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Thread: The Leadup is Dead, Long Live the Leadup- Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn

  1. #1

    The Leadup is Dead, Long Live the Leadup- Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn

    I had planned to do the leadup until tri. 1 came out on home video so people could reasonably see it, but with the last minute reveal that we were getting it subbed 1:1 with Japan that means it's time for the leadup to end.

    I plan to still suggest shows, just not necessarily every Sunday, nor will I spend the time/effort to make sure it's freely available. Will just suggest things I think Digimon fans might like, or otherwise have interest in, and if I see it somewhere I'll point, but otherwise it's up to you guys to find it.

    Hopefully those of you who were following along enjoyed the weekly suggestions (I know there were more of you that commented based on people talking to me about the shows in private.)

    So to start that, and to finish up the leadup is ironically one of the shows I wanted to do pretty early on, but wasn't available streaming freely.


    Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn

    All 7 episodes

    Content warnings for violence, drama, and large amounts of characters pontificating.


    I wanted to do Gundam Unicorn because once it became obvious that Digimon Adventure tri. was being done in the style of 'premium animation' it became pretty obvious Toei was looking at the premium animation playbook step by step, which Gundam Unicorn basically created.

    Marketing to fans around the world. Making sure fans in a decent chunk of the world could see it in their own language on day 1. Toei pulled from the Unicorn playbook to such an extent that I almost felt obligated to compare it to Unicorn at every chance.

    Of course, while it lifted the Premium Animation playbook, it didn't follow everything Unicorn did. Every premium animation series was available in English subbed on day one, while Unicorn you could actually get both subbed and dubbed on day 1 (in fact, our Blu-rays are the same Blu-rays available in Japan.)


    Gundam Unicorn takes it's story from the Gundam Unicorn novels (sometimes a bit to literally, other times tweaking things a bit to liberally.) I wouldn't have minded a bit of toning down on the speeches.

    For a franchise that over the years that has perhaps skewed a bit more stereotypical in what it does for it's normal TV shows, Unicorn at least did it with a flair and an animation quality that Gundam certainly hadn't had in a long time (which may have been what inspired Bandai to come up with the premium animation label and try and stick it in theaters for a super limited release, rather than just referring to it as an OVA.)

    Unicorn is also unique in that it was announced as having 6 roughly hour long episodes to come out on a relatively set schedule. We ended up with 7, with the last being as long as a full length movie.


    Ironically cast wise, Unicorn has a ton of connections in both Japanese and English, so I'm just going to pick 2 cast members from each.

    On the Japanese side we have the actors who play the 2 new adults introduced in tri., Daigo and Maki.
    On the English side we have the actors who played Sam and Ryo in 02, Koji in Frontier, and Etemon and Myotismon in Adventure (among more than a few other voice roles.)


    Previous Threads
    Leadup to Tri Week 1- Haganai
    Leadup to Tri Weeks 2 and 3- A Certain Magical Index
    Leadup to Tri Weekend Movie- Lupin The Third: Green Vs Red
    Leadup to Tri Week 3(ish)- High School DxD
    Leadup to Tri Week 4- Buso Renkin
    Leadup to Tri Week 5- Tenchi Muyo!
    Leadup to Tri Week 6- Ben-To
    Leadup to Tri Week 7- Maken-Ki!
    Leadup to Tri Week 8- Full Metal Panic!
    Leadup to Tri Week 9- Engaged to the Unidentified
    Leadup to Tri Week 10- Hellsing Ultimate
    Leadup to Tri Week 11- Date A Live
    Leadup to Tri Week 12- Ranma 1/2
    Leadup to Tri Week 13- Please Teacher
    Leadup to Tri Week 14- Please Twins
    Leadup to Tri Week 15- Waiting in the Summer
    Leadup to Tri Week 16- Infinite Stratos
    Leadup to Tri Week 17- Dragon Ball
    Leadup to Tri Week 18- D-Frag!
    Leadup to Tri Week 19- Baka and Test
    Leadup to Tri Week 20- Soul Eater
    Leadup to Tri Week 21- Yuru Yuri
    Leadup to Tri Week 22- Go-Lion
    Leadup to Tri Week 23- Ah! My Goddess
    Leadup To Tri Week 24- Afro Samurai
    Leadup to Tri Week 25- Shin Chan
    Leadup to Tri Week 26- Trigun
    Leadup to Tri Week 27- Tenchi Universe
    Leadup to Tri Week 28- Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
    Leadup to Tri Week 29- Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars
    Leadup to Tri Week 30- Nyan Koi!
    Leadup to Tri Week 31- The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan
    Leadup to Tri Week 32- Ai Yori Aoshi
    Leadup to Tri Week 33- Tokyo Ravens
    Leadup to Tri Week 34- Reboot
    Leadup to Tri Week 35- Star Driver
    Leadup To Tri Week 36- FLCL
    Leadup to Tri Week 37- My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
    Leadup to Tri Week 38- Serial Experiments Lain
    Leadup to Tri Week 39- Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki
    Leadup to Tri Week 40- Food Wars!
    Leadup to Tri Week 41- Himouto! Umaru-chan
    Leadup to Tri Week 42- Gundam Reconguista in G
    Leadup to Tri Week 43- Naruto
    Leadup to Tri Week 44- Tenchi in Tokyo
    Leadup to Tri Week 45- Toradora
    Leadup to Tri Week 46- Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu
    Leadup to Tri Week 47- Fullmetal Alchemist
    Leadup to Tri Week 48- A-Channel

    Here's a PV embedded below.
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  2. #2
    Completely digital Velocifaptor's Avatar
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    The leadup was awesome while it lasted. It helped me discover some awesome shows like Onegai Twins and Tsuritama.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Theigno's Avatar
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    So this is our glorious finale then?
    In this case I might celebrate the end of our leadup by actually participating in the discussion. I was always a bit interested in watching something from the gundam franchise but never found a good starting point by myself (I planned to watch the 08th MS team once but I just never managed to find the time). Unicorn also seems perfectly laid out to just watch 1 epiosde per day for a week.

    So I watched the first episode today and it was certainly quite a ride. Just from an animation standpoint... my god I wish Digimon tri even looked close to this kind of quality. (also this is how actual mass destruction should look like)
    Can't say much about the plot this early but, maybe even more than the mecha battles, I'm really enjoying the political aspects of the story so far. It's clear that there are some interesting intrigues and mysteries going on and in the first few minutes there was quite a lot to take in in terms of exposition about the history and the concept of that world.
    The first episode did a good job of introducing the different factions on a basic level and I'm looking forward to find out more about there motivations. But just the fact that this is an entry in a giant franchise is making me a bit wary... not really knowing just how deeply connected the different gundam series are I'm just not sure how much of the concepts and terminology that were mentioned throughout the episode are foreshadowing that will be elaborated upon later or how many were simply things the show just expects me to already know about the gundam world...
    Anyway, the characters are okay so far, the main protagonist seems to just be that standard talented young ace pilot, but I'm pretty sure he's also one of those often mentioned Newtype people (which seems to come with some near-psychic abilities), the girl is a bit more interested, she seemed to be just some princess at first but then she put the protagonist into an arm lock and there seems to be more to her...

    other random notes... It's interesting that even on the "ground" they seem to have fairly low gravity, and that old guy sure managed to tak a lot after being fatally shot.
    Great overall, I'll definitely keep watching it.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Theigno View Post
    So this is our glorious finale then?
    Unicorn seemed as good a place as any to end.


    Just from an animation standpoint... my god I wish Digimon tri even looked close to this kind of quality.
    Gundam has certain advantages when it comes to production. Bandai owns the entire thing, lock, stock, and barrel due to their purchase of Sunrise years ago.

    There was also a specific effort to have it look BETTER than they would normally make it look, so that they could do a limited theatrical run to hopefully catch gobs of middle-aged salaryman who were Gundam fans as children, but grew up (this is also why premium animations tend to have limited theatrical runs.)

    By all accounts it worked because when Unicorn 1 had it's theatrical premieres there were reports of gobs of middle aged men crying in theaters and mentions of people talking about remembering their youth while leaving the theaters.

    Unicorn was based on a series of popular Gundam novels, and the animation was announced on the 30th anniversary of the franchise.

    The amount of money Gundam makes Bandai is quite ludicrous. While it certainly has ludicrous animation, it's worth mentioning this is not the standard for most Gundam animation. This is what we get if Digimon can stay as a 'nonstop' brand for 10 or so years past this point.

    (also this is how actual mass destruction should look like)
    Gundam has always skewed further in it's depiction of destruction because the primary message of Gundam is basically 'peace', so it shows the opposite of that.

    The first episode did a good job of introducing the different factions on a basic level and I'm looking forward to find out more about there motivations. But just the fact that this is an entry in a giant franchise is making me a bit wary... not really knowing just how deeply connected the different gundam series are I'm just not sure how much of the concepts and terminology that were mentioned throughout the episode are foreshadowing that will be elaborated upon later or how many were simply things the show just expects me to already know about the gundam world...
    Certain elements do of course appear prior from prior elements of this specific Gundam continuity (the Universal Century timeline) such as Newtypes, Minovsky particles, along with some characters, but by and large it's a relatively self contained story (you do get references to past UC conflicts of course.) The biggest elements are things they largely point out as the series goes on.

    Who is Full Frontal? Is he Char?
    Audrey shows up in more than a few UC things, but this would certainly be her signature role (she was in fact born during the original series if I'm remembering correctly.)
    The Nahel Argama is actually a ship that was involved in one of the major prior conflicts.


    other random notes... It's interesting that even on the "ground" they seem to have fairly low gravity
    I actually have always rather liked this. Like how on the ships they don't go to effort to leave gravity at what we would consider standard, so they have handles you grab onto to take you down hallways.

    and that old guy sure managed to tak a lot after being fatally shot..
    This is one of those things that perhaps might have been better to tweak from the novels. Big speechs work great in novels. But there are so many of them they can bog Unicorn down in animated form. It's why I refer to them pontificating.
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  5. #5
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    It sure was fun to do this. I may have only seen some but at least I tried to add to the conversation. Thank for this anyway.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator TMS's Avatar
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    Finished it tonight. On the whole it was good, reminiscent of Reconguista in G with tweaked elements. I also got something of a Star Wars vibe from it, what with the itinerant princess and mind-reading powers. There were a few minor references I noticed to previous Gundam entries that I was unfamiliar with, but for the most part it was pretty well self-contained.

    So the leadup is finally over. I'll probably go back and catch the couple of weeks that I missed before moving on to the various sequels, spinoffs, and remakes of the shows we've watched.
    MY PROJECTS
    Published books: Odd Lodgings, The Silent Garden & Darker Places, Collecting in Darkness & Other Stories
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  7. #7
    Bit of Gundam Unicorn news...


    Bandai has announced Gundam Unicorn will be reformulated for a television run.

    It'll be retitled "Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096"

    Hiroyuki Sawano who did the music for Unicorn will be producing new opening and ending songs under the 'group' title of SawanoHiroyuki[nZk] with the name slightly changes based on who will be singing the song.

    The new intro will be "Into the Sky" by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:Tielle

    The first new ending will be "Next 2U -eUC-" by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:naNami
    The second new ending will be "bL∞dy f8 -eUC-" by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:Aimer



    They aren't giving any information on the exact amount of episodes, but they are saying it'll run for two cours.

    Shuuichi Ikeda will narrate the next episode previews in character as Full Frontal via newly recorded audio.

    Mention is also made of 'optional' on-screen data that can be used to play online games and win prizes.


    No information has been given if anything new will appear in RE:0096, but perhaps coincidentally, an 11th Unicorn novel was announced late last year to be published soon. The original run of 10 novels that made up Gundam Unicorn ended in 2009.



    Gundam Unicorn will be the third premium animation to be reformatted into an episodic format.


    Ghost in the Shell: Arise was a 4 episode premium animation series released between 2013 and 2014. In 2015 it was edited into 8 episodes with 2 episodes of new content (10 episodes total under the title of Ghost in the Shell: Arise Alternative Architecture.) Shortly after the 2 new episodes were reformulated into a 5th premium animation episode for Arise. The new content from Alternative Architecture was a leadup to a new Ghost in the Shell film which came out shortly after it's run as Alternative Architecture ended. Alternative Architecture used the single intro and all 4 outtros from Arise as 5 different outtro songs (in a different order than used in Arise.) It had a brand new intro song.


    Digimon Adventure tri., which is still being released, has been tweaked by Toei from it's 'feature length' premium animation presentation into an episodic version for distribution to various countries. Thus far no new content has been seen, but various tweaks have been made to make it work in an episodic form, it also received a standard TV style intro, and a TV size outtro to replace the theatrical outtro. The episodic version of tri. part 1 was released day and date in various countries with the limited theatrical screenings and digital release of tri. in Japan.
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator TMS's Avatar
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    Huh. This is interesting news, though I'm not sure yet if I'll bother to watch it in the new format.
    MY PROJECTS
    Published books: Odd Lodgings, The Silent Garden & Darker Places, Collecting in Darkness & Other Stories
    Digimon Fan Fiction: The Call
    Card Games: Digimon Tactics and Shadow Stories [both in-progress]
    Questions or comments? Hit me up at #wtw on irc.rizon.net

  9. #9
    I feel like the part I'm most curious for...

    If they do end up doing new content...

    1- Will it be to the extremely high bar Unicorn set for animation?
    2- If they do will it be created in such a way to be easily reformed as an extra premium animation episode for Unicorn or will it be exclusive to RE:0096?
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  10. #10
    Another update.




    They're re-edited (and rerecorded?) the Endligh dub as necessary.

    RE:0096 in both sub and dub will be simulcast in various places.

    Daisuki and Crunchyroll for non-Asian countries.

    Gundam info for 'Asia', My Cartoon for Taiwan, and Aniplus for Korea.


    We don't know which versions will be streaming where, but the official Gundam Facebook confirmed the English dub will be streaming.

    Daisuke has confirmed they will have subtitles in the following languages: English, Korean, Taiwanese Traditional Chinese, Hong Kong Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, European Spain, Latin American Spain, European Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Indonesian, Malay, Tagalog.


    The streams will go up when each episode ends in Japan.
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