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…

7 Responses to “Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Setsuna F. Seiei, Ph. D (peace studies, piloting giant robots)”


  1. 1 lelangir 22 October 2008 at 12:10 am

    On the one hand, I think Geass R2 kind of killed the “locus of hate” thing which Celestial Being tried last season (my memory is fuzzy, could be wrong?).

    Similarly, I’m watching G00 for the fanboy thrill, not necessarily for the “reading” of it.

    You could debate on the philosophy behind G00 and war/peace in general, but like my tendency to overread into everything, is this following suit? I wonder just how exactly “deep” G00 tries to be…

  2. 2 jonah 22 October 2008 at 2:44 am

    “If peace is to be acheived, then sacrifice must be made.” That’s a good quote. But then, there will be hardly any peace in this world either in 2D or 3D world (LOL). It’s true.

    In reality, the peace we are having now is fake-peace (or so I called). It can only be preserved if the human practices ‘tolerate’ and ‘respect’. This is to neutralize all the different ideologies, cultural practices, religions, politics… etc at the expense of some well-being and benifits (or rights). The bond of the so-called peace is weak and it can be broken with a little provoke or stimulation. We usually just avoid those sensitive things that can trigger the happenning.

    So, here’s [some] interesting solutions.

    1. To unify the humanity, you have to be God-like. You must have the power (technology in Gundam 00; geass in Code Geass) to become the symbol of hate to force them to unite and fight back.

    2. DNA-engineering as in Gundam Seed Destiny. Everyone has their own role and determined lives.

    3. Acheive same-consciousness as in Evangelion & Charles in Geass. ‘We understand everyone’.

    4. Remain status quo like in Schneizel in Code Geass since most of the places are in ‘peace’.

    There are plenty solutions out there and I kinda lazy now to put up all. LOL

  3. 3 OGT 22 October 2008 at 7:09 am

    @lelangir: We’re not entirely sure what on Earth is going on with Celestial Being. They seemed to be trying the “locus of hate” thing that Lelouch tried to pull at the end of R2, but if that’s what they were doing, they were completely unaware of it , because it was Aeolia Schenberg’s plan, which no one really knows, least of all Celestial Being. By contrast, it was a conscious decision by Lelouch to pull off Zero Requiem in an attempt to find peace (and, amusingly, still failed). But I think I’m the only person left who didn’t really have burning hatred for R2, flaws and all, or something…
    .
    On how “deep” it tries to be, I think such questions tend to arise in Mizushima Seiji shows, simply because they’re Mizushima Seiji shows. Fullmetal Alchemist had a lot of this, too, where there’d be what was happening on one hand, and then there’d be the implications from the events of the series and how characters were built.
    .
    At any rate, you get out of a series what you invest in it, and if you’re just investing pure hedonistic fanboy glee into it, you’re not going to draw “deep” conclusions. Personally, I hate the word “deep” because people use and abuse the crap out of that term and I find it essentially meaningless. It’s all in how you look at something, I think.
    ..
    @jonah: Amusingly, none of the four solutions presented will actually result in actual peace, because it’s always some kind of imposition upon other people, or, in #3, a complete removal of what makes the world the world: individuality. Peace has to develop naturally, I’d think, rather than have some external authority impose it upon the world.

  4. 4 jonah 22 October 2008 at 10:16 pm

    @OGT: As you said, the peace that achieved using either 4 solutions is probably short-lived. This is because the story didn’t ended there. I’m hoping that, there will be Code Geass ~After Story~ (where it shows the lulu-post-rebellion and rather “lived happily ever after” brief epilogue at the end of episode.) LOL

    However, it’s not the same for Gundam 00 where we saw the mission is accomplished in the first season (world peace). Second season will probably see that ‘peace’ isn’t an easy thing.

    You pointed out that “Peace has to develop naturally.” But, it’s the human nature that struggle to survive in this world – “Survival of the fittest” instinct for all living things. LOL

    In Christianity, God will punished the evil and reward the good. The Abosulute will bring eternal peace (even though it is forcefully done in my second thought. LOL)

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  1. 1 Someone’s showing a bit of character: Setsuna F. Seiei (Gundam 00) « We Remember Love Trackback on 15 January 2009 at 7:00 pm

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