Gundam Thunderbolt: Hope, Despair, Sakuga

In what can only be described as the most self-indulgent thing I’ve ever done, I have created this audio essay on Gundam Thunderbolt, the 2015-16 ONA from Sunrise.  There are roughly three sections: (1) the thing Thunderbolt does best (2) the unforgivable things it does (3) I tie my criticisms of the deification of narrow, empirical, Sakuga-based analysis of anime to how that method cannot speak to what is wrong with this ONA.

Special thanks to Tamerlane and Josh Dunham for inspiration.

Direct Download | iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher | YouTube


Michael Kelly/Garoad – Every Day is Night

Oneohtrix Point Never – Power of Persuasion

Michael Kelly/Garoad – Hopes and Dreams

Michael Kelly/Garoad – Welcome to VA11 HALL-A

Magic Sword – In the Face of Evil

Yuzo Koshiro – Into the Storm

Falcom Sound Team – After School Hours

Michael Kelly/Garoad – CALICOMP 1.1 Shutdown


Add yours →

  1. Is is not easier for audiences to access a typed esssay?


  2. I agree completely. The first thing that got me thinking about this subject was the AniDB review system. I was an overzealous sakuga noob and had to school myself into not placing too much weight on the animation rating. Then Tamerlane’s recent post on OTO blog arguing for more insightful reviews and the “Visuals Trump Narrative” post both unearthed those thoughts. I’m thinking about unloading them in the conversation comments.


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