Gundam 00 Episode 1 (Celestial Beings)

Amuro Again…. I mean Gundam again, the time is finally here.  Before we begin with the newest installment in my favourite anime franchise, let us take a quick look at the 1st opening theme.

Daybreak’s Bell By L’Arc En Ciel

Details Are Inside The Article.  I should warn people, this one is like 3000 words long.  It may take a couple visits to finish, so be prepared.  Ready, then let’s go…..

The opening begins with a closeup shot of the Gundam Exia as it pulls away from the screen and begins to circle around what looks like an orbital platform.  The camera pans down and the Gundam 00 appears (and I get goosebumps) on the screen right as the song is about to get going.  Following this we see a single daisy amidst a battlefield and our Hero(ine) in Freedom Fighter attire Setsuna F. Seiei looking at it grimly as the scene suddenly transitions to him in his present day attire leaning back on the Gundam Exia’s outer chest armor.  Next we see a princess like character (I’ve actually done little research on the series yet so as not to spoil myself for once, so once I have her name I’ll update it) in a tall tower, glancing out over a middle eastern looking city as the camera pans around the windowed tower (very very impressive looking) and after a close up of her face, the camera goes behind the tower wall one more time, and the next window (from out point of view) reveals the city engulfed in flames (foreshadowing anyone).  Setsuna is then seen is his pilot outfit walking amidst a ruined city and he turns to look at the camera (very Kamille like).  Next follow images of a destoyed doll, Lockon Stratos posing in casual attire, Allejuah Paptism as well, everybody’s favourite manly man Tiera Erde, another solider, and Graham Acre (in a really cool looking officer uniform) with the Union flag fluttering the background (Gundam 0083 opening anyone).  The Gundam’s are then shown destroying some units and Setsuna chasing some unknown object, then cut to a pose of the Gundam Exia from a downward view (It looks so triumphant).  More destruction, the Gundam Exia showing off some acrobatic skills (Trowa Barton?).  Then a shot of Setsuna and Marina holding onto a glowing red object, which leads to the Gundam Exia floating angel like amidst a starry background exhibiting what appears to be the V2 Gundams Wings of Light.  Then there is shot of a warship approaching Earth’s orbit and a handsome fellow and a loli standing in a futuristic looking city followed by 3 more people (2 Girls and one guy) in the same setting.  Finally a pose of the Gundam Meisters posing in profile, a shot of the sun rising above the earth’s horizon reflected in Setsuna’s helmet, one more pose of each Meister beside their respective Gundam (they love showing them off don’t they), and the Gundam Exia slashing it’s built in beam weapon and posing (Turn A like no less) with a line up of the Celestial Beings (I was worried Sunrise wasn’t doing their trademark character lineup for a second) posing with the earth in the background.

Lot’s of posing eh.  Well the choregraphy is simply amazing for this opening (much better than that faked video circling the internet) and the song isn’t half bad either.  Normally I don’t care for L’Arc En Ciel and find them quite bland and lacking inspiration (hell there so popular in Japan there name alone will move consumers, so I guess they don’t try much anymore), and the song didn’t impress me much at first, but coupled with the opening (and I swear in a way only Sunrise knows how) the song works phenomally well and has grown on me to the point where I really like it.  So we’re already batting a thousand right now (at least in my case) so let’s start the damn episode already…..

Summary: It was A.D 2301, war was beginning.

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Fuck You This Is Our Hometo….

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Well So Much For That

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Oh They Saw You

 

The episode opens in the Kurdish Republic with several mobile suits attacking a ruined city, and mere children (including Setsuna) putting up a feeble resitance.  The mobile suits broadcast a message essentially along the lines of “Burn The Infidels and Nonbelievers”. 

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He’ll Be Our Hero…..Seriously That’s Our Hero, Look At The Freaking Psychotic Look On His Face.  I Have A Feeling About Setsuna For Later In The Series

As Setsuna runs weaves and dodges through the ruins trying to avoid getting blown to pieces, the mobile suits continue to broadcast the same message and Setsuna replies internally that “In this world there is no such thing as god”. 

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Look Up In The Sky.  Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane?

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Whatever It Is It’s Messing Up Their Position For The Simple Fact That It’s Above Them

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Is It The Gundam MK II? Turn A Gundam?

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JESUS?!!  Well We’ll Just Have To Find Out Eventually I Guess

Eventually the mobile suits find him and just as he’s about to be obliterated some beams rain down from the sky (AWWWW YEAAAAAH!) and….. hey it’s the Gundam MKII, but isn’t that the Moonlight Butterfly?  Setsuna can do nothing but stare up in awe at the mystery mobile suit that is hovering almost angelically in the sky (his guardian angel).  It’s here that the opening actually begins by the way.

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Damn That Things Tall

Flash forward six years to the AEU (Advanced European Union.  The better version of the one we have now) Orbital Elevator (With music that involves real instruments no less.  I for one welcome the return of the 90’s) and the AEU is showing of it’s newest mobile suit, the extremely agile MS Enact.

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Paddy Shows Of His Stuff

The Enact manages to destroy all it’s practice targets, and a scientist looking fellow in the audience describes the Enact as the first AEU MS to operate on solar power (Al Gore would approve).  A handsome fellow comes to sit down beside the scientist, who he describes as a top ace.  The scientist is surprised this blonde haired man is here and asks him if it’s safe to be at the demo, to which the man replies it of course is not.  The scientist claims the enact is just a ripoff of his own Union Flag and that only the design is unique. 

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Set Ready, Lock On, Nemu Kanryou…..Wait Wrong Character

The view suddenly pans up in the sky and we see a flash that quickly comes into focus as the Gundam Exia speeding towards the test site spreading GN Particles (which I assume are like Minovsky particles).  The AEU Comm Tower is quick to spot the unit and when they can’t identify the Exia they use the camera. 

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HACK THE PLANET!

The CO is shocked at the appearance of the unidentified MS and elsewhere, floating in a redlit operations room, Tiera proclaims the mission is underway.  The Enact pilot demands for information, and the scientist assumes that the Exia is another one of the AEU’s new units.  The Exia simply lands next to the Enact, appearing to play the part, but a suspicious general in the spectator booth calls the Enact pilot, Patrick Corlasawar to find out what’s happening.  The GN particles seem to be jamming transmissions however and the spectator booth is quickly evacuated due to the Exia’s presence.  Patrick is not particularly impressed and basically tells the Exia to bring it on while manuevering his rotatable cockpit seat into the proper position.  Pat begins to boast (he’s really kind of an asshole) about never losing in combat, and he pulls out some form of sonic sword, which deafens the crowd (he’s going to get a dressing down), and charges the Exia.

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Now Setsuna Shows Off

Setsuna is quick on the draw though and with an “Eliminating Target” uses a foldout combat knife to chop the Enacts arm off.  The audience and Pat are shocked and he takes a shot at the Exia which is a near miss as the Exia point blank dodges it.  That was his only chance as the Exia is too quick and disables the Enact.

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DA DA DA!

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So Is The AEU Moving There Plans For Great Justice Or Are The Celestial Beings?

The blonde haired man bearing witness, takes a remaining spectators binoculars and identifies the word Gundam written on the Exia’s forehead.  Setsuna announces he’s beginning the “Second Phase” and lifts off as the scientist notes the light coming from the Exia’s backpack and wonders what form of propulsion it was he just saw.  As the Exia leaves Pat gets out of the Exia and begins to bitch about getting even (He reminds me of Zeta Gundams Jerid Mesa quite a bit).  The blonde haired fellow catches on to the fact that this is the first faze of something bigger and that they are probably being warned by someone.  The AEU then scrambles what appear to be some fighters (I assume to chase after the Exia).

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This Is The Most Original Ship Design I Think I’ve Ever Seen In A Gundam Series That’s Not Called Turn A Gundam

Meanwhile in space the Celestial Being Transport Ship Pteremayos is flying over what appears to be an orbital ring. Two female operators and two male pilots comment about Setsuna working hard and discussing how that’s what all Celestial Being members are like.  One of the operators tell them to pipe down, and a woman (whom I’m assuming is the captain) carrying alcohol onto the bridge is also chastized by the operator (apparently unlike Henken Benkner from Zeta Gundam she’s not allowed to drink on duty).

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Seriousily Does That Not Look Like The Zeta Gundam’s Wave Rider Form Coloured Orange

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And Thus God Boy Solidified His God Complex.  Either That Or He Thinks He’s In Betterman

Meanwhile the Zeta Gundam……er Gundam Kyrios is prepared for launch by it’s bible thumping pilot Allejuah Paptism who seems more than just a little giddy at the thought of going into battle.  Allejuah is almost more dead set on the mission than Setsuna and seems to be only casually aware of the pink haired operators pre launch confirmations (probably second nature for him).

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And Now The News

Meanwhile at the HRA (Human Reform Army) second satellite Tenchuu, a news broadcast of a lavish party with celebrating it’s tenth anniversary is underway, and important officals from business and organizations involved in an ongoing war are also attending.

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You Know For About 15 Seconds I Was Convinced Gundam 00 Had It’s First Moe Fetish Character

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Excuse Me Sir Your Balls Appear To Be Broken

A rather cute girl in the skimpiest outfit at the ball emasculates a happless butler, but the Moe facade is soon lost when a man briefs her that the mission has begun.  with a seemless eyecatch the Exia is shown to be engaging the fighter craft the AEU launched earlier.  The AEU fighters take some shots at the Exia for a while, but find it next to impossible to hit and break of their attack rather abruptly.  Lockon is apparently nearby with his Haro as well keeping watch in his Gundam Dynames. 

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F#&*%@# GOD DAMN %^!#%$ CAMPER!!!!!!11111

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Ow My Face

As Setsuna parries the fighters beam attack and looks to be in a pinch, the Dynames fires from below destroying all the units, but one which is quickly dispatched by Setsuna (I like this whole concept of support fire they’ve got going).  Second Phase Complete.

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You Know He’s Right You Know

Meanwhile back at the base blondie and the scientists are discussing what just happened, and they still seem to think the AEU controls the Exia and blondie refers to the Gundams pilot as a terrorist (well he kind of is) and shares his “warning” theory with the scientist.

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Back at the HRA satellite the crew is monitoring asteroids that are constantly bombarding the deflector shield, noting that the debris seems to be larger than usual today.  A squad of unknown mobile suits is spotted outside the satellite using beam shields to navigate the debris, but it isn’t working well enough and one of them is picked of by an asteroid.  The CO notes that they appear to be terrorists judging by how they are willing to sacrfice themselves and orders the HRA’s third defensive squad to be scrambled.  The squad captain gives a greenhorn a pep talk and the others are convinced it’s the AEU fault for exploiting third world countries.

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This Is How You React To An Attack.   You Take Control And Order Defensive Measures.  How You Don’t React Is Squealing And Popping Your Eyeballs Out Of Your Head (See Gundam Seed Destiny And Every Time The Earth Alliance Comes Under Attack)

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40 Virgins Here I Come

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You Know, I Think She’s My Favourite Character.  Not Only Do I Like Her Design, But Her Personality Is Just My Type

At the ball the security detail is alerted of the attack and the girl with the Chinese hairstyle from earlier notices and when her confidant asks if they should evacuate she says everything is under control.  Meanwhile the defence squad is launched but fails to stop a direct missile attack on the satellite.  Gundam Kyrios however does not and shoots the missiles down.  Both the girl and Allejuah have mentioned a Mr. Sumeragi (who I can only assume is the Celestial Beings leader) and his predictions panning out.  His swift unrelenting beam burst dispatches the terrorist units, and the girl calls out the name Virtue, which itself appears.

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The Tieran Is Bascially Like A Metal Armor From Dragonar From It’s Bulky Design Right Down To The Compact Machine Gun.  I Get The Sense It’s Gun Can Also Double As A Blunt Melee Weapon

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Allejuah Later Proclaims This Was Overkill.  He Is Absolutely Right

With it’s absolutely huge beam cannon it destroys the remaining terrorist, and Tiera proclaims the third phase complete.  The next day the local JNN news station reports the details of the event complete with footage of the Gundam Virtue.  At a school a female and male student try to determine what army the Gundams are from but nobody knows.

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Ladies And Gentleman, Meet Your Saviours.  This Creepy Old Man….

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And This Psychotic Looking Bible Thumping Fanatic

Just then Al Jazeera style, a video from the Celestial Beings is relayed to JNN and is promptly played live across the entire planet.  A gravelly voiced and honest to god creepy old man with a cane introduces himself the representative for the Celestial Beings, and say that his organization plans to put an end to all wars…..through “armed intervention”.  Despite the mans proclamation of benign intentions some call bullshit on his methods as a hypocrisy.  However, we are also shown several people who seem to agree with his philosophy, including a girl who proclaims that “The world is changing”.  Blondie and the scientist are in a jeep driving through the deset and he scoffs at the mans broadcast as nothing short of pure idealism.  The Celestial beings all comment that this is just the beginning and there is no going back.  They will change the world.

Ending Theme The Back Horn

The ending is essentially a thrash metal sort of tune that starts with really fast paced guitar and a video of doves flying in an unnecessarily and completely overkill rollercoaster of topsy turvy animation through a cityscape (Sunrise is just showing off at this point) and single teddy bear.  The song then descends into punk rock with still shots of each of the Gundam Meisters surrounded by familiar locations and reflecting on how they are rife with protest and change.  Not to bad, but definitely takes some geting used to.

Thoughts: Damn….. I think this is quite easily the best animated first episode to air this season, beating out even Clannad by the much vaunted Kyoto Animation.  Not only that, but I’m loving the variety of music the series has to showcase.   A real militaristic theme that has been missing in Gundam since Seed started is gloriously reintroduced, and instead of beginning with trying to establish the main characters exclusively, the series takes a much different (and frankly welcome approach) of introducing a world in strife.  Rarely do we get to see so much of a Gundam series setting so early in the series (and frankly almost ever).  The series makes it quite clear that it takes place in our own A.D timeline and seems like a back to the basics type of series for the franchise.  However, that’s not to say this series is anything like what we’ve seen before.  Instead of being shown exclusively from the main characters point of view, we see the Gundam Meisters from the outside in, from normal every peoples sort of view, and they are surprised, but less than impressed with what they have to say.  It is pretty clear that Allejuah Paptism specifically is an absolute psychopath from the one shot I provided, and that the Celestial Beings modus operandi is self destructive and unproductive.  People have talked about how the characters feel empty, but I think it’s pretty clear that the Gundam Meisters as they stand right now are meant to be like that, they are self absorbed individuals who think they can change the world, and that is kind of a scary thought.  I’m really interested to see where this series goes, and this episode was an absolute blast to sit through.  One more thing I’d like to note is that the Gundam Meisters victory is obtained not through overwhelming force, but through strategic use of the Gundams individual abilities.  Lockons sniping of the units from where they cannot see him is pure logic if he doesn’t want to get killed, Allejuah just plain attacks faster than the terrorists can react too, Setsuna uses trickery to get into close range where his Exia is clearly most effective, and Tiera bides his time so that he can use his overwhelmingly powerful Beam cannon to destroy the enemy.  The victories may have been easy, but that is because the Celestial Beings were well prepared, to the point where they had everything seemingly timed down to the minute with their three step faze to get notoriety.  The next episode should focus on the worlds reaction the Celestial Beings announcement and also show us more of the characters we’ve just been introduced too.  I must say though that for a 23 minute episode, it felt like this series accomplished twice as much as Gundam Seed Destiny would in about 5 of it’s episodes.  That’s all for now, see you all next episode.

Rating: Nine Out Of Ten

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11 Responses to “Gundam 00 Episode 1 (Celestial Beings)”


  1. 1 random passerby October 9, 2007 at 5:46 am

    This was a fun and entertaining read. Lookin’ forward to reading these week to week, Kaioshin-dono.

  2. 2 sadakups October 9, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    More of those pics with some witty captions in the next episode…

  3. 3 Kaioshin Sama October 9, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    @Sadakups: Will do.

  4. 4 sadakups October 10, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    ^
    Much appreciated. 🙂

    “I’m guessing you didn’t watch Fate Stay Night and Seirei no Moribito than since Kenji scored both of them.”

    And Higurashi too…

  5. 5 Jakinbandw October 13, 2007 at 3:21 am

    I hate to say this… But someone has to photoshop a 7 onto the end. Even the gundams numbering system asks for it. They are nummered 001-004. There needs to be a 007!

  6. 6 O.D October 13, 2007 at 6:10 am

    Good review you have there, and I can’t say I can disagree with most of the points you made about the episode, especially about this one being the best pilot episode thus far for all those new series popping out. Well, let’s see how it goes.

  7. 7 innominate October 14, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    “You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.” -Albert Einstein

    But, whoa, what big machines =o

  8. 8 no one August 3, 2008 at 9:32 am

    F*&%! THE PURPLE HAIRED PERSON IS A BOY???????

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