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Posted: 10 Feb 2020, 21:54 

Some comments on Gundam 0079 the original TV series:

The movie trilogy made from the series are the “Gundam” that most fans know, not the actual series. I’ll get into that in a minute. The series wasn’t even on video until 1998 and then only in two $400 box sets. The movies by then were being sold as three $40 VHS releases (very cheap for Japan).

As for what made Gundam special, you have to go back to 1980 or so. At the time giant robot anime had been a thing for some time. Tetsujin 28 was the first big one. Mazinger Z (1972) moved that to a new level by making the hero pilot the robot from inside instead of just screaming things at it from two miles away like Giant Robo (1967) but Gundam was more or less the first show to break from “super robot” tradition in the following ways:

The MS aren’t magic god machines, they run off science and are mass produced by the hundreds in some cases.

The hero pilot is gifted in the extreme but he’s not the “one true pilot”, anyone who can operate an MS can pilot the Gundam.


Beyond that it’s a very detailed war story with an extremely interesting character, Char. Char and the birth of the Real Robot genre (Macross, Dougram, VOTOMS, Dragonar, uncountable by now...) were of the three things that made Gundam great.

When the show was first being aired the creators had all sorts of visions of what they wanted to do. In the real world though your anime is on TV because some toy company is paying to have it made. In this case there was one Gundam toy (the DX set) and it didn’t sell well. The sponsor demanded that the “robot of the week” system he used in order to sell the toy. (Real mech fans know that the “loser” robots were the cool ones.) The G Parts docking sequences which are boring reused animation in several episodes were made to satisfy the sponsor. The existence of the G Parts in the first place was the satisfy the sponsor. The creators did everything to work around the dumb toy nobody wanted but in the end the show was cancelled early.

By the time the show was cancelled the staff and fans had worked themselves into a frenzy energizing fan circles. Ratings were actually going up, but with the show cancelled and the ending brought forward it was impossible to “un cancel” it.

However there was a plan. The show, now more popular in reruns than it was originally, would be edited into a film with some new footage. Of course, there was deception here too. The director knew that the market for three films existed so he deliberately made a movie that was only 1/3 of the story and told the fans it was a trilogy at an event so the sponsor/film distributor had no choice but to green light the sequels.

The premier of the first movie was so huge...there’s actually a Wiki that describes that day I think. Ten thousand fans and no crowd control, in a way a major point in otaku history. The fans and creators beat the money men!

The movies...well, with no toy sponsor to satisfy this time some things changed. The G Parts were removed completely. (Sayla saves the day in a Core Booster instead.). Each movie had more new animation than the last. The finale of the 3rd movie is completely redone at what looks like easily 10 times the budget. New, extremely good, music is added. Unlike the show, which wasn’t even popular with ota, these movies were a huge hit. They still play them on holidays. They are, frankly, way better than the show.

As for why it was so popular, I hope to have explained that but there is another aspect and that is the headspace that post-bubble Japanese youth found themselves in in 1980. This was a somewhat lost generation in many ways, knowing that their parents and grandparents helped destroy Japan by starting an doomed war they were looking for new things and this show looked like that kind of thing. Extremely international it was a sort of window into the world. Everyone feels like Amuro sometimes, forced to do things you don’t want to do, sometimes things you know are wrong. Gundam has had a greater than %50 female fanbase from the beginning, so it’s fans are as much into the characters as the machines. This is Japan of course. The rest of the world got the show much much later if ever so the plastic kits are more popular than the books in most parts of the world. Tragic characters, often popular with youth...Gundam has so many. Matilda, Ryo, Ral, even Garma in a way...

When the show was cancelled and the plot shortened it changed things quite a bit. Originally Amuro was supposed to die and then Char would join the White Base crew in a red Gundam! This made it into the novelizations. Later on in the sequel series Z Gundam Char does sorta do that but under an assumed name. These kinds of Elseworlds things energize the fandom as well. For example, the movie Char’s Counterattack has several versions...the original High Streamer light novel, the movie, the novel version, and the manga version of the novel. In the movie you don’t get to see Amuro’s unborn child save his dad’s life from within the womb...

So you have to have lived it, which none of us here did because none of us were ages 6-12 in 1980 Japan. The themes it deals with are classic though and are the same themes Buddha dealt with. If you can see the tears of time you’ll know...or maybe you’ll never know. It’s a magic thing, Gundam.


Shows like 0080 and 0083 are more popular with westerners. 0083 is basically just Top Gun with even worse romantic elements but it does have cool characters and easily some of the best animation in Gundam before or since. I like it a lot. 0080 is almost totally removed from the normal drama of the show and stars kids and a loser Zeon pilot. It’s probably the best Gundam thing that isn’t a real Tomino Newtype death fest but it’s as heavy as anything. Excellent.

Neither 0080 or 0083 are like “real” Gundam though which is about Newtypes. Gundam is about Newtypes. The robots are cool but they’re really only there to keep the anime going in a similar way that Ferrari road cars keep the Ferrari F1 team winning. It’s literally about the evolution of humanity. Even a six year old knows war is f***ed. Even a child knows right from wrong and acts totally on this instinct. Six year olds don’t sign contracts, take oaths, salute flags, all that stuff. Only when people are older can they be handed a gun and trusted to kill someone they don’t know. Gundam is a war story, and anti-war story, but it rarely preaches because most people watching it are themselves anti-war. It’s the next level of that discussion, the Newtype. It asks humans who have free will to make the future NOW instead of waiting for human DNA to collectively move beyond our animal past, deliberately, before our actual DNA evolves. Newtypes are not a crutch, they are the crux!

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 Post subject: Re: About the seller DaDon
Posted: 21 Feb 2020, 23:47 

Duncanism
Thanks to this thread for increasing my vocabulary :thumbup: Duncanism is, indeed, a phenomena not limited to our very own rogue veteran LD tech. It reminds me of lurking the old rgvac arcade game newsgroup and reading the saga of an arcade game shipping guy named Randy Buffalo. Buffalo (an alias) left dozens of games in limbo when he copped out on doing his job, then the community had to organize a group effort to save the games which required even more money (while Buffalo never gave back a cent shipping charges). Some games wound up exposed to the elements while languishing with Buffalo, some were never recovered. Much like the efforts to send that private eye to Duncan's barn to save a few LD players.

Sometimes Duncanism is a function of the entropy that catches up with all of us eventually. This was some component with Duncan - health conditions, aging, wife's death - but he was still taking on players long after concerns were raised here and his backlog known, which was pure scamming behavior. In contrast, DaDon seems to have handled the endgame in a more standup manner, letting customers know the situation instead of pocketing their money.

Niche hobbies like this go hand in hand with Duncanism, as you have to trust the rare individuals with skills/items as opposed to companies with redundant staff and various protections (and local access).

Oddly enough, here's a pic of DaDon and Duncan during better times for them both when DaDon visited the Bayview shop:
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