Anime Vice News

AX09: Gundam 00 Focus Panel

Random smatterings from the creators of Gundam 00.



I didn't liveblog this event because I knew that there wouldn't be any news in it, but there were some great random tidbits about the panelists-- director Seiji Mizushima, character designer Yun Kouga, and script writer Yousuke Kuroda --so I jotted down the ones I could for your consumption:

  • When asked how they dealt with the issues of creating a strong story AND being a vehicle to sell merchandise (as Gundam has always been), Mizushima-sensei offered that before they did anything else, they asked Sunrise how many mobile suits they wanted.
  • One attendee asked if Graham Acre and Billy Katagiri were actually a couple, and we were told straight out: there is nothing between them but friendship. But Kouga-sensei applauded the question.
  • Apparently Mizushima-sensei first found out about the project when a drunken producer (who he'd worked with before) called him and asked him to direct it.
  • And Kuroda-sensei actually turned down the project at first. But then he got asked again and he thought that if he turned down Gundam twice he might never work in the industry again. (He didn't say why he turned it down at first.)
  • Yes, Setsuna F. Seiei's real name IS a reference to the film "Turtles Can Fly."
  • An attendee asked about similarities between Gundam 00 and Gundam Wing (such as Setsuna/Marina vs Heero/Relena), and Kuroda-sensei said he'd never seen Gundam Wing when he started writing, so he didn't know about the similarities, since Sunrise never came back with complaints about it.

I'm surprised that Kuroda-sensei hadn't seen Gundam Wing (or familiarized himself with it), since it's The Other Big AU Gundam Show. On the other hand, the man is busy, right? Who has time? And it's not like Heero/Relena was so amazingly unique to Gundam compared to any other surly guy/sweet girl relationship, either.

It was interesting stuff! I wasn't able to get a sit-down with the Gundam 00 staff, unfortunately, but I'm hoping to get something via e-mail in the near future, so keep
Kiriskaon July 5, 2009 at 8:28 p.m.
LOL @ Billy/Graham question. The world was dying to know. (I'm surprised they didn't ask about Lockon/Tieria then, since that was so much more overt.)
HeeroYuyon July 6, 2009 at 4:55 a.m.
Actually Wing sadly isn't that big in Japan, Gia. Gundam Seed (as much as it pains me) is far better known in Japan, probably due to it's ridiculous number of sequels and spinoffs...
giaon July 6, 2009 at 9:22 a.m.
@HeeroYuy: I was basing my estimation on the sheer volume of merchandise from Japan at the time that Wing was actually coming out. It seems odd to me that they wouldn't make it if it wouldn't sell.

Might it just not be as popular with GUNDAM fans in Japan? It freakin' CREATED a generation of yaoi fans on the US side, and I'd be surprised if not Japan as well, to some extent. ;)
HeeroYuyon July 6, 2009 at 10:59 a.m.
@gia: Gundam Wing came out as part of the 15th Anniversary project (along with G and X), and although initially it was quite popular (comparable to Gundam 00's level of popularity atm), the oversaturation due to having 3 Gundam series in a row being released (actually 4 if you count 08th MS Team as a series instead of an OVA) really stunted it's growth. It still held a lot of appeal though, as evidenced by them deciding to make the extremely high production value Endless Waltz, though that wasn't till some time later (I guess to give some cooldown time after X got truncated 2/3rds the way through it's planned run).

Something that should be noted about Wing however is that it was in fact intentionally aimed moreso at female audiences (moreso than past series at least). I don't know if I ever showed you the original R2 DVD box set covers, but it's pretty obvious just from looking at the show itself - the main female charachters all either kick ass, are in positions of power, or/and just know how to mess with everyone else's heads. Where on Earth the whole Yaoi idea came in I'm still a little mystified on since there is LITERALLY a 1:1 matchup of female and male characters, but then again judging from some of the official art (and once again, the original DVD cases) I can see why.


Man.... times like this I really wish for the days of the good Toonami...

But in terms of the scriptwriter of 00 having never seen Wing before isn't too surprising since for whatever reason, it seems people involved in the production of anime ironically don't really watch very much.
giaon July 6, 2009 at 2:24 p.m.
@HeeroYuy: 00 has its own blatant attempts to reach the female markets, too-- Yun Kouga is best known for shoujo/yaoi titles like Loveless and Earthian, after all. I wanted to ask her about that, since yaoi mangaka Yuu Higuri also did character design for a more action-y series recently (Night Head Genesis), and then they tapped Honey and Clover's Chica Umino to character-design Eden of the East.

Alas!

Dig Deeper into Mobile Suit Gundam 00

The most recent addition to the Gundam franchise, Gundam 00 revolves around a paramilitary organization, Celestial Being, and its conquest to end all war... by waging war on the world.

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