Anime Meta-Review


Gundam: X


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Title Info

  • seen: 1-12
  • type: TV
  • grade: watchable
  • genre: mecha
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Tue Dec 26 16:00:55 EST 2000
  • mod: none

More gundam...if you've seen some you probably know the drill. Young men with `issues' piloting huge mecha through incredibly convoluted stories. But, for various reasons, I suspect this is only one for the hard-core gundam fans.

In this vision of the gundam world, set far in our future, there was an immense war between the earth federation and the forces of the various space colonies. The most important element being that it ended when the colonies carried out their threat to crash all the space colonies into the earth. While this ended the war the damage it did to the earth was immense. People seem to have recovered however, although the world is a lot more `crude' and political power spread over hundreds of towns and forces. And, in such an environment, ownership of mecha, ideally one of the elite Gundams, can make a person a political force in his own right. Even above this there still exist certain super-humans, called new-types, who can extend the power of a gundam even further.

We get called into this story following the, way too familiar, young teenage boy with something to prove. He's a competent fighter, has all sorts of thief type moves, knows the mechanics of a gundam and is an excellent pilot. It's just a shame that he's not too clever and gives new meaning to the term impetuous hot-head. This becomes clear when he rescues, and falls for, a young female new-type without checking out which side he's actually working for. In the ensuing chaos, as the young girl reveals her potent psychic powers and weak grasp of reality, he finds himself the pilot of the `ultimate gundam'. Combined with the girls powers it can use a weapon, powered by a microwave beam from the moon, to produce awesome destructive powers. Of course such a gundam is an incomparable prize in this chaotic world. In short order he's knee-deep in trouble, and the only people who prove to be on his side are the ones from whom he stole the girl in the first place. And they've got their own mission, to find and protect any newtypes remaining from the war.

At this point the story starts to imitate a bowl of ramen and becomes an intricate tangle of characters and story elements. And, sadly, while this does add immense complexity it doesn't really make for an exciting experience. It just begins to feel like a bit of a mess. The main reason for this is that the writing is not that great and the characters are very average. Arrogant new-types, cock-sure and stupid young `genius' characters and a love interest with her brain in orbit. There's nobody who's that interesting or likeable that you really care. And, in fact, the lead really begins to irritate. Both in the unreality of someone effectively getting `given' the ultimate gundam and the endless succession of bonehead moves he then proceeds to carry out. Oh, along with the required `screaming to make your gundam work better'. He's not helped by the weak writing, they use unreasonable events and stupid character decisions to make the story work. For example apparently a gundam hatch can't be locked from the inside (used twice), they can't spot that the lead is going to do something stupid (used constantly) and they automatically trust any one they meet. It's casual and careless writing.

But, if I had to put my finger on the problem, it is that the scope is too small. Exotic gundam's and their doubly exotic pilots were generally used as `icons' for immense political, idealogical or military forces in other gundam anime. As such we could cope with `super-mecha', strange events and pompous dialogue because it represented the determination of the fate of the world. In this case it's just a bunch of cowboys playing out very personal desires with overgrown toys. Without the sense of `scale' it just doesn't seem that important. And the importance, even existence, of the gundams without a supporting organization feels problematic and wrong. These are complex technological devices, with massive ammo usage, that can be maintained by a bunch of free-lancers?

The animation itself is reasonable, but you'd better be happy to watch a lot of gundam biffo. There's a huge difference between the detailed `character' gundams and the `extras' who provide target practice, but it's all reasonably well represented. Some of the combat moves are a bit dodgy, and sequences are repeated, but it gets the point across. Character anime is similar (and familiar from other gundam material). The characters are quite identifiable and character animation is quite good. Technical design is decent in places, but generally lacks a certain amount of depth. Character voices are fine, though the average dialogue means you probably won't care. The music didn't call itself to my attention.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:19 WST 2009