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Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Movie Review: Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer

For my first post of 2011 I’ve decided to go with a review of the Gundam 00 movie and thankfully enough it turned out to be as good as I had hoped it would be. Contrary to what a lot of people are saying the movie didn’t disappoint me in the least and all those complaints I’ve heard about it we completely blown out of proportion. Well, maybe not the whole 00 Qan[T] only having five minutes of screen time but I didn’t mind that in the least.

This was a pretty creepy scene.

The movie is the final act of the Gundam 00 where humanity finally makes first contact an unknown extraterrestrial lifeform from god knows where and the impending threat that their approach to Earth brings. With the Earth currently going through an era of peace under the new ESF administration Celestial Being has been keeping a low profile on their activities but this alien threat forces them out of hiding as Innovators with Quantum Brainwaves like Setsuna are the targets of this new menace. The threat proves to be far greater than they had imagined and Setsuna becomes the key to resolving this entire mess.

Raphael was the least impressive of the new machines and this was impressive.

These Braves are definitely on par with the 4th generation Gundams.

Wallpaper sized yo! Click it! TransGraham's Brave was awesome!

I personally feel that the movie was very well done and ended the series perfectly. Although the plot is pretty straightforward and simple I thought it served as a perfect conclusion for the entire Gundam 00 franchise. Not only did it tie up all the loose ends and bring back all the remaining characters for a grand finale, it also made good on its themes of understanding and conflict and finally showed us what Aeolia Schenberg intended for. With the exception of the very final scene which could have been handled better, the direction of the movie was superb and kept to a great pace that just made the movie feel a little too short at the end. I suspect there’s probably a director’s cut or the like in the works because I sincerely doubt that being exactly two hours long was a decision made by the production staff and not the executives. You have scenes where the ELS activities were genuinely unnerving and you can just feel the tension and intensity at times when the movie demanded your attention. Don’t think it was a completely serious affair though as they slipped in a few jokes here and there to keep the mood from going too sour. My favorite ones were where Billy told his all too enthusiastic lover to be gentle with him and the fact that Setsuna actually chuckled at Ian’s outrage at Mileina’s confession. Patrick even delivered a good one in the middle of the climax that had me partly relieved.

Sunrise should probably try that Gainax parody style on the next Gundam series.

Setsuna is actually smiling in this pic! Seriously!

I'm really liking this meme. So very much applicability.

The animation of course was top notch and made for insane levels of action in the final confrontation with so, so many things going on at once. You really have to be amazed at all the technical details they put in and the sheer brilliance behind the alien ELS. Their being living metal that operated on a hive mind and their modus operandi at understanding things made them absolutely perfect for their role as it showed just how easy it is for things to go very wrong when you don’t understand a thing about the opposite party. It gets bonus points from me for being a threat that was part alien part nanotech part robot and part legion.

Harute's scissor bits cut an ELS GN-X into 16 pieces like giant metal scissor piranha hybrids.

Wave motion cannon prep in Marute mode.

All hail to the new king of beam spam, Zabanya!!

See all those pink beams? God-tier beam spamming Zabanya!!

I’ve actually watched this movie twice now(and will probably watch it again at some point), before and after BSS released their subs and found that the only difference between the viewings were some small details that I missed out on the first time along with some small jokes that weren’t entirely due to the movie(transgraham. Lol. Very cheeky BSS.). That having been said, the movie is actually quite simplistic and quite easy to understand which is why I find it odd that there are people calling it a failure simply because the Qan[T] didn’t get to showcase all of its power. That obviously would have conflicted a lot with Setsuna’s character and the movie’s themes and I’d have been very disappointed if that’s all the movie amounted to. At any rate, they’d complain anyway about the hax and Setsuna being the new Jesus in Gundam even if the Qan[T] did take down the ELS like the director said it could. Anyone who actually applies to that mindset about the movie has clearly been taken in by the all too effective marketing that Bandai is notorious for.

Regular Trans-am, Buster Rifle Mode, charging... 7... 6...

5... 4... 3... 2... 1... FIRE!!

The sheer scale is just ridiculous.

There is no doubt that he really could have taken them ALL on. The ELS and the Humans.

Quantum Burst. More impressive than I thought it would be.

Keep in mind that Quantum Burst uses way more GN Particles than regular Trans-am.

Assuming that's the meter for his GN particle reserves on the right then the Hax is uber strong in this one.

To be honest, I actually had an embarrassingly difficult time writing this review thanks to all the little things I loved about it. There was so, so, so much I liked in there that it was very hard to fit it all in this review and it's gone past the thousand word mark already. It even has me posting up the most screenshots of I've ever put up for a review. Everyone had their moment in the spotlight to shine and shine spectacularly they did. The movie wrapped things up quite nicely and I honestly can’t see how they could continue the 00 universe from here. I mean they actually could but it’s going to be tricky feat considering how the story and cast are pretty much settled with the movie. Hopefully they’ll just leave the story at this and not try to follow it up with a sequel ala SEED Destiny cause the series is pretty much complete with this. Well that’s it for my review on the movie and let’s pray that the new Gundam series they’ve got lined up for us is something completely different cause now’s a very good time for something different. I could really go for something like nanomachine based technology with a female A.I. as the protagonist piloting a constantly adapting Gundam that’s the center of a new conflict. Just throwing the idea out there.

Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved through understanding.

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