This post is part of the 12 Days series.
I was one of the many Gundam fans who were fully hyped for the Gundam Unicorn anime, since its announcement. As I hoped, the anime turned out to be a 6-episode OVA, which solves most of the misgivings I had.
Late February of 2010, I watched the first episode of Gundam Unicorn as it came out. It was a classic Gundam opener, where a boy’s peaceful civilian life is upheaved by the shadow of war, and becomes a pilot by circumstance.
And it happens again.
But what is different? The Gundam is not stolen or hijacked. Its proprietor, Cardeas Vist, entrusts it to Banagher Links, his own son. Falling into a Gundam cockpit is a staple in the real robot genre, but has been routinely abused by many–so much that it has become a banal, can’t-we-just-get-over-with-it event.
To hell with that, Gundam Unicorn says. Unlike many others before him, Banagher makes an explicit choice, desiring the Unicorn, in order to be desired by Audrey. And in the same event, he reconciles with his estranged father. Most fatherhoods in Gundam–this one included–are cheerless, but few are actually resolved in a good way. I suppose it’s a little thing that speaks volumes.
So was this scene banal? No.
Something we could skip to see the Gundam blow up stuff faster? Hell no.
And the payoff, with the music that accompanies, is magnificent.
Many criticize Gundam Unicorn for being a slave to well-worn genre tropes, but this just makes them blind to the little details. It may not be new, but it’s done well. Sometimes that’s what matters. And in response to that, this is my definitive moment of 2010.
It starts once more, where everything first began.