English: After War Gundam X
Synonyms: Kidou Shin Seiki Gundam X
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 5, 1996 to Dec 28, 1996
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 7.441 (scored by 5160 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsaction drama mecha
May 27, 2009
It's a damn shame that After War Gundam X is the least popular of all the Gundam shows, because it really is an impressive piece of work and probably one of, if not the best of Gundam spinoffs. It has the realism that Wing does not, the maturity missing from SEED, and the extra kick lacking in 00. The only Gundam since the original to be cancelled, and to be honest that's the biggest fault X has. You can't help but wonder what could've been if only that episode count reached 50.
At the start of the show we meet Garrod Ran, a young mercenary of only 15 years of age and lets just say, he does some pretty amazing stuff for a guy his age. After taking a rescue job he meets the target, Tiffa Adill, a mysterious young newtype girl. However, upon learning that his employer would only exploit her for her abilities, Garrod turns on him and joins the very group he "rescued" her from, the mercenary ship "Freeden". With the help of Tiffa's abilities, the crew of the Freeden continues their search to help any newtypes who are being unjustly used by others.
Gundam X has one very crucial element that no other Gundam spinoff does. It feels like a U.C. show. In the world of Gundam X, the colonists have seemingly dropped all of the colonies down to the Earth as opposed to just one, and the human population is relatively miniscule. Because of this, many people consider the After War universe to be an alternate reality to the Universal Century, as opposed to a standalone universe such as the Cosmic Era from SEED or the Future Century from G Gundam.
Without spoiling anything I have to point out again that Gundam X ended 11 episodes early at episode 39 as opposed to 50. Because of this a lot of people feel the ending is rushed. I have to disagree to an extent. Although the ending moves very fast(quite a bit happens in those last 8 episodes in very little time) it wraps things up quite nicely and I can't but feel that's almost exactly how the original ending would've gone. Still, I'd love to see those missing 11 episodes.
The art style is good, but let's just say the animation could've had a better budget for its time. Roughly the same quality as Wing. Definitely the biggest negative to X in the aesthetics department, but it's more good than bad. The gundam designs are pretty outlandish, but for how badass they look, they aren't invincible, unlike the SEED and Wing gundams, which is great. The Freeden pilots have an uphill battle ahead of them.
Great voice acting and one hell of a score. The Gundam X openings (by the amazing group Romantic Mode) are some of my favorite openings in all the anime I've seen, and in regards to the ending credits, I rarely sit through ending credits but for this show I made an exception. The three ending themes(two of them are different language versions of the same song) are some the best that I've ever heard used in anything, anime or otherwise. As for the score, I'm always humming one or two tracks here and there. Great soundtracks.
At first I thought this was the biggest weakness Gundam X had. A few episodes later and I was proved wrong. All I can say without spoiling you is that it's definitely enough character development. At first the show seems to be only about Tiffa and Garrod, but over time it focuses on other characters well enough. Tiffa and Garrod are still the most important characters, but it doesn't terribly overshadow the anyone else. There are still flaws, such as expanding on a few bit characters who don't show up for more than 10 minutes of screen time, and the Frost Brothers up until the last arc, but overall it's all good.
Gundam X is definitely not the best Gundam show, but damn if it isn't the most likeable. It's hard to hate this show. It may not be a masterpiece, but it's one hell of a ride from start to finish. Garrod in particular is just an amazingly well done protagonist. He's impossible to hate, and he's always believable. He's extremely street smart, but not a genius; very skilled in battle but not exactly soldier by any sense of the word. From the very first episode, he is kicking things in gear and you just want to strap yourself in for the roller coaster ride he's going to deliver.
I like to refer to Gundam X as the Daft Punk of Gundam. Anyone who's experienced it can't hate it in the least. I give it a 9 because hell, I can't deny how much fun I had. I enjoyed this more than G Gundam, and that's saying a hell of a lot. A great balance of the always enjoyable shonen heroism while still keeping that tomino-esque reality that the original gundams had. You can even find some parallels between X and Tomino's own Crossbone Gundam graphic novel, strangely enough. If you can watch After War Gundam X, then do so. Chances are you won't be disappointed. read more
Oct 12, 2008
But other than that, it still retains the other characteristics from other Gundam series, and redefines and advances them. Garoad you can say is more of a modern day interpretation of Judeau Ashita from Double Zeta. He’s young, but he’s a guy who is out doing his job and circumstances just led him to where he is. What’s also unique is that he’s not a newtype but yet, he just naturally develops his piloting skills. Tifa’s character was just new to me, and I felt the nature of her character felt out of place for Gundam, but because this isn’t the original Gundam and the intention was to go for something different and new, I felt she just simply served her purpose though I don’t personally call her a top 5 female Gundam character. And as usual, the series will still have villains and antagonists you can relate to which the Frost bros do well at. The series does have some interesting twists and turns that will keep you guessing in relation to the characters and the overall story. I feel that because it’s uniquely both characteristically and not characteristically Gundam at the same time give a new distinction it’s trademark characteristics.
Well, this series premiered after Gundam Wing, so most of the color schemes and gimmicks of the mechs will probably not really stand out since it mostly follows the approach that Gundam Wing has. But I guess some of the features of the GX where its main weapon needs to be powered by a satellite brings a new element to the engineering and the firepower that hasn’t been used in past sagas makes it more fresh. And as I stated earlier, the mechs in general don’t have any qualities that are necessarily fresh or new. Like the Leopard is pretty much a green colored firearms, and the design of the GX looks like the Wing Gundam but with a different set of wings.
The character designs mostly in relation to the costume are a little wilder than your typical Gundam series, thus giving some reflection to its post apocalyptic nature. But other than that, you have generic bishounen and bishoujo designs but very tolerable. My favorite design is that of Jamil with a modern day old school approach. He wears a very ancient military style uniform, and his side burns and hair style is something more characteristic of a 1970s anime hero. And Tanya is just simply hot.The character design is nothing really cutting edge but still appropriate for its setting at some capacity. The battles are pretty interesting since a majority of this Gundam series takes place on Earth and I was wondering if there was ever going to be any traditional space battles, which has always been an iconic trait of the franchise. But I feel that the engineering and the gimmicks of the Gundams presented justified keeping the battles on earth territory for most of the series. But the battles are still intense and they excellently know how to apply land and air war fare with a different approach with more reliance on transforming mechs.
Personally, I loved Takagi Wataru’s unique approach to playing Garoad Ran. Even though he’s achieved world fame as Onizuka Eikichi from GTO, I loved how he still retained his nasal voice and make Garoad come across as a teenager and as a wise ass. I thought it was a very brilliant performance. Granted Garoad has comedic traits, I think Takagi’s addition who mostly does comedy roles does a great job in a more serious role such as this one himself. I think Jamil’s voice actor, Horiuchi Kenyuu who is famous as playing Raiden in the Metal Gear Solid games brought a unique charisma to his character and also made him sound very intimidating. And another unique actress is Mitsuishi Kotono, who was also still playing Sailor Moon at the time is also the voice of Tanya, the bridge captain. Later she would come back to Gundam SEED. as the Captain of the Archangel. With her role in Gundam X, she brought Misato’s party girl side to her character.
The music is just intense and beautiful. The opening theme DREAMS just has this militaristic feel with how it opens, but yet transitions to this powerful song about hope and determination, and the ending themes sung in English sound like Love Lift Us Where We Belong, but brought a refreshing feel to the series. The background music is very appropriate for the series.
Well, sadly, this Gundam had to be cut due to low ratings, but I heard that this series is finding rejuvenation in Japan with the DVD releases and people are appreciating it more. Artistically as I said earlier, it really does nothing to advance Gundam but I think it still maintained its spirit and really brought a unique and distinctive redefinition to some of its original foundation. Such as the themes and concepts behind the series with new types was what made it unique and was first brought into an alternate universe of Gundam which would later be brought back in SEED which I think they did a bad job of that concept in that series. I say it is required to have some familiarity with the original Gundam to understand the origin of its concepts such as colony drops and newtypes, and some familiarity with Gundam Wing to understand the mech design and style. This is something truly made for Gundam fans, and I think this is probably something that a casual anime fan or a hardcore anime fan that isn’t into Gundam could probably handle.
Aug 2, 2010
Story: Gundam X takes place 15 years after the war between the Earth forces and Space Rebellion which wiped out almost all of the Earth's population due to the use of Newtypes, individuals with advanced abilities. The story follows Garrod Ran, a 15 year old boy who runs into a mysterious girl called Tiffa and later decides to join the Freeden, a ship led by Jamil Neate, a former "hero" in the war(think Amuro Ray), in order to protect Tiffa, while traveling the Earth to prevent the abusive use of Newtypes and eventually to stop a war that could result in the same tragedy 15 years ago. The plot set-up can almost be thought of as a pre-cursor to Eureka 7, the main character chooses to join a group of ragtag individuals in order to protect a girl they've taken interest in,not to fight for peace or anything close to it.
Art: Being released in 1996, the art looks dated but still holds up fairly well 14 years since its release. For those who have seen Gundam Wing, you know what you're expecting
Sound: The sound effects and background music are fairly well done( despite the fx sounding a bit old-school and thus similar to Wing again), but the opening themes are very well done and quite catchy too.
Characters: Despite the high enjoyment quality of all other Gundam shows, most of the main characters, were rather annoying, throwing out angst and other "emo" actions that seemed rather siily. Gundam X has a decent set of characters that are all fairly fleshed out and really likable and don't display any of the cliches established by its predecessors. Garrod is a rather interesting main lead and often displays some traits that most teens could relate to. Despite some "angst" he displays in the few beginning episodes of the anime, it actually makes sense why he acts this way. Jamil is a mix of Char, Amuro and even Bright, and acts as the leader figure among the crew of the Freeden and his past involvement in the war only makes him more interesting. Roybea and Witz, the other 2 Gundam pilots, are interesting characters as well and they even have good intentions being involved with the Freeden. The Frost brothers are the ones who truly shine in this show, they are the very definition of evil and will do whatever they want to get what they want.
Enjoyment: Every episode was well done and did a good job of building up to the conclusion. It started out as showing out with showing how the entire cast only worked to find Newtypes scattered around the globe, but slowly begun to realize that encountering them would lead to them becoming involved in a war once again. The only flaw I can think of is that the show was cut short, so starting around episode 30 to the last episode, it felt a bit rushed as I was hit with so much information in a few episodes, but was wrapped up really well overall.
Overall: Don't let the fact that Gundam X gets a bad vibe from many Gundam fans steer you away from watching this. The plot is well paced and the characters are all done fairly well and even has a bit of the political themes found in almost every Gundam series( but to a more limited extent here). This under-appreciated gem is a must watch for anyone who is a fan of mecha, romance or anyone who is an anime fan in general. read more
Jun 22, 2008
In a technical sense, the art, music and sound effects are roughly equal to Gundam Wing. They were produced back to back, so this is expectable. If you've seen Gundam Wing, then you know what Gundam X looks and sounds like.
What really sets Gundam X apart, especially from its immediate predecessor, is its characters. Gundam X is full of characters that you can actually care about. In particular, Garrod and Tifa's relationship is extremely genuine and endearing. This is quite a feat for a genre of anime not particularly well known for being able to develop a believable romance.
The plot of Gundam X is well paced, keeping a good momentum and tension throughout. Each episode tends to leave you hanging, and craving more. This structure worked well for Escaflowne, and it works very well here too.
Overall, don't write this Gundam off just because you heard it got canceled. I consider this the best of the AU Gundam series, and enjoy it on the same level as the original series. Any Gundam or mecha fan should see this series. read more
May 7, 2013
Overall 8/10, a great one!
Jul 17, 2012
Animation(8/10): The animation is similar to Wing and G Gundam so it's not going to be breathtaking but it does it's job and you won't be distracted. There are also little repeats of footage and for the most part the animation of fluid.
Sound/Music(9/10): I really really like the soundtrack for this show, all the openings and endings are excellent and really set the mood, as well as the final song to end the series. The sound effects are typical of a Gundam show so no problems there. The only complaint I have is the intermission sound can be a little distracting because it's a more energetic sound and often comes right after a very dramatic moment, which causes some clashing.
Character(10/10): As with any Gundam show, it's the characters that make or break it. What I love about the characters here is that they are actually likeable and relateable, unlike many gundam characters. Garrod is an awesome protagonist, he's energetic, crafty, skillful, and he grows throughout the series in both skill and maturity. What I like about Garrod though is that he never lets anything get him down, he always charges forward and is a very strong character. Tiffa is the main female protagonist and while quiet and mysterious at first, she matures greatly and breaks out of her shell becoming another great and strong character. Jamil is the "char" analog and is a badass. He's the captain of the ship the characters travel on and is very likeable and you have his respect basically from the beginning. The rest of the characters are all deep, complex, relateable, and just a joy to watch. You won't find angst or depression in these characters.
Story(7/10): The story here is a little weak. It focuses heavily on Newtypes and jumps around a lot. Alot of times you feel like the characters are going nowhere, fighting in random battles for no point, and overall lost. While the direction of the story can be confusing the actual plot and interactions between characters and elements is still well done and you won't be bored. The story also picks up rapidly towards the end (due in fact to the cancellation) and the last 10 episodes are a fun ride.
Overall(8/10): Overall a great show both as a part of and independent of the Gundam franchise. I loved the hopeful tone and optimism the show radiated, especially after watching the depression that was Victory Gundam and the seriousness that was Wing. The show, while not groundbreaking, does do nearly everything right and deserves its place in the Gundamverse. I highly recommend it. read more
Mar 31, 2010
ART & SOUND SECTIONS: 6/10
Typical. TOO typical. The character and mecha designs, as well as the action scenes were not better than an average mecha show. Same thing for the music themes and the character voices. It will really disappoint fans of the original and will leave mecha fans indifferent about it.
STORY & CHARACTER SECTIONS: 5/10
Gundam is essentially a sci-fi war drama and this series has the same premise. (spoiler alert!)
In this timeline, the One-Year-War ends with all space colonies dropping on Earth, instead of surrendering. The result was an apocalyptic event that destroyed almost everything. 15 years later, the remaining humans try to rebuild the wastelands of the surface, only to find that many are using Mobile Suits for profit, while others begin another war for the survival of the fittest race.
The protagonist is a young mercenary who is paid to protect a powerful Newtype girl, which possesses the ability to boost a mecha’s psionic capacities. The two enter a Gundam by accident (like in all Gundam series!), team up with a crew of vigilantes and are trapped between the war of Oldtypes vs Newtypes, for the control of the future.
Like in the original Gundam’s normal themes, there is:
-a conflict between the normal Homo-sapiens/Oldtypes and the new Psycics/Newtypes
-angst before the tragedy of war
-sorrow for the dead over the struggle for control of the world’s natural resources and the future
Unlike in the original, there is:
-the presence of a kind, magical, beautiful girl with a tragic past that gives the story a supernatural/messiah theme
-more focus on new bigger/better guns that makes the story more action-based
-less focus on character and scenario development, making the series more shallow
The story is very simple, with slow development and almost no plot twists. The characters act too typical and frankly, they do not deserve to be remembered about anything they did or said.
The ending was also poor, as the scriptwriters gave us a stupid moral message through a metaphysical entity, saying, “There is no difference between Oldtypes and Newtypes”. What is this, a fairy tale with a God-From-A-Machine conclusion? As if everybody else was too stupid to realize something that simple by himself or herself. Not to mention that the bad guys in the story where just two brothers that wanted to kill everyone and were beaten in just 5 seconds.
To sum it up, there is little story, unmemorable characters and a simple ending. Not suitable for a Gundam series.
Anidb member cctv11 informed me that the ending was bad because the show’s sponsors decided to change the time slot and cut it from 50 episodes to 40, so it had a rushed conclusion. A bad thing for everyone.
VALUE & ENJOYMENT SECTIONS: 4/10
If it wasn’t for the name and the basic design of the Gundam in this series, I doubt anyone would care to remember it. It is just another average-to-bad series that tries to sell by using a renowned title in it. Same thing can be said about all the Gundam alternative universes. If you want to be left with good impressions, stick with the original timeline.
The accused is found … GUILTY! … of using plagiarism for disguising a mediocre work.
Turn-A Gundam. That’s how alternative settings should look like. read more
Feb 4, 2013
Garrod is a teenager, and acts like one; Tiffa lives up to her Newtype status by being a shy, lonely girl, who slowly opens up to other people; Jamil is the conflicted, but wise and disciplinary, mentor, who is protective of his subordinates and those he cares about; and I could go on.
Gundam X has characters than have that human factor, which allow an average viewer who isn't even familiar with the franchise to highly enjoy this show.
Now if there is another thing I commend Gundam X of doing, is that the series isn't like most of its "AU" brethren (Alternate Universes, for those not very familiar with Gundam terminology): while it indeed has the obligatory UC (Universal Century) references and tradition in it, it actually does something with them: whereas shows like SEED and AGE simply use these tropes and copy paste them on their own shows, X deves into them, cooks them up, and creates its own identity using this exact tradition. I would mention them in detail, but with the aim of not spoiling the reader, I shall only say that, if they have watched UC beforehand, they are into a treat, especially if they have gotten tired of a certain annoying cliché involving potential love interests.
In addition to this, and despite its early cancellation, the show manages to tie its plot points very effectively and creatively.
The music is astounding, especially for a 90s anime series steming from a long-running metaseries like Gundam. X's predecessor, Gundam Wing, had a very, very neat soundtrack, one pf the best of the franchise in my opinion: but Gundam X manages to get to its level, if not surpass it, in some cases. The opening and ending themes are absolutely beautiful, which makes one wonder why Romantic Mode's career did not continue; the rest of the instrumental sountrack is feature film-level of goodness. You can tell they really put effort in composition and execution when it came to Gundam X's soundtrack. Whether it's a sad track, a sweet track, or an epic, battle-inspirational track, it hits the nail.
I would also like to address UC fans to tell them that this is the best way to introduce someone to Gundam and lead them to UC tradition: whereas Gundam Wing only revels in action and randomness most of the time, X actually attempts to be a fully good series, and it succeeds. Add to the fact that both UC and AW (After War) have practically some of the same concepts (Gundam X is the only Alternate Universe that has Newtypes), it's more suitable for someone who is reluctant to introduce a newcomer to Gundam due to the dated animation of 0079 or the incoherences of Wing.
The series isn't without flaws, though: the mechanical designs, while effective, ironically do not seem to be very original and seem more like Wing/UC hybrid rejects (although I will point out that the Virsargo and Ashtaron are some of the exceptions), and some people might not initially buy just how jolly and normal everyone seems to live in an post-apocalyptic world (although, serving as devil's advocate here: Gundam has never handled "apocalyptic scenarios" quite well in my opinoin), and the final arc is very, very, very rushed, despite concluding, ironically, quite effectively.
Overall, this is my favorite Gundam series. I guess my tastes may be too generic for the more "expert" viewers or something, but I have no regrets. Gundam X is my ideal Gundam series. And I highly recommend it to anyone, newcomer or veteran viewer, of the franchise, and anime as a whole. read more
Aug 18, 2012
Gundam X takes on a 'what if' scenario. Basically 'What it Amuro Ray from Gundam UC0079 had never stumbled across the Gundam RX-78? Basically, the war would have dragged on and ended with many space colonies dropped onto the Earth wiping out most of humanity and destabilizing Earth's weather.
15 years have passed since the war ended and the story from here on follows 15 year old Garrod Ran, pilot of the Gundam X, on his journey along with the crew of an all-terrain ship called the Freeden in their quest in search of Newtypes around the world and offer them protection from anyone out to find them and use them to start another war.
Throughout the journey, he is assigned to protect the Freeden's most important crew member, Tiffa Adill, a girl with Newtype powers that are sought after by anyone who knows of her and her abilities as well as Garrod's love interest. We've seen love interests in Gundam but none of the relationships affected the story like in X. Garrod and Tiffa's relationship is the most authentic you'll see in Gundam.
Nothing you'll see in this story is arbitrary, the characters are all well-conceived for the post-apocalyptic Earth setting. So there's always some rhyme or reason for each character's history and actions. And I bloody praise the show for its clever writing.
You can tell it’s dated 90’s animation but not to the point where it looks obsolete and hideous compared to cleaner anime like SEED, 00, and AGE. It’s still a joy to look at especially since this reduced the amount of recycled animation which was present in and many other anime shows at its time and if was digitally remastered, get ready to eat your heart out.
It would be an understatement to say that this series art style and animation is ‘similar’ Wing’s because it is in fact EXACTLY the same to the point where it would feel like watching a redimensionalized version of it. You could take a character from Wing and put him/her in X or vice versa and they’d fit in perfectly. Even the mech designs are Wing-ish.
- Music and Sound
The soundtrack is a mixed bag, some are good, some are dull and easily forgettable. In fact, it’s kind of disappointing that they didn't do as good a job with Zeta Gundam and Wing series.
This series was the most refreshing of all the Gundams I've seen. It does contain familiar elements but at the same time it takes liberties in such a clever way to prevent it from not being Gundam. It is different from other Gundams for these reasons, and they are a big deal
- It's post-apocalyptic
- Strong romantic subplot
- Takes place mostly on Earth
- No war
Regardless of what may or may not have happened if X's animation crew had their way with episode count and story progression. Whatever they had to wrap up, was done well without leaving anything unresolved. So for what it is, Gundam X is in my opinion a true gem not just in the Gundam sagas, but in anime in general. read more
Jul 17, 2012
Gundam X is supposed to depict a "what if" scenario in the Gundam franchise to depict what would happen to Earth if the war between Oldtypes and Newtypes got heated enough where a space colony drop was implemented and devastated the human population and atmosphere on Earth. To a degree, Gundam X does a solid job in setting up its world featuring many people trying to survive on their own and groups of hired vigilantes and thieves known as Vultures taking up jobs for any money they need for their survival or mercilessly destroying and killing anything in their way for personal gain. Remains of the Federation still exist in this new era as they try to reclaim the old power that they once had by conquering areas of the world that refuse to unite under their cause. Newtypes are also focused on as they still face a good amount of prejudice in this world with corporations and Federation forces still seeing them as tools of war and some elements similar to racism are brought up in later episodes regarding differences with the origins of Newtypes and their abilities.
What does work against the series though would be its style of plotting and its very characters. Gundam X is divided up into several plot arcs focused on the journey of Garrod, Tiffa and the crew of the Freeden as they seek out Newtypes, evade hostile Vulture ships, evade Federation forces and try to prevent a second catastrophic event like the colony drop from 15 years ago. While the arcs help to flesh out more elements to the world of Gundam X and occasionally develop the characters, the pacing to said arcs in many instances tend to be a bit slow and cause progression to grind to a halt at points. I also found that the series was trying too hard at dramatizing a number of serious scenes that took place throughout the show thanks to its overuse of angst and melodrama with its major developments. The last arc for the show's final two episodes is rushed in its developments special thanks to said early cancellation of the show as the series tried to cram the major plot developments for said final arc. The final arc is notable in that it reveals the origin of Newtypes, but said revelation felt vague and left a sour taste in my mouth. Gundam fans might not want to take what is revealed at the end at heart considering this is another alternate continuity in the series franchise.
I also had issues with many of the characters portrayed throughout Gundam X as well considering many just followed standard character archetypes found in other anime or being used as plot devices you would have seen done before in earlier Gundam titles. Male lead Garrod's the hot-headed and defiant teen you would have already seen with Amuro and Kamille, only he's not as well-fleshed out as the two mentioned characters and he quite often has to conveniently get his hide saved in life-threatening situations by other members of the Freeden crew or other new characters that happen to be around, which make me question why he even is the male lead of this series. Female lead Tiffa isn't much better off either as her character is much more flat than Garrod's as she plays the all too-common "shy, quiet and reserved female character" archetype needing a male lead to give her a confidence boost which has been done to death in enough modern otaku-pandering shows. As you can pretty much see, I could care less about the romantic developments that Gundam X was pushing with these two because of how shallow and archetypal their characters were. I don't even want to get started mentioning the Frost Brothers as I found them to be the weakest villains I've seen in any Gundam series that I've seen thus far due to how poorly developed and shallow that their motivations were for their actions and manipulations throughout the series.
In terms of animation, Gundam X is of standard animation quality you would find for a mid-90s anime series. Yet compared to Gundam Wing which was made around the same time period, X is better polished in its scenery and character designs and its quality doesn't degrade in heavy action scenes like what occurs with Wing. However, the show still relies on a number of animation shortcuts as reused frames and speed stripes are used rather frequently throughout Gundam X. Much of the music used throughout the series consists of low-pitched and fast-paced tracks used for the title's tense moments and action scenes while more slow-paced and light instrumental tracks are used for the title's calmer and dramatic moments. Both diversities do their part in enhancing the key scenes that take place throughout Gundam X, but nothing memorable stuck out with them for me. And while I did enjoy listening to the English and Japanese versions of the title's ED song, "Human Touch", I didn't think the song fitted in too well for a Gundam series and seemed better suited for a romance drama title.
Overall, Gundam X did present some interesting ideas for its "what if" scenario in the setup of its post-apocalyptic world from the heated Oldtype/ Newtype conflict from Universal Century titles in the Gundam franchise. Unfortunately, the title's cliched characters and style of plotting did hurt its overall quality for me as it didn't seem to want to try making something as significantly different and unique like Turn A Gundam for an alternate continuity series. I guess as many will say, your mileage will vary on how well you get latched on Gundam X as I certainly didn't find myself enjoying it all too well. read more
Aug 4, 2008
Jan 10, 2013
I have to applaud Sunrise for doing something a little out of character for them. Their primary focus was putting on the display of human misunderstanding and when that misunderstanding escalates to war and suffering. Of course, while prior and latter Gundam series have had a similar focus, I haven't seen it become the overwhelming theme like it was in this series. Even the mecha battles were pushed aside for this theme.
The plot surrounds a 15-year-old orphan named Garrod Ran, who through a set of circumstances meets Tiffa Adill, a girl the same age that is believed to have Newtype powers and many people are trying to get their hands on that power. Through saving Tiffa, Garrod gets his hands on a Gundam GX-9900, also known as the Gundam X, and their adventure takes off from there. Overall, I found the plot and story to be decent. It's a pretty typical plot for a Gundam anime, but what separates it from it's predecessors and it's followers is its overwhelming themes of human misunderstanding and trying to solve the problems caused by those misunderstandings.
The characters were some of the most likable I had seen in a Gundam series. Garrod is ambitious and believes strongly in his ideals, much like his predecessors. One thing that does separate him though is he's a quirky character with a pretty good sense of humor. He's a bit more crafty than his predecessors. He doesn't really have any "emo" moments and honestly, I found his character to be much closer to that of a teenager than the likes of Amuro Ray, Kamille Bidan, Judau Ashta, Heero Yuy, Kira Yamato, Setsuna F. Sei (essentially enter any Gundam pilot here). Another nice thing about him in comparison is, he doesn't have any supernatural Coordinator/Newtype powers. He's just a normal kid who's good at adjusting to his surroundings while operating a Gundam. Tiffa is one of the more adorable Gundam heroines I've seen in a series. It seems as though her thoughts are pure while it seems a great deal of her focus is put toward her power. I will admit, it does cause a pretty obvious lack of character from her, but wasn't enough to detract from the quality of the series. My biggest complaint is that there is very little character development, especially with the two leads Garrod and Tiffa. We learn next to nothing about their history other than their parents are dead. I understand that these characters are living in the moment and not in their past, but it would've been nice to know a little more as to why they are the way they are. Of course, I do also believe their lack of development is somewhat linked to the theme of the series...they are two of the few characters that aren't living in the past and are instead looking toward a future. The supporting characters and antagonists also suffer from the same problems. There really isn't that much development about them and we're supposed to learn about their characters through their interactions with each other and minor exposition dumps explaining their motives. The antagonists themselves were actually rather weak in comparison to many other Gundam series, but then again, even they are considered to be the products of human misunderstanding rather than being inherently evil themselves.
I do think the weakest aspect of this series is the editing. For a Sunrise produced Gundam series, the editing was extremely lackluster. There were moments where the OP and midway points of the episode would jump-scare me. There was even a tender moment later on in the series that essentially got blown up by the blaring music and the black "After War Gundam X" title card that COMPLETELY spoiled the mood. As I mentioned before, the episodes would start out usually showing flashbacks of prior episodes or early plot setup for the next small arc in the story and then the OP would come blaring in out of nowhere. I swear to God, it's like the people at Sunrise have never heard of a fade transition before. On top of that, and this goes back to the writing, I found Gundam X to be strangely paced. The first 25 episodes or so have a rather slow pace, seemingly taking a while to build up to what the plot is really about. The last 14 episodes or so felt somewhat rushed. Of course, that's because the last 1/3 was focused more on war while the first 2/3 of the series was focused more on Earth and it's after effects of war. This does go back to character development a little bit, but I wish the producers would've toned it down a bit with it's narration and focused more on character. Now that I think about it, this series had a lot more narration than most other Gundam series and I'll admit, most of it was unnecessary and felt like episode filler. All-in-all, this was pretty lousy production work from Sunrise.
Overall, it does sadden me that Sunrise butchered this a bit with it's production, because I found that in regards to plot and characters, this was actually one of the better Gundam series. I will come out and say Garrod is probably my favorite lead character in any of the Gundam animated series and I found the supporting characters to be pretty good as well. However, it's obvious what sets this series apart from the others and that's the message of the story. I found the message to be much more profound and focused than other Gundam series. I know the "moral of the story" is a pretty overused cliche, especially when it comes to storytelling but I found the "moral" of Gundam X to be much better than it's predecessors and it's followers. If you're a fan of the Gundam series, I do recommend giving this a watch. Despite the many flaws, the message in itself makes it at least worth of a watch through.
Sep 21, 2012
I'm not quite sure whether I have or not.
The concept is great. Whereas the other AUGundams are re-inventions or re-interpretations of the Gundam idea, Gundam X actually spins out of the set-up from the original MSG. Having that background familiarity, and having that background to build off of, its pretty cool and should open up a lot of doors for story-telling.
Instead, we get lack-luster characters; a slow, drawn out plot, and sub-par animation.
To be fair, the main character - Garrod Ran, a rambunctious young scavenger - is the best written character in the show. His core personality remains much the same throughout, but he does slowly grow. Going from a loner to someone who can work with a team, someone who can trust in his skills, someone who is willing to fight for what he believes in, but not at the cost of his soul.
That said, the rest of the cast has little background and less personality. Much of the staff of the Freiden, the main location for the series as well as their transportation, are little more than place-holders. The other pair of Gundam pilots have a lot of potential at the start of the show - after all, unlike Garrod, they've had their Gundams for some time and as such, should have a more complex and interesting history. However, in the space of 20 episodes, we only get one based around them - and even then they share the episode. I'm not saying that episode was bad, it's just a shame that it's ONLY one episode.
The main female of the show - and Garrod's love interest, Tifa Adill, is an Ayanami Rei; quiet, withdrawn, and perpetually alone. This works at the opening of the show, as she's a Newtype and as such, she has mental powers that - in a post-apocalyptic landscape of murder and pain - would cause her to pull away from people. But once again, 20 episodes in and we're only just NOW beginning to see her open up. TWENTY EPISODES. That's more time than most anime get to tell their WHOLE STORY and it just seems like a drawn-out waste.
Despite my complaints, the show isn't all bad. In fact, the thing I love the most is the exploration of what it means to be a Newtype. A staple of the UC Gundam's, Newtypes are generally just low-level psychics, able to lightly scan minds and anticipate events. Here the depths and varieties of their powers are explored - Newtype brothers, Newtype enemies, strange and interesting concepts. After the show got the rather obligatory and standard ideas out of the way they've started to stretch their feet and that I'm loving.
I've been trying to keep an open mind as 1) this is a Gundam and I love me some Gundams and 2) it's an AUGundam, which means a lot more freedom for story-telling. So far it hasn't been bad, but it HAS been drawn-out, lacking in depth, and only just barely touching upon innovation. I've still got another half of the show to go, but so far Gundam X is nothing special.