However, the reason I approve of the harem is not just because I’m a pervlord who likes harems. The harem in Gundam: Orphans says something interesting about family structures – and how they change in times of conflict.
As I’ve mentioned a few times before, I am currently completing my honours thesis about light novels. No, it’s not technically about anime, but as we all know, light novels are more “anime” than anime, so I put myself in the same basket as the anime academics.
It’s not all fun and games being an academic, as anyone who has been through university should know. It’s downright exhausting reading piles of books and articles all day. This is especially the case if you take your work seriously, like I do. Since I’ve been trying connect my thesis to a lot of other disciplines, I read heavily outside my field. But I also routinely feel as if I’m suffocating under all the reading. Sometimes, finding the time to watch anime feels like work.
I want to talk about some of this pressure that I feel, because it’s a very real issue for me.
Gundam is ridiculous. The first Mobile Suit Gundam (1979) is known for pioneering the Real Robot genre of mecha: SERIOUS BUSINESS anti-war stories that also happen to feature giant robots waving beam swords in space.
Now, having stated the obvious, I’m not actually sure how I feel about this. I haven’t seen that many Gundam series (yet), but I’m getting the impression that this is a very hit-and-miss franchise.
You see, there’s a contradiction at the heart of Gundam.
Disclaimer: I can only comment on the Gundam shows I’ve actually seen, which is mostly just AU Gundam (Wing, Seed, 00. Don’t take this post as reflective of UC Gundam, or even Gundam as a whole.