Sayonara Gundam 00, My Wishes are Over Your Airspace

gundam 00 awakeningof the trailblazer poster

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is my Gateway Gundam. The first season was the first show in the franchise that I completed. Through it, I “got” the possibility of Gundam, and I proceeded to rewatch all the other Gundam shows I dropped and since most of them were from the Universal Century continuity, there was no looking back for me.

I genuinely like what Gundam 00 promised: that is, it presented the setting wherein the space proto-colonization of the worlds Gundam stories would play out could come to be. I bought into the passing of fossil fuels as the main energy source. I bought into the new energy hegemony created by access to the orbital elevators – structures that I thought were clever proto-proto-space colonization pieces of science fiction.

I bought into the Asimovian conceit that is Aeolia Schernberg. I liked the idea that Celestial Being drank their own Kool-Aid, that they actually believed in what they did no matter  how comical it is under rigorous scrutiny as a policy for conflict suppression, much less for permanent peace. The story would show them the complexity of human beings, which would lead to varied epiphanies along the idealist-realist continuum or so I thought, having not yet watched Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. I have yet to truly experience how Gundam-style pacifism proselytizing …is hell.

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I even bought into the tremendous technological gap required for Celestial Being to make sense as a plan, even if the plan for them is beyond the mandate they follow. I even bought into 00’s take on Tomino’s Newtype concept – that is, the ability to communicate without misunderstanding (some kind of telepathy).

Why? What made it easy for me to buy into all of this? It’s because Mobile Suit Gundam 00 felt like a piece of military SF. The greatest thrills it gave me involved how the technologically overwhelmed pre-federation nations used skill, numbers, and tactics to combat the Gundams. It made for great drama. The battles were interesting.

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Overall, it appealed to me military science fiction anime with gorgeous production values from the mechanical designs to the sexhair. Sumeragi Lee Noriega to this day had the second sexiest hair in all anime, all years (next to Lockon Stratos). Even the characters were memorable I thought, and the characters’ eccentricities informed the battles in interesting ways.

I still remember Tieria Erde’s rage-fueled whining when he was forced to use Gundam Nadleeh prematurely, and prehaps my favorite fighting effort was Doublellujah Haptism’s rampage in the finale of the first season. That was badass.

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WTF happened?

By the time the second season started becoming available, I had seen the Mobile Suit Gundam Original Movie Trilogy, and all the major UC OVAs. I fell in love with Gundam. The promise I got out of 00 was fulfilled by the older shows I watched. The consequence of this is that I learned to be discerning when it came to Gundam. I now began to form my aesthetic of robot vs. robot combat which to me, was the most important part of the spectacle that is robot anime.

As the second season progressed, I got more pissed off from episode to episode. I was still enjoying some things: Katie vs. Kujo and some of the battles. However, the Super Saiyan Trans-Am stuff was dulling my enjoyment significantly, as did the more simplistic engagements with a drop-off in both animation quality and in mechanical design. On the character end, Lockon Stratos did a quasi-Mu La Flaga. Marina Ismail was infuriatingly all over the show despite having the significance of 2.5 Meer Campbells¹.

Graham Acker turned into a fucking joke. Ali al-Saachez turned into a caricature. Doublellujah Haptism turned into a wailing mess without the fangs, and Soma Pieres was nerfed beyond shame. Speaking of disgusting pairings: Wang Liu-min x Hong Long, Lyle Dylandy x Anew Returner, Sumeragi x Billy Kitagiri, and Feldt x Setsuna WHAT.

broshidofist

Then the WMDs started showing up, though nowhere as obnoxious as GSD’s. But then the gaga squadron came from nowhere with its unlimited innovade works and my poor, poor face kept getting raped by my palms. Then the Trans-Am Burst fixed everything and merited a prominent place in the armory of Failhalla².

EVEN SO, I loved the campy goodness of Dark Amuro and the eye-popping Guncannon Reborns. I loved the touch of putting him in the 0 Gundam and bringing back SExia for one last fight. My wishes are over their airspace. I love you, I trust you, etc.

After that infuriating second season, I still thought of Gundam 00 (my fondness for it as my Gateway Gundam aside) as a net positive experience. I can acknowledge its merits easily while avoiding dumping on its faults.

After watching the culmination of oo’s story, the film Awakening of the Trailblazer, I am done with it. Dunzo. It will always be my gateway, but my affinity and regard for the sub-franchise is gone. This movie killed whatever’s left of it. I hated the stupid thing, such a jingoistic faux-substantial failure of a spectacle.

This is what the promise of 00 amounted to: designing the ultimate Gundam for the most evolved human with the aid of the most powerful trapilicious AI to have mindchat with an alien mess of monster tropes so it can geassturn it into the giant yellow space lily of peace.

[Hadena] Mobile Suit Gundam 00 The Movie - The Awakening of Trailblazer [DVD 480P][43909ff9].mkv_snapshot_01.58.24_[2011.01.07_06.30.50]

God damn it.

This was what the Aolia Plan was for; these were the conversations that were to come: with a Jupiter Express of body/machine-snatching crystal aliens that make Innovator terminator zombies and killer trucks.

This gave the cast every excuse to spout their ideals of ending conflict and achieve understanding. Gundam has always been about “war is hell” but Gundam 00 as a franchise spent more time preaching how conflict is bad than portraying the existential emptiness and meaninglessness of war. And how loudly and clumsily it preached, and never as obnoxiously as in this film.

This comical attempt to give Celestial Being this Holy Work, and make a beatific martyr out of Setsuna F. Jesuseiei renders the attempts to give other characters dignified exits failures. Graham Acker’s martyrdom was abused to heap praise on the savior shonen Jesuseiei.

tengen toppa gurren lagann eyecatch kittan

Why did all this fail where Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was so triumphant? I honestly don’t know for sure, but it may have something to do with the consistent panache of TTGL and its commitment to portraying “beyond the impossible.” Gundam 00 has neither. It takes itself so seriously without painstakingly laying world-building (science fiction, politcs), and character foundations.

Aim for the Top! Gunbuster/Diebuster succeeds because of a well-laid out science fiction base. It is also consistent with portraying its enemies as monstrously alien, while fighting it with grand super robot attacks as is desired from a super robot show. Gundams are great to watch fighting other mobile suits. Monstrous mobile armors feel like a concession and throwback to the super robot shows Gundam departed from. This movie had mobile suits firing at an endless train of lance points. And at some point, it figured out how boring it was and had the alien crystal lances form, no, combine, into mobile suits and cruiser ships. Too ugly, too cheap, and too late.

I know there are some who would be tempted to favorably compare Gundam 00 to Diebuster! Don’t go there. Just don’t.

I also dislike Gundams fighting other Gundams. I’m fine with Stardust Memory, as it fit within a well thought-out plot point. Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and 00, not so much.

Char’s Counterattack succeds because it doesn’t have to introduce boatloads of new science fiction and maintain so many characters. It also helps that it’s favorably just after ZZ Gundam. I can easily accept it as a conclusion of the Zeonic conflict in the UC even as the flying T in space joins the Trans-Am Burst in the armory of Failhalla.

But never mind my theories. This post is an elegiac love song for my first love. We dated for some time, but I started meeting more interesting women, and it turns out that she had an operation to become a she-male. We clearly want different things now, and so we must part. S/he/it will always be Gundam and s/he/it will always be my first, but s/he/it can go to hell.

¹The Meer Campbell scale of disproportionate screen time to significance of an anime character

²Mythical Hall of plot-resolving devices (deux ex machina)

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.
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110 Responses to Sayonara Gundam 00, My Wishes are Over Your Airspace

  1. Bonesy! says:

    Yeah, I keep hearing bad things about the movie. I like 00 S2, but I’m a very easy person to please. My favorite suit that I have on the Gundam MMO I play is the GN-XIII :3

  2. sadakups says:

    I feel the same way with Gundam Wing. That was my gateway Gundam and I had to let go of it after seeing better Gundam shows, but still owe to it for getting me into the franchise.

    As far as the 00 movie is concerned, I wasn’t surprised with how it came out. They did some unlikeable stuff in Season 2, why not in the movie? I wouldn’t call the movie bad, but not the best thing ever. It’s enjoyable though there could have been some things that have been done better.

  3. Ness says:

    Oh my what an interesting and entertaining read. I have yet to watch the Gundam 00 movie because I just finished re-watching Gundam 00 S1+2 and yes I noticed some of the things you mentioned in S2. The whole Lockon x Anew was annoying and it was obvious that she’s a innovade. I have no idea what the heck was that with Feldt and Setsuna. As well, the Trans-Am power up was cool at first until everyone started to be able to use it which took out the coolness of it. It was funny how Grahm Acre was called Mr. Bushido and donned the infamous mask (yet different style) that started with Char. Also his lines towards Setsuna was quite amusing, from love to obsession. But I was a little sad that he didn’t get much action in S2 compared to the first.

    So, time to watch the movie tonight. Hope it goes well and I feel sad that it will be the end of the Gundam 00 story.

    On another note, I got Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam as my Gateway Gundam on the La Vie en Rose haha. Still need to watch that.

    • Thanks!

      I want to be clear that I’ve no problems with people enjoying this show. Whoever enjoys the most, wins!

      Since you’ve seen a Gundam already, I don’t recommend you watch Z Gundam next. I’d recommend the Original Movie Trilogy. This is the source of all this fun!

  4. Lokey says:

    Sadly, I knew this movie was going to be bad the instant i saw the trailer. I was all like “ALIENS? Are you shitting me?” In my opinion, that just kinda flies in the face of what gundam is all about. Kinda hard to show how horrible war is by showing the amount of lives lost.

    That being said, Endless Waltz was my gateway gundam. i watched it, thought it was awesome (still do, even if i much prefer other gundam shows) and decided to watch the tv series so i could understand what the hell just happened. Endless Waltz was actually a good end to Gundam Wing. Awakening of the Trailblazer actually managed to fail harder then it’s tv series’ second season. I mean, the first season was great, what the hell happened?

    Oh, and Graham deserved a much better death. He was the only watchable part of the movie.

    • Honestly I believe aliens would be very interesting. But it must stick with what Gundam is supposed to be good at: the aliens must fight in a way that features mobile suits looking good while fighting, not spamming beams and missiles vs. needle spam.

      The moral challenge against CB all but disappeared due to the alien threat. The moral challenge was a point of interest, but there was no space for ambiguous portrayal or examination anymore. Setsuna was going to save us all by being the evolutionary messiah.

      Aliens are tough to conceptualize and portray, but I thought TTGL and Gun/Diebuster did very well given their limitations, especially Gun/Diebuster, who did it by not doing very much… letting the humans think themselves into a hole before thinking it through.

      Otherwise, an anthropomorphic approach makes for better stories, as with the Zentraedi in Macross. The Vajra in Macross Frontier for me would be the less interesting middle-of-the-road insect hive-mind kind of alien.

      • Lokey says:

        I do believe aliens can be good in giant robot anime. Do you Remember Love is one of my favorite movies. I just don’t really think they work in gundam. To me, the majority of gundam shows are about showing how war is bad by showing the effects they have on the people on both sides of the war. You even have this in other shows with aliens (i’ve only seen the first macross series, but they sorta had it in that one). But having a faceless horde just doesn’t work. you only get one side of they conflict.

      • The moral challenge disappeared because Celestial Being had proven themselves willing to co-operate with the Earth Federation and the Earth Federation in term feels they fulfill a certain important role in keeping the peace, but that the Gundam’s should be forbidden except in dire circumstances such as those portrayed in the film.

        I also found the portrayal of the aliens as interesting here. They couldn’t communicate directly, so they needed an envoy, a trailblazer as well to communicate their intentions. This to me was more interesting than the STMC whose goal was DESTROY! CRUSH! MAIM! KILL ALL HUMANS! Interesting as that made for an action piece mind you.

        Also I don’t like musts when it comes to Gundam, I am perfectly okay with it attempting to experiment and this was something new and exciting.

        Lastly as for Setsuna, the reason he was chosen as the trailblazer had to do with more than him just being an Innovator. He among all the cast members I think was in the best position to truly understand the horrors of war and what it does to people. The losses he’s suffered and the atrocities he has seen as well as what he has taken from his talks with Marina all contributed to his being chosen as the eventual envoy by Veda and later by the Celestial Being crew who put their faith in him.

        • Ahaa but the clever thing with the STMC is how in Diebuster the Topless all mistook the buster machine forces as the STMC. If you don’t think that’s interesting, fine. It’s to be expected from your fanboying for Gundam 00, and my fanboying for the Aim for the Top! franchise.

          As for Setsuna, like I said, below to Shinmaru,

          I don’t dislike Setsuna as a character. I’ve found him interesting, but this clumsy attempt to make him into some kind of savior is maddeningly lame. It’s not so much what he does, thinks, or fails to do… but how other characters behave as if he’s this amazing thing — whereas his being amazing is not earned, it is an accident of genetics and GN particles.

          Remember, “amazing” is the issue, not “qualified.”

          Oh like I said, experiments are fine, but what MUST happen for a real robot show is deliver what is in its power to do: robot vs. robot action.

          Trailblazer tried to do it all, when it had the crystal lances form into robots — but this is too weak, too cheap, and too late.

          • If that’s the case I never found him particularly amazing either. I don’t think that was the point mind you.

            Why is it so important that the aliens be robots or not anyway?

  5. Shinmaru says:

    I didn’t even bring up Graham in my post … that was so completely stupid, and just ARGH. Guy was one of the most important characters in season one, a freak show in season two and pissed all over in the movie. So very, very dumb.

    • It’s in-dignifying how he’s reduced to this Jesuseiei fanboy spouting praise upon Setsuna every time he had an audience.

      I don’t dislike Setsuna as a character. I’ve found him interesting, but this clumsy attempt to make him into some kind of savior is maddeningly lame. It’s not so much what he does, thinks, or fails to do… but how other characters behave as if he’s this amazing thing — whereas his being amazing is not earned, it is an accident of genetics and GN particles.

      “It is the machine for the Innovator, no, it is Setsuna’s machine.”

      …delivered in awed, sacred tones… FALSDKJGAKJHGJKHKJGGH

    • Bonesy! says:

      Kind of a shame, really, because I liked Graham. I mean, he was opposing Celestial Being, but he was kinda I guess affable.

      I’m the same person who sympathized to Jerid to a degree when I watched Zeta.

  6. For as much as I hated the 00 series even I have to acknowledge the things about it that you liked. Mostly I stuck with it for the antagonists since they were more likable and I felt that they were the good guys (well, the pre-Innovator Team antagonists like Graham, Ali al-Saarshes, and Patrick X Kati) but I probably wouldn’t have watched it all if it weren’t for the points of interest you mentioned, ones I hoped (in vain) would bear fruit eventually.

    But even with hatred for 00 in my heart and extremely low expectations I found the movie to be absolutely terrible. Not even one fond memory from it. Mocking it with everyone online helped get me through it, but even the fun had from that felt short-lived and hollow. I can’t even really find the words. It was just horrid. It takes a lot for me to give something a 1 on MAL, but there it is.

    • Such a shame really. I thought the attempt to capture the shuttlecock mission (Sergei and Soma) was superb, and the trap in the desert using almost the entire mobile suit complement of the planet was my most favorite bit. I think it’s up there with Code Geass‘ Battle of Narita among the really interesting and well done large-scale mecha battles.

      It took me 4 days to complete my first watch-through of this movie. The suckage was so difficult to bear. Rewatching the movie with you guys did my impression of it no favors. The few moments (Patrick and Kati) that I did find pleasant are nothing to the infuriating mess that surrounded them.

  7. Trinfortune says:

    “Speaking of disgusting pairings: Wang Liu-min x Hong Long”

    Uhhh… weren’t they siblings?

    But anyway, honestly, I turned my brain well and truly off for the film. I think season 2 had diminished any hope that this would be a well plotted out movie without laid-on-thick messages of “fighting r bad” and “we gotta communicate.” Nor was I expecting much improvement in the characters who were neglected/ruined in the last season as well.

    So, basically, I kind of watched it without caring anymore. Aliens? Sure, whatever. Wacky pairings? Why not, go nuts. Giant space flower followed by mecha Setsuna? Lol, wheeeeee!

    I honestly did enjoy the film as a result of this. Personally, I quite liked the action (though probably more the non-mech parts funnily enough, like Hallelujah vs trucks), there were some fun set pieces and as long as I didn’t take everything at all seriously, I didn’t rage.

    But, of course, I shouldn’t have to do this to enjoy what is essentially the culmination of a series I managed to really latch onto and gain appreciation for. I also am baffled by the discretion between the down to earth tone of the first season to where it is now. I get that the series was about the evolution of mankind and technology (at least I think it was) but the start and end point vary so much that they barely seem like the same show. What people began watching the series for just completely changed into something utterly different, so it’s no surprise that the fandom for it has dropped off the face of the internet.

    So yes, it’s really quite a pity it went this way. I still have a fondness for the series, but almost as an extremely guilty pleasure, whereas back in season 1, I was more than happy to recommend it to friends. Sigh.

    • My good friend and co-founder of this blog Mechafetish got me into Gundam via 00, and he himself no longer has any wish to complete its second season.

      I find the very idea of “guilty pleasure” watching deplorably silly. You either take pleasure or you don’t.

      Believe me, I wanted to take any kind of pleasure in this film. I can’t even love to hate it the way I love to hate GSD.

      • Trinfortune says:

        Let me rephrase – I took pleasure from it, but I acknowledged that it was all quite silly and badly written.

    • I sort of did this a bit too. I wouldn’t say I turned my brain off though so much as say, I know what this series is about by now, and I plan on doing everything possibly to take it for what it is and work from there and what do you know, I had a great time with the movie and felt it closed out the whole piece quite well.

      To me looking back after seeing this movie the show I can see how the 00 franchise was always building to this point. It works best if you view it as an ensemble piece altogether. I don’t think it would work if it stayed the exact same the tone and portrayal of situations that we saw in the first season. The first season was about a time when GN technology was not at the forefront of mankinds technological know how. It introduced it, thus introducing the changes that eventually lead to the Gundam 00 world we know now where there is contact with extraterrestrial beings and things are better off where they were before.

      What I liked seeing in the movie though was the portrayal of people within the EF who still have war and personal profiteering on the brain. You can bet that those elements still exist even following the epilogue. It’s not a perfect world, just a different one. A new frontier if you will.

      • Trinfortune says:

        I certainly acknowledge that a lot of this was coming, particularly foreshadowed in season 2. I guess what attracted me to the show was the initial premise as opposed to what it became.

        I enjoyed the film as a standalone piece, but wasn’t too mad on it as a wrap up to the series. There were a lot of interesting elements to the movie, but for me, the series just went in too far in a direction I wasn’t keen on.

  8. randomcharclone says:

    Care to give a review of the live-action movie shown at the beginning of Trailblazer?

    I thought it was pretty good.

  9. The biggest objection I see to this movie seems to be that aliens=not Gundam, which is somewhat unsurprising I suppose. As for me I refuse to place restrictions on what the franchise can experiment with as I watch it so there were no hang ups for me here. The show had hinted at the dialogues to come for a while and it was pretty obvious what they were talking about.

    Call me Siskel to ghostlightnings Ebert but I greatly enjoyed this movie and am actually working on a post for it right now as we speak.

  10. I suppose I’m commenting prematurely, since I’ve yet to see the movie, but I found it interesting to hear your perspective as someone who’s first Gundam love was 00, normally I’d say that was a pretty good starting point. Then again I didn’t mind the second season so much, and I was thankful for anything of decent quality after Gundam SEED Destiny. I won’t deny it definitely requires a rewatch, though.

    If what I found out the general consensus is true (and it generally is for a very good reason) then I’m going to say I’m terribly disappointed in something that had a lot of potential, but I won’t be nearly as disappointed as I would be if Unicorn weren’t showing so much promise right now. I believe every Gundam fan believes they’ve either seen the perfect Gundam, or that they’ll see one in their lifetime. I’m still waiting. I gave up on 00 a long time ago being that perfect Gundam. It’s just sad to hear that it may have gone from a contender to a homeless bum in an alley. Perhaps I’ve watched too much Hajime no Ippo lately, but I wanna walk up to the show and in my gruffest voice tell it, “you could’ve been a contender.”

    Also, I see you’ve picked up my habit of comparing anime to woman… too bad this relationship ended in the worst reality TV sort of way possible. Don’t worry dude, she was a woman when you and her did. That’s what counts.

    • I think people shouldn’t put too much stock in what they hear on the internet and make the call for themselves. There are many avenues to enjoying this film in my opinion, it’s solely a matter if one is willing to take them or not.

    • Like Kaio says, see it for yourself — since you’re so invested in the franchise already. I wouldn’t recommend 00 anymore as a Gateway Gundam knowing this is how it becomes.

      I can only write this way because I obviously care, as a fanboy of the franchise as a whole, though no longer one for this particular part of it… haven’t been one for a while now, it kind of sucks how I have to own up to parting ugly.

      • Don’t worry, I try to be fair with all my anime, even given the hype or whatever is the exact opposite of hype (can’t find my g0ddamn thesaurus).

        “The only good opinion is your own.”

        @ghostlightning LOLOLOLOLOL! Gundam 00 is your “swampthing”!

  11. Jack says:

    “Why did all this fail where Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was so triumphant?”

    Because I imagine someone planned out TTGL in advance. It was a super robot show that was only 26 episodes, and yet it’s pacing and story progression were extremely tight.

    Gundam 00 felt like it might have started out with an idea of where it was going, but the collapsed somewhere along the way (second season) and they just made up rubbish as they went along.

  12. rxsiu says:

    Personally, I was more bothered by what 00S2 did to the 00 series. S2 really dropped the ball where things happened and couples developed for stupid reasons.

    At the very least, I enjoyed Trailblazer, in that amongst other things, graphics were pretty, the messages were consistent (by god, all Marina did on the screen was exude submission/goodwill), the hivemind aliens were portrayed well (I’ve seen people compare it with the Ender’s Game novel). While I was bothered by the lance-form els battles and how retarded it was as an idea (seriously, imagine having to fight hordes of them in a mobile suit, how impossible is it?), the fact that they morphed into the forms of warships, ms, technology, etc. showed their learning/communication style/capability, assimilation and imitation.

    The glorious amounts of beamspam and backgroundsplosions rivaled Seed and Destiny, but at the very least, there was no crap animation moments nor reused scenes (in fact, huge and utter shame if there was). Trailblazer did a much more aesthetically pleasing job with it.

    I agree though, that alot of the dialogue was utter shit. Things like the way they spoke of Setsuna as the innovator messiah was overdone with the sacred tone you mentioned, Sumeragi’s proclamation of “this is our last mission” along with Feldt’s (and by extension, the whole crew’s) senseless refusal to evacuate the Ptolemaios being ridiculously tasteless and cliche. I mean, seriously, evacuating the ship wouldn’t even impact Setsuna’s one-last-hope mission.

    Maybe it’s cuz I’ve always been a Gundam fanboy, that I took an optimistic approach with Trailblazer and subliminally accepted a ton of bullshit which was fed to me, but I’m not totally senseless to it. Still, I found the movie a net positive experience. Stupid little things like missile assimilation which, afaik, somewhat ignored the law of conservation of momentum made me jump with glee. It was enjoyable, even to the huge UC fanatic in me. That said, 00S2 was a huge letdown which brought down the marks for 00 as a whole significantly, but hell, we could (brace for opinion!) consider it a parallel situation to Z -> ZZ -> CCA. First was great, second was shit, third was mixed.

    • Thanks for the well-considered impressions.

      but hell, we could (brace for opinion!) consider it a parallel situation to Z -> ZZ -> CCA. First was great, second was shit, third was mixed.

      I like the comparison in terms of the phenomenon you describe. I remember how my first viewing of CCA was very, very negative; my second was unilaterally positive, and my third was rather contemplative. I can see perfectly how the opinions about it can be mixed.

      The shield bits taking such kinetic impact and staying perfectly in place filled me with rage. I can imagine such performance against beams, but not fast moving objects with mass.

      I was still very, very forgiving of S2, but I realize now that those were actually mortgages I would foreclose on once the movie fails to cover my expectations. That’s just how it worked out for me. After all, the movie is less than 2 hours compared to 6 months of crap.

      • rxsiu says:

        I must say, you were a big influence on my CCA impression. I too watched it 3 times; the 2nd time was due to a good friend of mine directing me to the specific article you wrote. The third time was to refresh my mind for myself, as to not accidentally take the luxury of using someone else’s impressions as my own.

        Regarding the shield bits, I reasoned it out that it was some sort of GN-trickery forcefield which blocked the impact if the ELS, not the bit itself. I can’t find the specific scene right now (2:42 am doesn’t help), but I recall seeing some sort of shockwave that suggested a forcefield when the ELS “hit” the bit. That would also explain why the ELS were unable to assimilate the shield bit. If the ELS actually did come into contact with the shield bits, I have no doubt that a force would be exerted, in addition to assimilation. That said, I don’t have enough physics under my belt to say that even with something like a GN field, the force couldn’t be prevented, but I’m giving benefit to the doubt and accepting that the GN field did it’s job. As in, plothax, be it justified or not.

        I watched through S2, unforgivingly as well, but instead of facepalming at every instance of retardation, I laughed through it with my hilarity-eliminates-rage-goggles mindset. It resulted in a less angry, more entertained me.

        • Thanks for the science fiction physics course, and for the kind words re my CCA post.

          I am a recent convert to funnels thanks to Unicorn ep 01, which actually led to my appreciating CCA more since funnels were a huge part of the combat there. I used to hate them a lot, and precisely due to the magic plothax exemplified here in this film.

          The shield bits are one thing. I can pretend to ignore the combination into a supercannon reserved for Tieria piloted Gundams, and the kooky physics. But the GN Fangs?

          JAFKGLSGKJSHGKJHJKHJGHAKJGHKAKJGH

          Spam, spam, everywhere spam.

          I do think that whomever enjoys the most wins (as I did writing about Endless Eight of all horrors), so you did a good job for yourself here. In this case I lose. I had no fun in this one, despite my efforts.

          • rxsiu says:

            Okay, I agree, GN Fangs are the stupidest things to come out of 00 ever. So stupid I actually set up a quarantine in my mind to never think of them again. When I watched Descartes (such a baller) steamroll in the Gadaleza, I actually saw in my mind legions of pewpew funnels instead of red pointy metal bits ramming into silver pointy metal bits. That’s how I got through that portion of the movie.

            Speaking of Descartes, he was a great vehicle to show that even evolution doesn’t solve the miscommunication problem. You could feel his air of superiority and at times, even contempt, over his peers. I’m sure no one would argue that this sort of personality is a good setup for mutual understandings. And the crystal-through-face bit is still etched into my mind. Very vivid, that scene was.

            Anime is in it’s roots, a form of entertainment. IMO, if I’m not being entertained by something that’s meant to entertain me, I should spend my time more effectively elsewhere. And I could barely forgive myself for turning my back on Gundam that one time (ZZ, I’m sure you understand this sentiment), I couldn’t do it again. I rarely hesitate to drop something I’m not vybing with, be it anime or anything else in life. And I’m sure you get this a lot, but the fact that you could enjoy Endless Eight is a miraculous feat. A cheers to you from my Zeon shot glass.

          • Great point re Descartes as an example of Innovation isn’t enough, and it takes someone who emerged beyond victimhood in war to attempt understanding through conflict.

            My hobby — which includes blogging and reading and responding to comments, is entertainment too. Discoursing with all of you provides a return that often enhances the value of my viewing, or is in this case, an independently valuable thing despite my experience with the show.

  13. Pingback: Watching by the Numbers « Midnight Equinox

  14. Marigold Ran says:

    I’ve never been a giant robot fan because as a power-gamer and a math person I like efficiency, and giant robots are not efficient. Nonetheless, having watched the original Gundam, Robotech, and Macross Frontier, I find the Macross franchise to be more compelling because of the songstresses. The songstresses in Macross are always very emotionally complex. As a result, their interactions with the other “orbit” characters are complex, and make the “orbit” characters more complex and interesting too. Gundam doesn’t have this dynamic. Except possibly for 0081, I’ve always found the characters in Gundam to be a little flat.

    For example, in Macross Frontier and in Robotech, the main male character spends a lot of time with both love interests. Since the love interests are pretty much polar opposites of each other in terms of maturity, (and both incredibly cute, but in different ways) we get to see different sides of the main male character depending on who he’s with. This is one of the central dynamics of Macross. Furthermore, the Macross Universe is bigger. Not only does Macross have more star systems, it has multiple species, which opens up the possibility of inter-species romance! Hot alien babes are one of the reasons Macross is popular. Gundam does not have this.

    Furthermore, actions in Macross have dramatic consequences that are shown on-screen. The Vajra attacks led to the loss of several habitation systems in the fleet. We got to see its consequences. In Robotech, Earth got destroyed. We got to see the consequences of that too. But in Gundam, we rarely see the consequences of war. Instead, we’re told by the characters that “war is bad,” etc. etc. But it’s not convincing because they don’t show it.

    Also, the soldiers in Macross are much more soldiery than the soldiers in Gundam. In the Macross universe, Lisa Hayes is a competent commander, as is Miriya. In Gundam, it’s hard to imagine any of the characters being actual soldiers or officers. The exception is 0081. As a result, wars in Macross feel much more real than wars in Gundam.

    Finally, Gundam lacks Grace.

    • Giant robots are fantasy. They are to me however, the most efficient and best way to portray animated violence. Here is my rationale:

      I like anime, because I like illustrations (like from manga).
      I like illustrations when they move (ergo anime).
      I find that the best kind of movement, the kind that best expresses excitement, tension, and drama… is in fighting.
      I find that the kind of fighting that has the most possibilities of attacks, weapons, and variety, involve giant robots.
      Giant robots of the “super robot” kind lend to fights that seem like chaotic pro-wrestling matches (like WWE).
      Giant robots of the “real robot” kind lend to more military kinds of combat, allowing for organization and complexity. Gundam pioneered this.
      Therefore, “real robot” anime is my most preferred kind of anime show, and Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn is currently the best expression of the values I presented.

      AU Gundam shows, depart from my preferred kind of robot action, and are more similar to shonen battle shows, or perhaps specifically Dynasty Warriors video games, or the Sengoku Basara anime wherein an individual unit lays waste to many mooks using flashy powers.

      As for “horrors of war” you get that in Mobile Suit Z Gundam, notably in Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, War in the Pocket, 08th MS Team, and in the first episode of Unicorn.

      My favorite shows are Macross however, and here are the pegs:

      Dogfights. I love them. The aircraft conceit of Macross’ giant robots is for me, the finest expression of a robot fighting unit. Macross DYRL? had good stuff along with one of the most massive if not the most massive fleet battles, Macross Plus had the greatest 1-on-1 robot duels in anime, and Macross Zer0 had the best fight choreography and animation (CG) period. None of these examples evoke the scope and compelling history that the Universal Century Gundam shows inspire in me.

      Ultimately, I love Macross because I am a lifelong fan. As I’ve said, I don’t even think it’s the best franchise. It is however, my most beloved. Silly idols included, who are virtues in my eyes.

      Having said all that, the Original Movie Trilogy of Mobile Suit Gundam, to me, is the apotheosis of real robot anime, to this day, even if I favor Z Gundam more… as much as I consider TTGL as the apotheosis of super robot anime. That claim will be substantiated in a future post.

  15. Marigold Ran says:

    On a personal note: math does make you smarter. The quality of my thinking has improved because of the many hours spent struggling with topology and tensors.

    • On a personal note, I am woefully poor in maths. It is the limit of my intelligence.

      • Marigold Ran says:

        Yes.

      • Marigold Ran says:

        Like, you don’t understand. When you’re in elementary school, you’re the smartest guy in the class. That’s great. When you’re in middle school, maybe you’re still the smartest. That’s great. But when you go into a room with math graduate students, EVERYONE was the smartest guy in their school. You think you’re so smart huh? Well you ain’t!

        And then you pick up a math book. One of those graduate-level math books. It takes an entire day to read EIGHT FREAKING PAGES. During the entire time you’re reading, you can hear a voice in the background, taunting, laughing, HAHAHAHAHA. I’M SMARTER THAN YOU. I, WHO WROTE THIS BOOK, KNOW THIS, AND YOU DO NOT. HOW DOES THIS MAKE YOU FEEL? HUH?

        • You’re well known for your lenient stance on crime. But suppose for a second that YOUR house was ransacked by thugs, YOUR family tied up in the basement, with socks in their mouths! You try to open the door, but there’s too much blood on the knob!!

      • Marigold Ran says:

        Haruhi once walked into a stadium and realized just how many people there are in the world. Wonderful scene. Memorable.

        Real life example: Let’s consider the hypothetical X to be among the top 0.1% in intelligence. That means FIVE MILLION PEOPLE ARE SMARTER THAN X.

      • Marigold Ran says:

        The warm gooey theorem:

        There are builders, and then there are destroyers. The two types are different because they draw their energy from different sources. Builders draw energy from warm, gooey, happy thoughts. Oda, the mangaka of One Piece, is a builder because all of his characters draw energy from friendship and other happy thoughts. The only major character in One Piece who is a destroyer is Blackbeard, and he’s the bad guy.

        Destroyers are different. They draw their energies from the void. From emptiness. And sometimes from rage. Builders sometimes think that destroyers can be changed by being loved. Or hugged. Or understood. That is a misconception. The difference between a destroyer and a builder is like the difference between a Dark Action Girl and a Dark Magical Girl (tv tropes).

        Quote:

        The villainous version of the Action Girl. Likes dressing in black and keeping her nails particularly long and sharp. A popular combination with The Baroness, but usually not The Vamp or the Femme Fatale, since she prefers to pummel The Hero to a bloody pulp instead of seducing him, but there are certainly exceptions, and these exceptions can be incredibly dangerous.

        She’s usually someone’s Evil Counterpart. She tends to enjoy beating on tougher-looking characters, and a man’s refusal to fight back tends to annoy her.

        You’d think that this would be the point where the Action Girl and the Dark Magical Girl intersect. Go on, keep thinking that way. We’ll see how long you live. Hang on, let me get my stopwatch.

        The Dark Action Girl is the Dark Magical Girl’s polar opposite, fiercely independent, cruelly carefree, and rarely interested in making friends. Just as the Dark Magical Girl almost always does a Heel Face Turn, the Dark Action Girl almost never does. If she is brought over to the side of good, even if only for an episode, expect her to be hesitant about it at best – and if she stays, she’ll remain more standoffish and cynical than the rest of the nakama or the Five Man Band. Typically the Dark Action Girl will only aid the Action Girl against another villain because she considers herself the only one allowed to defeat her.

        The Dark Magical Girl is a builder. The Dark Action Girl is a destroyer. Hopefully that helps illustrate the difference. In a sense, all destroyers are jerks, though they may pretend not to be. Never forget that.

      • Marigold Ran says:

        Everything I say is completely biased, but I don’t give a damn.

        To continue:

        Impz is a builder. Crusader is a destroyer (he’s a member of the military and he likes it). You are a builder (you have a blog called “We Remember Love.”) Baka-Raptor is a destroyer (duh). I am a destroyer. Kefka is a destroyer. Sephiroth is a character who has psychological issues and tries to be a destroyer, but fails (hence the fan rage against him). Each has their strengths and their weaknesses. But trying to combine the two can lead to ostracization from both camps, because you have become UNPURE.

        Other famous destroyers from literature, fiction, games, etc:

        Lucy (Charlie Brown)
        Madara (Naruto)
        Yabu (Shogun)
        Hitler (Real Life)
        Genghis Khan (Real Life)
        Asuka (Evangelion)
        The No-God and pretty much everyone who serves him (Prince of Nothing Series)
        General Patton and Curtis LeMay (Real Life- anyone who invents a better way of destroying cities is a destroyer)
        Churchill (the British public knew exactly what sort of person he was. When the war ended, they kicked him out office)

        As a general rule, destroyers should never be put into positions of ultimate power. However, their destructive tendencies can be harnessed for good (like, in destroying evil).

        Famous builders:

        Mustapha Mond (Brave New World. In fact, half of the plot of Brave New World can be summarized as Destroyer (John) vs. Builder (Mond). Mond wins).

        O’Brien (1984)

        Stalin (Real Life. Unlike Hitler, who was trying to destroy everything, Stalin wanted to build a hell on earth).

        Most successful American politicians such as Clinton (Destroyers are not suited for American politics. They exist, but they tend to self-destruct in a very public way. This is one of the advantages of American democracy). This is also one of the reasons why American politicians are mocked all the time. But note: the ones who are doing the mocking ARE NOT THE ONES IN POWER.

        • Marigold Ran says:

          TO CONTINUE:

          Another difference between a builder and a destroyer is that when a builder goes insane, they go to a psychologist. When a destroyer becomes insane, they EMBRACE it. The trick to living a productive, but insane life is to understand that sanity and insanity are EMOTIONAL states of minds, and thus it’s possible to switch from one state to the other. Otherwise the conflict between insanity and the demands of the world will break you.

          The difference between sanity and insanity is not rooted in logic. Sanity and insanity is rooted in the assumptions that we make about the world. If our assumptions correspond to the culture that we are in, then we are considered sane. If our assumptions deviate substantially then we are considered insane. Of most of the posts on the Internet- if these posts were said out loud in a psychologist’s office, the psychologist would immediately diagnose it as “insane.” However, on the internet, since the culture is different, these posts are considered “normal.”

          Thus, to be truly insane, one must be insane EVEN ON THE INTERNET. This is one of the gold standards of insanity. THAT is what I’m striving for. Insanity, like malice and hate must be PURE. Only then can we use it as energy.

          FINALLY: Cynicism. Cynicism is malice, but diluted. It is impure. Note that people who are cynical rarely do anything about the things they’re cynical about. People draw energy from malice. But cynicism dilutes and weakens the purity of the malice.

          • Marigold Ran says:

            But even among insanity, there are two types, just as there are two types of geniuses: the full geniuses and the half-geniuses. The ones who are completely insane have lost control of their insanity to the point that they can no longer remember sanity. That’s when they’re locked into the “happy” room in an asylum. To attain that state requires a combination of either:

            1. A natural, genetic predilection towards insanity.
            2. Drugs.
            3. Societal pressures and
            4. Internal conflict.

            It’s difficult, if not impossible, to attain this state of insanity through force of will because by definition “will” implies control.

          • I am at a loss to properly respond to your comments on this post. What I can be fairly certain of is that we’ve started discussing along personal notes. You have shared all this as a response to my acknowledgment that maths is the limit of my intelligence. You imply that you are highly intelligent, but also strive to be distinctly insane (as can be unilaterally declared in the context of any culture — the internet being the significant culture in this context).

            So, do you seek to be a destructive force in commenting on WRL? You are correct to categorize me as a builder: I have indeed worked hard to build a community of readers and fellow bloggers I can discuss anime and manga productively and entertainingly. However I do not subscribe to your categories’ absolute parameters. I think there are levels of intensity. This is not to say I wish to be destructive, but rather, a post like this is part of a building process too. Building what? I’m not sure. I do not plan that far ahead and actually enjoy some level of spontaneousness. At the very least I am building my identity as a fan of Gundam and related robot anime — that readers can use as a point of reference in future discussions.

            What are you trying to destroy here, if so?

          • Marigold Ran says:

            Because emotions should be taken to the highest intensity possible. Isn’t that what you admire about Gurren Laggen? I’m taking some of your ideas and applying logic to it. Also, I’d like to point out that insanity can be a lot of fun, and that people are missing out on a lot because they try to stay sane all the time.

            Also, the term “destroyer” is misleading. A lot of trolls consider themselves as destroyers, but they’re not, at least not completely. Because in order to be a troll, you need to develop a certain emotional and mental framework to troll. Do it enough and this becomes your personality on the Internet. At which point, you would have built a framework.

            The difference between “destroyers” and “builders” is more fundamental. The best approximation I can give is: are you the sort of person that draws energy from “happy” emotions like love and cute puppies, or are you the sort that draws energy from emptiness?

            My point is that the two types of energy are exclusive. A person should either be primarily a builder, or primarily a destroyer, but never caught in-between. If you’re the sort of person that draws energy from happy thoughts, then stay that away from “negative” emotions because they’ll sap your energy. Conversely, if you’re the sort of person that draws energy directly from the void, then stay away from happy emotions for the same reason.

            But if you’re in the middle, with a mixture of builder and destroyer tendencies, then you’re screwed because you’re at war with yourself and your energies cancel out, leaving you with 0 net energy for other activities. A lot of the trolls on the internet are like this. Society has imposed builder tendencies on their natural “destroyer-ness.” Therefore, they’re not able to access their void cleanly, which is why it becomes twisted and deformed (e.g. cynicism, xenophobia, rage against specific targets, etc.).

            In other words, if you feel like you have to target your rage and hate against a specific object, then that means your void has been twisted by the builder tendencies of the world. The true void is empty and non-specific. It’s like the Buddhist version of nirvana, except it’s not calm and peaceful.

            Finally, you’re not dumb. I’m not entirely sure my IQ is much higher than yours. The difference though is that I can access the void much more cleanly than you can, which is why I can get through these math books and you can’t. In order to go deeply into any difficult field, you have to be able to access the void cleanly.

          • Marigold Ran says:

            According to this theory, the reason repression is psychologically unpleasant most of the time is because you’re using your “builder” tendencies to suppress your “void” tendencies. It saps your energy, leaving you with little else.

            There are two different ways to get around it. The first, which is used in anime, and in most psychological approaches, is the “builder” approach. Let the unhappy emotions out (catharsis). Then “build” a happy framework around the person so that the person can draw energy from their “builder” framework. As the framework becomes stronger, they don’t need to access their void feelings anymore. Since Eastern cultures favor smiling, and being on a happy emotional wavelength with others, this is the preferred approach in anime (since anime is fundamentally a Eastern medium).

            However, the West is different. We don’t care as much about “smiling” or “emotions.” We care more about ethics, and rules. Thus, the second method, “tough love,” the “void” or “military” method is the opposite. This method is based on the idea that society has messed you up. It has weakened you, and turned you into a mushy-mushy version of a human being. Thus, we will destroy these parts, and allow you to access your void cleanly. And, in order to prevent the void from going out of control, we will implant a certain set of rules THAT YOU WILL NOT BREAK. Rage and hate is not bad. It is what you choose to do with your rage and hate that can be bad. Actions, instead of emotions, matter.

            I’ve watched a fair bit of anime and there are very few shows that approach it from this angle. This is in sharp contrast to Western media.

          • This dichotomy between East and West is way too simplistic. For example, ethics and rules is all over Confucian thought and is still incredibly influential all over East Asia. Why else would this obsession over honorifics, protocol, and the like exist? Genuine valuation of others’ feelings? Maaaaaaaybe.

            I appreciate the thinking you’ve put in here. Maybe you should turn it into a blog-writing project or something… or is that too much repression of the void?

          • Marigold Ran says:

            To quote from your response earlier: “This is not to say I wish to be destructive, but rather, a post like this is part of a building process too. Building what? I’m not sure.”

            But see, you value building. That means you’re a builder. Destroyers are different. When Baka-Raptor is writing his posts, he’s not thinking, “I’m trying to build a community,” though he may have unintentionally done so. He writes in order to be malicious.

          • Marigold Ran says:

            Agreed. It’s choke-full of generalizations and unproved assertions. However, the central point, I think, is valid. People are different and sometimes these differences cannot be bridged. Stick to what you’re good at and let others stick to what they’re good at and live and let live. That’s wisdom!

  16. Sekou says:

    Well done again ghost!

    I have yet to watch A wakening of the Trailblazer so my ultimate opinion of 00 hasn’t been fully formed but based on the two seasons, I enjoyed 00 to an extent but never fully embraced it.

    Prior to watching the series, the mech designs didn’t appeal to me but I grew to appreciate them the more I watched the series. Now, the Enact and Arche Gundam are among my favorite suits ever.

    The OST was usually at it’s best during the battles and while it didn’t blow me away like Wing and Zeta’s did, I really enjoyed it.

    Surprisingly, save for a one, 00 characters did almost nothing for me. I found the vast majority of them to be uninteresting. And as you pointed, a number of them woefully mishandled in season 2. Ali was undoubtedly my favorite character of the series. His honest brutality really made me a fan, the same way Yazan did in Zeta. Sadly, as you pointed out though, season 2 doomed him to a fate similar to Mr.Gable.

    In terms of moments, my favorites would have to be Doublellujah and Lockon’s brief moments of brilliance in the series finale.

    • Thank you.

      By all means go ahead and watch first, then get back to me. I realize how there’s no middle ground for me when it comes to Gundam. I either love it or hate it. Perhaps it’s part of my being a fanboy to want to be ecstatic about everything. I can’t really be indifferent to mediocrity — I end up finding in it a particular and special failure. To a fanboy I suppose, all failures and successes are of extreme significance.

  17. Catachan says:

    Woa woa woa.

    Feldt and Setsuna is awesome.

    But anyway, I really wanted to like this movie. See, I liked 00′s first season too, and agree the second was really flat. I mean, I remember nothing but the beginning and the end…and the ending song.

    But don’t you think the series (and the movie) has a few redeeming points? They gave humanity a reason to be in this universe. To me, that’s mind-blowing.

    And the flower’s supposed to be…you know…inspiring. Especially to the kids(?) I swear there’s something here.

  18. Pingback: Gundam 00 – What You Leave Behind | We Remember Love

  19. Pingback: chii's Anime Snack of the Week: Gundam 00 - A Wakening of the Trailblazer | Oishii Anime

  20. Crusader says:

    It was not expected and what ever gave them the brilliant idea of a space flower I’d be willing to bet that at least one of them was smoking from Kawamori’s weed pipe. If nothing else then at least we can laugh at Setsuna becoming infamous like KouxNinaxGato for getting freaky with an 80 plus blind lady… no doubt it will be noted in the Gundam Pilot Field Regulations Manual I am working on.

    • Kawamori is the resident hatepile for his nature-powered pacifistic oddity. I carefully overlook those excesses and prefer to look at what interests me about Macross (let it be known that I raised the problems re his continuity practices myself) as some people could certainly choose to do for this movie, as long as they don’t impose this on others as some kind of Truth with a capital T…

      …or demand that others be “fair” while remaining ignorant about fairness itself and their own hypocrisy. I look forward to your undoubtedly hilariously wrong regs manual.

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  22. vendredi says:

    “Graham Acker’s martyrdom was abused to heap praise on the savior shonen Jesuseiei.”

    So, Graham Acker is the voice calling out in the desert “Prepare ye the way for GUNDAMU”? Somehow very fitting.

    I’ve been terribly behind on the viewing so I only managed to catch the movie now; but your thoughts pretty much capture the overall mediocrity. The ELS aliens felt like a mashup of a half-dozen tired science fiction tropes. There are a handful of bright spots that are throwbacks to the strengths of the first season – Graham Acker’s new squad of aces actually – of all things – covering their wingmen! (although technically speaking there’s no point to attempting a Thach Weave in a vacuum since there is no air resistance for banking). Politicians faced with hard decision-making. The Gundam movie within the movie was also amusing. Also, I may probably be the only person in the world who is immensely tickled by the idea of a split-personality couple that Allelujah/Hallelujah and Marie/Soma represent (romance anime-makers take note; this could be the next big thing).

    But generally things seem to be swallowed up between the rather mediocre aliens and the fact that the writers seemed to be rushing to ensure that absolutely no character remained alive and unpaired by the end of the film (Millena x Tieria… now that one came out of left field. I dunno how you’d categorize that… a 2D complex, maybe? And I guess Marina is ultimately victorious over Feldt?) Graham escaped the same fate by immolating himself in yet another fiery ‘mech death (this is what, the third time?)

    The funny thing is that it felt a lot like the writers were feeling the pressure of the competition from the revived Macross franchise with Frontier. We have the hive-minded aliens, clumsy attempts at first-contact communication turning into conflict, the “movie-within-the-universe” style of bringing in thematic concerns about who writes history, and so on.

    Certainly my expectations weren’t exactly high for 00, but somehow Trailblazer proved more mediocre than that.

    • The funny thing is that it felt a lot like the writers were feeling the pressure of the competition from the revived Macross franchise with Frontier. We have the hive-minded aliens, clumsy attempts at first-contact communication turning into conflict, the “movie-within-the-universe” style of bringing in thematic concerns about who writes history, and so on.

      This didn’t occur to me until you’ve mentioned it. In S2 I was tempted to make the connection because of Marina singing, but I realize now that V Gundam preceded even Macross 7 when it comes to fruity songs affecting battles (by fruity, I mean magic-dust related).

  23. Pingback: WHY WE CAN HAVE NICE THINGS, or, How The Gundam Fandom Can Find Their Own Personal Newtype | We Remember Love

  24. Jell O'Fish says:

    I just wanted to chime in to say, I love your blog and how you write about anime you love/hate, I’ve been following a lot of your posts about Gundam and stuff. But the she/male joke at the end? Why did you have to ruin a perfectly good post by reminding me that so many of my fellow anime/gundam fans regard me as subhuman for being a trans person?

    Whatever.

    • What was specifically derogatory about my statement? I said “wanting different things” and it was different indeed. Sure it insinuates something negative, but it was carefully phrased as not calling a she-male anything in particular. So, no hate speech here.

      Rest assured that I don’t hate on people, just on silly Gundam shows.

      In any case, I apologize for any distress you feel.

      • fiks says:

        Just a heads up for the future: transgender people and people who interact with them a lot generally consider calling someone “she-male” sort of like calling a black person “nigger”. I know that for a random person that’s not something usually realized because cultural recognition of transgender people let alone transphobia is much smaller than recognition of black people/racism,(i guess due to simple population size differences) but yeah, that’s how the word is received among transgender people.(and crossdressers, often) “it” is also considered derogatory just because of english’s inadequacy causing certain implications with “it” as opposed to simple neutrality.

        also, “operation to become a she-male” reflects a level of misunderstanding about the differences between gender and sex(which is an unsurprising results of some strange language shifts in the last 20 years) and sounds sort of derogatory to people who know about that. i can’t think of a good analogy at the moment.

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  26. masterofmagicians says:

    Gundam 00 was also my gateway to the gundam franchise! My friend was obsessed with Gundam Wing, but at the time I could not understand why. I liked the first season a lot. It was very different as to my usual anime started off. [I also watched it because at the time Season 1 of Code Geass ended with a cliff hanger]. Personally I liked their names and the names of their gundams. And I sort of agreed at what they were trying to accomplish. I think that it was very admirable of them to pick a giant fight against the rest of the world.

    Season 2 was good. Not as great as the first, but good nonetheless. I was surprised as the code of secrecy no longer applied. Especially when Setsuna intentionally said in front of Billy that Sumeragi was the strategist of Celestial Being. But nevertheless I really love/d Gundam 00…. but I refuse to watch the movie. I spoiled myself by watching the end scene…. what the heck happened to Setsuna?! I’m getting the symptoms I got when watching Code Geass R2, where I want to watch it, but I’m scared of what might happen.

    After watching Gundam, I wanted to re watch the other Gundam shows as well… but instead of that, I got a crash course on Gundam through Dynasty Warriors Gundam video game. To my surprise I like a whole lot of them and I can’t really hate any of the characters…. although maybe Yazan and Scirocco. Scirocco was a casanova. A strange casanova.

    Well, after reading your article, I am definitely not watching that movie.

    • If you somehow enjoyed the second season, great. Don’t watch this terrible, terrible film. It’s just fucking awful.

      Also, Dynasty Warriors Gundam is <3

      Yazan and Scirocco are better than any of the characters in 00 by a long shot.

  27. Cynthia says:

    This is kind of old, I know, but I found it as I Googled for anyone who was not a fan of Gundam 00, and found this. Fact is every other person I talk to, or just about, tries to push this show on me and convince me that it’s so much better than other Gundam series like Wing, Seed and X. Btw, those (including Destiny) are the only Gundam series I’ve ever watched so far, though I plan to see them all someday, Gundam 00 excluded. First time I ever saw it was at a local club’s screening. They ended up showing until about episode 10 or so over the course of a few more screenings. I was never impressed with this series from the beginning. The songs were not all that interesting (the ED song especially resembling that of another series), the BGMs were nothing stellar, the plot seemed convoluted and the characters seemed incredibly stereotypical, especially the big-boobed girls. The more I watched, the less I saw it being developed well, and frankly some of the battles just seemed absolutely weak to me. I would literally find myself wondering why they weren’t fighting better.and could see what they could have done better. There was not one episode where I didn’t roll my eyes. From what you’ve described above, I’m glad I never gave this series a second chance. I do want to recommend some good series to you though:

    - Soukyuu no Fafner (people say it’s like Evangelion, but I have no interest in seeing Evangelion and yet loved Fafner)
    Terra E…, a sci-fi space drama anime series done right
    - Gundam X (if you have never seen it), nice simple plot, good BGMs, great OP and ED songs and likable characters
    - Yoroiden Samurai Troopers (if you’ve seen Ronin Warriors, it’s the english dub of YST), a sentai series about boys who wear armor, it’s really a lot more interesting than that simple description

    As for myself, my Gundam Gateway series was Wing. I still love it, but it doesn’t have much of rewatchability factor. Endless Waltz was like a bad joke though. Destiny was also quite horrible even though Seed was good.

    Please email me, I’d to talk more to you about this.

    • Not a fan of Terra E.

      Not terribly engaged with Gundam X, but I’ll watch it at some point (have seen 5 eps).

      I’ve seen about 5 eps of W, this is what I think about it.

      I’ve seen all of SEED and GSD. Both are horrible.

      Your complaints about 00 don’t match with mine. I found what you complain about to be rather impressive things about 00. My complaints as you’ve read, are quite specific. My experience with group viewings is that they’re not very good for discovering new shows. I’ve seldom really gotten into the shows I’ve seen for the first time during large group viewings, even excellent films like Steamboy. They’re great for rewatching things with a lot of fans who’ve already seen the show in question.

      Thus, I think you’re a long way from being able to dismiss 00 in a way that would satisfy your apparent self-image of being a discerning viewer.

      • Cynthia says:

        Possibly you might prefer the manga version, I know I did. All three versions have different endings though.

        I don’t even see a reason listed on that page for your dislike of Wing. Gundam X, I found it simple but nice. It also helped that one of my favorite voice actors ever, Sasaki Nozomu, had a role. I don’t really see how anything about Seed is horrible in any way (except Fllay), but Destiny really was a total trainwreck from start to finish.

        Exactly which of the things about Gundam 00 that I disliked did you find impressive? I can’t tell from your comment.

        Group screenings are good for shows you don’t mind sampling but would otherwise never even download episodes of, for lack of interest. Besides, it’s never big groups at this club, at most 30 people seated in this huge classroom that has desks elevated over bunches of stairs. Or at least it used to be that room most often, but last semester we had a room with blinds that wouldn’t close and the screenings always start during the day.

        Yoroiden Samurai Troopers and Soukyuu no Fafner both, I can’t emphasize enough how good those series were.

        I’m going to ignore your last paragraph and pretend it never happened. If you’d like to start over on a more positive, polite note, though, I’m all for that.

        • The dislike of wing is shown, not told (see the slideshow).

          The horrors of SEED and GSD are presented in the links I provided.

          I was never impressed with this series from the beginning. The songs were not all that interesting (the ED song especially resembling that of another series), the BGMs were nothing stellar, the plot seemed convoluted and the characters seemed incredibly stereotypical, especially the big-boobed girls.

          These are unsubstantiated claims.

          I and a few other friends sing quite a number of the songs at karaoke, quite enjoyable for all. I have no idea what impresses you about music, so this is a very subjective things to disagree about.

          The main battle music is quite nice, not as nice as the OST of the SEED sub-franchise, but I like it. It wouldn’t impress me the same way V Gundam’s or Turn A’s or Z’s OSTs did, but it isn’t bad, and is capable of scoring key moments well.

          Convoluted plot is not a bad thing. I am not hung on simplicity and complexity of plot. Plot is this: Energy crisis, resolved by space elevators, power shifts — all predicted and planned by a visionary scientist who also developed the Gundams. What is his true objective? etc. etc. This is a pretty straightforward adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation saga, simplified though, and filled with robots and robot action.

          Stereotypical characters — welcome to anime, no, welcome to the Gundam franchise. Rather that thinking in terms of cliche or type… consider that Gundam shows will follow tradition and tropes (and neither are bad things). 00 follows the tradition of the original series plus some other sources like Macross. Sumeragi Lee Noriega (the biggest boobs), follows the tradition of Hayase Misa (Macross), and Misato Katsuragi (Evangelion). How many other characters are like this? There are a few examples in mecha anime, e.g. Talho Yuki from Eureka SeveN, and from both SEED and GSD. I don’t see this as bad, it’s remembering love.

          Gundam and many other mecha shows will follow type, convention, tradition etc. that some may consider cliche, but to fans, these are the known quantities that they like about the franchise or the sub-genre of anime. It’s like how masked characters keep showing up in Gundam, it’s tradition, and part of why fans love the franchise.

          At some point you mentioned boring battles. Well, you must have seen a whole lot of interesting battles. But if you consider 00′s battles boring, and the SEED, and GSD battles not horrible, then we have nothing to discuss. Your taste in mecha action is too far from mine and I’ve no interest in disparaging it, nor you.

          I will add your recommendations to my (very long) backlog. I was incredibly disinterested while watching Terra E, but I don’t fault the show for this. I am capable of being disinterested in shows that have wide acclaim and/or appeal. Thank you for your response.

  28. Cynthia says:

    I couldn’t see this before, now I see it. Yeah, believe me, Gundam Wing may have its facepalm moments, but the entire series more than makes up for those few moments if you ask me. Well, if I can ever goad you into watching the whole thing, let me know.

    Let me explain. The ED of this series resembles the ED of .hack//Roots, which again resembles the ED of Code Geass, both of which were made after Roots. This isn’t so much the series’ fault, I admit, but apparently Ali Project’s songs all sound alike, or just about. So I was not impressed. The BGMs, I’m sorry, but I have definitely heard better. As you say, they may be ok, but nothing stellar. But yes, I dislike most music, whether American or Japanese (especially American though). For examples of songs I really like, try T.M. Revolution’s entire repertoire (or just about) and all of the Soukyuu no Fafner songs (performed by the band angela composed of atsuko and katsu).

    Problem with Gundam 00, to me, from what I remember of it, is it started out convoluted and all characters involved seemed remarkably self-righteous and arrogant, and there seemed to be no reason behind it. Compare this to Gundam Wing’s Gundam pilots who start off with confidence to spare but are not annoying or abusive with it. In Gundam 00, the very name Celestial Being had me rolling my eyes the moment I heard it, but the more they elaborated on it, the less interesting they seemed to become. It reminded me a lot of what Durandall became in Gundam Seed Destiny, and that was an ugly picture to me.

    I did expect stereotypes out of any Gundam series, but not complete stereotypes like these. Ie characters that seemed to offer nothing outside of the stereotypes they represented. I found nothing special or individual about these characters, and that was within 10 episodes. I don’t know when the character development was supposed to take place if not then, but if it’s later, it’s awfully late.

    Not so much boring battles, but weak. In the sense that you felt as though the characters could have done much better if they’d kicked themselves into gear a bit more. I’m not an expert on battles, but within those first 10 episodes, it didn’t seem as though they were giving it their all. And there’s too much in your Seed and Destiny pages to discuss in one sitting, but if you have something like MSN, that could be interesting. Let me know.

    I am not the type to like popular shows either. I have to like a show for itself, not because others liked it. I don’t deny, btw, that shows like Seed had their flaws, but the overall result, for me, was pleasant. I do want to watch all the other Gundam series at some point and compare, but I can never hate Seed. I can, however, hate Destiny. Except Kira in it. :P And as for Terra E…, well, it really is quite moving in parts, though I suppose the anime does overdramatize some stuff compared to the manga version. As for YST (Yoroiden Samurai Troopers), you can find a torrent of the TV series on BakaBT. Please go easy on it if you do watch it, it’s an older series. :P

    I was also wondering, have you ever watched .hack//SIGN and/or .hack//Roots, and if so, what do you think of them?

    • I will probably watch W next year, though it may prove difficult given that AGE and Origin will both be airing. I fully intend to go back to X as well.

      LOL Ali Project, a less appealing same-sound act than Kajiura.

      No character is more dickishly arrogant than Heero Yui (this isn’t really a bad thing btw!). I kind of like Heero for being that way, just as much as I like Setsuna for being retarded. Tieria is my favorite here because he’s doubly retarded. All of them get pretty shown up and broken. The first act of Gundam 00 is all about Celestial being drinking their own Kool-Aid of being saviors of humanity. They would be broken by future events, but the movie all but ruins it. They got justified in an annoying way.

      Ugh, character development. I am not hung up about this at all, especially in my robot anime, well I’m not really a fan of this concept period. Characters can be interesting with zero development. It doesn’t mean Gundam 00 has great characters — I wouldn’t argue that at all! But I would hardly be bothered by a lack of this ‘development’ thing. I can easily find great amusement with the caricatures that make up the Redline film. No development, but lots of character.

      The battles are what this show have going for it. The action animation is a tremendous improvement from SEED/GSD and the sheer dominance of the Gundams over the rest of the world, provided quite a few very interesting tactical wrinkles on the part of the pre-federation forces. The attempt to capture the Kyrios was a great episode, and the 800-strong host vs. the 4 CB forces in the desert was very good. What made the fights a lot more interesting is the departure from SEED’s “aim, ready, POSE, fire, POSE” choreography, which annoyed me to no end. The animation was mostly fluid and fast. and mostly devoid of the super saiyan bullshit that took over the second season.

      The overpowered Gundam vs. throngs of enemies wiped out by beam spam is a tradition started by Gundam W, and is what I hate most about Alternate Universe Gundam shows’ battle dynamics.

      Not really into the .hack// series, though recently 21stcenturydigitalboy wrote a post here about Quantum.

      As for watching older shows, I have no problem with it. I’ve been watching anime for 30 years so I know how to appreciate older material. I’ll add ST into the queue thanks for the recommendations.

  29. Cynthia says:

    X eh? I’d go with the manga there, frankly, if I were you. The manga which I hope CLAMP intends on finishing before we all die from old age, that is. The OAV (I guess it’s more of an episode 0?) had some nice scenes as well though, especially what I always thought was a cop-out in the TV series: Kamui getting stabbed all over with glass shards.

    Yes, exactly! Kajiura sounds sooo good.

    Tieria always struck me as an odd one, and Setsuna was not unlikeable, but he was nothing special either. See, that’s the thing, I need a show I like to have characters I can like rather than wanting to rant and rave at them for being morons or oddballs. I mean to me, a show is just another show among many others without great characters.

    I don’t disagree that the animation is better for the battles, it’s kind of a big duh for me since it’s a more recent series than others. In other words, what I call an unfair advantage is hardly what I will use to judge a series’ worth. Gundams are *supposed* to be superior, I can’t hate Seed’s portrayal of them for that. Also, seems to me as though at least Seed had a more interesting theme than 00. And to be honest, I really didn’t see this “posing” that seems to irritate you so much. I don’t know, but within 10 episodes, 00 managed to leave a bad taste in my mouth and I could find no reasons to keep watching it.

    .hack//SIGN is a good example of exactly why I watch anime and prefer it by far to most American TV shows. In my opinion, few anime series have the potential to be formidably fascinating pieces. To me, something like Azumanga Daioh is crap through and through. I probably don’t like the same things as you do in anime, and am not easily impressed with most shows. .hack//Quantum, visually at least, seems a bit like it’s trying too hard to be interesting, by taking the character designs of the three most well-liked characters of the first series of games and giving them somewhat shocking changes. I say shocking, but I mean unrealistic and quite simply ugly.

    As for YST, I’m gonna be honest and say that you should give YST 10 episodes before deciding whether you like it or not. Can’t say that the TV series has much character development (except in terms of the characters growing stronger), but the OAVs and drama CDs do. Btw, drama CDs, if you’ve never listened to one, are pretty fascinating.

    And you should also add Soukyuu no Fafner to your recommendations. Supposedly it’s similar enough to Evangelion that you should like it.

    • I meant Gundam X.

      Posing, see here.

      You don’t get to appreciate how terribly bad SEED’s animation and fighting choreography is (and I haven’t even started on the god-mode stuff). SEED and GSD, by your logic of new shows having to be better than old ones, by virtue of animation, then failed to beat Turn A Gundam (which is pretty bad), and Victory Gundam (also very bad)… V Gundam is a decade older, and never had to suffer from the horrible cheap corner cutting of the posing, and the outright re-use of animation. To be worse than V is ugh.

      As for the battles themselves, SEED hardly used any tactics or strategy… maybe the guy with the ugly dog mobile suits in the desert did, but this is hardly comparable with what 00′s first season did (and a few fights in the second season). Alas, the movie pissed all of this away.

      Now, I’m not trying to make you like 00, heavens no. But since we are talking about specifics like mecha battle dynamics, which is something I talk about a lot in this blog, I will disagree with your claims even if it is for something as subjective as “boring.” You can find awesome things boring, not that I claim 00 battles are awesome, but they are not to be dismissed among the robot anime battles of the previous decade.

  30. Cynthia says:

    Oops, talk about a blonde moment… But speaking of CLAMP’s X, ever read it?

    I don’t know, but I really don’t think of it as posing. It never bothered me either way, the essence of the show for me was not in the fights. With technology improving, so should animation overtime. Unicorn, for instance, is basically a better animated, crisper version of the exact same style used in the first few Gundam series, I imagine, at least as far as the characters go. No, you misunderstood what I meant when I said animation, I meant the animation method and the crisper look of it, not the style of it (as in what’s popular). In that sense, Seed is definitely superior to its older peers, but inferior to its newer ones. As for the strategies, they weren’t necessarily needed to make a more interesting battle, because there was more urgency in those battles. Rather than the bland characters of 00, the characters of Seed were far more driven. So again we see our differences: I think good characters make a series truly come alive, whereas you’re more interested in the battle specifics, at least as far as Gundam shows are concerned. Kira was not a soldier, so of course didn’t fight or think much like one. He was less of a reluctant hero and more of a simple boy concerned more with other people. This personality trait is especially evident in his Suit CD drama.

    I didn’t say 00′s battles were boring, I said the characters just didn’t seem to be giving it their all. To put it in more straightforward terms, they didn’t seem at all driven. I dismiss 00 as a whole because I feel it is an unoriginal work. Truth is, I’d say I hated it, but I just didn’t care enough for such a strong feeling. This series made no efforts to make me care. When I compare it to a series like Soukyuu no Fafner, I see where it was a mecha series done wrong.

    • I think my wife read X at some point and she didn’t like it.

      Animation is more than technology, it has a lot to do with technique (key and in-between frames development, etc.). This is why they give awards for animators.

      00 Unoriginal? All AU Gundam series are derivative of the orginal Gundam. The most divergent are:

      Mobile Fighter G Gundam
      Gundam W
      Gundam 00

      SEED was the most “faithful” to the original Mobile Suit Gundam (which if I’m not mistaken, is something you haven’t seen). I’m not sure I what you’re talking about when you mention original.

      You’ve also been more concerned about characters and story, which are important things to be sure, but this is robot anime and this is Gundam. The fights MUST be good. Robots fighting IS the foundation of robot anime. “Real robot” anime, as a tradition/sub-genre differentiates itself from the “super robot” tradition by featuring military style battles over pro-wrestling duels.

      This is the key contribution of Mobile Suit Gundam, which the AU tradition departed from by making the mobile suits quite “super” and making the battles more about duels between super-prototypes as oppposed to large-scale tactical engagements. Not to say that there aren’t large battles in SEED/GSD, they just tend to be leveled by METEOR or other magic super attacks by Jesus Yamato, et al. Same with the Wing Zero Custom, same with the Gundam 00 Raiser.

      Now I’m not saying you should replace your appreciation of character and story with my appreciation of robots and robot battles. I’m not interested in changing you. I only say that there may be a few things you don’t know about Gundam, robot anime, etc. that MAY be good for you to consider when evaluating (robot) shows in the future.

      So yes, originality isn’t something fans of Gundam look for in a Gundam show. We look for more of what we like about Gundam, and less of the things that suck — and this includes super prototypes with god powers, super pilots with god powers, etc. etc.

      For your reference:

      More about what makes Gundam as a franchise awesome:

      http://ghostlightning.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/for-all-my-sophist-coordination-my-love-for-gundam-is-all-natural/

      For an idea of what makes for good robot battles:

      http://ghostlightning.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/the-10-best-robot-anime-fights-of-2010/

  31. Cynthia says:

    I’m assuming you have similar tastes in manga and anime? If you don’t like character-driven series, you might not like X. Then there’s also X’s prequel series, Tokyo Babylon, which deals more with various issues in society, such as suicide, murder, jealousy, the elderly, things like that. I can’t tell you enough how much I loved this series (more than X) because Subaru is a character that’s so easy to love.

    About 00, the plot is not original, it’s nothing special and not all that interesting, that’s what I meant by original or, in other words, creative, fascinating. And no, I’ve never seen the original Gundam series, but I heard Seed and Destiny be compared by other fans to Zeta and ZZ.

    But here’s the thing: boring characters tend to make for a boring story. Series that are just about “fighting” are a dime a dozen, if you ask me. I easily consider Naruto, Bleach and One Piece to be very heavy on the fighting. In fact, such series tend to have more games because of this. To me, when it’s just about fighting and doesn’t have much interest other than that, it belongs more in a game than in something I’d enjoy watching. As for robot series and Gundam in general, they tend to be more political in nature from what I’ve seen. But either way, I did not enjoy the fights of 00. Maybe the characters get better at fighting later, but they didn’t impress me in those first 10 episodes. To me, if all Gundam series are similar, then the good ones are going to distinguish themselves with a stellar plot and cool characters first, and good fights will be more of an accessory to a good plot.

    Sorry, but I don’t think of Kira in those terms at all. He’s a character who had, and still has, deep trauma from having fought when he was not at all ready to, and basically because he felt forced to. He became someone who fought not on his own, but only for the things he believed in, and that is what made him stronger. I think if anything, it’s jealousy to give him stupid nicknames. I don’t give a crap about Endless Waltz as far as Gundam Wing is concerned. To me it’s more of a crack-induced nightmare than anything. However, the audio drama (and manga) Blind Target is pretty good.

    Btw, I’m the same age as you, so at this point, I doubt my tastes will change. Giant robots or not, I am always going to need a good plot and good characters to be able to enjoy it, otherwise I won’t care if the Gundam they’re riding gets blown up within the first 5 minutes of any given episode. Shinn and Lunamaria of Destiny could have died, for instance, I wouldn’t have shed a tear for either one. They were boring, stupid, annoying characters with a rather superficial relationship. Matter of fact, speaking of boring characters I’ll never miss, I was glad to see Stellar die.

    Btw, what exactly do you think makes “super pilots” different from, say, Newtypes?

    • If you’ve read the link to the Gundam post you’ll see what I mean, or maybe not. You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t want to repeat what I’ve explained in past blog posts in a short response.

      I have different tastes in manga than I do in anime. Animation is a craft of moving illustrations, to be done well, one must be excellent in the craft of animation. Action brings out the best of this, which is why if you watch very character-driven Ghibli films, it makes damn sure it has a scene wherein the animation is brought out with a brilliant action scene (usually involves flying). If I wanted characters and story, I’ll watch a live action dramatic film or series; or, I’ll read a book. I watch animation for the moving illustrations. Action communicates this best, and robot battles is the best possibility for this. I sent you the link to my favorites list, it will go far to show you what I appreciate and value. I would appreciate that you go through the links and resources I provide before responding.

      Bear in mind that I am NOT correcting you as if you’re wrong and should be set straight. Please accept all this in the spirit of sharing.

      I have seen most of Gundam including Z and ZZ. SEED is mostly MSG, and GSD is its own vile creature. The second season of 00 is a loose adaptation of Z.

      00′s story, is not boring. Other things ruin it, and almost always it is all execution. The Shonen battle anime seldom have well-animated fight scenes for my tastes. You’ll have to look at shows like Cowboy Bebop or Samurai Champloo to find well-animated TV shows. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is king of all this.

      You’re obviously a fan of Kira and I’ll stop discussing SEED with you now. Trust me, this will not go anywhere fruitful (and this includes the discussion of NTs and coordinators; I’ve written extensively about NTs in my Gundam Unicorn posts if you want to know further). The pilots of 00 are interestingly enough, NOT super, up until Setsuna turned into Jesus late in the 2nd season. 00 was interesting in that the pilots of the non-Gundams were much better than Celestial Being whose primary advantage was having Gundams.

      So, with finality, this is where I stand: 00 is a lot better than SEED. You obviously disagree, but it doesn’t matter. I think both sub-franchises are terrible anyway. Let’s move on.

  32. Cynthia says:

    I’ve actually read all those links that you gave me, and I also feel like I’ve been repeating myself. I just want to be clear that I enjoy the series I enjoy not because of ignorance or anything similar, but because those elements that I mentioned are what I look for in series.

    Yes, anime is moving pictures, but to me the animation style expresses beauty more than action. What makes anime so much more special than regular Saturday morning American cartoons is that they look better, and have much more developed interesting characters than some stereotypical hero type. Too, the plots of anime tend to be more creative. I think of Fushigi Yuugi and Samurai Troopers as good examples of this. And btw, the dub of Samurai Troopers, please don’t ever watch it til after you’ve seen the original, it’s really not a very good dub, albeit all right for its time. The point I was trying to express is that I can appreciate action, and I’m sure I’ll love that in the older Gundam series as well, but generally speaking, I need more. Frankly, I need series that make me feel as well as think. For me, Ghibli is not really a style I particularly enjoy. I liked Mononoke Hime well enough, but not really enough to rewatch it, and I know none of the other Ghibli series, nor am I very interested in knowing them. I don’t think of this as abnormal, I just think Ghibli is not necessarily for everyone. I don’t think you fully understood what I was saying about 00. I’ve never disagreed that the fights are well “animated”, it is just that you felt how much weaker the pilots were than those they faced, or at least how much more they needed to struggle in fights. But I digress, I just didn’t want to be misunderstood. I don’t have the greatest of ease in explaining myself.

    Let’s not argue on what is boring, since that is completely subjective. I did not think you would take it personally, I was just sharing my opinions with you. I don’t expect to convince you and you shouldn’t expect to convince me either. We are both adults with educated and well-formed opinions. I think our major cause of disagreement is that you appreciate American TV far more than I ever could, and therefore I look for more and expect better out of my anime than most fans. And I’ve already heard of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, even seen a few episodes of the former, but am not really interested in them.

    Btw, the Kira thing, I just know how to dislike a character without dissing him. And it’s more than just like with Kira: I understand and respect him. A guy like Athrun annoys me to no end for several reasons. I appreciate someone who can dislike a character without the need for name-calling. Not to mention that you can appreciate even a character that you dislike. In my case, with Kira, I can like him because I can appreciate both his flaws and his redeeming qualities. The same is true for a character like SIGN’s Tsukasa. Both are deeply flawed characters who feel a lot more real than your typical hero type.

    Uh btw, you write way too much, lol. I’ve tried to, but I swear I just can’t find your Unicorn posts. But I really am curious as to whether you see any difference between a Newtype and a super pilot (Coordinators not necessarily included).

    I hope you read this as intently as I read your post, and that this clears up any possible misunderstandings. :)

    • The “beauty” in an animated sequence is in 2 things:

      1. The key frame — this is the ideal frame to “pause” on which gives you the perfect “moment” in the sequence to marvel at the illustration. This is, for all intents and purposes, an illustration as if on a storyboard or manga panel.
      2. The in-between frames — if done well, the animation looks very smooth and fluid.

      While there is a lot of beauty in mundane things in anime: picking up a pen, running fingers through hair, sipping tea (after all, Kyoto Animation in K-On!! did quite spectacularly with this), the exciting animation is in action, because there is a lot of movement from multiple objects on the screen and if all is drawn expertly, it truly is a marvel. So, what kinds of things are these: dance, sports, and of course fighting. TV anime with its limited budgets and schedules are compromised in portraying these things and thus are compelled to cut corners, but examples abound wherein the execution is brilliant. If you have appreciation of these arts (dance, theater, martial — you’ll enjoy movement and action almost as much as I do).

      Gundam SEED and GSD has a lot of money put into it, as with every Gundam installment (except maybe G Gundam, which looks like crap but is otherwise awesome), but the methods it uses to animate battles are atrocious. To cite an example, the amount of flash from beams, flames, and explosions obscure so much of what little of the mobile suits are there that’s illustrated, leaving us with clumsy in-between frames and a lot of key frames reused (basically, posing before firing, during firing, after firing). This kind of action is more suited for shows like Sengoku Basara which concentrates with flashy moves than with actual exchanges in their duels.

      Now to the level of fight content: in SEED, Kira pretty much dominates everyone immediately without any practice or training.

      In 00, the idea was that Gundams overwhelmed the non-Gundams until the Earth forces unify and become a federation that got much better at fighting Gundams. This is very interesting and is an exploration of the tactics and ingenuity of Earth government pilots and officers against a vastly superior opponent. What wasted this buildup is how no matter what the Earth forces did, especially in the second season, there was always some magic silver bullet that undid them thanks to Gundam/GN particles/Innovator thing. The real disappointing stuff happened much later.

      The feel of the engagements approached the kind of operations in Tom Clancy Military Thriller film adaptations, or such games as Rainbow Six, etc. as opposed to button-mashing melees+beam spam a la Dynasty Warriors/Sengoku Basara — the effect is the same, but the presentation acquired a sophistication lacking in all previous Gundam shows.

      But to more specific content, Gundam Virtue beam spam aside, the combined arms tactics was well coordinated. Exia displayed the best moves among Gundam close combat fights — very fluid, circular motions, and well-choreographed as well. The Exia’s design made it quite believable too as compared to big, bulky suits with lots of wings and ornaments and all sorts of crap doing swordfights etc. This was a rare treat, and was ultimately wasted by 00.

      If a Gundam show that is a derivative of the original story does not provide a level of action spectacle that improves on 20 years of the franchise, then there is very little value in it, except for people who discover the franchise through it and develop an interest in other shows in the franchise. That is the job of each AU sub-franchise: W, SEED, 00. And in many cases, those who discover an affinity for Gundam through one of those shows remains fond of (if not outright loyal) to their gateway show… and in many cases use that show as the benchmark in evaluating the other shows in Gundam.

      You can find many of the posts in the archives via the category list in the sidebar.

      It’s okay not to diss characters, but it’s okay to do that too. If you’ve read the post I’ve made on GSD, you’ll see that it’s also part of some people’s enjoyment to hate on things. Sure it hurts the fans of the object being hated on, but that’s just part of being a fan and there’s no point in trying to act as if such things and people are beneath us (I used to be this way, and have lightened up since). You can tell the spirit of the post is a roast, all in the spirit of fun. So yeah, fuck Kira, but Shinn is worse.

      Also, you’ll find out eventually that the Gundam fandom is pretty much the worst thing there is.

      Coordinators are a derivative of the NTs, just as Innovators are in 00.

  33. Cynthia says:

    It’s much simpler than that for me. The beauty is in the drawing style for me. Shows like Azumanga Daioh and Excel Saga are utterly ugly to me. Not that their plot (or lackthereof) actually redeems them in any way.

    That is your opinion, that the most beautiful part is in action. I don’t necessarily disagree, since shounen series are my favorite genre, but I prefer something like what .hack//SIGN offers overall. That is to say, expressive faces, smooth and slow movements, beautiful backgrounds. In Samurai Troopers, I appreciate the armors’ designs which, although they were created in the same era as a show such as Saint Seiya (YST took Saint Seiya’s TV slot in Japan when it ended), are quite unique and pretty. Overall, movement is ok, but if a series were purely about action with no interesting character interactions and no real plot, I would be disappointed with it. YST, btw, also has some very pretty backgrounds, mostly from the OAVs because they had a higher budget, but there are beautiful lake and volcano shots in the TV series among other things. So in short, I enjoy action, but it’s not the most enjoyable part of animation for me. What is the most enjoyable for me is seeing it all come to life. Even if I’m less than satisfied with CLAMP’s X TV series, I’m very glad they animated the manga. Pure action is more suited to live action, contrary to what you think.

    Oh so that’s what you meant about the beams. Although given the kinds of series they are, and seeing as there *are* mechanics behind all the beams (you yourself mentioned you like things to be explained, and so do I), I can’t agree with you. Frames reused, I think that can’t be helped in most series.

    Kira dominates non-Coordinators. He struggles a lot in the beginning, however.

    I can appreciate that you can find merit in the battles of 00, but when I think back on them I just wasn’t impressed at all. It’s not just about being spoiled by the beam spam of Wing, Seed and even X, it’s more that every one of their (00′s) engagements felt like they didn’t know what the hell they were doing.

    I don’t agree with your “except” statement. For me, the Gundam series I like have a degree of action that is more than satisfactory and not at all due to Wing, for instance, being my Gateway Gundam series. The same is true for YST: it was my first anime that I really knew was anime and *really* got into, 15 years ago, but nostalgia is far from being the only (or even major) factor in my enjoyment of the series. I genuinely like the characters of YST, its plots, its designs, even the confusing parts about it. Unlike with a lot of other series, YST does not have any characters I hate, ie characters that act stereotypically, are annoying or feel like they have no place in the series other than being “just another villain”. In the case of Wing, Seed and X, I still find everything about them enjoyable, it’s not baseless loyalty. And Gundam as a whole, I am interested in eventually seeing it not only because these have whetted my appetite, but the major reason is that Gundam is a classic and one I want to experience, knowing that I like this kind of show.

    Yeah, I was able to find them afterwards.

    There is a big distinction between “dissing” and “dissecting”. The two words may resemble each other, even in meaning, but “dissing” is definitely not ok whereas “dissecting” is. At least when you’re dissecting a character, you’re evaluating him from an objective point of view whether you like or dislike him, and therefore can appreciate both his flaws and his qualities as a character even if you’re personally not a fan of him. Especially when you’re talking about characters with another person, I think of it as not using something like insults or derogatory remarks to describe a character, but rather using descriptive terms that actually mean something. Such as instead of saying “I think he’s stupid”, you can say “I think he made some bad decisions”. No, such things are not beneath us, however it still remains common decency that can be observed by anyone who chooses to do so.

    *raises hand* I’ve actually heard that the Evangelion fandom is the worst there is. Ie, that Evangelion fans are rabid.

    Btw, speaking of super pilots, I do have a beef with Seed and Destiny. The three Earth Alliance pilots towards the end of Seed, the ones who took drugs, we were given the distinct impression that they were criminals who were made to fight as an option instead of going to jail. Then, in Destiny, suddenly the three crazy kids who stole Gundams are actually lab babies? This rather reeked of inconsistency, like a very poor attempt at making us feel pity/sympathy for them. Did you ever notice that or did I misunderstand something?

  34. Joe says:

    I am starting to wonder if people in general get too “into” anime. People begin drawing all sorts of various conclusions and make enormous effort to maintain a sense of comparitive superiority. But anime, at least to me, seems to be formed more by what you pull from it based on what the creators wrote, rather than a straight-up “herd mentality” of dogmatic orchestration. It’s rather curious when the comparisons start arriving. What do people hope to gain – if anything? Is liking one show whilst dead-panning another in comparison a way to entreat salve for someone enjoying something others do/do not? Shrug. Anyway….

    All that said, I am going to say Gundam 00 damn near took home the title of a rebirth to Gundam for me. But didn’t quite do it and while I have not seen Trailblazer, I can understand many of the issues people have with it.

    I don’t care for Seed, lost interest in Wing, never could get into anything in UC outside of 0083 Stardust Memories. I figured Gundam was a prototypal Evangelion with rabid, voracious fans with pitchforks and torches waiting for the next ungrateful cur to mutter even a minor slight vs. it. I gave Gundam 00 a try on a whim to see if I still liked anything Gundam and got hooked by the first episodes. So I might be a bit bias on stance as it is/was the only Gundam that managed to reignite my interest. It is sad to hear the film is so poorly concepted as had it not been, I wonder if 00 wouldn’t have gone in as a “classic” Gundam series. More sad still was the fact so many people seem/seemed so vocal and ardent that it was not “the One”; not the great Gundam series apparently everyone looks for and/or would claim.

    Let me save everyone the suspense and say, there is no One great Gundam series, just like there is no one great anime series. There are as many varied ones as there are people. Take what you can from it and enjoy the ride. The minute art is brought beneath microscope is when it ceases to be enojoyable and simply becomes another job.

    • Nope.

      The “too into anime” “problem” also informs the activities of the fans (like me) who enjoy themselves the most. This doesn’t become just another job because this is an awesome, if unanswerable question (what is the most awesome Gundam — there may be an answer, and I do have an answer, but I’d rather it be wrong because I want the most awesome Gundam show to come from the future).

      For all the rhetoric here, I am not losing sleep over Gundam 00. The more problematic “too serious” elements I find in anime discourse has more to do with people trying to impose their opinions as the “One” truth over others — not because of some noble scientific pursuit, but more for some kind of social pissing match.

      So thank you for your concern over my enjoyment. I’m fully convinced that no one is having more fun out of this hobby the past 3 years than I am.

      About art… I’m not convinced that anime is art. Or, if it is art, that it means anything remarkably special for being such, because anything can be art. I appreciate the craft of it as much as I put in a lot with the craft of blogging anime. But I don’t get hung up about this art stuff. I know I am enjoying myself without having to enter that tired, burdened, and (personally) boring discourse.

  35. Joe says:

    What problem? Who referred to anything as a problem?

    I am not concerned over your enjoyment – or, rather, I wasn’t directing the statement at you or, for that matter, anyone here. Merely it was vocalized thinking rather than as a description. Hence the wonder. The effort and energy expended on exploration of something rather than taking it at face value is more along the lines of what I meant. Obviously, given the medium, one can expect a great deal of metaphor.

    If you are not convinced anime is an art, then I guess the idea of what art is follows the same pattern and depends on the beholder. Glad you are enjoying yourself. Too many people do not.

  36. KP-X says:

    Gundam 00 was once my favorite anime of all time because of the first season. I won’t see it doesn’t have any flaws, but for me the product as a whole provided me an immensurable amount of enjoyment. Then…that thing came. That dreadful second season. That’s a lesson for any direcotr/scriptwriter as to how to destroy a story. The movie just finished the job.
    But I can’t say I like other Gundams either. I tried as much as could to bring myself to love UC, but nah.

  37. kevin says:

    the funniest thing i found when i suddenly came to understanding was that by making those aliens understand sestuna was a fucking nazi
    by taking away the only thing that made those aliens what they are, their aggression.
    sestuna killed the only reason for them to survive
    intelligent living beings exists and continue to exist because they are selfish, it is the selfishness that makes them what they are, it is the selfishness that makes you and I different. It is the same selfishness that made our ancestors walk out of the oceans, climbed down from the trees, and wear really really tight underwear and try to look like super heros.
    those aliens aren’t like us.
    we’re apes
    they are assimulators.
    our very difference alone is a good enough reason for assimulators to not have the same type of logical behaviour as humans. hence telling them everything, explaining to them everything. SHOULDN’T BE ENOUGH TO SAVE THE WORLD

    the movie shoulda went out with a cca style ending.
    drop axis onto the fuck mothering aliens, not make a flower. please AGE kill off yurin so you’re legacy doesn’t get forever ruined by painfully bad storyline.

    if humanity dies tmr, nothing will remember us. it is that same reasoning that drove shinji’s fuckign crazy parents to build an EVA and send it into space, floating there to remind aliens that flies by once per trillion years that humans has existed before.
    if we’re so unimportant, what right do we have to shatter the beliefs of another species, that same belief that was the essence of their existence, in the name of our own survival?

    the writers of 00 are nationalistic fascists. we don’t get directors like tomino anymore, Tomino cared enough about his work to have the ability to forget he was japanese.

  38. Pingback: The Greatest Time To Be a Gundam Fan | We Remember Love

  39. banagherlinks says:

    Okay, gundam was supposed to bear that anti war theme and “understanding with each other” stuffs, although 00′s season one was not that great(errrrrrr….. Seed aftershock sucks…..) season two indeed ended up as tomino fukuda wanabe…. (that innovator eyes makes me remember seed mode) and the quantum brainwaves stuff is for NT. No, I loves season two(anew’s death did strike me hard) but hey not hard when I saw tolle’s nicole’s and stellas’ and in Uc(four.. Sniff..sniff….. Lalah…..Kamille…..hamman…????!!) well the thing is, anti wars are for gundams that what makes them categorized as “real” just leave the alien invasion stuffs to macross,
    remember daimos.. LOL
    remember voltes five… Double LOL
    remember combatler…. Ehem….
    Remember love!!!!!
    No I won’t go far to say Age is in there
    Still 00 was like a gem in the franchise when it comes to Bishonen stuffs and the likes(EHEM… Heero, Gboys, treize zechs yes!! I’m staring at you!!!) LOL. Just kidding. Indeed 00′s animation is one of the bests in it’s kind too bad unicorn mopped the floor for him. Still it’s a great gateway gundam for you my friend and enjoy the enticing world know as GUndaM

    SI’EG ZEON!!!!!!!!!

  40. Turambar says:

    I finally decided in a bout of grad school workload caused insomnia and depression to jump the shark and watch this movie. I always knew it was bad, but man. Mannnnnnnnn. The story and character portrayals are bullshit. I don’t need to go into that. But what makes me angrier is all the ways it so clumsily tries to ape the better moments of superior shows and present loose ends of actual merit and discard them completely.

    Descartes Shaman proved to be a xenophobic racist, calling non-innovators the inferior species. One would think when a wave of innovation(TM) is spreading across the human population, the movie would do well to touch further upon this racial tension right? Nope. Lets just kill him off. Further, lets completely abandon any notion of that sentiment at let a population with 40% innovators live in complete peace and harmony because apparently he was the only racist in the history of the species except for all the innovades that came before him.

    And then there are the referential moments. Andrei Smirnov and four of his GNX buddies using transam to push a giant ELS capitol ship as it falls on earth, and exploding just as they succeed. The movie was literally shoving a shitty tasting poopsicle in the shape of CCA into my mouth and I was literally giving my computer screen the finger. You’re going to replace Amuro with Andrei? Seriously? You couldn’t at least do it was a character that was memorable in anyway and give Graham the heroic death he so dearly deserved despite Season 2? (For the record, SolBraves is a pretty awesome name for a MS team.)

    And then of course there is the whole Jupiter Express of enemies. It doesn’t take a seasoned film critic to know that this show can ONLY end with humans and aliens finding peace. So what better way to present an alien enemy than ones completely devoid of any character at all. The fact that it made all combat between the armada of GaGa Squadrion in GN Lance costumes and the Feddies a snore fest is not lost on me either.

    Though for the sake of being fair and balanced, I will say one thing. At least the Zabanya was entertaining to watch. Lockon actually used its bits dare I say, intelligently. Rifle bits are fucking RIFLES and shoot from far away. hey don’t go charging into melee range. Shield bits are shields and they not only defend the MS itself, but also the rifle bits from incoming shots, prolonging its combat capability. Totally nominating the Zabanya for Saimecha 2013 because it made me enjoy this movie for just a few moments, and that is a fucking momentous achievement.

  41. Pingback: The Impracticality of Ace Pilots Vs. The Alien Apocalypse: Muv Luv Alternative Total Eclipse Episode 03 | We Remember Love

  42. sasami-san says:

    Gateway? Are you guys stupid? Blocking this site on my searches now…

  43. Maximillion Genius says:

    this show was a fucking pisstake. What an embarrasment, I immediately burn the dvds and bluerays of this shit as an offering for the great white doll. F-ck you mizushima, misheda and fukuda with all this blasphemies you incorporated to the franchise.

    Although there’s nothing wrong for liking this movie…..

    JUST KIDDING, FUCK ALL OF YOU WHO LIKED THIS SHIT AND THIKNS THAT IT IS GOOD :D

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