In accordance with Geek Week, celebrating all things gloriously geeky, our art section is going to focus its features around anime, the moving image adaptations of the manga graphic novels that have gathered cult followings worldwide. In this article I'll be talking about my discovery, and first and growing impressions of the original series of possibly the most popular Japanese sci-fi franchise to date, Mobile Suit Gundam. Some would wonder why I would have only just recently taken an interest in this 1979 series, with it's dated animation, when there have been so many advanced and far more visually stunning adaptations since then. My reason is simply because of the way my first impressions of it compared with a review that I had read before I started on it. Apparently, it was Japan's answer to Star Wars and the masked villain (if you want to call him a villain), Commander Char, was Japan's answer to Darth Vader. Just keep the name, Darth Vader in mind when you look at this image of the character, Char: Image and video hosting by TinyPic Yeah, not exactly the representative of the wrath of a tyrannous empire, is he? The rest of his outfit happens to be a bright red uniform, and within the first few episodes we see him remove his helmet (which alone looks ridiculous) to reveal the face of someone who looks like a twelve-year-old innocent. He's still a scheming fellow, who eventually betrays his own friend, but we still hear the occasional short monologues about his regret of the chaotic war that's constantly taking lives. So, we can hardly call him a classic dastardly villain. Image and video hosting by TinyPic This is an example of how amused I was and keen to continue watching Gundam, keeping in mind the words of the review, 'Japan's answer to Star Wars'. More like, Star Wars meets Flash Gordon, with the camp outfits and the fanfare soundtrack. While these comments of mine seem to ridicule the series, I actually think these are reasons to see it as a brilliant adventure story. The plot in itself is a classic; during a time of galactic civil war between the Earth Federation (goodies) and the Principality of Zeon (baddies), a small crew of low ranking soldiers and civilians are forced to defend themselves and help in the war effort. Within this crew is the main character, Amuro, a boy who happens to be a technological genius and stumbles upon the Earth Federation's new cutting edge weapon the Gundam. This is a version of a mobile suit, a giant humanoid weapon that always pretty much determines the outcome of a battle. Using Gundam and the help of his friends, Amuro is always able to save the day whenever he is under fire from the Zeon forces. Once again, this sounds and is dated, and has been done to death in several new inventive ways over the decades. There is however something very addictive about the animation of it, varying colours of characters' skin, which go from a natural flesh to a hilarious yellow or green, the dramatic voice acting, and the even more hilarious theme tune. I haven't even watched this under the influence of drugs. I wonder how it would seem then?