Today we look back at the adventure that is Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
The 10th year anniversary of Seiji Mizushima’s take on the Gundam franchise, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, is well underway with a lot of great surprises to the fans, one of them being a sequel to the celebrated series, and a stage play adaptation of the space opera.
A lot of people will argue, but although it may not be the best in terms of non-U.C. Gundam installments (G Reco still holds that record), Gundam 00 is well remembered for capitalizing on the idea of a “Gundam team” which was first brought into the light by Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. In contrast to Wing’s take though, 00’s Gundam team was working from the start to the end of the series, instead of developing their form of camaraderie by working with and against each other throughout the story.
The key philosophy behind Gundam 00 is to show that human conflict is what hinders human to evolve, with every government, and individual having their own interests to protect and prosper. The early episodes show this philosophy when Setsuna F. Seiei, and his Gundam Exia attacked a demonstration of a new type of combat mobile suit and later on worked with Lockon Stratos to draw out more mobile suits in an attempt to expose an Economic Bloc’s growing military power and other armed interventions by the Gundam Meisters of the organisation that is known as the Celestial Being.
Expecting the world to react unanimously, the idea behind is that the Celestial Being will give the world a common goal to unite with and against in hopes of weeding out those who hinder human advancement, and “force” humanity to prepare for even more bigger threats, the one that Aeolia Schenberg described as the dialogues to come”. While they seem to be undefeated for most part of the first season’s plot, the Gundam Meisters became more and more humanized with each of them experiencing their own personal conflict leading to a nasty conclusion where the whole group is almost dissolved, losing some of their key personnel and even resulting in the death of one of their pilots.
While it was able to create it’s own brand of appeal, mixing together Gundam Wing’s “Gundam Team” concept, and building more on the “Economic Bloc” political system which is utilized by its predecessor Gundam shows, it has been highly noticeable as to how Gundam 00 somehow devolved into the regular, tried and tested formula of every Gundam show, with elements like a certain group taking advantage of the conflict, people in the shadows secretly maneuvering the tides of battle, the enemy copying the technology implemented by the Gundams, and the idea of a “chosen one” which will save everyone from the doomsday that is humanity’s destruction. In addition to that, the Gundam 00 series also had their own version of the Newtype, which they call the Innovades, which are, honestly, a lot more advanced even by advanced human standards.
Even if it wasn’t as good as the first season, the second was still a fun ride and overall, made the series enjoyable to watch, and left with something to look forward to with a few more loose ends left to tie, or so we thought.
Come a year later after the last episode’s broadcast and we get A Wakening of the Trailblazer, the movie that was supposed to wrap up everything, introduce us to the dialogues that Aeolia Schenberg talked about and tie up the remaining loose ends, only to introduce us to a pseudo-origin story involving shape-shifting metal aliens, yeap, that’s what we get for being hyped about a series that tried to go philosophical, aliens, and a freaking Quantum God.
But was A Wakening of the Trailblazer really that bad? Obviously, there will be those who would be able to enjoy it for its entirety (it’s still a Gundam show after all) but perhaps its biggest flaw is for forcing another form of conflict that never really helped in backing the whole philosophy behind the supposed existence of Gundam Meisters or the Celestial Being organization. Instead of letting humans advance on their own after finally achieving their brand of peace, it was implied that without the help of these cosmic beings that merge with potential innovades or human beings with advanced quantum capabilities, we would never really move forward and will be forever stuck within earth’s gravitational well.
Still, though, A Wakening of the Trailblazer did continue to show how humanity can work together should face a common threat and a lot of Gundam 00’s core philosophical elements still shined throughout the course of the movie’s story. The flaws still stand, however, although with the new sequel said to be taking place right after the events of the war against the ELS we might be able to get a proper conclusion for all the confusion that A Wakening of the Trailblazer caused, and maybe this time, we get to Patrick Colosaur truly shine like the immortal that he is.