Mobile Suit Gundam 00: UNITY

BORING ANECDOTE TIME!

After work yesterday, needing a break from some of the sonic insanity that had transpired all day at work, I stuck the Gundam 00 soundtrack in my car as I drove home. I had noticed before that Kawai Kenji’s score for the series sounded awfully similar, with many of the tracks (at least on OST 1) providing various interpretations of certain musical leitmotifs that cross and intercross between the various tracks. Before, I’d kind of ignored it, not thinking ill nor good of it, but I stuck it in and then I thought “wait, this is Kawai Kenji and Gundam, there’s got to be something here” and, while stuck in traffic, decided that leitmotifs, far from being musically bland, served the purpose of “unifying” the various factions of the first season, and of humanity in general–the leitmotifs are performed by different instruments on each track they are present, and, thus, humanity is various interpretations on a single theme. And then, earlier today, I watched episodes 10 and 11, which more or less justified that rush hour train of throught.

Let’s clarify that a bit.

One thing that seems to happen in 00 a lot is that, as it’s wound on, everyone on all sides has suddenly started to seem a great deal closer than they did at first. Sumeragi went to school with Billy Katagiri and Kati Mannequin; Setsuna was a member of the terrorist cell that killed Lockon’s family; Soma/Marie and Allelujah were, essentially, two sides of the same coin. It adds dramatic weight, but the connectedness of everything seems to take on especial meaning after 10 and especially 11.

Equipped with the 00 Raiser, the 00’s Trans-Am system has some decidedly Newtype-ish effects: suddenly, people are capable of sensing other people that they know and do not know. Soma/Marie senses her beloved Colonel, and (perhaps most importantly) Saji senses Louise in her A-Laws unit. It’s an ethereal awareness humanity doesn’t normally experience, and seems to be on the same wavelength that the Innovators use for their silent communications.

I can’t quite remember what Aeolia Schenberg said when the unlocking of Trans-Am occured (and I do not have an easy way to find out, sadly), and even though his plan is still shrouded in mystery and unknown factors (and, as I thought, much more complicated than it seemed at the beginning), if the 00, Trans-Am, and the 00 Riser are all integral parts of his plan, it’s starting to seem strangely like the way out of the labyrinth he left behind is not Libbon’s tactics of domination through being the Illuminati of the world, but, rather, the unification of the world through the realization that humanity is, essentially, one: hence the corruption of the 00 into : two interlocked 0s, different yet part of the whole.

Dripping with obvious and pendulous symbolism? You bet.  And yet, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed when the giant infinity mark appeared at the end of the episode, while basking in the post-Prototype haze (that is the most amazing Ishikawa Chiaki song I have heard to date; I’m amazed at how she tops herself consistently). Gundam’s never really been known for subtlety, though. Mizushima has more Gundam in him than his Gundam background of Zeta and nothing else would suggest.

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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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