April 5, 2013
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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.
January 1, 2013
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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.
October 7, 2012
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After entrusting Lyle Dylandy with top secret information pertaining to Celestial Being’s activities, Setsuna leaves to confront Sumeragi Lee Noriega. Sumeragi, consumed with guilt over the countless lives lost during the organization’s military interventions four years earlier, has found refuge in Bill Katagiri’s apartment and worsened her drinking problem. While contemplating the Gundams’ reappearance, Marina Ismail is arrested by A-LAWS and imprisoned. Saji Crossroad is given access to Celestial Being’s database and learns about the existence of the Throne Gundams. Wan Liu Mei, believing change can be obtaining by initiating and fueling conflicts, leaks information to both Ribbons and Celestial Being. As A-LAWS forces mount an attack on Celestial Being’s ship, Tieria ventures out alone in Seravee to confront them. Setsuna, accompanied by Lyle and Sumeragi, witnesses the confrontation and boards the ’00’ Gundam, despite Ian’s protests. Managing to activate ’00’s Trans-Am System, Setsuna defeats the A-LAWS’ forces, forcing them to retreat. Sumeragi is reunited with the crew, who are shocked when ‘Lockon’ also appears.
- The 00 Gundam may as well have been the first Gundam to have not been fully functional out of the box. The twin drive system (TDS) is the 00’s defining feature: originally drafted by Aeolia Schenberg, a TDS could generate GN particles synchronously, allowing it to achieve greater yield in particle generation and in practise, squares the output of the drives in the system.
- The technical issues surrounding the TDS are explored for most of the first half of the second season, and during this time, the 00 is unable to utilise its full power effectively, forcing Setsuna to adapt different techniques for engaging enemies.
- Setsuna recruits Neil’s younger brother, Lyle, into Celestial Being. Lyle’s allegiance remains with Katharon for now, although he will mature and eventually fight fully for Celestial Being. Lyle initially believes that Setsuna wants him to take on his brother’s dying wish, but Setsuna states the worth of changing the world as Neil once desired. Lyle reluctantly agrees to join after Setsuna reveals that the Federation’s security bureau would be embarking on counter-insurgency operations against Katharon’s Europe base.
- Soma Peries is drafted into the A-Laws, who hope to capitalise on her capacities as a super soldier. After the events of the first season, she is portrayed as less willing to carry out orders involving search-and-destroy protocols.
- Marina is arrested by Federation officers for her connection with Celestial Being several years ago. She is taken to the same facility that houses Allelujah, the remaining Gundam meister from the first season.
- Saji discovers that the Gundam Thrones, rather than Celestial Being, was responsible for the attack in Spain that left Louise injured and used particles that had deleterious effects on the human body. The new GN Tau drives used by the Federation and A-Laws are refined to emit non-lethal particles, hence the orange colour, but still need periodic recharging in order to function.
- After their failures four years ago, Sumeragi questions the value of fighting and believes Celestial Begin’s ideals to be meaningless. Setsuna merely responds that they will continue to fight; given that their sins brought change to the world, the only logical means of atoning for those sins would be to changing the world again.
- In 2008 Fall Semester, I was enrolled in a social studies course and was handling matters of government and the Cold War. The actions of the Federation coincided with those of the Third Reich and Klaus predicts that the Federation is eventually going to create a totalitarian system. This social course proved to be an enjoyable one in terms of content: whereas most of my peers were disinterested in World War II and the Cold War, I was enthralled by the material and found some curious contrasts in real-world history to current events in Gundam 00. Presently, these thoughts have dissipated as I’ve since appreciated that change on a global scale is nay impossible in the absence of overwhelming forces that are required to drive change.
- Wang Liu Mei’s seemingly double-sided allegiance led viewers to speculate that she was evil: she provides the location of the Ptolemios to the A-Laws, who waste no time in deploying their entire complement of mobile suits to engage the Gundams. Wnag Liu Mei also informs the Ptolemios to even the odds out a little, which was indicative of her desire to change the world at any cost. Even back then, I disagreed with forums and drew my conclusions about things with friends, which yielded better outcomes compared to those made at forums.
- I’m going to briefly hijack the flow of discussion and consider the discussions of the ending sequence I’ve encountered. Almost everywhere I go, I see discussions about how the imagery foreshadows the future events. While this does hold to some limited extent, the conversations I find in most forums and blogs of the era went on tangents that were never realised in the anime.
- Truthfully, there is nothing like reading old forums and seeing old speculations on what was to happen next. Gundam 00 is one of the few anime I have followed on a weekly basis as the episodes were aired (besides Tari Tari and Hanasaku Iroha), as my curiosity to see what happened next was great.
- I’ve actually been interested in the design of the Seravee and wished to obtain an HG model of it after I picked up the HG 00-Raiser with GN Sword III, although with the era of Gundam 00 long over, this probably won’t be possible.
- The Seravee’s GN Bazooka IIs have several firing modes that are suited depending on the situation. The Buster Cannon is the bazooka/cannon combination of one the GN Bazookas attached to one of the shoulder GN Cannons for increased firing range and firepower. The Double Bazooka is the combined form of the GN Bazookas and resembles Virtue’s GN Bazooka; in Burst Mode the weapon fires powerful projectile particle orbs. The Hyper Burst Bazooka Mode is Seravee’s most powerful mode of attack and can only be used while the Gundam is in Trans-Am.
- Lyle retains much of the characteristics and mannerisms found in Neil, and introduces himself as Lockon to Sumeragi.
- Setsuna uses Trans-Am to force the synchronisation of the 00 Gundam’s GN Drives. Previously, the engineers feared that the TDS would overload and wipe out the Gundam, but Setsuna is able to activate the TDS with Exia and 0 Gundam’s GN Drives loaded. The lack of a desire to us Trans-Am reflects on actual engineering practises, which encourage assessing the odds before attempting hitherto untested experiments. Lacking any concrete evidence beforehand to ascertain whether Trans-Am would result in success or not, it was ultimately luck that allowed Setsuna to activate the system. That said, the scene is presented in such a manner as to subtly imply that Setsuna’s will activated the Gundam.
- The intense particle field emitted by the 00 Gundam is strong enough to repel a beam rifle round from the Ahead. Right as this activation begins, the song titled “00 Gundam” begins playing, signifying the triumph of the system and the 00’s power with a haunting string and choral sections. The version on the OST adds electric guitar into the theme, but it is every bit as epic as the 00’s first launch.
- The first launch of the 00 is probably the single most impressive launch sequence of any Gundam (and that includes Gundam UC). After forcing the TDS online and emitting the greatest volume of GN particles I’ve ever seen, the 00 sorties onto the battlefield with sword in hand.
- What separates the 00’s first launch from other epic launches is the fact that this launch sequence is only animated once. In other Gundam, like SEED Destiny with the Impulse, the same launch sequences are reused, making them stale with time. Immediately following the 00’s launch, the Gundam makes manoeuvres beyond the capacity of any normal suit.
- The 00 is able to shot down an Ahead with a single shot from its GN Sword II, weapons that improve on the system used by the Exia. As Celestial Being’s only 4th Generation Mobile Suit, the 00 Gundam carries over many of the previous generations’ features, most notably the GN Drive and Trans-Am System. It also introduced newer innovations such as the revolutionary Twin Drive System, which utilizes two GN Drives to generate GN Particle emissions equivalent to the squared output of a single GN Drive.
- The epic launch sequence presented spoke volumes about how much effort went into the production of Gundam 00. The episode’s focus on recovering Celestial Being’s tactical forecaster and a replacement Meister is a reminder of how much that needs to be done before the team is ready to take on its old role of intervention to advance the world. The first two episodes were a powerful way to reintroduce the series, and in comparison, the episodes afterwards feel distinctly slower as things ease into exposition of the upcoming stories.
Twin Drive marks the first deployment of the series’ namesake, the 00 Gundam. Similar to the Angel’s Second Advent, I watched this episode four years ago, on October 12, 2008. Incidentally, a research proposal for my thesis project is due on that date this year, reflecting on how much things have changed since then. My entry into the final year of secondary school back in 2008 was characterised by a different feeling that seemingly paralleled the different atmosphere present in the second season’s first few episodes, including new material and consideration about post-secondary. This episode stood out to seasoned Gundam fans as presenting one of the most unique and well-executed first launches of a lead Gundam in the entire franchise, set to a symphonic version of the 00 Gundam theme that reminds listeners of the 00 Gundam’s powers. This episode set the table for the remainder of the series by introducing the lead Gundam and provide me with a source of awesome entertainment for me to enjoy while on breaks between studying for the diploma exams back in 2008-2009.