Have you ever wondered why Gundams are painted in what I call “Shoot Me Dead Red, White and Blue” paint jobs, and not camouflaged or painted “Zeon Green” like their Zeon counterparts?
I got to ask this question directly to a friend of mine (Scott Frazier) who used to work in the anime industry years ago*, and he told me “it’s because good guys in the old Western movies used to wear white hats and the bad guys wore black hats”.
When the creators of MSG were deciding on what color(s) to paint the mobile suits, someone (I think it may have been Yoshiyuki Tamino himself?) wanted some way of instantly identifying the “bad” guys from the “good” guys, and remembered that in the old Western movies and TV shows that the hero good guy wore a white hat to identify himself to the audience as the good guy, while the villain bad guy always wore a black hat to identify himself as the bad guy.
So, there you have it. The REAL reason Gundams wear bright colors (esp. white): They are the GOOD GUYS and don’t need to hide it from the evil BAD GUYS! And the creators of the series needed a simple way to tell everyone in the audience that the Gundam was the good guy that they needed to root for!
“Good Guys Wear White Hats” (GGWWH) - Part 2
Even in today’s world of hi-tech weapons and electronic warfare, identifying friends from foes is just as confusing and complicated as it has always been. During the Christian Crusades, Christian knights wore a cross on their backs to
distinguish themselves from the Islamic soldiers. During WW2 Japanese Zeros and Allied Mustangs looked almost identical to each other head on, so the Japanese took to painting the leading edges of the Zero wings yellow so J
Japanese pilots could tell the difference & not shoot at each other in head-on passes. And of course, today’s modern aircraft all carry IFF (identification friend or foe) transponders to tell everyone who they are. So the good guys STILL wear white hats (sort of).
GGWWH - Part 3
At the beginning of Zeta Gundam, the Zeta MS is painted in a lovely Midnight Blue or blue/black paint scheme that I loved (Yeah!), only to end up later in the standard Gundam “Shoot Me Dead R/W/B” paint scheme (Boo!).
I loved the story on Gundam 08th MS, but Shiro taking that WHITE Gundam into a GREEN jungle drove me NUTS! He was not asking to be shot (by green Zeons), he was BEGGING! "Here I am! See, See! I’m the guy in the WHITE Mobile Suit! Shoot me! Shoot Me, Now! I’mbeggingyouohpleaseshootmenow!!!
The next time you watch Gundam 0083 Stardust Memory, pay attention to the color schemes of the Zeon suits in episode four. Some are green, some are brown, and one of them is brown and green. They’ve taken two different battle-damaged MS’s…one green, one brown…and mated the two together to make one suit. Very realistic. AND I LOVE IT!!