Gundam Series Spotlight: Mobile Fighter G: Gundam
Good afternoon Blerds and Nerds! I know I’ve been gone for awhile but Covid has put a lot of things on hold or just taken a lot of energy from me. I hope everyone has been safe and healthy these past few months. This month’s Gundam Spotlight is an oldie but a goodie! As most of you know by now, I am a HUGE Gundam fan. I have literally seen every Gundam series (give or take a few) that have been aired in Japan and the U.S. I also do Gunpla (building plastic Gundam models) in my spare time….so you can really say I am a fanboy.
Mobile Fighter G: Gundam was another Toonami staple in the early 2000s. It usually came on after Dragonball Z, even during it’s second and third Toonami runs. G Gundam was an outlier among Gundam series up to that point. Like Gundam Wing, it didn’t take place in the Universal Century universe but what made G Gundam different was the amount of Gundams that were included within the series. Let me give you the quick synopsis:
“Within this timeline, much of mankind has abandoned a ruined Earth to live in space colonies. The countries on Earth have corresponding colonies just outside the planet’s atmosphere. Rather than fight wars for political and social dominance, the colonies agree to hold a “Gundam Fight” tournament every four years. Each country sends to Earth a representative piloting a highly-advanced, humanoid mobile fighter called a Gundam. The Gundams compete with one another in one-on-one battles, under a strict set of rules, until only one fighter remains; the nation represented by the winner earns the right to rule all of space for that period. Each Gundam is controlled directly by the user within the cockpit using the “Mobile Trace System”, a gesture recognition and feedback mechanism whereby the Gundam mimics the pilot’s own body motion, combat skills, and weapon-wielding capabilities. G Gundam opens at the start of the 13th Gundam Fight in Future Century year 60 and follows Neo Japan’s Domon Kasshu, fighter of his nation’s Shining Gundam and bearer of the coveted “King of Hearts” martial arts crest. Aside from winning the tournament, Domon’s mission is to track down his fugitive, older brother Kyoji, who allegedly stole the experimental Dark Gundam from Neo Japan’s government, leaving their mother dead and their father (Dr. Raizo Kasshu) to be arrested and placed in a cryogenic state.” Mobile Fighter G: Gundam Wiki
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t like G Gundam when it premiered. I guess I at the time, I was used to one Gundam or five ( Gundam Wing) so seeing a Gundam where everyone has access to a Gundam was weird to me. I didn’t really appreciate G Gundam my first time around.
Interesting Story– Unlike most of the other Gundam series, G Gundam’s story isn’t considered as “serious” when compared to other Gundam series. Yes there is a “serious” tone but compared to series like Zeta Gundam or even Wing Gundam, the level of seriousness is not comparable. But the story is surprisingly interesting. It’s not terribly hard to follow and it has depth (that I wish would have been explored more).
Gundams galore!– Another thing that makes this series different than other Gundam shows is the amount of Gundams. In almost all of the Gundam series before this one, there is usually 1 or 2 Gundams causing problems (going up to 5 in Gundam Wing) but this one, there are Gundams EVERYWHERE. Other mobile suits were pretty much non-existent which isn’t bad but odd for a Gundam series around this time. Most people (me for instance) had gotten used to 1 to 5 Gundams so it was kind of cool seeing a world where the powerful mobile suit was accessible to literally almost everyone. They mostly had the distinct features of the classic Gundam but with various twists (Windmill Gundam anyone?).
Something different– What made this series really stand were the differences. Like I described above, having a plethora of Gundams was something unusual but it wasn’t the only thing that was different. How the characters piloted the Gundams was something that we don’t really see in any other Gundam series. Those who piloted Gundams in G Gundam wore combat suites that covered their entire body. It’s almost Sailor Moon style in how they get into them but once they are in them, they are able to control the mobile suit with their whole body instead of sitting in a cockpit like the other Gundam series.
After the combat suit is applied, they are essentially able to move the Gundam with full range of motion (barring an injury). And after watching the battles, the combat suit makes sense. While GG is different, it is also the same in the aspect of the characters (main) characters being children/young adults tasked with “saving their country”. Compared to almost all of the other Gundam series, G Gundam is certainly an outlier which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Supporting characters are eh….– This is one main of the reasons I rarely re-watch this series. The supporting characters (aside from maybe two), sucked. Not because they were bad or not interesting….it was more about the fact that the characters were not memorable. I dare you to name three characters not named Domon, Master Asia, or Rain off the top of your head….you can’t do it can you? That’s my major issue, I don’t really remember any characters aside from the main and like two of the companions. Yes, the other members of his crew have cool personalities and Gundams but for the most part, they are forgettable and devoid of real depth.
More Gundams?– While going against the grain of the usual Gundam series with essentially everyone having access to a Gundam is cool, having so many accessible kind of defeats the purpose of the show. In past series, a Gundam was seen as something rare because there would be one or maybe a few (5 usually), which made them that much more interesting in their respective series. We are able to appreciate those Gundams and their pilots a little bit more, while in this series we really care about two or three (be honest with yourselves if you think different). Seeing more Gundams is great to see but it makes the other Gundams seem even more insignificant.
Stories left untold- This kind of goes back to the supporting characters being eh. There are some interesting side characters and we do learn a bit about their back stories and even some great side stories but throughout the series, there are questions that are left unanswered. The stories that do get told, seem to be rushed. Let’s take the Shuffle Alliance for instance (Spoilers ahead). The original Shuffle Alliance (at least during this 13th Gundam Fight) consists of Master Asia (Domon’s master), Max Burns, Alan Lee, Nashiusu Kiruhya, and Tris Sergeyrev. This alliance has been around for 4000 years, watching over humanity from the shadows and intervening to steer the world away from destruction. In this series, Master Asia betrays them and they sacrifice their lives to save their successors and continue the alliance. Why didn’t the other members stop Master Asia earlier? It would of been four against one and with their level of (supposed) power, they could of stopped or at least prevented Master Asia from setting certain things in motion.
The Verdict: 7/10- Great new Gundam and anime watchers
G Gundam is a different and entertaining Gundam series. It has a plethora of Gundams to enjoy and awesome fights…even a decent story. Even though this is not my favorite series, I cannot deny the influence of the series. For a lot of people, G Gundam was the first Gundam series they enjoyed because of it being so different than past series. Personally, G Gundam isn’t one of my favorite Gundam series (I know I know, sue someone else about it) but it is a great series to start if you are not a huge anime watcher and even better if you want a start into the overall Gundam universe.
Have you watched G Gundam? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments! If you have seen it, loved it and looking for DVDs, models or manga, check out our partners over at Rightstufanime.com ! Until next time, Nerd out!