Tag Archives: gundam

The One Safety of the Conquered

aku-una

. . . is not to hope for safety.

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, for several reasons. One of these reasons is my preparation for a working holiday. In its (questionable) wisdom, my university has sent me to Cambridge for a month, to badger academics, raid libraries and generally gather enough material to write an impressive ‘Wot I Did In My Holidays’ piece when I return from the land of privilege. So far I can report that the land of privilege is efficient, friendly and just a little mad: there is, for example, a big white piano in my room. The room’s big enough that the piano isn’t inconvenient, or menacing, but it is there. Maybe I’ll attempt ‘Chopsticks’ once I finish writing this. Continue reading

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Escape Mechanism

turna-dawwww

There’s no real reason behind my selection of this picture, beyond the fact that I’m talking about Turn-A Gundam in this post. It’s nice to see a Gundam lead piloting something low-tech now and then, though, isn’t it? (Given what I could have chosen, be thankful.) Anyway, this is a follow-up to ‘War Sucks!‘, and while it contains no spoilers for Turn-A, it does contain one moderate spoiler for the final episode of Gundam 00. Continue reading

‘War Sucks!’

he-will-invade-the-farms-3

I was idle, and I thought idly about war and anime. ‘Anime says that war sucks,’ is what I thought first. This seems to be the standard opinion. If it’s deployed, it’s frequently followed by mention of pacifism and the atomic bomb.

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‘Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Zabi . . .

msi-whodoyouthink

. . . if you think you’re in London?’ (It was almost certainly unintentional, but I’ll take what I can get – and besides, any comedy which has a credit for ‘the Yokel’ deserves some recognition.)

MS IGLOO or, as I like to refer to it, Mobile Suit Gundam: Peenemünde, is a real oddity. Its purpose, as far as I can make out, is to show off the animators’ skill in the production of fully computer-generated mechanical design porn. This makes for storylines which are, judged by normal criteria, probably rather dissatisfying: each episode introduces a weapon, together with a character who operates it, but the weapon is always destroyed and the new character is always killed. However, since the main reason to watch this is the mechanical design porn, the pre-arranged outcomes aren’t really an issue. Indeed, once you know how it’s going to go, you can take a kind of detached interest in the execution.

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Gundam 00: Space Battlewagon

g00-spacebattlewagon

We can come away from a good action sequence saying more than ‘wow’ or alternatively ‘it left me cold’. So, for example, in one of Legend of the Galactic Heroes‘s side-stories it’s extremely fitting that a certain character dies with the loss of his right arm just before the revelation that he was less of a dangerous Machiavel than he had seemed. That revelation would have felt different if he had lost his left arm instead, or for that matter if he had died with all his limbs attached. Continue reading

Internet Deprivation Diary

So I have an internet connection, of sorts, in my new home now. As suspected, acquiring it was, roughly speaking, as fun as nailing my own arm to a door, and not one of your nice clean, new doors, no, an old one with splinters and woodlice. Still, I’m back earlier than I expected, which is something.

Much of the time covered in this diary was taken up by the inevitable settling-in period before the beginning of the semester proper. (The mills of the academy may grind small, but they start grinding exceedingly slowly!) With little to do, I spent my time reading and watching anime – it was an idyllic, if slothful existence, marked by a sustained failure to watch any more Ideon. Continue reading

Notes on G‘s Girls

When I watched G Gundam I was confused by my inability to pick out why Domon Kasshu should be Japanese. The other Gundam Fighters take on national characteristics, after all. He could, I suppose, be a ganbariya-san but I’d say every G character is that (including the villains and the horse). Then again, British novels about Brits interacting with foreigners don’t emphasise their heroes’ Britishness, they emphasise their heroes’ normality (as a contrast to Johnny Foreigner’s amusingly weird traits), so perhaps something similar is happening here. Or maybe I just missed some obvious clues.

Domon’s status aside, if someone were to ask (like Zero in the eighth episode of Geass R2) where the ‘Japaneseness’ in G Gundam is, I’d point to Rain.

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