Sunday, April 22, 2007

D'oh! Been two months since I last posted. I haven't been up to much. Mostly been watching lots of old Gundam shows, playing Lost Planet, and Command and Conquer 3. I also got hired by EA again for some more game testing. And of course, been going to school :-)

Gundam's an interesting series of shows. It's described by its creators as a humanist show, kinda like how Gene Roddenberry envisioned the Star Trek shows.

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia's entry on Gundam:

The narrative revolves around the emotions of the characters, who are usually thrown into conflict without much choice and faced with the death, destruction and dehumanization inherent to war. With few exceptions (mostly in side stories), there are no absolute heroes and villains; all have their motives, failings, and virtues. Political battles are as likely to determine the outcome of battles as the heroes, as it often is in real wars. Gundam also features debate on various important philosophical issues and political ideals - both historical ones, and some of those likely to crop up in the future. Of particular note are the frequent explorations of the nature of war, the ideal of pacifism, and the continuing evolution of humanity. These are often framed in the series as a debate between the protagonist and antagonist over the course of a duel, as they try to convince each other of the rightness of their causes.
So, Gundam usually takes on a strong anti-war stance. What's interesting is that the show is full of violence and explosions. So it kinda lures you into the show with its violent, visual spectacle battles. Giant robots and capital ships float around space and/or Earth and blow the crap outta each other. Great stuff!

It then mixes in some romance and other space opera elements, and finally some anti-war humanist political views. A primary goal of the show is also to sell Gundam merchandise to the fans. Each "Mobile Suit" featured in the show can be purchased as an action figure or model kit.

So it's a strange show. On one hand, it celebrates war, war machines, and aims to profit off of young people's fascination with all this. On the other, it condemns war as cruel and always leading to great evils. In the end, I guess I enjoy watching the show for all these traits, in the same way I enjoyed watching Star Wars Episode 3. That movie tried to step away from the generic "good vs evil" dynamic we saw in all the other Star Wars, and I thought the series was made better because of that.

Welp, that's all for now. I'll come back later and give my reviews of Lost Planet and Command and Conquer 3.

PS - here's a couple Gundam videos. The first is a trailer for the PS2 game, Gundam Climax U.C. The second is a music video for the Zeta Gundam film.

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