Gundam X got rather good all of a sudden

I don’t know what actually happened, but After War Gundam X, mid-series, just got a hell of a lot better. It’d been quite enjoyable before, although I could really see why it got canceled. Gundam X is a strange beast of a Gundam. It feels really weird, and a lot more “episodic” at first. Oh, there’s multi-episode plot arcs galore, but they all felt rather standalone. However, in episode 21 we got the introduction of the midseries upgrade, the Gundam Double X. It looks suitably scary and imposing and like it’s about ready to blow up small islands at the drop of a hat. We also get the actual antagonist entity for Jamil and co. to fight against by 24.

What sets this series apart from other Gundam series (and why the first 20 episodes feel so weird) is that it’s not about fighting a war so much as fighting the spectre of war. The name of the timeline is well suited to explaining this–since the series takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, it is indeed After War. This isn’t a Gripping War Melodrama like most other Gundam series tend to be (except for G, because Imagawa Yasuhiro is…well, Imagawa Yasuhiro), it’s a Gripping After War Melodrama. See what I’m getting at?

What do we find as the focus of many of the early arc plots? We find that they tend to revolve around old, abandoned projects that might have been table-turning in the war, if they had ever actually come to fruition. There’s the whole sequence in the snowy fort dealing with the Patrouria and artifical Newtypes to destroy the world again. Then there’s the whole sequence on the ocean where first they’re helping Newtype dolphins escape the fate of being turned into radar systems (The Newtype dolphin, by the way, is quite gar) and then they’re confronting Project L, another remnant of the war that poses a threat to the crew of the Frieden.

This isn’t quite a war to end all wars, like we’re getting in Gundam 00 right now. Instead, it’s something more subtle–it’s trying to, as is bandied about before the Double X gets stolen,  fight against the future and prevent another large-scale disaster like the massive colony drop. It’s not quite the same, but there’s a clear semantical difference between X and other Gundam series. I think it’s that difference that contributed to why it ended up “failing”, but it’s also that difference that makes it a good series. It’s one of those series that, while not ahead of its time, people just weren’t ready for it at the time it aired.

We’ve got 00 airing right now, and I’d really like to see what Sunrise does with the franchise after both seasons of 00 have finished airing. The only Gundam I’ve ever been disappointed in was Destiny, but I also haven’t watched Wing and ZZ, which are usually the most reviled, but I plan to when I get the chance to. It’s quite fun to see what each new alternate Gundam universe does that’s different and strange from the others.

G is still the best, though. I refuse to budge on that matter.

1 Response to “Gundam X got rather good all of a sudden”

  1. 1 xnumbers 28 December 2008 at 8:45 am

    Hi there! I like how you describe the Gundam X series the way it deserves. Gundam X is personally my favourite because of the mech designs and the story is simple enough for me to understand while I was a kid.

    Would you like to do a link exchange with me? I’m doing a Gundam blog. Check out my blog at: http// Thanks a lot!

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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December 2007

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