Why the Gundam Unicorn Anime Needs To Be Movie/OVA

Sinanju, Touhoufuhai disciple

The official Unicorn anime announcement has been kind enough not to include the format for the show, and now we have legions of Gundam fans speculating on it. My guess is a theatrical release, but the OVA format could also work.

But not a TV show.

The main problem is the mechanical design of Unicorn itself. Just looking at the box art of the MG Unicorn tells you that the mech looks ungodly busy. The detail is magnificent, and the transformation from Normal to Destroy Mode is seamless. I doubt if Bandai could even model it for HGUC. This will bode badly in anime regardless of format, where a mech will have to be redesigned for actual animation. It’s hard to imagine getting enough time, money and skill to animate Unicorn consistently, as its design stands, for a 50-episode TV series. They’ll have to trim down on the detail to make it work, and Unicorn ain’t Unicorn without the assloads of panels. Of course, even a movie/OVA Unicorn will suffer some design simplifications, but it will look better due to more budget and less time pressure.

Aside from that, no Gundam TV anime since Wing has soundly burst into popularity without vast helpings of bishounen. Unicorn character designs, assuming the animation staff makes a more-or-less faithful adaptation of them, won’t exactly make fujoshi swoon over. Also, there’s only one Gundam, and it doesn’t even start looking like one until Destroy Mode activates. I could hear the kids going “Where’s the Gundam with the big gun? Where’s the cool weapons? Baddies standing still waiting to be shot down? Boooring.” Let’s face it: the UC school of Gundam will not sell in TV format anymore, unless it gets a makeover.

I could be too hard on the show when it’s not even out for a year, but that’s because I have high expectations for it. Maybe this will be the Gundam show that would bring in old and new fans together without going down the same path that Wing, SEED and 00 did. Being tightly connected to chronologically previous Gundam shows, Unicorn would hopefully answer a lot of questions left hanging after CCA (or retcon more stuff, for better and for worse), as well as bridge the distance from post-CCA UC (F91 and Victory). So good luck, Sunrise.

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6 Responses to Why the Gundam Unicorn Anime Needs To Be Movie/OVA

  1. They can always resort to CG. It looked really nice in that one Gundam Evolve OVA, with the Nu Gundam.

    • schneider says:

      But… but… think of the people!

      EDIT: Apparently I forgot that you can mix 2D and 3D animation too, making the best of both worlds. But given a choice between Evolve style and Zeta movie style, I’ll have to go for the latter.

  2. ghostlightning says:

    It’ll work out without targeting the 00 fans. Don’t ask me how I know.

    But if they do target the 00 fans and spam the show with bishonen, Gundams, and the like… it’s no great tragedy. Fans of the UC have so many shows to re-watch.

    I remember complaining when Wizards of the Coast keep cycling cards out of Type 2/Standard, making it expensive to keep up and making the cards we own and love to use obsolete.

    And then I see how most TCGs are gone, and M:tG is still around, going strong and still fun to play. Oldfags like me can join Type 1/oldfag tourneys where I can use all my old stuff (not that I play anymore).

    I want more Gundam, and I’m okay with it not targeting my tastes in its big projects. It’s not like MS Igloo 2 never happened, anyway.

    • schneider says:

      I’ve read up on Unicorn’s plot and setting. If it’s going to be glossed up for TV, then they’ll have to butcher it. A lot. I just want a clean novel->anime transition without the AU-style pandering.

      And think of it this way: if Unicorn works, Sunrise might consider animating Crossbone next!

  3. sadakups says:

    I second to this. It’s really sad, but there’s no way a TV series set in UC would work nowadays. The fact that Gundam Wing started the trend of showcasing bishounen in order to attract female viewers is probably not going to end soon.

    But then again, Sunrise can gamble on this. If they can make this work, then yes, I also second seeing Crossbone getting animated.

    I don’t have any idea on Unicorn and Crossbone (never read the original material), but being the Gundam fan that I am, I’d definitely like to see it.

  4. Pingback: 12 Moments of 2010 #1: Grasping the Unicorn by its Horn | Continuing World

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