Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Official Gundam Blog Survey Results Archive (101-125)

As I mentioned the day before yesterday, I've recently come across the Official Gundam Blog's weekly polls, and decided to get to work on translating everything. Well, here's the first batch of Gundam polls, from way back in 2009!

I will be bundling these translations in groups of 25 to keep things more manageable for everyone involved, including myself. While most of this stuff is pretty much "fluff," I did find it a little interesting, so hopefully you can, too.

#101: Father's day is on June 21st.  Who is your favorite father in Gundam...? (6,338 responses; 15.June.2009-21.June.2009)
  • 35.12% - Oxygen Defficient (Tem Ray)
  • 23.95% - Bear of Russia (Sergei Smirnoff)
  • 23.43% - Lion of Orb (Uzumi Nara Atha)
  • 03.79% - Yarase wa Senzou! (Dozle Zabi)
  • 02.78% - Iron Mask (Carozzo Ronah/Fairchild?)
  • 02.67% - Jinn Generham (Uso Ebbing's father)
  • 02.63% - PLANT High Council Chairman (Patrick Zala)
  • 02.41% - Fled in a Rick Dias (Franklin Bidan)
  • 01.90% - Frozen Punishment (Raizo Kasshu)
  • 01.31% - Mr. Wong (Kamille's father figure?)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Official Gundam Blog: Survey #205 (Gundam Age)

I've recently become aware that the official Japanese Gundam Blog holds weekly polls. I thought to myself, hey, I should translate these! I'm currently working on translating all of the 200+ previous surveys, but in the meanwhile, let's look at the latest survey, dealing with the recent announcement of Mobile Suit Gundam Age.

#205: Mobile Suit Gundam Age has just been announced! Which aspect of this century-spanning story do you find the most interesting? (3,997 responses; 19. June 2011)
  • 49.06% - 100-year long story
  • 16.54% - Three generations of protagonists
  • 11.28% - Mysterious enemies, the "UE."
  • 10.38% - AGE Systems
  • 18.56% - AGE-1 Gundam
  • 02.13% - Garfan
  • 02.05% - Sparrow/Titus

Most of the surveys I've looked at so far tend to have between two to three times as many responses as this one. This could be indicative of a poor reception (i.e. fans aren't interested in any aspect of Gundam Age), a decrease of traffic to the official blog, or some other variable. Personally, I find the 100-year story and multi-generational concepts to both be very promising.

Translations of surveys 101-125 should be done today: will hope to get the other ~80 most recent surveys translated by this time next week. The site doesn't appear to host any of the older surveys (001-100), but I'm hoping to find them archived elsewhere.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3

I'm not ashamed to admit that, way back in 2007,  bought a Playstation 3 for $500 USD simply so I could download the demo for the first Dynasty Warriors Gundam spin-off title as soon as I could. With Turn A, Wing Zero, and ZZ, I could not resist. The console generation was still new, and there were precious few games on any platform worth a second glance, let alone a purchase, but I knew it would be worth it just to see my favorite mobile suits in glorious HD.

I'm also fairly certain I was chanting, "Turn A Turn! Turn A Turn!" for a while there after watching the first PV.

But times have changed. The Playstation 3 now has one of the best, most diverse libraries out of any gaming platform in the medium's short history, and there are now much better Gundam games to choose from than mere Musou spin-offs. And now, four years later, the Gundam Musou spin-off line isn't just the most successful line Gundam games sold outside of Japan--it's also the only line of Gundam games sold outside of Japan. But... is this latest entry any good?

Yes. And no.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Penny Auctions: The Flutteroo Scam

Way back when I started this blog I mentioned that I might occasionally delve into completely unrelated, random nonsense. Well, this particular post is about as far outside of my comfort zone as I'm ever going to go, and I'm probably never going to do another post like this ever, ever again. The topic?

Online scams.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's overdone. There's tons of shit out there about the literally millions of scams on the Internet. I've looked. It's actually a bit of a hobby of mine: when I see a scam, I don't just dismiss it--I research it. I try to figure out how, exactly it works. Typically that research only takes a few minutes and I'm able to move on with more important things, like spending hours with Google SketchUp crafting a rather poorly-designed 3D model of a Free Planets Alliance Battleship.

But the other day I heard about a rather new online scam called Flutteroo, and to my surprise, there wasn't really ANYTHING on the Internet I could find to learn how, exactly, the scam operated.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Robot Damashii Magella Attack Tank! Oh, yeah, and that "other" new Gundam anime....

Yes, that anime. If you haven't heard already, the manga series, "Gundam: The Origin" is being adapted into an anime! More on that at the bottom--first, some sexy Okawara tank.

 Holy crap!

Check this thing out:

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Short Vision

I spoke with my father recently, and he told me about a strange memory from his childhood. As a young boy, around the age of 4 or 5, he was watching the Ed Sullivan Show. He did not remember whether or not his parents were in the room with him or not. At one point in the broadcast, Mr. Sullivan said, quite innocently,  "I’m gonna tell you if you have youngsters in the living room tell them not to be alarmed at this ‘cause it’s a fantasy, the whole thing is animated…."

Naturally, my father stayed to watch. Wouldn't you?

What he saw, he never forgot. Melting faces. Death. Dark and grisly scenes entirely out of place on the family-friend Ed Sullivan Show. Being too young to really follow the vague plot of the film, my father remembered only the imagery--and it stayed with him for years. Decades. It faded into the dim reaches of his mind becoming increasingly surreal and alien with each passing year. Had he really seen such a thing, my father wondered, or had it all been simply a dream? A nightmare?

It wasn't. It was real--and this is it:

The film, titled "A Short Vision," was created by Peter Foldes and his wife, Joan, shortly after the first detonation of a hydrogen bomb by the United States in 1952. Graphically, this short cartoon holds up remarkably well for being more than a half-century old. Thematically, it is dark; it is scary. This cruel depiction of atomic Armageddon aired on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1954--a mere three years before the Soviets launched Sputnik. To my father, Sputnik (already an object of terror in those Cold War years) became even more menacing. Sputnik and the strange object from "A Short Vision" became one and the same: a terror in the skies, ready to rain death and fire and destruction upon everyone and everything that ever was.

You can see why the brief film, witnessed only once in childhood, had such a profound and lasting impact on my father's mind.

Today, the fear of nuclear annihilation is far less prevalent than it was in the 1950s. We've become accustomed to the existence of nuclear weapons, and no longer fear them--all the more so with the collapse of the Soviet Union robbing the west of a cruel villain figure around which all of our nuclear fear could gather. This short cartoon, therefore, ought to be far less terrifying today than it was when my father saw it, so many years ago. That atmosphere of terror is long dead. Yet I find myself cold upon watching it. The fear may be gone, but the threat of nuclear devastation will always be with us. And today, that threat is far, far greater than it has ever been before. It's only a matter of time before someone, somewhere decides to use nuclear weaponry to further his or her ambitions, or because he or she feels a responsibility to do so. It has already happened twice, after all. With each new blast and each passing year, our fear will wane. Unless something is done, I fear that short vision may prove to be truly prophetic.

You can read more about the history of the "A Short Vision" cartoon at knol.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gundam Age Gunpla & Toy Extravaganza

Got a whole mess of Gundam Age model kit and toy images to sort through. Gotta say, as uninspired as the designs may be, they probably translate better into "beginner gunpla" than anything from 00, or even the CE series'.

First up: the 1/48 scale Mega-Size AGE-1 Gundam. (Release date and price not yet determined, but you can count on the price, at least, being around 12,000 yen or so).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gundam Age Preview

The next animated series in the venerable Gundam franchise was officially unveiled today, so let's take a look at it, shall we? I've translated information from the official site below, with my personal impressions of the series at the very bottom. First up, the first PV advertisement:

Several hundred years have passed since mankind first began to colonize outer space. The perpetual wars for dominance on the planet's surface are ended, and humanity embraced a new, peaceful era.

But that peace soon crumbled into despair.

A.G. 101 -- The 101st year of the Advanced Generation calendar.
An unknown enemy, designated UE, attacks and destroys the space colony Angel, suddenly and without warning. This brutal attack becomes known as "Angel Sunset," and marks the beginning of humanity's suffering.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gundam Memories: Tatakai no Kioku Preview

Let's take a look at "Gundam Memories: Tatakai no Kioku," the latest Gundam game, due to be released next week. This title will be released on the Playstation Portable in Japan on June 23, 2011.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gundam Age - First Details Emerge

 Details have begun to surface of an ambitious new gundam project, including a new anime series, manga, and games. Titled "Gundam Age," the project will be officially unveiled in two days, on the 13th of June. Early details were leaked by the Japanese magazine Coro Coro Comics (scans below). Here's what we know so far:

Akiba Hobby Show Preview

Some nice stuff from the Akiba Hobby show. Images from the Tamashii Nation and Bandai showrooms. (Including pics of those Tamashii Nation exlusive strike packs for the Robot Damashii Strike Gundam I mentioned last time).

Friday, June 10, 2011

Merch Medley IV

After a long absence, we return with another Friday Medley. Not a whole lot to report--just some nice Gundam stuff for fellow Robot Damashii aficionados.

First up: new promotional images for the upcoming 1/100 Scale Master Grade Epyon!