Gundam 00- The Angels’ Second Advent
October 6, 2012
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The Earth Sphere Federation’s independent security preservation force “Arrows”, has been suppressing an opposition force called “Kataron”, using inhuman tactics and extermination. Saji Crossroad has been working as an engineer on the “Proud” Colony, a space station under construction. When a coworker is discovered to belong to Kataron, Saji is arrested under false charges by Arrows and pressed into forced labor. Kataron forces mounts a rescue, but Arrows mobile suits appear with orders to exterminate the rescuers and all station personnel to cover up Arrows’ forced labor operation. Setsuna F Seiei, infiltrates the colony during the battle and rescues Saji. Setsuna then engages the Arrows suits in Exia. Still damaged from its battle four years prior, Exia is no match for Arrows’ new “Ahead” mobile suit. Setsuna is saved at the last moment by the appearance of Tieria in his new Selavee Gundam. Brought back to Celestial Being’s new mothership, Ptolemios II, Setsuna is confronted by Saji who now knows Setsuna’s identity as a Meister. Once again joining Celestial Being, Setsuna returns to Earth to recruit Lyle Dylandy as the new “Lockon Stratos”.
- Season two’s opening sequence was downright cinematic, beginning with a lone Ahead engaging Katharon’s Hellions and Tierens. The scene then switched to a pair of GN-X IIIs dropping explosive charges at a Katharon installation. The entire scene was set to Kenji Kawai’s Unified World, and was fluidly animated, with flashes of blue, yellow and orange flashing around the screen.
- Sergei Serminov speaks on the phone with Kati Mannequin about the the latter’s enrolment in the A-Laws to keep an eye on their actions. This episode does a remarkable job of reintroducing all of the cast from the previous season (with the exception of Marina).
- Saji is forced to perform manual labour in a high-gravity block after accusations of his involvement with Katharon. This scene demonstrates the police state-like nature of the Federation, suggesting that the unified world Celestial Being created is not as ideal as they would have hoped.
- This scene is now a classic one in my books, marking the beginning of the A-Law’s second major operation against Katharon, a rebel organisation opposed to the brutal tactics used by the Earth Federation. They are technologically outmatched by the Federation and continuously suffer high casualties in their operations early on.
- Setsuna F. Seiei infiltrates the space colony Proud on a recon mission, as Tieria had assumed. I suddenly realise that my writing style in the present era sharply contrast the tones I wrote with back in secondary school.
- The GNX-704T Ahead is the A-Laws’ most advanced MS reserved solely for their elite pilots. A cool bit of trivia: the Ahead was developed in a project to design next-generation Tierens. ESF engineers that were formally part of the HRL were contracted to create the Ahead series. They took inspiration from the previous GN X series, as well as the MSJ-06II-SP Tieren Taozi, for its design.
- Louise’s involvement with the A-Laws was a surprise to me when I first watched the episode. Later on, it will be revealed that she was allowed to participate for both providing massive donations to the organisation to fund weapons development projects and for having pseudo-innovator traits.
- A dozen Automatons can be carried onto the rear torso of the Ahead in lieu of the rear GN Thrusters, which are used as remote anti-personnel/infiltration units. Ahead pilots can remotely deploy the Automatons in the middle of MS combat for search and destroy missions, keeping track of each Automaton’s status from the MS. The use of these Automaton reflect on the Federation’s brutal policies and are a call-back to techniques used in totalitarian states.
- While this point is ambiguous, I’ve heard from multiple sources that Setsuna uses the Exia to wipe out the rest of the automaton. Although this isn’t shown on screen explicitly, it is implied when the number of automaton drop and a cloud of smoke is observed, that Setsuna quickly dispatches them, contrary to a longer battle that most forums believe to have occurred.
- The cockpits of the new Gundams have seen a complete upgrade, allowing a panoramic view of the battlefield (save the rear), compared to the screens on the older Gundams. In general, I found that the cockpits in 00 generally looked cooler than those found in Gundam SEED.
- Even though it’s been four years since I first saw this, Setsuna engaging the Ahead is clearly the best part of the episode, enhanced by the fact that an awesome song plays in the background. Those who criticised the music in Gundam 00 are unaware of how music can evoke moods when used properly. The scene above is one of my favourites in terms of composition: the piercing red eye sharply contrasts the green condenser chest piece and offsets the monotony of the cape, which covers the missing left arm. Dubbed the Exia Repair, this MS is a crudely repaired version of Exia. Due to lack of contact with Celestial Being during the 4 years after their defeat, Exia was never fully repaired from the damage it sustained in combat with Graham Aker and his SVMS-01X Union Flag Custom II.
- Despite Setsuna demonstrating improved piloting skills compared to the first season (he is able to dodge and aim far more effectively), the Ahead rapidly overwhelms the Exia, melting through its damaged GN Sword and subsequently cutting both arms off.
- The Seravee arrives right on cue, forcing the A-Laws forces to disperse. The Seravee is the successor to GN-005 Gundam Virtue . Like its predecessor, Seravee serves as Celestial Being’s heavy weapons assault mobile suit. A combat unit that utilizes heavy particle beam weaponry against superior numbers. While similar, Seravee has been designed to compensate for Virtue’s weaknesses and enhanced for its qualities.
- The hidden face on Seravee’s back was subject to much discussion when it was first shown. It is the hidden backpack form of Seraphim; containing the GN Drive, allowing the Seravee to generate the volume of GN particles required to deploy a GN Field and also functions in conjunction with Seravee’s GN particle weapons for higher destructive yield. The GN particle vents also provide additional thrust for manoeuvring and hauling.
- I already know what goes down in the series when I watch it now, compared to the relative lack of information when I first saw it. However, while the sense of mystique is gone from many aspects of the show (such as mobile suit capabilities and plot developments), the awe that each scene inspires is still present, and some moments still invoke chills when watched.
- Feldt Grace makes a return, sporting a considerably more mature appearance compared to season one. Christina Sierra is replaced by Milena Vasti.
- I now have a Master Grade 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G,which somehow beats out even the 1080p version of the 00 Gundam depicted in the anime in terms of looks and detail. I once heard that the HG line of model kits aims to capture the animated versions of a mobile suit, while MG model kits are designed to be more detailed and realistic.
- Saji is just as naive as he was in the first season concerning warfare; despite being immature and appearing to be unable to let go of the events in his past, Saji does indeed learn to accept what warfare is, making for one of the most interesting character developments I’ve seen in just about anything. Also, that gun is empty.
- “I guess I’ll have grab something else for breakfast…like some OXYCODONE. I’ll just go to my locker, get some happy pills and make the politics around here just float away.” -Freeman’s Mind, Episode 2
- After seeing the Exia get trashed despite Setsuna’s efforts, I was itching to see the 00 Gundam in action. I don’t normally go back and do reviews of episodes that I’ve watched long ago, but the opener to the second season of Gundam 00 stood out as worthwhile, and despite what naysayers claim, 00 is an good anime by all accounts. Timing permitting next week, I’ll discuss the second episode of the second season: after that point, the mystique of the second season would give way to plot progression and resemble the first season in design.
I first saw the first episode to Gundam 00’s second season way back when it was released on October 5, 2008, before I had even completed my secondary education. In the old days, I watched Gundam 00 episodes in 480p as they were released, but acquisition of HD copies certainly makes all the difference now. Upon finishing the episode for the first time, I was blown away by the animation and visuals: Gundam 00 holds the distinction of being the first anime to ever be aired in HD. As for the episode itself, things felt a lot more rapidly paced than in the first episode of the first season, and while it was clear that the A-Laws (then romanised as “Arrows”) were the immediate antagonist, Ribbon’s presence throughout the episode foreshadows his role as the true antagonist of the season. I was also surprised by Louise’s affiliation with the A-Laws and unstable demeanour. The episode’s initial release led some to assume that Ribbons held some degree of control over her, and this would later be vindicated in later episodes. The first episode presented multiple storylines that would later form the basis for later episodes, with some given plenty of attention, while others getting less screentime than was necessary to explore them. All in all, the first episode proved to be a suitable introduction to the second season of Gundam 00, and as I progressed through my final year of secondary school, the series would remain with me as I wrote the diploma exams and applied to a post-secondary institution for my then-upcoming undergraduate career.