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Best Gundam series?


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Smoke



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:57 am Reply with quote
I was looking into watching some Gundam anime. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there are so much to choose from it makes the decision hard. I would like to watch a series with great action and an equally great story.

Arrow Can anyone offer their advice on which Gundam series they feel is the better on the list ?

p.s. I'm not sure if this is "against the rules", but if so sorry.
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JesuOtaku
ANN Assistant Editor


Joined: 15 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:14 am Reply with quote
My opinion may not be totally universal, but from my experience chatting with the fanbase, it's darned near close.

Gundam Wing is the best the franchise has to offer. It's accessible to the uninitiated, has VERY solid action, interesting characters, a compelling plot, and was all-around the best of the Gundam shows to reach outside the mech-lover demographic and just be awesome good fun (and oh, the drama! Shocked ) on its own merits.

Of course, I've only seen Wing, SEED, Gundam 00 and G Gundam, so maybe I've missed a couple, but those are the biggies, right?
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:51 am Reply with quote
You are opening up a huge can of very nasty worms there, my friend. The UC versus AU divide is quite nasty; I hope this thread doesn't descend into another argument along those lines.

As a personal matter, I believe that Gundam SEED is the best. But that doesn't mean I am entirely pro-AU.

JesuOtaku wrote:
Of course, I've only seen Wing, SEED, Gundam 00 and G Gundam, so maybe I've missed a couple, but those are the biggies, right?


Tell me you're kidding.
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JesuOtaku
ANN Assistant Editor


Joined: 15 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:08 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Tell me you're kidding.

Kinda, yeah. Laughing I phrased it so that any harcore Gundam fanatic would jump on my back for leaving out their favorite series, I'm sure. Apart from the original Mobile Suit series, however, those are the pretty well-known ones, and the poster seemed to be a Gundam newbie, so I was pointing out a series that is good for newbies and the uninitiated because it's easy to like even if you know nothing about mechs. But I'm not a Gundam enthusiast. I've just seen the widely broadcast stuff.

That being said, I started with SEED, so I have a great fondness for it, regardless of what I think of it critically. Then G Gundam, which just gave me the weirds, it was so ridiculous, then years passed, and then I saw Wing, then more years passed and I giggled at Gundam 00.
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Labbes



Joined: 09 Feb 2008
Posts: 890

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:07 am Reply with quote
Arguably, of course, I would say it's Gundam 0080 out of the few I have seen. It doesn't have a lot of angsty kids, weird logic and recycled fights, but lots of emotions and drama instead. It's a sad story about war instead of an "epic" story about robots, I think.
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bahamut623



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:43 am Reply with quote
I think I would say 8th MS Team, at least for me. Other personal favorites are Turn A and 00.
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spooksmagee



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 182
Location: Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:39 pm Reply with quote
I second a recommendation for Gundam Wing, it's a solid show and was what initially got me into the mecha genre.

Most other people rank 08th MS Team up there as well, although I've personally never seen it.
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Wellness



Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Posts: 175

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:56 pm Reply with quote
Zeta Gundam and G Gundam.

Two of the absolute best of the Gundam series. Even though it helps immensely to have seen the original to enjoy Zeta, even by itself, its a stellar story and the top of mecha anime and science fiction in general.

G Gundam is a glorious action romp for fans of fantasy marital arts along with having key Gundam themes (futility of war, environmental concerns, understanding oneself, etc.) buried just below the surface. Not to mention it is the most original of all the alternate universes, by never reusing to many of classic UC moments like nearly all the others have. Easily the most fun out of all the Gundam series and probably has one of the best antagonist of all of the alternate universes in Master Asia.
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Smoke



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:56 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Kinda, yeah. Laughing I phrased it so that any harcore Gundam fanatic would jump on my back for leaving out their favorite series, I'm sure. Apart from the original Mobile Suit series, however, those are the pretty well-known ones, and the poster seemed to be a Gundam newbie, so I was pointing out a series that is good for newbies and the uninitiated because it's easy to like even if you know nothing about mechs. But I'm not a Gundam enthusiast. I've just seen the widely broadcast stuff.


Yeah I am new to gundams. Im not looking to watch every series but just a few (maybe 2). I noticed a lot of the animation looks older. Im assuming these were made in the 90's?
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:57 pm Reply with quote
It really depends on how many Gundam series you've seen and what "best" really means to you. Honestly, I think each person will have a different answer. My personal favorite is currently Turn A.

Wing, SEED and most recently 00 tend to be the best gateways, good shows with lots of mass appeal, but many of the other series are worth watching for their own reasons.

The original Gundam, especially in its movie adaptation, is always worth a look due to its iconic nature and historical influence if you can get past some dated visuals. Much of that applies to Zeta as well, which has some of the strongest emotional impact, although not without certain controversial issues. I'll also second 0080, 08th MS Team and G as definitely worth a look.

Turn A is a curious case, since it's perhaps one of the most un-Gundam examples, on the surface. The setting is unique, the tone is optimistic instead of bleak, you have a relatively ugly mech and not too much time is spent on the battlefield, comparatively speaking, but it has what is probably the last word on the classic Earth vs. Space theme that is inherent to much of the franchise. The characters, with some notable exceptions, aren't the most complex but they certainly are quite entertaining to watch and several get far more development than you'd expect.

While having previous knowledge of the franchise enhances the experience, it works quite well as an independent work and I think the series is the director's (Yoshiyuki Tomino, who created the original and is responsible for many of the UC sequels) best Gundam overall.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:42 pm Reply with quote
Gundam Wing is the best Gundam for newcomers, easy plot, simple characters, small and closed universe. But to be able to make a true statement on which Gundams are the best, you can't have just seen like three Alternate Universe titles, you'd really have to see most of what's out there, including what's not available in the US. I'm not even close to done, I still have about 1/3rd of Gundam X, 3/4ths of Turn A Gundam, half of Zeta Gundam, and all of ZZ, CCA, F91, Victory, and Seed Destiny to go. I'm even doing all of the side stories and movie compilations. Currently I'm trying to get through X, MS IGLOO, and the Zeta Gundam BluRay releases.

Each series differs greatly in what they achieve, even in the same universe. It also depends on what kind of story they want to tell, how long they were, and their budget. Overall Zeta Gundam is usually regarded at the best in most aspects. It's one of the most serious stories in the franchise and doesn't suffer from stupidity and toy-selling as much as 0079 and Double Zeta tend to. Not to mention the animation was fairly damn good for 1985 and 50 episodes.

The best overall animation is probably in 0083, but it lacks a lot in story and character. Sometimes along with this, 0080 and 08th MS Team are also easily accessible shows for the Universal Century timeline and all have good points and lows points.

Then you have G, SEED/Destiny, and 00, which vary far more in how people like or dislike them. There's just too much that's fun about most of the stuff in Gundam to really pick one above the others, it varies from person to person. If you want to get hardcore into Gundam, do some Universal Century stuff, because that's really the only place to get hardcore about. If you don't want to, you'll be missing out on a lot of the better material, and you must start with 0079. Also don't miss MS IGLOO if you get the chance, it's awesome for more back story on Zeon's development of mobile suits and weapons.

As for the worst (read: you should probably skip), Double Zeta and Seed Destiny. There's almost no counter argument here.

Sieg Zeon
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:30 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:

Overall Zeta Gundam is usually regarded at the best in most aspects. It's one of the most serious stories in the franchise and doesn't suffer from stupidity and toy-selling as much as 0079 and Double Zeta tend to. Not to mention the animation was fairly damn good for 1985 and 50 episodes.

I definitely agree with several of your other points, but in my opinion the three compilation movies skip or tone down most of the silly elements found in the original Gundam TV series to a tolerable level.

As for toy selling, I wouldn't say Zeta avoids that particular common denominator of the mecha genre. It's hard to deny plenty of new, usually transformable mobile suits show up every now and then. That isn't much of a negative though, Zeta is definitely a good show with a dark story that is usually cited by many old school UC fans as the best, but there is also a certain selective nostalgia involved.
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Mushi-Man



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:32 pm Reply with quote
I would say that all (that I've seen) are good. But there are some that stick out amongst them. My favorite would be Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket. This was a really good ova that did a unique idea very well. Another good one is Gundam 00. I really liked this one. 00 reminded me of an even better Gundam Wing. 08th MS Team is another really good one that I thought was unique and worth the money. And finally I'd through in G Gundam because it was such a fun series to watch (just don't watch it like it's another Gundam series, you wont like it then).
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abynormal



Joined: 09 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:31 pm Reply with quote
Of all the series I've seen, 08th MS Team is what I think is the best. It's short, beautifully produced, chocked full of action, and its terrestrial combat is a refreshing change of pace from the usual space opera fare of the UC series. Plus there's none of that wacky Newtype nonsense muddling the mecha action.
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ikillchicken
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 12 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:34 pm Reply with quote
Okay, well let me post my thoughts on the various series I've seen.

I've only seen a little bit of the original Gundam. I wouldn't say it's bad, but I just couldn't get past how terribly outdated the animation and mecha designs looked. If that doesn't bother you though, people seem to have a pretty high opinion of it so it would be a good one to check out.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (TV) - Not really good
I don't see what the big deal is. It isn't terrible by any means but it isn't the masterpiece some people claim it is. I find the characters kind of lifeless. They're just going about continuing the plot without really being all that reactive to anything that's happening. Kamile is sometimes the exception sometimes but not in a good way. he's way to angsty, and mostly over stupid little stuff. I also find the political situation of the world vague and undefined. It just kind of follows along with what the good guys and a single group of enemies are doing as the pursue each other. It isolates them and makes them out to be the only military forces that seem to exist in the area. Also, whats up with all the people randomly slapping each other? This goes back to my previous complaint. They all seem to do this very casually and without energy or much emotion. It just ends up coming off as a weak attempt to make things seem more dramatic when the truth is they just aren't. Zeta does okay in the action department but it's poorly executed from a dramatic point of view. Apparently though, a lot of people think it's just fabulous so...I don't know. Maybe it's worth checking out anyway.

Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (OAV) - Excellent
I didn't really see it as standing out as a masterpiece. However it was all around very good. Interesting characters and story. High quality animation, good fights, cool mecha designs, all that. Apparently a lot of people disliked the story and characters, but as I said, I did.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (OAV) - Masterpiece
I would say this is my favorite Gundam series. It took a much more realistic look at the franchise. (Yeah, I know that's a bit of an oxymoron with Gundam.) It wasn't so much an issue of actually being realistic but rather, applying the fun of Gundam to the more small scale and mundane aspects of real warfare. Instead of huge conflicts affecting the entire world, it was just one small battleground amidst an entire war. It's more of a military drama instead of a big mecha melodrama. Not only was that a refreshing change, it was a heck of a enjoyable anime. It would be my number one recommendation since not only do I love it, it seems to more or less receive universal praise.

Mobile Suit Gundam Seed (TV) - Excellent
There were some issues such as reused animation and identical looking characters, but that aside I think this is the best of the gundam franchise. If you can get over the flaws, its a great series. A lot of people absolutely hate this but then that seems to come mostly from UC fans. I can understand their view that this sort of rehashes the original Gundam but I think that they still sell it short. Amongst non UC fans it seems fairly popular.

Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny (TV) - Awful
Just...don't watch it. Even if you love SEED, just pretend this doesn't exist. I've heard a few people who like this but for the most part, the consensus seems to be that this is crap.

Mobile Fighter G Gundam (TV) - Bad
I'm actually surprised how many people seem to like this. To me this is basically a big ridiculous martial arts tournament series except with robots and racial stereotypes.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (TV) - Bad
The characters were so boring and totally lacked personality. The Gundams were so powerful that most of the fights were crappy. All in all, just a really bad anime. That said, some people do like this and I can sort of see why. It's an okay introductory Gundam series and it's got a certain novelty in spite of it's flaws.

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (TV) - Not really good
I haven't really seen that much of this but I didn't really care for it. It started out pretty weak. If you're going to have a lot of characters and factions, fine. I really don't see the reason to overload the viewer by introducing all of them immediately. Why not just wait till they're relevant? On the upside, I love the highly unique Gundam designs. They're very cool and striking but without pushing it too far. The other mecha are also very cool. They are distinct to each faction and look specialized and like actual realistic military vehicles. The animation of the fights looked great, in fact so did the animation overall. However I didn't care for many of the character designs much. There are a couple that are okay, but most of the guys look way too feminine, you can barely distinguish them as being guys. Also, a bunch of super powerful teens piloting some new mysterious weapons called Gundams is a tricky concept to pull off. It results in very few interesting battles and very little genuine conflict. In theory, you can get around that but so far they've pretty much failed to do so. There was one brief, mildly interesting fight and then its all just them smashing up grunt mobile suits with zero difficulty. Generally public opinion on this one seems mixed. Some people seem to like it, some don't.


So all in all, if you're new to Gundam I'd recommend SEED or one of the UC OVAs. Those are all pretty good series and will give you a good introduction to what Gundam is like. Zeta or the original Gundam may also be worth seeing but they may be a little less enjoyable to a new viewer. Wing isn't really very good but in some ways may be an okay introductory series as well.
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