Gundam 00 Post Special (Part 1)

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Why Gundam 00 fails, with some comparison to Code Geass and Gundam Seed/Destiny thrown in.

  • The Gundam Meisters are bland as characters and as pilots

I’ve said before the Gundam Meisters are boring. First let’s take Setsuna. Despite repeated emphasis on his background as a child fighter he is still as boring as ever. He is like Heero Yuy except with lesser piloting skills, with Marina Ismail as his Relena Peacecraft. Hallelujah is supposed to be an enhanced being yet he spends his time more at acting like he has a headache and portraying multiple split personalities. Tiera on the other hand seems to be more skilled at being tsundere and using Veda instead of fighting. The only one who probably had true mettle as a pilot in him was Lockon Stratos, and unfortunately he’s probably dead (unless he gets resurrected).

It is indeed sad that the pilots from the Union, AEU, and HRL get owned because their mobile suits aren’t as good as the Gundams. But shove the Meisters into a regular mobile suit, have them go one-on-one with the best pilots from the different countries, and the Meisters probably won’t last 5 minutes. On the other hand, most Code Geass pilots are awesome (in a good way or in a hilarious way) whatever mobile suit they are in. Most SEED pilots are competent with the exception of Lunamaria. (Sorry Lunamaria fans).

  • The fights are mostly boring, if not annoying

I groan everytime Hallelujah and Soma get on with their quantum thingie. I feel I get hypnotized to sleep everytime I see Setsuna’s eyes. And the Gundam’s opponents seem to have mastered the sequence fight-issue a few statements/observations-get owned-retreat. As a special mention, Graham Aker’s statements just make me cringe (I wanna embrace you Gundam??!!) On the other hand, Lockon just looks cool as a sniper, and Tiera just amuses me because a lot of times I’ve been expecting him to self-destruct.

As for Code Geass, when is a fight ever boring? I cannot recall a boring moment, because you could never predict with certainty every time who will win the battle. As for Gundam SEED we know something is clearly at stake so it’s not totally boring that Kira defeats everyone else most of the time. For the guys they can also just amuse themselves by counting how many times the boobs of Archangel’s Murrue Ramius bounce. Or ponder why Minerva’s Talia Gladys almost doesn’t have any.

  • The Celestial Beings are pathetic at strategies

Their crowning glory probably is only the production of the Gundams. Despite centuries of planning they didn’t have the wisdom to put a back-up system beforehand in Ptolemaios and for the Gundams in case Veda gets hacked. For all the secrecy about their original identities they let an unauthorized person like the youngest Trinity roam around freely in their ship. Why they let a pilot like Hallelujah with obvious mental problems on board a Gundam is beyond me. For all their implied resources it’s unbelievable they’re that desperate for pilots. In fact, I don’t see any semblance of real strategy at all. The Gundams won not because of strategy but because their technology is superior. Sumeragi, for all her supposed strategic capabilities, just pales in comparison with Talia and Murrue, the latter accomplished captains of far bigger ships. She was probably partly modeled after them, it’s just unfortunate her physical assets were the only ones shown as ‘fully developed’.

To be continued

Related Links:

Gundam 00 Post Special (Part 2)

Gundam 00 Post Special (Part 3)

6 responses »

  1. Interesting post. To play advocate for 00, I disagree with (1) and partly with (2) and think that (3) is part of the point of the show:-

    1. Setsuna’s portrayed very like Yuushiro Gowa in Gasaraki: from the outside only. Like Yuushiro, he’s the tool of an ideology, so we see him from the outside. This is more interesting, though less emotive, than seeing Kira retreat to the autistic security of his armoured cockpit to do maintenance . . . again.

    The Meisters aren’t worthy of their battle success, which is the product of superior technology. This is because the show is also in part talking about how unfair it feels when someone with a bigger and faster gun platform than you descends from the sky and tells you what to do. (Which of the world’s military powers is associated with overwhelming air superiority and has a history of military interventions in other states?) We’re meant to sympathise with the Union, HRL and AEU pilots.

    2. The fights look face-meltingly good, and that’s good enough for me. And – maybe I’m too stupid, but – I wouldn’t say that every single fight was predictable. Though you’re right that Code Geass has more unpredictable fights.

    3. Yes. This goes back to what I was talking about under (1): this show has so far been about how and why Celestial Being fail hard. For once, this is a Gundam series which isn’t about the success of our oh-so-glorious heroes, and we shouldn’t necessarily connect the heroes’ failings to the show as a whole.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think 00 is a classic. But I do think it has its merits, and I also think it’s a step up from Destiny. I look forward to your continuation.

  2. @TA

    >>Setsuna’s portrayed very like Yuushiro Gowa in Gasaraki: from the outside …

    I haven’t seen Gasaraki, so I can’t comment on anything about that.

    >>Which of the world’s military powers is associated with overwhelming air superiority and has a history of military interventions in other states?

    I have one big bully in mind hehehe…

    >>We’re meant to sympathise with the Union, HRL and AEU pilots.

    Yes, the poor guys are just doing their jobs. It’s just that I expected a lot more from pilots chosen by an organization that did centuries of planning. I may be raising much ado about nothing though because this is Gundam, and most of what I’ve seen do involve juvenile/immature pilots to maximize angst etc etc.

    >>The fights look face-meltingly good, and that’s good enough for me. And – maybe I’m too stupid, but – I wouldn’t say that every single fight was predictable.

    There are times when the fights are indeed good, but they’re so few. Too few for a series from an established franchise.

    >>this show has so far been about how and why Celestial Being fail hard. For once, this is a Gundam series which isn’t about the success of our oh-so-glorious heroes, and we shouldn’t necessarily connect the heroes’ failings to the show as a whole.

    What I cannot accept is that despite the long planning for this ‘change the world’ operation, the CB so laughably do not have concrete back-up plans (or at least that’s my impression). It’s unthinkable how they had the patience and yet just buckle under so easily when the pressure on them stepped up. If they failed at least they should have failed in a more believable way.

  3. @Danny Choo

    I was also very close to dropping Gundam 00, around episode 14 or 15. I probably would have if it was 50 episodes long. Unfortunately, I like mecha so…

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