Gundam Crisis details revealed

The official website for Gundam Crisis has opened its story, download, and “Gundam Mania II” shop sections with more details on this amusement park attraction that will feature the first 18-meter (59-feet), life-size Gundam model. The attraction will open at Fuji-Q HighLand, the theme park located at the foot of Japan’s Mt. Fuji. It will include all-new 3D CG mechanical animation and 2D character animation from the same Sunrise staffers that worked on Fuji-Q’s the Ride attraction, the Gundam Evolve DVD videos, and the SD Gundam Force television series.

The story takes place during the first Mobile Suit Gundam series’ One Year War, when the title Mobile Suit robot RX-78-2 Gundam is hangared at the Solomon space fortress for an upgrade. The Earth Federation engineer Dr. Mosk Han is applying magnetic coating to Gundam’s joints to improve its maneuverability. The attraction visitors play Han’s team members as they are given mission objectives on “VQ Divider” handheld digital tablets and ordered to rush the Gundam’s upgrade in time for the battle “outside.” Only the visitors who complete the upgrade mission can enter the Gundam’s cockpit.

Source: AnimeNewsNetwork

Here’s a bird’s eye view of the Gundam.

Image taken from Yahoo! News

Gundam 00 Interview with Animage magazine

Gunota Headlines has kindly translated the interview with Seiji Mizushima, director of the Gundam 00 series, in anime magazine Animage.

Q: Tell us how the title “Mobile Suit Gundam 00” came about?
A:
It started as a temporary title, but it ended up being the official
title. Originally I wanted to have a cool name, but we all forgot about it. Besides the obvious reason of starting from zero, there are other reasons. Right now it is a secret, but it will become a keyword as the story progresses.

Q: Reason behind why this series is set in the future of our world?
A:
I personally have no deep knowledge about UC or CE so jumping into their worlds would be inappropriate and offensive to the staff who worked on those series. To me, it made perfect sense to make this series connected to our world. By doing this, it is easier to reflect our history and blend it with the series. At this moment, I am not focusing too much about making this ultra real or serious. This is entertainment after all so I’ll mirror some of the real world issues in this series like I have with the anime I worked on in the past.

Q: What kind of Gundam story are you aiming for?
A:
Don’t know if this is a good or bad thing. I haven’t watched a lot of
the previous Gundam series. When I was first offered this job, I
thought to myself, “Aren’t there more Gundam-minded people than me?” Sunrise told me “We want to create a new Gundam so the director doesn’t have to know a lot about Gundam.” I have staff like Yousuke Kuroda and mecha designers, who are Gundam fans, so they will make sure it is Gundam while I will try to create without thinking too much that this is a Gundam series. Perhaps, this might be the theme, but I will bring my own Gundam-ness to the series.

Q: What is your Gundam-ness?
A:
One is writing about war. Gundam is a weapon after all. This doesn’t mean I’m going to be devoted to battles scenes. Instead I believe it is important to approach the war theme straightforward. (Gunota note: from here he tries to be funny) Other than that, a mobile weapon walking on 2 legs using beam sabers and a beam rifle. Then the basic stuff like Gundam is red, blue, yellow, and white. *laughs* This time, we are being more adventurous with the designs. If you have these 4 colors, they look like Gundam. *laughs*

Q: The pilots of the Gundams belong to a group who are trying to end war. What are you trying to say with this?
A:
Let’s take this one phrase, “Using force to end wars” and see what
happens when someone carries out this contradicting act. “What do you start to see?” is one of things I want to write. Since this is a drama involving these characters, you will see “What happens to the world when they pilot the Gundam? What will these pilots do and how will they change?” This will be the gut of the series for sure.

Q: How will the MS designs and battle action turn out?
A:
We hope to bring 2 styles: one is the super action style from SEED,
second are actions that take advantage of the MS. When the plot of Gundams entering the conflict was being setup, we had a conversation saying “It might be all right for the Gundams to be super mecha.” Therefore, the antagonist’s MS was designed reflecting today’s weapons and the Gundams were designed to confront them. It will feel like super mecha vs real mecha. The concept of the Gundam being far superior is one concept I had from the beginning. I don’t know how much of that you will see, but the staff will follow along and hopefully you might see some odd looking scenes.

Q: Lastly, a message for the fans of the upcoming series.
A:
While this will be a drama connecting people with people or people with the world, I will not be forcing answers on them. I’m hoping this series will motivate viewers into thinking. A Gundam novice like me is working real hard creating a new Gundam so I hope the previous fans and new fans will support us.

Gundam 00 Interview with Newtype magazine

Gunota Headlines has kindly translated the interview with Seiji Mizushima, director of the Gundam 00 series, in anime magazine Newtype.

Q: A 15-second long promo video appeared after Toward the Terra on June 2. Any response from the public?
A:
They were a lot of responses and they were fast, too. A day after the promo, my friend who was eating at a restaurant overheard young people talking about the next Gundam by watching it on their mobile phones.

Q: This Gundam doesn’t take place in ___ Era, instead it takes place in Seireki (anno domini aka AD) 2307.
A:
I wanted to do it in AD. Since my knowledge regarding UC and CE is very low, doing it in AD would be a lot easier and allow me to bring in real world agendas.

Q: Was bringing a real world agenda the start of your concept?
A:
Since this is Mobile Suit Gundam, I believe you are placed in a
situation where you have to write something about war. If that is the case, it could be on something like a conflict or terror we see today. In a Gundam series, the Gundam serves as a weapon which allows me to do these things. It is possible to make this story a fantasy, but I didn’t want to do that with this Gundam. I wanted an era based on today’s world.

Q: Setsuna F. Seiei, the main character, is a former soldier from the Middle East. This smells like the ethnic and religious clash we have today.
A:
300years from now, I don’t think this problem will be solved. However, I don’t want to present a solution to this social problem. If young people ended up searching on the net, it would be worth making the series. Instead of just watching the events, I’m personally hoping we can approach it more closely. For us, it is hard to understand the thoughts of people who are living under war conditions, but we can know a little bit by studying. I want to absorb them and express them on film. I do believe this is a hard thing to do.

There is another challenge. I’m aiming for a new innovation as far as MS action goes. Each group will have their own MS, unique in shape and movement as well. To put it simply, a normal MS will have realistic behavior. Since Gundams are super weapons, they will have super mechanic movements. These differences will be purposely put in place and I’m looking forward to how much variety of actions we can express. I want everyone to look forward to this because I am, too.

Q: Setsuna is described as a cool person who hardly reveals any emotion. Does this mean he is keeping his feelings inside himself regarding why he fights?
A:
That is still a secret. *laughs* His past is difficult to understand which probably makes him look cool. Once people see the facts, they will understand.

Q: Why did you decide on him as the main character?
A:
At first, I wanted a character that doesn’t fit a typical Japanese
person. Then I went through the process of what this young person and I would do if I were placed in these circumstances. I believe this is an important step when you develop a story.

Q: This is far away from the viewer’s standpoint.

A:
Yes, it is. Which is why I asked Yun Kouga for character designs. If
this wasn’t Kouga-san’s designs, people might have been afraid, grossed out, or not even empathize. It may sound like this is all we’re doing based on my conversation, but it is only part of it. This is an entertainment show so we’ll have those other elements, too.

Q: Will there be any romance?

A:
There will be plenty of romance even under these harsh circumstances. *laughs* Yousuke Kuroda is going to include lots of romance in the
story.

Q: Which means a heroine character is going to appear?
A: We haven’t made that public yet? There is one, a 24-year-old heroine. She’s been through a lot of difficulties.

Q: Will she be Setsuna’s primary interest?

A: Umm, we haven’t decided that yet. Again, she’s been through a lot…

Gundam.info opens

Sunrise opened Gundam.Info a Gundam news portal site collecting information on the anime, merchandise, and event info as well as unique original content. I hope they would come up with English versions of this site soon. I see this as a very good move by Sunrise to consolidate all Gundam related news. This is perhaps a sign that they have wish to centralize the large fan base which is currently scattered across the web on the various non-official Gundam sites.

The Gundam Wiki

You might have heard of Wookieepedia. It is an online encyclopedia for fans of Star Wars, made by the fans themselves. I believe many of you would have at least heard of it, given it’s immense popularity. There’s also Memory Alpha, the Star Trek equivalent.

Now, have you heard of the Gundam Wiki? It was meant to be a Gundam equivalent of Wookiepedia. However, things haven’t gone too smoothly due to the work load required to get the wiki into decent shape. To make matters worse, there was a wave of deletion fever raging through the Wikipedia community. Many of the people there deemed the information on Gundams too detailed. It isn’t something that would interest the general public, or so they say. Hence, many of the articles on Wikipedia were flagged for deletion for going in depth about fictitious topics. Others that contained too much details were flagged for an overhaul.

Out of fear of losing these information, the Gundam fans started to trans-wiki (meaning to transfer the article from one wiki to another) the Gundam articles to the Gundam Wiki. All they cared about was preservation of the information. Even if the formatting differed on Wikipedia and the Gundam Wiki.

The difference between the Gundam Wiki and Wikipedia is the flexibility of the Gundam Wiki. There, you do not need to worry about losing the articles. It is made just for information on Gundam. While you can only list certain minor characters on the general character page on Wikipedia, you are allowed to have a full page on the character on the Gundam Wiki.

If you own a site, do help out the Gundam community by spreading the word about the Gundam Wiki. Even a simple link from your blog or facebooks could lead others to know more about and help out with the Gundam Wiki.