Mobile Fighter G Gundam

While not with as much promotion or fanfare as Dragonball Z, the Gundam universe has developed a nice following of fans who keep up with the various series, models, collectibles and games. Originally aired in Japan in 1994, this series was created as an alternative universe to the main Gundam story arc as a celebration of the series' 15th anniversary.

The story of G Gundam revolves around fighting-tournament Gundam battles. In the future (year Future Century 60), humanity has had to leave Earth for colonies abroad. To settle disputes between the colonies, a Gladiator-like warfare/tournament has been created where representatives of each colony duke it out in their powerful Gundams (giant robots). Winners will dictate who has control over disputes between the colonies.

The main focus of the story is on Domon Kasshu, the Gundam fighter for Neo-Japan, who while fighting for the honor of his land is also on a search for his brother, Kyoji, who pilots the devastating Dark Gundam. To balance out Domon's emotional and often brash personality is Rain Mikamura, his friend, mechanic and often a source of wisdom, whether he chooses to listen or not. To complement the main characters are a handful of opponents and allies, including Argo Gulski, Sai Saici, and George De Sand. These characters are likewise fleshed out with motives and agendas all their own.

Fans of previous Gundam series will take note that this series is far less entrenched in deep political/military conflicts as previous series. There isn't the same ocean-deep storyline where you feel like you're watching an intergalactic conflict going on. Instead, the story is paired down to a smaller group of characters, with far more elements of magic and the supernatural imbedded into the storyline.

I do think that the mech design is better in this series than in previous incarnations, but the character animation and illustration does tend to take a step back. Though, if you like the more retro-style of the characters, this won't be a problem for you. On the whole, the series has a more throwback style to it, which is evident in both the illustration and even the story to some degree.

At times, though, I do feel like I was watching a Gundam version of Dragonball Z, where the characters yell and carry on in an outlandish fashion. There is less intrigue and certain events fall into Anime stereotypes, but on the whole, G Gundam is a fine series. If you found other Gundam series to be a little too over the top in the story department, then you should enjoy G Gundam just fine. It still has all the excellent Gundam elements into it, just in different proportions than previous series.

If you want to know more about this series, check out the site on Cartoon Network, or try to catch a few episodes as the series is running during Toonami. There are already DVD sets out if you are interested in what you see.

- - Vane

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