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Well, for the longest time including a big chuck of my younger days I was a mecha fan. When I first got to see Gundam Wing series I completely forgot my memories as a child in Asia seeing some of the UC Zeta Gundam. However, years into my fandom and watching it subbed and also sometimes dubbed (if I happen to flip to the Cartoon Network and it happens to be on – mostly dubbed) gazillion times I realized that GW can be a really shallow Space Mecha Soap with invincible main characters and Gundams that just doesn’t suffer any damage at all. Nobody important ever dies and everything always ends up happy. But I’ll freely admit that I loved it 10 years ago because it was the best Mecha Space Opera and the soundtrack by Two-Mix was awesome.
I have since watched the original Gundam and Gundam Zeta from UC, and the movies (I confess I still haven’t watched ZZ, forgive me ye gods and worshipers of Mecha Paradise), and I have lost my faith in the Gundam franchises that’s not UC. Just about everything in the non UC series was either cheesy, way too convenient, and people’s favorite characters never die, not even suffers a scratch. Gundam Seed went a long way to restore some of my faith with its impacting conflicts, but Gundam Seed Destiny continued that silly trend of kissing the fans’ asses disregarding the necessary drama and deaths in a war – all the popular people survived happily and the unpopular main character became what we know as “Pedestrian Shinn”.
Can Gundam “Balls” (the number “0” in Japanese can also be called, “maru”, which means balls…yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking) restore my faith in Gundam franchise? Bear in mind that many Japanese Otaku who have watched the original Gundam will tell you that any Gundam is an obligatory watch, and it’s the same for me. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know.
Sorry for the long intro. I just watched 5 promotional clips of Gundam 00 and here are my thoughts:
1. Same old story about wars breaking out over a resource, but with the Gundam Wing/Gundam Seed twist that the humans on earth form different leagues, and not one United Earth Federation Government. But good plot twists can be done to make that interesting.
2. Nice mecha battle animation from the previews. Let’s hope they don’t recycle frames like GS Destiny did. I really like the smooth action sequence especially when the Gundam Exia cuts through a non-descriptive enemy mecha.
3. Yaoi fans rejoice! As far as I can decipher, Lockon Stratos, the tall, ,gruff, sorta western style guy with the Gun/cannon crazy Gundam (typical) will be a perfect pairing with Tieria Erde, the wienie glass-wearing girlish boy, and the kinda of darkish and sorta mysterious Allelujah Haptism will probably do that main kid Setsuna F. Seiei in the ass in many yaoi doujinshi, oh and Lockon and probably make a pair with that Setsuna kid, too – just make sure this shit stays the hell away from me as far as possible.
4. Why is it that other characters look like cross-breeds between Gundam Seed characters and Code Geass characters? I do like the idea of another female captain. That trend started with Gundam Seed. I’m sure Tomino secretly miss having a man at the helm, though, I mean, Gundam is supposed be a blood boiling mecha show about boys and men in the battlefield, men’s friendship, sacrifices, and women as assisting and very important characters to give aid, and not about 4 gay looking guys doing each other in the asses! I think, the women so far look all right.
5. What is Admiral Aiguille Delaz from the Delaz fleet from 0083 doing in this show???
5.5 What is that racist bastard from the Earth Alliance from Gundam Seed Destiny doing here???
6. What is the armor pack for Ichijo/Rick Hunter’s fighter doing on Gundam Virtue???
7. I miss the mono-eyed Zaku, you know, enemy mecha with more distinctive features that people can rally behind. For classic UC, you have possibly more Zeon fan (fanatics) than Gundam ones. That’s often the fun in these things.
8. I don’t doubt this show will have excellent mecha battle production. I just hope the story would be closer to what Gundam Seed and even (hoping against hope) UC Gundam series tried to achieve. Gundam Seed series were popular enough, and if they just had enough balls to kill off Athrun and Cagali, Bartfield, and Lunamaria (gasp!) and make the ending closer to Zeta in UC, they could’ve had a franchise on their hands! But they just didn’t have the balls to traumatize Kira and make Shinn the winner. Zeta was a cult favorite, and although this is a different case, letting Shin and the chairman winning in a certain way would actually make this the same caliber as the original Zeta Gundam – a cult favorite that many others still can appreciate, with more stories to be told and animated later. Don’t forget that because of the popularity of the original Gundam and Gundam Zeta, we have the Gundam we see today. But for the sake of making money based on popularity and selling toys, well…yay (yeah, I know). But at least GS Destiny was popular among yaoi fans. I won’t mind this may become that, but please don’t make the plots, deaths and lives all that convenient.
With all that said, the promo vids have actually got me excited about the possible drama involved and definitely the funky sound effects accompany mecha battles. So I’ll actually be looking forward to this one.