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Interview: Yousuke Kuroda and Seiji Mizushima


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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:08 pm Reply with quote
I think Mizushima is a good director and Kuroda a decent writer, but I still think they have some developing to do. Gundam 00 was a bit rough around the edges, especially in the beginning of the first season and in parts of the second. I think it's probably because they did choose so many themes to juggle, and with so many characters involved, as well, it came off as being a little too ambitious for their current skill level.

I loved what Mizushima did with the first FMA series, but I hope he doesn't get too ahead of himself with the 00 movie. Gundam fans do tend to be overly critical, I admit, though. I should know, being one of them.

Sometimes relevance comes at the price of coherence, is all I'm saying.
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Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:06 am Reply with quote
Personally I found the political aspect of Gundam 00 a bad joke. It came off like they wanted to be like Metal Gear Solid, but didn't want to actual comment on the things itself. They have a kurd but immediatly have him renounce Islam, give him a codename that is also a Japanese name and move him to Japan. They don't talk about Kurdish opression, they just chose him to be a Kurd because they saw it in the news.

That and Setsuna is a complete Marty Stu by the end. His even worse than Kira.

I could continue but I won't considering the nature of politics
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penguintruth



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:15 am Reply with quote
Charred Knight wrote:
Personally I found the political aspect of Gundam 00 a bad joke. It came off like they wanted to be like Metal Gear Solid, but didn't want to actual comment on the things itself. They have a kurd but immediatly have him renounce Islam, give him a codename that is also a Japanese name and move him to Japan. They don't talk about Kurdish opression, they just chose him to be a Kurd because they saw it in the news.

I could continue but I won't considering the nature of politics


He renounced God himself, because he found no God to protect him on the battlefield, and when he was saved by a Gundam, he found God in Gundam, thus his obsession. I find it interesting.

The political aspect had more to do with the different power blocs vying for control, and old tensions like with Sri Lanka, between the Sinhalese and the Tamils, or the IRA in Ireland. And in the second season it concentrated on a strong united government, but one that was built on paranoia. Granted, they didn't go about it in the most original way (echoes of Zeta Gundam).

Also, Kurgis, the place Setsuna is from, has been destroyed, and the remnants were absorbed into Azadistan. It was mentioned.
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Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:33 am Reply with quote
penguintruth wrote:


He renounced God himself, because he found no God to protect him on the battlefield, and when he was saved by a Gundam, he found God in Gundam, thus his obsession. I find it interesting.

The political aspect had more to do with the different power blocs vying for control, and old tensions like with Sri Lanka, between the Sinhalese and the Tamils, or the IRA in Ireland. And in the second season it concentrated on a strong united government, but one that was built on paranoia. Granted, they didn't go about it in the most original way (echoes of Zeta Gundam).

Also, Kurgis, the place Setsuna is from, has been destroyed, and the remnants were absorbed into Azadistan. It was mentioned.


The religion aspect I found incredibly silly, basically he worships a giant robot as his god, and then spoiler[evolves into Jesus by way of Nuclear radiation] It's like something out of DC during the 60's.

Personally I found the way they handled war insulting, all they do is show up and blow things up, at which point conflict ends.

As for the Kurdish opression, I wanted more than a line to symbolize that Kurgis equals the Kurds, and Azadistan is Iraq.

I think they had an oppurtunity to make something original, something unique, and daring, instead it just copies things from Metal Gear, Gundam Wing, and Zeta Gundam. The worst part is what they copied wasn't even done well.

Kuroda is a great comedic writer (Magical Project S, and Excel Saga), and Mizushima impressed me with being able to get his own story out of something where the first half is leading to something completely different, but this was definatly a step down for both men.
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ninjaclown



Joined: 17 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:47 am Reply with quote
Charred Knight wrote:
penguintruth wrote:


He renounced God himself, because he found no God to protect him on the battlefield, and when he was saved by a Gundam, he found God in Gundam, thus his obsession. I find it interesting.

The political aspect had more to do with the different power blocs vying for control, and old tensions like with Sri Lanka, between the Sinhalese and the Tamils, or the IRA in Ireland. And in the second season it concentrated on a strong united government, but one that was built on paranoia. Granted, they didn't go about it in the most original way (echoes of Zeta Gundam).

Also, Kurgis, the place Setsuna is from, has been destroyed, and the remnants were absorbed into Azadistan. It was mentioned.


The religion aspect I found incredibly silly, basically he worships a giant robot as his god, and then spoiler[evolves into Jesus by way of Nuclear radiation] It's like something out of DC during the 60's.

Personally I found the way they handled war insulting, all they do is show up and blow things up, at which point conflict ends.

As for the Kurdish opression, I wanted more than a line to symbolize that Kurgis equals the Kurds, and Azadistan is Iraq.

I think they had an oppurtunity to make something original, something unique, and daring, instead it just copies things from Metal Gear, Gundam Wing, and Zeta Gundam. The worst part is what they copied wasn't even done well.

Kuroda is a great comedic writer (Magical Project S, and Excel Saga), and Mizushima impressed me with being able to get his own story out of something where the first half is leading to something completely different, but this was definatly a step down for both men.


What's so silly about religion? Many people fight and die for it. The story tells Setsuna's disillusionment with God and how he views Gundam as the embodiment of conflict Intervention. They also said they didn't want Gundam 00 to get to political, so no true analogies can be made between the show and conflicts in the real world.

And blowing stuff up? That's what Gundam is all about. Laughing
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Charred Knight



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:59 am Reply with quote
I found how they handled religion to be silly
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penguintruth



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:10 am Reply with quote
Charred Knight wrote:
basically he worships a giant robot as his god, and then spoiler[evolves into Jesus by way of Nuclear radiation] It's like something out of DC during the 60's.


Welcome to Gundam. Enjoy your stay.

Quote:
Personally I found the way they handled war insulting, all they do is show up and blow things up, at which point conflict ends.


They show up and attack both sides, and then return if it should flare up again, showing that any conflict will not be tolerated by Celestial Being.

It's a naive way to operate, but that is acknowledged.

Quote:
As for the Kurdish opression, I wanted more than a line to symbolize that Kurgis equals the Kurds, and Azadistan is Iraq.


You may be reading too much into it.

Charred Knight wrote:
I found how they handled religion to be silly


Religion is silly.
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fmagrave



Joined: 21 May 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:15 am Reply with quote
penguintruth wrote:
...as well, it came off as being a little too ambitious for their current skill level.


Out of curiosity, how many anime writers are better than Yousuke Kuroda? He's the guy who wrote Trigun, Gungrave and Honey and Clover (I and II).

Given that any writer of the Gundam franchise is forced to create a product with universal appeal, I'm not sure much more could have been done.
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Charred Knight



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:16 am Reply with quote
penguintruth wrote:
Charred Knight wrote:
basically he worships a giant robot as his god, and then spoiler[evolves into Jesus by way of Nuclear radiation] It's like something out of DC during the 60's.


Welcome to Gundam. Enjoy your stay.

Quote:
Personally I found the way they handled war insulting, all they do is show up and blow things up, at which point conflict ends.


They show up and attack both sides, and then return if it should flare up again, showing that any conflict will not be tolerated by Celestial Being.

It's a naive way to operate, but that is acknowledged.

Quote:
As for the Kurdish opression, I wanted more than a line to symbolize that Kurgis equals the Kurds, and Azadistan is Iraq.


You may be reading too much into it.

Charred Knight wrote:
I found how they handled religion to be silly


Religion is silly.


I could continue arguing but it would eventually cross lines I don't want crossed. Let's just say that I wanted to be challenged, and Gundam 00 never did it.
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Big Hed



Joined: 04 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:23 am Reply with quote
penguintruth wrote:
I think Mizushima is a good director and Kuroda a decent writer, but I still think they have some developing to do. Gundam 00 was a bit rough around the edges, especially in the beginning of the first season and in parts of the second. I think it's probably because they did choose so many themes to juggle, and with so many characters involved, as well, it came off as being a little too ambitious for their current skill level.


I agree with this. Having said that, given that 00 (which I will always pronounce "double zero") was apparently -- at least to an extent -- subject to design by committee, I'm impressed with the end result. Not that I wasn't before, but it's something else I keep in mind now.

But while I love the show, I do have to agree with Charred Knight that for the most part, the commentary on religion and politics was tepid. I think the foundation for a lot of good ideas were present (ie Setsuna finding "God" in a machine, a benevolent non-aligned paramilitary organization, the energy crisis being tantamount), but none of those were really built upon from a thematic standpoint. Obviously in the context of 00's plot many ideas did evolve out of necessity, but the evolutionary process was glossed over.

Having said that, I acknowledge that it must be exceedingly difficult to truly cover such complex themes in the context of the Gundam franchise, especially in socially-conservative Japan. Therefore, keeping this in mind:

ninjaclown wrote:
What's so silly about religion? Many people fight and die for it. The story tells Setsuna's disillusionment with God and how he views Gundam as the embodiment of conflict Intervention. They also said they didn't want Gundam 00 to get to political, so no true analogies can be made between the show and conflicts in the real world.

And blowing stuff up? That's what Gundam is all about.


...And that I was sympathetic towards many of the characters, I can still consider 00 a highly enjoyable series.

Also:

Charred Knight wrote:
spoiler[...evolves into Jesus by way of Nuclear radiation]


Nice turn of phrase Laughing

Again though, the GN drives are another example of "good foundation, bad evolution". But that is the way of things with sci fantasy.
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penguintruth



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:33 am Reply with quote
Charred Knight wrote:
I wanted to be challenged, and Gundam 00 never did it.


I guess I felt the same way, but I still found it mildly entertaining.

To be honest, I felt like the last time Gundam anime challenged me was Turn A Gundam. Or Seed Destiny, which challenged my faith in the franchise by being so awful.
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Charred Knight



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:40 am Reply with quote
Turn A Gundam was basically what Gundam 00 should have been, a look at war from both sides, with both sides presented as right in their own way. Sure it didn't make as much as Gundam Seed Destiny, but are Japanese directors fine with this?

I mean taken at face value Gundam 00 makes Mizushima and Kuroda look out of touch with the world.
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Jih2



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:05 pm Reply with quote
Charred Knight wrote:
I wanted to be challenged, and Gundam 00 never did it.


I'd agree there. It was an enjoyable ride and I definitely didn't expect it to be as good as it was but there were points where interesting conversation was on the verge of happening and then the series ran far, far away from it. I definitely like the show and will be interested in watching it again, if and when the BDs come out in America, but the first viewing didn't impress my mind.
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nightjuan



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:34 pm Reply with quote
I certainly didn't expect Gundam 00 to handle all the issues it raised with the kind of maturity that the complexity of reality would demand, but I at least acknowledge that the staff tried to do something relevant even if they ended up taking the easy way out. It's probably not a good idea to read too much into what actually happened.

Turn A was better at this in some respects, but that show benefitted from taking a lot of risks and not even trying to establish any kind of foothold in the realm of current world affairs, by being intentionally anachronistic.
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Charred Knight



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:18 pm Reply with quote
One thing I just noticed about the interview was that they mentioned that one of the themes was nationality

One of my biggest problems with that series was that nationality wasn't talked about. They barely touched upon it, Am I honestly supposed to believe that within the next 100 years America and China are honestly going to be willing to unite into a single nation? During the second season the main american character is going around in a goofy samurai costume. Another american character commits sepekku!
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