Gundam 00 (Anime Preview)

I was never really a fan of the Gundam franchise. I always find Gundam as any other typical mecha animes, which probably explains why I also shun myself away from watching Code Geass in the first place. And by coincidence, these two animes are of the same animation studio SUNRISE. However many anime advocates agree, it is a dry season this fall and now that the winter anime season is coming, we certainly look forward to many of huge titles in that period. As for the fall anime season, I was desperate to be frank and began watching my least favourite genre of the anime realm – mecha. That is why I began watching Dragonaut though the boobs are not my concern for the anime. And due to this, I began watching Gundam 00. I was told to watch it many times, convincing me that it is more political and definitely packed with action. However none of them told me of how good the animation is, especially that this Gundam series is the first among the franchise to be produced in high-definition format. And Gundam never look so much better in HD.

Gundam 00 Gundam has landed...

The year is 2301 A.D. and in the Kurdish Republic, civil war is destroying the nation and many of the fighters are children. Many would die by the obviously stronger robots or mobile suits but there was one particular boy who was saved by another robot of a different kind that descended on the Kurdish land like an angel from heaven.

Fast forward to the future in 2307 A.D. and to another continent which is the present day Europe. The whole continent joined forces to form their own coalition known as the AEU and is one of the three superpowers of the planet together with the Union – the present day United States of America, and the Human Reform League or HRL – consisting of three giant nations of the East which are Russia, China and India. At the AEU military training base that is nearby the AEU Orbital Elevator, a new mobile suit is put to the combat test and easily made a pass. It was then an unidentified mobile suit came undetected to the base – it was the same mobile suit seen in Kurdish Republic 6 years ago. And this mobile suit is not an ordinary one, having easily defeated AEU’s latest and best mobile suit. Among those who were present there are members of the Union army, Graham Arce and Billy Katagiri. Graham managed to scrutinize the mobile suit and identify it as Gundam. It turned out that the mobile suit or Gundam Exia is piloted by the same boy saved from the Kurdish civil war – Setsuna F. Seiei. Out in space over the Celestial Being mobile headquarters, Ptolemaious, the crews – Christina Sierra, Felt Grace, Lasse Aion and Lichtendahl Caeli – reported the progress of their mission whilst monitoring the Gundams. Their leader who is also their tactical expert, Sumeragi Ri Noriega made her entrance. The Ptolemaious unloaded another Gundam for the mission. This time, it is Allelujah Haptism piloting his Gundam Kyrios. Somewhere in a space station at the Heaven’s Pillar of the Human Reformed League Orbital Elevator, an official function was held to commemorate the space station’s 10th anniversary. Back on Earth, Exia is still fighting with the dispatched fighter jets and got a helping from Gundam Dynames that is piloted by Lockon Stratos as he sniped down all the jets from far.

Billy Katagiri and Graham Acre Nothing can stop the Gundams
The Ptolemaious crews of the Celestial Being Sumeragi Ri Noriega

Nearby the Heaven’s Pillar, terrorists began making their assault on that space station and this forced the HRL to respond to the threat. Even with the mobile suits dispatched, the terrorists managed to slip away from them and sent missiles towards the space station. Fortunately Kyrios was able to shoot down the missiles in time. The remaining terrorist mobile suit decided to ram towards the station head on. However another Gundam appeared before him. This one is Gundam Virtue and is piloted by Tieria Erde. Using his huge cannon, the mobile suit was annihilated into nothing. Back to Earth in Tokyo, news of unidentified mobile suits intercepting terrorist attacks on the Heaven’s Pillar was relayed to the public. The news station JNN then aired a video message sent by the group responsible for intercepting the attacks. An old man gave his greeting before introducing themselves as Celestial Being, a private military body that uses sophisticated mobile suits called Gundam. They envisioned to stop all the wars of the world, having nothing else to gain from it. They will not discriminate any form of entity if they pose the risk of bringing up possible wars. Indeed their noble cause received mixed response but one thing for certain is that the world is about to change. Members of Celestial Being know that the real battle had just started and Setsuna felt that it is their responsibility as Gundam Meisters. This is how the world is in 2307 A.D. Having depleted of fossil fuel as the main energy source, Earth began to look for solar energy as the new form of energy. Soon enough, humanity embarked on their biggest project ever to fully harness energy of the Sun by building an array of solar panel encircling the Earth and these are supported by three gigantic pillars known as Orbital Elevators which is used to channel this near infinite energy source as fuel. Because of the existence of these three Orbital Elevators, the economic powers are concentrated on these three locations – Union, Human Reform League and AEU. However these structures despite of its colossal size, seems very fragile and this is the reason why each of these global superpowers put on an arms race. That is where Celestial Being intervenes, in their aim to stop all the wars of the world. Cocky of them it may seems but they have the perfect tool for that purpose – mobile suits type Gundam.

Setsuna F. Seiei GN-001 Gundam Exia
Lockon Stratos GN-002 Gundam Dynames
Tieria Erde and Allelujah Haptism GN-003 Gundam Kyrios
GN-004 Gundam Virtue Aeolia Schenberg

The Celestial Being video statement had been aired repetitively on the news airwaves. The HRL chairman was informed about the news of the Celestial Being and Gundam. Over the AEU roundtable meeting, the heads of each member nation are disturbed by the fact that their secret development of a new mobile suit model was foiled by a much more secretive military group, unknown to many until today. The United States president who is also the leader of the Union nations had a different opinion about this new group claiming to end warfare using warfare itself and somehow act to takeover that role away from them. Why am I not be surprised to hear this? However the president doesn’t seem to oppose their presence anyway but showed concern about the future they may lead. While Lockon and Setsuna took their break on an isolated island, Wang Liu Mei who is another member of Celestial Being and probably act as their patron and sponsor, came to them to give them their next mission. Meanwhile Graham was very intrigued by the Gundam mobile suits and Billy who tried to study on them couldn’t many answers to Gundam’s working mechanism. This gives Graham enough reason to try to capture one of the Gundams. By then, the Gundams are already on their way to Ceylon island and stop the ongoing conflict there. Just to let you know, Ceylon is the former Sri Lanka and by coincidence, the former name of the present day Sri Lanka is Ceylon. Pretty odd, isn’t it? Surprisingly the current ethnic conflict Sri Lanka is facing now between the rivaling factions of the Sinhala government and the Tamil rebels continues to the 23rd century. Anyway its geography would probably give this republic away to the HRL influence and having said that, HRL forces decided to defend Ceylon from the approaching threats the Celestial Being may bring. The real agenda HRL had in Ceylon is to support the Tamils who has the strongest stance there and make it as a stepping stone for the East nations to ensure their supply of the solar energy from the Orbital Elevator nearby. That is when Graham had his own plan in mind, requesting for a change in their flight direction and have his Flag mobile suit ready.

Wang Liu Mei and her assistant Hong Long Alejandro Corner and his assistant Livonze Almark
Princess of Azadistan, Marina Ismail Saji Crossroad and Louise Halevey

As the Gundam team made their way to Ceylon, Setsuna who have the situation in Ceylon on visual reminded of his childhood past in the war-torn Kurdish Republic. Setsuna went on ahead of the team to destroy all the mobile suit on that island with Lockon backing him up. Allelujah on the other hand, sent a barrage of missile over the HRL base nearby while Tieria shoots down all the army ships off the coast of Ceylon. Having defeated the HRL forces, the remaining HRL troops took a retreat and the rebels took advantage of this to take on their assaults on Exia. Exia only stood there in the middle of the battle ground, doing nothing but when the rebels thought they could finish Exia off, Exia made a swift strike on the two mobile suits and destroyed them. Over to Tokyo at JNN global headquarters, one of the reporters Kinue Crossroad and her partner dug out some information about the person in the Celestial Being video statement. The old man is Aeolia Schenberg but the defying fact is that Aeolia is dead for 200 years already. Back to the Celestial Being forward team, the Gundams left Ceylon after having completed their mission there. Exia who is ahead of them, gotten approached by a Union carrier plane and out goes a Flag fighter. The Flag mobile suit piloted by Graham, immediately charged towards Exia and engaged into a fight.

Guess what? Aeolia is died since 200 years ago. Graham takes on Setsuna

Here are thoughts of the Celestial Being. It is noble of them to stop all the world’s warfare but took a risky approach on taking against the world, picking fights with all three superpowers – Union, AEU, and HRL. Though this review is done up to episode 2, I had already watched episodes beyond that and all I can say about the Celestial Being is that they are not biased, engaging any entities that risk on waging wars. Apparently they also aimed to have the world to despise them and that all the military powers on Earth would be outsourced to defeat Celestial Being. Indeed the Gundams, which are Celestial Being’s tool of war, are decades ahead in terms of technology. Those technical jargons you’ve been listening throughout the story such as GN shield, GN particles are actually the technology based on light, conceived from the idea of solar energy as fuel. When it comes to the Celestial Being members, each have their own story to tell. There are exceptions though. Wang Liu Mei acted as their patron and seems to belong from a wealthy family. But from what Wikipedia has to say, Liu Mei is more of a celebrity or socialite of some sort. Think Paris Hilton, without her scandalous issues. Aside those, she has not much a story to tell though her assistant Hong Long could provide otherwise. Neither do Alejandro Corner who is a UN ambassador. He acts as an observer for the Celestial Being and other than that, he don’t contribute much to the plot. Now as I’ve mentioned earlier, each Celestial Being member has a story to tell and the Gundam pilots in particular has quite a train wreck of a story. Nothing much could be tell about the Ptolemaios crews except for Sumeragi who is an exceptional tactician, being able to predict well any combat outcome every step of the way. As for the Gundam pilots, well, I must say each of them are loose cannons. Maybe it is particular in the case of Setsuna who made this obvious behaviour in the early stages of the story. But it won’t so surprising the rest of the Gundam team share a similar trait with Setsuna. Should I need to pick a favourite among the pilot, it would be Lockon and it is for all the obvious reasons.

The plot comes in strong in Gundam 00 and using a well-orchestrated story-telling method, I’d must say the story is very engaging. What I mean by engaging though is more of the actions involved and the history of each characters. The story do jump around a lot as the writers try to give various perspective to the story so that each character’s standpoint is taken to consideration. Even civilian are included into the equation with Saji and Louise being citizens of Tokyo (which is under the Union’s jurisdiction) and how Celestial Being affecting their life. Another great standpoint the writers brought in is the media who obviously have extensive connection to every conflict in this world. The media is the front runner of information to the general population and quite often their involvement is like nail to toe. The writers also associate many of the current global issue especially of those having conflicts or wars. So far, we’ve been seeing the rebel friction in Ceylon, which happens to be the present day Sri Lanka and there is no telling what other issues the writers would tell. This also make me wonder if the Middle East conflict is also brought into the story. Impeccable enough, Earth is dry of fuel and having solar energy as the new fuel, it is logic to think that many of the world’s great nations want a piece of the power. Hence, dividing the world into three major factions. Energy of the Sun is the new oil and that being said, we can see many wars in countries near proximity to the Orbital Elevator – the same way like in those oil-rich countries today such as Iran, Iraq and Kuwait. With so many logic and politics at play, Gundam 00 is not like any ordinary mecha anime and having not watched the previous titles of the series, I simply can’t make a comparison of this Gundam with its older titles. Yet having so many details to tell and many episodes needing catching and so little time, I am sorry to say that I have to give the review on Gundam 00 a drop even though the story turned out to be an interesting one.

8 Responses to “Gundam 00 (Anime Preview)”

  1. 1 Loba
    31 December 2007 at 4:48 pm

    Oo You watched gundam 00. Well, it is much much better than the older series of gundam in terms of plot development due to it attempting to link to ‘current’ affairs of the earth but there are still pretty much ridiciouslous stuff that happens(like sitting ducks being shot by gundam). But past series of gundams are basically…

    War happens/war is happening/post-war.

    Boy discovers gundam/original pilot of gundam dies-hands-it-to-boy

    Boy pilots the gundam and saves the day.

    Boy is undefeated

    Boy is defeated.

    Boy returns with even more badass gundam (freedom->strike freedom)

    Boy p@wns everyone (and ruled the universe).

    World Peace.

  2. 2 Brian
    31 December 2007 at 6:02 pm

    True but I hold skeptical that the plot for Gundam 00 may share similarities to the previous ones. Even so, I really hope they try to make a drastic change on this one.

    Honestly I’m watching Gundam 00 because it is one of the few animes that look so good in H.264 format.

  3. 3 Loba
    1 January 2008 at 12:46 am

    Yea man…watching it on a 17inch LCD is just golden…golden. one of the same reasons to watch darker than black! Any other HD anime around I wonder?

  4. 4 Brian
    1 January 2008 at 1:00 am

    Huh! Show off… I only have my l4.1inch laptop to watch gundam in HD. and i agree, dtb is also good in HD

    actually almost all of the anime now are in HD format. the problem is whether it is good on HD or not. otherwise boob-o-nauts dragonauts would be rather… errr… stimulating…

  5. 5 Loba
    6 January 2008 at 2:05 pm

    ?? I thought 17 inch LCD is the minimal standard nowadays…at least in Singapore that is =/ 1280×1024 resolution just nice to watch HD anime eps without too much blurring if you watch it on higher resolution LCDs to stretch it. 14.1 inch? Macbook?

    Ah…the only other anime I found with HD is ghost hound.

    Simulating oO lol.

  6. 6 Brian
    6 January 2008 at 5:58 pm

    my laptop is quite an old model and no, i’m not using macbook (sadly). but of course 17inch is the standard for desktop display these days. at least mine at home is 17inch. but i only got a laptop here, away from home. moreover the internet here is quite fucked up, making me feel more sad… and homesick.

  7. 7 nicholas
    7 January 2008 at 3:18 pm

    do u stil hv the episodes wif u? To b frank i hv never reli finish any series of the franchise by more than 3 episodes, mayb i m too demanding when it cums to choreography, the gundams jz looks too sluggish and the idea of one gundam save it all idea doesn’t really appeals to me…neway, i wil hv a try on this as a “none mecha” fan like u had given a thumbs rating for it…might b pretty much impressive i guess

  8. 8 Feldt
    11 June 2011 at 5:24 am

    do you still have a copy oh your screenshot? mmm… i just wat to have a good copy of it like those pictures 🙂 can you share it to me? Thanks

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