"What is 'Gundam', anyway?" This simple (?) question is answered in our fortieth casual weekly column just for new fans!
by Ema Baba
What aquatic (agquatic? Acguyquatic?) oddity do we have this month? A super-simple intro column for new Gundam fans!
We're back with Part 40 of what makes Gundam Gundam.
You can see our previous coverage of what makes Gundam Gundam
, and this week we're back with another Gundam standard!
One of the best things about Gundam is its charming female characters—especially the women who shine just as bright on the battlefield as any man.
In part 40, we bring you "Women Pilots" (Part 1)!
Gundam's settings, whether on Earth or in space, tend to be battlefield, and the women of Gundam are just as likely as the men to be members of various armed forces (← or be recruited over the course of the show.)
Now which one of you ladies thinks she has the guts, and the skills, to be a pilot? That's it! That energy! That drive! That determination! etc... Half-ass it like that Amuro kid and you'll be copping the same kind of beating he got from Bright!
(* Amuro Ray: Protagonist of
Mobile Suit Gundam
/ Bright Noa: Captain of
, the ship Amuro is stationed aboard) Put your all into it, or you're never gonna make it back alive! Got it? Give me a "yes sir!" then! Sir, yes sir! ……... is how pilot training normally goes, right? (← MS pilots come from all sorts of different backgrounds, so maybe not so much...)
This month, we shine the spotlight on two woman pilots whose exhaustive (?) training left them ready to hang with the roughest and rowdiest of the boys (Actually, do Judau Ashta and Kamille Bidan count as "rough" or "rowdy"? Let's just pretend they do for now.)
（* Judau Ashta: Protagonist of Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ / Kamille Bidan: Protagonist of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam)
Gundam's women pilots are as strong-willed as they are popular!
Roux Louca (Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ)
A (cadet) lieutenant in the anti-Federation AEUG forces. Unlike the other Gundam team members, scrappers pressed into service, Roux is a regular soldier.
While she has a reputation for clumsiness, it doesn't extend to her exceptional piloting skills, as she effortlessly manipulates both the Zeta Gundam previously used by Kamille Bidan and Judau Ashta and even the ZZ Gundam.
In addition, she's blessed with a beautiful face, attracting everything from attention from enemy Neo Zeon officer Glemy Toto to pickup attempts from an artist in the city of Ghardaïa. Glemy, in particular, has an almost stalkerish devotion, declaring that he'd be glad to die by her hand when they meet on the battlefield. (And, of course, that means... Well, you'll have to watch
Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ
to find out!)
Following her ambition of being a mobile suit pilot in the armed forces, she's anything but ladylike (← Does anyone even remember what that means?), but after at first clashing with Judau Ashta... Maybe she's just tsundere?
While she may not be the most well-spoken individual (though at least she's not on the "I'm gonna beat the crap out of you!" level), there are moments when her inner kindness shines through. She's definitely not the same type as that one girl from
who sends out squads of swimsuit-clad commandos to kill the object of her affections.
Roux Louca, clad in her pilot suit with shooting star insignia, combines beauty and talent; in a way, she's an ideal woman pilot (← certainly one I'd want to be.)
Chara Soon (Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ)
A commissioned officer in the Zeon remnant forces fromn Axis that have taken the name "Neo Zeon". Her outrageous fashion sense, topped off with a red-and-gold two-tone hairstyle, can be spotted from a football field away. And... Well... Certain other physical attributes lead to the Gundam team's Elle Vianno christening her a "titty monster". Her conversion into a cyber-Newtype comes along with the new nickname "Cat's-Eye Chara", a penchant for showing even more skin, and a handy whip... I guess that's an upgrade to five or so football fields.
Her eccentricity extends beyond sartorial choices, as well... For example, when piloting, she drops into a trancelike state of excitement (?), becoming a Newtype in an entirely different way. This habit (← quirk?) dates from before the cyber-Newtype process, and appears to be her natural personality.
I suppose there are people whose personalities change completely with a flight stick in their hand just like there are people whose personalities change completely with a bottle in their hand, but these are exactly the kind of people who you shouldn't go drinking (or to war!) with.
If anything matches her voluptuousness, it's her ego; even fellow Neo Zeon officer Mashymre Cello calls her "puffed-up and overinflated" (... hey, Mashy, her face is up here...) Even Judau Ashta, at times, gets that lecherous grin that shows that he's likely to be easy game for a honey trap.
And she's talented as well as "talented"; she's instrumental in allowing the final battle between Judau Ashta and Haman Karn, ruler of Neo Zeon, to take place, and then manages to fight an entire Newtype squadron to a standstill. On the other hand, honestly, with how at-home she looks in her kerchief-and-apron getup after her capture by the AEUG's
, perhaps the domestic life could be her thing. In a more peaceful world, maybe she'd have made a wonderful (← if no less powerful or dominant) housewife?
And with that, we've completed out first look at women pilots!
Oh, isn't Gundam just so fascinating?
Well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well, that's it for this week. Next week we'll be taking another laid-back look at what makes Gundam Gundam!
Scriptwriter. Troublemaking scenarist.
Learning more every day to teach you about the fun of Gundam!