As much as I really liked Zeta, warts and all, I've never been clear on why it got a reputation as best UC series ever. I'm speaking as someone who ranks it pretty highly, too, though I prefer First Gundam. Might be a generational change in tastes, as the fans who championed Zeta as the best series EVER were usually guys who were like 10-15 years older than me way back then in the early '00s. I find the Anglophone fandom's popular opinion of the series has kinda shifted away from the old worship, though, and that can be seen in this thread.
But yeah, I noticed on my second watch-through of Z Gundam (I was an ignorant dumb teenager on my first watch, more than a little blind to things like this) that Tomino seemed to be venting some serious issues with women throughout! It's not usually talked about much in Z Gundam discussion, is it? There are so many uncomfortable moments in the story that are basically "women! so irrational!!", with Reccoa's subplot being pretty blatant about it. I generally like Tomino's idiosyncrasies as a director, but I'll admit he sometimes shows some baggage from the era he was raised in. Whatever Tomino's deal with women was, I guess he'd largely worked through them by the time he worked on Turn A Gundam.
I'm actually interested in seeing what you'll have to say about ZZ Gundam in that vein, then. Especially the sometimes unsettling depictions of characters like Elpeo Ple and Glemy's girl-clone army.
Good point about how women Gundam pilots almost always have to "inherit" their Gundams from a male character - Christina Mackenzie and Karen Joshua are rare counterexamples.
Overall good read of a thread, though! M-308 Gunner's reviews do a good job of acting as conversation starters, so always good. I think it also helps that we seem to largely concur on the overall quality of each series, though differing on 0083, which I actually think you go too easy on
I consider it among the worst Gundam animated production despite having some of the most gorgeous combat scenes and lots of mecha designs I like; everything else about it is such a godawful mess that they more than cancel out the OVA's strengths.
Opinions about ZZ in the Anglophone fandom are an interesting case, too. I'd noticed a gradual sea change in much the same way as Zeta. Just as older fans from a few decades ago placed Z Gundam on a pedestal, they trashed ZZ Gundam as the worst thing ever and the black sheep of UC shows, right next to G-Saviour. Nowadays, the fans seem to generally
have an opinion closer to my own: that it's an uneven mess of a show, but it has its charms and a few solid moments to find in the mess (such as a pretty strong Earth arc). I somehow didn't feel totally
robbed of my time watching it, but that's not to say it isn't overall a weak show. I feel like there was a decent to solid story buried within the confused final product we got, but maybe some of the legends about ZZ Gundam's troubled production history are true?
On a final note, Gunner, in this thread's ancient OP you mentioned the possibility of maybe going back to see select other UC animations afterwards, assuming you aren't burned out on Gundam. You mentioned perhaps trying IGLOO, which caught my eye. My assessment of IGLOO: Makes 0083 look like it has an intelligent plot and well-built characters in comparison, and doesn't have truly good-looking battle scenes or mecha to compensate. Has magnified versions of all of 0083's weaknesses while having none of its strengths. Hope you enjoy!