The Infinite Zenith

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

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

On the battlefield, the ESF forces are slowly folding under the sheer numbers of ELS units. Patrick’s GN-X IV is hit by an ELS probe and is absorbed by the probe. He messages Kati a final goodbye, which causes her to nearly break down, but before the ELS can fully assimilate him, Setsuna’s sharpshooting allows Patrick to break free. Encouraged by Setsuna’s success, the remaining Gundams sortie and engage the ELS forces in face-to-face combat. During the renewed effort, Andrei dies during an ELS Kamikaze attack in an effort to prevent the alien ship from reaching Earth. In order to clear a path to the planetoid, Setsuna activates the Trans-Am system on the 00 Qan[T] and directs a massive beam sabre to the planetoid’s surface in the hopes of cutting a path open. However, this fails, and it is only through Graham’s selflessness (he rams his Brave to the planetoid’s surface in a kamikaze attack) that Setsuna finally gains access to the planetoid’s core. Back in space, Zabanya and Harute enter Trans-Am to combat the endless waves of ELS. Their efforts are to no avail, as the Ptolemios is infected by the ELS and is slowly being consumed. In spite of this, the crew’s trust in Setsuna holds, and thus, they remain on board.

Setsuna, having found his way to the ELS’s core, learns of their origins. The ELS were forced to leave their home world when their system’s star entered the final stages of its life. They became spacefaring and travelled in search of a new home, eventually finding a system to settle in and call their own. They also began to explore other systems, including the solar system, but panicked when they encountered the human Innovators. In an attempt to understand humanity, they had arrived to assimilate and learn about them, but their intentions were not known, leading to open conflict. Sympathetic to their story, Setsuna shares his own memories and thoughts on humanity. Finally reaching mutual understanding, the ELS agree to end hostilities with humanity. Setsuna and the alien race decide more understanding is required between species, and Setsuna decides to open a gateway to the alien world as humanity’s ambassador. As a token of understanding, the planetoid expresses itself as a massive flower, which is seen on Earth by its citizens.

  • A colony-guard type flag fires its linear cannons at the ELS forces before being decimated itself.

  • Patrick apologizes to Kati for being unable to follow her order of not dying, and prepares his unit for Trans-Am in the hopes that he’ll take out the ELS GN-X locked with his unit. Before anything can happen, a single particle beam tears the ELS off and sends Patrick flying into space, denying him of a sacrifice.

  • The 00 Qan[T] soars into battle as Kenji Kawaii’s Final Mission- Quantum Burst plays in its full glory to set the tone for the battle. The song is a brilliant remix of Trans Am Raiser and pieces of Masurao; in fact, most of the best songs on the OST feature remixes of the old songs. Throughout the OST, Kenji Kawaii’s style cycles between his styles in Ip Man and Dark Water.

  • The 00 Qan[T] is capable of projecting holographic images, and here, Tieria shows Setsuna their destination at the ELS mothership’s core.

  • The 00 Qan[T]’s arrival instills a new sense of hope in the Meisters. Lockon deploys the Zabanya’s bits again and powers on his holographic targeting system, which is radically different than the simple CRT screen the units from Cosmic Era have.

  • Unlike its predecessors, Zabanya dispenses with a separate rifle controller, integrating their functionality directly into the controllers. The use of a holographic targeting system allows Lockon a wider field of view, making this configuration superior to the rifle controller; the full-screen targeting display allows him to maintain full awareness of the battlefield.

  • The rifle bits are stored inside the shield bits; when deployed, the shield bits provide cover, while the rifle bits clevery remain behind them and fire. Using this tactic, Lockon wipes out a massive number of ELS. I’m guessing ideas for the movie generation units were developed in advanced, and then scaled back for the second season; had Celestial Being deployed Gundams with this capability, the season would have been over in less than an episode. Even the Reborns would have lost to Setsuna in a matter of moments.

  • Allelujah and Marie are also empowered by the 00 Qan[T]’s arrival. Hallelujah returns, and together with Soma’s quantum brainwaves, they activate the Marute system.

  • Named after a angel, the Marute System is a MS combat mode that works in parallel with the Harute’s OS. When both Hallelujah and Allelujah combine their latent quantum abilities, their abilities can be extended into the Harute’s frame through the Marute System. The crown forehead and under its primary optics reveal four additional eyes that emit a red hue.

  • This was a long awaited moment: as soon as Hallelujah activated the system, the audience is treated well to the Marute absolutely demolishing the battlefield. On the whole, I am very pleased that Lockon and Allelujah are receiving more screen-time, in contrast to their roles in the second season.

  • The Marute deploys all of its Scissor Bits simultaneously: stored within Harute’s GN Cannons, the bits are essentially pairs of flying scissors. The blades are lined with the same materials as the blades of the GN Sword Rifles, allowing them to store large amounts of GN Particles to greatly increase their damage potential, and operate by bifurcating enemy targets.

  • Zabanya is seen dual wielding rifles, something I have not seen since 007 GoldenEye, where it was possible to dual wield sniper rifles, M16s and even rocket launchers.

  • Zabanya organising its bits into an array to fire a devastating shot. Each diamond will amplify a shot to match the output of the Virtue’s GN Bazooka.

  • At one point, people thought that he particle blast came from the planetoid itself, but the beam is actually from the Zabanya’s firing in the above configuration.

  • With an ELS-free path cleared for him, Setsuna soars towards the ELS mothership. Upon seeing the movie, a handful of fans expressed disappointment that the 00 Qan[T] only appeared during the last section of the movie and participated in very little combat.

  • On my original website, I had no words to describe these final moments. Admittedly, there is a challenge in porting articles from the old site to here, but for the most part, I’ve left most of the original content untouched since they are up to standard.

  • The Braves are amongst some of the most well-equipped units in the 00 universe, and illustrate fully how far technology has come since Graham’s first encounter with Setsuna in his Union Flag.

  • Graham gives Setsuna covering fire and words of encouragement: “Go, young man! You’ll live to blaze a trail towards the future!”

  • Hesitant to fire, Setsuna dodges everything the ELS throw at him while attempting to find a point of entry into the super-structure.

  • However, necessity soon forces Setsuna to return fire: it turns out there’s a beam rifle mounted inside the shield, although the MG model kit isn’t flexible enough to mimic this scene.

  • Activating the 00 Qan[T]’s Trans Am, the Gundam is able to generate a massive beam large enough to put a gash on the mother ship’s surface.

  • This image is given to illustrate the differences in scale. Gundam 00 began pushing the envelope of what is ‘realistic’ for a GN system back during season two, and by the time the movie is premiered, realism is discarded in favour of thrilling visuals.

  • The ELS mother ship begins regenerating, precluding Setsuna’s entry. In his final moments, Graham, who has been hit and is slowly being assimilated, decides to charge through and create an opening for the future’s sake.

  • So passes Graham Aker, one of the most capable and well-known pilots in the entire Gundam franchise.

  • Setsuna is unable to find words for Graham after the latter’s final, heroic act creates a large opening for him to enter the mothership.

  • Personally, I’m not quite sure how a spherical explosion would result in a cylindrical hole in the surface, but I’ll set that aside for the present.

  • The interior of the mothership feels like a vast sea of neurons.

  • The Ptolemios is hit, too, and slowly undergoes assimilation. However, Sumeragi and the others believe in Setsuna, and decide to continue fighting. Viewers with an eye for detail will notice that the nebulae that formed the background are more or less absent for much of the space sequences, implying that both the space battles from the second season occurred further from the planet.

  • Lockon continues fighting on despite a massive gash in the cockpit of his suit. Lyle had proven himself to be a worthy Meister, but his abilities truely shine in the movie.

  • Even as the 00 Qan[T] approaches, the situation on the surface worsens as the ELS gradually overwhelm the last of the remaining forces defending the planet. In spite of all this, everyone in Celestial Being stakes their trust in Setsuna’s capacity to negotiate with the ELS.

  • A massive piece of the ELS breaks through the central command center. According to the Art of War, war can be won by removing the opposition’s will to fight. Assuming that to hold, the ELS have seemingly shifted the battle once more in their favour.

  • The Celestial Being space station begins undergoing assimilation, as well, with the sheer number of ELS probes overwhelming the human forces.

  • Massive ELS branches reach menacingly towards the Earth. I personally found their branching behaviors similar to the Tarsians in Voices of a Distant Star.

  • In an actual biological system, neurons are packed much more closely together.

  • Closer inspection of the UI where the Quantum system is activated reveals, strangely enough, the buttons for purchasing what appear to be Gunpla parts.

  • Derived off the Trans-Am Burst System, the Quantum system is meant to expand the conscious thoughts and feelings of an Innovator, such as Setsuna F. Seiei. Upon its activation, the GN Drives behind the shield and in the torso section are physically joined for direct particle generation – a second phase of the Twin Drive System. While its effects are far stronger than that of the 00 Raiser’s systems, further details surrounding this system were never elaborated upon.

  • This brings me to the point where I would like to note that almost immediately following the A Wakening of the Trailblazer‘s release on DVD/BD, English translations from official sources stopped, and all remaining discussions have been limited to what fans have been saying.

  • Talk of the Gundam 00 movie has technically ended: most fans of the franchise consider it to be a reasonable, if unconventional, installment in the series, although the occasional naysayer may still have complaints about not understanding the movie despite claiming to understand it. These individuals are rare, though.

  • Somewhere, someone said that the star the ELS home-world orbited was a red dwarf: they are mistaken, since red dwarfs have a theoretical lifespan exceeding the age of the universe and are predicted to fade out rather than become giant stars. How do I know this? A long time ago, I loved reading about all things astronomical, and some things still endure: for instance, I still can recall that the sun is a main sequence class G star, and that the stellar classifications for stars are O, B, A, F, G, K, M, with O and B class stars being blue super giants, while red stars are classified under class M.

  • Tieria and Setsuna finally learn of the ELS’ origins, and come to the conclusion that they were not aggressive beings. The ELS could only learn and understand other worlds through assimilation, and reacted violently when they were confronted with Quantum brainwaves, something they had never seen previously. Thus, the entire war was over a misunderstanding, much like how some of the wars in human history were instigated because of poor communications.

  • A small, Earth-like planet is assimulated quickly by the ELS as their new homeworld. Once they had that, they continued to explore the universe. On many levels, it’s a good thing the ELS are not anything like the flood, despite their similarities. For one, their central consciousness is not an aggressive being that only aims to consume all life in the known universe.

  • Milena loses control of her emotions as Ian and Linda’s room are infected by ELS crystals.

  • After dumping the GN Sword V, Setsuna prepares to teleport to the ELS’ home world.

  • Teleportation is still firmly in the realm of science fiction right now: there are no means to transport matter from one location to another. Some theories suggest that teleportation can be accomplished by storing the information of an object at one point, then transmitting that information to a destination, although the implications behind this approach would be that the object coming out of the destination is a copy of the original, and that the original would be lost forever.

  • Despite having suffered immense damages, Lockon continues fighting on. Elsewhere, the Harute has been so extensively damaged that Allelujah and Marie are forced to abandon it.

  • Swarms of ELS reach as far as the orbital elevators even as Saji continues contributing to the defensive efforts.

  • The 00 Qan[T] can indeed teleport at the will of the pilot, and Setsuna uses it here to head for the ELS’ homeworld in the hopes of learning more about them.

  • After nearly half an hour of non-stop action, laser fire finally comes to a close once Setsuna finishes his task.

  • The ELS, having reached mutual understanding with humanity, shift their mothership into the form of a massive flower.

  • This final scene of Marina gazing at the massive orbital flower concludes the movie proper.

The movie itself has now concluded, and with it, the main body of these posts. By all stretches, the ending was outrageous, bold and entertaining , which was surprising considering how the 00 Universe had maintained a great deal of realism back in the TV series. The deviation from realism eventually led me to consider A Wakening of the Trailblazer as a solid movie that lacked the attributes of a masterpiece on several grounds. I enjoyed A Wakening of the Trailblazer thoroughly, but it was and remains something I would only recommend to fans of the AD continuity: much of the storyline is dependent on material covered in the TV series, so to enjoy A Wakening of the Trailblazer fully, one would need to cover seasons one and two first. However, for long-time fans of Gundam 00, the movie is two hours of awesomeness.

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