Mobile Suit Gundam News

Mobile Suit Gundam is a franchise comprised of 13 movies, 33 anime series, 14 manga series
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Now I should say for the record I did actually want my two guests from this and last week on at the same time to discuss their journeys in Japan on a single episode but each had so much to offer I decided to split this into two separate podcasts and it’s certainly clear to me after this episode…..that was a damn good idea

Most of y’all know I have been waiting a good LONG TIME to have M Habib Rahman on the podcast in general, well today he is going to share his experience with us on HIS trip to Japan which for the record is not quite the same adventure as Kimono-Joe’s from our last episode.

As you’ll soon find out Habib is a BEAST on the mic and on this ep he gives us an extremely comprehensive look at his dealings in Japan. LOL I really could have called this episode “OTAKU UNLEASHED” cuz this dude really went all out…..I find myself jealous just listening to Hab go on about such things as

The Tokyo Game Show, Maid Cafes, Akihabara, Mandarake, Muv-Luv, Otaku Shopping, The Resident Evil Bar, The Gundam Bar, The Capcom Bar, Star driver, More shrineing / sightseeing and a WHOLE LOT MORE…..including some quick chatter on the FATE franchise near the end of the cast.


I implore you guys to check out these AWESOME blog write ups by Nick Tapalansky of which cover EVEN MORE ground on travelling to Japan…AWESOMENESS

Real Japanese Cuisine for the Traveling Anime Fan

A Photologue of Nerdy Japan!

It's Not So Fun to be an American Otaku in Japan?

Golly, between this episode, the previous episode and the before-mentioned blog write ups how can anyone not want to check out Japan… be you Otaku or otherwise.

Personally I’m revved up to go to Japan myself

Thanks again to my guest’s – M Habib Rahman & Kimono Joe for the insights.


And that’s all folks…next time…business as usual

I’m Out…One love…Peace….and….Sayonara!

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Welcome to the first entry of Japan Uncut! This series is a supplement to Japan: The Series. Videos with the "Japan Uncut" label are videos that were either too long or too shaky to include in the main series.

This video takes place on July 17th, 2010, as my brother and I explore our first Japanese arcade: Akihabara's SEGA GiGO complex. Knowing I wasn't supposed to be filming, I kept the camera at my side, resulting in the footage being very shaky. I've done everything I can to stabilize the image as much as possible, but I understand and apologize if it's not enough. I thought that some might want to see what the inside of one of these places looks like, however, so I decided to upload the video we shot in its entirety.

SEGA GiGO is a six-story complex full of arcade machines, claw games, and capsule dispensers. The first couple of floors are filled with these last two, where players can win trinkets, figurines, stuffed toys, and body pillows of various anime characters, with the music of Hatsune Miku nearly drowning out whatever sounds these machines would make. The third floor and up are where the actual arcade games began. (I have a detailed list of the machines at the bottom of this post.)

It was the third floor where I discovered Pokémon Battrio, the first Pokémon arcade game ever made. I didn't even know it existed (I had to create its wiki page on Giant Bomb) and decided to make it my first Japanese arcade game. And for my first time playing an arcade game in a language I didn't know, I didn't do too bad! I actually won a match, somehow, and it wasn't until reading about the game later that I realized just how clueless I was. It turns out there are pog-like items that you purchase separately and then position on the grids near the buttons (I was wondering what they were for...) and a bunch of other mechanics I had no hope of figuring out. It was at this machine where a nice Japanese lady walked over and made a giant 'X' symbol with her arms, politely telling us we weren't allowed to film there.

After failing Chimchar and the rest of my Pokémon squad, I decided to try one of GiGO's many claw games. A slime from Dragon Quest caught my eye, so I tried my luck, receiving five tries for 500 yen. My mom took the fun out of these games when she told me the operator of the machine simply sets how often the claw will actually grasp something, so I didn't bother wasting more money when I didn't win.

Exiting the escalator on the fourth floor, my brother and I were greeted by eight massive P.O.D.s (panoramic optical displays), which, after a little examining, were for Kidō Senshi Gundam: Senjō no Kizuna (Mobile Suit Gundam: Bonds of the Battlefield). Near the P.O.D.s were two "pilot terminals" in which you could watch the games being played on an LCD screen or buy game cards to save your own progress. A bit too intimidating for me, I opted to play the Tekken 5 machine in the back (I unknowingly passed Street Fighter IV). As I sat down at the cabinet, I remembered a 2008 Giant Bombcast I heard during the Tokyo Game Show in which the crew discussed the difference in setups between Japanese and American arcades. In America (in my experiences, at least), a fighting game like Tekken 5 would be played side-by-side with your opponent on the same cabinet, with a player needing two out of three wins to be declared victor. In Japan, each player gets their own cabinet, which is placed back-to-back with their opponent's, and the winner isn't decided until a player nets three out of five wins. I prefer the Japanese way since you get your own screen, don't have to acknowledge your opponent, and get to play longer. It's like playing online, except there's no lag and way more cigarette smoke! Speaking of which, each cabinet had its own ashtray (I thought they were to hold 100 yen coins, at first). No one seemed to actually be smoking there, thankfully.

After warming up with the familiar, my brother and I headed to the fifth floor to find something a bit more ... foreign. While we passed by eight Border Breaks, an interesting-looking mech-based action game that supports up to 20 players via network connectivity, we decided to skip it since it looked too complicated. The fact that there were four "GiGO Border Break Rookie Guides" laying on a table didn't encourage us. So we went up to the sixth and final floor and found another mech game called Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Force. Attracted by its 4-player setup, I played as a lolita robot against my brother and a random Japanese dude. I won the second round, but I never grasped the controls and was merely haphazardly mashing buttons and wiggling the joystick around. Eventually losing and seeing everything GiGO had to offer, my brother and I descended the complex and left.

It was nice to exit an arcade without thinking, "Man, that employee was an asshole," or "I wish that machine had actually worked." GiGO was a place full of people there to have fun and play games. It was a place with employees on each floor willing to politely assist if needed. It was clean, every machine worked as it was supposed to, and it had the latest releases. It even had a designated area to trade cards and read guide books for the more complicated games! GiGO represented what an arcade was supposed to be, something I hadn't experienced for a quite a while prior to my visit. I knew the best was yet to come, however, so my brother and I went to further explore Akihabara.

Here's a list of everything I took notes on in the arcade:

B1 - Caffe Pasta Restaurant

First Floor - Various claw games and capsule dispensers

Second Floor - More claw games: pillows with anime characters, anime figurines, slimes, stuffed Rilakkumas etc.

Third Floor - More claw games and capsule dispensers. One Piece, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Arcade, World Club Champion Football, Pokémon Battrio, Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road II Legends

Fourth Floor - Kidō Senshi Gundam: Senjō no Kizuna (8 P.O.D.s), Tekken 5, Street Fighter IV

Fifth Floor - Border Break (8), Sangokushi Taisen 3 WAR BEGINS

Sixth Floor - Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Force (12), DVS (6), MJ4 Evolution (11 - Mahjong), Shining Force Cross (8)


Introduction to the Series

List of Episodes

SmugMug Version


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And the winners are:

Starring Female Seiyuu:  Miyuki Sawashiro  (Perrine – Strike Witches, Momohime – Muramasa)
Starring Male Seiyuu:  Daisuke Ono  (Shizuo – Durarara!!, Snow – Final Fantasy XIII)
Co-starring Female Seiyuu:  
  • Kikuko Inoue  (Belldandy – AMG, Lust – FMA)
  • Yui Horie  (Tsubasa – Bakemonogatari, Siesta – Zero no Tsukaima)
Co-starring Male Seiyuu: 
Female New Face: 
Male New Face: 
Personality Award:  Masaya Onosaka  (Vash – Vash The Stampede)

Singing Award:  Houkago Tea Time

Merit Awards:  
Special Accomplishment:  Kazue Takahashi  [RIP - 1999]

Fukuyama Award [for bringing media attention to the profession]:  Nana Mizuki  (Fate Testarossa – Nanoha)

Kids/family Award:  Wasabi Mizuta  (Doraemon – Doraemon)

Synergy Award:  Gundam

Overseas Fans’ Award:  Mitsuki Saiga  (Kosaka – Genshiken)


> from: Sankaku Complex (NSFW!)
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Mobile Suit Gundam made its debut in 1979, and legitimized the entire Real Robot genre as something people wanted to watch. Up until then, mecha anime was dominated by Super Robots. Flashy attacks, screaming out attack names, and neigh infinite power sources that broke every law of physics were both common place and incredibly popular. What Gundam helped popularize was the concept of robots not being invincible. Realistic weapons such as plain old guns (giant guns but guns none the less) replaced the absurd like rocket punches and yo-yos. Energy and ammo became actual things that could run out in a fight, and the fictional world developed real world physics such as Lagrange Points as well as fake, but realistic sounding such as Minovsky Physics that helped create clean nuclear reactors. It was a far step from the world of "Super Alloy Z" and "Photon Power."

Thus it is even more ironic that Gundam could never pierce the realm of quasi-realism with its own Gundams. For example, the Zeta Gundam from the show of the same name (sequel to the first show) is literally powered by the spirits of dead newtypes and magic. The Nu Gundam and the Sazabi both use psycommu systems , which in layman's terms are giant megaphones for a newtype's ESP-esque powers. Victory Gundam had giant girls in bikinis in space (Look I don't even know what...). The list goes on and on, and all the more so as we go from the Universal Century universe to the many Alternate Universe Gundam shows where Gundams are super robots in everything but name. These Gundams are ominpotent beings that can only be defeated by other Gundams. It doesn't stop just at the mecha design, but is applied to the combat itself. The rule of cool makes melee oriented combat a continued must in a world where ranged weaponry are common place. The samurai-like design choice for the iconic RX-78-2 Gundam doesn't help things.

Lastly, there are the pilots. They are constantly aces, often newtypes or some analog for a newtype. Capable of seemingly swinging the tide of battles single handedly, their plot armor means they not only cannot be killed, they cannot even be touched or damaged by the common soldier. Much like how Gundams can be taken down only by other Gundams, these aces are only capable of falling at the hands of each other.

And then there is the 08th MS Team. It succeeds at, or perhaps is the only show to even attempt to bring Gundams down to earth, making them just another war machine instead of the stars of 30 minute long toy ads.

The first thing worth noting is most easily demonstrated with a simple viewing of the show's OP.

Ok, I lied. Many things are in fact evident through this OP, but lets take it one step at a time. We are treated to a scene showing the effect of terrain on mecha. A mere gunboat out maneuvering a Gundam in water is seen about half a minute in. Moments where the show almost admits to the fact that treads are better than bipedal legs for mechs are common in this show, or at least common compared to most other mecha shows, regardless of being real robot or super robot in genre. The second episode has the show's main protagonist Shiro Amada finding trouble getting his footing in a jungle battlefield, letting his Gundam trip and fall in the process. Too much sand getting caught in the machinery causes mechanical failure while oxygen preservation in zero g environments become focuses at different points.

Another point is the lack of flash and bravado in that OP. There is an emphasis on the soldiers fighting the war, not the mecha. You see a Gundam firing but once in the OP, and it very much lacks the "one man against the world vibe" that many over Gundam show openings give. The contents of the show does not betray what the OP offers. The 08th Mobile Suit team is composed of 3 Gundams. But always in toll, and constantly shown to be invaluable by the show itself, is an armored support tank that houses sensitive electronic senors. Further, instead of one man armies, we get small squad tactics. The assault on an enemy base is not done by the main characters charging in, but by the systematic bombardment of long range artillery units while the Gundams play babysitter to these units and keep them safe. The attack on a few Zakus occupying a civilian village is done by Shiro, on foot, using a few hand held RPGs while the rest of his team provide long range cover. Compare the previous OP to this one, belonging to Gundam Seed Destiny and the beam spaming Strike Freedom Gundam.

...Actually no, screw you, you go find them. It physically hurts even watching one, and the music is horrible except for the 4th opening which has Vestige. Have some Gundam 00. It proves my point just the same.

The combat in the show is not flashy either. Though due partly to the in world chronology where miniaturized beam weapons were still very far from commonplace, there is little to no pew pewing in this show. Instead of lasers of every color under the sun, we get 100 mm machine guns, rocket launchers, and RPGs. This in effect makes fights last longer and almost less deadly as even a Zaku's armor can take multiple shots before succumbing while able to dish back significant blows. Melee combat is also significantly reduced. Beam sabers are drawn a total of 3 or 4 times over the course of the entire show, and always in desperation. In a world of guns, 08th MS Team ditches the rule of cool and embraces the logic that shooting each other is far better a choice than running up and slashing.

And lastly, there are the pilots. Following the theme of the show, these are not aces, but rather grunts. Grunts that can come out on top against other grunts, but grunts none the less. They aren't the most skilled, and the fact that they are actually capable of missing their shots gives the combat a degree of tension not usually existent when your protagonists are aces. In fact, when the 08th team finally bumps heads against the only pilot worthy of being called an ace in the entire show, they are pushed to the brink and given a sound trouncing as seen below. Note: obvious spoilers.

This is the ending where I'm suppose to say some concluding thoughts that tie up all the points I made so far. But I suck at those, so please imagine one for yourself.

Edit: Author's Note - If you know me on Giant Bomb, this post will probably seem familiar. FoxxFireArt's recent posting on GB (and the rest of the WM sites) convinced me that I should help rectify some of the issues I take with AV and start contributing written content myself. I'm going to port over some of the more coherent blog posts I've written on various shows as well as hopefully finally put some of the blog ideas I've had for awhile down into words. God knows I need to spend my paid vacation days doing something other than lounge around until 7 am before going to bed. Speaking of which, its 7 am....

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personally, i prefer the 00 series as it is not too long yet it has all of the important things one should have in a gundam series and i think it would be one of the most innovative to come up with the gn drive theory which introduces a whole new story, and most of all the background setting is very realistic.
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As you all well know, or about to know, Linkin Park just released their new CD A Thousand Suns.  I don't know if it's just me or not, but I've been going on a One Piece binge and the new single The Catalyst just keeps reminding me of the Skypiea arc, not to mention the CD's name sounds an awful like the current sailing vessel used by the crew ( Thousand Sunny).  So without going into the full lyrics of the song I'll pick out the big one "Where oceans bleed into the sky" now this might seem to be an elegant and vivid line in the song, but I keep picturing the knock-up stream taking the Going Merry and crew up to Skypiea.  Also the constant mention of God and the leader of Skypiea being called kami, or kame whatever the correct romanji is for it.   So did the band watch One Piece while writing this album and maybe where directly or indirectly inspired by the Straw hat Pirates journey?  I think so, but you can decide for yourself.
So my point is I really want an AMV of the Skypiea arc to this song and maybe if a few Anime Vice lunatics who are better with video editing or internet hunting than I could help a fellow vicer out.  The CD is great in my opinion with exception of that last song, wtf such a downer to end on. 
edit: so apparently a new gundam arcade game is featuring an opening cinematic with "The Catalyst" as its song.  here is the link to the video.  Also the limited edition cd will come with a gundam action figure.  So maybe not one piece, but someone in the LP studio watches some anime.
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I just created an account on Anime Vice. So far this site looks quite interesting and easy to navigate through. At the moment I'm still trying to configure my profile while transferring episodes of Mobile Suite Gundam 00 Season 1 on my PSPgo. 
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Why don't we see more anime into video games? Well, it stands to fact that many just aren't able to be adapted for one. When you look at the length of series and then at the story and content, most anime just don't cut it. There are some that do however. Ikkitousen: Shining Dragon, for example, came out for the PS2 but only in Japan. I'm sure there are other titles that only had a game in Japan that I don't know about but Ikkitousen is an example of something going wrong to not allow the anime-to-game in the US and other parts of the world. My other issue with anime-to-games is that when the anime do have enough of a story and length to be made a game they just suck as a game. Be it the graphics, altered storyline/characters, and/or overall playability and likability of the game, the anime isn't done justice for the audiences of the world who buy the game because it's something new or because they like the anime. The Mobile Suit Gundam games for example: the graphics suck, the stories are off, and the gameplay is too poor to say, all top out the Ring of 3 Evils* for video games. It's hard to change the Pokemon games but that's fine as why change what isn't totally broken? Naruto graphics are pretty good and the gameplay works well enough, Dragon Ball Z games were cool until they started messing with the gameplay and didn't improve the graphics all that much, and Bleach games are cool and good (I like Shattered Blade on Wii) but the fighting is arcade style and the stories seem short and you can't actually travel.
From looking at a list of anime and mange made into games (there is more than I care to count and a greay many that I've never heard of) I can say my view is limited. I'm open to input about what anime games are good and what the gaming and anime industries can do to better the games and create greater interest. To finalize this, my first blog, I will say that Afro Samurai (PS3) is my favorite anime-to-game and it used to be Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 (PS2). 
*I am coining this phrase from this point on when I talk about anime-to-games.

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Beginner's Guide to FLCL

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It really comes down to this specific visual here.

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