30 More Years! 30 More Years! 30 More Years!
It was April 7th, 1979……1 score and 10 years ago, one man brought forth a vision, a new kind of robot anime, conceived in depression, and dedicated to the proposition that all robots are created with some form of approachable scientific consistency.
And so it was that this man, one Yoshiyuki Tomino gave birth to what would eventually become my favourite anime franchise. A franchise that still resonates with the public 30 years after it’s inception, thus proving it’s staying power for the years to come. Some may even go so far as to call it the most important anime ever made, for it ushered in what would become a golden age of anime and brought a hint of maturity to what was once seen as kid’s fare.
I got my start with Gundam Wing like most people and it was like nothing I had ever seen before when it came ot anime in my humble country of Canada. The standard was to hack and butcher anime to pieces and water it down to get an E for Everyone rating, but Bandai would say to hell with this in bringing the work over to Canada. To me at the time the dialogue and events unfolding before my eyes were absolutely breathtaking and kept me their at the screen religiously every night. I would not could not miss the next episode of Gundam Wing, and not only was it my baptism as far as mecha anime went, but it was also the first time I ever heard and understood the word coup d’etat. I might even go so far as to credit my transfixiation on Gundam Wings politcal wheeling with bringing about my near obsessive interest in real world politics today.
Others got their mecha baptism much earlier with shows like Robotech (Macross/Southern Cross/Mospeada hacked into one), Voltest V (For my Filipino friends out there this was the epochal anime that changed the playing field forever in their country), or even Starvengers (Getter Robo G), but for it was Gundam Wing. After that you can imagine my excitement upon learning that the Gundam franchise was not just one 50 episode series, but in fact had a history as large as anything I had ever seen at the time. This was the summer of 1999, which I spent researching the history of the Gundam franchise on a now dead website called Gundam Project. I just had to know everything about this “mecha” franchise that had come out of nowhere to touch me in such away and yet leave me thirsting for more.
It wouldn’t be until 2002 that I would have a chance to actually watch another Gundam series in Turn A, and from there in 2003 I would move on to other Gundam series once I had discovered the beauty of torrents. Those were the years, and now I have watched every piece of Gundam media to every grace (and in Destiny’s case tarnish) a monitor, TV or Movie screen. My thirst hasn’t been quenched yet though, and in someway’s and can’t help but feel Tomino’s bizarre message at the end of Gundam F91, “This is just the beginning”, holds true to the Gundam franchise as well.
Today the franchise and it’s creative studio Sunrise are heavily criticized for a variety of reasons, but I still cannot see any way in which to hate either for bringing me something that I am certain I will never stop being fascinated by. Gundam as a franchise has had it’s ups and downs, but even during it’s most unfortunate moments I have never stopped loving this franchise for even a second. I have been called many names as a result which I actually take no real offense to from “The Meister” to “Setsuna F. Seiei, The Gundam”, but I actually dig it. I know if there is one thing in this world that I am a fanboy for then it is Gundam. That aside, for now I would like to propose a toast.
To the staff of MAHQ who are dedicated to keeping the mecha faith, to my friend ghostlightning who is dedicated to remembering love and who is currently undergoing his own Gundam baptism, to The Animanachronism who is dedicated to bringing forth in-depth and analytical discussion on all things mecha, to the fine folks at GundamNews.net and Zeonic Corps for consistantly bringing us the latest Gundam News and manga, to my friends on the animesuki forums, mechatalk forums and to all the other Gundam fans and fanboys, to all the mechaheads out there and yes even to the gentle/m/en (not the trolls though I’m afraid) out there :
Here Is To 30 Years Of Gundam And To 30 More!