Whether you have actually seen it or not, anyone familiar with Japanese anime has no doubt encountered the term Gundam at one point or another. Japan's popular mecha series has been around for 34 years, so it's definitely got its place in Japanese culture.
The series is especially popular among males, which led one woman to ask the question on Yahoo! JAPAN: Are all men Gundams?
"I have a question for the men out there: Are all men Gundams?
The other day, my husband was watching [a Gundam show] in the living room.
I said 'You're over 30, aren't you a little old for anime?' to which he said something along the lines of, '"Gundam is anime, but it's not anime.'
My husband said that, 'All men are Gundams. I'm a Gundam too.'
Apparently our son (who is one year old) will eventually be a Gundam too…
I asked my friends, 'are you a Gundam?' to which they all replied, 'Yes, I am a Gundam.'
Is it true that All men are Gundams? Please tell me.
The asker later added:
Thank you for all your answers.
I was surprised that my husband, who never seemed to have an interest in anime, was watching Gundam.
Recently, he has started incorporating Gundam when playing with our son and every now and then our son enters something called 'Destroy Mode(?)'
The question, by the time of writing, has gathered over two hundred responses, some affirmative, some negative. Here are just a select few:
"Just a portion of them. I have no interest at all." -ca_taka_akahashi_akira2
"Your husband is just imitating the protagonist of a boring series called Gundam 00. From his selection, it's obvious how shallow he is. I suggest divorcing him. Or showing him a series other than 00." -ps3saikou_xbox360sine
"I am Sailor Uranus." -o0z_mirei_z0o
"Yes, we are all Gundams!!" -wisschoco2
"Not all of us, just some of us. I'm a 20 year old who likes Gundam. He may be in his 30's, but I'd say so long as he doesn't cause problems for you, your husband should be free to watch Gundam. However, if your point is that you don't want your son to 'be a Gundam,' then you should probably talk it over. Your son is still young and when they grow up, most men grow out of Gundam. A small percentage of Meisters see Gundam as their life's work and, like your husband and friends, will say 'we are Gundams.' Most Gundam Meisters will enjoy their fandom of Gundam without impeding on others. Perhaps you should try watching Gundam with your husband and son in order to broaden your horizons a bit?" -sarasara0083
"Is Gundam tasty?" -allcountdown
"I am a woman in my 30's and I am a Gundam. My husband is a Gundam. Naturally (?) my son is a Gundam too. A lot of men over 30 like Gundam a lot. However, my brother likes cars, and my brother-in-law likes fishing and pachinko. Some people have no hobbies at all. If a parent watches a lot of TV and makes models [of Gundam], then I believe their child will become a Gundam too. Children tend to develop and interest in what their parents are interested in. My son likes Trans-Am mode…" -rie_rie_march
"Ah… Yeah, there are such men. It's like girls with Disney and Hello Kitty." -manami0723mana
"He must really like it. I've never really watched it and nobody around me is really fanatic about it. I suppose it's a 'birds of a feather' thing. Perhaps you should just chalk it up to being a hobby and leave him be? There are many different people out there; some grown men chase after idols or are anime otaku. I believe a lot of men like Gundam, but it's like comedy celebrities: Some people watch them, and some don't. Some people like Gundam, and some don't." -to_u_ri_su_ga_ri_no
"'All men are Gundams'???????? A Gundam is a robot that people pilot, people don't become Gundams… People who like planes don't say, 'I'm a Boeing 727' do they? What a weird question." -drsatoru
"Gundam otaku are only a small portion of the population. Gundam otaku are really creepy. I've seen Gundam before, but I didn't think it was very good. I think a lot of Gundam fans have a case of arrested development. I mean, 'I am a Gundam'... It sounds like he's nuts or something. It's so embarrassing it's almost painful." -zuffa_zuffa
"My family are all Gundams." -orangevarus
Finally, here's the answer that the thread voted as the best one:
"I am a Gundam" is a line from one of the Gundam series that the main character says. The line itself is somewhat abstract and anyone who has seen that series will understand it. One the internet, "I am a Gundam" became a bit of meme, so I believe when you asked your friends "Are you a Gundam?" they took it as part of that meme and responded by saying "I am a Gundam." It's something of a custom for anyone who knows the source material.
Now, I believe your question revolves around your opposition to your husband watching anime. I myself am a 20 year old who like Gundam, but I believe that people in their 30's are the ones most directly impacted by Gundam. Due to your referencing "Destroy Mode," I think your husband was watching a series called Gundam Unicorn.
It is a story that leads from the original Gundam series and perhaps your husband felt nostalgia at seeing the continuation of a series that impacted him as a child. A lot of wives and mothers may see the viewing of anime as immature, but some well-made works can match the quality of live action movies or drama series. More importantly, seeing as it is just a hobby of your husband who probably works for a living, perhaps you could be a little more tolerant.
Such "stress relief" helps for better productivity at daily work and if it leads to a more positive relationship with your son, then I think it's a healthy hobby for him.
Maybe you should take a step back and try to understand why your husband enjoys this anime… Maybe you could sit down with your husband and son and watch it with them?
It could lead your husband to try to understand one of your hobbies that you enjoy.
Sound advice. And in case you're wondering, yes, I'm a Gundam too.
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