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REVIEW: Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway


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residentgrigo



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:17 am Reply with quote
I wonder how along the next film is.
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LightningCount



Joined: 04 Mar 2018
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:35 am Reply with quote
Neat, I didn't realize this film was coming out just yet. I have been looking forward to this film a lot, and it's become unclear over time in the marketing if it is supposed to be a trilogy still or was shortened to one film. This review seems to clarify that it will still be three films. Interesting.

I was curious to hear more about the directorial style and pacing. Given that Murase (Ergo Proxy, Witch Hunter Robin, Genocidal Organ) is directing, and based on what I've seen in the trailers, this seems to be a far more subtle, moody, psychological, cinematic take on Gundam. It looks quite different from every other recent U.C. entry. I know the word "mature" is a loaded term, but the trailers have that word coming to mind. Even The Origin, for as amazing as it was, would slip into some more goofy/cartoony moments, and Narrative felt comic-book-ish more often than not, but this seems like a film noir tone almost. Is that accurate?

I skimmed parts of the review, as I didn't want to be spoiled on everything. But personally, I'm not so concerned that it doesn't rehash everything of the past with CCA, so long as it makes use of it in terms of the world and characters. Gundam is just in a weird place as a franchise where it wasn't able to unify or keep is disparate fanbases across the globe. Now the barrier to entry in some titles is just going to be an issue. I think you're probably right that there are things they could have done to smooth it over, but even if they had clarified Hathaway's past with Quess, it probably wouldn't have been able to really pin down the full importance of Amuro and Char without distracting from the plot.

Narrative was pretty incoherent without Unicorn, too, as I recall. Honestly, I felt Unicorn was pushing it a little bit as well in its assumptions, but it still got new fans because of the animation. Really, Gundam is something I had to watch out of order, coming in more or less during the early Toonami days. It's a matter of if someone is inspired enough by it to sort through it. Is that something modern viewers will have the patience and interest to do is the question, I guess, when there are so many choices out there now for anime. It's odd to say it, but Gundam is almost its own anime genre when you break it down. There's not a lot quite like it, even among the mecha genre as a whole.

But we're in a phase of Gundam where the AU "reboots" have slowed, being traded in for the Build Fighters sub-series of largely getting kids into the franchise. Meanwhile, the main releases are focused on filling in the gaps in U.C. to, presumably, get to a post-Victory world, where then you can have things reset more or less for new and old viewers alike. Clearly, I think the strategy right now is to get us back to F90, F91, and Crossbone. There are pros and cons to that strategy, though I must say, it'll be fascinating to see if an extended period of U.C. titles where Zeon has become a footnote to the plot will be sustainable, given what U.C. has been over the last several decades. (Reconguista in G's far future of U.C. sort of lessens the potential excitement, but oh well.)

But if you look at what Thunderbolt has been doing, or even what Narrative did, the U.C. entries are really dipping into territory that used to be AU zones, visually and scenario-wise. I think they've decided to just merge the mindsets to modernize U.C. rather than starting over with AUs every time. Now...as for the previously reported continuation of Gundam 00 and the long-delayed and likely cancelled SEED movie, I don't know what to say about those. Probably just anniversary side projects if they do materilize. There is the possibility that they'll remake 0079 eventually, but who can say. And sometimes I wonder if that ship has sailed in terms of potential return on investment.

You talked about different character designs clashing, which U.C. has been wrestling with a bit as it has modernized, but does that mean that characters like Gigi weren't in the novels with older designs by Mikimoto? I wonder how much this diverges from Tomino's novels. For what it's worth, a lot of the character work I've seen for this film seems to be among the strongest modernization of the U.C. style so far.
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Stelman257



Joined: 26 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:52 am Reply with quote
Yes pretty much every character in this had no design before they had to be animated for this movie. They came from a literal novel after all, there were no illustrations. So you have carry overs like Hathaway that are straight out of the 80's alongside characters like Gigi and Kenneth who look like they could be in a brand new series, with extremely modern designs and features. Gundam Narrative was exactly the same as well, even more so since the character designer for that was Korean.

As for the "reported Gundam 00 continuation". That already happened.
https://gundam.fandom.com/wiki/Mobile_Suit_Gundam_00_Festival_10_%22Re:vision%22
It was a fully canon, live stage show script reading. The new mech designs and character designs for Graham and Laetitia Erde were for that. It was essentially an epilogue of sorts to the Awakening of a Trailblazer movie, and will never be animated. A bit disappointing I suppose, but it was great getting to hear the voice actors as their characters again.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:20 pm Reply with quote
I thought Gundam NT was a complete disaster, so it's left me nervous about how this would turn out. I'm actually still nervous, after reading this review...

I've had the impression it took a while for Hathaway's Flash to become so well known, so I don't know it's that surprising it took this long to get adapted - between the unreadability without continuity, the complicated designs, and perhaps whether anyone other than Tomino should direct it (for the record, it seems it has his blessing).
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HAL14



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:22 pm Reply with quote
Which gundam ( Laughing) shows should someone watch first before this movie?
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:58 pm Reply with quote
HAL14 wrote:
Which gundam ( Laughing) shows should someone watch first before this movie?


The UC timeline, so original gundam (watch the movie trilogy), Zeta gundam, you can probably skip ZZ gundam but it's technically the follow up, char counterattack movie and gundam unicorn. Also probably NT gundam.

Not worth it if you're not really into gundam but somehow have never watched the UC timeline. If you're unsure and don't want to go into older stuff right away, you could try starting with unicorn just to get a feel for it, but it's heavy with reference to older UC gundam so you'll miss a lot of stuff and be left with a really terrible story (but awesome mech porn).
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Deacon Blues



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 2:33 pm Reply with quote
"Spoils its big twist early on"

That's... that's not how this entry in the Gundam series works? The novel was pretty forthcoming with the true fact of who Hathaway was.

I'm amazed at how all the "reviews" for this movie are penned like they watched the first fifteen minutes, viewed all the trailers, and then stitched everything together using the novel. Either that or none of the people who saw this movie could comprehend anything that was going on...?

So confused.
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LightningCount



Joined: 04 Mar 2018
Posts: 195
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 4:29 pm Reply with quote
Stelman257 wrote:
Yes pretty much every character in this had no design before they had to be animated for this movie. They came from a literal novel after all, there were no illustrations. So you have carry overs like Hathaway that are straight out of the 80's alongside characters like Gigi and Kenneth who look like they could be in a brand new series, with extremely modern designs and features. Gundam Narrative was exactly the same as well, even more so since the character designer for that was Korean.

As for the "reported Gundam 00 continuation". That already happened.
https://gundam.fandom.com/wiki/Mobile_Suit_Gundam_00_Festival_10_%22Re:vision%22
It was a fully canon, live stage show script reading. The new mech designs and character designs for Graham and Laetitia Erde were for that. It was essentially an epilogue of sorts to the Awakening of a Trailblazer movie, and will never be animated. A bit disappointing I suppose, but it was great getting to hear the voice actors as their characters again.


Regarding characters, I knew Mikimoto of Macross fame had done some work on the old novels, either for covers or promos. I went back and found out there does seem to be quite a bit of old art for some of the characters. Gigi is one of them. Google: "Hathaways Flash Mikimoto" and you'll see some of the old art mixed in with the new art. Even so, there's definitely been some modernization and some new additions. But it's interesting to see. I like the art direction quite a bit for this movie based on the trailers.

As for Gundam 00, I was aware of the stage play, but director Seiji Mizushima has supposedly stated there will be an anime in addition to that. Otaku USA mentioned it here: https://otakuusamagazine.com/mobile-suit-gundam-00-gets-sequel/ and more recently, I just found out, here: https://otakuusamagazine.com/new-mobile-suit-gundam-00-sequel-2027/

Deacon Blues wrote:
"Spoils its big twist early on"

That's... that's not how this entry in the Gundam series works? The novel was pretty forthcoming with the true fact of who Hathaway was.

I'm amazed at how all the "reviews" for this movie are penned like they watched the first fifteen minutes, viewed all the trailers, and then stitched everything together using the novel. Either that or none of the people who saw this movie could comprehend anything that was going on...?

So confused.


For what it's worth, the Forbes review seemed a bit more familiar with the material and answered my question that, supposedly, the film does follow the first novel very closely. All the same, I like hearing the different opinions.
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Richard Eisenbeis
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Joined: 17 Dec 2018
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:13 pm Reply with quote
Deacon Blues wrote:
"Spoils its big twist early on"

That's... that's not how this entry in the Gundam series works? The novel was pretty forthcoming with the true fact of who Hathaway was.


The important thing in that sentence wasn't the first half but the second half:
"It spoils its big twist early on and then pretends that it hasn't for the rest of the film."

It's not that the film spoils itself that is the problem (that's how the novel was laid out, after all), it's that it acts like it hasn't. What likely causes this disconnect is the simple fact that we can't hear Hathaway's thoughts in the film and are left only with his actions to interpret--many of which don't seem to line up with what we know about him from the opening scene.

Stelman257 wrote:
Yes pretty much every character in this had no design before they had to be animated for this movie. They came from a literal novel after all, there were no illustrations.


To be fair, that's not quite true. The books have covers and occasional in-book illustrations after all. What's interesting is that Gigi got a huge redesign while Hathaway still looks like a classic Gundam character.

LightningCount wrote:

For what it's worth, the Forbes review seemed a bit more familiar with the material and answered my question that, supposedly, the film does follow the first novel very closely. All the same, I like hearing the different opinions.


It does follow the first novel closely--though there are more than a few little changes here or there.
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John the Dark Lord



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:36 pm Reply with quote
The characters of the novel have also showed up in video-games (and trading cards it seems, I didn't even know Gundam had those) in the past. And I will say, the changes done to Gigi are nothing compared to Kenneth's. Lane seems to be the only one whose design is still pretty close to his previous appearances, likely because, as the pilot of Penelope, he is more prominent, at least in merch and games. And yes, comparing the old designs with the new ones really shows how much Gundam - and anime in general, really - changed with the years.
Press the HF button at the top to see (But try to avoid reading the text if you don't want spoilers)
https://gundam.fandom.com/wiki/Kenneth_Sleg_(HF)
https://gundam.fandom.com/wiki/Gigi_Andalucia_(HF)
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 1:06 am Reply with quote
My big problem with Hathaway's Flash is quite simple. We know that Mafty's rebellion is going to end in failure and that the status quo of the Universal Century is going to keep on being terrible, so why should I care about anything that happens here?

Indeed, that has always been the problem with the timeline since Zeta, nothing in the setting can ever get better because Bandai got to model kits to sell and Tomino was letting his depression get the better of him when he created the vast majority of it, leading him down to some very juvenile cynical conclusions. "People are too petty and selfish to ever truly become Newtypes, Corrupt adults and their lies have already ruined everything so there is no hope for the next generation, Revolution will always end in failure and disappointment. Oh and women are irrational creatures who should not have their ideas be taken seriously, least they end up making a nightmarish dictatorship."

I looked at translations of the novels. I know how it ends. It's tragedy porn. Mean-spirited tragedy porn at that.

Gundam is in the exact some place as where Star Wars currently is right now, caring more about catering to the tastes of the original fanbase at the expanse of trying to create more new paths for it's long-term future. G-Reco may have been an incoherent mess but it was trying to open new horizons and create possibilities. Hathaway's Flash just gives you a hollow drama.


Last edited by Zeino on Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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yuetheguardian



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:16 am Reply with quote
Quote:
The UC timeline, so original gundam (watch the movie trilogy), Zeta gundam, you can probably skip ZZ gundam but it's technically the follow up, char counterattack movie and gundam unicorn.


Honestly I still don't understand the hate for ZZ all these years later. It has its problems yes but not worthy of being the beating stick of the UC. Its more consistent than Zeta IMO.

I am excited to sit and watch this movie, Bright Noa has been slapping teenagers into shape for years but neglected to help his own son. To anyone interested in watching this I would strongly suggest seeing this as a quadriology with Chars Counterattack at the very least. Maybe one of these days, Sunrise will gift us with a crossbone adaptation.
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Deacon Blues



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:42 am Reply with quote
Richard Eisenbeis wrote:
Deacon Blues wrote:
"Spoils its big twist early on"

That's... that's not how this entry in the Gundam series works? The novel was pretty forthcoming with the true fact of who Hathaway was.


The important thing in that sentence wasn't the first half but the second half:
"It spoils its big twist early on and then pretends that it hasn't for the rest of the film."

It's not that the film spoils itself that is the problem (that's how the novel was laid out, after all), it's that it acts like it hasn't. What likely causes this disconnect is the simple fact that we can't hear Hathaway's thoughts in the film and are left only with his actions to interpret--many of which don't seem to line up with what we know about him from the opening scene.


Then I guess it doesn't follow the novels all that closely. Grated, it's not a direct adaptation, but I guess saying it loosely follows it would be better.

But, I guess it's hard for me to separate the two since I've been translating the novel, but this is likely one of the factors that contributed to the stigma of it being a novel that was thought to be "impossible" to translate to screen. Tomino hasn't, and never will be, a great writer in general, but this may end up being one of the cases where his work was better left in print form. Unless, of course, they make future modifications. The entire opening of this movie plays out vastly different from the novel anyways, which does leave some people a bit perplexed overall. I thought they may have cleared this up with some lengthier internal monologue at the hotel, but apparently not. I'll have to wait and see for myself once the blu-rays are available. I guess we all see things differently.
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TranceLimit174



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:20 am Reply with quote
There were only two words I wanted to read in this review: Hi-Nu & Nightengale.

Good to know I can get that disappointment out of the way.

Looking forward to seeing some top class mecha action with the Xi VS Penelope Gundams, but outside of that I have very little interest in the story and honestly don't see the appeal. Last I checked, most fans agree that Hathaway and Quess were the weakest part of CCA (to put it lightly).


yuetheguardian wrote:
Honestly I still don't understand the hate for ZZ all these years later. It has its problems yes but not worthy of being the beating stick of the UC. Its more consistent than Zeta IMO.


ZZ is tonally inconsistent with every other UC work, which probably would be forgiven if its comedy wasn't so awful. A main cast gets sidelined for the second time, and then it has to production pivot half-way through to line up with CCA. And honestly, the first half of the show is really a big waste of time if all you care about is UC Continuity. Best thing to come out of ZZ was the ZZ Gundam itself.
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BlueAlf



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:39 am Reply with quote
Regardless, the Hathaway movie acts as a continuation of CCA instead of the BC novels, right? If that's so, I get the feeling there will be more differences down the later novels.

IMO it's pretty weird how I expected Narrative to be a trilogy only to end up as a stand-alone, while Hathaway that I expected to be a stand-alone actually ended up being a trilogy.

(TBH, with the cat and mouse going on, I've always wondered how comparable this story is to Code Geass.)

Thanks a lot for the review man. I always appreciate it.
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