It's Gundam, because Bandai and Sunrise say so
so it's still Macross
if you take out the singers and aliens and love triangles? it's still Dragon Ball Z
if you take out all the energy beams and super-powered aliens? it's still Yu-Gi-Oh
if you take away the cards and have them all literally fighting with monsters like Pokemon
? really? Gundam
is just a name and the audience has no expectations of certain ideas and tropes that come with it?
'cuz a focus on what goes on around the Earth with humans is one of the things that defines Gundam
. what would it be if you took that away? if you spread it out to the whole galaxy or whatever, you have to explain why you aren't turning Gundam
into something like Legends of Galactic Heroes
. and if you try to keep Gundam
the same with simply a new setting, it means the setting change actually doesn't matter, which raises the question of why you did it. so that means it's just a gimmick. i'm not sure Gundam
really needs more gimmicks. at any rate, i doubt anyone would really be fooled. after all, you can hardly call it "original" or "new" if Gundam
is simply aping some other show's tropes. if that's what you do then you're pretty clearly just opening yourself to the charge of ripping off some other show--which makes Gundam
even blander and less original, because instead of rehashing its own tropes, now it's stealing other shows' tropes.
so, if you don't like Gundam
's tropes, well, don't watch Gundam
. i have no interest in singers and love triangles and all the other stuff that goes into Macross
shows, so i just don't watch Macross
. expecting it to produce a show that goes against what everyone understands it to be just because i don't like the things that make it be something other than all the other mecha anime out there is kind of silly.
on the other hand, the way around this is to put twists and new perspectives on Gundam
's various tropes. AGE
tried to do that with its three-generation focus; Unicorn
seems to be actively drawing attention to how Full Frontal is a Char clone; 00
tried to reorient the typical antagonist setup; SEED
tried to address racism in the context of Gundam
; and so it goes. of course, you could do that badly, as many Gundam
shows have--but they're still recognizable as Gundam
It's like the business guys don't understand that the reason UC is such a juggernaut is because they built up that brand over decades and if they want AUs to do well, they have to put in the same amount of work into each AU or have a decently long delay between new shows and hire the biggest names they can for each new AU.
um...they do, obviously, very much understand that.
you're assuming that they actually want to build an AU show into the same thing as UC. seeing as how they can pretty reliably make money on whatever One Year War thing they vomit up next, there is no incentive for them to develop the AUs; and either way, if they started to do that, it would require a substantial reworking of the entire business model. by the time they started making AU Gundam
enterprises, they'd already had fifteen years' worth of material in the Universal Century to fall back on. and then there was G Gundam
, which is far and away the most different show in the franchise, and see how many people shat themselves because it was "super robot" and "not really Gundam
hence, the Star Trek
comparison doesn't work, because everyone shifted their attention to the Abrams film and there's no comparable concurrent development of the other, original universe. but UC Gundam
continues to see major productions alongside the AUs, which means it's not just some musty old TV show with some cultural cache and very badly dated production values; it's an ongoing thing.
either way, if Unicorn
can get such a great following with the fans, apparently those cliches don't really matter after all. if they did matter, then everyone would be as tired and disdaining of Unicorn
as they apparently are of AGE
besides which, let's be honest. if Gundam
really did abandon all these tropes and try to ape some other show, people would just call it a Macross
ripoff or a Patlabor
ripoff or a VOTOMS
ripoff or whatever and say it's not "really Gundam
" and we'll be back in the same place as before, except with even more One Year War.