Back To Paradise Forever With Gundam 00(Not 83) Episode 19 (Bonds)

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If anybody gets that title joke I’ll actually be pleasantly surprised.  Anyway fresh back from Montreal….well okay not so fresh after that trainwreck (No an actual Trainwreck not Gundam 00, settle down Jason) that forced my family to have to take a bus home.  Anyway, we’ll say back from Montreal I am ready to do my bit on the latest episode of 00.  Apparently this episode had the sheer audacity to try to move the plot along and give some character development to overlooked characters.  Interesting enough the same people who were clamoring for this don’t seem so pleased now.  Well, I am, so let’s move on.

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Shots From Nowhere Are A Staple Of Gundam Since 1979

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Whoa Speed Lines, Never Thought I’d See You Guys Again After The Move To Computer Drawn Graphics.  How Nostalgic…..

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Shiny……….

Summary:  The episode starts of about as fast paced as they come with three of Exia shots lancing out over the sea catching the Thrones very much off guard.  Setsuna declares himself that he is ready to dispatch the targets that are assisting warfare.  Those would be of all things the Eins, Drei and Zwei (All of this must seem very ironic to him after being rescued by these fellows he saw as saviours not even 4 episodes ago).  He get’s by his fascination with the Gundam by merely countering Neena’s protest that they are allies with his opinion that they are not in fact Gundams (funny they look like Gundam’s too me) and begins to attack Zwei head on.  Well that was an action packed teaser portion.

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Bigger Sword Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Better Combat There Michael.  Especially When The Guy Your Fighting Is Trained By One Of The Best In Good Old Fashioned Street Knife Fighting

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And Nimble Dodging

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GN Fang?

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GN Kunai?  What Get’s Me Is Elsewhere You Can Find People Claiming This Is An Oversized Super Robot Weapon When In Reality It’s Clearly The Angle It’s Shown At.  Don’t Blame The Mecha Designer For Your Lack Of Depth Perception People And Don’t Try To Twist The Truth With Pictures Like These.

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Here’s An Earlier Shot Of It Much Farther Back From Our Perspective.  Pretty Normal Sized Looking To Me.  Better Luck Next Time Crusader

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It’s Actually No Bigger Than A GN Fang As You Can See

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Dance…..NO NOT CARAMEL DANSEN YOU PEOPLE! GRRRR!  No seriously I’m not even kidding, I absolutely detest that stupid meme.

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An Oversized…..Something?  That Could Only Be One Man

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It’s Virtue

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And Good Old Tieria.  You Know I Find It Interesting That Everybody (Myself Included) Thought That Tieria Would Turn Traitor When It Has Turned Out That He Is Actually The Most Loyal Meister Of Them All.

After the credits we……are actually still in the battle and not with Saji x Louise or something.  Let me take a moment to describe how I like this new direction of focusing on specific events at a time rather than jumping around a lot.  As I said in an earlier summary, the story doesn’t really call for such a thing anymore and it looks like my sentiments have finally been echoed by the staff.  Neena is unsure of what to do so she defers the decision to Johann who chooses to talk.  Stubborn as always, Setsuna merely repeats his sentiment about the Thrones not being Gundam’s and continues to wail on Zwei.  Johann realizing it’s too late for words now has Michael switch to offense while playing backup.  Johann actually manages to tag Exia with a shot, destroying it’s shield, but failing to finish the job.  Michael is ready with his usual GN Fang bit, but so is Setsuna who counters the fangs by seemingly throwing ever single possible sword the Exia has right into them before most can even get near him.  Then it’s a twirly dancy Turn A Gundam/God Slash Typhoon from the Exia that takes out the rest.  Two more Fangs from the Zwei almost catch Setsuna off-guard now, but it’s a huge ass beam to the rescue.  It’s the Gundam ZZ, Virtue of course.  Cue some really good old fashioned sounding UCish Gundam music.

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This Reminds Me Of The Parts In Metal Gear Games Where The Camera Pointlessly Focuses On The Female Characters Ass.  Oh Metal Gear, I Love And Hate You At The Same Time For Your Incomprehensibleness Coupled With Crazy Dialogue

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That’s A Definite Break Up Maneuever Right There

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Your The Mistress, Why Are You Asking Him?

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Tieria Casts Reflectagarada…Er Whatever it Is

 Meanwhile back on the Ptolemy, Sumeragi is just now learning of the two Meisters assault on the Thrones.  The ops suggest she let them do it because they don’t care for the Thrones methods at all, and Christina even deletes the picture of Johann and her, symbolically stating her opinion on the matter.  Still, Allelujah always the pacifistic thinkers wonders if this isn’t part of the plan and Sumeragi establishing contact with Lockon orders him to try to stop the fighting, but to make his own decisions based on the situation.  This actually proves to be a bad idea later on as seemingly all Sumeragi decisions not governed by Veda turn out to be.  Even the ops point this out, but still later we’ll see the results of this.  By the way, this music is just awesome and has an epic sort of feel to it.  Anyway, one man is staying put to guard the Ptolemy and that’s Alellujah.  Not going to make the same mistake as last time it seems (See the HRL Operation).

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Sumeragi *Happy Moe (Clannad?) Eyes*: “Awwww Dere Fwiends Now, Aren’t We Just One Big Happy Famiwy”.

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Satellite Cannon Fold Out!

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J BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRDO! PLUGU IN?!  See We Can Do Reference Jokes Without Resulting To Sexual Humour.  The Power Is In You Use It

Now Lockon launches to what sounds like music from the original MSG.  It almost sounds like a remix of the RX-78-2’s battle theme.  Alright though now it’s discussion time.  Quickie scenes featuring Wang wondering if the fight between the Meister’s and Thrones was sanctioned by Veda (If Veda were the Gundam Fight Federation the answer would be obvious) and Alejandro mentioning they’ve rapidly entered Stage 3 (cryptic) follow.  Back in the fight, Virtue has put up it’s GN Field, meaning the Thrones beams are now a no no, and Tieria and Setsuna are now pretty much in control of the battle.  Setsuna is still using it’s dekes and jukes to screen Virtues shot with expertly one-timed shots from the point (If you have absolutely no idea what I just said then watch some Hockey).  Both pilots express there sentiment that they never thought they’d be working in formation together.  These are interesting times for them I guess.  Well as we know the Thrones have there own formation attack and Johann orders Neena to get ready for their finishing move (Schwing!  Oh and this also involves Neena giving the happiest and most cutesy sounding “Okay!” I have ever heard in a mecha series.  Oh Rie Rie Rie, your eternaly peppyness makes the world go round.  Yes it does). 

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Access Denied

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Haha! Peppy!

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No You Don’t!  Seriously, Isn’t It So Much More Exciting When You Have These Back And Forth Two On Three Battles Rather Than Gundam Seed’s Version Of 1 Versus 100 (Surprising Good Gameshow By The Way.  Much Better Than The Bland As Hell Deal or No Deal That Got Old Halfway Through The First Episode), Where The Constant Kira Always Wins…..PERFECT! (I Also Can’t Wait For Street Fight IV Either, Alas It’s True)  Could We Have One More Change In The Flow Of Combat Please?

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GOOOOODO! RA MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU! Sunrise Is Having A Field Day Invoking Imagery Of Their Classic Mecha Series With 00.  Can You Tell Me Which One This Is?

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Well He’ll Just Have To Reprogram The O.S In 5 Seconds With Speedy Fingers And…..Oh….Well That’s No Good

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System Down? That’ No Good Either

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Neena: “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh If Only I Were Kiraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

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The Thrones Could Really Use That Battle Flow Shift I Requested….

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Hey It’s Michael Jackson.  What’s He Doing In A Gundam?

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Like Right Now They Could Use It….

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And There It Is

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Somebody Somewhere Is Cheating

Alright, seriously Tieria isn’t having that though and breaks the formation.  It kind of sucks when you are in an internal scuffle because everybody knows everybody elses tactics pretty well.  This battle seems like it’s going to be a long one.  Or will it.  Tieria decides to bring out Nadleeh and reveals that it in fact has the power to disable the other Gundam’s as a failsafe Trial System for new Gundam Meister’s who might….well…go berserk and not follow Veda’s orders.  You know, I kind of saw this ability coming in how Tieria always seemed so self-confident about who should be Gundam Meister’s and not and how Nadleeh’s appearance invoked a dominant goddess sort of feel.  Essentially The Nadleeh is Big Venus from The Big O.  Anyway, this succeeds in pretty much paralyzing the both Drei and Eins (I guess they really are hooked up to Veda and part of CB after all) and it looks like Nadleeh is about to pilot kill both Neena and Johann with it’s beam saber as as helpless Michael (without any more fangs I might add) is tied up by Setsuna, when a sudden smirk from somewhere by Alejandro heralds Tieria’s suddenly losing contact with Veda and the Thrones all reactivating.  He’s been blocked off somehow.

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CHAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGE!

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Kool & The Gang….But Which One’s The Cool One?  Oh Well…..

Dynames picks this lull in the fight to show up with a very displeased Lockon.  He immediately picks the Meister side as a show of force and to balance the battle out (they are the outnumbered side) and Johann seems to know it’s time to run away.  He has a plan to sow seeds of mistrust among the Meister’s though (this despite his claim that the Gundam’s fighting each other will only hinder the “plan”) and calling Lockon by his real name, Neil Dilandy, he says the one he seeks revenge against is Soran Ibraham.  Who is that? Well as we know and Johann seems to know after getting the data from Veda somehow, it’s none other than Setsuna who was involved in the terrorist attack led on Ireland by Kurdish Guerillas (Why they orchestrated this attack is not mentioned).  He must have been a very young child soldier if Lockon is that much older than him, but he was apparently a member of the organization that killed Neil’s younger sister and parents (Remember the flashback he had of the field of body bags when he was back in Ireland).  The Trinity’s finally take their leave now as the first half of the episodes comes to a close.

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Is It Just Me Or Is Louise’s Face A Ghastly White Here?  Definite Trauma

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Dramatic Silence….That Means A Bombshell Is About To Drop

Okay now we can go over to the world leaders.  It seems they are close to giving up and disarming after all of their attempts so far to counter the Gundam’s have failed.  With the latest string of attacks by the Thrones things have gotten even worse and they need to respond it seems.  The decision is being debated when the leaders each receive a contact from a man claiming to be part of the Celestial Being (Gee I wonder if it’s Alejandro) informing them of the infighting between what seemed like a daunting and well oiled 7 member team.  No giving up yet.  Meanwhile, back at the hospital Saji is looking after Louise as a news report of another Throne attack on a factory comes through over the TV.  He seems to utter the word “Gundam” as if it were a curse word and it’s clear he has finally made up his mind on what the conflict means to him.  It’s come too close to home and he finally understands, he hates the Gundam’s.  Could be trouble later if he finds out about Setsuna.  When Saji brings flowers for Louise there is quite the awkard pause and then she tells him to go back to Japan and return to his studies.  Saji of course protests but Louise expresses more or less that she is holding him back from his dream of going to work in space (and not by falling off the edge of a colony this time).  Her Dream is more or less for Saji to be happy and she asks him to make that happen.

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Bye Bye

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Hello?

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Bye Again

Love Today By Ummmmm Somebody

Cue insert song with montage of Saji x Louise moments.  Is it good?  Actually damn good, but not Stories (Code Geass Insert) good.  It’s so rare that I get to hear a vocal song in an anime by a female singer that I don’t find annoying and unpleasant, but rather moving and dramatic.  Let’s face it, most of them end up being Squeak Fests.  During the montage we also get a new scene during of their first meeting and Louise was clearly in charge from day one.

Over to Kinue the name Lagna Harvey comes up in a report (Remember that Neena said they were supposed to report to somebody named Lagna) as the president of the Linear Train Industry, which her assistant says is at the top of the economical organization (I’m guessing they’re the company that runs the Orbital Elevator, which as we know is the backbone of the world’s economy.  Perhaps that’s how the Meister’s and Gundam’s kept managing to get past security at the elevators earlier in the series.  It kind of helps when the guy at the top is giving you a pass).  The problem for Kinue according to her assistant is that Harvey is a major investor in JNN and they can’t go looking for him if they want to keep their jobs.  That doesn’t bother her though and she’s ready to be discreet and risk everything to get the story.  Is Kinue…..GAR????!

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Hmmm Are Those The GN Arms?  You Know What, I Think They Are?  TEASER SHOT?!

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That’s Right

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And A Vicious One At That

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And A Valiant One

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But Still A Child Nonetheless

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And That’s Why Lockon Says The World Is Twisted

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Now Time To Die Kid

Back on the Lone Island Base it’s high drama time as Lockon tells his story at last.  It all started with the Middle East’s influence waning after the introduction of Solar Power as the worlds primary energy source.  This touched off a twenty year world conflict that Setsuna caught the tail end of as a member of the KPSA.  I’m guessing the fighting eventually spread to Ireland where the terrorist attack was made as an example to the Western World.  Of course it just happened to ruin Lockon’s life, which drove him on the path to revenge and into Celestial Being as a Meister in spite of the fact that he essentially had to become what he most despised in order to realize his goal.  And now to kill Setsuna.  WAIT WHOAAAAAA?!  You just said you wanted to change the world to stop children from becoming soldiers and now you’re about to kill one.  Lockon Lockon Lockon, why do you never think straight when the subject is terrorism.

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Oh My God Tieria Is Fucking Smiling.  It’s A Sign!

He does fire, but it’s a symbolic shot that is more meant to signal that Lockon wants an answer.  Too bad Setsuna ran out of those sometime between Ali’s betrayal and now.  Setsuna relates his back story of how he was betrayed by Ali and the God he knew, and now he has been betrayed by the God he knew again in the form of the Gundam.  In fact Ali himself was the leader of the KPSA (as we should all hopefully know by now) and Setsuna shares this knowledge with Lockon and Tieria, as well as that he met him on the battlefield and that he is working for PMC Trust.  At that moment Setsuna was able to see into Ali’s soul and found what he failed to as a child, that the man he followed did not carry any god with him.  He is ready to let Lockon kill him for being led astray if he must and says he knows Lockon will eradicate warfare in his place if he can’t himself, but if he lives he will fight not as Soran Ibraham, but as Setsuna F. Seiei, Gundam Meister.  Lockon is satisfied now (I’ll explain why in my thoughts) and calls Setsuna a Gundam-Nut, to which Setsuna replies that’s the highest praise.  This causes Lockon to laugh even harder and Tieria even cracks a smile too.

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Make A Moe Face Neena. You Can Do It. Now Pout. Okay Now Hands On Hips, Show Off The Midriff. Rie Kugimiya Voice. Naiiiiiiiled It!

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Middle Guy Reminds Me Of Colonel Clink For Some Reason

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Weapons Of Some Destruction?

For our closer, in a region in North Africa are the Meister’s who seem to have their own base in the middle of nowhere wondering why they were attacked by the Gundam’s.  They are ready for another encounter though.  Meanwhile somewhere in Antarctica, military representatives from the Union, AEU and HRL are led into a facility and as they come down an elevator their eyes light up at the sight of what appears to be many GN Drives.

Thoughts:  Well this was another all around spectacular episode for me.  At no point is there a real wasted moment, even during the montages and flashbacks.  In fact in many ways this episode was even better than the last one for me. 

In the beginning we have a great back and forth one on three battle that turns into a two on three and eventually a three on three battle between the Meister’s and Thrones, all the while both sides gaining the upper hand only to lose it and then regain it.  Easily one of the most exciting battles in recent Gundam history for me.  I think it’s safe to call it a win for the Meisters though seeing as how they dominated the fight throughout before the withdraw by Johann was ordered.  Hell Setsuna was doing okay even before Tieria showed up, and he was just unbeatable once he activated Nadleeh’s Trial System.  It’s interesting that we have a weapon that is all powerful against Gundam’s but will be seemingly useless against any normal mobile suits.  If the World Powers ever get access to that system (and it’s possible they even might seeing as how Alejandro has seemingly betrayed the Meister’s by cutting off Tieria’s access to Veda and informing the world powers of the discord within CB) then Celestial Being might as well just pack up and call it a good effort.  Tieria would have probably PK’ed Neena and Johann had the interference not been played by Alejandro.  What is he scheming?

Then there’s the character development for several characters.  Lockon’s backstory as Neil Dilandy is revealed and it sheds more light on Setsuna’s past as well and how their own personal tragedies are linked by the common element in Ali Al Sarshes.  In their showdown it appears that the gunshot heralded the symbolic death of the boy known as Soran Ibraham as Setsuna decided to cast away that name forever and formally adopt his codename as his own.  In that sense Lockon feels satisfied that part of his revenge his been achieved, but is he really totally satisfied.  I get the sense he won’t rest easy until the man behind the madness, or rather Ali, is dead and buried.  That will probably put both Setsuna and Lockon’s pasts to rest.  Then there is Tieria who also shows are more human side to him.  He works with Setsuna and Lockon quiet graciously and it seems he’s finally come to respect his teamates a little more now that they have a common enemy in the Thrones, who seem to show him what truly unworthy really is.  Compared to Setsuna’s revealing himself to Ali (which Tieria now seems to have a satisfactory explanation for) their actions are immeasurably selfish and unwarranted.  To bad for him that he has seemingly been cut off from Veda.  Whether it’s for good or not will have we’ll have to wait to find out.  The Thrones themselves seem bewildered by their own allies attacking them.  It’s clear they are completely oblivious as to why they brought it on themselves and were punished for their independent attacks on the civies.  They know now that they are no longer welcomed with open arms by the Ptolemaeus crew and will just have to rely on this Lagna Harvey for support from now on.

Speaking of Lagna, we now know who he is and what he does.  This should hopefully put to rest any further complaints about the Gundam’s slipping past the Orbital Elevator’s security, although I doubt it will be so easy for them now that the Observer’s have seemingly betrayed the Meister’s and Celestial Being’s creed.  Yes I’m assuming Lagna is an observer for now.  I think it’s a pretty safe assumption to make until proven otherwise.  What I want to know is if Tieria, Setsuna and Lockon will find themselves trapped on earth without any easy way to return to the Ptolemaeus for the forseeable future.  We’ll have to see again.  Then there’s Saji no longer x Louise and their goodbye.  I doubt it’s permanent and that they are going to be written out of the show completely, but it’s going to be odd for at least a little while.  Almost every time you saw one the other was with them either immediately or in short order, hence Saji x Louise.  Now that looks like it’s going to change.  It’s kind of sad really that the representation of innocence in the series has been lost, but that’s usually what happens during war time.

Finally we have the scene at the end.  What could it mean.  I’m not even going to try to guess, but judging by the new mobile suit in the next episode preview it looks like it will lead to new weapons for the three powers.  The preview also seems to hint at the return of Soma, Sergei and Graham, the former two of which haven’t really been seen in any capacity since episode 15.  Looking forward to it as always.

Rating: Ten Out Of Ten

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2 Responses to “Back To Paradise Forever With Gundam 00(Not 83) Episode 19 (Bonds)”


  1. 1 RmX February 21, 2008 at 5:22 am

    – Sumeragi *Happy Moe (Clannad?) Eyes*: “Awwww Dere Fwiends Now, Aren’t We Just One Big Happy Famiwy”.

    In for Gundam Daikazoku.

    – Oh My God Tieria Is Fucking Smiling. It’s A Sign!

    Should we begin the discussion of Tieria as a tsundere now?

    Anyway. Great ep. Great read.

  2. 2 Owaranai Destiny February 22, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Nice summary. I guess that in the midst of the gloom of negativity and bashing for Gundam 00, this is a nice ray of sunshine to pierce it.

    Never did think that you could actually make references back to the UC period for Gundam and other mecha series, though. 😉


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