Blowing out the candle…

October 5, 2010

“I simply tell the truth as it is. That is how I live.”

Oh, this is bad day to be Gunpla Fan. Ngee Khiong has just officially closed.

Read his post to find out more. It’s a medley of reasons, and some that unfortunately, we all are guilty of some time or another, whether now or in the past.

Now, I’m not going to lead a procession of self-whipping here. That’s not my purpose. My purpose it to highlight some of his points, and attempt to provide valid explanations for them. unfortunately a large number of the valid explanations I will attempt to provide are going to be quite spark-igniting, because I started out with Gundam SEED back in 2004 or so, and I’ve seen the ups, downs, and changes in fan-interest from SEED to UC to everything Gundam and finally, mecha in general. To me, Chang Ngee Khiong’s blog is a powerful tool to keep updated; not only on Gunpla, but the figure and model kit scene in general.  Not all of us have a good grasp of Chinese or Japanese, and even fewer of us, during the weekdays, have enough time to sit down and check word to word with a translation list. Having the same news presented in English is not only a huge convenience… it has unfortunately become something we take for granted. A lot.

I’m not a social analyst. But there are several points in his last posting that I think I can relate to.

The release of Bandai model kits have always been a source of contention amongst fans. We all want to see out kits released: in between the popular ones and others more exotic (as the recent release of The 0 would prove), sideline lovers like me (Chance of Murasame MG: 0.00000001%) will probably never get the chance to see our own choices shine. Some of the fans take it too seriously though; when MG Strike Freedom was announced, I’m sure all the moderate Gunpla fans were looking over their shoulders (both virtually and literally) for the haters to burst out of the woodwork. And they did. According to Ngee Khiong, he even heard a verbal recording; all I had was the “good luck” (don’t know if you’d call it that…) to see the usual hate comments everywhere.

That is a damn shame. Look, reality doesn’t exist for your convenience, it’s okay to feel disappointed if your vaunted item doesn’t appear. But then there really is no reason for the hate on people who DO appreciate the MG Strike Freedom, because it’s something they can relate to. Not everyone was born in the 1970’s, not everyone likes Tomino’s rough-cut way of presenting the Gundam series, not everyone likes the RX-78-2; I myself see it as the grandfather design, but I don’t have a particular preference for it… and there ARE people who DON’T like Kira Yamato, who do LIKE the Strike Freedom. It’s overpowered, yes, but this is a problem of PRESENTATION, not DESIGN, you catch my drift? Because frankly in terms of firepower Legend, Destiny and the Akatsuki Shiranu can match it with no sweat. This is a simple case of the writers loosing steam near the end, some personal issues at work, and the director’s poor judgement, and again frankly, I’m going to watch Gear Fighter Dendoh in order to prove once and for all that Fukuda and Chiaki messed up just that once… though, badly enough to cause a noticable crater.

Wow, the imagined collective gasps from the SEED haters are almost audible.

Then, the pirated issue. To be honest, this I have not seen traces of, so I can’t judge much. But if what Ngee Khiong says is true, then it is a sad day. To put down others because one can afford to buy mainstream model kits is just pure arrogance… especially if the modellers are getting them to “experiment”: test a paint scheme, mods, design preference, mix n’ match, and not because they just want to buy and the knockoffs are cheaper.

It’s just sad. Buying a knockoff is wrong, but using the fact that you have not had a single knockoff to establish a sense of superiority over others just because you can… that’s despicable.

Then, Ngee Khiong’s revelation of his receiving of “threats” from retailers of pirated Gunpla. All I can say is that that’s a real shame… And the retailers should be taken to court as accomplices as well. An impossibly tall order, I know, but that’s a way to express my shock at this blatant display of mafia-ism.

And then, the side-picking.

Let’s make this clear: I don’t like Kira Yamato’s end. I don’t like the way that SEED Destiny ended. Despite that, I don’t hate SEED, the prequel. I don’t particularly hate the first half of SEED Destiny either, I don’t go on Youtube or SEED fan-forums and troll the living shit out of the SEED fans. This, this fucking Cold War mentality has got to stop. There is no greater bullshit in this world than having to choose a side. Didn’t Murata Azrael teach us that in SEED, or were you haters too busy hatin’? Even in the original Gundam, we saw the trend of the main protagonist being dragged into war against their own wishes… I’d thought people would have understood that having to discard your values to pick a side just to survive is a stupid thing, and very terrorist-like.

That’s right, the haters of any part of the Gundam franchise and the lowlifes hiding in the Middle-East threatening people all over the world with IEDs are fundamentally the same. The only difference is that one blows things up on the internet, the other blows things up in real life. That’s how I see it, and I see no reason to change otherwise.

There is a difference, you know. I still don’t like Destiny’s ending till today, and yes, I was what could be considered a hater three, maybe two years back. But my ability to hold civilised dialogue with not only the people on the internet, but with people in real life, allowed me to realize how stupid it is to hate everything good about something just because it was bad somewhere along the line. That allowed me to control and reduce what is otherwise a really stupid reason to bash. Heck, I don’t even want to hate on G-Saviour nowadays, because it just isn’t rational. It was a weak money-making attempt by money-grubbing execs; hate the sin, not the sinner.

It’s really sad that people would use info about Gunpla to draw battle lines. Tomino’s series had its faults, and so did most of the AU series. To blindly worship one over the other makes you no different from the “ignorant” people that the haters claim the opposing side to be. In the end, it’s like two blind people having a knife fight in a deep swimming pool. You can’t see, can’t hear, can’t move properly, but you can flail at each other while being tens of meters apart. Which in all honesty… looks fairly stupid.

I thought that closing the comment box would be enough, but oh noooooo, the haters had to misuse the chatbox. And now Ngee Khiong is closing his blog, and it’s not because he’s trying to garner sympathy, it’s because he doesn’t want the information on it to be used for inflammatory purposes. You can call him out for pulling a Zero or being an attention-seeker, but it doesn’t change the fact that he feels responsible for all the hatred that’s been going around, and the sad thing is, the haters probably feel proud for accomplishing something. I don’t know. The internet is vast, there’s bound to be people who hate just to hate.

I will make comments, I will aim and shoot jokes and pranks at the latest series coming out, or the older series for sometimes seemingly ridiculous plot points, but you will never see me hating on them… and I will never bash someone just for liking any particular series, any particular thing. It’s really bad to do that, and the sad thing is, it’s easy to do just that. The moderates in any interest didn’t gain their name for being loud, they’re called moderates because they’re accepting and aren’t accustomed to screaming to get their wants… which unfortunately allows for the radicals and haters to outshout them.

Just a few moments before posing this I went to Ngee Khiong Ex, his personal blog, and there were already trolls on it, and they were trolling under prominent names, trolling him for closing his blog because others are superior. Is it really that fun to perform  falsehoods on people, to run false flag operations on the internet? We’ve had freedom of speech since 1945 and more since the internet came out in the 1990s, and we’ve forgotten about how important it is to exercise control over that freedom. You can see examples all over the internet, the ignorant forcing their opinions over everyone else, saying whatever they want. This war in between Gundam fans is only a small part of it.

Maybe it’s time we relinquished that freedom until we learn to appreciate it again.



  1. […] I’m not surprised B-07 has broadcast the news on his side (though he beat me to the chase), he too showed great discontent […]

  2. Well spoken man. Though I feel things wont certainly be the same without NK. =/
    On the other hand, whats with the ‘possibly related posts’? XD

  3. I have no idea… ¯\_(O_O)_/¯

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