Volume V, Issue 5, October 16, 1995

Mobile Suit Gundam 0080:
War in the Pocket

In 1979, Bandai released the original Mobile Suit Gundam TV series. In the next ten years, they released two more Gundam TV series and four movies, the last movie being Char's Counterattack in 1988. Still flushed with the success of Char's Counterattack, Bandai decided to enter the OAV market in 1989 with a six-episode series, Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket. In the new series, Gundam producers abandoned the traditional idea of "Newtypes." Instead, 0080 comes with great character de signs and a moving story.

Gundam 0080 takes place at the end of the One-Year-War between the Earth Federation and the Jion Arch-duchy. A Jion commando team, the Cyclops, attacks a secret Federation base in Antarctica. The Federation defenders manage to launch the new prototype mobile suit into space before the destruction of the base. The story shifts to a neutral space colony, Side 6. A young boy living on Side 6, Alfred Izuru ha, and his friends are fascinated by the war and the mobile suits. As Al plays in the Federation base he accidentally films the newly-arrived Federation mobile suit from the Antarctica base, Gundam NT-1 "Alex." The next day, a Jion attack on the colon y breaks the peace on Side 6. Al pursues a damaged Jion mobile suit and befriends a young Jion pilot, Bernard "Bernie" Weisman. Bernie himself falls for the charming Christina MacKenzie, a Side 6 resident who will play a suprisingly decisive role in the upcoming conflict, a conflict in which Al must grow up and face the cruel reality of war.

The character design for Gundam 0080 was done by Haruhiko Mikimoto, who is famous for his character designs in Macross and Gunbuster. The screenplay was done by Hiroyouki Yamaga, and the mecha design was done by Yutaka Izubuchi, who also did the mec ha design for ~Char's Counterattack~ and the Patlabor movie.

--David Zeng

Cast of Characters

Christina: Megumi Hayashibara

Al: Daisuke Namikawa

Bernie: Kouji Tsujitani

Steiner: Yousuke Akimoto

Charlie: Minoru Inaba

Chey: Tomoko Maruo

Teacher: Yoshiko Sakakibara

Misha: Bin Shimada

Cmdr. Killing: Kouji Totani

Dorothy: Konami Yoshida


Pop Culture Imperialism

The Eighties (seems like so long ago) was a time of incessant bickering between the United States and Japan over issues of trade. Anemic United States industries were being thumped in crucial markets like cars and consumer electronics by aggressi ve Japanese competitors. Today, the rhetoric has died down to a great degree, thanks to the dominant role of U.S. companies in the most booming sectors of the global economy, the so-called "knowledge industries." Most prominent among these non-manufactu ring markets is entertainment, where Hollywood, USA reigns unthreatened over the global kingdom of music, movies and their associated glitz. Japan is an enormous consumer of these products of the American media machine, while Japanese entertainment offer ings are restricted to tiny niche markets here. (That's where anime comes in.) This bilateral surplus for the United States is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. But in the emerging markets of East Asia, such as Taiwan, Korea, and so forth, t he game has not yet been decided. While Hollywood blockbusters and platinum recording artists are certain to penetrate these markets, there is also a strong Japanese presence, which is in some ways spearheaded by manga and anime. As consumers in these e merging markets gain discretionary buying power over the next decade, they will certainly continue to develop domestic entertainment industries, but a significant and lucrative market for foreign media productions is likely to remain. It remains to be se en what the respective shares of Japan and the US will be, Japan having the advantage of cultural affinities and proximity, the US of scale and expertise.

What does this mean for anime? Well, anime will be produced in Japan to the degree that it generates profits to do so, and the expansion of overseas markets here and in Asia will, given the cheapness of subtitling, directly affect the perceived m arket size for animation projects. Anecdotal evidence suggests that anime studios in Japan are already figuring the English-language market (including Australia and England) into their plans from the outset. That means that projects which might have bee n killed in the past due to questions of market size may now be carried through... a larger variety of anime may become viable. Projects which are sure-fire sellers in multiple markets, even though they would have been done in any case, may get bigger bu dgets, and thus be more finely crafted. What does this mean for you, the anime fan? Basically, it means you can vote with your wallet to increase the variety and quality of Japanese animation. When you buy an foreign-language version of an anime title, you increase the chance that something like it will be produced in the future. That goes for Chinese or Korean versions as well as English. You aren't just lining the pockets of some sub & dub operation, you are sending a message to the creative genius es (or at least their accountants) of Japanese animation. Needless to say, pirated versions in all their ugly forms send the opposite message... so toss that Ranma rip-off you bought at a con, and help ensure that the next great romantic martial-arts com edy gets from some creative brain cells onto the cels we watch.


The Myth of the Humanoid War Machine

If there's one thing that your faithful otaku doesn't want to hear, it's "reality check." Reality, after all, is what otakus are trying their damndest to get away from. But, in honor of Gundam, the big-man-on-campus of mecha anime, today we are going to talk shop about why big man-shaped robots with energy swords peforming judo maneuvers in space are not a viable military technology of the near or even distant future.

The basic job that any good soldier wants his tactical war machine to do is to blow up the enemy war machine real good. By definition, that includes preventing him from blowing you up real good first. From this simple purpose arise the basic req uirements to deliver destructive energy to a target from a survivable, mobile platform. First, the most efficient way to inflict damage is with a single main weapon, whether projectile or energy, because the more separate systems there are, the more over head in volume and weight there will be relative to actual deliverable destructive force. Thus, the main battle tank of today is basically a big gun sitting on a chassis, and the air superiority fighter is a flying missile rack. Second, the most efficie nt way to survive is to either be so maneuverable that the probability of being struck by the enemy is low, or to be so massively armored that you can absorb several strikes without your functionality being neutralized. Jet fighters rely on the former, t anks on the latter.

The Gundam Mobile Suit and all its kith and kin fail miserably on these three counts. Offensively, the puny handheld guns used are a pitiful fraction of a Mobile Suit's total mass, and the snazzy energy swords are a waste of resources better give n to ensuring you can eliminate your foe before he can close to hand-to-hand range. Defensively, it is a well-known law of nature that the closer a craft is to a sphere, the less surface area, and hence the less armor needed. The gangly humanoid form is a phenomenal waste of mass and volume. But wait, you are saying, it's the maneuverability that humanoids are really good at. I'm afraid not... all those joint actuators are just modifying the structural geometry, not providing actual thrust to shift th e movement vector. All in all, the Gundam is a laughable excuse for a war machine.

So what is the ideal? Well, it will be spherical, well-nigh indestructable, with a gargantuan main battery.... the Iserlohn Fortress of Legends of the Galactic Heroes. Maybe a giant mirrored globe isn't as nifty as a big robot buddy with a gun a nd a sword, but nobody ever conquered known space by being stylish.


Newest Gundam Series!

According to an article posted by Peter Evans on rec.arts.anime.info, Bandai’s long-awaited new Gundam series, Gundam 08MS Shotai will hit video rental stores starting January 25, 1996. This is the third Gundam OAV release, following Gundam 008 0 and Gundam 0083. The new series will be 13 episodes released in 12 parts. Gundam 08MS Shotai literally translates as Gundam 08MS Squadron.

AnimEigo Releases Spirit of Wonder

AnimEigo announced its release of Spirit of Wonder, a 45-minute OAV previously featured at CAA. The English dubbed VHS video is priced at $19.95, the subtitled VHS video at $24.95 and the subtitled and dubbed LaserDisc at $39.95.

Cal-Animage Alpha Makes a Mistake?!!

Mike Huang wrote the overview for Like the Clouds, Like the Wind in Volume V, Issue 2 of the Konshuu. The article was misattributed to Leon Lin.. Sorry Mike!

--Compiled by David Zeng


Where Do You Get Subtitled Anime?

(Continued from Volume V, Issue 3)

...Therefore, there is absolutely no question: Fan subtitles are illegal.

So why do anime fans in the US consider the situation to be OK? The traditional argument goes as follows: Fans are not infringing upon any company's profits, because the anime is not available in an English format, and very few people well buy anim e in its original untranslated (as well as very expensive) Japanese form. Fans are opening up the anime market by genereation interest in anime. Also, when a particular anime becomes commerically available in English, fan subtitlers cease distribution o f that particular anime. For example, when Viz Video announced rights to Ranma 1/2, the Ranma Project closed down and stopped copying tapes for fans. Therefore, fan subtitlers are not likely to get sued by Japanese companies.

However, this argument is not really so valid anymore. Recently, many companies have started to translate and release anime in the US. Anime in Japan has recently seen a decline. Scott Frazier, who directs an anime studio in Japan, spoke on the su bject at Anime Expo '94. According to Frazier, several anime studios have had to close down due to the financial cruch. Frazier believes that the only way for anime to grow again is for it to expand into the US. Carl Horn, a part time consultant for Ma nga Video, notes that the anime market in Japan has become increasingly specialized; it is targeted less and less at the mainstream Instead, anime in Japan seems to be targeted more and more towards the die-hard anime fans. Die-hard anime fans are a sma ller market, so this is consisten with a shrinkage of the the anime market in Japan.

So what does all this mean? It means that Japanese companies are looking at marketability in the US more and more. Therefore, fan subbers will have toowatch industry carefully, or risk getting sued. In short, the "okay-ness" of fan subtitled anime will become increasingly questionable and it will all depend upon the respect of the subtitlers and fans for industry , and upon industry's tolerance of such illegal (and possibly profit damaging) activities.


--Trulee Lee

Anime and Your Social Life

In case you've missed the previous two of this series, let me explain it. This is not an advice column in the style of Dear Abby or Miss Manners; instead, think of it as sort of a guide based on the opinions of common behavior that I have seen in my th ree years as an anime fan.

Far more than the women, the guys of anime fandom are guilty of gross faux pas. No, no, don't protest your innocence, I have seen it too often to be convinced. Instead, prove yourself. Are you rude and obnoxious unknowingly? Some day you will hav e to venture forth into the REAL WORLD, and if you hold over too many of the little 'habits' that anime has instilled in you, troubles may arise. There are some suggestions of Do's and Don'ts which you should at least consider, if not follow religiously.

Don't: Grab Females By the Breast. The alternate universe which is Ranma exists only in the mind of the twistedly brilliant Rumiko Takahashi. Unless she is your significant other, said female will not be impressed by your manual dexterity. Think C larence Thomas. Think Bob Packwood. It could be you.

Do: Practice Wry and Subtle Humor. If you can say it and remain plain faced while everyone chortles, so much the better. Use Shinobu from “Koko Wa Greenwood” as an example. If you guffaw, you detract from your own wit and cleverness.

Don't: Place Women on Pedestals. Perfection may exist in anime, but very rarely in reality. Of course you should have standards, but in placing women on pedestals, men often chain them there without noticing.

Do: Dress Well. Shallow though it sounds, inappropriate dress can really ruin a date. And business meetings. And funerals.

Don't: Be Wishy-washy. "Ahah!" you say, "but what about Godai (Maison Ikkoku) and Kyosuke (Kimagure Orange Road)? I worship them! They always got their women!" I have four words: Anime Is Not Real. In a real situation, any woman worth her salt wo uld have long since dumped the loser and gone for the cool guy. Nice guys do not always finish last, but WISHY-WASHY guys do.

This ends my little series on anime and your social life. Please don't take it seriously. Unfortunately, this type of article is always straight opinion. As you can tell, I am not too fond of wishy-washy guys, sexist guys, weak women, brain-washed women, etc. etc. You can, of course, disagree wildly. Just be prepared to explain why, because after all, some things are very difficult for some people to understand, and clarity is always appreciated.

—Trulee Lee


--By Komatsu Matemasa

Q: What is Q&A?

A: Well, hopefully this will be a long standing column in the Konshuu which will address the questions that you, the members of CAA, send to the club's officers. Think of this article as a forum like Ask Beth, or Dear Abby, or even Dear Miss Manners. I'll try to answer any question put to me.

Q: Where do I send my questions?

A: Well, the easiest method would be through the Internet. The CAA e-mail address is animage@ocf.berkeley.edu. Or, if you want an even faster response, send any direct correspondence to me through my close friend Weldon Chen. His e-mail address is weldonc@server.berkeley.edu. Also, if you don't have access to an internet account, you can send any questions by mail to CAA's post office box. Its address is:

P.O. Box 4263
Berkeley, CA 94704

Q: What questions can I ask? Are there any rules?

A: Yes. There are limits to what you can ask, and there are rules. I reserve the right to choose which questions I will answer. I also reserve the right not to print a question sent to me. You also have the right to remain anonymous. In fact, unless you say so, all questions will be anonymous, and I won't print your name. That way, the officers won't try to kill you for asking such a question.

And now, for new membership mail...

Dear Komatsu,
I have a few questions that bother me a lot and I hope if you can tell me the answer. First of all, what is OVA? And what is manga? Also, yesterday I laughed through all three episodes of Marmalade Boy without knowing what "marmalade" means. I looked it up in a dictionary and found the most unexpected definition--clear jelly held in suspension pieces of fruits, esp citrus fruits...What the hell does jello have to do with the story? Why even chose the title? --Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,
Well, OVA and OAV are acronyms for Original Video Animation or Original Animated Video. They simply mean that the anime went directly to video rather than through TV or movie theaters. Manga is the Japanese equivalent of U.S. comic books. A lot of ani mated stories are taken from Manga. Marmalade is often sweet, yet bitter. A Marmalade Boy is a bitter, sweet boy. Weird symbolism, but that's what the title means. --KM

Next Up:

    K.O. Seiki Beast Series II (1-4)

    October 23th, 7:00 PM
    155 Dwinelle Hall, UC Berkeley

Cal-Animage Konshuu

Volume V, Issue 5

Please direct all correspondence and submissions to Cal-Animage Alpha, P.O. Box 4263, Berkeley, CA 94704; animage@ocf.berkeley.edu
(c) 1994 Cal-Animage Alpha Chapter. Legalese: All artwork, copyrights, and trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. See the Sather Gate signboard for updates.

Konshuu Coordinator:
Keith Casner
Technical Editor:
David Bautista
Layout Editors:
Albert Ho
David Zeng
Ankan Bhaumik
Image Coordinator:
Brendan Bolles
Chief Copy Editor:
Leon Lin
Assistant Editor:
Marlon Chen
Staff Writers:
Bobby Batara
Weldon Chen
Randall M! Gee
Mike Huang
Trulee Lee
Anthony Yan

Last Modified: Tuesday, March 31, 1998 Last Modified: Sunday, October 15, 1995

Cal Animage (animage@server.berkeley.edu)