Gundam 00 is getting crazier and crazier with its nomenclature. You should know this already, but the “00” is not pronounced “double zero”, but rather “double oh”. Following this line of thought, 0 Gundam would be “Oh Gundam”. Now one could write it off as Japan being Japan, but a prototype of Reborns Gundam has appeared in a sidestory manga, curiously dubbed the 1 Gundam. That’s not pronounced as “one”, but “I”.
Apparently that wasn’t enough, and Bandai saw it fit to take it one step further with the 1.5 Gundam, as pictured above. I probably don’t need to tell you how to pronounce it, but just in case, it’s “Aiz Gundam”.
I would’ve liked to poke fun at Bandai’s ingenious schemes to deprave mechheads of their cash, but 1.5 Gundam is actually a pretty good design. It’s basically a Reborns Gundam without the Reborns Cannon, with a pair of binders that can double as wings or cannons. Plus, the white/indigo color scheme looks great. I’ll have to concede defeat here, Bandai.
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It is a great year to be a gunpla modeler. The HG00 line is rocking it out with some seriously good releases. The recently-released HG Astraea F looks wickedly sweet, with the War Machine-styled getup. And if the 1/100 Avalanche Exia wasn’t enough (it isn’t!), Bandai is making a 1/144 version.
It’s not just the HG00 line. Bandai has been releasing all new HG kits of the less lucrative AU series, like G Gundam and Gundam X. A Gundam X kit is already out, the first of its line, and God Gundam is set to hit the shelves on June. The mainstay HGUC line is going strong with Unicorn units, and who knows if they could reach F91 before the end of the year? A man can hope.
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SEED Astray has been seeing a fair amount of gunpla treatment, but it’s something I’m not very fond of. First, we have the 1/100 SEED VS Astray line. Apparently the Astray sidestory series is still running despite wearing out its welcome after X Astray, and now we have more uninspired designs with the most tasteless color schemes ever. Oh, and hello huge backpacks.
Then there’s the recent Red Frame Kai and Blue Frame Second Revise MG kits. I looked at the pics and they do seem to have an insane amount of articulation, but I can’t help but find them ugly, because what had been nice, simple designs contracted Backpack Syndrome and got some really crazy weapons.
Don’t get me wrong. I like the Red Frame and the Blue Frame, their earlier variants at least. They had a sharp aesthetic that was still simple in comparison to the blocky designs of the main series. Even Blue Frame Second L’s multi-purpose Tactical Arms was still okay, when it had just three forms.
Super Weeaboo Red Frame and some ugly transforming thing! Note the obscene amount of detail that’s no longer funny. I think Unicorn Gundam is near that threshold, but it’s still thankfully a simple design if you look past the pink panel lines. These Astrays are just… ugh.
But hey, if sales of these kits are going to fund a MG V2 Gundam or Tallgeese, I’ll be okay. Make it happen, gunpla enthusiasts!