I’m sure most people have realized that I’m an anime fan. I’ve done a couple other Anime that’s Awesome posts (Gurren Lagann and Puella Magi Madoka Magica). I love anime. I’ve gone to conventions for the past few years and I’ve even done some cosplay. I was the palest Allelujah Haptism ever. One of the first anime I watched was Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. I saw it on Toonami back in the day…I think I was around 10 or 11 years old at the time. I was probably a little young to get a lot of the themes…but I ended up falling in love with the mecha genre right then and there.
So it was only natural for me to continue wanting to watch mecha series and Gundam series from then on. Though…it did take me embarrassingly long to actually watch Gundam 00.
So a bit of summary…
Gundam 00 is set in a future of our universe. I think. It’s not in any of the pre-established Gundam series. At the beginning of the series, there is a huge balance in fuel supplies. Fossil fuels are all but gone…and there are three power blocks that have resources: the Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations (Union), the Human Reform League (HRL), and the Advanced European Union (AEU). There may be spoilers beyond this point. Tread with caution.
This power imbalance caused a lot of the minor countries to be warring for fuel and energy. This is where Celestial Being and the Gundams come in. Their goal is to eradicate war from the world by using armed interventions led by their four Gundam meisters (Setsuna F. Seiei, Allelujah Haptism, Lockon Stratos, and Tieria Erde). Our meisters are all very different, we have a teenage war veteran, an all around good guy sniper, a super soldier, and a computer genius. As you can imagine, the Gundams were met with fear…and hate. They moved quickly, quelling several
uprisings, several countries harboring more weapons than was allowed by treaties.
The first few episodes proceed this way, with none of the power blocks being able to beat the Gundams – or even really come close to beating them. Outside of the missions the Gundam meisters are carrying out, we have a plot rising in the form of Alejandro Corner and (background) Ribbons Almark.
I’m going to stop here on the summary. If I keep going we’ll be here for a very, very long time. So in hopes of keeping this less than 1000 words…
Alright. I’ll admit, I’m biased. I love stories with giant robots, in fact, I’m writing my own. But this is a giant robot story that has a really intricate and decently thought out plot. There are several little passing things in season 1 (an identical man at a grave, Tieria’s eyes glowing gold, BACKGROUND RIBBONS) that become bigger plot points later in that season, or in season 2. The little things matter to me.
I really love how the characters develop as well. They DO change through the series. At the beginning, the only character I didn’t want to punch was Lockon Stratos. Every other Gundam meister annoyed me to a degree (even if I liked their character!) I’m in a minority here, as I’m not a huge fan of Setsuna F. Seiei…but by the second season he had developed enough that he was tolerable. Tieria became more adept with human emotions. Allelujah accepted himself a bit more.
But my favorite thing? The fact that season 1 doesn’t end happily. It hits HARD. The meisters are scattered, the crew of the Ptolemaios was practically decimated. I don’t think any one character gets a happy end in the first season. And the fact that Gundam 00 doesn’t shy away from killing characters. I will say that there is main character death in this series. It is foreshadowed…and it still hurts. (To avoid getting this spoiled, like I did, DO NOT SEARCH THE CHARACTERS ON GOOGLE. and don’t look up videos on youtube!)
From a writing standpoint, this series is extremely well done as well! The character development, the plots, the foreshadowing…there is so much done RIGHT. Though I will admit that there is some that probably could have been done better – but…I don’t think anything is written flawlessly.
As I said, all the characters…including the side characters…grow in this series. Even the most disliked characters (Nena Trinity, I’m looking at you) can be seen as sympathetic at times. All of the meisters grow, all of the meisters change. Throughout the series, you watch Setsuna go from an emotional blank of a character, to someone who learns to support others. He starts to understand people more…and gets over his own PTSD (to a degree). You see Tieria go from being a callous bastard to someone who goes out of his way to care for the other members of the crew.
I don’t want to get too much into the plot (since it’s 50 episodes long and I don’t want to give away the big plot points). I will say that even with knowing the spoilers…the moments hit hard. That because the characters actually developed, you cared enough when bad things happened to them (and oh do bad things happen).
This is a series I highly recommend. It’s well-written…and everyone loves giant robots, right? All the buzz from Pacific Rim has given me even more want to re-watch this series. I would recommend it for age 15 or so and up. Since it’s about war…there is a lot of violence. Watch out though, this series can really punch you in the feels.
Has anyone watched Gundam 00? What did you think? Who’s your favorite character?