After War Gundam X
Another side story in the Gundam series, Gundam X is the story of those survivors of the Seventh Space War trying to live among the ruins of their civilization. "Vultures", scavengers of war material and ruined cities roam the wasted Earth. Unknown to all, the leaders of the warring factions have been plotting to regain their lost glory, and using enhanced human "Newtypes", they aim to dominate the world. But Jamil Neate, would-be hero of the war and once-pilot of the monstrous Gundam X, the plucky teen Garrod Ran, and Newtype girl Tifa Adil aim to find a way to save the human race from another round of self-destruction.
The very first Gundam series I saw was 08th MS Team. "Gee," I thought, "This Gundam thing is really cool! I can't wait until the next tape!" So I popped in my digital source of Gundam X.
Well, it turns out, folks, that, much like Raph found out about Lupin III, Gundam is *also* a series of highly variable quality. Whereas the main storyline seems to be fairly solid, the side stories are another matter entirely. Gundam X is an example of when alternate universes just should NOT exist.
Or, "Hey, look, it's Gundam doing an impression of Evangelion!"
Not everything is *completely* bad about this series. It is clever when the main character Garrod holds up a mobile suit with nothing but a pistol (!), but that's about as exciting as it gets. From here on in, we get angst from him, angst from the other main characters, angst from the Newtype girl, heck, angst from everybody! Everyone just wants to complain, and it's downright boring after a while. Yeah, yeah, it's a tragedy you're fighting, but why should we care when you have the power to change landforms with your mecha and you don't know how to control it? We might have even wondered about the character's motivations, had we even gotten a chance to see what their personalities were. But, frankly, all we get are stale rehashes, laughable cliches, or worse, not even background story. Either they've been living in missile siloes, laboratories, or backwater towns all their life, and it shows. These people are BO-RING.
Apart from the opening song, the music wasn't particularly memorable. Character designs, though not Wing style, are still modernized for the mid-90s look, and they're about as non-obtrusive (Read: uninteresting) as you can get. It doesn't help that the animation wasn't even that great. Considering that this is a Gundam series, you'd think even that would've been at least respectable, but all we get are the same-old, same-old "let's-blow-up-a-lot-of-featureless-wilderness" scenes. Was it thermonuclear or Dragon Slave? We just don't know, it's so ... bland.
Actually, bland is the perfect word to describe this series. The Gundams are ... well, they've been done before. The characters are ciphers at best, and morons at worst, with your typical brash, rebellious Gundam pilot (heck, I didn't even remember his name until I checked the Gundam Project website!) and his Newtype sweetheart Tifa (or Tiffa, if you prefer) clashing with "terrorists" who might as well have been the cast from The Venus Wars for all I know (well, you see, there's this big ship in the sand, and they send out mecha for the gang rumbles ...), versus the miscellaneous government/institution/military leadership. The plot seems like a drab retelling of a post-apocalyptic Gundam Wing as told by the recently lobotomized. As the only emotions really expressed are rage, desperation, and, oh yeah, angst, Gundam X strikes me as being just as anti-Gundam as Gundam Wing was, but in a different way.
The Gundam mainline focuses on honor and deception, love and war, betrayal and perseverance, and above all, the hope for a new future. Gundam X focuses on nothing but despair...and as such, fails utterly to keep this reviewer's interest. Whereas Gundam, though at times saddening, was exciting, suspenseful, and full of life, Gundam X is completely bleak and inhuman, and loses the point that Gundam is actually less about the mecha than about humanity itself. Then again, when neither the mecha or the humans inspire anything ... why should we care?
Not an absolutely terrible anime, but it's downright mediocre, and that's *bad* in Gundam terms. — Carlos/Giancarla Ross
Recommended Audience: Most of the violence, as usual, deals with mecha, though this series has the characters brooding more than fighting most of the time, much like Evangelion, though not as interesting. Some digital sources also subtitle a few more swear words than necessary, maybe to spice up the dialogue some. (Not that it helps.) Okay for the Gundam fan who must absolutely see *everything*, I guess, though they may be appalled by the mediocrity of this series. Even they would be better off watching something else.
Version(s) Viewed: digital source
Review Status: Partial (12/39)
After War Gundam X © 1996 Sotsu Agency / Sunrise / TV Asahi
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