I think I’ll make a lot of friends with this blog post.
Nah, you’re pretty much right on the mark with everything.
And really the annoying thing about the franchise is that there’s the potential for more works like Gundam 0080, but it’ll never happen because a series like that isn’t formulaic or mobile suit centric enough.
But didn’t 0080 introduce the Kampfer and those new Hygogg design? In general 0080 has some of my favorite Gundam mechanical designs and my favorite battle sequences, they are just short, which is really more realistic (well, bipedal mecha in general is not realistic but combat in an actual warzone isn’t typically something that lasts forever like in the movies)
ETA I feel like 0080 is a typical Gundam OVA that was well received by fans so I don’t see why there couldn’t be another UC series or OVA in that vein. I don’t think it needs to be formulaic or self-referential to be popular with fans, it’s just that UC fans will flock to anything UC-related no matter the quality.
And honestly Origin is not the exact same story as 0079, I hate when people say that. It’s like Yas took the existing mythos and expanded on it to tell a much more in-depth story with much more character development, expanding on the character’s lives and motivations. Not the same at all
One of the top reviews for the book on Amazon reads “This is one of your best chances to show bandai that we want Gundam in English. Even if they ignore the sales your worst case scenario is being stuck with this great book!”
I want nothing to do with the writer of that review.
Milo, though? You’ve fucking aced it.
EDIT: I totally agree, Childings. The Origin is an example of adaptation done right. It isn’t a random artist converting screencaps to comics; Yasuhiko owns this work with both his masterful technique and his authorial intent. It’s a rare sight, and frankly, the existence of The Origin is a fluke (I mean, look at Zeta Gundam Define, which probably looks like “Gundam: The Origin 2” to marketers, but is such a commercial and uninspired project).
Really, it’s not a matter of if a project with the sensitivity and perspective of 0080 or the personal touch and daring of The Origin could make money. They obviously can. But would 0080 make as much money now as Unicorn, which takes all the technical proficiency and puts it in a blender with excessive fanservice and toy-making potential (not only does Unicorn make new designs to appeal to the hardcore fans, but it makes old and obscure designs relevant again to make new toys out of them).
‘Cause let’s face it. The audience that more sophisticated Gundam works bring in won’t be bringing too much money with them. While 0080 has my favorite mechanical designs of any Gundam, if I hadn’t seen it when I was 10 and already predisposed to having toys of my favorite mobile suits/involved in that aspect of fan culture, I don’t think I would watch that show and think, “I’m going to show my appreciation of these mechanical designs by building model kits of them”. Buying into that goes directly against one of the message of that story. (Yes, I do have an ethical debate with myself when I look at my GM Sniper II action figure.)
Welp, there’s my serious giant robot rant for the month.