by Christopher Troy
Soccer mania has swept the planet as the World Cup, which started several weeks ago , and in a surprising turn of events, America actually cared this time around. This probably had to do with the fact that we didn’t get destroyed in the first round, which is a pleasant change, especially for the 5 Americans who actually follow the sport on a regular basis. For all of those not in the know, The World Cup is a international soccer tournament that happens every 4 years (much like the Olympics), and is usually a pretty big deal for a good portion of the globe..
However, this isn’t a soccer (or football for any of you living outside the US of A) blog. So what’s the closest thing Gunpla enthusiasts have to the World Cup you ask?
G-Gundam! Debuting in Japan in 1994 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Gundam franchise (eventually making it’s way over here in 2002, which was aired on Cartoon Network), G-Gundam probably has more to do with Street Fighter than soccer. Both “Sports” are played internationally; the difference being that the World Cup takes place every 4 years and gets your country bragging rights and a trophy, where as the G-Gundam fights, this once every four year battle tournament gains you control of the planet. And possible a sweet trophy, it only makes sense right? Also worth noting is that while the World Cup ends in a few weeks (I know this because I have a party to attend), a NEW G-Gundam manga debuts this August in Japan. Good timing for this article huh?
So well all know the point of soccer right? Kick ball into goal, most goals wins. There are a bunch of rules that go along with that, but those are boring, and I would lose the remaining 2 readers I have by posting them. In G-Gundam, there are several rules to be followed:
1) A unit whose head section has been destroyed is disqualified. Supplement: Accidental harm inflicted on a Gundam Fighter during a match is acceptable.
- 2) A Gundam Fighter must never aim at the cockpit of an opponent’s Gundam.
- 3 ) A Gundam Fighter may repair damage to his Gundam as often as he desires and move on to the championship league, as long as the head section has not been destroyed.
- 4) A Gundam Fighter must take responsibility for protecting his own Gundam.
- 5) A match shall only be held on a one-on-one basis.
- 6) A Gundam Fighter shall not taint the honor and dignity of the nation he is representing.
- 7) The Earth is the ring! Supplement: Destruction of property on Earth due to the Gundam Fight is not considered a crime.
- So now that you know the score, let’s see how some of the countries did in G-Gundam vs the World Cup:
- As for the host’s country’s (Africa) Gundam:
- “It’s a Gundam wrapped in racism!”-overheard quote from AnimeNEXT 2010, which pretty much sums up this Gundam and the series.
- Gundams: Shining and Burning/God Gundams.
- Series Fate: Obviously the main character in this series, Domon Kasshu enters the tournament on the behalf of his country and to find his brother. SPOILER: He does, and wins the tourney
- World Cup Fate: Japan lost in the 2nd round to Paraguay
- Gundam: Gundam Maxter
- Series Fate: Maxter pilot Chibodee Crocket initally loses to Domon, but later helps him fight againist the evil Devil Gundam and it’s allies as a fellow member of the Shuffle Alliance.
- World Cup Fate: America, much like Japan, lost in the 2nd round.
- Gundam: Shadow Gundam/ Gundam Speigel
- Series Fate: Dies fighting the devil Gundam
- World Cup Fate: Serious World Cup contenders.
- What I’ve shown it’s just a sample of the insanity of Gundams shown in G-Gundam. The entire series can be bought in 2 collections put out by Bandai of America, and there are several older Gunpla kits still available from both the original Japanese run, the American release (if you look hard enough online), as well as some new kits available/coming soon. And if we’re learned anything from this, it’s that you can’t be good at both giant robot fights and soccer/football/sports.