My initial take on Ring of Gundam received a bit of a nice response, moreso on Twitter and elsewhere instead of comments on here! But recently, Anime News Network posted a press conference with Yoshiyuki Tomino at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan and it may have clarified what the true purpose of the short was. The same friend of mine who sparked my initial interpretation brought this up after the article went online and I figured I would share this as well.
From the Press Conference:
TOMINO: “Considering that we need a new way of thinking, more and more people are understanding that we need to change our ways. And as we saw even in Japan, we have people saying that we have to develop a new type of civilization if we want to continue to survive. 30 years ago, we announced Amuro was a new type of being. However, he was not ahead of his time because we see now that it was not simply a mutation that suddenly appeared. There was a need in society for a new type of human being. And in fact, right now, in today’s current society, we again see the need for a new type of thinking, a new type of human being. And because there was such a tremendous need, many people sense that it is possible a new type of person can be born. In other words, fiction has come closer and closer to fact.
Amuro had a unique skill, but his skill was basically limited to being able to operate a Gundam. However, the kinds of “newtypes” of people we need in the world today are going to surpass even Amuro’s abilities, because when we consider our dwindling energy resources, how are people going to be able to survive for the next 10,000 years?”
The real message of Ring of Gundam is in this paragraph. It wasn’t entirely telling us to move on from Amuro in terms of fandom; he’s saying we’ll move “beyond Amuro” because in the future something even greater is needed to deal with the obstacles that lie ahead for us. While I am inclined to think that it’s two messages in one, with the way Tomino has been as of late, I think this is truly the more dominant concept. Then again, who am I to tell you how to think?