Will ZZ Gundam ever be dub and released in America?

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Post by Chris » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:39 am

Annon Kaies Zi wrote:However, it doesn't make sense that these people would start watching the show, dislike it, and continue for a whole 47 episodes. That is a very ignorant statement in my opinion.
Quite the opposite. People frequently watch things they don't like, and I'll give you a truckload of examples. On this forum, I'll point out a recently banned member who disliked and trolled Gurren-Lagann, but insisted on watching it through to the end even though he disliked it. There are plenty of people who watch all Star Trek simply because it's Star Trek. I myself watched Voyager during most of its first run, even though I was dissatisfied with it, simply because it was Star Trek (I've since learned my lesson). In a related example of franchise devotion, I've seen many people buy all of Square's Final Fantasy VII cash-in games, and even though they know they're bad, they feel compelled to buy it just because it's "Final Fantasy VII." Similarly, there are people who will always watch every Gundam, regardless of how bad they are. Personally, I have to because of MAHQ, but if I was just an average Joe, I don't know if I'd watch them all.
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Post by Kavik Ryx » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:09 am

Bringing up Star Trek just made me remember something I read in a book written by a fan of said series. Over the first couple of season's, he really disliked the Next Generation, though continued to watched, but in time, the series grew on him, and he began to really like it. So yes perhaps the same thing happened here, where Zeta fans were patient enough with ZZ to finally like it when the show picked up momentum. However, is it that crazy that people watched ZZ because they liked it? It's a likable series. Hell, even the Moon Moon arc didn't bother me. If the series was truly horrible, it wouldn't have lasted. But it did have excellent qualities which shined through and through, such as its lovable cast. Personally, I find wing to be bland and unoriginal, and I question why anyone, on either side of the pacific would watch it, but it had nice mecha designs, great music, and the bishounen factor. These enough got me through the monotony of it. Also on a personal note, I do believe that ZZ has qualities that people would watch it for. And besides, one Puru is introduced to the series, it just gets better and better.

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Post by padre » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:50 am

Kosh wrote:To sum up, padre, your point is thus:

The popularity of a show in a young franchise, which is a sequel to an incredibly succesful series (which was already a greatly expected sequel itself), has no bearing on its viewership. If it does have bearing, it is minimal.
Obviously not, since I explicitly denied one of those conjuncts.
Kosh wrote:Nice. I suppose people just went to see Return of the Jedi because the title sounded good and had never heard of Star Wars before. Or to ground it in TV terms, I'm sure people watched Star Trek the Next Generation without ever having heard of Star Trek before. Or to put it in anime terms, I am CERTAIN nobody watched Macross Plus because they loved the original. I am being sarcastic here, if it's not noticeable.
Here's an important disanalogy between television and movies, which is why I've avoided making any comparisons between them: you go see a movie once, but you watch a television show every week. People who liked Star Wars would be inclined to go see The Empire Strikes Back (though in point of fact, their was a significant drop in viewerhsip between the two later films and the original). But if they didn't like The Empire Strikes Back, that was too bad. They'd already seen the movie. People who liked Zeta would be inclined to watch ZZ, but if they didn't like it, they could stop watching it. (And, in point of fact, ZZ's ratings were 8% lower than Zeta's).

People don't watch television shows because they like their prequels (though they might start watching a series because they like its prequel). No one watched The Next Generation for seven years because they liked the original series. They watched The Next Generation for seven years because they liked The Next Generation. (As an amusing aside, I did start watching The Next Generation having never heard of Star Trek before. Eighteen years between series will do that.)

Similarly, people who liked SDF Macross or Do You Remember Love? would be inclined to pick up Macross Plus, but no one kept spending money on subsequent volumes if they didn't like what they saw.
Kosh wrote:To assume that most ZZ viewers watched it not really because of any investment in the franchise, specially when it was at its peak of popularity, is rather preposterous.
Funny, I think that claiming people watched it out of "investment in the franchise" as opposed to actually liking the show is preposterous. Perhaps we should stare incredulously at each other?

And to say that Gundam was "at its peak of popularity" is just to say that a large number of people liked Gundam, is it not?
Chris wrote:Quite the opposite. People frequently watch things they don't like, and I'll give you a truckload of examples. On this forum, I'll point out a recently banned member who disliked and trolled Gurren-Lagann, but insisted on watching it through to the end even though he disliked it. There are plenty of people who watch all Star Trek simply because it's Star Trek. I myself watched Voyager during most of its first run, even though I was dissatisfied with it, simply because it was Star Trek (I've since learned my lesson). In a related example of franchise devotion, I've seen many people buy all of Square's Final Fantasy VII cash-in games, and even though they know they're bad, they feel compelled to buy it just because it's "Final Fantasy VII." Similarly, there are people who will always watch every Gundam, regardless of how bad they are. Personally, I have to because of MAHQ, but if I was just an average Joe, I don't know if I'd watch them all.
Two things jump out at me here: "I've since learned my lesson," and "if I was just an average Joe, I don't know if I'd watch them all." What exactly are you trying to establish with this anecdote? By your own admission you regret sticking with something you didn't like, and, I take it, would not do so again. So which do you think is more representative of the average television viewer: sticking with something they don't like, or dropping it and moving on? I know plenty of people who have done the later; I do the later.

But the "superfans" you speak of do exist, and that shows that my above claims were too strong. (It isn't the case that no one would keep watching something they didn't like.) But do you believe that these people account for the enormous difference in ratings between ZZ and the nineties series? Are you claiming that the audience, or a significant portion of it, was made up of these people, and that they watched out of loyalaty, and not because they actually liked the show?

Because if you are, I'm just going to stare incredulously at you too.

(I'd also ask what happened to these people between 1987 and 1993? Did their loyalty fizzle out in those intervening years?)
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Post by Chris » Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:33 pm

Sticking with the Star Trek example for a moment, I was a pretty devoted fan from 1994-99, although my interest waned significantly after DS9 ended. I pretty much ducked out of the last two seasons of Voyager and only returned for the finale. I watched the first few episodes of Enterprise, was immediately turned off, and stopped watching.

But going back to ZZ and why its ratings were higher than 90s Gundam shows, there are several other possibilities:

-Zeta and ZZ appeared at the height of the real robot craze in Japan. If you just look at the first half of the decade from 198-86, it saw the creation of shows like Dougram, Macross, Orguss, Southern Cross, Mospeada, Dunbine, L.Gaim, VOTOMS, SPT Layzner, Vifam, Zeta Gundam and Gundam ZZ. The latter half of the 80s isn't jammed with as many iconic real robot shows, and the 90s certainly have far less. You don't see shows coming out these days that are very much like VOTOMS. Given that brief window of real robot's golden era, it's not surprising the Gundams of that era would have higher ratings.

-People eventually grew out of it. We all have some things that we enjoyed at some point throughout our lives, but not later. With no Gundam TV series airing between 1987-93, some people probably just moved on to other series, or lost interest in mecha in general.

-People didn't like later entries. We obviously know from this forum and many others that people are very split on what types of Gundam they like. Some only like UC. Within the UC fanbase, there are those that don't like anything post-CCA, and those who don't like anything that wasn't directed by Tomino.

I'm sure ZZ picked up new fans, because at the time Gundam was still THE definitive real robot franchise. Obviously, enough people watched it because they liked it. And for the record, I do like at least half of it. And as I previously pointed out, some watched it just because it's Gundam. Whatever the reason, there's not just one that can be pointed to.
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Post by Mark064 » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:52 pm

I think a point made about older anime series is the ratings themselves. Back in the 1980s TV was a lot different then today. There were a lot fewer channels compared so less competition. So technically it should be easier for anything to get a higer rating in 1985 then in 2005.

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Post by ShadowCell » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:56 pm

And back in 1985 you didn't have TiVo/DVRs, which probably also skew the numbers.

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Post by padre » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:58 pm

I think I can get behind these for the most part, but I'm still perplexed by this one:
Chris wrote:-Zeta and ZZ appeared at the height of the real robot craze in Japan. If you just look at the first half of the decade from 198-86, it saw the creation of shows like Dougram, Macross, Orguss, Southern Cross, Mospeada, Dunbine, L.Gaim, VOTOMS, SPT Layzner, Vifam, Zeta Gundam and Gundam ZZ. The latter half of the 80s isn't jammed with as many iconic real robot shows, and the 90s certainly have far less. You don't see shows coming out these days that are very much like VOTOMS. Given that brief window of real robot's golden era, it's not surprising the Gundams of that era would have higher ratings.
You said something before about "the peak of the real robot 80s era," and while that is certainly true, it just amounts to saying that a large number of people were watching this sort of show at the time. To put it another way, this is just a description of the situation, not an explanation of it. (I suppose it offers some explanatory power, but only by explaining a particular instance by appealing to the class to which it belongs. That is to say, it only pushes the question back a level.)

But I suppose that's really a pretty trivial concern on my part.
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Post by Darkerangel » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:53 pm

Okay what's keep hope for me alive and I know this is the lamest thing you guys have heard, but what's keeping hope for me is the fact that the PS3/Xbox 360 Gundam Dynasty Warriors game has dub characters so I'm praying that, that is a sign that the rest of the Gundam Universe series is coming to North America.......soon I hope.

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Post by Mwulf » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:34 am

Darkerangel wrote:Okay what's keep hope for me alive and I know this is the lamest thing you guys have heard, but what's keeping hope for me is the fact that the PS3/Xbox 360 Gundam Dynasty Warriors game has dub characters so I'm praying that, that is a sign that the rest of the Gundam Universe series is coming to North America.......soon I hope.
Same for Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam, and that came out years ago.

Even if ZZ does get a stateside release, they'll probably charge more for the DVDs than I'm willing to pay. I mean, Moon Moon is only worth so much.

I would kill, or at least maim, for Turn A, though.
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Post by Kavik Ryx » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:38 am

Hey, at the very least it is the most convincing argument. I've played the game once, it's fun.

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Post by Darkerangel » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:58 am

Mwulf wrote:
Darkerangel wrote:Okay what's keep hope for me alive and I know this is the lamest thing you guys have heard, but what's keeping hope for me is the fact that the PS3/Xbox 360 Gundam Dynasty Warriors game has dub characters so I'm praying that, that is a sign that the rest of the Gundam Universe series is coming to North America.......soon I hope.
Same for Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam, and that came out years ago.

Even if ZZ does get a stateside release, they'll probably charge more for the DVDs than I'm willing to pay. I mean, Moon Moon is only worth so much.

I would kill, or at least maim, for Turn A, though.
Yeah, but after watching it the only things they would probably cut out would be Chara sexual actions towards Judau. Nothing too serious.
Kavik Ryx wrote:Hey, at the very least it is the most convincing argument. I've played the game once, it's fun.
You've play? Dangit! I want that game sooo bad, but I have no PS3 or 360. I do have Gundam vs Zeta Gundam and I'm trying to compute the UC Mode so its fun.

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Post by Soul Bro Ryu » Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:58 pm

The way Gundam has been treated on television post-Wing, just makes you wish Bandai would start a cable network of their own, like in Japan. Not that it will happen in our lifetimes, but only then could they can cultivate an American audience towards Gundam.

Part of the difficulty of importing ZZ to the states, is because it is sandwiched between Zeta and Char's Counterattack. Can the show stand on it's own if it was marketed to non-fans? After you get past the transitional first episodes and ignore the prior significance of any returning characters, sure I guess it could. It's not nearly as fun as knowing who Bright, Sayla, Hayato, Kamille, Fa, Haman, Yazan, and Char (all three seconds of him out side of his pointless cameo in the opening) are, though, which would be one of the strengths of the show to market to anyone who had seen MSG, Zeta, and even 0083 (if you count Haman's small part).

The other challenge of building an audience for Gundam is the venue in which it is presented. The success of "New Mobile Report Gundam Wing" was combination of many things. When Toonami started running promos for that series, there ws a different energy at Williams Street at the time.

- Anime was just starting to be noticed by a new generation. DBZ was already a hit on the block and it's unofficial counterpart, Sailor Moon had brought in female viewer ship on higher than expected levels. Voltron did moderately well, and I don't think Robotech was a resounding success but kids that were maturing enough to appreciate series like Macross & Southern Cross were developing into the an audience ripe for a show like Wing.

- I don't know about you, but that trailer for Wing is still one of the best promos ever seen on Toonami. I still hunt it down on YouTube or when I'm watching a BEI DVD that I know it's on, I'll go out of my way to watch it, before taking it out. I should add that Wing is my absolute least favorite Gundam series, but it was the first one that I watched from start to finish. (It was MSG's airing in 2001 that made me a fan for life though...)

- Gundam wasn't even a blip on the radar in America at the time, and had a totally new appeal. What worked against all of the other series was that Wing set the pace and was always a basis for comparison.

- Toonami was not nearly the profitable block that it is now. That's why you'll find more easily digestible shows on there as opposed to the cool, niche series that once populated its ranks. Also the reason that they limited Toonami's exposure, for as the cost of acquiring series have skyrocketed (compared to the late 90's), I'm sure CN wanted to make sure that their viewers have something special to look forward to every week, as supposed to the novelty being worn out by daily exposure. As mentioned before, it's all about ratings, and with high ones come the ability to charge out the nose for advertising. The sole reason networks entertain us in the first place. -_-

- AC is UC on crack & cliff-notes, practically. Most of the story arcs in Wing stem from previous Gundam series, and since Sunrise had a lot of material to pluck from by the time production rolled around, they managed to squeeze many threads into a 50 episode show. The end result made Wing fast-paced and exciting, as well making the show completely unpredictable to American audiences never exposed to Gundam before. By the time any UC shows rolled around, the play book on most of their plots had already been exposed.

- The predecessor to Adult Swim - the Midnight Run. I miss those days. Also mentioned before, Gundam Wing had DOUBLE the exposure. There were the kids that watched the daytime airings when the episodes premiered, then there was the older crowd that didn't get to catch it until the late night, who were drawn to the appeal of an uncut series on CN period as well as the series itself. Then there's even the crowd that went out of their way to watch the premiere edited eps, only to tune in again at night to see the taboo "uncut" episodes. Everyone was watching. Adults & Kids. Men & Women.

- The channel never even showed a series uncut until Wing aired which made it pioneering, and also helped set the stage for a block like Adult Swim to come to fruition in the years that followed. Didn't hurt that it was paired with the ultra-popular DBZ during that late time slot. Like I said, Williams Street were finding their groove during this time, back when times were much simpler.

Wing had a lot going for it, that is undeniable. By the time MSG rolled around, it had extremely big shoes to fill and lot less in it's favor. Adult Swim had been established, so the nighttime had been booked by other programming. No chance for an uncut version. As repeatedly stated, First Gundam was looked so much older than Wing and had none of the formula that made the prior series a success - bishies, pretty animation, multiple Gundams, fast-paced plots, etc, etc, etc. What we were given instead was a well-paced show that focused more on characters and less on flash, from an era to far gone to be appreciated by the audience Toonami had by then.

As much as I wanted to see "Mobile Suit Gundam" air on TV, even I knew the chances this show would take off was less than likely. Much like "Robotech" it would appeal to a niche audience, even though it carried the "Gundam" brand, but the difference was, "Robotech" wasn't expected to be a huge hit, aired during a time when Toonami was much smaller in the scope of the ratings it garnered. With all of the money put into promoting MSG and giving it it's crown-jewel timeslot of 5pm, when the show tanked for factors that it couldn't control, I do believe that CN, from that point on shied way from put their whole heart (and dollars) in anything Gundam again. I don't know how well "Mobile Fighter G Gundam" did when it aired a year later, but I do know it made it through it's entire run, which was a step in the right direction.

Then Seed aired in post-9-11 America, screwing with that series in more ways than one. Honestly, I don't know why they even aired it on Toonami, when that show was meant for Adult Swim. Even the newer episodes of "The Big O" were shown on AS as opposed on the block where it first found it's popularity. That made sense. The crowd that watched the original had grown older, so why not air it on AS? The same was true for Seed, but they made a big mistake putting it in the hands of tweens, especially in the homogenized form that it was shown. Remember the days where Toonami took chances, like the initial airings of "Outlaw Star"? Those days rocked, didn't they? Well, their not coming back, at least on CN, whether it be during it's normal programming hours, Toonami, Mizuki (or whatever it's called), and especially not on Adult Swim. Their attitude for most anime is the polar opposite of what it was when the medium was cutting it's teeth on the block in the late 90's.

Which finally brings me to my point (took me long enough). Since Zeta is dated and is marred by the name of "Gundam", AS will most likely not give a chance, and none of us want to see it on today's Toonami, do we? Otherwise, get ready for more disco guns, son. With a weak interest in UC, the chances lessen for us to even have ZZ released here in the states. Heck, at this point, I'll take it strictly subbed, if BEI didn't want to spend the cash on ADR. They could do it all as a thin-pak box set, take pre-orders directly from GundamOfficial.com, and once enough orders are placed, ship it out to the fans who have been clamoring for it. Since Sunrise is owned (in majority) by Bandai, it's not like there's a lot of money being spent on licensing costs from one shore to the next, unlike the costs Geneon, ADV and other labels have to pay for a Sunrise series. Some will probably argue this, but you can't tell me that being a label affiliated with the company that owns the animation studio responsible for the product doesn't have it's advantages. It's the sole reason, why every series with the name "Gundam" in it is already licensed even before it's a thought in Hajime Yadate's collective mind.

Personally, I love "Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ". All of it. I wasn't too thrilled with the transitional, but once I accepted the fact that this was not going the melodramatic tour-de-force that was "Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam", watching the show became it's own individual experience. Sure it was connected, but the vibe was absolutely different, despite the tone change when the Purus showed up. The show is a hard sell to non-Gundam fans, though. MSG can stand alone. Zeta can mostly stand alone, to the amount in time apart from it's predecessor, but ZZ. The situation that permeates that series is a direct result of how Zeta closed. Kamille's state of mind. Axis taking over. The AEUG's desperate condition. Haman's scorn. The lack of burgers on the Argama for the greatest captain. Sure the faces of most of the leads had changed, but when you compare Judau to the angsty Amuro and even more angsty Kamille, the kid was a fresh breath of air and gives viewers a stronger for appreciate the series.

And come on, you know that last episode was the dopest. Clint Eastwood would be proud of that showdown. ^_^

Ultimately, if Bandai wishes for the Gundam franchise to succeed in the US, it time for another channel to provide a venue for this series. I don't have clear idea of which one, but hopefully by the time 00 is completed, they will have figured it out. As sad as it is to say this, CN is no longer the most hospitable place for Gundam to grow and draw attention, I'll remember the good times though. BTW, a reboot of MSG should be considered as well for the 30th anniversary , and I can't think of any better story to base it upon than "Gundam: The Origin". I so hope we get the rest of that manga someday...

That's my two cents. Best believe I'll be talking about this thread on the podcast this weekend. In the meantime, I whole heartedly agree with Leroy: buy every Gundam series you can. If you want to assure the growth of it here, you can do no better than that.

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Post by Mark064 » Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:09 am

Darkerangel wrote:Okay what's keep hope for me alive and I know this is the lamest thing you guys have heard, but what's keeping hope for me is the fact that the PS3/Xbox 360 Gundam Dynasty Warriors game has dub characters so I'm praying that, that is a sign that the rest of the Gundam Universe series is coming to North America.......soon I hope.
You're right it is. You are just living in a fantasy world which I shall shatter. The game included dub characters for commercial appeal which is a standard for most games, fewer games include two vocal tracks but it happens. Of course in the case of this game since the game is created in Japan for the Japanese fanbase first they are free to add any series they want. Bringing it to America they don't have all the series over so it'd be silly to just half dub it. Thus they hire some other guys. In the random event that Turn A or ZZ or something is brought to America there is no gurantee that the people in the games would actually be their voice actors or if they'd choose someone else.

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Post by hawk of endymion » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:28 pm

to be honest, i dont think ZZ will come to the U.S., but if theres a chance at least subtitle it, like they did with the MSG movies.
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Post by VentZX » Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:02 pm

hawk of endymion wrote:to be honest, i dont think ZZ will come to the U.S., but if theres a chance at least subtitle it, like they did with the MSG movies.
If it did come over, this would be the preferable method. The dub in Dynasty Warriors Gundam was pretty horrible. For the series that had already aired,l they tried to stay consistent with the previous actors, but for people like Judau and his crew, they pretty much picked some random guy from the street. In fact, Judau had a voice actor in GvsZG as well, and was ok, but they didn't bother to use the same guy.

After so much debate, I think it's really simple. ZZ will not air in the US. It just won't. There is no channel even willing to touch something like that, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim being the last hopes. But we've seen Toonami move away from niche titles, like SoulBroRyu said, and they only care about the Narutos and One Piece type shows of the world. Adult Swim would seem like the right place, but they just about hate anime, and mecha anime in particular. Remember that the original Gundam had poor ratings on Toonami AND Adult Swim.

The only way such a show would release over here? DVD, subtitle only, and for a jacked up price. I would love to own the series subbed, but at what cost? It would be pricey to say the least. And that's the best case scenario as I see it.

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Post by Kavik Ryx » Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:13 pm

This is just distressing. ZZ is far from bad, it's quite good actually. Also, saying it won't or will means jack. Plain and simple, the entertainment business is selling satisfaction. When there is a need or want for something, in this case entertainment, it will be distributed. When there is no demand, don't expect it anytime soon. This is the nature of consumerism, and consumerism runs the world. If anything is keeping ZZ from coming to America, it's that there is no push. I've personally contacted Ban Dai about the release of the other Gundam series; however, as Mark said earlier, that a small number of people asking for something tends to be counterproductive. It shows that no one cares, and that's the disturbing part.

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Post by Leroy Landers » Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:12 pm

^ How come people don't care? Is it a simple case of just not knowing about it? I mean the casual or average anime fan usually doesn't know one Gundam from another, I've met people that claim Zeta was aired on AS, I'm not sure what universe they were from. :lol: I've been trying to figure out what channel would want to air Gundam but I honestly come up empty handed the few channels that aired anime either don't anymore (G4/TechTV), are no longer interested or friendly towards something like Gundam (AS/CN) or have a stupid constraint like only being able to air shows licensed by Manga Ent. (Sci-Fi channel) I bet you can blame Bonnie Hammer for that one.

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Post by Mendou » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:49 am

00 doesn't look good in my opinion, too colorfull and it looks just like Wing.

I prefer it if they dub ZZ, Victory and X. I suppose turn A(even though the mech designs look stupid)

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Post by Arbiter GUNDAM » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:35 pm

Mendou wrote:00 doesn't look good in my opinion, too colorful and it looks just like Wing.
Careful kemosabe, a lot of people around here are very tired of the constant 00/Wing comparisons. Just FYI.
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Post by ShadowCell » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:44 pm

And we're tired of old threads getting dragged out of the grave for another go.

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