Gundam is a 35-year-old anime franchise now, but it continues to become more, not less, relevant in my life as time goes on.
For example, one of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 was to start a Gunpla blog with my husband as a place for all of our building efforts to live. In May, we launched Gunpla 101 with an awesome logo designed by Ben Huber. As a direct result, I’ve doubled my passive income and started building Master Grades with confidence. We’ve also got big plans for the site for 2015, including more advanced tutorials, merchandise, and an ebook!
None of that would be possible however, without a constant stream of Gundam shows to make me fall in love with these mechs over and over again. Here are some of the Gundam shows I watched and adored in 2014:
After the spectacular failure that was 2011’s Gundam AGE, this show injected some much needed life into the Gundam franchise. Unlike so many earlier heroes, Sei can’t contain his love for all things Gundam. The show adds drama not only to fighting with Gundams, but building Gunpla models. And most powerfully, the cast of diverse but passionate characters made it a must watch, whether you’re a Gundam fan or not.
Every year John and I like to watch at least one older show together. We picked this one since it’s one of the most modern Gundam shows that is still good. Seed falls into the tropes that characterize a lot of old-school Gundam—a mysterious genius protagonist who doesn’t want to pilot the Gundam, women who die to further the plot—but redeems itself with incredible mecha designs and a gripping space opera of a plot.
This show is not available in my country, but since each episode is only three minutes they’re all up on YouTube and there haven’t been any objections yet. In this absurd and silly take on the Gundam universe, no character is above a degrading, potty-humored caricature. It transforms handsome anti-hero Char into a whiny nudist and brave Amuro into a hormone crazed teen. It’s great that an institution like Gundam can still poke fun at itself.
Not only am I watching this one; I’m reviewing it for Anime News Network as it continues well into 2015. Gundam Build Fighters is a tough act to follow, but Try has exceeded my expectations with a slew of amazing new female characters and suspenseful battles. It isn’t resting on its laurels, but continuing to develop a new world and characters at the same time that it calls back upon the last three decades of Gundam.
This post is the seventh installment of The Twelve Days Of Anime, a blogging series in which anime fans write about shows that inspired or impressed on them this year. For all the posts in this series, visit my table of contents.