Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin – The Fascinating Journey of Casval the Sociopath

hisui_icon_4040_round I have said it once and I will say it again, “Streaming has changed everything about how people watch anime.” The ease and convenience have made it that watching things legally streaming has become so simple that shows that are not streaming pretty much disappear from the general consciousness. In the past , there used to be some notable exceptions. There were titles that were so popular that they retained a viewership despite the fact that they were hard to find through anything other than illicit means or importing. Now even titles with evergreen fandoms have become almost invisible when they are not streaming.

The prime examples are Macross Delta and Dragon Ball Super. Compare the conversation around Macross Frontier and Macross Delta. Macross Frontier was the talk of the town with anitwitter and Macross Delta was really only discussed by the hardcore of the hardcore Macross faithful. You could argue this has to do with something like a difference in quality between the shows but the general silence surrounding Macross Delta was present even before a single second of Delta had aired. Even the evergreen Dragon Ball series could not avoid this. Whenever anything Dragon Ball comes out through normal means the fans come out in legion beyond even the familiar faces of fandom. Just look at the turn out to the new Dragon Ball movies in theaters. So when something as monumental as the first new Dragon Ball TV series in 18 years (Dragon Ball Z Kai is not new material) comes out like a ghost in speaks volumes. It would have been the ONE series that I assumed this would not happen to but even Goku could not defeat the beast of invisibility that comes for a series without a streaming component.

In between the world of no streaming and shows with a footprint in fandom lies Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin anime. Much like a phasing card in Magic: The Gathering it seems that Gundam: The Origin spends parts of the time visible to fandom and then disappears for a time. Whenever a new episode of Gundam: The Origin comes out the previous episodes will stream for a month and the go back into Sunrise’s version of the Disney Vault. It means that Gundam: The Origin is not normally available to what you think of streaming anime but it also has a visible footprint.

If you have ever owned a Netflix account and used it actively you have probably put something in your queue and put off watching it until they day you realize it is not longer streaming through the service. It is VERY easy to put off until tomorrow what could easily be done today until it is too late. That is why we are talking about Gundam: The Origin today. With the release of the 4th episode, we wanted to muse on the OVA series while the iron is hot. In this current window of streaming in probably the best time to discuss the show. It lets everyone who might have otherwise overlooked the series a chance to sample it for free while also reminding people who have forgotten to watch it the last time it was available that they have a second chance.

narutaki_icon_4040_round Ahh, the Gundam 0079 story is the best with an incredible cast of characters. Trying to add to that narrative could be a dangerous tightrope walk but Yoshikazu Yasuhiko’s storytelling is impeccable. The flashback arc that The Origin anime covers is so much less about robots than you would expect in a Gundam series, it is a dramatic, compelling story of the road to war.

Disclaimers:

  1. There may be spoilers for Gundam 0079 since this is a prequel story.
  2. To keep things from getting confusing: Casval will be the name used for the rest of the post no matter what phase of his identity he is in.

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Secret Santa Project Review: New Getter Robo – Getter Robo is Nobody’s Friend

hisui_icon_4040It is another solo year for me with as the only participant from the blog in the Secret Santa pool. I have to say when people are just picking for me the choices are far better. When it is both of us we get Gunslinger GirlTexhnolyze, and Dead Leaves. (The scars from Texhnolyze will never heal. I’m fairly certain we both still wake up in the middle of the night crying because of that show.) When it is just me I get to leisurely pick from several shows that actually seem fun. I will admit while I love reviewing shows with Kate I think I was a little relieved that she bowed out again. Otherwise we might have ended up watching something like Yosuga no Sora or Kaiba. Also it lets me speculate who my Secret Santa is as much as anyone else who participates in the project.

I actually got four choices this year. The first three were BarakamonNagi no Asukara, and New Getter Robo. They also gave me the super challenge of the Touch but did mention that it broke the rules of the Secret Santa Project but figured they would throw it out there anyway. I actually picked my show fairly quickly this year.

I had actually watched Barakamon. The problem is I liked the show so much I marathoned it in two days and then forgot to note that on My Anime List. It was utterly my fault for leaving it off the list. But it was clearly a good choice considering my reaction to the show.

I watched the first episode of Nagi no Asukara but had mixed feeling on it as P.A. Works has a very distinct formula it uses on some (but not all) of its anime that can be very hit or miss. It was something I considered but figured it could be my backup show if I needed one.

I passed on Touch for two reasons. The first is that I actually read all of the Touch manga. There was no reason for the person picking shows to look into that but it does mean I actually know the story already. The second is that while I might not be the busiest human being on Earth even I would have a hard time watching 101 episodes in the time allotted. (Also Fate/Hollow Ataraxia does not play itself.) I was slightly curious how the anime differs from the manga but not enough to plunge into a crazy marathon.

I picked New Getter Robo for several reasons. The first is the reason I picked Aquarion Evol last year. We have not had that many mecha reviews on the site so I wanted to correct that to some degree with this pick. The second was the show had a fairly strong reputation so it seemed like something worth talking about just to see how my opinion stacks up with the prevailing attitudes. And the third was just to beef up my knowledge of Go Nagai. For a legendary manga creator I have not experienced a good deal of his signature creations so this seemed like a great chance to expand my anime database.

I’m going to try my best to watch all four shows before the end of the project. I’m a little too lazy to write that up so I will probably do that as a mini podcast. I will definitely review all the shows I watched by the 25th on a podcast. The question is how many of the four will I get to. If I add Touch to the list I will probably just watch the three compliation movies. It is not the full 101 episode experience but it is something I can do in the time I have.

But enough discussion of decision-making processes and internal politics. Lets talk about robots!

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Secret Santa Project Review: Aquarion EVOL aka Vandread: The Third Stage

hisui_icon_4040 You could also call this Shinkon Gattai Godannar!!! Third Season if you like. The common thread is these are all mecha shows about the battle of the sexes. But I am actually talking about Aquarion EVOL, the rather unexpected sequel to Genesis of Aquarion, by famed mecha director Shoji Kawamori. It is also my pick for my solo Secret Santa review this year.

First off the bat because of several complications Kate did not participate in the actual draft of  Secret Santa this year. I think it has to do in part with the fact that each year we participate it we have to watch horrible shows that sap our very will to live. That was no small factor in her decision. But apparently once she was out of the equation I got nothing but great titles to watch.

I had to choose from Aquarion EVOL, Darker Than Black, and The Legend of Black Heaven. I actually had to choose which cool show I wanted to review not what poison I wanted to kill me. I mostly went with Aquarion EVOL because we have not had enough mehca anime reviews on the blog in a while. That is as good a criteria for a choice as any. I wonder if this good selection this year will tempt Kate back next year.

On the other hand maybe it would be better if I just do it alone if it breaks the holiday curse.

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