The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Gundam 00- Twin Drive

After entrusting Lyle Dylandy with top secret information pertaining to Celestial Being’s activities, Setsuna leaves to confront Sumeragi Lee Noriega. Sumeragi, consumed with guilt over the countless lives lost during the organization’s military interventions four years earlier, has found refuge in Bill Katagiri’s apartment and worsened her drinking problem. While contemplating the Gundams’ reappearance, Marina Ismail is arrested by A-LAWS and imprisoned. Saji Crossroad is given access to Celestial Being’s database and learns about the existence of the Throne Gundams. Wan Liu Mei, believing change can be obtaining by initiating and fueling conflicts, leaks information to both Ribbons and Celestial Being. As A-LAWS forces mount an attack on Celestial Being’s ship, Tieria ventures out alone in Seravee to confront them. Setsuna, accompanied by Lyle and Sumeragi, witnesses the confrontation and boards the ’00’ Gundam, despite Ian’s protests. Managing to activate ’00’s Trans-Am System, Setsuna defeats the A-LAWS’ forces, forcing them to retreat. Sumeragi is reunited with the crew, who are shocked when ‘Lockon’ also appears.

  • The 00 Gundam may as well have been the first Gundam to have not been fully functional out of the box. The twin drive system (TDS) is the 00’s defining feature: originally drafted by Aeolia Schenberg, a TDS could generate GN particles synchronously, allowing it to achieve greater yield in particle generation and in practise, squares the output of the drives in the system.

  • The technical issues surrounding the TDS are explored for most of the first half of the second season, and during this time, the 00 is unable to utilise its full power effectively, forcing Setsuna to adapt different techniques for engaging enemies.

  • Setsuna recruits Neil’s younger brother, Lyle, into Celestial Being. Lyle’s allegiance remains with Katharon for now, although he will mature and eventually fight fully for Celestial Being. Lyle initially believes that Setsuna wants him to take on his brother’s dying wish, but Setsuna states the worth of changing the world as Neil once desired. Lyle reluctantly agrees to join after Setsuna reveals that the Federation’s security bureau would be embarking on counter-insurgency operations against Katharon’s Europe base.

  • Soma Peries is drafted into the A-Laws, who hope to capitalise on her capacities as a super soldier. After the events of the first season, she is portrayed as less willing to carry out orders involving search-and-destroy protocols.

  • Marina is arrested by Federation officers for her connection with Celestial Being several years ago. She is taken to the same facility that houses Allelujah, the remaining Gundam meister from the first season.

  • Saji discovers that the Gundam Thrones, rather than Celestial Being, was responsible for the attack in Spain that left Louise injured and used particles that had deleterious effects on the human body. The new GN Tau drives used by the Federation and A-Laws are refined to emit non-lethal particles, hence the orange colour, but still need periodic recharging in order to function.

  • After their failures four years ago, Sumeragi questions the value of fighting and believes Celestial Begin’s ideals to be meaningless. Setsuna merely responds that they will continue to fight; given that their sins  brought change to the world, the only logical means of atoning for those sins would be to changing the world again.

  • In 2008 Fall Semester, I was enrolled in a social studies course and was handling matters of government and the Cold War. The actions of the Federation coincided with those of the Third Reich and Klaus predicts that the Federation is eventually going to create a totalitarian system. This social course proved to be an enjoyable one in terms of content: whereas most of my peers were disinterested in World War II and the Cold War, I was enthralled by the material and found some curious contrasts in real-world history to current events in Gundam 00. Presently, these thoughts have dissipated  as I’ve since appreciated that change on a global scale is nay impossible in the absence of overwhelming forces that are required to drive change.

  • Wang Liu Mei’s seemingly double-sided allegiance led viewers to speculate that she was evil: she provides the location of the Ptolemios to the A-Laws, who waste no time in deploying their entire complement of mobile suits to engage the Gundams. Wnag Liu Mei also informs the Ptolemios to even the odds out a little, which was indicative of her desire to change the world at any cost. Even back then, I disagreed with forums and drew my conclusions about things with friends, which yielded better outcomes compared to those made at forums.

  • I’m going to briefly hijack the flow of discussion and consider the discussions of the ending sequence I’ve encountered. Almost everywhere I go, I see discussions about how the imagery foreshadows the future events. While this does hold to some limited extent, the conversations I find in most forums and blogs of the era went on tangents that were never realised in the anime.

  • Truthfully, there is nothing like reading old forums and seeing old speculations on what was to happen next. Gundam 00 is one of the few anime I have followed on a weekly basis as the episodes were aired (besides Tari Tari and Hanasaku Iroha), as my curiosity to see what happened next was great.

  • I’ve actually been interested in the design of the Seravee and wished to obtain an HG model of it after I picked up the HG 00-Raiser with GN Sword III, although with the era of Gundam 00 long over, this probably won’t be possible.

  • The Seravee’s GN Bazooka IIs have several firing modes that are suited depending on the situation. The Buster Cannon is the bazooka/cannon combination of one the GN Bazookas attached to one of the shoulder GN Cannons for increased firing range and firepower. The Double Bazooka is the combined form of the GN Bazookas and resembles Virtue’s GN Bazooka; in Burst Mode the weapon fires powerful projectile particle orbs. The Hyper Burst Bazooka Mode is Seravee’s most powerful mode of attack and can only be used while the Gundam is in Trans-Am.

  • Lyle retains much of the characteristics and mannerisms found in Neil, and introduces himself as Lockon to Sumeragi.

  • Setsuna uses Trans-Am to force the synchronisation of the 00 Gundam’s GN Drives. Previously, the engineers feared that the TDS would overload and wipe out the Gundam, but Setsuna is able to activate the TDS with Exia and 0 Gundam’s GN Drives loaded. The lack of a desire to us Trans-Am reflects on actual engineering practises, which encourage assessing the odds before attempting hitherto untested experiments. Lacking any concrete evidence beforehand to ascertain whether Trans-Am would result in success or not, it was ultimately luck that allowed Setsuna to activate the system. That said, the scene is presented in such a manner as to subtly imply that Setsuna’s will activated the Gundam.

  • The intense particle field emitted by the 00 Gundam is strong enough to repel a beam rifle round from the Ahead. Right as this activation begins, the song titled “00 Gundam” begins playing, signifying the triumph of the system and the 00’s power with a haunting string and choral sections. The version on the OST adds electric guitar into the theme, but it is every bit as epic as the 00’s first launch.

  • The first launch of the 00 is probably the single most impressive launch sequence of any Gundam (and that includes Gundam UC). After forcing the TDS online and emitting the greatest volume of GN particles I’ve ever seen, the 00 sorties onto the battlefield with sword in hand.

  • What separates the 00’s first launch from other epic launches is the fact that this launch sequence is only animated once. In other Gundam, like SEED Destiny with the Impulse, the same launch sequences are reused, making them stale with time. Immediately following the 00’s launch, the Gundam makes manoeuvres beyond the capacity of any normal suit.

  • The 00 is able to shot down an Ahead with a single shot from its GN Sword II, weapons that improve on the system used by the Exia. As Celestial Being’s only 4th Generation Mobile Suit, the 00 Gundam carries over many of the previous generations’ features, most notably the GN Drive and Trans-Am System. It also introduced newer innovations such as the revolutionary Twin Drive System, which utilizes two GN Drives to generate GN Particle emissions equivalent to the squared output of a single GN Drive.

  • The epic launch sequence presented spoke volumes about how much effort went into the production of Gundam 00. The episode’s focus on recovering Celestial Being’s tactical forecaster and a replacement Meister is a reminder of how much that needs to be done before the team is ready to take on its old role of intervention to advance the world. The first two episodes were a powerful way to reintroduce the series, and in comparison, the episodes afterwards feel distinctly slower as things ease into exposition of the upcoming stories.

Twin Drive marks the first deployment of the series’ namesake, the 00 Gundam. Similar to the Angel’s Second Advent, I watched this episode four years ago, on October 12, 2008. Incidentally, a research proposal for my thesis project is due on that date this year, reflecting on how much things have changed since then. My entry into the final year of secondary school back in 2008 was characterised by a different feeling that seemingly paralleled the different atmosphere present in the second season’s first few episodes, including new material and consideration about post-secondary. This episode stood out to seasoned Gundam fans as presenting one of the most unique and well-executed first launches of a lead Gundam in the entire franchise, set to a symphonic version of the 00 Gundam theme that reminds listeners of the 00 Gundam’s powers. This episode set the table for the remainder of the series by introducing the lead Gundam and provide me with a source of awesome entertainment for me to enjoy while on breaks between studying for the diploma exams back in 2008-2009.

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