Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Brave Fencer Kirby » Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:47 pm

I didn't comment on his non-Gundam stuff because I haven't seen it. Perhaps that limits my perspective on Tomino as a whole, but that's what I'm talking about because that's all I can talk about.

That said, my point was basically that Tomino (like Lucas and Roddenberry) is great at coming up with an interesting premise, but (like Lucas and Roddenberry) isn't that great at the execution of those premises. In essence, my answer to the question of "is Tomino's work an acquired taste?" is "yes, because you have to accept some half-baked execution in order to enjoy the extremely interesting foundation it's built upon". Tomino absolutely has some weird, stupid crap (orphans on warships! Intensely uncomfortable gender politics! Hackneyed instantaneous love-at-first-sight romance!) that you have to deal with if you want to get to the good bits, which means that it's not for everybody, and I find it difficult to blame people who see the stupid crap first and move on without sticking around for the rest.
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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by JDogindy » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:28 pm

For starters, your first mistake was going to My Anime List. The people there will label everything either as the greatest anime ever or the worst anime ever, and most stuff flies over them unless it features copious amounts of fanservice. Just my opinion.

But, that aside, Tomino's work is an acquired taste, largely due to how different his focuses have been.

There's the early works of Tomino, which include the original Gundam series and its follow-ups. Then there's Tomino of the late 1980s through early 1990s, which include Victory Gundam Char's Counterattack, and Space Runaway Ideon, where he's just out of it and its full of graphic deaths and suggestive innuendo. And then there's Tomino's recent works, which include Turn A Gundam and, most recently, Reconguista, where it seems that he tries to spend more time preaching his views and ideology as opposed to focusing on general action and mayhem.

It's all dependent upon which era of his works you want to explore, versus dabbling in the entire Tomino itinerary.

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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Henyo » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:53 am

finished Dunbine TV series just recently. overall it's a good watch for me. especially the English dub!
those accents fit the setting so much. there is one thing i find kind of weird in most tomino's shows: there can be jarring scene jumps. i also noticed this in Zeta Gundam, which i'm rewatching(this time in delicious Bluray) along with Brain Powered.

i have Daitarn, Xabungle, ZZ, V, Turn A and King Gainer left to watch. can anyone share the order in which they watch Tomino's non gundam shows? asking just out of curiosity. :D
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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Quiddity » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:05 pm

I think the order I saw his non-Gundam stuff was Dunbine, Ideon, L-Gaim, King Gainer, Xabungle, Dunbine OVAs, Zambot.

Of those you have left, Turn A is the best, one of his best overall works.

Victory is a trainwreck (but in a good way IMHO).

ZZ is one of the weaker Gundam works, especially in the first half. Its considerably better in the second half although still probably the Tomino TV Gundam series low point.

King Gainer's got some strong world building and is very unique design-wise. It doesn't have the fastest moving plot though (see my reviews of it right here on MAHQ! :P)

Xabungle's very goofy, as much so of any of Tomino's works. If you like Tomonori Kogawa's design work as I do (Ideon, Dunbine) you'll like that aspect of the show. It's an okay enough show but they would have benefitted by reducing the length of the show as it drags a bit.

Daitarn's the only Tomino show made in the last 40 years I haven't seen!
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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Henyo » Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:46 am

Quiddity wrote:I think the order I saw his non-Gundam stuff was Dunbine, Ideon, L-Gaim, King Gainer, Xabungle, Dunbine OVAs, Zambot.

Of those you have left, Turn A is the best, one of his best overall works.

Victory is a trainwreck (but in a good way IMHO).

ZZ is one of the weaker Gundam works, especially in the first half. Its considerably better in the second half although still probably the Tomino TV Gundam series low point.

King Gainer's got some strong world building and is very unique design-wise. It doesn't have the fastest moving plot though (see my reviews of it right here on MAHQ! :P)

Xabungle's very goofy, as much so of any of Tomino's works. If you like Tomonori Kogawa's design work as I do (Ideon, Dunbine) you'll like that aspect of the show. It's an okay enough show but they would have benefitted by reducing the length of the show as it drags a bit.

Daitarn's the only Tomino show made in the last 40 years I haven't seen!
i will put these information to good use! i finished Brain Powerd just a few days ago. and again, in dubbed form.(there's something charming about that super crappy by today's standard dub.)

i liked it that show very much. and i never skipped the opening.(NEKKID LADIES!!!) i dunno why some people find it hard to watch. its story isn't anything new. its simple if you really think about it. and even then it kept my interest all throughout. shouldn't that be enough?

i agree with that sole positive review in My Anime List.

as for the mecha battles, it was certainly not the usual. the Brains don't make much movements. so much that they fly forward while standing straight. there was also one time that Quincy's Gran Char remained afloat while sitting indian style.
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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Quiddity » Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:43 am

I rewatched the show within the last year or so (yet forgot to list it in my prior post, goes to show how forgettable it is); I view it as quite the mess; its not that the overall concept is bad, but like much of Tomino's later works he's trying to put way too many things in the show and doesn't really know how to tell it in an understandable manner (which was G-Reco's big problem). Quincy and Jonathan were interesting enough but most of the characters I never particularly cared for. Yoko Kanno's music was decent, but weaker than usual for even her.

The cast is okay in the dub, but the production quality is a mess; Quincy and Hime (and perhaps others) change VAs for the worse half-way through and there's one episode early on when most of the characters have different VAs than usual which is very odd.

In the show's defense, it is not the Eva ripoff many claim it to be; the show for the most part takes influence from his prior works, much of which influenced Eva in the first place.
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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Dustman » Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:51 pm

Brain Powerd probably deserves a thorough reevaluation. I feel like Tomino was pouring his heart out with that series and a lot of its themes feel like problems he was trying to make peace with. Particularly, as epitomized by Jonathan, what appears to be an adversarial relationship to the opposite sex and with parental abandonment. Or at the very least, without being overtly about himself, it serves as an attempt to inspire the viewer to find similar answers. I've only seen it once but I was impressed with the clarity he used when exploring his characters and their relationships. It's uncharacteristic for him to take that approach and I intend on giving it a much closer look when I have time to rewatch it.

As for communication skills, I believe Tomino formats his stories deliberately. His attention to detail is impeccable; the storyboards I've seen for G-Reco were to the bone on how to portray hand gestures and it's a revelation to find that his novels will stop dead in their tracks to explain an obscure setting note. With regard to truncated runtime, his creative choices follow a definite pattern where he prioritizes an action-based continuum while the diagetic explanation for the events in progress serve as incidental texture. Such becomes of F91 that, though limited in scale and roughly edited, it still functions as a self-contained vignette about Seabook and Cecily's parental relationships. However, this develops flavor and resonance only through familiarity with how the movie contextualizes its information, suggesting that his short stories are intended to be viewed multiple times. Knowing that Tomino does have the ability to utilize a more plainspoken narrative with time and stamina to do so, this appears to be his way of giving a 2 hour movie or a 26 episode series an equivalent challenge and reward to 50 episodes.

What I know about Tomino is that he studied at an art university, that he holds Kubrick as his primary influence and that from the very beginning it was always his goal to challenge his medium and its audience. I don't necessarily believe that people have to care about or be inspired by all of his works (i.e. King Gainer mostly is just a comedy) but it still pains me that there's not a lot of analysis about him other than if his shows are entertaining. Naturally, it's not that I think anybody here has been all that unfair to him but I do believe that Tomino deserves better than what he gets from mainstream anime fans. By giving things like Brain Powerd or G-Reco a closer look, it becomes possible to influence that discussion and to provide the tools people need to connect with something they might actually like.

((I'm just going to admit that I've been editing this post like crazy. This stuff is super difficult to articulate and I'm trying especially hard to make my sentences read like they weren't filtered through a machine translation. I hope it pays off and the ideas aren't too convoluted.))

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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Quiddity » Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:33 pm

he holds Kubrick as his primary influence
Interesting to know, and probably not much of a surprise given that he has 2 pretty blatant references to this shot of 2001: A Space Odyssey - https://rambambashi.files.wordpress.com ... lanets.jpg ; from near the end of The Ideon: Be Invoked and at the end of the second opening of Victory Gundam.
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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Henyo » Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:22 am

Dustman wrote: ((I'm just going to admit that I've been editing this post like crazy. This stuff is super difficult to articulate and I'm trying especially hard to make my sentences read like they weren't filtered through a machine translation. I hope it pays off and the ideas aren't too convoluted.))
no worries comrade. i understood yer post just fine. the problem that we have to face, in regards to Tomino's works, is that fans nowadays do NOT want to think hard most of the times. i remember that one comic strip from a gaming mag. one character says that Naruto is as deep as Zeta Gundam.(or something like that. been a really long while since i looked at that magazine.)

but then, you have guys such as those Ghibli directors, Gen Urobuchi and Makoto Shinkai. if they work on a series, it's bound to be good.(more so for the Ghibli films, which i avoid as much as possible.) they actually make efforts to examine these guys works.

one last thing: King Gainer is the only one in my Tomino watch list that has a dub. is it good or should i just stick to the original Japanese?
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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Mimeblade » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:49 am

Got a question for you guys:

Has Tomino ever written a Main Protagonist that:

1. Wasn't killed off, and actually lived a full lifetime?
2. Wasn't a psychological wreck by the end?

If not, I doubt I'd ever appreciate his work ever again.

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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Kuruni » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:58 am

1. Yes.
2. Yes.

Good enough? If not, please explain your question in more detail. What do you mean by "full lifetime"? (we don't see most fictional characters after their story end, so is the criteria here?) Also what make it count as "psychological wreck"? Is that include those recovered by coping with it?
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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Dustman » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:28 am

Quiddity wrote:Interesting to know, and probably not much of a surprise given that he has 2 pretty blatant references to this shot of 2001: A Space Odyssey - https://rambambashi.files.wordpress.com ... lanets.jpg ; from near the end of The Ideon: Be Invoked and at the end of the second opening of Victory Gundam.
I don't immediately recall which interview it was, how recently he gave it or where I can retrieve it but Tomino has specifically said that other than himself, Kubrick is the only man he would personally select to helm a live action Gundam film (even though, when he said this, Kubrick had already been deceased for some time). Also, don't forget the Newtype resonance between Amuro and Lalah. The visuals in both the TV and film versions are directly inspired by the Star Gate sequence. Stylistically speaking, if you are familiar with Kubrick's language, it becomes easy to see where Tomino got some of his trademarks.
Henyo wrote:one last thing: King Gainer is the only one in my Tomino watch list that has a dub. is it good or should i just stick to the original Japanese?
I've seen some parts but it wasn't very memorable. The subtitles are pretty literal and the ADR script probably isn't much better. As for the cast, only Kirk Thornton seemed to stand out all that much. Seriously, you should just watch it in Japanese. It has one of the most over the top Koyasu performances I've ever heard. DIO ain't got nothin' on Asuham Boone.
Mimeblade wrote:Got a question for you guys:

Has Tomino ever written a Main Protagonist that:

1. Wasn't killed off, and actually lived a full lifetime?
2. Wasn't a psychological wreck by the end?

If not, I doubt I'd ever appreciate his work ever again.
Yes to both. His casualty rate is highly exaggerated. Many of his protagonists may end up jaded or have gone through some kind of significant loss or self-sacrifice but they're usually just fine at the end. I'm going to list his protagonists that I know survive and are mentally sound at the end of their respective series, though just to be fair I'll spoiler tag them for anyone who would appreciate it:
Spoiler
Show
Banjo Haran (Daitarn 3), Jiron Amos (Xabungle), Daba Myroad (L-Gaim), Judau Ashta (Gundam ZZ), Seabook Arno (Gundam F91), Uso Ewin (V Gundam - and yes despite going through the cruelest series of traumas Tomino has ever put a character through, he still comes out perfectly healthy), Yu Isami (Brain Powerd), Loran Cehack (Turn A Gundam), Gainer Sanga (King Gainer), Asap Suzuki (Wings of Rean) and Bellri Zenam (Reconguista in G).

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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Mimeblade » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:37 pm

Alright, I stand corrected... still, for some of those (Turn A, ZZ, G-Reco), it felt like they went through a certain degree of Hell to say the least.
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Judau in the particular seemed to have the best ending stories tied to him after ZZ (iirc he lived to be an old man).
Consider me jaded after what some of his work put me through, emotionally.

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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Quiddity » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:04 pm

one last thing: King Gainer is the only one in my Tomino watch list that has a dub. is it good or should i just stick to the original Japanese?
King Gainer's dub is decent. Not amazing, but I can't really think of any major complaints. Certainly better than Brain Powered.

Also, although its not really a professional dub, ZZ does have a dub out there.
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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Dustman » Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:33 am

Quiddity wrote:Also, although its not really a professional dub, ZZ does have a dub out there.
Unfortunately, that's all lost media. Some clips can be found on YouTube but they are clearly from someone's dusty old VCR recordings and I've only ever seen the last three episodes in full. Because it was produced in the early 00's for Southeast Asia, the master tapes may not even exist anymore. Either that or Bandai thinks it was so especially embarrassing that they opted out of featuring it on the R1 release, despite going on to feature the HK dubs of Build Fighters :p

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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Kuruni » Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:19 am

Mimeblade wrote:Alright, I stand corrected... still, for some of those (Turn A, ZZ, G-Reco), it felt like they went through a certain degree of Hell to say the least.
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Judau in the particular seemed to have the best ending stories tied to him after ZZ (iirc he lived to be an old man).
I'm curious, when is the last time you watch war stories that's all sunshine and candies?
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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by YokozunaBulldozer » Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:04 pm

Quiddity wrote: Victory is a trainwreck (but in a good way IMHO).
I remember hearing that Tomino said something in the line of "don't watch this it is terrible" or "why did you buy this" for the DVD release long time ago.
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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Amion » Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:43 pm

I never really thought of Victory as a trainwreck. It certainly shows Tomino's internal emotional struggles with depression, and that alone would influence his opinion. But overall I'd say it was a solid entry into the franchise, ignoring that that it has more potential than it delivers, but I'm cool with that in a way.

If anything, I'd say Tomino just doesn't want to remember that time of his life. The show is clearly afflicted with angst, and a lot of that was probably from him in his darker years. But in some cases it makes Turn A's lighter shades all the brighter. his Macbeth or Hamlet, as it were, perhaps?
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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by Dust Devil » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:26 pm

Amion wrote:I never really thought of Victory as a trainwreck
I second this, Victory is not that different from most Gundam television shows and OVAs until Age: They had a frequent amount of action scenes, orchestral and pop songs in their soundtracks, fleshed out settings, distinct characters, fluent animation, and a healthy dose of mecha exploitation which unfortunately is not as prominent in the past few years with the exception of Build Fighters entries. Honestly what faults Victory has can be chalked up more toward Bandai and Sunrise since they more or less took over the franchise since F91. Tomino's issues these days are not so much his writing and directing as much as it is the time frame, decades ago people were okay with episodic television with semi-self-contained plots in overarching stories (masculine narrative), these days episodes are more like chapters in one book (feminine narrative). Not that there is anything wrong with either of them, it all depends on the audience.

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Re: Is Tomino's work an acquired taste?

Post by False Prophet » Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:46 pm

To me at least, the worst problem to G-Reco is that it is too complicated and simply doesn't suit Tomino. Like what people have been saying before me, that Tomino is a great idea man but not really a good executioner. That is correct, and Tomino is best when his ideas are presented in a simple and lucid way. Gundam, L-Gaim (to an extend, Mamoru Nagano's Five-Stars-Story. Yes, I know how convoluted the plot line of FSS can be, but its core ideals have always been simple), Ideon, Xabungle, etc all have a somewhat simple premise and believable character without the complicated characterization that is a feature of modern anime.

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