Today I'm taking on Gundam 00 the Movie. This is a unique review in the marathon because it is a sequel movie to the TV series. I separated it from the series Gundam 00 on the basis that the movie doesn't follow the same plot as the series did. Well, was it a decent follow-up?
There are pretty much no images that work as a header for the movie and I'm on the clock, so can you guys deal with the header? Sweet, thanks.
Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer is set two years after the second season of the TV series Gundam 00. The world has changed since the decisive defeat of the Innovators and the A-Laws: Celestial Being is no longer touted as a terrorist organization and the new government of the Federation is taking steps to bring together the planet more... peacefully.
Nothing is simple though as a new threat emerges. In a first for the Gundam franchise (I think...), strange extraterrestrial fragments fall to Earth and begin to cause all sorts of havoc.
Yes, Gundam 00 the Movie (henceforth: the movie) has aliens.
The movie opens with what seems like a really strange battle between people that look kinda like Gundam Meisters and a cartoonishly evil bunch of A-Laws. It's over-the-top and absolutely terrible.
In reality, the whole thing was a particularly hilarious in-series movie made about Celestial Being's fight against the A-Laws. It is a hard parody of movies that suck at adapting things and it plays most giant mecha tropes completely straight (for the short time we see it).
I thought it was great after I figured out what it was. Cool points for parody.
The movie is essentially a gigantic pile of character moments. Everyone in Gundam 00 makes a come back in some capacity (well, except for dead people). Setsuna and the Meisters all get back together and have some good moments, Graham comes back and generally acts like a cool guy, and the whole lot of the Celestial Being crew gets some amazing moments too. Saji and Louise are back and the movie shows us that they're slowly getting their normal lives back. It's a rather pleasant thing to see after the hellish time they had in the TV series.
The best way way to sum up the core of this movie is a single phrase: Celestial Being Acting Awesome: The Movie. After two seasons of Celestial Being pretty much being the "bad guy" on screen the movie goes out of the way to show Celestial Being just being awesome. They get big hero moments, giant battles, and most of humanity isn't trying to get them killed. It was nice to see, although it feels a bit out of place.
As a movie, the animation was going to be great and it doesn't disappoint for a second. The characters are drawn to perfection and the overall style looks great. The Gundams are very detailed and look great at all times (unlike the clear drops in quality that are required in series).
Really though, the movie's battle sequences are the stars of this movie. They are over-the-top and crazy, but they look awesome. There are explosions, missile massacres, and frantic actions sequences. This is Gundam Meister showoff time, and everyone was invited.
The plot is all over the place though. On one hand, it's trying to close the last open plot thread on 00: what was this all for? The series had some lingering references to "the dialogues" and a moment where humanity would be required to stand together. Respectable goal.
On the other hand, it is just kinda... well, I'm not sure what it is. The plot is weird and the whole thing is trope-ridden. In fact, I can't shake the feeling that I already saw this exact same plot in Eureka Seven back near the beginning of the marathon. The movie doesn't have as long to flesh stuff out though, so it just falls pretty flat most of the time.
Contributing to this problem is undoubtedly the sheer number of characters floating around in the movie. There's a whole lot of cast and not a lot of time to get through all of them and a decent plot. There's just too much happening.
The ending of the movie is definitely in this category though. Like so many anime before it, the movie swings clearly into totally wacky territory. It gets acted out really seriously and, at best, the whole thing comes across as completely preposterous and over-the-top. It is pretty nuts.
As I said, this movie could be better titled, "Celestial Being Acting Awesome: The Movie". That is essentially what the movie is. The action is great and the character moments are good. The Gundams are back and looking pretty fine. The animation is all wrapped up in an awesome package and we finally get to see Celestial Being being the Big Damn Heroes. Everyone eventually needs a Big Damn Hero and Celestial Being delivers.
Despite the awesomeness, the plot framing the whole thing is pretty weak, almost too weak to hold the awesomeness together in some cases. The plot is pretty out there and nutter. The ending isn't much better since it pulls a famed Japanese "how are we supposed to end this thing" ending by driving everything to crazy town.
Still though, if you want to see Celestial Being Acting Awesome: The Movie, then this is for you. No questions asked. Anything else and you should probably stay away to maintain your outlook on the cool series that was Gundam 00.
As usual, I claim no ownership of the images herein.
The last review will come out on the 31st. After that, the December Awards (which will be kept very short) will follow rather quickly. The 2013 Anime Marathon Awards will happen on the 1st or 2nd of January.
This is part of my Anime Review Marathon that I began in October 2013 to record my thoughts as I watch a variety of anime on my ever growing backlog. These reviews won't come out on a consistent basis, they'll come out when I feel I have seen enough of a series to pass a judgement on it, although I will usually finish the whole series before the review.
You can see all my articles on Dex's Corner.