I want to open this post by saying that I am a person made out of contradictions. You know, as every person says. I support the modernization or attempt at innovation in Gundam when I can’t stand a lot of things new Star Trek is doing. But I can’t say that I am against new Star Trek. I feel like anything that gets a newer and fresher audience to enjoy an older franchise is an inherent good. I just know that its not for me anymore and that is ok. Gundam and its many iterations, in my eyes, is something that I can watch a lot easier then Star Trek. I don’t know why, it’s just that truth. In that case, there are other sci fi series for me to watch then just Star trek and that’s fine.
There is also the idea of reboots which I am not against either. Even if reboots cover up an older series sometimes, the older series still exists. For instance if the new Trigun doesn’t interest me, I still have my dvd copy of Trigun to watch whenever I want instead. Reboots are sometimes less memorable then the original show. I mean, lets talk about Dirty Pair. Who even knows that Flash exists? But in general, I like the idea of having a reboot or remake of something 20 years after a series has come out. It allows a newer audience to know something about an older series in a newer way. Especially since a lot of really good series are reboots of older series.
So why am I against Gundam 0079 getting a remake or a reboot? My answer is, when hasn’t it been rebooted or remade? Since the original Gundam series has came out, It has been remade so many times even under different names then Gundam. So yeah, I’m not just talking about Gundam SEED. I’m talking about the 0079 film trilogy or even the new manga by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko that is more recent. Or what about the 80’s Dragonar Anime? Or even Code Geass which was originally like Gundam 0079 except if you take away the Earth Federation and it’s Char against the Zabi family. I swear that the gundam parellel with Lancelot isn’t the only thing. The iconic Garma funeral speech from 0079 was redone for the funeral of Prince Clovis. I’m sure I’m missing a lot, but it’s pretty much a pick and choose of where you get Gundam 0079.
I also feel like Gundam 0079 won’t work for a modern audience. You know, even if the story is applicable for today’s world. In this current seasonal landscape, it really feels like modern audiences aren’t interested in a space war sort of narrative and/or it would be harder to do in today’s anime production climate. Space war narratives that show the tragedies of war and how much it costs humanity despite the formation of something new, like new types, doesn’t feel like something that would interest newer audiences without a newer angle to it. Then there is the production of having those space battles which aren’t seen a lot in today’s narrative besides the Space Battleship Yamato and Legend of the Galactic Heroes remakes. Things which rely on a lot of cg just to animate and allow them to exist.
The only people interested in this sort of remake are probably those who already like the story. Which isn’t a bad thing really. Who wouldn’t want to see their favorite thing animated to the highest level possible? But that wouldn’t make it as appealing to newer audiences. Once again, older and already established audiences. Which is a market to be sure. There is a reason why Universal Century productions are still being made and that they are generally doing well enough for more to be produced. Curuz Island adaptating a random episode of Gundam 0079 in different ways or Hathaway’s Flash pushing the UC narrative even further for instance. Movies and ovas, not television series. I don’t have any of the numbers, but it feels like a limited market compared to the rest of the anime market
That is part of why I think Witch From Mercury is a feeler for future endeavours. Once again, I have no proof of this at all, but it’s so different and yet similar from so many other Gundam series. It isn’t about a crew on a white ship going from place to place and fighting enemies for the sake of a common goal and saving humanity from its self (maybe). Could Witch From Mercury do that at some point? Sure. Why not? But it is very Utena inspired and taking place at a school, Asticassia Academy. A school where different companies send children to test their latest mobile suits through duel. A lot of the thematic resonance of Gundam is there in a new package and its a lot of fun seeing the usual Gundam formula change so many things and actually be innovative. I say that with years and years of Gundam knowledge at my back.
So no, I don’t want to see another Gundam 0079 remake. I want more things like Witch From Mercury. I want to see the series explore a lot of the ideas behind Gundam in different ways that make it so much more fresh then seeing similar things happen in slightly different ways and universes. I do like watching the OVAS and Movies from the Universal Century timeline of Gundam, but I get more excited by seeing newer iterations that can surprise me a lot more. Things like G Gundam which is still very Gundam despite its super robot exterior, the war of worlds sort of aesthetic from Turn A Gundam, and the Utena and The Tempest version of Gundam presented by Witch From Mercury. We should support creativity in this time of where media likes to repeat itself and rebooted because of guaranteed money.
As someone who’s never been able to get into Gundam, I’ve been enjoying the Witch From Mercury quite a bit. It helps that it’s made by Ikuhara and has strong Utena vibes, but it also feels like a more fresh and character-driven take on the series. The lore of Gundam can be intimidating for new viewers, but this show holds up on its own without requiring a lot of prior background knowledge.
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Here is the thing, it’s not Ikuhara that is behind Mercury at all. It’s Ichirou Ookouchi who was one of the people behind the Utena manga.
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Yeah, I kind of avoided WFM for the same reason, I thought I would have a hard time understanding what was going on because I’ve never really gotten into Gundam before. It’s good to know I could just hop in and I don’t really need previous experience!
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Yeah, all you need to do is watch the prologue episode and you’re good to go. Not even sure if that is needed at this point.
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