Moments of 2009: Please Don’t Call This a Comeback (Gundam 00 Finale)

While I don’t think Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is a great show, even within the Gundam franchise; it did many things that I love and a couple of those are what I’m going to remember here. It attempted to re-tell a Gundam story; not the Gundam story — what I mean is that the story it told has the bones of the Gundam narrative.

By that I mean humanity has some kind of need to go to space, that humanity has an evolutionary step to make; how the once fragmented geopolitics condense to form a federation; how mobile suits have become the technological decider of military conflict. Gundam 00 even used a variation of the traditional Gundam deus ex machina — the Newtype power, that in this case almost totally tied every loose end and rescued almost every character in a dire situation.

The Trans-am burst was a near omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent force in the end. It was a high (or low) point in the use of deus ex machina in Gundam shows. In my mind it matches or exceeds the big flying T in space (psycoframe lol, or Tomino’s monogram avatar take your pick) in Char’s Counterattack; and easily eclipses the Newtype Barrier in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. But I digress.

Gundam 00 is a show that I don’t give enough credit for remembering love. It’s not in the wholesale re-use of the themes and types in the Gundam franchise; it’s in the small and big nods, winks, and outright tributes it made to the franchise as a whole, as befits how it finished its broadcast run 30 years after the original television series aired.

It’s a heavy-handed, unsubtle salute — it’s a giant beam weapon salute: Sogetsu Noburo, who is better known as Furuya Tohru who acted Amuro Ray’s voice played the arch villain Ribbons Almark, who in the final duel got to pilot the 0 Gundam which is the splitting image of Amuro’s RX-78-2, the original Gundam.

Setsuna F. Seiei also gets to fight him in my personal favorite suit from the show, the GN-001 Exia. It’s a delicious kind of fanservice.

That was some beam-spam kind of salute! But there’s more. I don’t know if other fans have noticed, but I really enjoyed how the 0 Gundam took Loran Cehack’s pose in the final duel in Turn A Gundam.

A Gundam vs. Gundam fight, the original hero now playing the contemporary villain. It’s delicious. I ate it all up. I may be relatively new to the fandom (a fan for just about a year after watching Gundam shows for just under 2 years), but being older and having a strong appreciation of tradition and remembering love, it’s very easy for me to like things like this despite not having a long-standing relationship with the franchise.

But here’s something any young or old fan can just jump in and like: Gundam is and has never been a strong source of romantic love narratives, so when little side stories like Patric Colassaur and Katie Mannequin’s end in romance and a wedding, it’s very easy to be happy.

Congratulations to the newly wedded couple. Wedding of the year? Easily won I think (who else is even competing?)

Further Reading

Read the massive amount of hate in the comments section of this post (crusader 2009/03/29)

Gundam fans are an entertaining bunch [->]

I’m one of the boys and girls finally [->]

Haven’t seen any Gundam at all? WHY ARE YOU READING THIS POST?!? Read this instead: Find your Gateway Gundam!

^9000 Moments of Anime 2009 thank you CCY~Senpai

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in Gundam 00, moments of 2009 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Moments of 2009: Please Don’t Call This a Comeback (Gundam 00 Finale)

  1. schneider says:

    I can’t count how many times I’ve watched that final battle. Compared to the previous 00-vs-Reborns one, Exia-vs-0 was just more visceral, more dogged in its judo-throwing glory.

    I intend to write about this moment too, but with a different focus. Keep posted for it!

    • sadakups says:

      Same here. I stopped counting how many times I’ve watched the final Gundam battle between Exia and 0 Gundam. Truth be told, I am a big fan of Exia, and seeing it in the final battle despite looking like it came out of nowhere was definitely sweet. Yeah, definitely one of my favorite moments of 2009 in anime.

      • You mean SExia? Yeah it’s my favorite among the modern Gundams. I have a 1/144, 2 rubber composite figures, and of course the 1/60 in the picture above. I like me SExia. It’s delicious.

    • While I can appreciate the 00, and the Reborns (the Reborns is just too awesomely funny not to appreciate), I never warmed up to the latter suits as I did to those from the first season. The duel itself reflected this — because it’s not so much fun to see all this pretty lights from superprototypes flash around and all this Trans-am faggotry.

      I think the makers knew this, and wanted to have the final passes to be a knuckle-dragging, blood on the mouth affair.

  2. LostMarbles says:

    If I were making a list like this, the battle between Exia and the RX-78-2 0 Gundam would definitely be near the top. I loved the fact that it a re-staging of Amuro’s fight with Ramba Ral in episode 19 except this time Ribbons/Amuro played the part of Ramba Ral. It was great fanservice and it was well played in term of taking the meaning from the original and expanding it from talking about characters to the franchise as a whole.

    • Something tells me you’ll appreciate this post [->] given that you’ve enjoyed Eureka SeveN and like the Ramba Ral story arc in Mobile Suit Gundam.

      I hope by sharing this post I can show how I get what you’re talking about taking the meaning of the original and making more value out of it (though not just for the franchise, but for mecha/anime tradition in general).

      I watched Mobile Suit Gundam episode 19 just because you mentioned it, and by golly you’re right. The 0 Gundam’s pose is exactly the Gouf’s pose, and the sliced open to the cockpit thing as well… awesome stuff and I can’t thank you enough for pointing this out.

  3. glothelegend says:

    “Wedding of the year? Easily won I think (who else is even competing?)”

    lol…I saw that wedding coming from a mile away, but it was still amusing to me when it happened.

    • Who wouldn’t be amused man? In any case, IRL I’m like Patrick and my wife is like Kati in that I’m a lucky goof (and misrepresent this luck as overall awesomeness quite pompously) and she’s a humorless hardass who’s lovable anyway (despite her choice in men); and yes, she’s a captain in the military (part of the JAG corps).

  4. Shinmaru says:

    Gundam 00 was my gateway Gundam, and even I was down with the 0 Gundam vs. Exia fight, even if all the references to previous Gundams went over my head. That fight was just badass. I was also down with the wedding. Loved Kati from the beginning and grew fond of Patrick because he was such a silly doofus.

    • Same, same.

      I had tried a LOT of Gundam shows in the past but I dropped them all. Gundam 00 was the first Gundam I got into. I’m very glad it made all those references, that it made me want to go find out about all those shows and I’ve seen a great deal now.

      This is why I love shows like 00 and Macross Frontier. They’re great at bringing old franchises to a new audience.

  5. sakura says:

    Good timing, my Season 1 Pt 2 discs of this just arrived.

    I also finally finished building my VF-25 armored, which means its now time to start my VF-27, but that’s another show.

    I have to admit I got a huge kick out of seeing the 0 Gundam and I did enjoy the hell out of the fight. I love the Exia, I’m still trying to talk hubby into that model once he’s done buying me Macross Kits.

    00 is weird for me, there was so much I enjoyed and yet so much I came to hate. Namely how they all seemed to turn into idiots, how in hell did no-one figure out Anew’s deal?

    I mean you figure at the very least Tierra would have had an idea, course he was too busy moping over the fact Veda wouldn’t return his calls. I mean I can understand Lyle not figuring it out, he wasn’t thinking with the wrong part of his anatomy for starters and he wasn’t half the man his brother was.

    I think I actually would have forgiven them for coming up with some fantastical way to bring Neil back from the dead if it meant they got rid of Lyle.

    Oh and the nakedness, CAN WE PLEASE STOP WITH THE NEKKID, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS MECHA WHY?

    I mean its not even hawt nakedness… its just really weird and awkward.

    So the ending kind of redeemed it for me, well except for the whole magic particles thing.

    Oddly enough I still enjoyed 00 more than I enjoyed Seed Destiny, Shin pretty much destroyed that show for me, I hate crybaby flyboys. Not to mention I feel like they totally destroyed Cagalli’s character, though she became more of herself towards the end.

    Athrun seemed to have forgotten everything he learned in the first season and was back to trying to figure out why he was fighting. Okay I have to stop now before the rant gets any bigger.

    Since this post isn’t about hate, its about love and there was plenty of love here. Firstly I really like the route they went with the designs. I liked the almost minimalist look for the Gundams themselves.

    Also I’m female, albeit a woman who loves mecha, but still I also love romance, so there was plenty to love about Patrick and Katie. It was nice to see someone find their happiness :)

    • LOL I don’t mind so much that people have concerns and complaints, as long as they’re authentic, and they’re authentic in how they communicate it.

      The minimalist look is misleading, I think. What happened here is that complex and/or detailed designs ran the animators to the ground. I mean, they’re a bitch to draw and totally raped their production schedule. If you want to see how this plays out, compare the stills from the show to images from model kit boxes and promotional media. I don’t think minimalist is the word we’ll still be using.

      What I don’t like are the designs for the A-Laws and Innovators mobile suits and armors. They look goofy and toy-like as opposed to menacing and gritty. I clearly prefer the first season’s designs over the second’s.

    • I’m pretty sure Macross Frontier had “nekkid” in it’s final scene as well, albeit in neon like colours. Did that bother you too?

      I’m also pretty sure that the nakedness wasn’t meant to be simply gratuitous fanservice (though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think it was a consideration) but was also meant to symbolize cutting people down to their most well….naked in terms of how they perceived each other and their intentions. A lot of other works have done the same thing (including Gundam where this sort of thing is nothing new), but people seem to have varying levels of tolerance (for lack of a better descriptor) for when it’s okay or not. I have to say I’ve never been bothered by nudity male or female in the slightest, but then again I’m a Canadian Liberal who is also pretty hard to shock or disgust so I’m being subjective here.

  6. sakura says:

    ^ Just realized I goofed up there, meant Lyle was thinking with the wrong part of his anatomy.

    Sorry about that, blame the narcotics, I’ve been heavily medicated for medical reasons lately.

  7. Crusader says:

    I felt that it was an insult to all the die hard UC fans, I thought little of the newtypes then I think little of the innovated Jihad-kun now. the fight was a salute to be sure but to me it felt like this was to be the nail in the coffin for UC with the demise of RX-78-2 to this newfangled Gundam.

    Still at least I have IGLOO and Patrick and Kati did get best end, wedding of the year indeed and one of the best moments of 2009 in my book.

    • Comrade as a devoted UC fan, I can say I’m not insulted at all. See the exchange between myself and Lost Marbles above. There’s a whole lot of love here and whatever fuckups there may be, they are not spits at anyone’s faces. To be insulted by these is to take from them. Why would I or anyone want to take insult?

      That said, this isn’t a defense of the series. I don’t think it’s very good either. I just found spots that I liked, and that I love the show overall for personal reasons: it got me into Gundam as a whole, and that includes our good old Universal Century.

      So let’s toast to Patrick and Kati, and for things that make us love Gundam shows somehow.

      • I like the show because I think it shows an interesting possible future based on what’s going on right now in terms of scientific and socio-political theory and policy as an update to U.C which showed a possible future based on the way the world and science was in the Cold War era of the 80′s which we’ve moved beyond now to a different global paradigm. It’s kind of like the difference between the original Star Trek series and the Next Generation in terms of event and scenario portrayal or perhaps even more direct a comparison, the original Star Trek TV series to the new Star Trek movie by J.J Abrams that many people still hate at face value simply because it’s not the classic.

        I think this series needed to happen and this type of symbolic scene needed to happen as well in order to at least attempt to sever the baby to “blanky” like attachment some folks have to U.C where they just will not accept any new Gundam ideas or the fact that they exist in coincidence with U.C. Either give up the U.C blanket and accept that A.U is a part of Gundam just as U.C is or stay buried under the covers and never be able to make it past the events of the OYW.

        • Interesting, however:

          1. I’m not a Star Trek fan, albeit I understand your point about the rejection of the new movie by older fans can be similar, but I don’t think this is the case for many who have a problem with it; and not in Crusader’s case anyway.

          2. I’m a much bigger fan of the UC, and I particularly dislike most of the alternative continuities. You can’t convince me to keep watching SeeD, and no one can make me pick up Wing again. I am big on G, and I am lukewarm with X.

          2.1 I like 00 anyway. I have written more about 00 than any other Gundam show I believe; featuring Setsuna twice, and I don’t even like him that much.

          2.2 The AU isn’t necessary for Gundam to evolve as a franchise. There are many ways for the UC to keep going. However, one cannot have everybody-has-a-Gundam scenarios just as easily, and therefore UC shows can’t pay the rent as well as W, SeeD, and 00.

          As long as UC stands for a more technologically tame (and by that I mean less freakish leaps like Trans-am; and far less beam spam) and show more battle direction similar to shows like: 0080 and 08th MS Team for terrestrial fighting, and 0083 for space combat, the UC will stand for a superior quality of show in my mind, and for many others.

          Newtype H4xx0rz is already a heavy burden for UC fans to explain away, hence the esteem these side-stories enjoy in these parts.

          • I don’t like to make strict limitations on what can and cannot be in a Gundam series because I feel that would only lead to stagnation. Then again you probably already know that. I’ll add that I don’t think Gundam can survive as a franchise by just being like the U.C OVA’s all the time either.

            I will also say that your choice of words kind of surprises me throughout this article/commentary and almost sounds kind of cynical towards Gundam.

            Finally I’ll say that Newtype Haxors as you for some reason call it is probably one of those inseperable aspects of Gundam like Singing haxors (if I were to borrow the term) is for Macross. Granted the former can be done without it (and perhaps the latter to if it where ever to try) as demonstrated first by 0080 which I think was a very important step towards keeping future ideas for the series like G and Turn A open, but these franchises were still built around these concepts and have seen them evolve with them. Thus like the masked villain Newtype concepts are likely here to stay.

          • LOL oh come off it. You’re being too defensive all over again. Deus ex machina via Newtype magic is a big part of UC Gundam. Is there a better way to use such concepts? Absolutely. Do I think Gundam wasted a lot of opportunity? Yes. It doesn’t mean however that I dislike it. I forgive a lot of these things precisely because I’m a fanboy.

            You may deny being a fanboy, but instead pretend nothing’s wrong — and that any sensible person should appreciate Gundam as if it’s the pinnacle of animated stories.

            No, I don’t think they are, and this doesn’t affect my love for the franchise. Cynical is the last word I’d call myself.

          • Hey we all clearly know that the pinnacle of animated stories is Clannad After Story because it’s just perfect and flawless lol.

            But in all seriousness I don’t think any franchise has reached me quite as much as the Gundam one has. I’ll admit that it came at the right time when I was ready to start learning about politics, science and the history of warfare and it has perhaps made me somewhat of a fanboy, but I’m not going to hold it up on the pedestal over all others by any means. After all does it paint a perfect and accurate picture of all of these concepts such as war, peace, politics, scientific advancement, humanity etc? No I say. Does it try to a hell of a lot more than your average anime franchise? These days I would have to say yes it does. Nothing always gets it right, but I don’t think it’s any reason to condemn the shows outright for their shortcomings without recognizing what they lend themselves to well either.

            I realize that all series have their shortcomings, Gundam included, but I swear it still feels like some of them pay the price far more for them on the internets than others and I’d rather not go down that road yet again with Gundam. It seems like everytime I look at a discussion on Gundam it goes negative before I can even arrive to have a fun discussion…I just don’t want to see that happen here. Odds are I feel exactly the same way as you do about Gundam and mecha and anime in general, I just don’t want to open the gates to lines of discussion that need not be opened.

          • If you’re against the haters, stop policing the moderates. This ‘guarding’ of opinion on your pet show/franchise is unnecessary and has value only to yourself.

            So lighten up and just enjoy your damn Gundam shows. It’s not that we don’t like it too, but your opinion cannot be held by people who aren’t you.

          • Crusader says:

            You know masked men and newtypes have been done quite often in the two most recent AUs I see it as stagnation of sorts. The UC OVAs 0080, 0083, and 8th MS Team went away from that and were much more real robot in theme than most of the AU Gundams. IGLOO 1 & 2 also brought more of a real robot feel to the OYW. Part of the attraction of UC was that it was gritty and it was very much real robot, and I personally miss that feel very much.

            The middle ground that Gundam now sits is much more of a double edged sword since I have trouble digesting super robot and real robot cocktails. It just doesn’t go far enough in either direction to be terribly satisfying as say Mazinger Z which was an unadulterated celebration of Super Robot tropes. I think had they kept it more in line with real robot that any political message they had in S1 when they tossed around conflicts that were then ongoing they probably would have been more successful.

          • Yes, I share this sentiment. Give me grit in the action and I’ll forgive much in the story (see MS Igloo). That’s what I want in my real robot anime after all.

          • I can agree with that and even say it’s a very fair and carefully considered viewpoint. Good stuff. :)

            Still I don’t think Gundam 00 was an abomination of a Gundam series by any means though, just that I can understand where it may have erred. Plus there’s still the movie to go which will be the final chapter on the franchise and may very well contain the final message and stance as far as what they were trying to do with the series from the get go is concerned. Season 2 was left pretty open, but hopefully it was deliberate in order to account for the movie and we will see it’s themes brough to the forefront and then to a satisfying close once and for all.

        • LostMarbles says:

          I am in complete agreement. I fell in love with the world they created in S1 because it felt like a possible future rather than a rehash of the UC world (see: SEED).

          I’m really hoping the Mizushima and Kuroda come through on their promise to do something different that’ll likely piss off the die-hard UC fans because that needs to happen. I love nothing more than watching /m/ go insane with disgruntled UC fans whining about the horrible AUs.

          • Crusader says:

            It’s a common enough occurrence though Stench of SEED still hangs in the air. After the movie I have my doubts they will do much more with it, they could have been controversial and made some sort of statement, but in the end they played it safe.

            UC fans have always been pissed ever since SEED nothing is going to change that any time soon. As S1 being a possible future they way things are going I highly doubt it.

          • LostMarbles says:

            UC fans have been pissed off far longer than SEED and honestly they haven’t been worth listening to for that entire time. It’s not surprising to see them fume, but I always enjoy the pointless, uncritical RAEG that comes from some of these folks.

            I said that S1 showed a possible future not a probable one. By this I meant that it’s a world that addressed current geopolitical issues such as the energy crisis and the mixing of religion and politics and showed some possible (although highly simplified) outcomes. It was a nice change of pace for Gundam and I wish there had been more of that in S2 rather than reverting to using Zeta tropes.

    • If it’s the demise of UC then why is there a show coming out next year called Gundam Unicorn (UC?) and why was Igloo 2 out around the same time as 00?

      I think you worry to much…..

  8. DK Eternity says:

    Personally, 00 isn’t exactly the best Gundam show there is, but it’s moments like those that make me feel that the show is worth watching.

    That Exia vs RX-78-2 look-alike… I mean, 0 Gundam battle is definitely the best one in 00. Not only did I get to see the Exia back in action for that final battle, I also got to see a little bit of good ol’ UC Gundam there. Although I must admit I didn’t notice that the fight was a re-staging of that Rumba Ral battle. I only noticed the cockpit slicing part was a reference to that fight. I think I need to rewatch the UC Gundam shows…

    The wedding of Patrick and Katie is definitely awesome as well. Patrick is one of my favorite characters of 00 (mainly because I find him to be quite entertaining), and I’m glad to see how well things ended up for him. How he ended up with someone like Katie is quite amusing, but I did see that coming.

    • I actually think that the best battle happened in S1; in the desert, when Celestial Being had to be rescued by the thrones.

      Go rewatch the old Gundam! It’s a great blast. I just rewatched 0080, and will watch 0083 next ^_^

      • DK Eternity says:

        Ah, the desert battle… That’s another one of my favorite 00 battles, mainly because it shows that the Gundams in 00 are actually beatable, unlike in some other Gundam shows…

        And as for rewatching Gundam, I also recently finished a rewatch of 0080, and I’m planning to watch V Gundam, one of the few UC Gundam shows I haven’t watched yet. I’ll see if I can do the rewatch after I’m done with V Gundam.

        • I’m pat halfway through V, and it’s pretty interesting too… one long party (if you know what I mean).

          For something more digestible, either of the MS Igloo OVAs are worth checking out, though I’m partial to Igloo 2, ESPECIALLY if you want big mecha battles. Best of the year perhaps, and I make a case for it in the previous post.

  9. Pingback: Crusader on the Middle Ground of Real and Super Robots that Gundam 00 Stands On « The Ghosts of Discussions

  10. DonKangolJones says:

    I’m a big fan of the UFC & MMA (mixed martial arts) in general, and that last fight between the two “throwback” Gundams, Exia & 0 definitely gave me the feeling of a good knock down, blood pouring from the gashes, gassed, brawlers battle. The two fighters were tired, hated each other and were evenly matched. I was half hoping one Gundam would grab the other & give us some good “ground and pound”.

    You don’t see that in the majority of Gundam battles, even at the end of series where the protagonist fights the Big Bad, there is usually a lot of fancy moves and beam spamming. I don’t think a Gundam series has ever gone to a downgrade battle. It was a definitive move by the show that really paid off. If a list is made of Top 10 Gundam moments… I find it hard to believe that this wouldn’t be one of them.

    I do like your attention to detail in noticing Loran’s unique fighting stance, I didn’t notice it! Bringing up Turn A reminds me that show also had a sort of downgrade. I’ll never forget Loran and Gym hopping out of their deathlocked mobile suits to briefly sword fight, bushido style.

    • LMAO, the only ground and pound you’ll see is on episode 09 of Macross Frontier when Michel easily had Alto in a full mount and brought down a hail of punches [->]

      Good point on the tech tree downgrade. The only other subversion I can think of is when Macross Frontier did it when instead of an upgrade mecha, Alto actually got a VF-171 when he was flying the sexy VF-25F throughout.

      You should make that list of Gundam moments. Let’s publish that here collaboratively.

  11. Gowa says:

    This “Remembering love” stuff is starting to sound corny to me.
    Initially, I was a little hesitant on watching Gundam 00,
    but it turned out pretty fine, specially with Toru Furuya
    and this repainted Gundam 0. I could also say that I enjoyed it
    more than Macross Frontier.

  12. Pingback: Sayonara Gundam 00, My Wishes are Over Your Airspace | We Remember Love

  13. Reid says:

    The way Exia flies downward (north-south, if you will) while slicing the chest and cockpit block of the O Gundam is the same thing that happened in Char and Amuro’s final battle in “Char’s Counterattack. Sazabi slices Nu Gundam down the middle, then gets kicked in the head for its troubles.

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