Ep. 025 - X Marks the Spot!

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thanatos
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Post by thanatos » Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:13 pm

Chris wrote:You're missing out on a great show. I've never liked Hisashi Hirai's generic design style, but Heroic Age is a very underrated show that deserves to be seen. You should check it out when FUNimation releases it next year. From my perspective, dismissing a show just on the character designs is the same as dismissing it because of the mecha designs.
That's why I said I was putting the show off rather than avoiding it completely. I almost started watching it a while back but chose to watch Idolmaster Xenoglossia instead, which is turning out to be a worthwhile show. I'll probably start Heroic Age in the near future though.

It's not that I think a show should be dismissed because of character designs, it's just that I have only so many hours to spare and I need some way to decide on what to watch now and what to postpone for later.

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Post by skyknight » Fri Dec 26, 2008 6:10 pm

I hoped everyone had a Merry Christmas, I just finished listen to this podcast.

I'm glad you guys took the time to do this podcast before the holidays, and the topics does correspond to several of my interests.

00 Gundam: it ended on the right note, and I will say without any hesitation, one of the best Gundam series ever. Yes, I do hope US reviewers will be patient with the series before making a score judgment for the entire series.

Gundam X: I was glad that I was able to watch the entire series, and I am also glad that some FACTS were brought out, instead of plain speculation without basis.

Mecha or Characters: can't have one without the other, BOTH are important, and balancing is needed. There's no need to see a mecha in every ep, but they needed to show up in appropriate time. And we need to know the characters that pilot the mecha, who they are and why they fight. Unfortunately, some people just judge the series by the mecha design (my bro is no fan of Turn-A, despite being a Gundam fan). With many mecha shows, I usually would watch up to 4~8 eps, I would judge by the storyline first, not the pretty gals or cool looking mecha, and determine if I want to finish the series or not.

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Post by tonto » Sat Dec 27, 2008 1:12 am

I just want to say I love listening to you guys. I wish I had buddies into mechs as much as me so we could have talks like this. I want to say thanks to you guys for introducing me to so many good shows like Code Geass and Gurren Lagann. You guys are really doing exactly what you said you were going to do in the first episode, and that is just trying to promote the mecha genre and sorta celebrate it. So thank you so much guys and keep up the good work.

On a note that is actually related to the episode, glad to hear some more of your just free form conversations. I like the reviews but good to just have a discussion on a broader thing from time to time.

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thehod
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Post by thehod » Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:28 am

I enjoyed the discussion of Gundam X and of course the Mecha vs Character discussion. I have only gotten to Episode 30 of Gundam X as the store I used to get fan subs from (Chris might remember) Anime Hurricane never had the fan subs to 39 or were sold out. I need to rewatch the series from start to finish.

My tastes for Character vs Mecha have changed over the years and I used to be 70/30 in favor of mecha and now I feel its the other way around. I find more and more I tuned into Gundam 00 for the political intrigue than the action itself. The same can be said of Code Geass. Like I said before I am now more 70% character and 30% mecha. I feel both do go hand in hand. Everyone wants a visually pleasing show with some action to pick up the pace but the mechs cannot carry a show otherwise it would be like a Michael Bay film of explosions and no real substance.

Turn A Gundam is what I still claim as the most underrated Gundam show ever and is up there in my favorite Gundam series. I highly anticipate your spotlight on that show.

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Post by Vent Noir » Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:06 am

One criticism of GX I've heard and don't think you addressed (unless I wasn't concentrating, which has been known to happen) is that the story is too focused on Newtypes, meaning that you have to have seen the UC shows and know what Newtypes are to get the storyline, and people who are new to Gundam won't find the show accessible. What's your response to that claim?
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Post by Chris » Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:24 pm

Vent Noir wrote:One criticism of GX I've heard and don't think you addressed (unless I wasn't concentrating, which has been known to happen) is that the story is too focused on Newtypes, meaning that you have to have seen the UC shows and know what Newtypes are to get the storyline, and people who are new to Gundam won't find the show accessible. What's your response to that claim?
I've never heard that criticism, and frankly I don't think it's very valid. Newtypes in X aren't exactly the same as in UC, and X explains exactly what Newtypes are in the context of its own universe. It doesn't hurt if you've seen the UC series, but it's not necessary at all to enjoy X, thus it's not a valid criticism.
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Post by Magnus » Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:30 pm

Happy silver anniversary to the Gundamn! crew!

Once again, I just want to voice my thanks. Gundamn! is a perfect companion to the tech podcasts and audible books that prevent my job from driving me to insanity. :lol:

I liked the free-form conversation that went on. It was just as entertaining as usual in spite of there being no r-word officially being done.

On a side note, I watched the first episode of Code Geass and found myself a bit turned off by the character design. I'm not a fan of the very pointy, very polished look. I've yet to go back and finish the series but it'll happen eventually.

P.S. It was funny hearing you guys discuss the low quality of the Gundam Wing kits. My brother visited Japan a few years back and he got me my first gunpla kits ever--one of which was the Wing HG. Now that I've graduated to MG kits I really see how cheap it was. Heck, I almost gave up the hobby because of how flimsy it was and how parts would fall off whenever it was posed!
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Post by hawk of endymion » Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:00 pm

tonto wrote:
On a note that is actually related to the episode, glad to hear some more of your just free form conversations. I like the reviews but good to just have a discussion on a broader thing from time to time.
Thanks, we enjoy the free form conversations better ourselves. Unfortunately, we got caught up this past summer with too many reviews. Well, lesson learned.
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Post by Battosai28 » Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:33 pm

Yet again, I took my sweet time listening to this episode, which is becoming somewhat of a habit. Anyways, it was another great ep, and I especially enjoyed the roundup of what is possibly my personal favorite gundam series. I was suprised to see absolutely no newtype dolphin love (that was quite probably the most awkward ark of the show).

While I am looking forward to hearing your discussion on Endless Waltz, I am truely waiting for the Turn A discussion. I consider it today to be the most under talked about series. All you really hear about is the discussion of the setting (early 20th century-like Earth and the Turn A big bang theory) However, there is very little going around, at least from what I have seen, about the characters and story. Hopefully that will change with your help!

P.S. Happy New Year Gundamn!!!
Like all good things, my 318 days in Japan have come to an end. Thank you everyone for such an awesome year!

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Post by NastyNate » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:11 pm

That was a great episode guys. I was a little late listening to it because I had to watch gundam x first. It was really fresh in my mind when I watched it and the roundup inhanced the shows experience. I can't thank you guys enough for doing this show because I probably never would have watched this show otherwise, and now I think it is or at least close to my favorite show of all time.

You guys mentioned in the show I believe that there is a translation to the under the moonlight manga but I could not find that anywhere. Do any of you know where I could get it?
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Post by Seraphic » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:55 pm

Seraphic wrote:Sweet! That's good timing, Soul Bro. I'll listen to this while I'm writing! Hopefully none of the discussion manages to creep into my story, haha. :D

I'll be sure to comment on this one, and I still need to discuss the previous episode, too. Keep up the great work. =)
And a month later~

Damn, sorry it took this long to comment. You know, every time a new Gundamn ep. comes out, I think to myself "Hey, another ep! Now I have something to listen to while I work!" And just so you know, I neeeever get any homework or any writing done with Gundamn! in the background because it always ends up becoming too interesting. Given, this isn't your fault, but my own poor judgment. I just want to let you know how gripping the podcast actually is! :P

Drawing with Gundamn! on usually goes a lot better though. I think this is the exact thing I was working on for the contest. I had an Episode playing while I scribbled. Yeah, I kinda suck, but I think you guys should also be able to enjoy something that you partly helped to create! I got second place. Thanks for being inspiring. =)

As for X, I'll tell you that the Gundamn! crew completely reversed my thoughts on the series. Beforehand, my only impression of X was from Burke, who I think was the original owner of MAHQ. He said it was the only Gundam series he hated, going off on some rant about brains and newtype dolphins, quoting the cancellation of X. That all really alarmed me, so since then I kept X in the back of my mind, even though I still got a few kits. Needless to say, hearing all the wonderful praise for X by Neo and Soul Bro really surprised me. (Not that I should take Burke so seriously. He was kind of a dick to me.) Eventually watching the show for myself, I'd say that I agree most with Soul Bro and Neo.

First off, I have to give Chris really big props on this episode for mentioning Tokita's 4koma "Go for it! Domon W". Every Gundam fan needs to read those comics, but I'll tell you non-fans won't get it at all. Not even the strip where Silver Crown puts on the clown mask by mistake! :x I also want to thank Chris for clearing up the nature of X's cancellation. It was weird and confusing for me beforehand, but now I think I know better.

One of the very first impressions I got from seeing X was witnessing some of the EASIEST KILLS in Gundam history. I think in the first or second episode when Garrod gets the Gundam, he takes out a suit by punching it in the face quite lightly. It completely explodes. Then he TRIPS another one, and it explodes, too!! What kind of lousy construction lets you blow up from a fall?! :shock: God, I don't even know how Leos can even get any flak after all that....

Overall, I would say that the combat in X was average. There was very little that stood out for me, especially in the fact that the DX seemed like a downgrade from the Divider. The "last fight" was really anti-climactic, and the G-Falcon never got any love, probably because of the quick ending.

But I'll tell you, that fight with Charis and the Vertigo was awesome. Charis was my favorite character, and the Vertigo almost reminded me of the Tallgeese in its uniqueness. I never expected it all to come down to a saber fight, but it was great. I'm just sad that the Vertigo never uses its bits again after that. Major props for Garrod learning to shoot down the bits, too. Oldtypes stickin' it to the man! Suck on that, newtype magic! The Divider also made a good entrance here, showcasing all of its various forms of badassery.

I thought the Frost Brothers were great characters, but as rival Gundam pilots, they never impressed me much. I always thought "Damn, these guys don't give up!" A rival pilot should instead make you think "Holy ZOINKS! We have to get the ZOINKS out of here!" They never managed to scare me that much. Still, they lended well to the Newtype storyline.

There were other small things I really appreciated in the show's technology and presentation. I think X is the only instance of trench warfare in Gundam. That was great. The development of beam-resistant armor in the Crouda was a good relief. I get tired of beam rifles being super effective. And this is strange, but I loved how the DX was blown to hell by like 20 vulcan guns shooting him from every direction. Never thought I'd see a Gundam go down like that. I love vulcans.

I really liked Lancerow as a character, and his relationship with Jamille was cool, but that all obviously got cut short. His looking out for Tiffa was also commendable. Jamille is also the only person awesome enough to wear sunglasses during his own surgery. I can't believe I don't remember anyone mentioning that.

Overall, I thought the newtype storyline was absolutely excellent. They even took it in a manner that was similar to my own interpretation for newtypes. The two opposing viewpoints fighting was a good way to do it. But I don't like the term "mutant." I'm trying to get my friend to finish X for the good ending, but he stopped halfway.

I can see how you guys like Enil El, but she left me with the impression of being one of those women who hate men and their evil penises. Poor Garrod. Dealing with crazy, murderous ladies isn't easy. She was cooler the more she was developed though.

Again, I also agree with Neo and Soul Bro about the cinematic nature of X, especially how the closing credits were handled every episode. The ending song was weird, but I think I got into it eventually after listening to it after every episode. *begins singing obscure love songs* And besides, you HAD to watch it in order to get the preview. I couldn't skip it! >.< The first OP is also my favorite Gundam opening, in both song and animation. Like a lot of songs, I'm loving the melody, but the chorus gets annoying. The same thing happens in the animation where the beginning is good but it gets cliche further into it.

I also think Garrod and Tiffa hold the spot of my favorite romance so far. Sure, it was puppy love, and got a bit out of hand at times, but I think there was a single thing that left me deciding this. Tiffa is normally so reserved and selfless that our insight into her one dream sequence really surprised me. Really, I think I was embarrassed because I felt I was intruding on such an intimate moment! :shock: It was how she just held him so close, and how she spoke to him. "Look at me." It's the only time Tiffa ever begs for attention. I thought it was just a wonderful moment.

Anyway, X was all that and more, just like Gundamn! promised. Thanks very much for convincing me to watch it. I loved every moment of it. I won't rank the show, since I don't really have a Gundam rank list, but X gets nothing but good marks from me. Thanks again! =)
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Post by GN-003 Kyrios » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:15 pm

Another great ep of gundamn guys. I appriciate Chris for explaining how GX was acually cancelled. I was under the broad impression that it was because of bad ratings. But I was proven wrong. Thx Chris. I enjoyed GX. It was a fantastic show that not only had good mecha action in it but also decent charactor and plot development. One more note about GX...Enil Rocks. Thx guys keep up the good work.
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Post by AceWhatever » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:49 am

Another great episode guys.

In regards to Setsuna's final battle with Graham, I won't defend the argument that claims it was unexpected, but I want to argue the necessity of Graham's descent into one-dimensional shallowness at all. However I'll wait until season 2 is over so I can make comparisons without having them being derided as being premature.

For the Mecha vs. Characters, I'm mostly in the "Come for the mecha, stay for the mecha and maybe there'll be a nice story to frame it" camp. The 'staying' part isn't very accurate though, since I'm not in the habit of dropping a completed show altogether just because of a slow start or crappy story development and most mecha shows these days generally don't pass the 50 episode mark, and my overall judgment of a show still hangs on how interested the story kept me. To answer the promo image question, I definitely look at the mecha first before the characters.

Redundant as this may sound, but Code Geass was one of the few exceptions where I was very interested in the character plots and having cool mech battles was just a nice bonus. You don't get alot of shows that manage to balance both aspects.

Gundam Wing's 2nd quarter would have dragged alot less if it had some interesting battles, and I'd be a bit more critical of Macross Frontier's plot resolution if the finale wasn't such an explosive orgy of awesome valkyrie action.

Eureka 7, while having good plot & characters, was below average in terms of mecha combat. The KLF fights were terribly formulaic and all the Nirvash ever does is zip around until its magical plot powers kick in. Normally this wouldn't be so bad if the Nirvash wasn't constantly shoved down the viewer's throat as an important plot device that will save the world or whatever. And then about 2/3rds of the way the plot completely screeches to a halt so they can give the Nirvash a mid-season upgrade for some convoluted reason explained by a tub of lard dressed as a scientist, and even after that nothing changes.

Then you have mediocrity like Gravion which failed to deliver on either front (but it did give us a nice JAM Project song).

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