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Gundam o_O: Awakening of the WTF

Gundam 00: Awakening of the Trailblazer finally came out on DVD!  My initial reaction:  \o/

My current reaction:  W.T.F.  o_O

Gundam 00 was pretty good!  They even managed to sidestep the completely saccharine ending that at one point seemed inevitable.  Thus, BIG HOPES for the movie.  But... well, be warned - herein lies spoilers.

 

First of all, I nearly choked to death on the preachiness of this film.  This film was almost exactly what I was terribly worried the last couple of episodes of the anime were going to be.  This was harder to swallow than even Relena Peacecraft’s speeches in Gundam Wing.

The beginning was promising, though!  It was some clever self-referential parody - a movie made of the events of Celestial Being, proving that the two short years since the end of the series is time enough both for the public to come to grips with all that happened and make a movie out of it!

 


Saji was left out.  That's because Saji is irrelevant.  I don't even know why he's in the movie at all, but he gets a surprising amount of airtime.

Then we cut to Marina and co, up in space inspecting a colony for potential human rights abuses, I guess - this matter is never fully explained, other than being a handy excuse to threaten their lives and for Setsuna and Lyle to come save the day 'incognito' and be cool.  They use FLAGs, because apparently Celestial Being and the Gundams are laying low so as not to compromise the new peace, which sounds good.  Except they're obviously a highly skeptical lot, as they've been making a new Gundam for new merchandise just for Setsuna these past two years.  Look, just don't think too hard about it.



We also meet this guy!  Apparently the 'first confirmed Innovator', though we all know this is a lie and he's a big faker because Setsuna's the first Innovator.  Actually, I don't know this guy at all, was he in the first series and was just totally forgettable or is he new?



In any case, he too turns out to be utterly irrelevant as he dies before the movie is even at the halfway point.

So, to catch you up on the parts of the plot that actually matter, a chunk of a scout spacecraft from Jupiter returns to Earth and is shot down so as to burn up on re-entry - but some parts of it survive!  :O  Who didn't see that coming, be honest!  These parts are a bizarre type of sentient metal that then go on a rampage killing and/or melding with humans with quantum brainwaves or Innovator potential.

But it's totally misleading, because for the first while they're running around looking like Ribbons!



Uncool, Sunrise!  Don't tease us with creepy immortal Ribbons and give us metallic goo instead!

Anyhow, what has the rest of Celestial Being been up to?  It turns out that Marie and Allelujah have been roaming the Tibetan alps dressed like new age backpackers!



Also, Allelujah desperately needs a haircut.

Then Hallelujah makes an appearance!



-Allelujah asks.  The reason is, of course, that you were doing a damn poor job of protecting your beloved Marie and Hallelujah has to do everything awesome as usual.



Case in point.

While Celestial Being are busy rescuing each other and everyone is trying to figure out what the hell is going on, things are getting fluffy back at the Kati-Patrick household.





Cockblocked!  Kati is Brigadier-General now!  She has no time for the joys of married life.



XD  Patrick <3.  I want to see this cosplayed.

Okay, so where were we?  Right!  The story!

Back in space, more of this mysterious alien metal, now know as 'ELS', comes out en-masse from Jupiter!  Setsuna has a feeling about it all, but no idea what it means.  Louise and other quantum-brainwave-potentials are having freakouts back on Earth.  Celestial Being sets out to intercept.  So does the United Earth Forces.

We meet this guy:



This commander gave a big heartfelt speech about his career and dreams and lofty ambitions, and we even got a tenuous link to Smirnov! 

He died about two minutes later.

GET USED TO IT.

Celestial Being go pick up the slack where the UAE failed.  So far so good, but Setsuna turns out to be utterly useless in battle against the ELS, and is quickly imperiled!  But then Tieria makes a stunning entrance!




TIERIA!  <3



But don’t get attached.  He also ‘dies’ in the next battle.  But hey, ‘death’ is no big deal for Tieria anymore.  He’s cool.  He can just make a million copies.  Bring on the doujins!



As a side note, the whole ongoing subplot - if you can call it that - with Billy and Mina is annoying.  It’s cute and funny, perhaps, but what on earth happened to Billy and Sumeragi’s relationship?  I liked that twisted messed up relationship of theirs.  The guy was invested – after all, his retaliation at being lied to was to pour all of his energy into inventing weapons that would be laser-focused in their use against his ex-girlfriend.  And at the very end of the series when he boarded Ptolemy, didn't they sort it all out when he failed to shoot her and started crying?  Did I miss something?
 

This amusing fluff is a poor substitute for that sort of emotional drama.  :|



I want to say that all the awesome fight scenes made up for it, but to be honest, for a good ninety percent of them I could barely even tell what was going on.  It was like Transformers on speed, only with purple smoke and more lasers.  Besides, the enemy resembled something an awful lot like Indian Terminator’s big ball of machine gun death, only less hilarious (check out around the 3:00 mark).
 

It is also similar to that in that they go on and on and on and on and on.

Speaking of which, Celestial Being come back for round two with the ELS!  This time, Setsuna breaks out the Trans-Am.

...It doesn't go so well.



So badly, in fact, that Setsuna gets brain damage. 

But it’s ok!  It’s anime!  A series of flashbacks and some symbolism and he’ll be fine.



Lockooooooooon.  ;____;

...None of this is really in order, but it doesn't make much difference to the plot, I promise.

Also, looking up there, didn't Feldt grow up well?  I have to say, Gundam 00 actually had a pretty decent cast of female characters for a change, in that but for Marina, I actually liked most of them.
 

Anyhow, with Setsuna temporarily down for the count and a giant flock of organic metal spears heading straight for Earth, it's up to everyone else to defend the planet!  An absolute line of defense!  The big epic space battle to end all space battles!



Just about everyone not already dead got some face time here. It’s obviously been too long since the TV series, since I couldn’t figure out why this guy kept getting so much screen time, or even who he was.  Until he had his ‘life-flashes-before-his-eyes’ moment and I finally remembered he was Smirnov’s son:


Really, all this movie did was very much make me want to watch the TV series again.


 

Meanwhile, Saji and Louise are still useless and irrelevant.  I liked Saji, but seriously - why is he even in this?
 

The battle, predictably, soon turns into a disaster as the ELS keep getting stronger and smarter and there seems to be a limitless supply of them.  It's a pretty cool battle, as far as battles go, at least when you can keep track of what's actually happening.

Of course, right when it's looking hopeless, Setsuna wakes up!



The real reason everybody likes Hallelujah so much is that he always says exactly what everyone is thinking.


Their trump card is to take the new 00-QanT Gundam and Trans-Am in the centre of the big huge metal sphere to communicate with the ELS, with Veda as backup this time so Setsuna's brain doesn't short out from information overload.  To this end, Setsuna now has a mini-Tieria he can now carry with him always.  No need to be lonely anymore Setsuna!



...It kind of reminds me of that CLAMP manga Angelic Layer.

This brings us to what it easily the best part of this painfully confusing affair.  Without a doubt, the coolest moment of the whole film is Graham’s.  It’s such a cliché, but done so well.



*sniff*  Graham, you were so mentally unstable and melodramatic, but oh so awesome.

Graham's heroics open a big melted hole for Setsuna to dash into the centre!

...And this is where it all starts to fall apart.  I mean, more so than before.



....Are we still watching the same movie?

Anyhow, they make it to the center, activate Trans-Am and Veda, and are treated to some nonsensical flashbacks.  Surprise, the ELS's home planet was dying, and they set out to find a new one.  Setsuna and Tieria head back out, decide to go check out this home planet...
 

Then, the denouement. 

Setsuna makes a giant flower, and everyone stops fighting.

Seriously.  I’m not even making this up.  Look.
 

 

W.T.F.
 

Not even stopping to admire the utter cheesiness of this, let’s focus on the bigger issue:  None of this makes any sense.  So, what, Setsuna finally got through to the ELS?  Teleported to their dead home world and back?  How did the ELS get inside Jupiter in the first place?  And why only come after Earth now?  They wanted to meld with Earth to better understand humans?  I don’t get any of this. 

 

Also Setsuna is now also apparently made of organic metal and is immortal.  Make of that what you will.

Gundam 00 the movie:  WTF.

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Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
silverharmony
Jan. 31st, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
OH DEAR GODS I MUST WATCH THIS WTFERY.

ALLELUJAH'S HAIR SOB.

Also, lol Saji. I like him too but I do agree about the uselessness. I just close my eyes when he's talking and pretend he's Sena. 8D
sinnatious
Feb. 1st, 2011 10:45 am (UTC)
HIS HAIR... IT DEFIES DESCRIPTION. It got curly! Also now the only way to tell him and Halle apart are by voice. Makes him seem crazier.

XD YOU KNOW, I HADN'T NOTICED THE VOICE! <3 This calls for Gundam/Eyeshield crossover! Seriously, they could have just not included him and I probably wouldn't have noticed until the movie was over. :|

aschenhimmel
Jan. 31st, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
I was spoilered the very week this movie came out in Japan XDD My initial reaction was: WHAT DID YOU DO TO GRAHAM *sob* I'm yet to watch it though. XD

Patrick never ceases to be lovable. And so does Hallelujah. XD

I guess the aliens thing is fine, as far as 'surprise, surprise!' goes. But...yeaarrgggh, why bait us with Descartes, Sunrise? Whyyy?

Okay, to go against the majority of fans...I actually liked Marina, since I considered Marina to be the deconstruction of the peaceful princess type (coughLacusClynecough) and, really, I understand that her main (and only) point in the story is to be Setsuna's reason/reminder or some other philosophical anchor. But yeah, can't argue with the fact that as far as the plot action goes, she's useless. D:

And since this can't be emphasized enough:
WHY GRAHAM WHYYYY? D:
sinnatious
Feb. 1st, 2011 10:51 am (UTC)
Oh boy, yes, Graham. ;_; It really was heart-breaking, but it was also by far and away the best moment of the film. Actually, Graham stole the show in all of the scenes he turned up in.

I know! Could totally have dealt with the utterly unimaginative alien threat if they didn't taunt us with the possibility of a cooler villain. It's like... it's like the latest Narnia movie! Where they taunt you with the White Witch, but you get stuck with abstract green mist instead.

That's fair enough, everyone has their own favourites. I'm just personally tired of that peaceful princess character archetype all around - about the only time I've liked it was the female lead in Planetes.
kaorismash
Jan. 31st, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
I have absolutely no idea about this fandom, and yet, immortal organic metal!Setsuna is quite pretty. :D
kaorismash
Jan. 31st, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC)
FLOWER OF THE UNIVERSE.

And yet, I cannot help but think of Tezuka whenever I see space. *_*
sinnatious
Feb. 1st, 2011 10:53 am (UTC)
Tezuka says - Let's not be careless... IN SPACE.

And you know, Gundam's space-explosions are always lavendar-coloured.
nerfracket
Feb. 1st, 2011 10:06 am (UTC)
I'm just saying, this is possibly the most accurate review for the movie I have yet seen. I'm saw I had my jaw dropped through most of it.

Although mini-me, I mean Tieria, is the cutest thing ever. ♥♥

Also, Saji Crossroads, wandering through life, serving no purpose. :(

Also, also: Neiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllll
sinnatious
Feb. 1st, 2011 10:56 am (UTC)
XD Glad I'm not the only one.

Yes! There was not nearly enough fanservice going around to make up for the wtfery, but mini-Tieria was pretty damn special.

;__; Going to go rewatch First Season now for my dose of Neil.
nerfracket
Feb. 1st, 2011 10:07 am (UTC)
Damn, wrong icon.
gwynhafra
Aug. 20th, 2011 11:41 am (UTC)
lolz to your take on it
I think most who have actually had the guts to finish this movie were sent into various states of shock and jawdrop, and not necessarily in the right way.

Is it strange that the only parts I actually liked were all the parts involving Kati and Patrick even though my OTP is actually Lockon (Neil) Stratos and Allelujah Haptism?

That, and Hallelujah's awesome action scenes. and it helped that Lockon had to save him from self-piloting heli but meh, that's Lyle

Didn't need more reminding on Lockon's demise, even if that was pretty much the scene which has one of the strongest impact on viewers. In the original first season, I mean. Recycling the scene isn't going to save the movie.

I wish they didn't introduce that many OC's, namely the one who pretty much throws herself at Billy. I liked him being all nerdy and shy with Sumeragi, but since that was too difficult a fish to catch, he'd rather go for the easier, and more willing target who coincidentally had the same red hair too.

Setsuna pretty much was of little use for a main character. He spent more than half the movie either holding his head or being unconscious, but when he does finally turn up for battle for real, he puts the rest of the fleet to shame (for all their fighting and defending, they could barely even do much damage to the ELS). He appeared and met ELS boss in moments.

Then after all the wastage, in terms of both manpower and resources (more so than the number they sacrificed for their Celestial Being hunt in the first season), they ceased fire just to look...at a space-flower...wait, wha-?

I think Tezuka killing dinosaurs made more sense...

Ah well, there is this and Hetalia: Paint It White. Both are about wanting to understand each other, and both made absolutely no sense. What is happening to anime movies nowadays...
sinnatious
Aug. 20th, 2011 12:32 pm (UTC)
Re: lolz to your take on it
Kati and Patrick were by far and away the best bit. I don't think that's strange at all. Along with Hallelujah's spontaneous moments of ass-kicking. I am glad I'm not the only one who thinks this.

I'm pretty sure that red-headed girl was actually the surviving Trinity sibling, all grown up? (You know, the one that spontaneously kissed Setsuna on first meeting?) I'm basing this on the yellow eyes. I don't remember her name. It seriously bugged me, what a dumb sub-plot!

Ahaha, I haven't seen the Hetalia movie yet, but this is a disturbingly common trope in anime movies. What's the deal? It's so awful...

The dinosaurs were awesome. Giant flowers are just lame!
gwynhafra
Aug. 21st, 2011 01:50 am (UTC)
Re: lolz to your take on it
About that girl being the surviving Trinity sibling, I'd like to think that's possible. However, didn't Louise already blast her to smithereens? If she survives, I insist that Lockon (Neil) Stratos was picked up by a random passing mobile suit who saw him drifting around too. XD That, and new girl is around Sumeragi's intelligence level is that even possible?, which I don't think Nena can reach.

If you don't intend to watch the Hetalia movie, you can just read the spoilers. Pretty much summarizes the lack of plot. The only redeeming factor was that there was plenty of Germany X Italy hints. Then again, those are abundant in the original series anyway

Well, Tezuka was awesome, while Setsuna was...out of action 3/4 of the movie...

Speaking of Tezuka, how's the TezuRyo fandom now? I haven't been in livejournal for a while...
sinnatious
Aug. 21st, 2011 02:06 am (UTC)
Re: lolz to your take on it
Ah, good point, I'd forgotten about that (it's been a while). That actually makes things worse. :( (Although in the second season death did not seem to be as final or as permanent as in the first).

Setsuna really just played the role of deus ex machina, in the end. Very disappointing.

And cheers for the tip on the Hetalia movie, I might not bother with it now.

As for TezRyo fandom, I haven't really been as heavily invested in it, but on surface view it's pretty quiet with only the occasional fic these days. I think Shin Tenipuri actually put people off more so than causing any kind of fandom resurgence. :/
(Anonymous)
Aug. 28th, 2011 04:32 pm (UTC)
The guy linked to smirnov
About that guy with the moustache linked to sergei smirnov...if you had the moustache fool you you are an idiot and havent been paying close attention to the series...he is smirnov's commander back in the series who asked to be promoted to general when joining A-laws.. even the long hair hanging down his face is a dead give way.
sinnatious
Aug. 29th, 2011 02:31 pm (UTC)
Right, I'll take your word for it. The movie did come out over a year after the series finished, and then the DVD another six months for that, and he wasn't even close to being a major character, so you'll have to forgive me for not having any idea who the hell he was... cheers for the info, though.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )