Posts Tagged 'gundam 00'



Hypothesis: Louise Halevy is Actually the Head of Celestial Being

She even has her own Gundam: Pillow Gundam. Today, Saji Crossroad; tomorrow, the world!

So, into the second season of Gundam 00, we’ve got Ominous Things afoot. This episode was mostly setup for what’s going to happen next episode, unfortunately, however, next episode will be the appearance of the Trinity siblings in their three Throne Gundams and then…cut to credits. So, one more week until Nena Trinity shows up and we get the unstoppable might of both Saito Chiwa and Kugimiya Rie in a Gundam series. If you add in Marina Ismail, you might as well call this series Mobile Suit Gundam Moe. But, I digress.

SDS finally managed to watch Gundam 00 a couple weeks ago, and posted his thoughts on it. I think he does a great job of summing up what I’ve been saying: it’s a fresh take on the Gundam franchise, which, SDS adds, is in much the same way as the original Mobile Suit Gundam was a fresh take on 70s mecha series. His analogy of 00 as a giant jigsaw puzzle is apt. 00 is based on one huge conspiracy theory, and there’s almost a second, competing conspiracy, if we take Ali Al-Sarchez as the antagonist of the series.There’s something utterly sinister about Aeolia Schenberg and his plans that I suspect nothing short of world domination. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that he preserved himself as a bionic cyborg for the express purpose of taking over the world.

The addition of the Trinity trio informs us that there’s more than one agency in Celestial Being, and that the two don’t know of each other, but why show themselves now? Maybe they exist to bail out the original four from difficult predicaments? Or maybe they’re actually evil; Nena was holding evil Haro in the promotion artwork. But surely someone as cute as Nena can’t be evil, right?

Then again, her brother’s name is Johann…

LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! THE GUNDAM WITHIN ME IS ALREADY THIS BIG!

Maybe now we need to have a Gundam series authored by Naoki Urasawa, if 00 doesn’t satisfy my lust for massive conspiracies.

In today’s episode, Marina learns a valuable lesson about being a head of state in a volatile country

Poor Head-of-State-chan. :(

Marina is quite a good character, when I think about it–she’s soft-spoken, and you wonder how on Earth she got to be Princess of Azadistan. She’s one of those people that sticks up for what is right, but, because she’s the head of state, just can’t catch any slack. She totally wouldn’t make it as an actual head of state in the real world, but in Gundam-land she’s an effective character. No matter how hard she tries to bring opposing people together, she just can’t do it–human emotions flare far too easily, and, since she’s so timid, she beats herself up for failing to succeed. It’s the fate of all people who have the ability to see both sides of a conflict, and the futility of the situation that, even if someone who’s clearly reasonable and willing to compromise is in power, peace is a far-fetched option. Of course, that’s why Celestial Being is fighting–to create a one-sided peace that exists solely because if it doesn’t, the Gundams rain destruction down upon you until you stop. As many of the characters have pointed out, it’s a non-solution that’s just as bad as any police state.

Setsuna is still pretty personality-less, although every time he bumps into Marina he seems to get +2 personality. Perhaps he’ll level up before then. Mizushima has already said that the seemingly personality-less Gundam Meisters are going to get fleshed out before the end of the first season. We’ve already started to see a bit of that, but the season’s only halfway through its run.

Next episode looks pretty fun, too. Someone has a different Gundam! Or a fake one. Or something. And then they die. Or something.

Extra Special Bonus Contentless Post With Haiku: Felt Grace Edition

Since I never got a chance to post an actual post yesterday because somehow I found myself roped into cleaning house, here is a free totally worthless post with a picture of Felt Grace. Yes, I took mercy upon those of you who search “felt grace” on google and vainly click my blog in hopes of cute Felt Grace and get…a kind of silly screencap. So now you get this actually decent fanart! Rejoice!

Also you get a haiku:

Oh Felt Grace, your
hair is pink and may be used
as a small pillow

Now don’t say I never gave you anything.

I’ll take one Graham Special, with strawberries on top

What, did you think it was a kind of cheesecake or something?

It kind of depresses me to think that, even 300 years from now, the Middle East is still going to be a huge hotbed for ethnic hatred and sectarian conflicts. Or, at least, that’s what Gundam 00 tells me. The episode prologue and the Amuro Ray-narrated chunk of exposition at the beginning of the episode were incredibly fascinating to me, from a projected-history standpoint. The whole episode being about Azadistan and the coup d’etat there just shows Mizushima Seiji at his best–i.e., pointing out that, yes, the MIddle East is a huge problem that is not going to go away without any effort. I don’t know if Mizushima plans to actually get all political and start taking snipes at current events, but the future world of 00 is, unfortunately, a fairly accurate representation of what the world might become. Of course, in ten years or so, all this may look as silly and outdated as Soviets in Gunbuster.

There was not as much Setsuna F. Seiei development as I would have liked, or hoped, but it looks like he’s getting his multi-episode arc to explain his past like Allelujah Haptism just had, so I’m assuming everyone moaning about Setsuna being an underdeveloped tool (he’s a guy, okay, he can’t grow breasts) will be shown exactly why Setsuna F. Seiei is an underdeveloped tool. In place of Setsuna development, however, was some nice scenes of Marina. I can’t help but feel sorry for the poor girl, she’s acting exactly like I would if I were head of state. If you ever needed a clear and concise reason as to why I shouldn’t be head of state, well, just look at her. She’s learning just how hard it is to juggle factions and still come out on top. The hard way. Still, she’s the most moe head of state since Sabe–err, I mean, Yulia Tymoshenko of the Ukraine left office. The woman has computer wallpaper of herself, that’s how moe she is.

00 has made it through half of its run, give or take half an episode. I only foresee good things for the future. Keep up the good work, Sunrise–and try not to have too bad a cliffhanger, okay?

Just pull that trigger.

Look! It’s a colony! In Gundam 00! Now it’s a REAL GUNDAM! And all you UC fans have one less thing to complain about!

00 is still pretty episodic and slow-paced, but I don’t really care. Tiera is getting tons more ominous (just look at him pulling a Isako and hacking the Ptolemy’s computer with his EYES while FLOATING in a CYBERSPHERE) and Allelujah/Hallelujah is, well, split down the middle. The whole scene at the end with Allelujah hesitating in front of the Super Soldier Research facility (and Hallelujah taunting him to no end) was quite intense.

The next episode promises to show more of Setsuna F. Seiei acting like the big ol’ honkin’ idiot that he is, or possibly give us some further explanation as to WHY he is a big ol’ honkin’ idiot. For being the “protagonist”, he’s now one of the least developed characters of the series; even Sumeragi the drunkard has more personality than he does at this point. I’m betting, however, that his total lack of personality is a key point of his character.

Things still haven’t collapsed into a gigantic free-for-all yet, but it’s only the middle of season one. I expect the state of things to degenerate by the end of this season, leaving us with a nice (horrible and torturous, damn you Code Geass) cliffhanger to keep up hooked until season 2 rolls around. At least we’ll have Code Geass Part the Second to tide us over until then. And, in my case, probably Gundam X.

Gundam 00 just crossed the border into totally awesome territory

Episode 10 was so overflowing with crazy emotions that there’s no way I can believe that 00 is going to be anything less than an amazing ride. As I said last post, the strengest aspect of this series are the characters, and we’re getting some incredibly complex characters here. From Allelujah’s split personality, to Tiera actually being something other than a gigantic dick, we’re starting to flesh out the Meisters. Not only that, we get a good glimpse into Sumeragi’s character at the very end. We ended up getting a lot more action in the episode than we did in 9 (no real complaints here) but the high level of character development of 9 remains in 10.

The disparate strands are finally coming together to form what can only be a magnificent rejoinder to the failure of Destiny. I’m really seeing Mizushima’s influence in this show, and, strangely enough, I think part of the high emotional content of the show is the fault of the overall scriptwriter, Kuroda Yousuke, who did–get this–Kokoro Library, which is only my favorite anime ever. He also did Honey and Clover, so you know that, even if you hate Kokoro Library, he’s got his emotions down pat. And I think that his talent, combined with Mizushima Seiji’s knack for directing, this is only a good thing.

I think 00 is on the fast track to a Gundam classic, provided they don’t hiccup along the way. I’ve got faith, though. They’re certainly doing a great job reimagining the basic Gundam plotline from an outsider’s perspective. Here’s to 40 more episodes of glorious awesome, although we only have 15 until the season’s over with. :(

Felt Grace is awesome

You think she’s this unemotional, passive, quiet girl, and then this scene. And her supporting a panicking Christina during the HRL attack was incredible, too.

This episode really showcases the strengths of 00 over other Gundam series. We’re given a frantic battle to protect the Ptolemy from destruction (or are we?) and the focus isn’t on the action.

Holy God, I died and went to heaven.

In fact, I think I just realized that this series isn’t as much about the action as it is about the characters; a wonderful departure from SEED, certainly, and from the other Gundam series as far as I can tell. That’s not saying Gundam focuses too much on the action and mecha; far from it. It’s just that 00 feels exceptionally focused on characters. The pacing is kind of slow, I think, but I never get upset at slow pacing in my anime, so it’s not a problem. The show has already passed the Destiny litmus test (seven episodes of awesome followed by “what are we going to do NOW?” for the remaining 43) and I’m pretty sure that my rather nondescript enthusiasm for the show before it started airing is being lived up to. Best Gundam ever? Maybe not, it doesn’t have Master Asia in it. But I think it’ll be a classic in the making, and it’s certainly up there with G and Turn A in my opinion thus far.

Witness the power of Mizushima Seiji. And watch more 00.

P.S. Lockon is the best Gundam Meister. I’d kick back and relax with him, for sure.

EDIT: Since apparently it needs clarification, yes, SEED had a lot of focus on the characters–to some extent, every Gundam focuses on characters. What I meant was, in 00, it seems like the mecha are being totally pushed to the sidelines to give the characters more focus, kind of like Turn A. And that, I think, is what makes 00 such a great show.

Setsuna F. Seiei is a big ol’ honkin’ idiot

Yeah, just go off and tell Marina that you’re working for Celestial Being. Real smart.

I liked 00 8 for the same reason I liked the previous three episodes–we’re starting to see some personality in the Gundam Meisters. They are not, as some people feared in the early episodes, personality-less killing machines. Of course, the fact that they weren’t going to be such was a given, but, in a post-Destiny world, people believe weird things. The dynamics between the four Meisters will certainly prove to be interesting, especially since Tiera Erde is a gigantic jerk–I blame his looks.

Of course, we had a bit of show-stealing in the form of Sumeragi, Felt, and Christina in swimsuits for no apparent reason (and it was brilliant of the show to draw attention to the fact that there WAS no real reason). The best part was Felt standing passively in the water, disinterestedly flipping water at an overly genki Christina. The second best part was Felt revealing her deep love for Haro.

Although it’s quite obvious that those segements were added in to appease the desire for cute girls, it’s interesting that Sumeragi and co. is so confident in the ability of the Meisters to handle things that they can totally ignore the command structure and spend the day at the beach. It shows that Celestial Being is probably incredibly self-confident, which means one of two things: 1) There’s some kind of less than wholesome purpose behind the whole thing, or 2) They are so deluded with grandeur that they’re going to get taken down a notch by some other group. My guess? It’s both.

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.


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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