Archive for October 21st, 2008

Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Setsuna F. Seiei, Ph. D (peace studies, piloting giant robots)

Setsuna, apparently, has the uncanny ability to channel Socrates or Plato or Aristotle or Zeno or Archimedes or Epicurius or something from really old Greek times, because, man, is he waxing philosophical here. Or at least reciting truisms. Or something. Also I like Greek names and words, because certain words have a disturbing tendency to look like romanized Japanese, wreaking havoc with my mind when I’m in some crazy religion class (of which I have taken far too many).

The statement that goes with the above picture, “Are you okay with being the only one at peace?” highlights, or at least made me think far too hard, one of the great problems that seems to be part of human conflict and the lack thereof: how absolutely and interminably difficult it is to acheive peace without sacrificing other people’s peace (temporarily or permanently) in the process. Indeed, it may be impossible to actually acheive an ideal peace where everyone is at ease and peaceful, since someone’s idea of peace can differ wildly from other people’s. It’s a horrendously complicated issue evidenced through the fact that it’s almost impossible for me to even start addressing the issue, but the message carried from Setsuna to Saji is quite clear: if peace is to be acheived, then sacrifice must be made. Saji’s perspective seems selfish and naive by comparison, in the sense that his own personal peace was disrupted (and continues to be disrupted) for the sake of Celestial Being’s greater mission, even if it was a certain charmingly crazy member of Team Trinity who started the whole problem, and not Setsuna. By the same token, however, one could argue that Setsuna’s postion–that in order to acheive peace, peace must be sacrificed–seems, well, foolish and naive at best, for how can it be “peace” when there’s people who are resentful of the manner by which peace was acheived? Still, however, if there is a way to peace, it is only by the sacrifice of personal peace, on some level, be it restricted to a small group of people dedicated to preseving said peace, or be it a global removal of personal peace in favor of interpersonal peace.


Clearly the preceding paragraph, in its entirety, is what was running through Saji’s head for the two seconds of shocked reaction pictured here. You can tell from his expression that the full philosophical weight has fallen upon him, a veritable piano of enlightenment, with the discordant sound of truth as accompaniment.

On a less, uh, philosophical note, the actual plot of Gundam 00 (part the Second) seems to be slotting into place nicely. Feldt-tan still has her lovable habit of saying, alternately, “Lockon Stratos…” or “Lyle Dylandy….” or “Haro….” and not much else in a poignant scene of silence that makes me love her even more. That and her happy face when Sumeragi consented to drawing up tactical plans. I also quite liked the deepening of the relationship between Soma and Alleujah. We’d known the two were connected, emotionally, true; but now we’re getting added dimensions to Soma’s character as she becomes the one who gets to flip out when confronted with Allelujah, instead of the other way around. We’re still in the setup phase of the second half of the series, a lamentable problem of the split-season concept, but given the time skip, it’s to be expected, and it’s working well. They’re also setting up to spend much more time this season going in-depth into the myriad characters, a prospect which I (and, I somewhat suspect, only I) relish indeed.

Or maybe I’m just an intractable fanboy trying to justify my bounciness through the careful, applied use of calm words and rational discourse. All I know is, I’m probably going to be even more upset when the second season is over than when the first one was, but at least we’ll have a conclusion. Unless there’s a green light lit for a third season…

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NOTICE SHAMELESSLY STOLEN FROM G.K. CHESTERTON

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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