United by Name, Divided by Cause

“And I assure you… the suffering you now endure is nothing compared to what will happen to us all if Kane is allowed to see his plan through.”

-A broadcast by Gideon from an unknown source that is shown on the One Truth.

Adapted from Tiberium Twilight

Members of the alliance, on October 5th, 2010, Famous gunpla info blogger, Ngee Khiong Chang has pushed ahead his original plans of closing shop. Now the blog Ngee Khiong (NK) has officially closed down, just five months short of its 5th anniversary.

I for one, was a prominent follower of NK. In fact every time I turn on the laptop the first site I will visit is none other than his. The site is a treasure trove of news images and sneak peeks of upcoming models which I would be too lazy to check out anywhere else. What I liked about it was that the site was constantly receiving updates on a daily, and on some occasions, hourly basis. All of which detailed and satisfying.

When the first news of the rumored closing reached the front post, many members speculated on the reason for the sudden move, ranging from a now busy schedule to sheer discontent. However it seems to be more in line with the latter.

Before the final act, NK left us with some topics to think about as they would be center of focus for his grand finale. The subjects he spoke of were:

-“UC fans/Gundam SEED & SEED Destiny fans”

– Pirated Gunplas

– What is the value of your Gunpla in your life?

– Websites seeking publicity, profit, hits and visitor number over real interest in Gundam and related hobby.

I’m not gonna be a hash and re-tell his final post, because it is quite a mouthful. But what he mentions in that final post certainly got me thinking. And I can help but agree that a great deal of the pointers are frighteningly true/existent.

While I’m not surprised B-07 has broadcast the news on his side (though he beat me to the chase), he too showed great discontent with the resulting aftermath of thoughts. Like-wise, I shall now speak about some of the topics NK told us to ponder about before. If you one of those who are tdlr, than yea, text chunk ahoy babe.

[The Fan base]

I remembered many years ago playing Gundam vs Zeta Gundam on my friends Playstation 2(?). Things were so much more simpler back then when Universal Century (UC) was the first and only time line. While I did play the game, I never had the opportunity to watch any of the animes or purchase the HGUC model kits. Because of that, other than prominent units like the Big Zam, Zaku II and Ball, a lot of the mobile suits in the game were a complete enigma too me.

In fact, my true liking to Gunpla occurred a few years forward when Gundam Seed started airing and I had the liberty of watching it openly on (the then) Kids Central channel. Being the first Gundam anime I’ve ever watch, the series was everything to me. And when I compared it and the mobile suits there to those of UC, it was obvious what my new love would be. After that the first few Gunpla I’ve ever bought would be from the Seed and Destiny universe.

From then on I was quick to snuff how utterly retarded UC mobile suits looked like. Some were goofy. Others didnt seem to even fit into reality. And then when Seed Destiny came up, everyone jumped the gun with Kira Yamato. While I didnt really care too much about Kira, I couldn’t take this lying down. Especially when good looking units like the Destiny Gundam and Strike Freedom are being labeled as horrific alongside him.

But after some time of seeing the larger picture, and the power of the internets which compelled me to watch the other UC and sub-series, I realized they weren’t actually that eye-rape to watch. Sure Mobile Suit Gundam looked very… ‘choppy’ (come on, it was made in 1979), but later generations from the same series, such as 08th MS Team, started to get considerably better in animation and storyline. It really cheeses me off that the newer generation cant appreciate a classic, and the ‘oldies’ cant embrace the modern. While that isn’t bad on its own, its when the Elitists who kick this up a notch by declaring ‘war’ on fans of different series thats when the trouble begins.

[Pirated Models]

Well I’m not too big a fan with pirated goods because a good deal of them really sucked bad. And you dont really need Prime92’s review to confirm it. However some pirates are ever so up to date with technology to make better stuff such as the TT-Hongli brand.

A few months back, I purchased a knock off 1/144 TT-Hongli brand Ahead from a shop at Vivo City mall out of curiosity. And surprisingly at SG$7 it was pretty darn good.  I’m planning to review that, but of course that’s a different story. For knock off, it was almost comparable to the Bandai HGs and much more cheaper.

With near original quality, and almost one third the original price, its not big surprise why some people purchase bootleg models. Some use knock off’s as a cheaper alternative for modding, kitbashing and paint practice.

If I were to grow up with knockoffs, and the pathetic pocket money I got in the days, they would have been a part of me. That said, not every fan has complete access or resources to purchase official Bandai models.

While I certainly don’t support piracy and their bootleg models, I can understand the reasons for people to turn to them. For many who aren’t privileged to have them, it is certainly the best and only way to acquire that dream MS. And I don’t blame them for that.

[The Value of your Gunpla]

Imma’ gonna keep this part short. I love all my model kits. In fact some of the Gunpla which I disliked in the past are starting to grow on me. While most of my models are now from the Double 0 and Seed/Destiny line, I’m considering investing in some UC mobiles such as the Sazabi, Gundam Alex and Double Zeta. In fact the first and only HGUC model in my collection (as of this point, at the moment)is the Z-Gok Type E, and it did not disappoint me in any way.

In short, whatever that doesn’t strike my interest at first, given enough time to suck in, will eventually grow on me. And whatever model kits wind up in my possession, stay till worlds end.

[Popularity Lechers]

Well, I’m not one to say. I do like having viewership to my blog, But my content is so minor that it does not surpass to anything. But all in all, I love reviewing models just as much as fixing them. The reason the past 3-4 reviews were kinda rushed was because I was desperate to build up those in the stash and not let them pile up on me.

Is it just me or am’I, and a good handful, the on people on earth who can appreciate any Gundam series no matter how old, new, or different they are? Ultimately, NK’s closing would be the result of the ever so stubborn fanbase. The real problem here is because the Gundam fan base is divided to the core.

Dont get me wrong, I still have some nitpicks on some series. I liked Seed, but didn’t like the way Destiny turned out in the end. Turn A Gundam looks goofy with the boomerang mustache and the Zeong has antlers. But despite that, I don’t plot a vendetta against any of the above and tehir people. And with that, I don’t see why people should be actively bashing other peoples favorite series. Just look at youtube! Find any Gundam related video, OST’s, or uploaded episodes from any series and I can assure you there will be some assholes with their brain in their butt.

But really, it got worse when videos like this started showing up. While to the more sensible bunch, videos like these would be the subject of constant debate. But to others and perhaps those deliberately, it is an excuse/reason to start up a flame war. I can assure you a lot of these videos are just made to insult the fans of the series they support.

In a big twist of irony, this entire hoo-ha has become like a war on its own. While there are those who fight back because their favorite series is getting back lashed, there are also the despicable few who are hate-junkies and just want to cause disruption all across us. We’re slowly becoming everything a Gundam series has and that is war and non-understanding with each other. And unfortunetly, there’s no Project Meteor or Celestial Being to unite us all. Or is there?

No, I’m not advertising for Gundam vs Gundam (GVG). But somehow, it occured to me that GVG is like the Bandai’s embodiment of unity.

But your probably gonna say: “but how can this be unity if its clearly called Gundam VERSUS Gundam, noob?”

Here’s my justification. Picture this scenario: Your a UC fan and while playing through the arcade mode with Nu Gundam, you just wound up in a boss fight against the Quin Mantha with the Strike Freedom as you ally. What do you do? Both of you are gosh darn expensive, but you don’t turn against the Strike Freedom and blast him first right?

Heck no.  And because the Quin Mantha is UC mobile, you dont let it have you way right? For that mission, the Freedom would be you greatest ally for the fight and the Quin Mantha, something you would want to blow to bits.

Thats why even in skirmish mode, you are not limited to the teammate you can choose because of the unit you pick. You don’t just get Seed/Destiny teammates just because you choose the Aegis. By playing all the mobile suits from different series, you really start to take a liking to some of them. Heck they might actually prompt you to watch th anime. I actually started to appreciate the Turn A after trying it out in game. ^^

In closing, NK has really shown us his inside story on the gripe and growls that eventually lead to its downfall. While we may see a small portion of it now and then, I believe this really exists and its real alright.

Why cant Gundam fans be united as one just as GVG has put it? Working together instead of against each other?

Surely an epic one. But I feel, only the community can amend these wrongs. Although it seems unlikely things will change, at least people should acknowledge that no matter how unique, different, old or new, we are all Gundam.

Why cant we just accept each other as part of it?

I don’t know how the above video is related, but I love it to the core. ^_^

-Raisha

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~ by Raisha on October 6, 2010.

3 Responses to “United by Name, Divided by Cause”

  1. Surely, there must be some way for the United Moderates Army of Mobile Suits to take the fight to those flaming gits.

    May I make a suggestion? We shall use Muv-Luv Tactical Surface Fighters! 😀

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