earth, and even dying together. I'm sure the fujoshi were already all over that from Zeta when Char showed up to rescue Amuro from house arrest.
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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by Mafty » Wed Jul 21, 2021 1:12 pm

You can see Tomino reusing resources/ideas at times. Aside from the numerous examples of reusing names of delted characters in a different context (Miharu Zabi, anyone?) you can sometimes see plots redone if the first attempt didn't work. For instance the European Cosmo Aristocracy thing from the ill fated F91 seems to be kinda recycled in Victory Gundam( They both have European Aristocratic Styles in Uniform and Colony Design; both have Knight styled mech, and both have an unsure figurehead controlled by a cruel, sadistic elderly man), however they end of bring different enough plotlines that its not as obvious.

There's also the case of reuseing character types; I'm not just talking about Char Clones or Peace Princess's, Bello from King Gainer is an expy of Kyao from L-Gaim, likewise Xabungle has a (parody) pacifist named Maria Maria , predtating a more typical example in Victory Gundam.

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Re: What could've happened to the Gundam franchise if ZZ was a hit in the '80s?

Post by Kuruni » Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:19 am

Speaking of ZZ's original plan, I remember read it somewhere that Geze and Catol have four arms because they were originally MS made by aliens with four arms.

Note that Plamo Kyoshiro later use the idea for Devil Gundam (Bloody Mary), although it's actually an alien wearing powered suit that just look like Gundam.
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