Yo dwag, we heard you liek Psychoframes, so…

August 9, 2010

I see… the same humans who are capable of such warmth, can also be so cruel…

Char Aznable, Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack

Oooooook. Char’s Counterattack, considered by many to be the holy grail of UC Gundam.

I’m a bit lost.

It’s not that the movie isn’t good, in fact it’s quite the jaw-dropper, even two decades after its time. Mobile Suit combat pre-1990s has never been portrayed more realistically than Char’s Counterattack (tying with 8th MS Team and putting 0080 and 0083 to second and third respectively). The clash of the corrupt and totalitarian Earth Federation, defended by the just anti-terrorist task force Londo Bell (at least while Bright Noah was still their leader), against the idealistic and radical Neo Zeon led by a revived Char Aznable (aka. Casval Rem Deikun), crashing upon the Earth Forces with a fury not matched since the One Year War, has been repeated in various ways and guises since the first Gundam series, but none can truly match Char’s Counterattack, as Amuro, representing human hope and intelligence, fights against Char, who is convinced that humanity needs a harsh lesson on their true nature and isn’t unwilling to kill entire cities’ worth of people to do so.

There is, however, one small part that could have been better elaborated; the start of the Second Neo-Zeon War (with the First occurring during the events of Gundam ZZ). The movie drops viewers straight into the heat of things like a Halo ODST, with the movie starting out with Char in the Sazabi leading Neo Zeon as they engineer a small-scale meteorite drop onto Earth, and fighting to stop it, Londo Bell and Amuro in the Re-GZ. The drop is the drive and revelations for many events in the movie, including Char’s eventual loli pilot Quess Paraya’s joining of Neo Zeon, the creation of the customary angst boy Hathaway Bright (that’s Bright Noah’s son), as well as Char’s motivations for beginning the drop in the first place (In Gundam Zeta, Char fought as a member of the AEUG, and many of their members later went on to become Londo Bell’s core group of soldiers).

Char’s Counterattack can be taken as a sharper focus on the ideology of  total rule from Earth against mankind’ desire to split and be independent even when not given the chance, and just like Amuro and Char’s long-lasting rivalry, heated to beyond boiling point in this movie (actually, this was touched upon right from Mobile Suit Gundam). While this does give rest to the matter of two great opposing aces, it sidelines the development of other characters somewhat; Quess’ out-of-left-field change of sides can be explained by her poor upbringing and Char’s charming looks, but Hathaway’s near-vertical descent into the depths of angst hell was a bit of a shock.

And that’s not counting the Neo Zeon and Londo Bell characters, whose roles in the movies were limited to being speech companions to other characters (at least the Neo Zeon ace got to off a few Jegan pilots, which is more than I can say for the other…)  Various other little holes exist, as to how did Char come back (you can attribute it to his resourcefulness and the fact that he is not only a CHAR, he is THE CHAR; unfortunately there’s no way to ask anyone in Neo Zeon as to how he managed to crawl away in a crippled Hyaku Shiki); Neo Zeon’s revival, the backdoor dealing which saw Anaheim electronics get their hands on the Neo-Zeon-developed psychoframe, among other things.

Maybe it’s just me, but after all the comments from Gundam fans that Char’s Counterattack was the greatest animated mecha thing since Astro Boy I feel that the pacing of the movie was too fast, way too fast to provide proper closure (and a decade later there was Overman King Gainer…). The AEUG’s transition to Londo Bell was shown off-screen, which can be taken that the Earth Federation was only looking for scapegoats and figureheads even after the harsh lesson of the First Neo Zeon War; nevertheless, I would have liked a bit of elaboration.

It probably would have been better to have given Char’s Counterattack a trilogy treatment so that Tomino can tie things up from Gundam ZZ, which was only half-connected to the Gundamverse right from the start; or at least split it into two movies, so that the entirety of the Second Neo Zeon conflict, from the day Char approached Neo Zeon to the showdown with Amuro, would be made clear to the audience. Then again, the Mobile Suit Gundam compilation trilogy was only possible because Tomino had already established a name with the anime series; to suggest a two or three-parter movie in that day and age without an establishing series (an episodic series, mind you, and not just the brand name) must have been tantamount to financial suicide to the firms involved (Sunrise and Tomino not included).

Even with the speed run tendencies so common to movies with deep plots regardless of whether they were original concepts or adaptations, Char’s Counterattack remains a gem in the history of Gundam; indeed, in the history of mecha movies; this is all I can say without spoiling you all. Never before, and it will take a lot to top it, will another Gundam movie come close to delivering such a powerful message about the human spirit.



August 5, 2010

“With the passing of time, it might be that the leaders of the future… are those who wear skirts.”

Guin Sard Lineford, Turn A Gundam

Guin is half-correct, considering that he lives in a time era well after the A.D. calendar ended. So technically, he is wrong… well, sort of. Man this is one shitty can of worms.

Anyways, Turn A Gundam is over for me. Well, as over as can be, since I won’t be watching the two compilation movies (probably). Too busy with Ace Combat 6 and the goddamned Futami F-16C/F-2 planes (honestly, who the f**k flips on a dime!), but it sure as hell is fun trying to down air units with those twin out-of-control turbines.

Well, let’s talk about Turn A.

When Tomino made Turn A, I have to say that whatever he thought, it certainly wasn’t considered an option by me. Mecha in a post-apocalyspe world isn’t the first, but with the Turn A Gundam, who runs on two black holes and is capable of interstellar warfare, it seems almost heavy-handed to use such a robot in an Earth-based conflict that only includes an area about the size of the United States of America in real life. Not so for Tomino apparently, who manages to not only NOT destroy the world from day 1 of the storyline, but also manages to keep the true powers Turn A and the even more broken Turn X under wraps right up to the face-bashing finale.

Here’s the skinny: The population situated around Earth once wiped itself out in a war of epic proportions using gigantic fighting machines that are named Mobile Suits (the descendants of the Earth-based survivors call them Mechanical Dolls). The people who survived and escaped to the Moon and its surface colonies have been keeping watch over the entire planet for 2000 years; now, with the Earth recovered, they’re ready to return as well. There’s a slight problem: There isn’t enough space for both the Moonrace and Earthrace, and what barren lands the Moonrace want to settle in are also denied to them by the Earthrace, in true human fashion of “sharing is for noobs”. The first contact between both races don’t go well, and caught in-between is young Moonrace civillian Loran Cehak, who was sent to Earth two years prior as a scout and now works for the Heim family as their chauffer.

At least Tomino has infused logic well into this particular initeration of Gundam. Despite the overwhelming numbers of the Earthrace against the far superior technology of the Moonrace, the war itself takes up almost three-quarters of the series; the Moonrace, led by their queen Dianna Soriel, wishes to negotiate instead of fight, and the Earthrace are represented by the sly Guin Lineford, who also wishes for peace, but for more political and personal reasons than the pure-minded thoughts of Dianna. Matters are further complicated when another character, Kihel Heim, turns out to be a 99.99% exact replica of Dianna’s looks. The gears really start grinding when Kihel’s sister Sochie goes on the warpath to avenge her father and mother, and Dianna and Kihel’s plan to switch identities for a short while turn out to be far longer than any of them intended.

Turn A Gundam is also notable for its focus, more so on the interactions between the characters then Tomino’s other works. There are far less depictions of combat, allowing for characters to interact in ways that you would never have expected them to; in fact, civilian life of the Earthrace and the Moonrace who have landed even takes the spotlight in a few episodes, exploring some aspects of the world that Turn A takes place in. Tomino also explores the concept of alternate plans in Turn A; prior to Loran, the Moonrace had already attempted many insertion attempts to live on Earth, resulting in bittersweet dreams and rather headache-inducing messes on both sides and Moonpeople who were sent as forward forces try to seek acceptance from the Dianna Counter, who are only barely reined in by Dianna’s insistence of peace before arms.

The fights becomes less one-sided once the Earthrace start fielding more than just Kapools and the Turn A, and often the Earthrace win their fights with sheer ingenuity. It really helps that the Dianna Counter’s unit designs are either “small lightly armored” or “big fat easily tripped” units, for the most part… but actually, Dianna’s anti-war policies are the only thing between the Earthrace and total annihilation (there is only one Turn A and it can only be in once place at ay time, after all).

Turn A Gundam sets itself from the others with another fact that it started on Earth, and ends on Earth. While most Gundam conflicts end in space, Turn A spends a very brief tenure there. There is no outright space combat, at least not anything resembling the scenes in normal Gundam shows. This isn’t really much of an important point, but it’s quite funny to see the Earthrace crew bounce around their own ship… not to mention attempting to pull a Bilbo back to Earth (yes, they used a WOODEN CASKET).

As is the wont of Gundam shows, the conflict between Dianna Counter and the Earthrace militia  soon expand; first Dianna mentions that her troops are slowly but surely starting to include reinforcements from the Moon that are not directly affiliated with Dianna Counter who put quite a dent in Dianna’s peace efforts; the Earthrace have quite a few people, Guin included, who don’t really care much for peace as long as their goals are fulfilled, and the most unlikely alliance of alliances happens near the end.

And where is Loran Cehak, you ask?

Helping the civilians, of course! Unlike the military of previous Gundam shows, the series’ main force are composed of militia, and their structure is quite loose. This lets the show put forth its anti-war message even more; Loran uses the Turn A for more than just mobile suit combat or to carry stuff; it is his Swiss Army knife, and there is almost nothing that he can’ do with it. This is in sharp contrast to the war-obsessed Gym Ghingnham, the pilot of the Turn X, the Turn A’s cousin machine; Gym is utterly convinced that the only way to win is to eliminate the Earthrace, and even that is secondary to his single-track love of live combat. The troops under him are only marginally better by being incompetent.

And then there are the blatant references to the Gundamverse before SEED. Un-arguably, the most iconic moment in Turn A is when Gundam Wing makes its last stab at what must be the first anime show; you even get to hear the famous “IT’S A GUNDAM!!!!11″, though the person who said it didn’t suffer a mook death. If Lucky Star is a reference to otaku culture, then Tomino already made one dedicated to the Gundam franchise when he directed Turn A, intentional or no.

The mechanical designs of Turn A are done by Syd Mead, a concept artist most famous for his futuristic work. The designs grow on you after a while, but his works, which not only encompass the Turn A but also a fair number of the Moonrace mobile suits, clash somewhat with the original mobile suit aesthetics pioneered and refined by Kunio Okawara. Perhaps this is Turn A’s source of hate from hardcore Gundam fans; but heck, the Moonrace has had way more than 2000 years to get rid of cool-looking but useless design motifs because there’s no other faction left to show it to. If you can reconcile with G Gundam, you can reconcile with Turn A Gundam. Period.

All in all, if we were to talk about the message behind the show, Turn A’s anti-war message is one we’ve seen from Mobile Suit Gundam all the way to Gundam F91. But at least, it makes it interesting by giving you the opinions of the front-row spectators to the war, whose thoughts are all too often taken for silence, even in Gundam.


B-07 Anniversary

July 27, 2010

“Don’t try and wake me like that. I keep a knife in my boot, you know…”

It was on the 28th of July, 2008, that Hangar Bay B-07 was contructed out of baling wire, spit, and the odd clothes hanger, so on this day, let’s have a celebratory posting of WTF pictures. Not even internship can stop me from prowling the internetz!


But it’s still cute… right? Right?


And this is where Trombe! starts playing, and all those villians really should be running.

mahiroo,turn a gundam,flat,kapool,turn,a,gundam,firing,beam,rifle,lol,squad,wrong,wrong,place,time

They are going to Mount Doom Agrippa to throw down the Dark Lord Sauron Ghingnham and his Ring of Doom X.


Internship will not stop me from preparing for 2012 either (as well as the final episode of Gundam Unicorn). I was going to do a Muv-Luv one after watching Marimo get… well, Marimo’d, but I don’t have time to do templates and to date I cannot bring myself to cut a picture of Yoroi (those damned trans-dimensional genderbenders!)… I mean, Meiya Mitsurugi in twain to fit in those template boxes (warning: all three links NSFW unless you work at âge).

And lastly, let us celebrate the moment by having a dance featuring Felderich Jack Ronde de Bushcown and all of his previous incarnations:


What is BUSHCOWN? Baby don’t PHAILVOID me, don’t PHAILVOID me, no more~♫

And take note, fellow comrades, there is another Gunpla event at Compass Point this year; it is appetizer, however, compared to AFA 2010. Yes, you heard me right. AFA 2010.



Well… this is embarrassing.

July 25, 2010

“Firefox is having trouble recovering your windows and tabs. This is usually caused by a recently opened web page.”

From Mozilla Firefox 3.1 Error Message

facepalm Pictures, Images and Photos

I wouldn’t be so bothered by this if not for the fact that now I have an extra S$8.90 asset on my hands with no way to change it into cash (admit it, pragmatically sane people would probably be reading this on scanlation sites by now).

Exia image not mine. Click to go to source.



July 16, 2010

“I alone have the right to judge all of humanity!”

Rau Le Cruset, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED

Not worth putting any other kind of quote here.

Name is censored (even though most would know if they’ve read the papers) to prevent potential legal bullshit. Even if it would be worth the prison stay for slander, I can’t pay the fine that follows!

troll in real life irl

Thusly, B-07’s strategic forecaster Mr. Stin speaks under an alias:

CSI 4 Pane Comics meme lol

With great interest, I note that the letter has all the makings of a self-convinced internet troll, who has, as usual, forgotten all but his own POV. If you’re smart, you’ll spend a few minutes thinking about the human-vs-animal argument in his work, and the rather glaring fact that normal modern dog owners don’t discipline their pets by subjecting them to a colony drop.

By his logic, I should have set the Death Star unto my sister’s hamster, because to it my fingertip looks just like a crunchy seed. But it’s so cute, dawwww….


Wake me up, BEFORE September endszzz~

July 13, 2010

“So do you two intend to keep staring at each other until tomorrow? Or maybe you’ll like me to get a fancy glass with twin straws curved into a heart and filled with strawberry milkshake or something.”


Busy with the job, not really much to post anyways. You’ll be surprised to find out that it takes an eternity of Internet browsing time just to find something worthy to rant/rage/troll/post about. And that’s for the funny pictures only.

Good news is, Turn A is proving to be interesting so far. Despite many people bashing Turn A’s general design, it isn’t as bad as they make it out to be. Fancy leg and knee bits are irrelevant to people advanced enough to make a mobile suit that can regenerate its pilot, as well as juggle its head and two more Kapools.

The bad point is, if you’re looking for war and death, there are NEITHER in Turn A. But there are other Gundam; heck, there are other mecha series out there that fulfill either one of two requirements (Gundam Wing and Argento Soma for the former, Strategic Armored Infantry STRAIN and Fafner of the Azure for the latter). No loss there.

Lastly, I leave you with this rather amusing, photo-populated coverage of Volk’s showcase of their April 2010 Tactical Surface Fighter models, along with all the OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAND different modders’ flavours. I’m just curious that I haven’t seen a single English blog with such extensive coverage, considering that Muv-Luv by itself is comparatively recognized by many over the world. Maybe they’re just not reaching the right media outlets…



June 24, 2010

“That’s only mildly funny as a joke, Sergeant. If we really did up and left, they’re going to publicly hang every last one of us in their town if they catch us.”


Well, well. It seems my internship is starting soon. Tomorrow I’ll find out where and when I’ll be working, so unfortunately, I don’t think any model kit/mech anime articles are going to be updated anytime soon (and no, I WILL NOT be saying anything about Melody of Oblivion. ‘Nuff said).

Meanwhile, amuse yourselves with the last of my pictures from the funny stash. Probably not going to have any new ones anytime soon.


It’s probably not intentional… but it’s an Engrish moment nonetheless.


It had to be done. I swear.

fsjal,lolface,rageguy,gundam zz

The Nahel Argama crew do go about their job quite animatedly…

Props to those who can identify the three memes in there.

The Gundam model kit scene is set to heat up soon with kits of the 00 movie undoubtedly in planning, and those of you who visit Ngee Khiong’s have no doubt caught wind of the two new Robot Spirits for the Arios Ascalon and Cherudim SAGA. Silent Stronghold reckons that a 1/144 model kit of the RS kits might soon be on its way, so I’ll keep my cash around and see what happens next. I myself am more interested in the newest Muv-Luv item announced. Sure, it’s a LIMITED item and thus highly unlikely to be obtained by me, but my curiosity is the master of me when it comes to giant robots.

As for those of you who prefer more exotic stuff, there’s always the BB Senshi line. :D


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