The Infinite Zenith

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

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 A Wakening of the Trailblazer: Part II

On Jupiter, matters complicate when one of its innermost moons is drawn into its atmosphere as the ELS prepare to deploy a massive fleet from the Red Spot. This does not go unnoticed by the crew of the Ptolemios; Setsuna asks Feldt to run an analysis on the unknown fleet. It turns out that the fleet is set to arrive in Earth’s orbit in approximately 3 months. The information is conveyed to the ESF, who promptly rush to piece together a means of answering to the threat of the ELS, all the while covering up what has already happened thus far. They assemble a recon unit and select Descartes Shaman to lead the assault, but the unit is completely wiped out in a matter of moments, losing everything to the sheer numbers of the ELS.

Setsuna realises that the appearance of the ELS may be relevant to the “coming dialogues” that Aeolia Schoenberg had foretold centuries ago, and together with Tieria, sorties once more to communicate with the ELS. His attempt fails and sends him into a coma, leaving him idle in the midst of the battlefield. In order to save Setsuna, Tieria is forced to reveal CB-002 Raphael Gundam’s backpack (containing the GN-008RE Seravee Gundam II) and forcibly removes the 00 Gundam’s cockpit from its frame, handing it to Lockon as he tries to hold off the ELS with his quantum brainwaves. The situation worsens as the ELS swarm the battlefield, making rescue a difficult task, but Graham Aker and his Sol Brave squadron make a timely appearance to distract the ELS. The Ptolemios wastes no time in retreating, and although Tieria activates Trans-Am to defend against the ELS, his efforts are unyielding as the ELS assimilate both his physical body and the Raphael. Setsuna is placed in intensive care and is found to have a degree of brain damage. Feldt is most visibly shaken by the ordeal, and cries at Setsuna’s plight.

  • Meena and Billy meet up with Kati to further discuss the developments regarding the ELS.

  • As the ELS mobilize their own fleet, individuals with enhanced sensitivity to quantum brainwaves experience a splitting headache.

  • Scientifically speaking, it’s not possible for a moon to break up in that manner without producing extreme thermal energy. The breakup of the planet should lead to observable melting of portion of the moon’s crust, resulting in a glow that should be seen here. Furthermore, the ELS’s hiding in Jupiter’s atmosphere wouldn’t change the gravitational field of the planet sufficiently to pull its inner most two moons out of their orbits.

  • I first watched the movie at DVD quality, then subsequently in HD; at lower resolutions, visual details aren’t immediately apparent. Gundam 00 was the first HD anime when it aired back in 2007, although since then, almost all anime is HD.

  • Kati, Meena and Billy watch in horror as Io and Europa are annihilated. I recall obtaining many instances of this image, except the last few times, they were of extremely low resolution from the trailers. All of the images I have here now are in the same resolution as those used in the Gundam 00 TV series (they are 1280 by 720 pixels). With the new compression present, they appear as sharp as those on the Five Centimeters per Second page now.

  • The ELS fleet’s appearance is beautifully rendered and gives the viewer a sense of the ELS’ scale. If this movie were done in 3D, I’m certain that some viewers (myself included) would probably feel a little uncomfortable.

  • One of the Innovade politicians address the ESF on the appearance of the ELS fleet. If I’m not mistaken, the ESF logo bears much similarity to the Otafest logo. I’ve now attended two events and might be set to visit a third, scheduling pending.

  • In reality, it doesn’t take the appearance of an alien fleet to induce this kind of chaos in the Parliament. The kind of activity during this political meeting is rather similar to the environment that is present in the House of Commons when a Bill is being debated.

  • The president of the ESF looks on at the chaos in the chamber floor and from a personal outlook, bears an appearance not dissimilar to Danielle Smith of the Alberta Wild Rose Party. Strangely enough, Ed Stelmach was the Premier of Alberta back when the Gundam 00 movie first played in theatres.

  • The ESF’s decision to send in a small fleet as bait include the deployment of a new battlecruiser that is capable of executing trans-am.

  • Descartes Shaman doesn’t seem to observe standard rules of engagement, preferring to charge in and using his mobile armour’s superior firepower to get the job done. He is initially successful, but the sheer numbers eventually overwhelm even him.

  • One of the GN-X IVs sent in to assist the spearheading forces. The GN-X IV is built off the GN-X III’s frame, but incorporates new technology that gives it performance comparable to that of a third generation Gundam

  • Some of the GN-X IVs are hit, but the commanders are surprised that they aren’t destroyed, but are instead, assimilated.

  • The ELS exhibit liquid metal-like properties. They appear solid, but upon contacting a surface, their behavior can vary between crystalline growth (like sugar crystals in a supersaturated solution) and flowing like mercury.

  • In order for the ELS to be able to behave in this manner, it’s likely that they’d be composed of a material similar to silicon. I’ve heard some suggestions that the metals mercury and gallium are likely, but in thise case, a silicon-like element would have a higher melting point, which would make it the preferred choice for interstellar travel for an organic life form. Silicon is also is harder than gallium (the former has a Mohs hardness of 7, and the latter has a hardness of 1.5), which is more consistent with what we saw with the ELS, especially when it came to how the crystals moved and grew. Finally, silicon can exhibit some of the bonding properties of carbon (with respect to hybridization), which makes it a more probable basis for them to be composed of a similar element.

  • For a few seconds, the horrors of ELS assimilation are depicted on screen.

  • Ultimately, the size of the Gadelaza is its undoing- without dedicated point defense weapons, once all of its fangs are destroyed, the unit only relies on fixed laser cannons, which prove useless against this massive ELS probe.

  • The Gundam Meisters launch to assist the ESF forces, something we have not seen in the series since the Break Pillar event. I was curious to know where this series would go after humanity had achieved increased understanding of each other, and initially thought that it would be a rouge faction of Celestial Being.

  • The ELS are drawn to the partially assimulated Gadelaza like flies to decomposing flesh. The appearance of Celestial Being draw their attention.

  • The Harute engages a wave of ELS. Both Harute and Zabanya are said to be recycled from the frames of their predecessor unit, and are completely redesigned to be more efficient. The option to use a new frame was not possible presumably due to the loss of funding from Wan Liu Mei.

  • The Zabanya seems like it was made for the task of taking down ELS probes. Incidentally, we never see it fire the GN Rifle III or missles as depicted in the trailers. Many details in the movie were different from the trailers, although the trailers also gave away some key scenes in the final battle.

  • Setsuna soars past an exploding ELS vessel as he tries to communicate with the Gadelaza.

  • The 00 Raiser’s use of twin condensers lead to questions as to why it can execute Trans-Am Burst. The leading theory now is that the condensers are highly efficient ones that were tuned to mimic the particle dispersion rate in the original twin drive system

  • Shaman succumbs to the ELS infection as shards of metal puncture his body, resulting in an immensely painful death. In the manga, an ELS Gadelaza appears, as well.

  • At HD resolutions, all of the little details, such as the GN particle piping, are visible. Condensed down to a width of 640 to fit on the website, the images take on an incredibly crisp appearance.

  • Because of the detail and quality present in my original talk, both the plot summary and images from the review made their way to the Gundam Wikia, where they graced the article about the Gundam 00 movie. Because it’s a Wikia, its contents are subject to change, although the plot summary I have here remains unchanged since I wrote it three years ago.

  • When I published that original review on December 31, 2010, traffic at the old site suddenly experienced ten times as much traffic, netting a thousand visitors a day. At the time, there were no other existing reviews of the Gundam 00 movie, and the next closest review, written by Random Curiosity’s Devine, would not be published until January 2, 2011.

  • These scenes were played to death in trailers on YouTube as fans continued speculating what was to happen within the movie. Even after the movie ended, fans were left with mixed feelings: on one hand, aliens in a Gundam franchise was a little difficult to swallow, but on the other, the movie was spectacular in visuals and all-around quality.

  • Back in December 2010, I had just survived one of the toughest academic semesters of all time: this was the lowest my GPA would go, but the next semester proved to be even more difficult. Again, I would marginally stave off probation (in my program, dropping below 3.3 was essentially a game-over) for the year.

  • The sheer amount of information the ELS send to Setsuna sends him into a coma and renders him unable to operate his suit. I disagree with the idea that the ELS intentionally did this to him; I personally think that his coma was induced by the volume of information rather than any deliberate attempt to harm him.

  • As the Gundam Meisters find out, automatic weapons work wonders against swarms of anything. In Halothe Flood infection form are best handled by the assault rifle, SMG or plasma rifle. The combat forms are best taken down with a shotgun or energy sword. As for the carrier forms, a few assault rifle or SMG rounds, paired with a fragmentation grenade, are sufficient.

  • Tieria relies on raw firepower to cut through the masses of ELS probes and vessels: by this point, the difference between a true GN drive and tau drive is minute, save for operation time and particle colours.

  • This image of the Zabanya firing all of its weapons is one of my favourite images of all time and required a very careful frame-by-frame process. The end result is a stunning image that is only seen in-movie for a fraction of a second, and in fact, was a once featured image on the Zabanya’s page at the Gundam Wikia.

  • I am very impressed with the amount of details that are present in the displays, and even more impressed with the use of English in said displays. In Makoto Shinkai’s Voices of a Distant Star, the commander spoke perfect English, but with an unusual syntax.

  • Deciding that Setsuna’s life is of utmost importance, Raphael reveals the one secret that had fans guessing all summer. The only tagline we had to go on was “Raphael is wrapped up in many mysteries”, but now, we have some idea of what the Raphael is capable of.

  • The secret is Seravee II- the “backpack” on Rapahel transforms into this remote controlled unit, which is opposite of Tiera’s previous units, which was heavily armoured in its primary state and had a concealed, high-mobility unit.

  • Harute and Zanabya provide covering fire while The Seravee II retrieves the 00 Raiser’s cockpit. Both units look like they were designed solely for the purpose of engaging a massive quantity of small targets.

  • When the Seravee II comes into contact with the 00 Raiser, it too begins to undergo assimulation, and Tieria also experiences the interference induced by the ELS. Nonetheless, he successfully removes the cockpit and tosses it to Lockon.

  • At the cost of his physical body, Tieria manages to save Setsuna yet another time for the sake of the “coming dialogues”.

  • Tieria’s last act in the Raphael is to activate its Trans-Am and overload it, as he is pulled into the center of the cloud of ELS. Last season, discussions raged about what would happen if a GN tau drive capable of Trans-Am was run to its limits. At the center of the ELS cloud, the Raphael detonates spectacularly, taking out a number of the ELS. However, many survive and pursue the escaping Gundams.

  • This time, another party shows up to save the day- the Sol Brave squadron, led by Graham Aker, provide the Gundams with enough cover fire to let them leave the combat area.

  • For one of my friends (already mentioned earlier), this was probably one of the most kickass moments of the movie, to see a limited mass-production unit in the hands of one of the most skilled pilots in all time deal out so much pwnage after having spent all of season two wallowing in revenge.

  • Three braves cover the Harute. It is obvious that the Sol Brave pilots are highly trained, and we are treated to the squadron masterfully using covering fire, as well as using themselves as decoys to draw enemy fire. I was asked to convert this into a wallpaper for said friend and succeeded.

  • Graham Aker’s role has changed dramatically; instead of a revenge-driven follower of Bushido, he is now a mature squadron leader who faithfully carries out his duties with his own flair.

  • Graham Aker can pull off tricks using his unit that even the other pilots cannot manage: here, he charges both his beam and engines, pulling away at the last second and eliminating an entire swarm of ELS probes.

  • he Sol Braves take advantage of the ELS’ break to follow the Gundams out of the combat zone.

  • Setsuna is placed under intensive care back on board the Ptolemios. I wonder if that large cylindrical device to the left is an MRI scanner.

  • The Braves in formation with the Ptolemios II Kai: the presence of the detatchable boosters is the only visual difference between it and its predecessor, although it is said to have improved energy systems for prolonged operational time.

  • Tieria explains to Sumeragi that Setsuna suffered extensive damage to his brain following the latter’s botched attempt to communicate with them.

  • Graham introduces himself to Feldt for the first time. He reveals his new understanding to be a wish to push himself to his limits and used Setsuna as something of a yard stick. His conversation is interrupted by a disquieting development.

In the second act of the film, the ELS finally make an appearance in their space-faring form, and after revealing their massive fleet, the ESF begin mounting combat operations against it even as Celestial Being follows Setsuna’s intuition. By now, the gravity of the situation is clear to the viewer: the second act balances plot progression carefully with the action sequences to build anticipation for the final battle. The second act also brings to mind the idea that the Gundam 00 Movie was designed for existing fans of the series: most of the time has been spent drawing out the suspense and mystery behind the ELS, as well as the ESF and Celestial Being reactions to their presence. As such, reintroductions are ignored, so first-time viewers would probably be lost in the rapid progression.

Please provide feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: