May 6, 2006
Gundam TOS: The Origin Vol 2

by 安彦 良和, 矢立 肇, 富野 由悠季
Second of 12 volumes adapting the original animated series to comic books.

Plot overview:

Amuro gets rocked by Char, but is saved by the surprising firepower of White Base. White Base flees to Luna 2, an asteroid placed in orbit around Earth. Char pursues, thinking he is unseen. Caught offgaurd while being resupplied in a crater, Char's ship barely manages to escape. White Base is escorted into Luna 2 by a Union ship which purposefully interfered. Char sneaks in to steal the data drives from Gundam 02, and encounters Seira. They share a moment of recognition? Char escapes and wreaks havoc on the fortress on the way out. White Base makes a run for Earth's atmosphere, where they will be safe from space-dependent Zion ships. Char intercepts just minutes from the dust belt. Amuro launches to protect White Base and barely survives reentry.


The "humanism" aspect of Gundam is finally brought out in volume two.

So far, Zion are the bad guys, and Union are the good guys. Luna 2 presents hints of the grayness to come. Here is a Union stronghold that purposefully intercedes to save a Zion ship. They are out in Zion-controlled space, far from the Earth bases of the Union, and have realities to deal with.

Char seems to recognize Seira. In a later monologue Char wonders if there is a chance that Artishe aka Seira could really be with the Union.

Strangely, there is no mention of Amuro's father's apparent death. Maybe it comes up later.

On Luna 2, the injured commander of White Base gives a long speach about space-born children being the next wave of humanity. What is the legacy left behind by a war-based generation? Pages 156-157 contain a great monlogue (his former student's replies include such deep statements as "...").

"This world can only be changed by young people who have the future in front of them" ... "There's something I've been mulling over" .. "What have we really left for those young people? Conflict, death, self-righteousness, pride... devestation of mother nature that was given from heaven. It may be about time for us to make our exit. To get out of the way of the coming of a new era."

It's an interesting statement in light of World War Two. No matter how it was really said in the anime, it came 35 years after the close of the war, seemingly long after the fact. However, it's important to note that this was a message directed to children, from the generation that was young during the war. Japan was in a suddenly newfound wealth, and for perhaps the first time as a society could take a moment, look back, and talk about the real results of the war with its children.

It's even more interesting to think what message is being sent today. Is anyone trying to send such a clear, simple message about modern society, or even the society of 35 years ago? Miyazaki is supposed to be the animator for children. But in the interview I saw with him last night, he was babbling on with incoherent statements about what is wrong and what children need to learn to improve humanity. Gundam in contrast laid out the porblems very clearly for its generation of youth.

Written at May 6, 2006 5:16 AM
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