Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

The place to discuss anything relating to anime or manga.
Post Reply
User avatar
Arbiter GUNDAM
Posts: 2912
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:36 pm
Location: Cruisin' the Universe w/Spaceman Spiff!!!
Contact:

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:12 pm

I've always been a bit fascinated by this statement that the Titans are "too evil" in Zeta. I think you could make the same argument about the Empire in Star Wars. Does it work for Star Wars? Yes. Does it work for Zeta? I think it does but I bet I'm in the minority! :)
I can fly if I ride the wind! Gori gori!

--Freyja Wion

User avatar
ShadowCell
Moderator
Posts: 5827
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:59 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by ShadowCell » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:16 pm

Star Wars doesn't get billed for its shades of gray between the two sides of the war, though. But the same people who tout Gundam as a masterpiece of moral ambiguity frequently say Zeta is the masterpiece of Gundam, the franchise that supposedly does moral ambiguity so well.

User avatar
Arbiter GUNDAM
Posts: 2912
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:36 pm
Location: Cruisin' the Universe w/Spaceman Spiff!!!
Contact:

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:24 pm

Then the question we have to ask ourselves is, is Gundam supposed to be about moral ambiguity? Or something else entirely?
I can fly if I ride the wind! Gori gori!

--Freyja Wion

flamingtroll
Posts: 456
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:13 pm

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by flamingtroll » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:37 pm

Is Titans too evil compared to the Zeon from OYW? With a couple of exceptions like Rambal Ral, Zeon was pretty much all evil in the First's portrayal. The Titan's antics are just there to balance that out, so that they would look just as evil as the Zeon. Remeber that Zeta came before things like 0080 and 0083 to "soften" up Zeon's image.

User avatar
Destiny_Gundam
Posts: 5102
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:36 pm
Location: Canada, eh.
Contact:

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by Destiny_Gundam » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:49 pm

padre wrote:That sounds pretty obviously false. Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most popular plays. It's obviously a tragedy. Macbeth isn't admirable. He's despicable. I can't imagine anyone has any affection for him. Examples could be multiplied; I gave several (including this one) in the preceding post.
You're forgetting something about MacBeth, though. MacBeth was a good man and valliant warrior. He loved his king and was loyal to his country. At first. The tragedy comes in where MacBeth screws everything up because he got tempted by the witches and his wife (I know some who blame everything on Lady MacBeth). At which point he becomes the complete monster he's known to be. Bad things happening to good people or good people going bad.

I won't deny the appeal of seeing horrible things happen to horrible people. But let me ask you this, what incentive is there to stick with these horrible people from beginning to end? What's to stop me from just skipping to the scene where they die? Another Tomino example is Ideon. That entire cast (save a few) were also unbearable and I dropped the TV series 10 episodes in. I have watched the death compilation on youtube, though, and that's all the payoff I really need to see.

Four was brought up and I agree her relationship with Kamille wasn't very well done. I get the 'Newtypes are automatically draw together' thing but that feels like a lazy cop out. Kamille's relationship with Fa wasn't much better. They're always having their 'recreation' but then there are moments like "I can't kiss you with your helmet on" which would suggest they're open about their feelings for each other but then they go back to acting like they aren't.

Well, Tomino's never been too strong in the romance department.
"In the end, the world doesn't really need a Superman... Just a brave one."

Ceiling_Squid
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:55 am

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by Ceiling_Squid » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:58 pm

Thrawnma wrote:Shadow, man. The point flew over your head. It's all fine and dandy for the men fighting to be shades of gray (not that many were in Zeta either), but the point I was making is that when you're fighting for someone who's decidedly EVIL (all caps) or you work for people who are EVIL (all caps), then those shades of gray are less shades of gray and more being tinted by association. I also defy anyone to tell me Gato was a morally gray dude. Given he committed two major terrorist attacks during a time of peace.
The same crap can be said about the original Gundam. And you seemed to hold it up as the prime example of ambiguity in the early francise. All we're doing is shuffling around the gray characters in the hierarchy, but ultimately Ramba Ral and Garma and Dozle were still working for a group that gassed millions of colonists and dropped a colony on Sydney. And all this before the first month of the war was half-over.

I'm not arguing that my examples are good or even that I agree on their grayness. I merely posit that the reason people are so conditioned to look at Gundam through the lens of moral ambiguity is that the OVAs have given it a reputation for it, whether you think of it as deserved or not.

I think that reputation comes from the fact that they place much more focus on characters who are actively working for Zeon. Yes, Garma and Ramba may have been decent people, but they were always secondary characters.

0080 opened the doors for this because they featured an entire main cast of sympathetic Zeon soldiers. They were the stars of the OVA. Killing set aside, I fail to see how 0080 has not been instrumental in making the fanbase see Gundam as a whole in a greyer light.

0083 set out to explain why the Titans were formed, an effort to at least justify why people in-universe might have initially thought they wre a necessary force.

08th MS team, as hamfisted as it was, was a blatant attempt to throw a Romeo and Juliet story into Gundam, by making two soldiers from opposite sides fall in love. On a superficial level, that got many people to think that Gundam was more morally-complex.

This is a bit off topic, but I'll come back to Zeta on this. Because the OVAs tended to focus on characters a bit more outside of the traditional mold for the original Gundam (ragtag group in a powerful ship fighting space nazis), they colored people's expectations.

That is why the Titans in Zeta get knocked for being blatantly evil. I'd argue that people are expecting a degree of moral ambiguity from Zeta that they really shouldn't, given that this wasn't the direction the franchise was attempting to take at the time. That's why I don't expect anything out of it. The ambitious thing that Zeta did, for the time, was that it turned the Federation from the inefficient generic UN Spacy equivalent into the main villians, basically doing a complete 180. That's what Zeta should get credit for, in how it worked in relation to the original Gundam. It took the notion of the Feddies being generally good guys and turned it on it's head. Ever since then, the Federation has been portrayed as corrupt and bloated.

But then, Axis Zeon showed up and were not exactly sympathetic either. If we see no ambiguity in the upper brass anymore, Thrawn, I'd suggest that perhaps Zeta Gundam did determine where the franchise was going after that...from then on out Gundam became a statement about two evils battling it out with one another.

Every OVA has gone to great lengths to show us corrupt characters in high places, yet there were generally decent people working for both sides. It's not so much gray vs. gray, it's often black vs. black, but with relateable characters at the bottom rungs that provide roles for the main cast. The ambiguity that people see in later works comes from the fact that we've got a set of likeable people that have to fight each other for the ambitions of corrupt men.

I don't go to Zeta Gundam looking for ambiguity, and that was the point I was trying to make several posts back. I don't think anyone else really should either, when they're rating it. It just wasn't Gundam's way at the time, except for the reare exceptions like Ral and Garma (even Dozle was a malicious angry fanatic at the very end. Hell, Amuro could "see" his palpable hate).
Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:Then the question we have to ask ourselves is, is Gundam supposed to be about moral ambiguity? Or something else entirely?
And THAT is the question I think we need to be asking.

User avatar
Soma Taozi
Posts: 606
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:10 pm
Location: Singing 'By Your Side' to a bunch of soldiers in Club Eden.

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by Soma Taozi » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:17 pm

Ceiling_Squid wrote: And THAT is the question I think we need to be asking.
And that is a very worthwhile question, BUT it has nothing to do with why Zeta is so loved.

Maybe someone should start a new thread with that question? It could get very philosophical...;)

flamingtroll
Posts: 456
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:13 pm

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by flamingtroll » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:21 pm

Destiny_Gundam wrote: I won't deny the appeal of seeing horrible things happen to horrible people. But let me ask you this, what incentive is there to stick with these horrible people from beginning to end? What's to stop me from just skipping to the scene where they die?
The same question can be asked about the incentive of watching horrible things happening to good people. Why go through the same old predictable melodrama? We all know we can just skip to the scene where they die. Your argument is basically that of preference.

User avatar
Destiny_Gundam
Posts: 5102
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:36 pm
Location: Canada, eh.
Contact:

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by Destiny_Gundam » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:26 pm

flamingtroll wrote:The same question can be asked about the incentive of watching horrible things happening to good people. Why go through the same old predictable melodrama? We all know we can just skip to the scene where they die. Your argument is basically that of preference.
Because since you like them you want to spend as much time with them as possible before their inevitable fate.
"In the end, the world doesn't really need a Superman... Just a brave one."

User avatar
padre
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:02 am

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by padre » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:45 pm

Destiny_Gundam wrote:You're forgetting something about MacBeth, though.

...

I won't deny the appeal of seeing horrible things happen to horrible people. But let me ask you this, what incentive is there to stick with these horrible people from beginning to end? What's to stop me from just skipping to the scene where they die?
I don't want to get bogged down in the finer points of Shakespeare interpretation, since that's beside the point, but you can play Macbeth either as giving in to temptation or as getting the chance to do what he always wanted. I favor the latter, but never mind that. Just pick a different example. Richard III is another one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, and there's no question that Richard is bad from the moment he steps on stage. For that matter he's bad from the moment he steps on stage in Henry VI.

I've already said (more than once) that I don't know why people are attracted to tragedy. I just know that some are and have been for a long time. And Zeta is that sort of a show.
Happiness is a warm gun.
Bang bang, shoot shoot.

User avatar
Destiny_Gundam
Posts: 5102
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:36 pm
Location: Canada, eh.
Contact:

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by Destiny_Gundam » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:10 pm

I doubt MacBeth took the chance to do what he always wanted since he did hesitate to do the deed and it took much coaxing from Lady MacBeth to get him to agree to it.

Anyways, some reasons I think people like tragedy are A) seeing others miserable make them less miserable by comparison and B) They see bad people suffer horrible fates and project their own tormentors onto those characters.
"In the end, the world doesn't really need a Superman... Just a brave one."

User avatar
Black Knight
Posts: 598
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:20 am

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by Black Knight » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:27 pm

Ceiling_Squid wrote:The same crap can be said about the original Gundam. And you seemed to hold it up as the prime example of ambiguity in the early francise. All we're doing is shuffling around the gray characters in the hierarchy, but ultimately Ramba Ral and Garma and Dozle were still working for a group that gassed millions of colonists and dropped a colony on Sydney. And all this before the first month of the war was half-over.

I'm not arguing that my examples are good or even that I agree on their grayness. I merely posit that the reason people are so conditioned to look at Gundam through the lens of moral ambiguity is that the OVAs have given it a reputation for it, whether you think of it as deserved or not.

*SNIP*

That is why the Titans in Zeta get knocked for being blatantly evil. I'd argue that people are expecting a degree of moral ambiguity from Zeta that they really shouldn't, given that this wasn't the direction the franchise was attempting to take at the time. That's why I don't expect anything out of it. The ambitious thing that Zeta did, for the time, was that it turned the Federation from the inefficient generic UN Spacy equivalent into the main villians, basically doing a complete 180. That's what Zeta should get credit for, in how it worked in relation to the original Gundam. It took the notion of the Feddies being generally good guys and turned it on it's head. Ever since then, the Federation has been portrayed as corrupt and bloated.
Yes, Zeta showed the Federation as corrupt and bloated. Pretty much exactly like they did in First Gundam. Or is it a "good guy" trait to practically abandon a warship full of civilians to their own devices, constantly shuffling them around to someone else's jurisdiction? Because that's exactly what happens to White Base for the first half of MSG. Luna II: Sorry, no room here, we'll send you to Earth. Earth: Crap, you're out in the middle of nowhere in eastern North America. Hey, rather than coming south to Jaburo, uh, fly east, cross the continent, then the pacific, then all of Asia and Europe, and we'll let you dock in Ireland. Then you can go to Jaburo.

In MSG, there are all of three Federation characters not on the White Base who actually try to help it (rather than shuffling it off), Matilda, Woody, Revil. Guess what happens to them? They all die. Bright is constantly noting that it's insane what the Federation high command expects him, a just-graduated (and probably graduated-early) officer to do with a crew full of walking wounded, trainees, and impressed civilians, until he just gives up and tries to keep everyone alive.
Ceiling_Squid wrote:Every OVA has gone to great lengths to show us corrupt characters in high places, yet there were generally decent people working for both sides. It's not so much gray vs. gray, it's often black vs. black, but with relateable characters at the bottom rungs that provide roles for the main cast. The ambiguity that people see in later works comes from the fact that we've got a set of likeable people that have to fight each other for the ambitions of corrupt men.

I don't go to Zeta Gundam looking for ambiguity, and that was the point I was trying to make several posts back. I don't think anyone else really should either, when they're rating it. It just wasn't Gundam's way at the time, except for the reare exceptions like Ral and Garma (even Dozle was a malicious angry fanatic at the very end. Hell, Amuro could "see" his palpable hate).
Well, the OVAs showing corrupt characters in high places is very obviously taking its cues from First Gundam, which showered high commands with egomaniacs, sociopaths, and the worst of corrupt bureaucrats.

And Zeta carries this on, as no one would call Wong Lee a "good guy" even though he's bankrolling the AEUG. And AE is constantly forcing AEUG to do things they don't want to do (starting with the Jaburo Drop), and in case people missed the subtlety, also kicking the crap out of children for the heck of it.

User avatar
Brave Fencer Kirby
Posts: 1309
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:14 pm

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by Brave Fencer Kirby » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:32 pm

Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:Then the question we have to ask ourselves is, is Gundam supposed to be about moral ambiguity? Or something else entirely?
Gundam has plenty of moral ambiguity, but not in the way that most people talk about it. Gundam's moral ambiguity comes from the fact that it has good people working for evil factions and evil people working for good factions, not from the idea that the factions aren't really "good" or "evil".

The Earth Federation is good and the Zeons are evil. Full stop. There's no ambiguity there -- Zeon launches a war out of nowhere with an opening salvo that murders half of humanity and then proceeds to wage a war of conquest. You can't get much more evil than that. The Federation is admittedly mostly good by default, as the guys fighting the evil evil Zeon, but still -- nothing the Federation does could really be called "evil".

Zeta is the exception to this, what with the Titans being a splinter group of the Federation. Even then, though, the worst you can accuse them of is incompetence rather than actual evilness -- as soon as someone manages to show them what a bunch of evil murderous bastards the Titans are (ie, the speech at Dakar), they promptly switch sides and support the AEUG instead of the Titans.

So where does the moral ambiguity come from? The characters, not the factions. Mobile Suit Gundam takes pains to show the majority of Zeon soldiers are normal people, not as genocidal psychopaths. From honorable commanders like Ramba Ral down to grunt soldiers like the pilots who drop supplies for White Base's refugees during the North American arc, Zeon has plenty of decent, kind human beings working for it.

Zeta, ironically, is the exception to this as well. How many Titans do we see that are decent people? That's already been discussed in this thread, so I won't go over it again, but suffice to say that you can count them on one hand. I'd also argue that Zeta's factions are even less morally ambiguous than MSG's are; in MSG, you can argue that each side is simply fighting for their country, heedless of greater moral considerations. In Zeta, though, you have the AEUG (rebels who are actually fighting against their own government in order to do what they think is right) and the Titans (an oppressive space-gestapo that betray the very people they're meant to protect in order to seize power for themselves). Zeta lacks whatever ambiguity MSG had.

What bothers me is that Zeon is retroactively becoming morally ambiguous, with the release of the various OVAs and sidestories and the like. 08th MS Team shows both sides in an equally bad light by the end of the series, while 0083 shows Zeon as the more principled of the two sides (even while they're plotting mass murder... again!). Unicorn seems to be heading down that path too, from what I've read about the "UC Charter" (which hasn't actually shown up in the animation much yet).

A related phenomenon is the Federation retroactively becoming more and more incompetent. 08th MS Team has commanders like Captain Ryer throwing away the lives of the men under his command both callously and pointlessly, while people like Norris Packard make heroic last stands and completely dominate their opponents (the main characters in this case!) even while sacrificing themselves. 0080 has a handful of commandos taking out an entire Federation base, then one guy taking out all eight of the Gray Phantom's MS by himself, then a Zaku II singlehandedly disabling a Gundam. 0083 has the entire EFF outsmarted and outfought by a handful of rag-tag Zeon remnants. Unicorn has a ludicrously lopsided kill count in the Sleeves' favor, despite the fact that Londo Bell showed themselves to be a vastly more capable force only a few years before during CCA.

It honestly makes me think that the people working on Gundam (at least UC Gundam) these days have lost sight of what Tomino was trying to do with Gundam. The ultimate theme of Gundam has always been the idea that some things are good and some things are evil, and that people need to oppose evil, even if it's painful to do so. This is the case through all of the TV series up through Gundam 00. The UC OVAs, however, have been slowly backing away from the "good vs evil" theme by de-emphasizing the evil of Zeon and emphasizing the negative aspects of the Federation; meanwhile, Gundam 00 (and especially the movie) makes a sharp U-turn away from the "fighting is the right thing to do sometimes" theme by making communication the key to peace (an idea that was discussed and explicitly rejected by earlier Gundam shows!).
Fighting evil so you don't have to!

flamingtroll
Posts: 456
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:13 pm

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by flamingtroll » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:01 pm

Destiny_Gundam wrote: Anyways, some reasons I think people like tragedy are A) seeing others miserable make them less miserable by comparison and B) They see bad people suffer horrible fates and project their own tormentors onto those characters.
I find that almost derisive. I can easily say that people like to see characters they like to project onto them their own insecurities. Either imaginating themselves as someone superior of their own real selves, or as having abstract targets of adoration that they cannot find in real life. Considerating the theme of Newtypes in Gundam, it makes sense for Tomino to portray flawed characters so that they could potentially rise above it, or end badly trying in the case of Zeta TV.

User avatar
Destiny_Gundam
Posts: 5102
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:36 pm
Location: Canada, eh.
Contact:

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by Destiny_Gundam » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:25 pm

I said some, not all.

We are talking about escapist entertainment here so having flawed characters that don't over come those flaws has a real cynical message behind it that is sure to leave most of your audience feeling terrible.
"In the end, the world doesn't really need a Superman... Just a brave one."

User avatar
Seraphic
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:56 am
Location: Inside the barrel of Wing Zero's left Buster Rifle.
Contact:

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by Seraphic » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:57 pm

Zeta characters didn't have to be as bad as they were. I think tragic characters (causing their own downfall) can be written in a way that doesn't make them aggravating, inhuman, or unrelatable.

For instance, take Rollo from Code Geass. He was crazy, devoid of morals, and an extremist, but I understood him and often sympathized with him. Although he was warped and delusional, he wanted to protect his family no matter what. I have family and people I love, so I know exactly how that's like. I despised Rollo for what he did to Shirley, but I was also surprisingly hurt when he died, too. It really touched me to see how far he would go for someone else. I mean, he managed to win over Lelouch in the end, too, and you know Lelouch can be a cold, cold bastard.

I liked Rollo's character for all it was worth.

Now, Zeta's characters can be crazy, irrational, delusional extremists, but they often don't make sense to the viewer. Just what the heck was Reccoa's problem? Was she just extremely lonely and empty or something? Get a vibe. And keep your personal problems to yourself while we're in the middle of a god damn war. Her problem was just so vague and unclear.

Why did Sarah never give anything she did a second thought? What the hell was Katz's problem? Someone needed to teach that boy what the stakes of war were like. If I were Bright I would have shot Katz in the leg and sent him home.

Just what was Scirroco doing? He seemed like he was there to cause trouble for everybody and manipulate people with no clear end goal.
"Red particles are bad, they mutate you into... dead? But green/blue particles are good, apparently, for reasons and for purposes yet to be determined. Isn't science sometimes nicely color-coded?"
-Antares

GW: The Sword . Sera's Art . Gameplay . The Lost Citadel

Imperial
Posts: 1017
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:52 pm
Location: Athens, GA
Contact:

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by Imperial » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:16 pm

Seraphic wrote:Now, Zeta's characters can be crazy, irrational, delusional extremists, but they often don't make sense to the viewer. Just what the heck was Reccoa's problem? Was she just extremely lonely and empty or something? Get a vibe. And keep your personal problems to yourself while we're in the middle of a god damn war. Her problem was just so vague and unclear.

Why did Sarah never give anything she did a second thought? What the hell was Katz's problem? Someone needed to teach that boy what the stakes of war were like. If I were Bright I would have shot Katz in the leg and sent him home.

Just what was Scirroco doing? He seemed like he was there to cause trouble for everybody and manipulate people with no clear end goal.
I am by no means an expert on all things Zeta, but some of these things come up in the animation.

Reccoa was basically an adrenaline junkie. She had lost any sort of real attachment in the One Year War, and she fought on solely out of a desire to keep herself "in the action," as it were. That Quattro ignored her was symptomatic of, but really the sole reason for, her decision to jump ship. She wanted to feel alive. Only a combination of being in battle and being appreciated could do that for her. With Quattro ignoring her and the AEUG becoming increasingly overprotective of her after the close call at Jaburo, she no longer had anything to giver her that fix. Sirocco could, so she let him.

(That said, she's still a selfish, horrible person who deserved what she got for siding with the Titans because she was bored and lonely.)

Sara is implied to a point of outright statement to be a Cyber Newtype. And even if she isn't, she's a young girl thrust into a life-or-death situation with only a master manipulator as her guide and confidant. Of course she's going to wind up a blind little child soldier.

Katz was just young and dumb...at first. A lot of his reactions are almost understandable for a young person confronted by the horrors of war and the contradictions in the world around him. He wants to rush at a problem headlong and solve it in the most direct way possible. The problem is that he never ever learned from any of his mistakes. That's what took him over the line and made him an unlikable character for me. However, I can see what Tomino was probably going for: Someone to embody the recklessness of youth.

Sirocco clearly states his goals a few times. He's a twisted visionary. He talks about his vision of a world ruled by a woman, and he's doing his best to bring that about by seizing as much power as he possibly can as a sort of elaborate preparation ceremony for this mystery woman's ascent. There's a lot of talk about what a mysterious character Sirocco is, but he lays down his goals pretty clearly. Does he have all the power? No? Then he's going to do what he can to get that power.

Granted, there is some room for doubt about his vision. Perhaps he's just making it all up to make his power-grabbing seem less selfish, but it doesn't much matter. He's power-mad and only lusts for more of that addictive power. That's all we really need to know.
This space for rent

User avatar
Destiny_Gundam
Posts: 5102
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:36 pm
Location: Canada, eh.
Contact:

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by Destiny_Gundam » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:06 pm

Imperial wrote:Reccoa was basically an adrenaline junkie. She had lost any sort of real attachment in the One Year War, and she fought on solely out of a desire to keep herself "in the action," as it were. That Quattro ignored her was symptomatic of, but really the sole reason for, her decision to jump ship. She wanted to feel alive. Only a combination of being in battle and being appreciated could do that for her. With Quattro ignoring her and the AEUG becoming increasingly overprotective of her after the close call at Jaburo, she no longer had anything to giver her that fix. Sirocco could, so she let him.
Then what was with all that stuff about men and women she kept spouting out?
"In the end, the world doesn't really need a Superman... Just a brave one."

2NA Fish
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:45 pm

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by 2NA Fish » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:42 pm

flamingtroll wrote:I just want to point out that many "old" fans of gundam, those that watched 0079 as a kid didn't necessary like Zeta either, for various reasons.
Just wanted to parrot this. I'm only 31, and I started with Wing sometime in the mid 90's, so I'm not a part of the original Gundam generation, but I do know a few things about Zeta's initial reception.

When Zeta was first released in Japan in the early 80's there were many First Gundam fans who were furious with various aspects of it. They complained about everything from mech designs to music to plot, and most of all they didn't like what was done to some of the old characters. Katz was awesome and very likeable in First, and many people were sad that the nicest of the 3 kids became the annoying brat he was in Zeta. Apparently the hate was as bad as what some people had for SEED, and split the fanbase the same way SEED did.

Personally, I loved Zeta. However, it's hard to watch due to the old style pacing and language and cultural barriers. The newer anime are more accessible to us because global culture has become a bit more homogenised in the last 2 decades. The old anime you miss out on so much because they've got all these really subtle undertones that go completely over your head if you haven't got a good understanding of the traditional Japanese mindset.

Reccoa was a bit of a caricature of women's liberation in Japan from a male perspective. Traditionally, women were expected to shut up and take what they were given, like good ol Mirai. Divorce was slowly coming in to many countries after the 70's, and Reccoa's actions have many parallels with it. What she did was unacceptable in her society, she paid for it, and that sentiment was the same way Japanese were looking at women's liberation at that time. Emma chose to play along, Reccoa refused. Tomino has written a heap about women's role in society, and he has a great respect for the female gender. Scirroco's idea about women ruling the world is actually his own view - women are the only ones capable of creating life. Naturally the future is up to them.

It's like that joke of the ninja in the restaurant that flipped out and killed the whole town because someone dropped a spoon. It's an exaggeration of course, but a lot of the stuff in Zeta and other old anime make no sense unless you've got an idea of all those strange formalities and customs the Japanese have, or a general knowledge of current events at the time the anime was made. I found that I could appreciate Zeta a lot more when I finally watched it again after some years of Japanese study.

That being said, I liked the fact Kamiyu was a horrible horrible person who fired vulcans at unarmed people and punched girls in the gut, then complained "Violence is not the way" when Wong beat the crap out of him. After a look on Nicovideo, I realised even a lot of Japanese fans find his deeds outrageous.

Loved Wong as well. He reminded me of my father. Strong sense of honour and stuff, learned and strong, but just didn't listen to anyone but himself, making him a relic of yesteryear. I think the same can be said for the series in many ways. It's that old relic that is fun to study because it's so different from what we know today. We've advanced since then, and yet there's so much we can learn from an older way of doing things.

Do I think watching 00 is more fun? You bet! 00 had me bursting out in laughter on so many occasions. But for me, the new series are like Coke and the old series are like fine wine. You're gonna feel really sick if you drink wine the same way you drink Coke.

User avatar
JacobYBM
Posts: 133
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 9:45 pm

Re: Zeta Gundam: Why is it so great?

Post by JacobYBM » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:17 pm

2NA Fish: That's some pretty interesting stuff! I have to agree, looking back at older anime and the world they were created in is quite interesting because of how different it is from the modern view.


On the topic of retroactivity, I think that's a non-issue. Western fans are the only ones who seem to be looking at all of Gundam as if it were in some strict continuity. Stories are just stories. The prequel titles are obviously going to contradict some things in the original shows, but strict continuity has never been Sunrise's agenda. We have to detatch ourselves from this sense that these things matter or are some sort of big deal.

Post Reply