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The Future is Bright

December 28, 2009

     After the spectacular Gundam Seed semi-tripped on itself during its sequel, Gundam Seed Destiny, Sunrise decided to try its hand at another “remake” of sorts by going back to possibly the most popular non-Universal Century show, Gundam Wing.  Taking the concept of Gundams working outside normal military/governmental structures to destroy weapons of war and generally fight against the waging of war itself, Sunrise created Mobile Suit Gundam 00.  In the far future, in the first installment of the franchise to be set in the normal A.D. timeline, the world has been divided into three military blocs: the World Economic Union, the Human Reform League, and the Advanced European Union.  Celestial Being, a paramilitary group formed to eliminate war, sends its Gundam Meisters, four pilots utilizing mobile suits with GN Drives, which supply virtually unlimited power, to end the fighting and bring peace to the world.  Along the way, the members of Celestial Being find out that their founder, Aeolia Schenberg, might have had different plans for them than they originally believed, face off against traitorous members of their organization like Alejandro Corner, and come face to face with their ultimate foes, the Innovators, the people who are destined to guide the world to its future.

     The initial problem with the show was that it tended to focus very little on the characters and personalities of the members of Celestial Being, instead spotlighting people who were greatly affected by their actions, like Saji Crossroad, Sergei Smirnov, and Graham Aker.  The result was that you didn’t really get a feel for who the Gundam Meisters and their allies were, as well as their individual philosophies, until later in the first season.  However, once we finally got to know, Setsuna F. Seiei, Lockon Stratos, Allelujah Haptism, and Tieria Erde, as well as the rest of the crew of the Ptolemaios, you realize just how interesting they are.  In particular, Sumeragi Lee Noriega, the field leader of Celestial Being, is a strong female character whose brilliance is only overshadowed by her own later reluctance to use it.  The show also features such interesting personalities as Ali Al-Saachez, the delightfully villainous mercenary whose true loyalties are only shown at the very end, Regene Regetta, the self-interested Innovator, and Soma Peries, the super soldier who has a strong link with Allelujah.  Sergei Smirnov is also the resident awesome guy of the show, despite never piloting a Gundam or anything even close to it.  Sadly, one of the inheritances of Gundam Wing, a weak princess in the form of Marina Ismail, weaken the show’s overall cast.  I would have preferred Peries, Sumeragi, or Louise Halevy to get more screen time than someone as boring and simplistic as Marina, a total anomaly in a cast of complicated personalities.

     The show also features some absolutely amazing and unique mobile suit designs.  Although some generic suits, like the Flag and the Enact are rather boring, the Gundams themselves are quite awesome, as are most of the Innovator suits and Graham Aker’s custom suits.  The 00 Raiser is one of my particular favorites in all of Gundam-dom, being a suit whose every action can almost be considered a Crowning Moment of Awesome.  Yes, I frequent tvtropes.com.  The music is quite epic, and Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashii is one of the best songs I have ever heard.  Okay, so it sounds similar to most of Uverworld’s stuff.  But it’s the best of their extremely similar-sounding stuff.  I watched this show in English, mostly due to availability, and it was actually quite good.  The Canadians should applaud themselves for their work on this show.  Particularly Samuel Vincent for Tieria , Lisa Ann Beley for Sumeragi, and Scott McNeil for Saachez.  Of course, I have heard Fujiwara Keiji and Miki Shinichiro as Saachez and Lockon (the second one), and they were superb too.  Like most Gundam shows, it never really deals with the fundamental philosophical issue of whether or not war is an acceptable tool for ending war.  Although it does kind of answer it by showing that they manage to end this conflict with war, there is no indication that there will not be yet another conflict in the future.  And we know there will be one, since there’s going to be a sequel movie.  And yes, there are weak characters, like the aforementioned Marina and some of the side characters, like Team Trinity and Wang Liu Mei, whose true potential was never exploited.  But overall, this is a fun ride of a Gundam show with epic battles and some truly great moments.  And yes, the art is done by Koga Yun, famous for Loveless.  But I still think it looks good.

Story: 9.0      Artwork: 9.0      Soundtrack: 9.5      Acting: 9.2      Overall: 9.3

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