After War Gundam X: A World Without Char

Warning! I pretty much spoil the biggest twist you can in Gundam X. You have been warned.

hisuiconAll the way back in my 2009 review of Gundam X I promised to explain my theories on the show with spoilers and then promptly forgot to ever do such a thing.  In the article I theorized that Gundam X was partially a critique of the certain aspects of the Universal Century of Gundam but then stated that any detailed analysis would actually be a biggest spoiler for the series possible. Since the whole purpose of the Ballads of the Earth and the Moon articles was to look at the two somewhat unappreciated Gundam series I felt like spoilers would have gone against the spirit of getting people to check out the series with an unprejudiced attitude. But I am finally going to unleash my little theory for everyone who has seen the show.

hisuiconI think that one of the main points of Gundam X is that the mythology and possibilities of Newtypes in Gundam 0079 is full of hooey. Tomino presents Newtypes as a positive step forward in evolution and man’s true potential being awakened. While the Newtype’s psychic powers are mainly used for combat in the Universal Century it is often stated that their powers  let them understand people and concepts better. In fact it is due to the action of key Newtype like Amuro Ray and Char Aznable that the One Year war actually ends in one year as opposed to dragging on for years. Throughout the Universal Century it is Newtypes that are at the center of major changes for better and for worse. They are the movers and the shakers. So what is different in Gundam X?

hisuiconThroughout Gundam X Jamil Neate and his crew tries protect all the Newtypes they can find while trying to discover the secret buried before the apocalypse. The grand reveal in Gundam X comes from the first Newtype D.O.M.E. when they discover him on the moon. They learn that everything they were told about Newtypes being the ultimate form of mankind and the destined architects of the future was a lie. The Earth and Space governments both knew that Newtypes were nothing more than humans with unusual beneficial mutations but needed something to rally the population around an unceasingly unpopular prolonged and bloody war. With no one to cut through the madness of the increasingly desperate and  insane leadership the war came to the apocalyptic ending that it does in Gundam X with a massive colony drop devastating both sides. And so Newtypes wound up with a sizable but largely undeserved legacy after the war.

hisuiconI can’t help but think the portrayal of Newtype in Gundam X is not just an alternate timeline than the original Gundam but a critique on the idea of the show. Gundam X posits the idea that mankind can not look to evolution to solve its problems. Looking toward the idea of a scientific based savior or miracle is just as foolish as looking toward a mystical savior.  We must look to ourselves as we are today and improve our condition with hard work, sacrifice, and innovation. In the end Newtypes did not save the people of Gundam X and they will not save us. Only an honest desire to change will do that. That is the true message of Gundam X.

4 thoughts on “After War Gundam X: A World Without Char

  1. ToastCrust says:

    Ah, I really like this article. To this day, X is an AU Gundam that I’m exceedingly fond of. Though what you point out is just one of many reasons, I do think it’s a very major one.

    • reversethieves says:

      It is an unusual critique of the original series I felt worth pointing out. We think of the Universal Century as being blindly idealized by Gundam fandom but Gundam X proves that critical thought and analysis while still being respectful or the original is out there and valid.

      – Hisui

  2. schneider says:

    I love this post, especially the last paragraph!

    I think the main reason why Gundam X hasn’t been picked up by people is that because it’s underwhelming for a franchise work that usually boasts of epic mecha battles. When I talk to people who’ve dropped the show, they cited boredom as a reason. I know where they’re coming from, and it’s a shame–Gundam X has a strong cast of characters, and the alternative Newtype angle it presents is utterly brilliant.

    This, along with Turn A Gundam, enriched my UC experience with how they put their own spin on UC themes. Truly they live up to the AU name!

    • reversethieves says:

      I think back in the day people looked at Gundam X, Turn A, G Gundam and saw what they were not instead of looking at what they were. Back in the day they were mainly looked down upon for not being UC. Now that we have had some time away from UC it is easier for newer fans to see what each Gundam series brings to the franchise as well as what its flaws are.

      – Hisui

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