gundam 00 awakening of the trailblazer

This is our last battle.

The last decade saw three major Gundam series– Turn a Gundam (by far, the least noteworthy, unless you’re into mustaches on mecha), Gundam Seed (which either set the franchise back or moved it forward, depending on your taste), and Gundam 00. Gundam 00 was originally portrayed to be some realistic Gundam that dealt with political issues… it had potential. A new staff Kuroda (Excel Saga, Onegai Teacher) and Mizushima (Full Metal Alchemist) were brought in after the atrocity (or giddytrocity) that was Gundam Seed Destiny. The series would be lovingly upgraded to widescreeen high-definition (about one generation too late, as I was clamoring for it during Gundam Seed, since, you know, a futuristic sci-fi AAA franchise should always be presented in a format worse than Ergo Proxy whenever possible).

Well, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 did kinda live up to that. For about 17 episodes, it presented a semi-realistic look at the world power spheres and how ultra-powerful mobile suits would shape them. Then Throne Gundams and Trinity appeared and all went to hell. Characters coming back from the dead? Emo facial distortions? More and more powerful mobile suits trumping each other every other episode? Check, check, and fucking check. What I believe? No one wants a realistic Gundam. And with ratings and plastic model sales subpar, Sunrise was given the executive order to Gundamify Gundam 00. And that’s that. And that’s why we got Gundam 00 Awakening of the Trailblazer, which can best described as, “If Gundam Seed were a re-imagining of the original Gundam, Gundam 00 AotT would be a re-imagining of Gundam Wing Endless Waltz.”

That’s not a bad thing. I enjoyed Gundam Wing Endless Waltz.

My impression of the first 5 minutes of the movie? “Sunrise finally hired Haruhi Suzumiya to direct!!!” Sadly, the fake movie within a movie wasn’t the real movie, but it was genius to use it to recap the events of the previous two seasons. Also sad that a short fake movie involving shiny, golden mobile suits can recap 50 episodes so effectively.

(Why do we need a shiny mobile suit in most Gundam series? I was hoping we wouldn’t have it in this one. Sigh.)

Emo facial distortion! I miss blogging about Sunrise anime. Seriously, I miss it. I miss it’s musk.

No, seriously, Gundams can now teleport across galaxies?! WTF!?

(I’m all for believing we can construct huge, giant flying mecha. I’m skeptically eying their ability to dodge pew pew lasers, since, after all, lasers are light and nothing is faster than light. But I’m drawing the line at Setsuna so calmly creating a portal to another galaxy and stepping through it without explanation. At least toss us a bone, Sunrise, like “Setsuna has so auto-tuned his GN particles that they can resonate and create a mini-wormhole.”)

Zabanya and Harute end up doing the bulk of the killing work, with 00 Qan[T] appearing for a whole sixty seconds and Raphael appearing for almost a full two minutes. I like how ultra flashy all the Gundams have become, but I miss their old “strategic” roles… Dynames used to be a sniper. Zabanya is just a mass field killing machine. Kyrios used to be a fast mobile interceptor. Harute is just a mass field killing machine. Sure, they look like and have features from their original predecessors, but they’re just straight out pew pew machines now.


I do like how the Gundams have become so complicated that they require so many people to operate. Zabanya requires double Haros and Harute requires double super soldiers… and 00 Qan[T] requires Tieria and Setsuna. And, yes, I might have gone, “DOUBLE HAROS ALL THE WAY! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE! WHAT DOES MEAN!” when I first saw the two Haros.


Best part of the movie is Graham Akers. He is awesome, still fighting in a Flag. Have to give him props. Also give him props for telling his Sol Brave squad “to not die” yet… what does he do? Goes off an dies in a fit of glory. Oh Sunrise~~

(I guess if this is billed as the final mission, there’s no more 00… makes me sad, but makes me hopeful another Gundam reboot is on its way. But killing off Graham at the last minute? Kinda desperate. I knew they needed to sacrifice someone, but to have Patrick live and Graham die? Just shows you life’s not fair.)

Also gotta enjoy Setsuna’s “I will not fight! (even though I have the most powerful mobile suit in the battlefield and am deployed)” philosophy that served Heero and Kira so well. Of course, he ends up fighting and pwning half the battlefield with his trans am.

(Still, 00 Qan[T], ridiculous name aside, looks awesome. If anything, I think Celestial Being = Apple, A-Laws = Microsoft, Earth Federation = Android, ELS = Skynet.)

Descrates Shaman? I would love to shake the hand of whomever at Sunrise is naming these characters. I want to hire them for my pr0n production company– need more good pr0n names like Shiori Vageena.

I like Billy’s new girlfriend, who looks a lot like a certain dead character, and I enjoy how she looks and dresses like a high class hooker. Also like how poor Billy is completely overwhelmed and outmatched by her– “Please be gentle.” Dude is truly an engineer! I finally can accept him as one of our own… there’s a hawt girl throwing herself at me! What do I do? Help!”

Billy’s POV. Can’t wait for the upcoming sequel, Gundam 00 Awakening of the Trailblazer, if you know what I mean.

(Mini-skirts and high boots will be required gear for all female astronauts once I become president.)

So. Many. Tears.

There’s just so many weird and one-sided relationships in this anime… like Feldt and Setsuna. One, it kinda came out of left field that Feldt had feelings for Setsuna. Two, felt bad that Setsuna kinda just ignores her yet she still pines for him like how Nina pined for Euphemia. Three, she gave him a flower? And how the flower is some odd galactic symbol of peace? How does Marina feel about a present given to him by a rival girl being showered in space? Just weird romantic relationships all around.

(I have a great idea for a Gundam series. It’ll feature one emotionally weak main pilot of a Gundam, and he’ll meet and fall in love with this one girl, who just happens to be the princess of some earth federation or something. In order to date her and bring peace to the world, he has to defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends, which one piloting a stronger Gundam than the previous one. When the Gundams are defeated, they explode into a purple cloud of Canadian loonies.)

Pure black innovator Setsuna piloting a Flag wasn’t bad either. I like the mecha battles more when they put thought into them instead of just being huge pew pew fests. Huge pew pew fests kinda get old. (Matrix Revolution, anyone?) That’s one thing Full Metal Panic does a lot better than most franchises in terms of mecha battles– a bit more variety and a bit more imagination involved. Sousuke F Sagara… mmm…

Classic trope of being saved at the last second by an previously unknown friend? At least six times during this movie. Ye gosh. There’s just no suspense… I kept thinking, “Well, Graham hasn’t shown up and saved the day yet…” Ironically, the person who failed to save anyone else? Setsuna F Seiei… he did save the whole race with the DS9-like sequence in the end where he interacts with the Founders (errr ESF), merges with them in their world, and brings understanding to all.

(The ESF reminded me a lot of the T-1000 from Terminator crossed with the Borg. With that kind of awesome technology, what could defeat them? It took multiple Arnolds to semi-slow down the terminators, and it took Captain Janeway to stop the Borg… so of course Celestial Being tops both in being able to stop this T-1000/Borg hybrid.)

Mr. Bushido on the Potemayo?! Madness!

(I can’t stop calling it the “Potemayo”. Just answer me this, JC Staff: when are you going to stop making these crap recent derivative series and start work on a sequel for Potemayo? Or at least a Potemayo vs. Ika Musume: Fate of Two Worlds type crossover?)

“The Sumeragi”? Wait, hun? The ship doesn’t look even remotely well-equipped to be a Sumeragi-class cruiser.

(I don’t like how both Sumeragi and Feldt cut their hair short. I like both of them in their original looks, especially with Sumeragi wandering around the bridge in a sweetheart cut blouse. That was awesome. Damn new Celestial Being uniforms.)

The final time skip? Pure crap. We don’t need to be reminded of how badly Setsuna treated Marina or how useless Marina is in the first place… she ends up blind, alone, old, frail, and playing a piano while Setsuna remains a pimp Gundam pilot. This is worse than the final time skip for Gurren Lagann… just have Simon go off after Nia disappears, and I’d be fine with that. Just show everyone celebrating the truce with the ESL and end it with a “To Be Continued… ?” logo for this movie, and I would have been happy.

(More useless in the end? Relena Peacecraft or Marina Ismail?)

Goodbye Gundam 00, I do think we did understand each other better in the end. You didn’t change the world. You didn’t take Gundam in a new direction. But you were enjoyable. Adios, and I can’t wait for the next Gundam series that tries to move the franchise in a new direction yet falls back on its old habits.

23 Responses to “gundam 00 awakening of the trailblazer”

  1. Seed move the franchise forward even if it was a remake of the 0079, Destiny however completely destroy any momentum.

    “(I have a great idea for a Gundam series. It’ll feature one emotionally weak main pilot of a Gundam, and he’ll meet and fall in love with this one girl, who just happens to be the princess of some earth federation or something. In order to date her and bring peace to the world, he has to defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends, which one piloting a stronger Gundam than the previous one. When the Gundams are defeated, they explode into a purple cloud of Canadian loonies.)”

    i find that a more coherent plot then Destiny or 00 (someone needs to explain the plot for 00 to me).

    “(More useless in the end? Relena Peacecraft or Marina Ismail?)”

    Relena actually had a role in the series. I have no idea what Marina role was to the plot of 00. But again i don’t even know what the plot for 00 was.

    PS. i think Haruhi could have made a better movie then this or at least more coherent.

  2. Yep pretty sure 00 is one huge, elaborate, passive aggressive joke from the director after Bandai told him they need to sell a lot more model kits.

    Not sure what was more eyebrow raising: the KIRIHIRAKE lines, 00 Qan[T] summoning a warp gate, the giant orbital flower (thought it was going to be a giant smiley face), or Meta-Setsuna and Blind Marina finally understanding each other.

    Strike Freedom Zabanya and 6-Eyed Harute were pretty sick though.

  3. “Can’t wait for the upcoming sequel, Gundam 00 Awakening of the Trailblazer, if you know what I mean.”

    More like “Awakening of the Tailblazer”, amirite?

    I’ll show myself out.

  4. Finally 00 is over I had high hopes for you 00 then the second season started!

    I hope the next series is a little more interesting but the question is whats left? My guess is a Gundam series that makes mobile suits into a Digimon/Pokémon/B-Damon/Metabots/whatever type of show and it’ll feature Teenagers using Gundam’s as some sort of Battle robots…

  5. More like “Awakening of the TROLLblazer”, amirite?

  6. I have a great idea for a Gundam series. ……they explode into a purple cloud of Canadian loonies

    OLOL! Make it happen, along with your Meido anime idea.

    Also, has anyone noticed that the darker the uniform, the more of a badass the character is?

  7. “Sunrise finally hired Haruhi Suzumiya to direct!!!”

    Oh the tease of such a thing.

  8. Mmm~, you can feel the tsundere love oozing out of this post.

  9. The movie was a waste. Had Destiny had any of the production crew of 00, the results would’ve been better than what we got in the TV series. Imagine those cheap battle scenes with the Freedom being replaced by more coherent, 00-like scenes. The animation team knows how to animate, but their story was X_X

  10. Marina was waaay more useful than Relena, back then she contributed to make me drop the first season along with the trinity Gundams.

  11. Also kinda weird that they decide to give an insert song to Andrei Smirnov but none for Graham Acer.

  12. While it really felt like a re-re-rehash of Endless Waltz, the fact that it tried to copypasta the script of Babylon 5: Call to Arms (Battle of the Line, anyone?) was a really cheap move from Mizushima. The problem with 00 wasn’t that it was “Gundamized”, the main problem was that they tried to make a Gundam without any Gundam context on it and it showed on both the sales and rating. AotT showd that Mizushima and his crew can’t make anything right up to now.

    Remember guys: GSD was like that because Sunrise wanted to milk the revived franchise and speed up pre-production by about 6 months, leaving Fukuda and co. the unsolvable mission of making an episode per-week at the nick of time. 00 (both series and movie) had a year and a half to make something good, and by the end, the only good thing they did was the HD animation. Way to do things right, Sunrise!

    And yes, Relena was more useful than Marina “why the hell am I here” Ismail.

    Thank God that Gundam Unicorn exists…

  13. Jason you really do not disappoint, I haven’t been able to read your blog for over a year now for various reasons and started again last week.

    After reading this post I can honestly say: you still rock and I’m having a great time reading your blog. :D

  14. Gundam 00: When keeping it real goes wrong. Feldt

  15. I’m pretty sure a lot of people appreciate realistically portrayed Gundams. I mean geez man, look at 08th MS Team, that’s probably one of the best Gundam series in the franchise, and it was the most realistic portrayal of Gundams and Mobile suits in the franchise.

    Also, Relena Peacecraft pulled a GUN ON LADY UNE. That’s what I thought.

  16. Now you just make me want to watch this movie just to see that Golden Gundam.

  17. Aliens….in a Gundam movie….

    A.L.I.E.N.S….. in ANYTHING Gundam!?

    Am I the only person who thought this was a horrible idea? 30 years Gundam has been around…. never have they done aliens, and this shows why. I couldn’t stand watching this movie….I still don’t know how I finished it.

    Answer to last Question: At least Relena did stuff in her series – She actively held peace talks herself to unite several countries in an effort to spread pacifism, and on several occasions she (a little foolishly) took an aggressive unarmed stance against people she knew were trying to hurt her for the greater good (see: Duke Dermail and Dekim Barton) …. Marina was a friggin pansy figurehead that left everything to her aide.

  18. Sunrise, I am dissapoint. I wanted to enjoy a movie about Gundams shooting a parts of debris… wait, ALIENS… but I couldn’t. The movie was really, really boring, it had no atmosphere or even flashy Gundam vs. Gundam fights.

  19. i imagine about setsuna and friends fight the remaining of bad inovade, but oh my god~~~!!!
    Aliens ? it better to be evangelion’s movie!

    it’s so far from the two season of the series back then, the serials are so much much much much better than this bullshit aliens vs gundam movie !!

    i hope gundam 00 can have another serial, WITHOUT ALIEN OF COURSE !!

  20. I quite agree with the author of the article.

    Starting with the new, specially styled anime, that I enjoyed the story turns into a mass of ideas, not realized.

    An in the end the Sunrize have stolen the main plot-idea of the Fafner, I do not for what sake.

    Sometimes, telling non-compliceted plots and stories gives us more philosopic ideas and more feelings.

    One can came across much less philosophy or “findings” in Gundam Seed and SD, but this anime is of high artistical value (I am not talking of the quality of the anime itself, G00 goes far ahead). But I belive to the characters of GSD, …. I do not believe Setsuna(((( unfortunately. The starting of the second season was rather good, something was “over-loaded” finally….

    Still thanks to the splendid music in GD 00, I do like more-rock-sided, more serios music with less pathetic notes…. The music and the drawings – that is what I really enjoyed in the anime!!!!

  21. I thought 00 started of really well, but then it just died halfway and came back up for the season ending. The second season was more or less horrible, and the movie was worse then i thought possible. The messege was cool and all, but a flower in space? Sensuna dissapearing for 70 years? strike freedom with flowers and no conclusion to the characters? ALIENS? Epic Fail

    Seed started of bad, but picked up, Destiny wasnt very good.

    Wing was cool, but because i watched it recently, its really outdated so i couldnt enjoy it as much.

  22. it’s very wierd end with flower on the space, I think.. But still love Gundam 00 what matter it is

  23. Why won’t sunrise make a FEMALE Gundam? WTF!!!

    I agree that the animation division of this anime are awesome but held back by the low quality script.

    Why can’t they make a new Gundam using different planets as settings instead of colonies?

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