Some Thoughts on Mobile Suit Gundam 00

First off, let me make clear this fact: I’m certainly no expert on Gundam. I certainly like the series as a whole, but I still haven’t seen EVERY. SINGLE. GUNDAM. SERIES. EVER. My favorite ones are, interestingly enough, the most unusual ones: G Gundam and Turn A Gundam. They’re the ones which took the concept of Gundam and did something radically different from the traditional formula established by Tomino in the original series–in Turn A’s case, it was Tomino himself breaking the mold.

So it should probably come as no surprise that I like Gundam 00. The first interesting thing I noticed about it was that the director, Mizushima Seiji, renowned for directing Fullmetal Alchemist, had never seen a Gundam series in his life. Ever. And this is the exact reason Sunrise approached him with the offer to direct their latest Gundam series, apparently–they wanted to get someone who could look at Gundam from an outsider’s perspective and bring the franchise to a whole new audience.

The second interesting thing I noticed about it was that Mizushima decided to set 00 in our universe, in our timeline. The reason for doing this, of course, is so he can more directly comment on our world as it stands today. He already did this in Fullmetal Alchemist–and did a damn fine job of it, too–but now that he gets to set a Gundam series in our timeline, with our nations, we’re clearly in for a huge dose of that.

And so I eagerly anticipated the premire of Gundam 00 with baited breath,even though its airing meant that Terra e… had to finish, a fact that greatly saddened me. And then the slated day arrived, and it was glorious. Of course, the episode wasn’t a twenty-four minute monologue of Setsuna F. Seiei reading a treatise on the problems of international politics in 2007, but that’s not what I was expecting. I tend to give series that aspire to be epic a few episodes to get their feet steady on the ground so they can soar to the lofty heights necessary for a truly epic scale story, and Gundam 00 was no exception, but, again, that doesn’t mean the series was bad because it didn’t start off with a bang.

However, I think that, with episodes 6 and 7, the “prologue” of Gundam 00 is over, and the real action begins now. The last two episodes center around the arrival of a clear antagonist for Setsuna, in the form of Ali Al-Sarches, the callous mercenary bastard who trained Setsuna to be a merciless killer, starting with his parents.

And that wasn’t the only interesting part about the episode. When Louise Halevy (my favorite 00 girl thus far, god bless Saito Chiwa) announces that she is going to take Saji Crossroad CLOTHES SHOPPING (much like Sumeragi’s tagalong pair of bridge bunnies did the previous episode) and summarily gets knocked down by the explosion of a terrorist’s bomb in a nearby bus, I am starting to sense the awesome coming from 00. When you throw in terrorists committing terrorist acts against what is effectively a paramilitary terrorist organization (Celestial Being) announces that it is trying to end all wars, you just know things are going to spiral out of control, and fast.

It may never be the best Gundam, but it’s certainly one of the most interesting, and a very good choice for Sunrise’s 30th anniversary celebration of the Gundam franchise. Which is another reason to expect greatness from 00: not only does it follow up the travesty that was Gundam SEED Destiny, but it’s a 30th anniversary show. Clearly they’re wanting to pull out all the stops.

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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a ridiculously long and only partially organized list of subjects


November 2007

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