Watching the UC series for the first time

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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by M-308 Gunner » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:10 pm

Zeonista wrote:
HellCat wrote:I think there's some worth to watching G-Saviour once you've gone through the UC stuff. It's really your best chance to judge if it works or not. Personally I think it's acceptable as a low budget sci-fi movie but sadly dissapointing as a UC Gundam one.
G-Saviour is the SyFY Gundam movie. :twisted:

M-308 Gunner: Are you building the standard MS-07B Gouf? That one has gotten popular again recently thanks to GBF. I still need to get the Norris Custom HG-UC, although I have been satisfied with the 0080 one for many years. (I have the regular and the shiny finish Gouf. "This is no Build Fighter, boy!" :lol:
Honestly I kinda detest mediocre cg animation so I'll probably skip g savior.

Standard gouf is my plan, but I'd love to build the norris custom further down the road, as well as the ground war set from 08the ms team.

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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by M-308 Gunner » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:12 am

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam

Capsule:
ANIMATION: B
CHARACTERS: C+
MECH DESIGN: A
PLOT: B+
OVERALL: B

Favorite mecha: Hyaku-Shiki like WOW, Methuss, Pscyo Gundam, Super Gundam, Hambrabi, Nemo
Favorite character(s): Quattro, Bright, Haman, Scirroco, Fa, Yazan

Review: Holy balls, did it really take me two years to finish this show?

Good lord.

So, it's going to be a bit tough to review this, since I watched it in three distinct chunks. I saw the first 14 or 15 episodes back in 2013 when I started this thread, picked it back up in 2014 or so, and finally finished the last 10 or so episodes late last year.

Wow, so, for what's generally considered to be the sacred cow in the Gundam hierarchy, I have very mixed feelings about Zeta. I mentioned before my thoughts about Camille being Amuro on nitro, and things don't really improve for him as the show continues. I got very confused when Camille and Katz would do insane things like disobey direct orders, run off on their own, and bring enemies into the ship, and have basically no consequences. Seeing as the universe is now apparently brimming with newtypes, I didn't understand why these actions didn't result in half the cast of the show being court marshaled. I think one time Katz gets thrown into the brig for 20 minutes, then walks out later when he felt like it.

Oh and I could never quite understand what Camille was ranting and raving about, and he treats Fa like crap for no reason. The only time I sympathized him was when he lost his mind after the Titans gassed a colony.

And then Rosamia shows up at the end just to repeat the exact same plot as with Four, except with some small details changed.

Speaking of Rosamia, I did not quite care for how 90% of the female cast was shoved into the fridge, and oftentime in conjunction with crazy "this is what it means to be a woman" dialogue that made me wonder about Tomino's personal life.

Plus, although Zeta's plot is not overly complex (basically Titans vs. AEUG), the show is atrocious at visually reminding the viewer who is working for whom. Everyone now pilots craft that look like Zeon suits - and confusingly, the Zeon are still out there, and that's a big plot point - and having huge gaps between viewing periods did not help me in this regard.

So all that negativity stated, I also came off with a strange affection for the world of Zeta Gundam. First of all, the mech design had this crazy throw-stuff-at-the-wall feel, with everything having bizarre colors and new model mecha appearing in what felt like almost every episode for a while.

I enjoyed watching the different villains scheme against each other, although I seriously forgot who Scirocco was working for at one point. Anything involving Quattro was great. And the space battles, and the feeling the show gives you of being inside the 360-degree viewpoint cockpits...I loved that.

Oh and the second intro is sooooo good.

I think that's all I will say for Zeta at this point - what do you guys like about the show?

Incidentally, I have started ZZ Gundam and I'm well aware of its reputation. However I'm finding myself enjoying the early episodes quite a bit. Perhaps because Zeta left me feeling so conflicted, the straightforward antics of this show are almost...refreshing? But I totally see how the mood whiplash would have thrown people off at the time, especially people who loved Zeta.

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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by Amion » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:05 pm

All I will say is that watching any show over three years makes confusion far, far more likely. It's easy to forget certain details that way.;)
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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by HalfDemonInuyasha » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:44 pm

Kamille actually does get A LOT better by later in the series while Katz could be seen as a sort of a "What if Kamille didn't mature" type. Even points his hyper mega launcher at Katz and threatens to shoot him down in the G-Defenser if he didn't return to the Argama when he tries to launch and follow Kamille without permission because of wanting to find Sarah.
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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by Amion » Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:27 pm

Was he after Sarah? I'm pretty sure it was because he was trying to prove to Kamille he wasn't so hot and should have back-up, like how a lot of people treat Katz throughout, while Kamille was long past that point in his standing within the AEUG/combat ability. It was to the point Katz would get in the way, so Kamille in exasperation finally decided to show Katz what happens to soldiers who never get a clue and belligerently refuse to learn.
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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by Brave Fencer Kirby » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:57 pm

Kamille does improve significantly over the course of the series, but given that he starts the series by sucker punching a Space Gestapo officer for thinking his name is girly and then steals a giant robot in order to terrorize people with it before running off to join an anti-government rebel group, a significant improvement from "dangerous lunatic" still leaves him at "largely unlikable", at least for me.
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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by Amion » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:58 pm

Brave Fencer Kirby wrote:Kamille does improve significantly over the course of the series, but given that he starts the series by sucker punching a Space Gestapo officer for thinking his name is girly and then steals a giant robot in order to terrorize people with it before running off to join an anti-government rebel group, a significant improvement from "dangerous lunatic" still leaves him at "largely unlikable", at least for me.
Remember those "terrorized people" were genocidal maniacs, and that rebel group was made up mostly of Federation patriots trying to stop the Titans, a rogue element.
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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by Imperial » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:13 pm

Amion wrote:
Brave Fencer Kirby wrote:Kamille does improve significantly over the course of the series, but given that he starts the series by sucker punching a Space Gestapo officer for thinking his name is girly and then steals a giant robot in order to terrorize people with it before running off to join an anti-government rebel group, a significant improvement from "dangerous lunatic" still leaves him at "largely unlikable", at least for me.
Remember those "terrorized people" were genocidal maniacs, and that rebel group was made up mostly of Federation patriots trying to stop the Titans, a rogue element.
The Titans were hardly genocidal, and I can't exactly call someone a patriot for becoming an armed insurgency against an arm of your own government.

The Titans were awful and needed to go, but you're missing that Cammy is one step removed from a school shooter. The dude was off his rocker and threw himself into a kill-or-be-killed scenario for petty, selfish reasons.
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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by Amion » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:04 pm

Genocidal, no, you're right. That doesn't stop them from being horrible people trying to take over the Earth Federation, committing war crimes as they went. They may not have slaughtered half of Humanity, but millions of people still died for no good reason.

As for saying the AEUG Federation officers not being patriotic, it's a bit of a mixed bag. The Titans were already starting an insurgancy, which is a sneaky form of rebellion. They simply stood up and decided to stop them. That's pretty patriotic, fighting for the ideals of the nation rather than submitting stupidly to mass murder and dicatorship, or whatever Jamitov or Scirroco intended.

As for Kamille, all I will say is that he didn't kill anyone for no reason. Calling him a school shooter is like saying Luke Skywalker was a wicked terrorist. sure, Kamille had serious anger issues, but he wasn't wandering around stomping on school kids, he was scaring a bunch of thugs. And no, he didn't kill them, when he clearly could have. Was it right of him, hardly, but he was far from seeking out innocent civilians in a fit of psychopathic bloodlust. He knew about Titan brutality, recall. He hated them for a lot more than just being thought of as a girl.
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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by M-308 Gunner » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:25 am

Yeah, for as much as I came off not liking Kamille much, I wouldn't say that he killed without justification. He really did believe that he was fighting against an immoral enemy, and I don't think he was wrong at that.

I want to add how much I like the mech design in Zeta. I like it a lot. Those 80s hard lines. I just (mostly) finished a HGUC Hyaku-Shiki and I'm really please with it. I'm excited to build some more Zeta suits, particularly some of the weirder Titans ones.

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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by HalfDemonInuyasha » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:49 am

M-308 Gunner wrote:Yeah, for as much as I came off not liking Kamille much, I wouldn't say that he killed without justification. He really did believe that he was fighting against an immoral enemy, and I don't think he was wrong at that.

I want to add how much I like the mech design in Zeta. I like it a lot. Those 80s hard lines. I just (mostly) finished a HGUC Hyaku-Shiki and I'm really please with it. I'm excited to build some more Zeta suits, particularly some of the weirder Titans ones.
That's one of the more realistic things I like about the UC era; the more obvious gray areas when it comes to people.

The Titans leadership was definitely evil, corrupt, etc., but of course, that doesn't mean every individual Titans member, if Emma and even Jerid was any indication, is necessarily evil/extreme. I'm sure many (lower level) Titans members truly believed that they were simply doing what they were created for; preventing the rise of another Principality of Zeon and putting an end to what was left of the original.

Same vice versa with the AEUG and that, as Reccoa was one example, I'm sure not everyone part of it is necessarily a saint either. I wouldn't be surprised if a number of at least former Zeon soldiers who were part of the AEUG merely saw it as another opportunity for taking down the Earth Federation.

I guess it further shows that one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.

And yeah, Zeta definitely had some of the more unique mobile suit designs, especially something like the Baund Doc.
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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by Imperial » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:29 pm

The Gryps Conflict is one of the single most black and white conflicts in the entire UC saga.

I just said the Titans weren't genocidal, but they were almost Snidely Whiplash-like in their tendency to nuke, gas and blast first and ask questions later -- if at all. A major theme of Zeta is the Titans having lost sight of whatever anti-Zeon mission statement that founded the group. They were trying to amass power for power's sake. Or did you miss the part where the anti-Zeon special ops force sided with Axis Zeon?

Emma, the good Titan, and Reccoa, the bad AEUGer, defected to the opposite sides, so that doesn't mean much. It's hard to fault the AEUG for having Reccoa when she ran away or credit the Titans for Emma when she bailed on them so quickly.

Jerid went ahead with the colony drop and stuck with the Titans well after it became clear they were a loose cannon, so I can't really see him as a very good person. So much of his character development is about giving into his rage and bitterness to become a shell of a man.

Can you give me examples of Zeons within the AEUG not named Quattro, Apolly or Roberto -- who all had to pass for ex-Feds to get a foot in the door? The spirit of the AEUG is pretty staunchly anti-Zeon, as comparing the Titans to Zeon or bringing up the Axis alliance are some of the most odious insults they can lay at the Titans' collective feet.

Barring the decision to blow a hole in a colony wall (which no one really held the AEUG accountable for anyway), the AEUG were the white knights working to overthrow the farcically evil Titans. Tomino had none of the nuance in Zeta that made the Federation and Zeon soldiers so complex with so little screen time in '79.
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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by Cardi Doorl » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:48 pm

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!
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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by M-308 Gunner » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:18 am

Yeah, I really don't think I'll be watching Igloo.

When I get through ZZ, the docket will be CCA, then probably Unicorn. I'm actually also watching 00 for the first time as I'm watching ZZ (I'm a few eps into the second season of 00).

I met one of those old-guard types last year who sung high the praises of Zeta but considered ZZ to be lower than dirt. This is also a person who probably hasn't watched a Gundam series made in the last 20 years, and refused to show any excitement over The Force Awakens because it wasn't a direct adaptation of the Thrawn trilogy. So, not a person I share many ideals with.

Anyway ZZ so far is still as I said above - strangely refreshing in the face of Zeta's relentless bleakness. And it still has those crazy overwrought 80s mecha with loud, neon colors, and sometimes that's all it takes to satisfy me.

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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by Zeonista » Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:05 pm

M-308 Gunner wrote:Yeah, I really don't think I'll be watching Igloo.
S'okay, IGLOO is for the old school OYW fans and diehard Zeonistas. Go watch the old classics first and see what made us all fans back in the day.
I met one of those old-guard types last year who sung high the praises of Zeta but considered ZZ to be lower than dirt. This is also a person who probably hasn't watched a Gundam series made in the last 20 years, and refused to show any excitement over The Force Awakens because it wasn't a direct adaptation of the Thrawn trilogy. So, not a person I share many ideals with.
I am familiar with that sort of person. :D Yeah, hold the old favorites close, but don't be afraid to check out the new stuff, it just might be good!
Anyway ZZ so far is still as I said above - strangely refreshing in the face of Zeta's relentless bleakness. And it still has those crazy overwrought 80s mecha with loud, neon colors, and sometimes that's all it takes to satisfy me.
For a lot of us who first watched it back in the day coming out of Zeta... Man, talk about mood whiplash! The light-hearted mood seemed rather forced at times, and the character actions were really random at times. As in all things, subtitles helped, as I got a better appreciation for things and the character actions became a little less random. Only a little less mind you... Once they got to Axis the first time & Puru and Haman-sama appeared suddenly we had a UC Gundam series again. Beecha & Mondo still should have gotten tossed out the airlock in their underwear after their second or third side-switching scheme.

Yeah, all those MTV-colored Neo-Zeon MS...really colorful, yeah. Well, there were a few good & sensible designs under the garish paint. A few, anyway, and the Unicorn versions showed their true potential. Double Zeta was proof a combiner could work in a UC anime, and be tough sometimes.
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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by ShadowCell » Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:48 pm

IGLOO is okay if you come at it as sort of a parody of the fanatical Zeon fanboying. i mean, it's about an engineering unit whose job is to watch unstable looney toons and brainwashed children rush headlong into oblivion inside ill-conceived death traps for propoganda purposes. between that and the hardcore Nazi aesthetic, it kinda comes off mockingly.

but it also seems, at least to me, that it wasn't meant to be a parody. so your mileage may vary.

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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by Zeonista » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:48 am

ShadowCell wrote:IGLOO is okay if you come at it as sort of a parody of the fanatical Zeon fanboying. i mean, it's about an engineering unit whose job is to watch unstable looney toons and brainwashed children rush headlong into oblivion inside ill-conceived death traps for propoganda purposes. between that and the hardcore Nazi aesthetic, it kinda comes off mockingly.
I think the quick war-movie referential title is Das Mobile Suit. It's all futile in the end, but there is drama and cool mecha and a hot redhead.
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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by Amion » Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:30 pm

I just started a rewatch of ZZ, having just finished Zeta. I'm astonished at how this time around the story is proving vastly more entertaining than the first time. Somehow the humor feels far more reasonable and even endearing to me, while at the same time providing good character development in spite of it. Now I can only agree with Tomino, the answer to Zeta should and was ZZ's lightheartedness.

The only reason I can think of for why I didn't enjoy ZZ during my debut watch was less the antics, though they may tire me as time goes on, but how the transition from the ending plot of Z vanishes by ZZ. We never hear about what becomes of Gryps (and never do, so far as I'm aware, within the TV series themselves. All we know is that it somehow ends up with the Federation at Luna II), we don't get even the remotest hint of the political aftershocks that clearly sweep the globe in the wake of the Gryps War and the rise of the First Neo Zeon War.

It doesn't get clearer, either, for a while, as is typical of Tomino. Disregarding that, however, the themes and new characters are ringing true. Once again the Bald Wizard strikes, I guess.
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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by Rex » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:51 pm

I thought I'd mention that I've heard before that Tomino considers himself pro-female. You could even say he's a feminist.

But he was also in a dark place during the time that he made Zeta. I've heard he had two really dark swings in his life. During Zeta and during V, and that he struggled with depression that only went away with Turn A.

As comparison, he made Space Runaway Ideon I think right before Zeta Gundam, and it's even bleaker. Like, holy cow. I won't watch that show.

That being said, I liked Zeta's darkness. Although I can't stand Katz, we all knew he had to bite the dust. The fact that he never got better made me angry because I really wanted him to develop out of his annoying phase and instead he bumbles right in to death's grip.

I loved Emma and Henken's relationship.

I thought Kamille was disturbed. He was attacking people for the slightest issue. He was INTRODUCED doing this to his Judo instructor. I'd say he was definitely one step away from a school shooter. Not the planned mass murder sort, though. More like "Oh look at this machine gun. I'll just spray in to the windows of that class with the teacher I don't like. Yeah. Screw him."

He inability to feel much loss over his mother and father for the reasons you should feel loss made him seem sociopathic, and his struggle with finding a way to direct his anger made him really interesting. By the end of the series, he finally has the Titans to direct that anger at. He's found a genuine cause to fight for and it gives him a healthy road to develop down... too bad about that climax.

Although all of the female characters get fridged, Tomino wrote them all well. He just never has an issue with killing them off. I think it's important to note that Scirocco's newtype powers definitely seem to have a hold over women. When Emma seemed immune he gave up immediately on her, if you recall. Where as he found Reccoa with a broken heart and feeling like she had no where she belonged, and his powers immediately let him worm his way in there with zero effort. She became as much of a zombie as the other two.

You may have found a disturbing message in Reccoa, but she was written, it seemed to me, as a specific counter to Emma, to contrast their views and personalities. While her situation is not entirely her fault, Reccoa represented women with no will of their own in Japan, I felt, following the usual submissive gender role and allowing their lives to be strung along and defined by their relationships with the men around them. It leaves them hollow and unlike real people, and with nothing inside of them to value, as Emma asks, will anyone REALLY miss them? or are they just a thing?

Emma on the other hand was the polar opposite, and a symbol of a strong female. She was specifically taken off the Argama to become the Gundam piloting mascot of another battleship. Think about that. There's a whole side story OVA/Game in that. Where she's the main character. That's what I saw Tomino trying to do with her, to show what women are capable of, and how she dictated the relationship with Henken. The fact that she ultimately died not because of her lack of skill but by bad luck makes her death extremely tragic, and he final scene as the Colony Laser fires as beautiful as it is sad.

Even so, the pacing in the show is choppy. Something Tomino always struggles with. It has regions where it's hard to get through. Like Amuro's desertion of White Base, I found some parts of the plot slow, a little nonsensical, and hard to sit through. I loved my first sitting of Zeta but despite two or three other attempts, I have never been able to sit through it again.

The movies are a lot of fun, check them out. But.. only for people who have seen the show. Otherwise they're so confusing. SO MUCH gets left out. If you haven't seen 'em yet, the new animation is gorgeous and you should go give 'em a look. There's also a major change in Kamille's story reflecting Tomino's new and improved mental state.

Yazan is my favorite hands down. He's such a glorious jerk. He's got charisma, despite being a sociopathic bigot. He's got skill, no matter the situation. He's got that funky turtle tattoo, how can anyone not love it? He gives everyone a challenge and only goes down due to newtype hax..

I tried to watch ZZ. I couldn't make it past episode 2 years ago. I am about to give it another try now that I have a friend who will sit through it with me so we can cringe together.

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Re: Watching the UC series for the first time

Post by Quiddity » Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:33 pm

But he was also in a dark place during the time that he made Zeta. I've heard he had two really dark swings in his life. During Zeta and during V, and that he struggled with depression that only went away with Turn A.

As comparison, he made Space Runaway Ideon I think right before Zeta Gundam, and it's even bleaker. Like, holy cow. I won't watch that show.
It's rumored that Tomino was constantly depressed, but outside of Victory Gundam I'm not sure how accurate that is. It seems more to be heresay and assumptions based on the tone of his shows.

I think its pretty obvious that he was a very upset person during Victory; around that time Sunrise was sold to Bandai and there was big pressure to push toy sales enough so that the producers forced him to move the fourth episode to the first one because it featured the titular mobile suit. He responds with one of his more brutal shows and has basically sworn it off, telling people to not buy the show.

Ideon actually came 5 years before Zeta Gundam and there were several series between the two (Gundam movie trilogy, Xabungle, Dunbine and L-Gaim). During L-Gaim he was reportedly in love with VA Maria Kawamura, who instead got together with character/mecha designer Mamoru Nagano, whom Tomino wasn't getting along with anyway. I've heard (but am not sure of the validity of this) that Reccoa, whose character is widely criticized was based on Kawamura.

I think Tomino's "Kill Em All" type endings comes largely out of the war-based settings of said shows, the fact that he liked to go against the flow and the fact that he was trying to avoid sequels (which worked until Zeta, after which he got into a long cycle of only being able to do Gundam shows). The whole depression thing seems unlikely to me, especially when you consider that the tone of his shows tend alternate between dark and more light hearted throughout much of his career. He'd have to have a split personality or something to go so back and forth over and over again if he was letting his mood dictate how his shows went.
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In my search for justice, I created war. In my search for war, I created death. In my search for death... I have lost my soul.

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