Gundam Creator Critiques the Use of War in Modern Anime and Entertainment

Mobile Suit Gundam is one of the most pivotal pieces of sci-fi to ever come from anime. The mech series helped influence the genre as a whole, and much of its success is because of creator Yoshiyuki Tomino. Recently, the man sat down for an interview with the show's character design Yoshikazu Yasuhiko to discuss how war has impacted anime. And in the lengthy conversation, both men admit they have grown uncomfortable with the way war is used in entertainment.

"In the anime world, stories like Girls und Panzer and Kan Colle have come out. There are parts that I can accept as entertainment, but I wonder if this okay. For my generation it's thought, 'war shouldn't be represented this way' and it makes me uncomfortable," Tomino said.

The creator goes on to suggest that younger fans do not understand the true gravity of war and its consequences. While films like Grave of the Fireflies explore those realities in full, Tomino says few anime projects do as such today save for films like In This Corner of the World.

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(Photo: Sunrise)

Tomino's comments may sound strange to fans given how Gundam is centered around a war. The original series set the Earth Federation against the Principality of Zeon in an intergalactic war. The costly battle left scores dead, and while the sci-fi series didn't treat war lightly, Tomino's harsh views against using war as entertainment contradicts Gundam. But as the years have past, the creator has come to believe war should never become so commonplace as to be seen as cool.

"There's nothing cool about it," he said. "After all, war must not happen. However, unfortunately we will never be rid of war thanks to the delusions of those who yearn for it."

As for Tomino's projects moving forward, the creator says he wants to distance himself from things involving war. His current assignment on Space Battleship Yamato 2205 will feature such a conflict, but Tomino isn't sure how he wants to represent war in the anime yet. Of course, Gundam will surely continue to explore conflict as new Gundam suits are made, but Tomino hopes the franchise's depiction of war dissuades conflict rather than encourage it.

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HT - ANN