Mobile Suite Z Gundam '機動戦士Zガンダム' 1985

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Jul 25, 2012 06:11
Mobile Suite Z Gundam '機動戦士Zガンダム' is the direct sequel of the legendary animation, Mobile Suite Gundam '機動戦士ガンダム'. Z Gundam was broadcast from 1985 to 1986, six years after the broadcast of the original series.

The Z Gundam were directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, 富野由悠季, who directed the original series as well. He was born in 1941, when another famous animation director Hayao Miyazaki 宮崎駿 was born. Ninety forty one may be a special year for the history of the Japanese animation.

I watched some episodes when it was first broadcast. I didn't like it very much. I remember I didn't like main characters.

However, the original Gundam was so exciting that I naturally became interested in Z Gundam. I watched it. Halfway through the 50 episodes, I quit. The sequel was a totally different thing from the original despite the fact that it was directed by the same guy.

If you're a keen fan of Z Gundam, I'm sorry. But I can't praise something mediocre... so just stop reading here.

What happened during 6 years' interval then?

First, the designs of the 'mobile suits' (robots) became more complicated. The new 'mobile suits' may be more stylish and sleeker than ones in the original. However, the movement of the 'mobile suits' became much faster and lighter, which in turn resulted in the lack of gravity and solemnity. For me, they looked less 'real'.

Second, in a stark contrast to the advancement in mechanical details, description of characters' minds and hearts was a lot poorer. The lines in the drama were mostly explanatory, sounded like trying to make up for the lack of the emotional flow in the characters. I couldn't feel any sympathy to any of them. Voice acting was extremely flat, even though many voice actors in the original series participated in the sequel. I noticed typical 'anime voice' (アニメ声) acting, i.e. high-pitched unnatural voicing which became common in anime in 1990's onwards. I never liked it.

Third, the story itself seemed a little dull.

In short, Z Gundam has got sleeker machines, much poorer human emotions, and a lax story. Thus, it was much 'weaker' than the original series.

It was almost unbelievable that it was made only 6 years after the original; Z Gundam must have been made by discontinued, much younger generation of artists. Yes, what I saw between the two series was a generation gap. The new team was good at drawing machines, but couldn't draw lively human beings very well. Z Gundam perhaps heralded the arrival of anime otaku culture due in 1990's...