The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Mobile Fighter G Gundam

Title: Mobile Fighter G Gundam aka Kidou Butoden G Gundam
Genre: Action
Company: Sunrise/Sotsu Agency
Format: 49 episodes
Dates: 1 Apr 1994 – 31 Mar 1995

Synopsis: Sixty years have passed since the majority of Earth’s population migrated to the stars. However, political conflict and national pride still remain strong and continue to divide peoples. In order to ease conflicts, all disputes are settled in a civilized war deemed the Gundam Fight. This year marks the beginning of 13th Fight, and things are about to get complicated when Neo Japan representative Domon Kashu is ordered to locate a mysterious mobile armor that fell to Earth one year back.

The Highlights
Basic premise:
Sheer Idiocy.
Actual plot: Interesting.
Characters: Shallow stereotypes, yet human and deep.
Gundam quality: Range from amazing to mediocre.
Level of fun: Through the roof.

“This hand of mine is burning red. Its loud roar tells me to grasp victory. Here I go, Shining Finger!” I know, it sounds like a bad kung fu movie, but it’s not. It’s Gundam. That’s right, this is the first alternate universe series that takes the entire franchise and warps it into a cheesy martial arts story. It’s pretty obvious how I feel about this series considering my love of grit, blood, sweat, and realism. It’s pretty obvious that I’m going to say that it is “FREAKING AWESOME!”. Okay, maybe that’s going too far, but for something that is so not Gundam, it pulls it off just fine.

To be perfectly honest, the whole concept of a global tournament in which countries fight for superiority with Gundams is idiotic at best. It’s the kind of thing one would expect from Dragonball Z. Only in the last couple of episodes does the plot device of the Gundam Fight become off as intelligent when everything comes full circle. However, between episodes one and forty, there’s got to be something that keeps viewers from giving up on the series all together, and that is the Devil Gundam. The way this machine consumes people and how Domon is personally affected by it feels more like Star Trek’s “ The Best of Both Worlds” than a shounen action series.

And of course, what’s a series without good, down to earth characters? Well, believe it or not, this show has it. Most of the Gundam Fighters seem to be shallow stereotypes at first from the living embodiment of the American Dream, Chibode Crocket, to the unbelievably corny Master Asia. However, given time and development, they become three dimensional. The real key to this is the great chemistry among the characters. It is so good that the hero Domon and the heroine Rain have one of the most believable romances in all of Gundam.

Of course, the series’ greatest strength is also its weakness. Yes, it’s very, very clichéd. Despite this, the story knows what it is and doesn’t pretend to be otherwise. As a cheesy fighting series it portrays itself as such. And when drama is key, it is done so perfectly. Unfortunately, as with all corny fighting anime, these elements sometimes cross in annoying ways. Sure, a Gundam shaped like a windmill or a bull is to be taken as parody, but the sheer lunacy of the idea just boggles the mind. Also, martial arts flicks are immersed in soapbox speeches about honor, courage and love, and this show is no exception. Whether these elements are supposed to be taken seriously or not, I just cannot tell. What’s even more annoying than these corny quirks is the monster of the week fights, though, these are not so bad to watch considering how fun the series is.

Yes, I am proud to say that I am a G Gundam fan. Laugh at me if you must, but don’t judge me because I like some mindless fun every once and a while. For a typical shounen action series, the closing line in a review would be something like, “don’t think, you’ll live longer.” But in the Case of G Gundam, occasionally the show comes off as very smart, and I mean really smart. So… “Gundam Fight all set. Ready! Go!”

The Rating: 7
7/10

Reviewed by: Kavik Ryx

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