Gundam 00 Episode 22 (Trans-Am)

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Unfortunately a combination of thinks that make my life far to hectic and busy are keeping me occupied this week.  As such this is going to be a much less detailed summary than usual with far fewer screencaps and such.  Hopefully people aren’t to disappointed.

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Special Delivery For A Ms. Noriega

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Tieria’s Got The Single Tear Thing Going On Now

Summary: At the beginning Lasse formally delivers the GN-ARMS to the Ptolemy and Sumeragi get’s a status update on Lockon from the ships doctor.  His recovery will period will requite three weeks in stasis (whether that would help his eyesight isn’t specifically mentioned), but Lockon insists that he be able to participate in the current missions so that Tieria wont’ worry to much.  Lockon says that Tieria acts tough, but he’s really actually quite fragile and elsewhere we see him blaming himself for Lockon’s injuries as he sheds a tear for his comrade (that’s a long way coming from the jerk we saw previously, but you could see it happening since episode 19 if you payed attention).

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Graham: “But There’s Only 3 Episodes Left In The Season!!!”

After the break the Union announces the official UN program to wipe out the Celestial Beings organization called “Fallen Angels” (suitable).  Graham’s Union Flag is also being equipped with a GN Drive, which should hopefully satisfy his desire to remain in a Flag, but to be able to compete with the Gundams’s (hopefully the GN Drive does in fact have a dampening effect that will suit his breakneck fighting style without him hemoraging again).  Apparently the Trinities got away last time the HRL’s Choubu squad fought them (offscreen stealth field perhaps?) as they are now redeploying to finish the job.

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Tieria Comes Full Circle.  All That’s Left Now Is To Get An Acoustic Guitar And To Pluck Out Some Chords By A Tree.  You Know I Never Though I’d Miss Asshole Tieria, But I’m Glad He’s Sort Of Back By The End Of This Episode Albeit With The Decent Guy Still Mixed In

Back on the Ptolemy the bridge crew is mocking their own status as fallen ages and Felt has gone to look for Lockon who is with Tieria.  Lockon tells Tieria it’s time to stop moping and to just go back to his usual haughty self, but Tieria says he’s lost his talent as a Meister since he can’t directly link with Veda anymore (essentially I think he’s also saying he can’t be the impassive judge anymore because he cares to much about his teamates now.  Perhaps his seperation from Veda has helped bring about his increased closeness to the team along with Lockon’s brotherly comraderie and his mutual viewpoint with Setsuna).  Felt is overhearing this and wonders if Tieria can be a fully human if he is capable of doing all these things (apparently she either didn’t notice he could do this or she just hadn’t thought about it before).  Lockon gives Tieria another attack and says they don’t need to rely on Veda anymore and that they will keep doing what they’ve been doing, and to look at Setsuna as an example of how an independent streak isn’t necessarily inefficient.  Lockon takes off as Tieria apologizes now for all his shortcomings and Felt thinks to herself that Lockon is nice to everyone.

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Somehow I Doubt That

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Wow, Have These Guys Ever Fallen From Grace Or What

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DEATH BLOSSOM!

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Wow, Straight Up Man…

Elsewhere the Trinities are roughing it and both Michael and Neena are complaining about the food.  Johann is talking with Wang (boy did she pick the wrong side as we’re going to find out) and learns that the UN Squadron (awesome SNES game by the way) is on it’s way.  All of them get in their thrones for some combat despite them being low on energy (I had a feeling this was eventually going to happen with those GN Drive Tau’s, maybe they shouldn’t have overkilled on the GN Mega Launcher so much).  The battle gets hectic.  There’s even a formation that seems like a throughout to the Death Blossom from The Last Starfighter, which is also a nickname the American Soldiers have for Iraqi Soldiers they are trainings tendency to fire off their entire assault rifle clip in every random direction when even slightly startled.  Oddly enough, or perhaps not so much (it is after all very much the Dense Firing Formation Sergei describes it as) it succeeds in neutralizing Zwei’s agile GN Fangs.  Marina is also watching again on TV looking slightly pensive (Somebody’s embedded with the Choubu Squad I’m guessing) and realizes the three Gundam’s fighting are not Setsuna’s.  Also watching is a really glazed over looking Saji in a dark room who very much wants the Gundam’s to “die” (not surprised since these are the ones directly responsible for ruining Louise’s life and indirectly bringing about the sequence of events that resulted in his sisters death).

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Soma Shows That She’s Without A Doubt The Better Grrl Pilot In The Show

Neena tries to make a desperate charge at the GN-X’s, but Soma overpowers her easily and knocks her back while cutting off a piece of her armor just as Michael takes over her position.  Johann uses this time to throw up a smokescreen and Sergei holds Soma back again (You know, I’d almost swear he is somehow trying to savour this and is enjoying the game of cat and mouse.  The fear game seems like an even worse punishment for the Trinities then a quick death.  I think he wants them to realize and experience what they put those civilians they casually murdered through).

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Setsuna Prepares For What May Be The Most Unusual Pilgrimage Of All Time

Back on the Ptolemy, Sumeragi, Tieria and Allelujah have come to the conclusion that they are sacrificial pawns in Aeolia Schenberg’s plan.  By finding a mutual enemy in the Gundam’s and banding together to destroy them the world will be united.  Setsuna doesn’t want to abide this and doesn’t feel that it’s the purpose of the Gundam’s to cause warfare and be destroyed by it themselves, but to eradicate it (man this guy has a lot of faith, I’ll tell you that much), but to eradicate it as planned.  Lockon sides with him and decides it’s time to intervene on behalf of the Trinities and stop the UN’s aggression.  In short if Celestial Being is going to go down, they will go down fighting for their original cause, which they fully believe in (You know sorry Crusader, but that’s pretty gar even if you don’t agree with the Meister’s naive intentions).  Knowing full well that he may not be able to return to space and that he’s all alone on this one, Setsuna says he will go down to Earth to confirm for himself why the Gundam’s exist.  With nothing but his teamates blessing, Sumeragi’s good luck wish and a mission plan she constructed and his faith in the Gundam’s, Setsuna makes his journey.  Tieria looks on as he goes and Lockon says he can always go with him, but trying to return to his classic self he tells them not to be foolish and walks off.  Lockon and Al are beside themselves.

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Ali: Sup’

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Most Unexpected Death In Gundam Since Apolli And Roberto

Meanwhile Setsuna’s launch reentry did not go undetected and Katie is briefed on it from her postion on the AEU High Orbital Station.  Back with the Trinities again Neena is having an episode over the condition of her Drei (you can actually her her mumbling throughout all of this as Mike and Johann are talking.  Oh Rie, you and your improve).  Suddenly a familiar Orange-Reddish AEU Enact appears above their position and the pilot signals optical style (classic U.C stuff here) that he has no intention of attacking.  Johann not quite the idiot his brother is has Neena standby in the Drei as the Enact touches down.  It’s of course Ali Al-Sarshes who claims his sponsor has asked him to do something about them (judging from Alejandro and Ribbons extremely brief conversation that I neglected to mention earlier, that sponsor is indeed Alejandro).  They think it’s Lagna and Ali laughs and says he’s dead, just like Michael is right then as Ali shoots him and says he killed Lagna.  As Johann tries to retaliate with his own gun Ali jumps in and pins him to the ground.  Johann tells Neena to run and Ali then let’s Johann get to his Gundam (he wants an interesting fight).

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Let’s See, A Guy Who’s Sort Of Okay At Shooting With His Sister’s Help Versus An Expert Knife Fighter With A Huge Sword…..This Can’t End Well For Johann

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I Love The Smell Of GN Particles In The Twilight….It Smells Like……Victory…..

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Only Neena Survives.  Seeing What Amounts  To The Symbolic Remains Of Her Brother Rain Down On Her Can’t Be Easy.  Sergei’s Letting Them Go Has Ultimately Lead To Neena Possibly Going Through A Serious Karmic Lesson.  He’s Really Good At Doing This Kind Of Thing With Youngster’s Isn’t He

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The GN Particle Explosion From Eins Isn’t Even Over Before Ali Is On Top Of Neena.  His Dialogue Makes Me Feel He’d Kill A Loli In Her Sleep For The Thrill Of It

No sooner has a hysterical Neena taken off along with Johann then does Ali come out of the woods cackling in the Zwei (notice it has a sword, Ali with cutting blade is not good).  Johann wonders how Ali managed to run the Zwei without Michael’s biometrics and thinks he somehow must have used Veda (I just picture Ribbons up there smirking again, but we don’t actually see anything of the sort).  In the battle Johann is really going all out (moreso then he ever has before), but Ali isn’t having any of his excuse or explanations (Johann, look bro, he doesn’t care why you did any of this, he’s just there to kill you) and soon the killing blow is dealt as the Eins goes up in an explosion that releases a shiny shower of GN Particles all over the Drei as Neena looks on in shock.  He comes after Neena now and knocking her down is about to deliver the blow when Setsuna arrives to return the favour from 8 episodes back (the reversal of the two pilots positions isn’t lost on anybody I hope).

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Francisco Scaramanga Has Nothing On Alejandro Corner

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Ummm….What Does That Entail?

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Man Look How Puny Exia’s Sword Looks Next To Zwei’s….No Sorry, No Sexual Innuendo From Me

Meanwhile Ribbons has cracked the final lock on Veda’s security, which releases a stasis pod with Aeolia Schenberg’s body in it.  Alejandro makes his way over to the helpless Schenberg as he pulls a gun, taunting the body that he will inherit the world Schenberg wanted to create and his legacy.  He empties his clip into the pod while laughing when suddenly the computer screens around him and Ribbons start to display a message from Schenberg wherein he laments that the world he has wished for must not have come to past and humanity’s fighting instinct has not subsided yet.  Meanwhile Ali and Setsuna are having a back and forth as Setsuna feels Ali has defiled the Gundam by being in it and Ali as usual continues to not care.  Aeolia continues to state that he still believes in humanity, which is why he will grant those who believe in his will the power to carry it out.  As the sun comes up over Setsuna and Ali’s battlefield they continue to argue over whether the Gundam is meant to be used as a weapon or a peacemaker (can’t they agree on both), but it doesn’t seem to matter as Ali has completely disarmed Setsuna by this point (he was always the better knife fighter).  That is until Aeolia Schenberg’s message finishes and Exia activates a hidden function known as Trans-Am (I won’t make a joke about old 80’s TV Series because literally everybody and there mother has done it at this point, but I will say that Trans-Am doesn’t strike me as an upgrade so much as a Limiter-Cut).

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Afterimages Eh

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Yeah So Like It Goes Faster Now, But What Can You Do About It’s Lack Of Weapons…..Oh Right….Stay Tuned For GN-Arms….

This is really where the shit hits the fan this episode as the Exia’s GN Drive starts to go full on, shedding so many GN Particles that it gives the unit the illusion of a red hue. What really matters it is now has incredible acceleration and agility….like even more than before.  Ali struggles to hit Exia now, even using his GN Rifle, but instead hitting afterimages and Setsuna manages to sneak up behind him and knock him down.  Aeolia’s message now plays in Exia’s cockpit and confirms that Trans-Am is the full potential of the GN Drive (See, Limiter-Cut, not upgrade as it had the ability all along).  Soon enough the Exia manages to cut up Zwei’s shield and Ali takes off wondering what just happened.  That’s it.

Thoughts:

Not quite as involved as the other episodes have been, this episode is more focused on it’s events and we see little of those who don’t play a major part in the proceedings.  Those proceedings are pretty clear cut, perhaps to much so.

On the Meister’s front we have some Lockon and Tieria bonding moments as Tieria continues to become more of a decent guy and Lockon tells him not to sweat the loss of Veda and to follow Setsuna’s example.  Lockon also doesn’t let his injury get him down at all and is a key figure in motivating the Meister’s who know they are in for the fight of their lives.  This is important as next episode it looks like they are going to have to whether another HRL attack.  Graham doesn’t play a huge part in this episode, thus he is merely seen getting an upgrade to his Flag.  Maybe the previous battle messed him up more than we thought and he’s biding his time to recover.  Who knows?  Allelujah actually kind of get’s to do something in this episode, but it’s mostly being a pessimist and thinking they are all going to die.  Saji had like one line in this episode, but it was one line that perfectly conveyed a change in his mentality.  Gone is the innocent happy go lucky boy from the early episodes.  This guy wants nothing more than to see Celestial Being rot in hell for ruining his life, and I can’t blame him.

The Key moments in this episode are Michael and Johann’s final moments, and it’s good they spent most of the time with them.  Michael goes out the way he always was, pathetic fool to the end.  Their really wasn’t anything going on with him anyway so it’s quite possibly the most fitting death I’ve seen in a long time.  Talentless losers with to much Hubris tend to die the most insignificant and pointless deaths in life.  Johann on the other hand puts up a decent if fruitless fight, while low on energy.  He really had no chance to run.  His base was destroyed and he’d just fall out of the sky even if he and Neena somehow managed to get away from Ali.  There wasn’t much chance of him for him to survive, same with Neena, who just got lucky.  So Sergei was right about their certain doom, but who could have predicted Ali’s involvement.

With the Zwei Ali is even more dangerous forever, and this Trans-Am system doesn’t seem like something that can just be turned on with the flip of the switch.  Will we even see it again?  If so by then Ali will have developed a counter measure.  Thats whats happened in this series everytime somebody has appeared to score an overwhelming advantage.  Speaking of Trans-Am, it doesn’t strike me as overpowered, that is unless people find the Gundam F91’s afterimages overpowered or the Correl from Gundam X’s death by a thousand cuts to be overpowered as well.  It isn’t really an upgrade as it’s quite clear the GN Drive had the potential for that level of performance all along.  It’s more Ali’s inability to compensate for the Exia’s sudden speed boost that made Trans-Am so effective this episode.  Expect it to catch the UN Squad off guard too next episode since they know jackshit about it.  Maybe a little Death Blossom will help counter it?  Hmmmm?  By the way if you were Aeolia Schenberg, would you want to give somebody the full power of a superweapon if you’d never met them.  The guy sure has a lot of faith to entrust the Trans-Am mode to a Meister, but it doesn’t seem misplaced as Setsuna returns the faith in his true belief in the Gundam’s purpose as a peace makers tool.

Speaking of Aeolia, is he dead or not? It sure seems that way.  And what of Dr. Eifman’s last moments where he stated that Aeolia Schenberg’s true intentions were not the eradication of war.  Was that a red herring?  Was he reffering to Alejandro’s camp?  This is something to keep in mind.

So in the end we have the UN and Saji clamoring for the success of Operation Fallen Angels, Allelujah, Sumeragi and Tieria looking like they are about to give up, three Gundams out of commission with one in the hands of a madman, and one “Kurdish Brat” determined to fight till the bitter end to confirm for himself whether he was right about the Gundams.  I think he’ll probably have at least part of that answer within the next three episodes.

And yes as I said unfortunately this episode wasn’t perfect.  The dialogue wasn’t the best written stuff I’ve seen come out of the series with the possible exception of Ali’s and Aeolia’s, and Allelujah is really getting pushed into the background too much at this point and almost serving as a morale killer for the team.  He also looks kind of funky in some shots as well.  Do the creators just not like him anymore or something?  Anyway, it’s still a solid episode nonetheless and moves the plot forward.  As always I look forward to the next one.

Rating: Eight And A Half Out Of Ten

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8 Responses to “Gundam 00 Episode 22 (Trans-Am)”


  1. 1 Gravmech March 13, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    The action was well done in this episode, instead of seeing locking blades->flash of light->someone dead you can actually see how ali made the kill or disarms exia by ever so lightly changing the angle of his blade.

    And I’m a bit concerned about Allelujah, he seems different from the rest of the Ptolemy’s crew in the sense he values survival more than CB’s ideals. He might do something drastic in the future.

  2. 2 Jakinbandw March 13, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Actually I don’t so much believe that Aeolia Schenberg trusts blindly in giving this power to someone he has never met. His point of view is that if humanity continues on it’s current course it will destroy itself.

    In that light, what does it matter if it happens sooner? If the power that he gives to the Meisters is misused the world is no worse off than it was before in his eyes. It they are used properly than that means is that there is still hope for his dream.

    This is just a conjecture based on the fact that he is telling the truth. As you said, there are some doubts about whether he was or not.

  3. 3 Kaioshin Sama March 13, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    The action in this series is definitely top notch I completely agree. There must be somebody specifically assigned to choreagraphing the fights as I have yet to see one I felt wasn’t unique in some way and you can actually see intricate little maneuvers going on the likes of which you usually only get in Mecha OVA’s like Macross Plus. The slides, ducks, actual visible attacks (In Seed you got a lot of a blade coming at the screen and then a cut to the impaled mobile suits as Gravmech pointed out), all of it just adds flair to the combat in the series.

    One thing I really like is that the the two main rivals are both close up and personal fighters. I find sword combat and snap maneuvers infinitely more interesting compared to distance attacks of the kind that Michael bragged about. It’s so fitting that he goes down face to face with the knife fighter. Although it would have been more interesting if Michael had tried to use his little Shiv to attack Ali only to be shown how it’s done. Yeah, Michael was pretty much the worst pilot the show has seen thus far. The thing is Graham is probably going to go after the Throne Zwei again only to find the pilot has gone from pathetic and random to deadly and focused. That’s likely to be a shock for him. Anyway, if I had to rank them all from top to bottom/best to worst it would go something like this:

    Ali
    Soma/Hallelujah
    Graham
    Sergei
    Setsuna
    Darryl
    Howard
    Lockon
    Patrick
    Tieria
    Allelujah
    Johann
    Neena
    Michael

  4. 4 Solly Rushdale March 14, 2008 at 9:15 am

    You know what? I was so 100% sure that Graham was going to be the one to kill Michael. This totally and completely surprised me. Well, actually now that I think about it, if I had given a little more thought to Ali tying up Alejandro’s “loose ends”… But whatever. Anyway, I think this was really designed to give Neena a chance to repent (knowing what it’s like to lose everyone). So with that in mind maybe she’ll have a chance with Setsuna after all.

    To be honest, I’m kinda missing the old jerky Tiera myself… I guess I don’t hate him that much after all…

    I Love The Smell Of GN Particles In The Twilight….It Smells Like……Victory…..
    This quote redesign is fitting in more ways than one. You know, considering the Napalm used during the Vietnam war ending up mutating the future generations living there, and how the red GN particles make regeneration of limbs lost impossible, leaving victims as cripples…

  5. 5 animeheadline March 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Allelujah will be nervous breakdown. Next episode, Libonze kills Alejandro. If you want to know more, check my website!

  6. 6 Solly Rushdale March 22, 2008 at 5:56 am

    Animeheadline, how would you know something like that?

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