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The Gundam Plot Coherency Scale


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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2190
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:37 pm Reply with quote
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the most rewarding payoff arrives around a mystical artifact, Laplace's Box, which viewers will realize has teasingly been shown throughout the show without us noticing until the end

I'm not quite sure what's supposed to be rewarding about that, imagine if in the next National treasure Nicholas Cage found out that the founding father decided to write a secret article (without telling anyone) in the constitution saying that if wizard ever show up they'll be given a privileged position in society. Would that really make the plot "rewarding"? (No, it'd be dumb in ways that I don't even think I'd have enough character in a single post to properly explain. )

spoiler[Also I'm not quite sure why seed would be considered of dubious sense (at least the first series), especially not more bonker than original UC. The reason for the McGuffin to stop nuclear weapon is pretty obvious... to stop nuclear weapon. Rather than do like most show and just ignore the existence of nukes they tried to actually include something to counter it (similar to the original Minovsky particle). Also Kira isn't specifically better at murder, he's better at everything, that was a big part of the story (also I think he only kill one person in the first series, although that's a bit dumb).]

{Edit}: I added spoiler tags. Please use them. ~ Psycho 101
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AiddonValentine



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 1395
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:13 pm Reply with quote
I will say, at least G Gundam is of the "I don't know what's going on, but I just saw a guy jump on lasers, so you have my attention."
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LinkTSwordmaster



Joined: 23 Dec 2005
Posts: 208
Location: PA / USA
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:58 pm Reply with quote
Hmm hmm hmm.......I've gabbed a bit in the past on the subject of the Gundam Z, ZZ, & Char's BluRay releases about Char likely being Tomino's self-insert character and a lot of that tying into his general IRL depression.

Really made me wonder when I saw Reconguista in G if his age combined with a lack of a proper insert character ultimately is what contributed to the show's near-schizophrenic pacing and characterisations.

Watching in the order of:

MS Gundam (maybe watch the compilation movies?)
Stardust
Z
ZZ
Char's Counterattack
Unicorn

....it's been some of the most amazing anime anthologies I've had the pleasure of watching.

The Stardust opening is classically the ruler by which I measure the visual quality of all other anime works I see, given its level of detail and general style, even to this day (which has likely sullied my enjoyment of some shows prematurely, but it's never faded).

Quick shout-out to Iron-Blooded Orphans for having an ending I found incredibly fitting to a modern Gundam anime, moreso than the overly-(but-still-good-)anime Gundam 00. The second season had some pacing issues, but overal the show was a pleasant addition to some of the PTSD thoughts that accompany me to bed at night. Wink
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SilverTalon01



Joined: 02 Apr 2012
Posts: 1879
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:59 pm Reply with quote
Why link SEED and Destiny when you separate out series like the orignal Gundam and Zeta?

Also, I really disagree with the placement of SEED and BF Try. Seed was incredibly coherent to the point it was probably too simple. There has been real life talk about the issues surrounding designer babies. A new generation raised on jealousy and hatred towards the designer babies discriminates against them to the point that they almost all flee to make their own community (totally happened to groups in history). Fanatical terrorists start a war by massacring civilians. The war developments make sense as well. The more moderate factions lose power to the nationalists. Yeah, Kira being there where Strike was and just happening to know Athrun is awful convenient, but the same is true of 0083 which was ranked coherent.

The only real issue the author seems to have with SEED is the neutron jammers, but why? They made some tech, and the same people found a way to counter it. Sure, how they work may not be totally unrealistic. Neither is the fusion reactors powering these suits in some of the coherent series.

How exactly does this lose in coherency to a story where the entire second half of the story is about getting this magical Gundam which will somehow make everyone bow down before it and do what the pilot tells them?

Try should be unlinked and bumped down. BF had some basic consistency with how it works. Try is basically the G Gundam of Build Fighter. I think the fact that G Gundam is way down there pretty well explains why Try is up too high.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4551
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:03 pm Reply with quote
Regarding Unicorn, I found the spoiler[big reveal regarding Laplace's Box to be a pretty good twist] toward the end, considering how long they make you wait for it. It never came across as dubious writing to me personally, but that's just me. I found it to be an enjoyable Gundam from start to finish.

As for Turn A Gundam, it definitely could have been written a bit better. Some parts of the story became a bit like scrambled eggs at times, but I wonder if the quality of the subtitled translation may have been the problem (it definitely seemed like characters were changing their tune too often during simple back and forth exchanges). The major antagonist was also a humongous disappointment and it didn't help that he had a terrible Japanese voice (I'm sure a dub could have fixed that much).


Last edited by belvadeer on Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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John Thacker
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Joined: 28 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:04 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Mobile Suit Gundam 00

Bizarre character names like Lockon Stratos and Anew Returner mingle with the details of an overly dramatic, overly complicated plot to make this one a tough entry into the Gundam canon.


Counterpoint: Bizarre character names mingled with an overly dramatic, overly complicated plot make this one a typical entry into the Gundam canon.

Quote:
At one point a character is killed off, only to be replaced with their identical sibling who, for some reason, also shares the same preternatural piloting skills and enthusiasm for joining a terrorist group.


Always makes me think of Beast King Go-Lion ("Lion Voltron") doing this with Shirogane and his brother (though in the American version they just had him come back.)[/quote]
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SilverTalon01



Joined: 02 Apr 2012
Posts: 1879
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:13 pm Reply with quote
One more point about why it is pretty ridiculous to harp only on neutron jammers like that. Unicorn did the same thing essentially, and it wasn't even worth mentioning.

Weapon was developed: funnels, nukes
Tech was developed to disable said weapon: NT-D, neutron jammers
Tech was developed to go around the previous tech: Rozen Zulu Incoms which can't be remotely jacked by NT-D, neutron jammer cancelers

The arms race is fundamentally about making a new weapon and then stopping your opponents from using the same thing on you. You can even see the same damn thing in real life. We develop ways to shoot down incoming nukes, then we develop missiles that go too fast to intercept.

This concept (not necessarily the tech and explanation of it) is not only coherent, it is incredibly realistic.
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DerekL1963
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Joined: 14 Jan 2015
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Location: Puget Sound
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:22 pm Reply with quote
AiddonValentine wrote:
I will say, at least G Gundam is of the "I don't know what's going on, but I just saw a guy jump on lasers, so you have my attention."


Yah. G Gundam is fun as h*ll if you just turn off your brain and accept the show's almost non-existent internal logic.
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chronium



Joined: 25 Apr 2005
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:22 pm Reply with quote
Seed and Destiny should be separated. Seed was very coherent throughout the series it just got stupid in the end but it was still logical. Destiny on the other hand was a complete mess.

I would move Thunderbolt down to dubious because it only made sense when it was focused on the Ace's dueling the rest of the show only made sense based on how much you know of that setting.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 567
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:11 pm Reply with quote
Siiiiiiggghhhh
LinkTSwordmaster wrote:
Hmm hmm hmm.......I've gabbed a bit in the past on the subject of the Gundam Z, ZZ, & Char's BluRay releases about Char likely being Tomino's self-insert character and a lot of that tying into his general IRL depression.

Really made me wonder when I saw Reconguista in G if his age combined with a lack of a proper insert character ultimately is what contributed to the show's near-schizophrenic pacing and characterisations.

I understand G-Reco isn't the easiest show to follow, but writing it off as "Tomino is a craaaaaayyyzzyyyyy old person!!!" is just a frustrating to me as going "This one sucks because Tomino was depressed" or whatever. I mean, like, I get it, not caring for the show because of its presentation, but it seems like people always go to such extremes when blaming Tomino for things. Why isn't "I didn't like the writing" enough?

...and like...I really shouldn't, since it's not like this'll change anyone's opinion, but the pedantic nerd in me has to bite since there's a "why" in there (I can't help iiiiit ;_;)
Quote:
This show features characters who undergo motivational shifts that qualify as personality changes and an unexplained mid-series one-episode truce (for some reason, everybody stops fighting and rides a space elevator together). New and experienced Gundam viewers alike will look at their screens and shout, “Why?”

Because it's a holy place. It's a bad idea to fight there - some are shocked to see mobile suit battles taking place so close to it to begin with. But everyone wants to go there to talk to Elevator Pope to get an edge on the coming events. The various sides basically sneak their way in, and then end up there together at the same time. Some of them are even friends on different sides, since it ended up that way.


Last edited by Kicksville on Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:36 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Zhou-BR



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 873
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:13 pm Reply with quote
I'll say this about Reconguista in G: it works much better if you marathon it, and my stance on it changed a lot after I rewatched the whole thing on Blu-ray over 3 days or so. Yes, there are too many ideas and developments in it for a 26-episode show, but I'd still rank it well above ZZ and V when it comes to both quality and plot coherency.
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classicalzawa
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:36 pm Reply with quote
I thought G Gundam was perfectly coherent! Why make each country send a representative in a giant mecha from space to fight each all over the globe for some sort of right to rule Earth for a few years? Because it's cool! Why have a horse pilot a Gundam? Because it's cool! Why the Shining Finger attack? Because it's cool! Why does that Gundam have a windmill on it's chest? Because it's...cool? Why do you pilot the Gundams using a motion-capture suit? Because it's cool! Why is that Gundam Sailor Moon in mecha form? Because it's cool!

But yeah, I overall didn't have much trouble following G Gundam. Sure, elements of the world are completely bonkers, but at least characters didn't switch alliances every 5 episodes, and the ones that did were typically in the "plot twist" route and didn't switch back or any of that nonsense. And it seems like they kept some of their goals in mind the whole time, even if they did tend to get easily distracted by crazy stuff happening.
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BlueAlf



Joined: 02 Jan 2017
Posts: 680
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:36 pm Reply with quote
A very amusing article. I chuckled a couple of times. Thank you for writing this, Lauren.

I agree with (or at least understand) most of your choices. This includes the placement of SEED and SEED Destiny, because, uh, I also think the whole Kira being resurrected, and the SEED factor stuff, and all the acronyms, were never really explained properly in the show.

I suppose G-Reco was the whole inspiration why this article was written?

I didn't realize how Wing changed directors midway through. I guess that explains a couple of things?

Anyway, I've always been slightly bothered by how you're the only person who writes about Gundam on ANN. But recently, I've been thinking that might be a good thing. Since, you know, it'll prevent unnecessary arguments on your side of things.
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SilverTalon01



Joined: 02 Apr 2012
Posts: 1879
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:30 pm Reply with quote
BlueAlf wrote:
I agree with (or at least understand) most of your choices. This includes the placement of SEED and SEED Destiny, because, uh, I also think the whole Kira being resurrected, and the SEED factor stuff, and all the acronyms, were never really explained properly in the show.


I don't see how 'anime character surviving something that in reality would totally have killed them' has to do with coherency. Something can be coherent without being super realistic. Sure, there was no where he could have gone to not be completely toasted by Aegis's self-destruct which melted the entire cockpit, but it very clearly wasn't lethal (somehow) and it was not hard to understand that someone found him injured and picked him up as the show specifically explains that.

That said, I do agree with you about the SEED factor. It doesn't ever explain it in detail, and who can have it along with the conditions to activate it are kind of vague. Unfortunately, she didn't even touch on that and instead harped on the nuclear power arms race which is perfectly logical and coherent.
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#LuckyMei



Joined: 13 Jun 2018
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:02 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam

Some viewers found this show's culmination so unsatisfying that the canon was altered in the movie, which suddenly has a happy ending. Protagonist Kamille is often irrational because of his raging hormones, but it's tough to understand why his fellow adults are equally flighty. At one point, Lt. Reccoa defects to the Titans because she thought the commander was hot. Meanwhile Char has a midlife crisis and insists everyone calls him Quattro now. At least I get why there are three sides now (including Quattro's AEUG): because war is still bad.


Reccoa does not defect because Scirocco is hot, she defects because he was the first man to treat her like a real woman and not just a tool used for dangerous operations (from her perspective, stated closely to her spoiler[death] near the end of the show. The name Quattro refers to this being his 4th identity (Casval, Edouard, Char, Quattro) and Bajeena is Tomino's censored spelling of "Vagina", a name Char gives himself in shame after his failures during the OYW like spoiler[losing Lalah, killing Garma and losing against Amuro Ray]

And no, "the canon" was not altered in the 3rd movie. According to Tomino himself the new translation movies are just that-, a different view on the events with a happier ending. It's not canon.

On ZZ: Why the article neglects to mention Glemy Toto, the spoiler[illegitimate son of Gihren Zabi] as well as the rest of the 2nd half's intrigues which returns to Zeta form in kind boggles my mind. It's almost like the author of this article didn't bother to finish ZZ and just looked up common ZZ memes like Moon Moon to beat it to a pulp for fun and internet points.

On Unicorn: Myeah, I liked it too and the twist made sense. Sure helped explain the federation's obstinancy in wanting to eradicate Zeon with the titans and such and refusing to acknowledge the right to self-rule in complete form.

On Origin: While I do agree that it's a good starting point for UC in some manner-, it can completely set the bar for certain characters in original Gundam too high since some buildup for characters in the origin is only resolved in a satisfying manner in the rest of Yasuhiko's origin manga. Which we unfortunately don't know if we'll get a full adaptation of next year for the 40th anniversary of Gundam since... Yasuhiko is retiring. And some cameo's/early character introductions won't have any impact at all unless you've watched first Gundam, like Tachi or maybe Dren. Some dramatical irony surrounding spoiler[the zabi's] is lost and what have you.

Anyway this was a decent article, despit my seemingly serious demeanor please don't treat this as an act of aggression against the author of the article, since I still enjoyed it and had my fair share of chuckles. Always great getting more Gundam content.[/quote]
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