Gundam is better than Transformers
Debate Rounds (3)
Gundam, beyond its entertainment value, surpasses Transformers in multiple aspects including, but not limited to:
1. Moral: the morals and themes portrayed in Gundam instill a sense of grand responsibility for the individual (the viewer). The viewer is shown how his actions or inactions can affect the outcome of the human race as a whole, supplying the viewer with a sense of worldly dignity. Furthermore, independence, duty and the pursuit of peace are constantly involved, evoking a higher level of thinking from the viewer.
2. Plot: the story of Gundam centers around two factions vying for peace and international security in different ways. Each faction fights and dies in the name of peace. The Gundams are an ultimate and independent source of good in the universe, independent and able to survive through superior skill and technology. This superior skill and tech is a direct result of the human spirit pushing forward.
Transformers on the other hand takes the over-simplified approach of an all-powerful oppressive dictator, which is a dated concept in most parts of the world. Evil is never so clear cut as black and white, especially in the more personal aspects of life. Furthermore, all characters are either born stronger or weaker, based solely on (electric?) genetic coding.
3. Mechs: Gundams are special built mobile suits, common in the Gundam universe. While the few Gundams are more powerful than a normal unit, the skill of the pilots is what puts them over the top and makes them heros. Other characters in the universe have the opportunity to compete with them based on will and skill, not genetics. Furthermore the Gundams are tools, controlled by human pilots, so that the human element stays with the people, the plot and the story.
Transformers turns characters into walking weapons. Besides the occasional exchange of "good vs bad" dialogue seen in the two main characters, there is no substance; only battle after battle with the occasional cliche line. The Transformers have the ability to transform freely and interact with humans, whom are treated as squishy intelligent apes.
For the purposes of this debate I would like to restrict the definition of Gundam and Transformers to relate to the only the animation, manga, comics, and exclude the live actor imaginings like the Transformers movies, and G-Savior. One could have an entire debate on either of those, and I feel my opponent wants to focus on the Animated material. I also don't want to subject myself to them again anytime soon.
A word of warning. I will have lots of spoilers for both Gundam and Transformers. If you're not familiar, or are in the middle of the series take this as your warning.
My opponents charge against Transformers as, I'll say, "genetics" as destiny has to make me doubt his knowledge of Gundam, and of Transformers. As a long term fan of both it pains me to see much of what has been presented.
In Gundam 0079, the original, what sets Amuro, the protagonists, Char, the antagonist, and Lalah, the love interest of both, apart from the rest of humanity is that they are Newtypes. Newtypes, or ESPers, are described in 0079 as a new form of evolved humans resulting from adapting to space. In Gundam SEED this is changed from a natural process to an artificial Eugenics process, and the series is mostly about the conflict between natural humans, and genetically enhanced humans. In SEED even the main protagonist is a genetically engineered child, but was one of the last born naturally before they did away with women, and used artificial wombs. In most Gundam series there is at least one faction which is modeled after Nazi Germany, and taken to horrific extremes so the audience knows who the bad guys are. It is, by far, the most clear cut definition of evil in modern times to have your villains modeled after Nazi's.
Even in Gundam 00 there is an Earth faction made to look like their frequently used stereotype, the Principality of Zeon in 0079, and called The Human Reform League in 00. However, the real villains are a secret group of genetically engineered Super Nazi's called Innovators. One of these Innovators is even on the good side to emphasis that without these Nietzschean Supermen they couldn't win. I don't really see a big difference between a Giant Robot looking down patronising humans, and genetically engineered supermen doing much of the same. At least the robot is justified in its concern it might step on me.
Both Gundam, and Transformers address morality, but do so in very different ways. Gundam clearly uses the moral philosophy of Nietzsche in that it uses "Supermen", or higher man, to define right and wrong. On the other hand Transformers uses a more familiar moral philosophy of Moral Universalism, or Objective Morality.
For example, in the episode "Fire in the Sky" Skyfire, a cybertronian from before the war, is asked to execute come captured Autobots he has been lead to believe are evil. He objects saying "It is wrong." showing that even murdering people you believe to be evil would still be wrong.
In issue #24 of The Transformers, published by Marvel, Optimus Prime declares himself the loser in a game against Megatron, and is then destroyed. He does this because he violated his own moral code in killing some NPC's to win. He concluded that had the simulation been real he would have decommissioned himself. It seems a bit extreme, but it gets the point across that Optimus has a clear moral code. He is good to the point of being repeatedly used as a Christ Figure.
Clearly Transformers instills moral responsibility for ones actions, and that the ends do not justify the means. Unlike Gundam that glorifies mass murder to further the development of humanity in Gundam 00. The conscription of children into a war of terrorism against innocent civilians like in Gundam Wing to help free the colonies.
My opponent brought up that Gundams are merely tools for humans, and I will also state that is all they can be. Transformers, on the other hand, bring up the possibility of an encounter with an encounter with an alien race that is technologically, and physically better than us in every way. It asks the question will we do our best to work hard to oneday be equals like Spike, or will xenophobia set in like with Circuit Breaker. Or can we be like Orion Pax who rose from being a librarian to become Optimus Prime. Transformers isn't about being predestinated to a set task, but in stepping up and doing what is right in spite of what you were intended to be.
Even though Optimus Prime is shown as clearly good, defining Autobots as always good, and Decepticons as always evil is hardly a fair comparison. It does take asking a few questions that most children won't do, but as adults they're fairly obvious. That is, why are they fighting? The simple answer is always given that they need energon, but that doesn't explain why two different sides exist, or why they can't work together to obtain it. The answers are actually given as subtle hints throughout all of the different incarnations.
In Beasts Wars Megatron proclaims "A day of reckoning with those who made us slaves!". In Transformers Prime the only cybertronians with energon miners happen to be Decepticons. The Constructicons have many back stories, but in one of them where their origins are on cybertron they are shown as good dedicated workers that even wear the Decepticon insignia, and are later "turned" evil by Megatron. However, whenever Autobots reference anything pre civil war they usually reverence Sports, and other luxury activities. In Beast Wars Optimus, and his crew are just a science vessel. Even the menial job of Librarian that Orion Pax had is really a job coveted by the learned, and noble classes in human history. Clearly the Cybertronian Civil War is a peasant class rebellion with many analogs to the French Revolution. When Optimus refers to his past friendship with Megatron, in Transformers Prime, when they go to the council to address the their issues Optimus is clearly siding with the plight of the downtrodden cybertronians. Megaton, not satisfied with just fixing things, brings down the Reign of Terror like Robespierre in the French Revolution. Unlike the French Revolution this is with near immortal being that raises the human philosophical questions of what happens if you use an Eye for an Eye, and a Tooth for a Tooth to extract justice. As Ghandi said we'd be all toothless and blind, and with cybertronians it is endless war. Most of these deep questions within Transformers have always been there waiting for when the children watching are old enough to grasp them, and ask the basic questions about war. It shows how one side can start off good, and become evil, and how one side that was evil can become good. Much like the French Revolution. It is similar to how Gundam frequently makes analogs to Nazi Germany to tell its story about war.
I will not claim that Transformers is better than Gundam, but I will claim that where it objectively matters Transformers, and Gundam are more equivalent, and where it doesn't it is too subjective to claim one to be better than the other.
 Beast Wars "The Agenda, Part 3"
 The Transformers Season 2 "The Secret of Omega Supreme"
xm109sr forfeited this round.
xm109sr forfeited this round.
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