Helpless Fans Unable to Escape Abusive Franchise


Jeremy Adler desperately hides under the covers of his bed, afraid to move or breathe. He knew that today would be the day a new Gundam anime would be announced, and indeed Anime News Network announced that an anime adaptation of Ohtagaki Yasuo’s Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt has been green-lit.

For the past fifteen years, Adler has been repeatedly disappointed by the quality of Gundam anime. He admits his most painful memory is the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 movie, a film he expected would redeem the shortcomings of Gundam 00 season 2. Ever since Reconguista in G, Adler had declared that he has had enough, and that he will never come back to the franchise.

Now, he cautiously looks over the Gundam Thunderbolt website and reads some online discussion. His eyes widen at the general enthusiasm that other fans show. After learning the adaptation is on the Universal Century timeline, he nervously reads the first few chapters of the manga. He is now looking forward to the next Gundam anime.

Sadly, Adler is one out of countless fans suffering the emotional trauma of being let down by a disastrous parade of sub-par, poorly written anime series. Though it seem inconceivable that the Gundam franchise could still have fans who watch the anime, studies have shown that two-thirds of fans will watch any anime related to a franchise they like.

It wasn’t always like this. Adler has fond memories of Char’s Counterattack, the movie he admits got him initially hooked on Gundam. “The original anime, Zeta Gundam, Gundam Wing… they were all so magical. The genre was so cool, giant robots flying in space with characters that were earnestly trying to find themselves. Turn A Gundam brought even more into the franchise with a unique setting and story, but it was still faithful to its roots. What happened since SEED? Dammit…”

Adler admits that despite all this time, he still hopes the next Gundam anime will be a return to when Gundam was a respectable franchise with quality anime, and thus the vicious cycle begins again.

At press time, Adler has watched the first two episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans and has expressed the highest expectations for Mari Okada’s writing.

About the author

Editor-in-Chief, CEO, and Fearless Leader of Anime Maru. Expert in Japanese media and pop culture because I run Japanese tabloids blogs through Google Translate. Twitter: @kevo31415