The Universal Century's inability to change for the better.

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Zeino
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The Universal Century's inability to change for the better.

Post by Zeino » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:35 am

Is there logical in-universe reason as to why life never really seem to improve for the people of UC timeline? Why they kept repeating the same senseless wars over and over. Why the Earth Federation kept staying corrupt and the space colonies kept on embracing Fascism despite the fact that it always led to disaster and defeat for them? I understand the real world reasons behind it, Sunrise want to keep UC Gundam shows going until they stop being profitable in the mid 1990s which is why they switch to the AU series and Tomino was suffering from major depression while making Victory Gundam which is why the outlook of that series is so very bleak.

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Chris
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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Chris » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:03 pm

Because that's human history? This is one of those points where reality and Gundam don't diverge that much. You might as well ask why humanity has been fighting the same wars for thousands of years over resources and religion, or why there are countless corrupt governments across history. Why do people keep embracing ideologies that don't work?

And if you wanted to narrow things down to a couple of decades to compare to UC, you could ask the same questions about Africa. Even if you put aside the recent revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, there's seemingly always a civil war, coup or rebellion happening somewhere along the continent, or in the case of Somalia, total anarchy.

Sure, you could say UC's bleakness is a product of Tomino's depression, or at the very least his experience growing up in post-war Japan, but given the whole bloodiness of our history, it's pretty easy to become that pessimistic.

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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by flamingtroll » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:16 pm

Zeino wrote:Is there logical in-universe reason as to why life never really seem to improve for the people of UC timeline? Why they kept repeating the same senseless wars over and over. Why the Earth Federation kept staying corrupt and the space colonies kept on embracing Fascism despite the fact that it always led to disaster and defeat for them?
I have seen people pointed out in some other threads before which I agree that the Feds in UC is really a power in decline, and that is the major reason for all the uprising against it in one form or another. The OYW is jsut the first conflict to set the decline in motion. I would say extreme is a better word to describe space colony ideologies rather than just fascism. V gundam clearly had a newtype theocracy, with an almost cult like agenda. Extreme ideologies are common things when great organizations are in decline. This has been true throughout human history.

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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Brave Fencer Kirby » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:47 pm

I'd argue that things do get better in the UC timeline. A lot better, actually.

The One Year War is a conflict between a legitimate (if bloated) democracy and a genocidal autocracy. The fight is long and bloody, but the democracy wins.

The Gryps Conflict is a direct result of that. The try to set things up to prevent it from happening again, but their efforts are highjacked by more would-be autocrats. Their coup is immediately denounced by the government proper once it's exposed, and eventually put down by loyalists within the army (even if they had to go rogue to do it).

Axis Zeon is a brief replay of the One Year War. It's put down relatively quickly, and has relatively little effect on the Earth Sphere, comparatively speaking.

The Neo Zeon movement is a rehash of the Gryps Conflict, but done right this time. An elite Federation unit puts down a violent rebelling before it can cause major damage.

F91 takes place in a relatively small area; only a handful of colonies are involved, rather than the whole Earth Sphere. Though brutal inside its sphere of influence, it's contained fairly quickly.

By Victory, the Federation has atrophied to almost nothing. Its power is extremely limited -- but the people in the Earth Sphere are able to rise up and successfully defend themselves from Zanscare anyway. One could see this as something of a maturation for the UC timeline; the Earth Sphere no longer needs a powerful, all-encompassing government to protect it from itself.

So the UC timeline as we see it starts with a group of genocidal madmen just barely stopped by all the force the Federation could muster, and progressively moves toward smaller, less destructive conflicts, until it ends with a threat put down more by a popular milita than the actual professional army -- keeping in mind that this was after two generations of piece broken only by one relatively short, minor conflict. Sounds like progress to me.
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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by flamingtroll » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:16 pm

Brave Fencer Kirby wrote: By Victory, the Federation has atrophied to almost nothing. Its power is extremely limited -- but the people in the Earth Sphere are able to rise up and successfully defend themselves from Zanscare anyway. One could see this as something of a maturation for the UC timeline; the Earth Sphere no longer needs a powerful, all-encompassing government to protect it from itself.

So the UC timeline as we see it starts with a group of genocidal madmen just barely stopped by all the force the Federation could muster, and progressively moves toward smaller, less destructive conflicts, until it ends with a threat put down more by a popular milita than the actual professional army -- keeping in mind that this was after two generations of piece broken only by one relatively short, minor conflict. Sounds like progress to me.
I am not so sure about that, considering the backdrop of Victory was a period of "warring states". It basically is just a free for all between the separate colonies. I guess F91's Cosmo Babylon is just the first of a series of similar conflicts. It seems to me it's more inline with the tradition decline of a superpower, like that of Rome or Britain. After all you would need a pretty horrible environment for a Zanscare like theocracy to gain that much support and where people would worship newtypes as some sort of saviour for mankind.

Actually I think a late UC anime that delves deeper into intercolony conflicts would be pretty interseting for a new UC story. It definitely beats the typical spacenoid vs earthnoid conflict and more or less smacks the idea of spacenoid being newtypes, or that newtypes are the future of mankind in the face.

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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Kuraudo » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:09 am

Actually, do we know what was going on in UC years 1 through 70? If it's mostly war-free, then that's a rather impressive accomplishment; 70 or so years of relative peace is something we don't even have.

Also, I second this:
Actually I think a late UC anime that delves deeper into intercolony conflicts would be pretty interseting for a new UC story.

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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Brave Fencer Kirby » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:21 pm

Early UC seems to be primarily building up the colonies themselves. We do know that it's not conflict free (there was the succession of Side 3 in the UC 0050s, and the Zabi coup in the 0060s) but there doesn't seem to be anything in the way of actual warfare that I'm aware of.
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Black Knight
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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Black Knight » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:36 pm

I think we can presume, based on the resentment seen in the animation, that the population of Earth did not quietly accept deportation to space colonies, but there's no indication this caused civil war to break out. Possibly some terrorism (as seen in the opening to Gundam Unicorn), and perhaps a nice low-level insurgency as groups try to avoid being rounded up and sent into space. This would, perhaps, explain the unsuitability of the Federation Ground Forces equipment for maneuver warfare. Wire-guided missile trucks and machinegun-armed jeeps are fine for dealing with unruly mobs, but have less practical use against other machines of war, but they seem to make up a large portion of the Federation's garrison units.

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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by DAG101 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:33 pm

One thing that should be considered is, the focus of Gundam is on the war...we don't get much of a look at those periods of peace in UC

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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Gatx » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:58 am

While it can be said that human history is filled with conflict happening somewhere, one of the themes in Gundam is that humanity should change for the better. As far as UC is concerned I think the Newtypes would be key to this as they seem to unconditionally be able to get along, if it weren't for the fact that the various factions forced them to fight. Take Lalah and Amuro, which is obvious, but even Amuro and Char would've been able to get along if they weren't on opposite sides.

Now considering how evolution works, because Newtypes are always used by the military, they rarely have the chance to have offspring, passing on their genes, keeping humanity from evolving.

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Black Knight
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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Black Knight » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:15 am

I'll have to disagree with your idea of Newtypes. The ability to "completely understand" other Newtypes seems to make a fair number of them believe that humanity isn't safe unless some of them are killed, leading them to be implacable enemies. Amuro may have wanted Char to give humanity a chance, and Char wanted Amuro to help him destroy Earth, and so they both wanted to get along with each other, but instead they were dead set on making the other one dead, because they were getting in the way.

Lalah, meanwhile, decided Amuro was her soul mate...and that they met just a little too late, because she'd rather die than let Amuro kill Char, and Amuro was damned well going to kill someone, though he lived to regret it.

I'm really not seeing a whole lot of pacifism from Newtypes, though there's plenty of "why can't we all just get along?" But the fact that they can understand each other seems to be the biggest reason they can't get along. They know what evil lurks in the hearts of man.

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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by J-Lead » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:54 pm

Gatx wrote:While it can be said that human history is filled with conflict happening somewhere, one of the themes in Gundam is that humanity should change for the better. As far as UC is concerned I think the Newtypes would be key to this as they seem to unconditionally be able to get along, if it weren't for the fact that the various factions forced them to fight. Take Lalah and Amuro, which is obvious, but even Amuro and Char would've been able to get along if they weren't on opposite sides.

Now considering how evolution works, because Newtypes are always used by the military, they rarely have the chance to have offspring, passing on their genes, keeping humanity from evolving.
Also, I don't think two newtypes can pop out newtype babies by default. We already know that a number of factors contribute to the development of a newtype but I don't think a very good deal of attention was ever put on genetics...

Belty's kids isn't canon, so I don't think it's a very good indication of this practice...
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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Gatx » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:52 am

Well Gundam X says that Newtypes are a mutation, which would imply genetics. On the other hand it is an AU.

I actually wasn't considering it, but even if it isn't canon, it is written by Tomino himself and I would imagine that at least his intentions for Gundam are applicable. However, my point is that Newtypes have never been given the chance to have kids at all, so you don't even know for sure whether or not that it's a trait that can be passed on.

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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Chris » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:07 pm

Gatx wrote:However, my point is that Newtypes have never been given the chance to have kids at all, so you don't even know for sure whether or not that it's a trait that can be passed on.
Except that this is wrong, because we have seen Newtypes have kids. Mirai Yashima is sometimes considered to be a low-level Newtype and had two kids, and we saw Hathaway exhibit some Newtype sensations in Char's Counterattack. In Victory Gundam you have Shakti Kari, who is a Newtype and the daughter of Zanscare queen Maria Pia Armonia, who is also a Newtype.

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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Cardi Doorl » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:36 pm

I always thought that UC Newtypeness was depicted as a sort of enlightenment or greater consciousness or awareness rather than a genetic trait. It's because of that that you get some arguable characters like Mirai or Jerid who blur the line between Newtype and Oldtype.

Or, at the very least, like J-Lead said they never make much connection between genetics and being a Newtype.
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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by domtropen » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:43 pm

IIRC lots of people who end up in space were forced to go against their will, and colonies were heavily taxed. What's more
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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Deacon Blues » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:30 pm

It's not a retcon.

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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Imperial » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:47 pm

As others have so succinctly put it, the Universal Century's war-torn history isn't so unusual. The history of the human race is a history of war.

What's really bizarre is that the Universal Century apparently went as long as it did without any bloodshed. True, there must have been some resistance to the formation of the Federation (and Unicorn apparently verifies this), but the Federation made it nearly eight full decades before its first full-blown war. That the Federation even *exists* is fairly optimistic.

Our geopolitics are not the Universal Century's geopolitics, but the notion of a global state is mind-boggling to me.
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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Brave Fencer Kirby » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:26 pm

Deacon Blues wrote:It's not a retcon.
What would you call it, then?
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Re: The Universal Century's inability to change for the bett

Post by Gatx » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:50 pm

Chris wrote:Except that this is wrong, because we have seen Newtypes have kids. Mirai Yashima is sometimes considered to be a low-level Newtype and had two kids, and we saw Hathaway exhibit some Newtype sensations in Char's Counterattack. In Victory Gundam you have Shakti Kari, who is a Newtype and the daughter of Zanscare queen Maria Pia Armonia, who is also a Newtype.
Honestly I never watched Victory, and I totally forgot about Mirai. The entire crew of the White Base actually are supposedly varying degrees of being Newtypes.

But anyway, does what you said that Newtypes can have Newtype kids?

And to turn away from Newtypes for a bit, I'm more surprised that the Federation lasts as long as it does, despite the so many attempts to take it down. A lot of the time I can't even fathom why the main characters fight for the Federation. In F91 they're kind of douche-y. The only possible reason is that their opposition always have a bit of a fascist flair to them, and the Federation is supposed to be some kind of Democracy.

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