Hello people that have been following me for a while andpossibly newer people that are reading this. It’s been at least two monthssince I’ve written an OWLS post. There has been a reason for that. October wasa busy month that I needed time for my own projects. Once again, thank youeveryone that got involved with that. I am going to start my next OWLS seasonwith a Gundam related post. I know, I know. Completely original thing for me totalk about. *cough* There is something about Gundam that makes it so near anddear to my heart. Before that though, let’s talk about what OWLS is.
OWLS InfoFor those of you who haven’t heard of it before,what is OWLS you might ask. Well, that’s an easy question to answer. OWLS, alsoknown as Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group of otakubloggers who promote the acceptance of all individuals. This is all regardlessof gender, sexual orientation, religions, race, and disability. All abouthumanity for humanities sake. Each Month, our members are given a topic towrite about and each of us approaches that through our own personal views. Ifyou want to know more, please click here and look at the OWL’S Blog Page.
This month’s prompt brought in by our always fantastic Chief Creative Officer Lyn lyn is “Thankful”. To be specific:
Here at OWLS, we are pretty thankful that we are able to come together as a community and share a love and appreciation for anime and manga. This month we will be showcasing our appreciation by giving a shout out post to our favorite manga artists,creators, production companies, and writers who produced some of our favorite works. We will be discussing our favorite works by these creators and our reasons as to why we appreciate them.
Back to Gundam
From what I’ve read with a lot of OWLS’ posts this month start with the beginning of their fandoms. Well, my love of mecha anime and Gundam starts there as well. Maybe some of you have head of this little TV block called Toonami? If you haven’t, boy are you all missing out. Maybe it’s not as cool as today because of the internet and because it’s only a Saturday night block these but having anime that you can watch as soon as you can in the days of dial up was powerful. I was obsessed with everything that aired including Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho, Rurouni Kenshin, Gundam Wing, and many others. I could have written this post about Toonami. As much as I loved and adored those shows, there was mysterious show that I love a little more. You all know what it is; Mobile Suit Gundam or Gundam 0079 by a certain Mr. Yoshiyuki Tomino. You know, the Tomino that invented the concept of what real robot shows are with this one, particular show. Holy crap, man.
I know that Gundam Wing is another series that also covered the futility war and such, but there was something special about Gundam 0079 that just interested me. Maybe I was raised as a science fiction fan and that series had more space stuff then Wing at first which drew my eye to it more. Space ships AND Mechs fighting together was a cool concept after all. I think what it was that captured me was the character depth that went into Mobile Suit Gundam. I don’t just mean the protagonist crew of theWhite Base who are great, come from all walks of life, and feel like a family at the end. I also mean the villains. Char Aznable is still one of my favorite anime characters to this day because of how complex he is and his personal goals. There is a reason why other Gundam series have Char Clones in them. I should also mention that most of the villains, besides Girren Zabi who is the Mobile Suit Gundam equivalent to Hitler, have very distinct and complex personalities and motivations like real people. Maybe that ground breaking of a thing, but it was for me as a kid.
I had a lot of fun coming back to this series every week when it aired on Toonami, but then I remember that not many people talked about it back then. I was never sure why, but as long as it was airing, I was happy.Then one day it was pulled right in the middle of the series. I had no idea why back then because I wasn’t as knowledgeable about how media worked, but I found out later that it too low ratings to keep airing. That means it was cancelled twice because Mobile Suit Gundam was also cancelled when it originally aired in Japan. That didn’t mean that Tomino’s master piece went unnoticed because we are still talking about Gundam today. It is still pretty ironic though. I think the fact that it was taken off the air when I was being obsessed with it had as trong effect on me because I was still completely obsessed about it. You know,exactly how I am obsessed about it now. I remember that I called my Gameboy DS GunTank in high school, years after it was pulled off tv. You guys probably have no idea what hard the show hit me when I watched it again or maybe you do because I am still talking about it and created a blog around it kind of.
When I watched Mobile Suit Gundam again after all those years when legal streaming didn’t exist, I saw more about in this show then I ever did as a kid.I saw how complex the war was, how difficult and different each of the character’s situations are, how realistic and vast Gundam’s world is, and I can keep going. I was in shock and ah. How did I only pick up some of this stuffwhen I was a preteen? Gundam is not just a show about giant robots fightin geach other in space, it was an experience that you can’t get in many other places.Thank you for opening my eyes, Mr. Tomino. That first rewatch of Mobile Suit Gundam got me to dig into more Gundam. I spent at least a year or two after that watching one Gundam series after another after another after another untilI finished them all. Boy do I miss the days where I could do that, because my brain is so scatter brained these days. There were some good Gundam series that completely surprised me, some series that were just fantastic, and others that just deserved to die in a fire, but I don’t regret watching any of these Gundam series and movies at all.
I should also mention how obsessed I still am with the original Mobile Suit Gundam. I am so obsessed that I had to find every single piece of media centered around the original series that I could. The first part is the three-part movie series which I highly recommend for all those who are interested in trying the original series because the animation is a little better, it has a lot snappier of a pace, and it has no filler to it so you can’t get bored. Then there is also the beautiful manga series that is also another way for people to check out this story if people want to avoid the old animation all together. The biggest thing to check out in my eyes is the Tomino’s original novel. Tomino’s vision of what a new type was supposed to be, which you can sort of feel inGundam 0079’s direct sequels, but it’s not as potent. Also, the ending changes everything because Amuro Ray, the original Gundam pilot, dies in it. I mean this wasn’t meant to have any sequels to it, so that is fine. Do you want me to write about it at some point? I think it would be interesting to at least discuss. I haven’t read it in a while, but I wouldn’t rereading it and taking some notes about it. Oh man, did I go off topic? Ummm…. thank you Tomino for making me want to discuss this concept more!
If there is a final thing that I want to talk about and thank Gundam 0079 and Tomino, it’s how I watch anime today. I know that I could have easily talked about Bleach with this one as well, but Gundam has had a slightly bigger effecton me. Because I fell in love with an older anime series, older art styles and animation have never bothered me. I can easily jump from one older series to another without even thinking about. Also, apparently, I don’t judge other stranger and newer art styles either as harshly as some other people. An example of this is Dragon Pilot where it seemed a lot of people didn’t like how the show looked for some reason. I don’t know, I don’t get it. Anyway, Mobile Suit Gundam was a series that changed my life in more ways than I would ever think about when I originally watched it. Thank you for creating such a masterpiece, Mr. Tomino. Even if you are a little cranky these days.
Thank you for reading everyone. If you have enjoyed this post, please read Naja’s post that came before mine and Shokamoka’s post tomorrow. IF you need even more then that, here is our schedule of OWLS bloggers from this month.