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Shin kidô senki Gundam W (1995)
A nostalgic look back
I get mixed feelings re-watching this series after ten plus years. It was the first anime I had ever watched. Since then I have found many more interesting and better written animes. If you compare it to most other TV shows, its clearly crap. However when compared to many animes, it has a unique point of view that I still enjoy, even if I'm cracking up half the time. The universal century plots generally have a more two sided fighting, that points out many horrors of war, despite a very naive view of the military. This series gives a more multi-faceted point a view, with a much more advanced use of technology. The idea that computers would control mobile suits with energy shields was rarely used if ever in the other series.
This is coming from a 26 year old, so I know I have no place criticizing this; its more that I want to rationalize why I still enjoy it.
The writing: As I said before, I enjoyed the overall plot, even if it is extremely naive. Its always all out war or all out peace. Very little in between. That's why I enjoy it though. I feel that its trying to illustrate the absurdity and impracticality of both. On the other hand, I don't know if it was the writers that dubbed this or the original Japanese writers or both (maybe I should watch a subtitled version), but I feel like they were trying to write a poem with words that they do not know the exact meaning of. Lost in translation? almost certainly. Many words are repeated for no reason over an over again, very overdramatically.
The art style: Even today, I thoroughly enjoy the art of this anime. The names and mobile suit varieties are more fun and intriguing than in many other series. Unfortunately as in many gundam animes, there are many repetitive animations. Watching Heavyarms arm cannon aim to the right and then up to the left at a 45 degree angle so many times is silly, especially when there are no enemies there. The anime rarely illustrates an accurate depiction of how many enemies the gundams are facing, and often comically depicts the Gundams or gundam pilots in leos brushing off attack after attack, but then most leos get lost in one shot, or a Gundam will get dramatically overwhelmed by one too many a shot.
The characters: I don't really care about the whole relationship argument. The characters were interesting in their development, even if the reasoning was often poor or extreme. It appealed to me on a level very similar to Ender's Game.
I'm comparing this more to other animes than other TV. Its a good anime for teenagers or nostalgic twenty year-olds. Anyone else should avoid it.