The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: Allelujah Haptism

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

The ELS finally reveal their main body; a massive planetoid 3000 kilometres in diameter and a fleet of close to a million vessels. The ELS begin their course for Earth, forcing the ESF to declare a state of war. They deploy every unit stationed and place these as a final defensive line against the ELS forces. The first strike by the ESF is initially successful at demolishing some of the ELS vessels, but this is short-lived; the ELS manage to replicate GN Fields and deploy them to halt the effectiveness of the missile bombardment. As the combat escalates, Andrei, Patrick and Graham immediately sortie to take on the ELS. Even Saji goes as a volunteer to assist with maintenance of space facilities. The situation worsens as the ELS replicate hardware to repel the ESF’s weapons; even the superlaser mounted on Celestial Being is ineffectual. Despite the increasing bleakness of the situation, Kati Mannequin resolves not to lose hope, and tells her units to continue resisting the ELS. Despite the combined ESF/Celestial Being effort to repel the ELS assault, the ELS manage to break through their positions and begin to assimilate all the technology in their path, allowing them to take on the form and function of all human technology.

On the Ptolemios, Setsuna remains in a critical state from his previous ordeal. With her emotions breaking forth, Feldt runs to his side and grasps his hand. Still in his coma, Setsuna enters a flashback, where older members of Celestial Being remind him of his motivation, and what his fight is for. He sees the flower Feldt gave him years ago and grabs makes a grab for it. Finally regaining his strength and resolve, Setsuna returns to consciousness to a tearful Feldt at his side; she hugs him warmly. With his objective in mind, Setsuna boards the newly built 00 Qan[T] and roars off onto the battlefield. Feldt returns to bridge, and is asked why she didn’t go with Setsuna, to which she replies that she had to let Setsuna go to fulfill his destiny.

  • That’s no moon…that’s a space station! Those who thought the ELS fleet from earlier was something will see the envelope being pushed even further; at around 3000 km wide this is the ELS mothership.

  • The ESF President’s advisors discuss the appearance of the new planetoid, as well as what emergency precautions need to be taken.

  • The ELS differ radically compared to the aliens of Independence Day: the latter had no intention of being understood, and were compared to locusts in that they only wished to consume a planet’s resources and move to a different world once the resources were exhausted.

  • Kati looking over schematics of the ELS probes in what was once Ribbon’s command center during the previous battle.

  • Marina and Shirin discuss the events that have unfolded recently, and how the government is trying to secure the best possible solution: to get people into shelters while fighting for humanity’s right to survive.

  • Civilians are moved to shelters as the ESF forces prepare to launch a massive counterattack against the approaching ELS forces.

  • The superlaser sees deployment again, although this time, it is on the side of the protagonists. It was capable of wiping out a majority of the A-Law’s fleet, and is said to be able to hollow out an asteroid fields in seconds. However, whether or not it has the power to wipe out a planetoid 3000 km wide has yet to be seen.

  • This screenshot is a scene depicted in one of the trailers and was included for completeness.

  • The completed 00 Qan[T] is delivered on board the Ptolemios. Sumeragi states that this is the last mission that Celestial Being needs to complete.

  • GN missiles are fired in a massive salvo reminiscent of the final scene in Independence Day, where squadrons of F/A-18s launch missiles at an alien vessel over Area 51.

  • The central command center for the last battle occurs here. On the main monitor used to track the battle’s progress, the two opposing armies are lined up, like pieces of a chess board.

  •  The first salvo reaches the front-line ELS vessels and blow them from the sky. As soon as the first of the missiles are fired, the final battle begins: the intensity tops anything seen previously, and that is saying something.

  • However, subsequent salvos are met with the same fate as the missiles from Independence Day: the ELS manage to duplicate the function of powerful GN fields for their vessels and repel the missiles effortlessly.

  • The mobile suits begin sortieing after the missiles are fired. One of the aspects about the battles in the movie that impressed were the sheer scales of everything; there is activity everywhere on the screen during this last battle, and it is virtually impossible to keep track of everything. The experience was amplified in the theatres, where it felt like one could really be hit by stray laser fire

  • Andrei’s GN-X IV is equipped with a beam rifle and large GN sword similar to the one wielded by the Gaddess. Patrick’s unit is equipped with two binders to offer him twice the defensive capabilities.

  • Graham addresses his Sol Brave pilots prior to their joining the battle. His only order for them is not to die.

  • As the first time extraterrestrials make an appearance in the Gundam Franchise, their portrayal is very well done. Unlike the use of genertic ‘green men’, the movie stretches things by giving rise to a species that operates with a hive mind and assimilates other beings to learn. These ideas are not new, but refreshing from the humanoid aliens we’ve seen in Independence Day and War of the Worlds.

  • The superlaser’s first shot pierces the ELS mothership and does some damage to it, but doesn’t nearly have the same destructive firepower of the Death Stars.

  • A “no-sell” in professional wrestling occurs where one exhibits no reaction at all to an opponent’s offensive moves: it becomes an intimidating factor if one uses their trump card, only to have it seemingly have no impact. The ESF forces here have fired off their most powerful weapon at the ELS mothership, but the latter keeps on advancing as though nothing has happened.

  • When the times are desperate, any unit that is combat capable will be fielded, accounting for why this space-type Tieren is here. The same held for WWII, where old biplanes were deployed with the newer Spitfires and Hurricanes when the first aerial battles broke out between the Nazi Germany and British air forces.

  • The formation of ELS mobile suits was one of the most amusing and surprising moments in the movie. These suits are the source of the purple particles that were so prevalent in the trailers, and have approximately the same combat capabilities as the original GN-X IVs deployed by the ESF. Subsequent forms of the ELS suits are a little more refined, and lack the terminator-like appearance of the unit shown here.

  • Patrick’s dual wing binders serve him well during the course of the chaotic battle. With the ELS now in possession of their own GN weapons, the ESF forces have their hands tied. It’s a little unusual to see how quickly the ELS were able to understand GN technology to that extent in such a short period of time. This was foreshadowed earlier when one of the Harute’s missiles become assimilated and begin emission of purple particles.

  • The Gagas are re-equipped with laser cannons to be actually useful, although they are still sunk in massive numbers.

  • Graham’s Sol Braves arrive to the scene of the battle and immediately join in on the festivities. The commander type sports a blue finish and uses a pair of GN-Tau drives to increase its performance, although these drives are not synchronised and therefore is not classified as a twin drive unit.

  • The intensity of the battle is exemplified in the quantity of particle beams filling the space to the extent where even the highly trained Sol Brave pilots cannot dodge all of them; indeed, we see a few Braves get shot down during the course of the battle.

  • By Sun Tzu’s standards, Graham Aker is an excellent commander, caring deeply for the soldiers under his command and leading them courageously into combat.

  • The Celestial Being space station’s superlaser doesn’t feel that super anymore, as the ELS conjour up  a shield powerful enough to deflect it. Unless the ESF engineers had accidentally downgraded it during the two-year time skip, this is a subtle note at the proportions and scale the ELS possess. Josef Stalin himself said that quantity is a quality all its own, which certainly applies to the ELS.

  • The Strike Freedom’s title of having the greatest capacity to track and engage multiple targets is lost with little question to the Zabanya. Lockon uses Zabanya’s full arsenel liberally througout the course of the battle, raining particle fire onto the ELS for the sake of humanity’s survival.

  • Despite the full efforts of the ESF fleet and Celestial Being, the space station’s superlaser is hit, forcing Kati to order the weapon’s self destruction to prevent it from falling into ELS knowledge.

  • For those who are curious, Ishikawa Chiaki’s Mou Nanimo Kowaku Nai, Kowaku wa Nai plays as the superlaser begins to break up. The song suits the moment, even more so when I looked up the lyrics’ English equivalent, as humanity decides to continue the fight for their right to survive.

  • Andrei realises that an ELS vessel has broken ranks and is charging towards the Earth. He activates Trans-Am on his own unit and damages the ELS vessel, but his unit becomes infected in the process.

  • The GN Drive on Andrei’s GN Drive are pushed over the maximum levels for safe operation. Much like how vehicles have a maximum land speed, they usually cannot be operated safely if they are pushed over a certain speed. Recalling that GN Tau drives could overload and explode if they were abused, it’s likely that the OS in mobile suits with a Tau Drive has a built-in indicator to denote safe operating levels.

  • Andrei’s decision to scrifice himself to prevent the ELS vessel from reaching the planetary surface was an unexpected fate, but allowed him to atone for his actions and live as the soldier Sergi always wanted him to be; he died to protect people, even if it is not immediately apparent. In this sense, his death was not meaningless and was not a karmic death, although not every fan will share this viewpoint.

  • The probe finally detonates in a ball of purple light, contrasting explosions we’ve seen thus far in the series. In Gundam 00, most explosions behave as if they were in an atmosphere, and diffuse randomly due to the slight differences in air pressures at the center of the explosion. With a near-vacuum in space, explosions are perfectly spherical.

  • Feldt calls out to Setsuna as he writhes in the recovery room.

  • As his coma progresses, Setsuna’s consciousness is taken to a few places, including Azadistan, where Shirin is participating in a humanitarian effort to assist those in need. A delivery automaton is present to the right of the image, suggesting that the ESF has progressed a good deal from the days when we saw the same automaton gunning civilians down.

  • Marina accepts a flower from a girl who is very pleased to have met her inside the palace. Meanwhile, even Saji joins the effort against the ELS. Despite choosing not to fight by taking up arms, he nonetheless assists the effort by performing the maintainance of the orbital platforms.

  • Setsuna is able to see everyone at their combat stations, save Feldt, who is currently with him. The scene fades, and he encounters Lichty, Christina and Neil. They impart on him the reasons that he has to keep fighting, and not let their deaths be in vein. Setsuna sees the flower that Feldt had given him two years previously. He reaches for it, realising its purpose.

  • This is the rather famous scene that led to speculations that Feldt and Setsuna enter a relationship. While Setsuna was making a grab for the flower in his dream, Feldt had taken his hand unto hers and grasps it. Her emotions and feelings come through to Setsuna, who finally gains the strength to exit from his coma.

  • Feldt is very grateful that Setsuna is conscious once again and embraces him warmly. The latter immediately heads to the 00 Qan[T].

  • Tieria thanks Milena for helping construct a compact VEDA terminal in the 00 Qan[T] to help process the vast quantities of information that will be present when interfacing with the ELS again.

  • Mileina declares her love for Tieria, regardless of his physical form, was one of the most heartwarming moment in the movie. When watching this, people in the theatre collectively expressed joy and, after which they laughed at Ian’s reaction. This is one of the most heartwarming scenes in the movie, and is delivered extremely well. I myself saw this one coming, as Milena once said in her sleep to Tieria: “Don’t fall in love with me”.

  • Ian and Linda complete their work on the 00 Qan[T] as it awaits its pilot. The cockpit has been moved back into the abdomen region, and the head resembles the Exia’s. The 00 Qan[T]’s design is a combination of the best features from the Exia and 00 Raiser. Again, look very carefully at the chest orb, and notice it reflecting the hanger inside the Ptolemios.

  • Linda is pleased to hear Milena’s announcement, sharply contrasting Ian’s response.

  • The HUD of the 00 Qan[T] is a powerful interface for managing the 00 Qan[T]’s most powerful functions. It has an almost alien feel to it due to its shape, which is, to some extent, ironic, because the main antagonists in the movie are extraterrestrials. I remember an evening where a friend and I discussed the future of computing technologies after  showed him this image, and he showed me a 3D HUD from Mass Effect 2.

  • The idea of integrating a holographic representation of an individual into a Gundam is one I have looked forward to seeing for a very long time. My requests to get an image of Setsuna using Belldandy in the 00 Qan[T] fell on deaf ears, as I was not that proficient with Adobe Photoshop at the time. I am more skilled now, although at present, I’m occupied by other things and probably won’t have time to actually produce such an image.

  • Feldt is able to let go of Setsuna because she understands him. She assures everyone that she is alright.

  • We are treated to a spectacular shot of launch deck III opening on the Ptolemios II while it is still firing an unending stream of particle beams and GN missiles.

  • Unlike the 00 Gundam, the 00 Qan[T] is fully operational without any additional equipment. In the movie, every new Gundam is equipped with remote weapons of some kind: Zabanya has its rifle and shield bits, Harute wields the scissor bits, Raphael had its two remote GN cannons and Seravee II, and 00 Qan[T] uses six sword bits. According to movie sources, the sword bits on the 00 Qan[T] surpass the overall performance of the mobile-suit sized fangs the Gadelaza used.

  • The 00 Qan[T]’s design varied from the drawing board to the cinema screens. It originally had a slightly different design and colour scheme, but that was changed in subsequent renderings of it in the trailer. The trailers I saw during the summer showed the 00 Qan[T] shows the 00 Qan[T] deploying all of its sword bits, but in the movie, the bits remain mounted on the unit to conserve particles.

The events leading up to and during the final battle are beyond words to describe. So grand in scope and scale is the final battle that a great many viewers considered the A Wakening of the Trailblazer to be the most solid anime movie of 2010, even edging out The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi as the best of that year. This is saying something: having seen both movies, I consider Haruhi to be a remarkable work that can be considered to be a masterpiece in terms of story. If asked to choose between the two movies, back in 2010, I would have picked A Wakening of the Trailblazer any day, but now, I would be sitting on the fence. In this third act, humanity unites under one to fight for survival, but despite putting up an impressive fight, the ELS’ overwhelming numbers slowly turn the battle away from humanity. Upon watching this for the first time, I was on the edge of my seat, observing every moment with great suspense and excitement. Before I continue on to the next act, I note that the practise of dividing movies into acts is purely for my convenience, and in the Gundam 00 movie’s case, I have done so based on different points in the movie.

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.

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

It has been two years since the A-Laws were defeated, and while the Earth Sphere Federation has begun in earnest to reach its goal of global peace, there still existed insurgent factions which occasionally threatened this new peace. Over the past two years, Earth Sphere Federation had established a pacifist policy, employing the help of Innovators and the supercomputer Veda. In order to make up for the heinous acts committed by the A-Laws, the Federation decided upon a more peaceful approach towards unifying the world. The appearance of a derelict exploration ship from Jupiter, however, caused a great deal of concern with the ESF government. At this time, Louise remains hospitalized by the events that unfolded two years previously. Marina, meanwhile, takes up a diplomatic visit to a colony, but her decision is met with opposition from a Union company, who plan her assassination by deploying a squadron of GNX-603T GN-Xs to intercept her shuttle. Celestial Being steps in and effortlessly thwarts the attempt, with Setsuna piloting a Flag into the battle and single-handedly destroying three GN-Xes. The other members question him as to why he does not wish to meet up with Marina, to which Setsuna simply responds that the time was not appropriate.

Back on the surface, the ESF have reached a conclusion with respect to answering to the presence of the 130-year old exploration vessel, which is headed on a collision course with the surface. Descartes Shaman is present at this conference, during which it is agreed the vessel to be destroyed quickly. However, the missile bombardment fails to damage the vessel, so Descartes Shaman is deployed in the Gadeleza. He effortlessly annihilates the derelict station with the mobile armour. The fragments of the vessel burn up in the atmosphere, although some survive and end up in remote regions on the planet. Observing this, Setsuna and Feldt both share feelings of doubt and concern over the fallout of this event, and their suspicions are quickly vindicated as unusual events begin occurring; machines operate independent of human command, leading to accidents. In another part of the world, a being resembling Ribbons appears in the automated house of a girl and reaches out to her as she screams. The body is later found half-covered in an unknown alien metal, a phenomenon the Federation scientists takes an interest to. Billy Katagiri and his new partner, Mena, participate in the research. The project leads them to (along with Celestial Being) to conclude that the unusual phenomenon has been targeting Quantum Brainwave users (both Innovators and other Quantum Brainwave-capable individuals). In light of these discoveries, Setsuna attempts to contact Allelujah and Marie, but his efforts are hindered by the interference the strange artefacts are generating. Out of options, Setsuna and Lockon head to the surface to locate them. Upon reaching the surface, Setsuna finds Ribbons confronting Saji and Louise. Despite firing multiple rounds at Ribbons, the latter remains alive and silent, falling only to a sticky charge Setsuna throws at him. The charge succeeds in vaporizing his upper body, but the lower half continues functioning for a few moments before disintegrating into metallic fragments. Deciding that this occurrence is a possible danger, he tells Saji to seek shelter with Louise. Meanwhile, Allelujah and Marie become entangled in a sticky situation, during which Allelujah notices that a van was able regenerate itself despite being destroyed. As the unusual machines close in on their position, Lockon rushes to their rescue in the Dynames Repair. Having recovered all of their members, Celestial Being convenes just as they come under attack by the presumably destroyed Jupiter Exploration ship. Unable to simply observe the events any further, Setsuna sorties in the 00 Raiser, although the unknown forces direct a mental assault on Setsuna and cripples him. Eventually, 00 Raiser’s left arm and shoulder binder are hit and the suit begins to be assimilated. He is only saved by Tieria’s intervention, who arrives in the CB-002 Raphael Gundam and tears off the metal assimilating the 00 Raiser’s arm. Tieria later questions Setsuna as to why he made no attempt to shoot down the unknowns once they are onboard the Ptolemaios. Setsuna simply responds that he didn’t understand why he wasn’t able to fire.

  • The incomplete 00 Qan[T] is shown to have two custom built, brand-new GN Drives customized for its frame. As a result, the 00 Qan[T] has no need for support equipment.

  • Alexandro Corner makes a hilarious return in the movie Celestial Being, which is an over-the-top, stylised parody of Gundam 00, complete with super robot poses.

  • Aside from the exaggerated poses, multi-coloured Trans Am and the fact that Allelujah is a pink-haired girl, the movie seems to take after the original TV series and distorts everything. In fact, at the time of the movie’s release, the TV series had finished airing for two and a half years.

  • Saji and a friend react to the movie-within-a-movie. I found this to be a brilliant idea: it is reminisicent of “The Ember Island Players” in Avatar: The Last Airbender– the dialogue is just as exaggerated, and the details are comically incorrect. The fan’s reactions in this scene are actually reflective of the fan’s reactions to the actual movie. Some people are awe-struck, some are saddened by deaths and others just hate the movie.

  • The former HRL has done a phenomenal job improving the city around their orbital elevator. Saji is now an engineer for the HRL Elevator, and following the events of the movie, he goes to see Louise.

  • It’s been two years, and despite being healed by Trans-Am burst previously, Louise is still a little unwell. Fortunately, she’s got Saji by her side. Saji takes a quote from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and tells Louise that “[they] have all the time in the world”. Saji has matured a great deal since the TV  series, and while his role in the movie is limited, it is nonetheless very meaningful to see what Saji and Louise’s roles are, now that they’ve both matured.

  • The colony at Lagrange 3 was thought to be the testing center for Innovators back when one of the trailers were first released.  It’s actually a new colony under construction, and those red fields are simply grids to coordinate vehicle flow.

  • Marina and Shirin on board the shuttle en route to inspect a colony. SOE, the organisation responsible for the development, is accused of using illegal labour forces, but they attempt to “demonstrate” that working conditions are acceptable (namely, by trying to bump off Marinaand Shirin).

  • Setsuna piloting his customised Flag to rescue Marina from an assassination attempt. The choice of using a Flag was made to avoid being identified as Celestial Being, although equipping the Flag with a particle beam weapon may give away its affiliation.

  • Setsuna easily wipes out the GN-X squadron. When he was taking on the second one, he destroyed it using a plasma sword, confirming that the Flag was a formidable unit capable of taking down even a Gundam in the hands of a skilled pilot like Graham Aker. This implies that that back in season one, episode 18, Graham could have done the same to the Throne Eins without stealing the latter’s beam saber. As a consequence of an outdated mobile suit being able to take down a GN-powered mobile suit, the Celestial Being-type Flag has become one of my friend’s favourite units.

  • If it were not apparent before, Feldt’s feelings for Setsuna have intensified in the two year gap. This aspect of the movie had the fans engaged in endless debates, but as Setsuna indicates here, he is not particularly in the market for a relationship of any kind.

  • Brigadier General Manniquin and Patrick Colasour take a tour of the Celestial Being facility. Despite being directed by the Earth Sphere Federation (ESF) now, there are still many secrets they have yet to unlock about the space station.

  • This is Descartes Shaman, a natural Innovator who was discovered by the ESF and subsequently subject to many experiementations. His first appearance led to speculation that he was the antagonist; while he is very confident in his abilities, he is not evil.

  • The Gadelaza mobile armour is one of the largest in franchise history: at over 300 metres in length, it is equipped with a total of 154 fangs and is optimized for an Innovator pilot.

  • The HUD of the Gadelaza differs slightly than when it was first presented in the trailers; the BD version of the movie differs slightly than the theatrical release and DVDs in a few scenes, streamlining some elements.

  • Where missiles and particle beams have failed, the Gadelaza uses its mobile suit-sized fangs to shred the derelict space station. Andrei Smirnov is present at the operation, and marvels at the power of an Innovator.

  • Politians discussing the appearance of the derelict space station. The individual on the left looks a little like Steven Harper. I’ll probably make a lot of references to the TV series and real life throughout this reflective review.

  • Graham Aker is back to his usual self again. Below is his Brave, a new unit derived from the Flag and Susanoo series. Its overwhelming performance and status as a general-purpose, limited mass-production type holds great appeal for one of my friends, who cites the Brave line of mobile suits as the paragon of pragmatism.

  • The random accidents on Earth that begin to occur at this point are in the form of traffic accidents: the Gundam 00 movie is, in a sense, similar to a horror movie for the first part: the true source of the conflict is not known, unlike in Western alien films, where the antagonists are immediately shown on screen.

  • The incident at an AEU subway station indicates that something is way off; the trains causing the accident have no drivers. This scene is mildly reminiscent of the London Underground chase in Skyfall, and I mention this solely to indicate the amount of time that has passed since I wrote the original post at the old site.

  • Amia Lee and her friend part ways following classes. Following the movie’s release, I was a little surprised to see that discussions about Amia did not concern so much what occurs on a biological basis following her assimilation, but more on her figure and other topics unsuited for this blog.

  • The movie’s twists become apparent here, and Kenji Kawaii shifts his music accordingly. The Gundam 00 movie feels like a crossover between Gundam, Independence Day, Star Trek and Transformers mixed in with some elements from the J-Horror genre. As such, some of the songs on the soundtrack distinctly feel like horror pieces.

  • Despite having very little screentime, she is the first person to be assimulated by the ELS. “Ribbons” makes a reappearance, despite having no speaking role, and menancingly steps towards her with his arms open as the camera fades to black…

  • Meena Carmine is a an astrophysicist works for the ESF. She helps the ESF to solve the mysteries of the ELS. At one point in time, an ancestor of Meena donated a DNA sample to the Corner family, hence her resemblance to Nena Trinity. Her relationship with Billy is one of the most amusing points in this movie.

  • The partially assimilated humans in a yellow-lit hallway and horror music come together to create a scene illustrating how the Gundam 00 movie breaks away from the traditional format and runs with a different idea in mind.

  • Following the events in season two, Allelujah and Marie continue on their vacation. They find their hotel/lodge/hostel/accommodations deserted on arrival, and there is a massive hole on the compound.

  • Hallelujah dares the ELS-controlled vehicles chasing him to get up to where he is after pulling off some hardcore parkour moves. The driver-less vehicles strongly remind me of the Decepticons from Transformers, and being ELS, they probably could transform into mecha if they so wished, foreshadowing their later role.

  • Lockon pilots the Dynames Repair to rescue Allelujah and Marie. This unit was seen on the concept art as far back as March 2010 when the earliest trailers were still floating about, leading to speculation that it would make a reappearance at some point in the movie. Viewers should not be disappointed: Lockon dispatches all of the ELS-controlled vehicles with ease and then declares Allelujah and Marie’s vacations to be officially over.

  • We’ve seen this before, but the ELS seem to be strongly attracted to individuals with stronger quantum brainwaves. This is why “Ribbons” leaves Louise alone after Setsuna shows up. I’m guessing the ELS found a sample of the original Ribbons’ DNA in the derelict vessel and used that as the basis for this body.

  • After the events of the second season, ELS or not, Setsuna (understandably) is not too pleased to see Ribbons. He is able to quickly dispatch him, but is unable to answer Saji’s question of what is going on.

  • Amia Lee is partially assimulated by this point and is being studied by the ESF, leading to fans to nick-name her “ELS-tan”.

  • Marie and Milena reunite after Lockon brings Marie and Allelujah on board the Ptolemios II. I recall when Feldt was upset by Marie for what had happened during season one. Things have changed dramatically since then, as all of the crew of the Ptolemios are now on good terms with one another, compared to the stoicness during season one. The sense of unity extends to all of humanity, as this time, it isn’t one human faction against another.

  • .If you listen carefully, Heart of Feldt plays here. It’s a quiet piano piece that reflects Feldt’s character, and can be considered to be a play on words, as felt is a type of cloth with a very natural feel to it, even if it was artificially synthesised. Taken together, the song could mean “a natural heart”, but those are merely my thoughts. Despite maturing greatly since her earliest appearances in the series, Feldt is still a little shy when it comes to expressing her feelings towards others

  • Patrick and Kati come together to share a kiss, but something comes up on Kati’s monitor, ending the moment.

  • It appears that Tieria’s synthesizing a new body for himself and leaving the Celestial Being space station was not unnoticed.

  • The crew of the Ptolemios gather for a meeting on what Setsuna encountered on Earth earlier. The appearance of Ribbons troubles everyone, and this is understandable, given what had happened in season two.

  • This is the man whose DNA would form the genetic template for Ribbons Almarc. In this image, his eyes clearly lack the same arrogance that Ribbons would have.

  • Milena picks up another derelict space station on the scope; this is the one that the ELS have formed. This will be the first direct encounter anyone will have with the ELS, and also the first time the new model Gundams are deployed.

  • As I scroll through and port each image and its accompanying figure caption over, I will immediately note that each post will consist of 50 images, and that contrasting Five Centimeters per Second, there are fewer revisions to the figure captions compared to last time.

  • Gundam Zabanya uses a different load-out than its predecessors. Instead of relying on a single long range weapon and two smaller close-quarter weapons, the unit is equipped with a wide range of guns, all of which can be remotely controlled or fired in a hand-held configuration. In order to coordinate such a large number of long-range remote weapons, an additional Haro is required to accommodate for the control of these weapons.

  • Harute is the successor to Arios, and is designed for high mobility in a zero-gravity environment. Its most notable feature is that it is a twin-seater in tandem configuration; the pilot sits behind and above the gunner, much like the Apache. Attention to detail is something that sets a great anime apart from a good one, and Gundam 00 very much satisfies the criteria of paying attention to subtle details.

  • I built an HG 00 Raiser with the GN Sword III back in December 2009, and followed that up with the MG 00 Qan[T] back in January 2011. I presently have two more MGs and several more HGs, although since then, I have almost all of the models I would have liked. At time of writing, I have an eye on either the HGUC RX-0 Full Armour Unicorn Gundam in Destroy mode or the MG Exia R2. Availability will determine which one I purchase.

  • One of the condensers mounted on the 00 Raiser is shown here. They replace the GN Drives that were used in season two; official source material conflict as to the number of GN drives that survived the battle for VEDA. One side story says that the 00 Raiser was refitted to its seven sword configuration with a single drive and a condensor, while other sources claim that the final battle between the Exia and O Gundam destroyed both drives.

  • The other major difference in the movie variant of the 00 Raiser is that the sensor on the O Raiser is now clear, as opposed to orange in the second season. The use of condensers meant that the unit would be unable to perform as it did previously, but the extent of these limitations is never seen, given that the 00 Raiser never fires a single shot.

  • Zabanya firing one of its carbines at the ELS in the opening confrontation. It becomes clear that a dedicated sniper unit would not suffice against the ELS, given their sheer numbers.

  • The 00 Raiser gets hit with one of the probes and immediately begins to have the ELS crystals “grow” over its body. The signficant amount of quantum interference Setsuna experiences from the presence of the ELS prevent him from firing.

  • Before the 00 Raiser is lost to the ELS, a new unit shows up at the scene. Its remote arms grip the 00 Raiser and tear out the binder with the ELS, saving Setsuna. The size of these claws suggest that they can be used to physically crush a mobile suit.

  • Setsuna expresses pure surprise at his rescue; this is the second time that Tieria has saved Setsuna from destruction at the last second. In that sense, Tieria is a master of arriving on time

  • The new model Gundam that shows up is the Raphael. It uses three tau drives as its powerplant, giving it firepower that is nearly equivalent to that of the the Gadelaza, and was developed by Tieria using details derived off the Gadessa series. It was shown to have an original GN Drive in the trailers, but this was changed at the last moment. In fact, the HG model kit of the Raphael’s box art still shows it firing pink beams.

  • Following the battle, Setsuna is unable to explain the phenomenon he experienced while in close proximity to the ELS.

Thus ends the first part to my discussion. Since December 2010, I’ve watched many anime beyond Gundam 00, and as such, when I started the blog back in 2011, Gundam 00 had been on my list of things that I had completed and found myself reasonably satisfied with. On occasion, though, it is fun to go back through older stuff, hence this series of posts. The first act to the Gundam 00 movie is a little hectic: everyone is scattered all over the place, and events don’t add up. This chaotic plot development might be seen as a detractor for the movie, since viewers are left hanging as to what is happening, although in retrospect, the approach is actually quite ingenious, leaving the viewers as frustrated as the characters as to what is going on. At the act’s end, Tieria rolls out and saves everyone in a spectacular fashion. No longer the cold, distant Gundam pilot he was in season one, Tieria has become one of the more interesting characters in the series.

Gundam 00- Rebirth

In the final confrontation between Setsuna and Ribbons, the 00-Raiser is heavily damaged by Ribbons and the other Innovators; however, assistance from the other Meisters evens the odds. In the ensuing chaos, Allelujah/Hallelujah and Lockon respectively kill Hilling and Revive while Ribbons and Setsuna are exhausted from a round of heavy fighting. However, Ribbons manages to steal one of the 00’s GN Drives, which was 0 Gundam’s, and puts it into the abandoned 0 Gundam. Setsuna, in turn, takes the remaining GN Drive and installs it in the rebuilt Exia R2. After another difficult duel, Ribbons and Setsuna run through each other with their swords but Setsuna emerges the victor when the 0 Gundam explodes. In the epilogue, the Federation reforms as its new president disbands the A-Laws and pushes for better global peace; Saji and Louise rekindle their relationship; Allelujah and Marie leave Celestial Being to search for the meaning of their existence; Andrei Smirnov stays in the military to preserve peace like his parents; Patrick Colasour and Kati Mannequin (now a brigadier general) get married; Klaus and Shirin work as politicians in the Federation Assembly; Marina returns with the children to lead a rebuilt Azadistan; Graham Aker is seen visiting Billy Katagiri in his office. As for Setsuna and Lyle, the latter now fully embracing his identity as Lockon, the two leave with Celestial Being until another armed intervention is needed as Tieria disappears into Veda to watch over the world.

  • Technically, it’s been a little more than four years since the finale was released: the original episode was released on March 29 in 2009, but owing to other commitments, I have not had the chance to reflect on the thoughts this episode evoked. 

  • For a brief period of time, I desired to purchase the HG Reborns Gundam to compliment my 00 Raiser, although my interest in Gunpla occurred too late, and by the time I tried to buy it, most shops (online and local) were sold out.

  • Initially, I had assumed that the Reborns Gundam did not have a proper Twin-Drive system and dismissed it as an element the community was making up. However, pursuing original documentation using my newly-minted Japanese reading skills reveals this is indeed the case, and in fact,  seemingly dubious claims about a show generally hold true because some individuals are able to access and translate original content.

  • This particular scene was impressive four years ago, and remains impressive now: Hallelujah shreds Hilling Care’s Garazzo without much effort, all the while noting that the latter’s over-dependence on Veda was ultimately their downfall.

  • The Reborns is supposedly inspired by the Guncannon, Guntank and the Nu Gundam as a call-out to the fact that Ribbons is voiced by Tohru Furuya, who had also voiced Amuro Ray in the original Gundam.

  • Lockon pulls off a brilliant maneuver by feigning destruction, and at the last second, uses his remaining second of stored energy to enter trans-am and get behind Revive’s Gadessa, allowing him to shoot it down with the Cherudim’s last GN Pistol II. Note that two fingers on the manipulator are missing here, meaning Lockon would have had to grab the pistol upside-down.

  • Setsuna causes critical damage to the Reborns, as Ribbons slices off one of the 00 Raiser’s GN Drives. I’ve heard somewhere that the beam sabre on the Reborns was powerful enough to chip the GN Sword III on contact, although despite having watched the episode multiple times in 1080p, I can say that no such thing actually happens.

  • For the record, the Master Grade 00 Gundam has beautiful details surpassing those in the anime. When I remove one of the 00’s GN drives, the sheer amount of detail shown is nothing short of impressive.

  • The recoloured O Gundam is virtually the same unit as the RX-78-II save for minor cosmetic differences and the former’s usage of a GN Drive over a Minovsky reactor.

  • Gundam 00 is noted as one of the first Gundam series to ever feature a direct downgrade in the combatant’s suits, more so for the fact that it occurs mid-engagement. The restored Exia R2 is beautiful, taking on the same armour as the current generation Gundams and being equipped with the GN Sword Kai.

  • Having seen Char’s Counterattack, I finally understand why this scene caused such a big splash in the Gundam community: Char attempts to hit the Nu Gundam in the exact same manner in their final duel over Axis, and the effective damage is the same.

  • Setsuna gets a beam sabre to the Exia’s cockpit, melting away his view screens and exposing him to the vacuum of space. Unfazed, Setsuna prepares for one final charge forwards.

  • While Ribbons discards his shield and powers up his beam sabre (yet another call out to the original Gundam), Setsuna responds by merely switching the GN Sword Kai to sword mode, releasing the limiters on his GN Drive and rushing forwards.

  • The two suits collide in a spectacular flash of light.

  • When the dust settles, the O Gundam is destroyed and explodes, taking its GN Drive with it. This final battle is one long-time Gundam fans have greatly enjoyed: rather than the customary shouting of conflicting moral viewpoints during battle, the O Gundam vs. Exia fight is characterised by its lack of words: the guns and swords do all of the talking.

  • The force of the explosion blows the Exia into space, and the flower Feldt had previously given to Setsuna floats out of the cockpit. This entire final scene is set to Ayumi Tsunematsu’s Tomorrow, a beautiful, yet simple song.

  • After the dust settles , the epilogue begins to roll. I believe this is one of the few epilogues that feature two major songs, the inset song Unlimited Sky from Tommy Heavenly6, and L’Arc-en-Ciel’s Daybreak’s Bell.

  • Contrasting the first season’s bittersweet ending, the second season ends on a decidedly more upbeat note, with the world finally being unified without an autonomous peace force imposing draconian measures on dissenting parties.

  • Fans would have been rather pleased to see this ending, and perhaps more so from the fact that Patrick Colasour has matured from a hotshot in season one to a rather more skilled pilot in season two.

  • Louise and Saji act as a more realistic, cautionary note to the victory, and how Celestial Being will act again should the world fall into disarray from internal or external forces.

  • March 29, 2009 would mark the last time I would watch Gundam 00 until December 2011, when the movie would finally make its way onto the BluRay and DVD market. Between that time, I would find myself picking up Gundam Unicorn.

Four years ago, I was in the midst of learning calculus for the first time. The concepts became vastly more clear to me at around this time of year, and I would later regain my old flair for mathematically-driven materials shortly after. Gundam 00 represents the end of secondary school for me, having aired the same year I would finish my final year and graduate onwards to post-secondary education. Despite the formal conclusion of Gundam 00 for that era, I would frequently rewatch the final fight between Ribbons and Setsuna as they strove to set the path to their own visions of the future. This finale episode was (and still is) remarkably fun to watch: on my website, I noted the sheer audacity of the battle sequences, the lecturing on moral standards and so on. However, time has conferred additional wisdom, and while the character’s motivations are not as meaningful as they once were, the episode (and by extension, the entire series) remains fun to watch, the single most important criteria I have for anime. The ending of the episode left viewers with the promise of a new movie, then to be released at an unspecified point in the future. Presently, Gundam 00 remains an enjoyable watch: the animation has not diminished even compared to present-day anime (except for Gundam Unicorn), and the episodes themselves bring back an air of nostalgia distinctly reminiscent of my days as a secondary school student.

Gundam 00- Assault on Memento Mori

Katharon’s offensive against the Memento Mori goes poorly, with A-Laws’ superior units both nullifying the resistance’s missile attacks and decimating their obsolete mobile suits. The 00-Raiser’s timely arrival saves the fleet from being completely wiped out as Setsuna single-handedly takes on the A-Laws forces and a new Gadessa mobile suit piloted by Hiling. The Ptolemaios II approaches the Memento Mori head-on in its blind spot, but is soon forced into the laser’s firing path; however, the ship miraculously survives the attack by using Arios’ Trans-Am to dodge, and ensures its safety with Cherudim’s new Shield Bit system. Thanks to Nena Trinity’s leaked information, Tieria’s Buster Cannon and a precise hit from Lockon exploits a weakness in the Memento Mori and destroys the superweapon, taking Arba Lindt’s life in the process.

  • Why this post? I felt like gushing about how I gushed about this episode 4 years ago, and how much the world has changed since then. Here, we have the GNZ-003 Gadessa, a limited-production mobile suit that was designed for long-range combat and uses technical and combat data derived from the GN-005 Gundam Virtue. Its primary weapon is the GN Mega Launcher, a long range weapons designed for high-precision firing.

  • Episode 13 to season 2 was released back in December 28, 2008. During this period four years ago, I was studying for the standarised examinations, as I was completing my final year of secondary school. Gundam 00, thus, this anime reminds me strongly of my high school days.

  • Before an Ahead can annihilate the last of Katharon’s transports, a particle beam cuts down the Ahead. Despite being presented in the first episode as a powerful all-around Federation mobile suit, the new Gundams have no problem dispatching them.

  • The shot turns out to have originated from the 00 Raiser, who streaks onto the battlefield and casually dispatches a handful of A-Laws units with ease. The 00 Raiser is the single most powerful unit up to this point in the series: the synchronisation and stabilisation of its GN Drives give it hitherto unmatched performance.

  • Setsuna requests information on the Memento Mori, relaying back to the Ptolemaios such that Sumeragi can formulate a plan to take it down. The plan is quite simple and was in fact, directly inspired by the Rebel’s strategy to take down the Death Star in A New Hope. Similarly, Sumeragi plans to fly down the orbital ring (trench) and target the optical resonator (exhaust vent) to destroy the Memeto Mori (Death Star).

  • The episode can be implicitly seen as Sumeragi’s careful planning against Arba Lindt’s brute force tactics. There’s really no prizes for guessing which method works better, and this trend is, not surprisingly, one that holds in the real world.

  • As the mid-point episode, this particular instalment really delivered in terms of action and quality. Many heroic background themes make a return in this episode as the crew of the Ptolemaios mounts their assault on the orbital weapon and the fleet defending it.

  • Nena Trinity proves to be an unexpected ally this episode, sending highly detailed blueprints to the Ptolemaios and later, giving Setsuna covering fire. Her actions are motivated by her undying hatred for Wang Liu Mei, although again, I have the advantage of knowing what happens already; in 2008, speculation had hoped that Nena would get a new unit to match the Arche in performance or even join the Ptolemaios crew.

  • Alright, gentlemen: enough of this standing around business. It’s time for everyone to man their battle-stations and partake in what is perhaps one of the most innovative battles seen in Gundam 00 thus far.

  • Marie consents to assist in this operation, using her reflexes to time a Trans-Am assisted jump when the Federation forces push the Ptolemaios within the Memento Mori’s firing angle.

  • Wang Liu Mei is revealed to be interested solely in change for the world, and aligns herself with the party most likely to offer it, regardless of the cost that the change may bring. This methodology is consistent with what high school conferred to some of my classmates: these individuals now believe that it is their duty to change the world in within their own lifetime.

  • The Cantonese have a saying called “高興太早”, which simply means to celebrate prematurely before it has been ascertained that a victory has been won. Healing Care learns this the hard way after the Ptolemaios evades the shot and streaks towards the Memento Mori.

  • This ingenious setup involves using the Seravee to melt off the Mememto Mori’s side armour, before getting the Cherudim to target the optical resonator.

  • The assault on Mememto Mori sees the first use of the Cherudim’s shield bits, remote controlled devices that can act both as shields and remote lasers. When I first spoke to friends about remote weapons, he noted there was a distinction between bits and funnels. I’m not too familiar with this distinction, though, and moreover, most remote weapons in Gundam 00 are referred to as “Fangs”, although, unlike Gundam SEED, the term is not an acronym.

  • Healing Care’s final attempt to stop the Ptolemaios ends with Setsuna bifurcating the GN mega-launcher and challenging her to a one-on-one using swords. 

  • After Tieria produces a hole in the side of the Memento Mori, the entire operation is down to Lockon’s sharpshooting.

  • Believe it or not, there is a Gundam 00/K-On! crossover parody video out there of the opening sequence, and this image was modified to include Ritsu making the shot. With that as my video thumbnail, that video gathered nearly 180000 views before my old account died after I migrated to the new Google-linked accounts.

  • The holographic sight is included in the HG 1/144 Cherudim and its successor, the heavy weapons edition. I recall a friend purchasing the Cherudim and Zabanya model kits during previous winter breaks, while I purchased the HG 00 Raiser+GN Sword III and MG 00 Qan[T]. I’m more of a fan of the 00 line of mobile suits for their sleekness. Lokon successfully makes the shot, wiping the Memento Mori out. Arba Lindt’s vessel is destroyed by the superweapon’s wreckage.

  • To add insult to injury, Setsuna disarms the Gaddessa after the latter gets distracted by Nena’s intervention, serving as a fitting close for the operation.

  • Marina and the Katharon members note that while the destruction of the Memento Mori was beneficial, the warfare they experienced up until now cannot be allowed to remain.

Despite four years having passed since this episode was released, I nonetheless remain impressed with its execution and flow. In particular, its similarity to the Battle of Yavin gave the episode big points and marked it as an excellent midway point, bringing back all of Celestial Being’s glory. Until now, Sumeragi et al. had merely been reacting to threats, rather than preventing them. After this episode’s release, I recall directing my attention towards the exams that I would write mid-January, and that episode fourteen would release on January 11, 2009. Speculation online regarding the episode took off with great haste, and some thought that Nena would become an ally backed by Wang Liu Mei, as well as the identity of the then-new character, Pang Hercury. A former HRL soldier, his role was the topic of much speculation, although presently, we know him as the organiser of a coup d’état that would be the focus of episodes 15 and 16. In the present day, I now await the release of three new anime which I will likely follow, all of which will release on the 11th, a little less than four years after episode 14 of Gundam 00 was to release.