So, since in an Italian sci-fi Facebook group when I wrote that I had watched Evangelion and liked it a bunch of very vocal people told me Mobile Suit Gundam was tons better about traumas and child soldiers and such so I started watching it.
Methinks they didn’t quite get what Evangelion was about because while of course they have some anime robot tropes in common Gundam is much more of a classic young adult military science fiction, a damn good one especially for the time but still quite a different type of work.
Like, Amuro is literally a super nerd with super nerd powers that understands how the super prototype bigass robot works after glancing at the manual. I suspect that if they made it today and gender-inverted it all of the internet would have cried “Mary Sue” so loudly it would have probably interfered with the sonar senses of dolphins in the ocean and for sure his first outing in the Gundam is a far cry from that of Shinji in the EVA.
Still, it is by and large very good, it’s a war story about a few inexperienced officers and a bunch of civilians stuck behind enemy lines that have a chance only because they happen to have a bunch of powerful prototype equipment including the Gundam of the title and yes, that inexperience will bite them in the ass as the series progresses.
Also it helps a lot that it is from a time before every anime felt obligated to have buckets of hornyness and wackyness and even for the time is more down to earth than something like Space Pirate Captain Harlock that still had most of the Arcadia crew being basically caricatures for comic relief.