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Evertyhing I need to know about Space Combat and Sci Fi, I learned from Watching Gundam.

Gundam, for those who don't know, has been one of Japan's longest running, Giant robot, Space Opera, Sci-Fi series. It started in the late 70s and since then, a plethora of Gundam series have tried to recapture the feel by redoing simple plot themes. Note: most Gundam series have little or nothing to do with one another.

Here is the list of what I learned from Gundam about Sci-Fi/Space.

Military Tactics


It doesn't matter if your new secret weapon needs a phenomenal pilot to use it properly, build it and you'll find one.


If your super weapon needs an extraordinary pilot, that the bad guys have in spades, build multiples because chances are the baddies won't steal all of them.


If you need a good pilot, leave your superweapon out in the open. The first kid to accidentally fall into it is actually the next evolution in human development.


Don't get conceited about your Super Pilot as the bad guys have several dozen already.


It's okay though, because a couple of the baddie super pilots are bound to be female and fall in love with your pilot or old friends who'll defect.


ZZ Gundam female correlary: Any woman will believe anything you say as long as you tell them that they are pretty.


Traitor correlary: No matter how many times a person switch sides, always believe them and allow them full access to your secret military hardware.


Place your super weapon robot in your super secret weapon ship and have them fly as far away from you main fleet as possible.


It's okay,because the baddies will never send more than two ships at a time after your super ship and never overwhelm the super robot with more cannon fodder than it can handle.


Don't rush R&D on the new model of the Super Weapon, your super pilot will get it after the baddies gain the upperhand and just when all seems lost no matter what you do.


A couple kids or a bunch of anti-authority teens will beat a well trained para-military force any day, so pack you battle cruiser full of them.

Pilots, Super Pilots (NewTypes), and Cannon Fodder


The less a super pilot likes war or killing, the better pilot they are.


The cooler the pilot, the more they whine.


Super pilots (the proclaimed next evolutionary step) have fragile egos. They can vaporize entire fleets without breaking a sweat, but if the bad guy's super weapon scratches their paint, they go into near suicidal depresion about how they are too weak.


Superpilots also have double standards. In the next breath, they will likely berate others for not destroying the enemy fleet single handedly with only a toothpick and a 8-track of ABBA classics.


You can't have a family. If they didn't die when you were young, they'll die by the end of the 'adventure'.


Those people who are blowing up aren't your real parents, your real parents are blowing up over there. Nyah!


Make sure the Super pilot has some token or momento of parents, old friend, lost love, ect. as that will allow them to shake out of any funk and defeat all odds.

General Space Facts, a Tourist's Guide


Revenge rules the Universe and the vastness of space helps people think only of themselves. Any slight should be avenged. If you bump into a guys dog, expect him to nuke the space colony that you live in.


weightlessness in space turns all space colonists into super soldiers who hate Earth, for some reason.


No matter which side of the conflict you are on, it's the wrong side.


The stupider some machine looks, the cooler it is. The stupider someone looks, the higher up the chain of command they are (at least above the ship commander level).


Every group of three or more mechs must give themselves some 'neat-o' nickname that eaveryone seems to know them by, even if the groups have never met or could have possibly learned of the other groups self assigned nickname.


Painting a standard bad guy mech a different color makes it twelve times better in combat.

Note: Olive drab green is the slowest of all colors. Red, the fastest.

Further thoughts: Standing out from the crowd makes you harder to hit?

Let's check the premise and look at the series, individually.

Note, this isn't a complete list of Gundam shows, but the ones I know a little about.

Originality score legend: Improbable Main Character (Yea Right!), Cute Kids (Cute), Goofy non-warrior friends (Teen Gang), Battlecruiser (Bitchin' ride), Ship Uterly Reliant on Gundam (Morons), Dead Parents (boo-hoo), Enemy in Love with Hero (Huba-Huba), Mecha-upgrades (UP), Good gals fall for hero (Stud), Whining Hero (Goober).


The Original

Plot Minute: The Space colonies don't like Earth and Declare war. Amuro Ray is a normal kid that happens to fall into Earth's secret robot and turns out to be the a god of mech piloting so the Army keeps him. He is placed on the Super Space Ship, White Base and they leisurely tour the galaxy. They are stalked by a pretty boy fashion victim that likes his metal mask to much (No El Santo) named Char Aznoble. Char learns that Red Zakus go faster and tries to take over Earth, but gets sidetracked with the stupid Whitebase. Char isn't that special but luckily Amuro has the brains of Tapioca pudding so we get a fight out of it. The Whitebase itself would set itself on fire and crash into the nearest asteroid if Amuro wasn't there to bail it out every 5 minutes. Everything that Amuro knows or loves dies at some point in this series, usually with loud report or a beam saber through Lala's head (With a name like Lala, you know she's good). Amuro whines, uses the worst Gundam weapon ever invented (Gundam Hammer!) and inadvertently saves the day. There are also some young orphans hanging around to actually be competent.

Originality Score: 10 (It's the first)


Our lovable losers.

Gundam Z

The Depressing Sequel

Plot minute: Hey,after 7 years there is still a colony war, but the Earth force deserves it this time. Let's stick our super cool Gundam out since Amuro is gone. Camille tries to steal it and turns into a bad mo-fo when when someone says he has a girly name. Okay, we have a new pilot, let's get a new supe space ship. Enter the Aghama. Everything that lives is blown up at somepoint in this series. Friends die, parents die, they even kill of one of the spunky toddler orphans. Aghama flys around space like a Typhoid Mary searching out new life so an errant beam rifle shot can erradicate it. Good job, morons.

Originality: 1 (Yea Right!, Cute, Bitchin' Ride, Morons, Boo-hoo, huba-huba, up, Stud and Goober)


For all the killing, we get this picture. Half of these are evil bad guys.

Gundam ZZ

An attempt at comedy that gets darker as it goes

Plot Minute: It is soon after Gundam Z ends. Camille is screwed up (not just from his unfortunate name) and the Aghama lands on a backwater colony. Hey, Guess who tries to steal our Gundam, but the next best newtype since Amuro. Enter Judeo Ashita and his spunky Teen gang of rough neck, anti-authority, trask collecting punks who all happen to be expert mecha pilots. Whew, and we were worried that we needed pilots. Well, the Aghama is loaded up, gets more toy spin-off Gundams than you can shake a battle cruiser at, fights some amusing bad guys and then about half way through, they decide the show needs to be darker. Hmm, How to turn a kids show into a gritty war documentery, kill everyone who likes the main character. The "Gundam Force" flies off in every direction under the sun while the super cruiser Agham hopes it isn't attacked by a malicious butterfly while they are gone. They really need to get the ship captain, Bright Noah who is also the captain in Gundam Gundam Z and later in Char's Counter attack, some tactics lessons.

Originality: 0 (Yeah Right!, Cute, Teen Gang, Bitchin' Ride, Morons, Boo-Hoo, huba-huba, up, Stud, and Goober)


Gundam ZZ-keteers Roll Call


Char's Counterattack

Char Strikes back

Plot Minute: Char decides he doesn't like Amuro, whom we haven't seen in a couple series, because of Lala's death in the first series. So, what to do when you have a chip on shoulder? You drop asteroids onto Earth, of Course. There is fighting and if you love something or someone, you are killed. Bright Noa gets to fire nukes and dud missiles at the same time.

Originality: 3 (Bitchin' Ride, Morons, Boo-Hoo,Huba-huba, Up, Stud, Goober)

Gundam 0081: War in the Pocket

Gundam, the home game.

Plot Minute: A short OAV where a cute kid befriends a baddie pilot shot down behind enemy lines. The kid helps his buddy until he tries to kill his cute good gal pilot neighbor. He learns war is heck. Slow learner, that one.

Originality: 6 (Cute, Boo-Hoo, huba-huba, and Goober)

Gundam F91

A series that was crammed into a movie

Plot Minute: 30 years down the road and the colonies and Earth still hate each other. Two close friends, Cecily and Seebook, and their loser friends hijack an antique gun tank when there colony is attacked. They all wind up in the 'Space Ark' and find that Seebook has a stupid name. That of course means he is a newtype. They kill people to see how Seebook will react. And the bad guys are there to do bad things because they can.

Originality: 2 (Yeah Right!, Teen Gang, Bitchin' Ride, Morons, Boo-Hoo, huba-huba, Stud, and Goober)


Victory Gundam

Mass produced Gundam

Plot Minute: Jump ahead 30 more years and we find that finally someone got the bright idea of mass producing the cool gundam robots instead of the death traps. Enter an all female force and the lone boy, 13 year old super pilot Uso. They have the "Whhite ark" as their base which appears to be the result of the mating of White Base and Space Ark. Wow, original.

Originality: 1 (Yeah Right!, Cute, Teen Gang, Bitchin' Ride, Morons, Boo-Hoo, huba-huba, Stud, and Goober)


I'm sure the kid is thinking, "if only I was older."

G Gundam

Culturally insensitive, Streetfighter Gundam

Plot Minute: Wars are now fought by refereed Gundam fights, but of course, someone wants to cheat. Domon Kashue from Neo-Japan is involved since it was his brother at the heart of the plan. Domon kicks all butt and Neo-Holland reveals that they have 10 zillion Windmill Gundams. You would have figured that they would have seen how bad one sucked before making more.

Originality: 0 (Cute, Teen Gang, Morons, Boo-Hoo, huba-huba, up, Stud, and Goober)


Spandex..... Too Tight...


The hero gets the girls, Who would have thought?

08th MS

Behind every good Gundam is a cannon fodder MS.

Plot Minute: A actual soldier is sent to lead a Mobile suit team of actual soldiers. That's right, no teen gang losers who wander in with no training and become elite special forces over night. Anyway, this MS team fights Zeon in the jungles. The Zeon do have this super weapon that they are building, but who cares as long as our dashing hero gets the girl. One of the only series where the main character loses his Gundam and isn't immediately given a cooler power up.

Originality: 6 (Boo-Hoo, huba-huba, Stud, and Goober)

Gundam Wing

Androgenous pretty boys attack

Plot Minute: The Colonies sneak attack Earth by sending in their most emotionally challenged, paste eating, 14 year old rejects to Earth in their most highly advanced death machines. Heero Yuri, our hero, wears his shorts way to tight and that causes him to fail at just about everything. He meets Releena, a vacuum headed piece of fluff who happens to be sisters to the Char wanna-be. There is a rebellion, a war and I believe that everyone surrenders to everyone else at one point.

Originality: 1 (Yeah Right!, Cute, Teen Gang, Morons, Boo-Hoo, huba-huba, up, Stud, and Goober)


Pre-pubescent Gundam Fighters. Heero, go a size up on the shorts.

Turn A Gundam

Da hell? Did they run out of regular letters?

Name this Gundam. El Guapo Gundam? Mustachio Gundam? Snidely Whiplash Gundam?

turn A

Gundam Seed

When Newtypes aren't good enough.

Plot Minute:Teen gang on a neutral colony get sucked into war. Baddies steal all the Gundams except one and neutral Kira happens to be an expert pilot for the one remaining in Earth Forces hands. All pile onto the super cool battle cruiser and meander towards Earth. Oh, did I mention that the main baddie pilot is Kira's childhood friend. The ship becomes a varitable breeding ground as nearly everyone pairs off towards the end. The one ship managest to convince everyone cool from both sides to break off become a third faction and tell everyone to shut up. The Char wannabe steps in and is a loser.

Originality: 0 (Yeah Right!, Cute, Teen Gang, Bitchin' Ride, Morons, Boo-Hoo, huba-huba, up, Stud, and Goober)




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