So Then If The Gundam 00 Has Two GN Drives Instead Of One Then It’s Power Level Should Be….Hmmm….No That Doesn’t….
Oh….hey….well um….oh, so I was thinking that before the Deathasaurus gets on my case again that I should share my take on Gundam 00 Episode 02 from over on Animesuki. Well here it is, in the mean time I’ve got something I need to take care of here.
Well I found the second episode to be just as exciting as the first one, but first the opening since I still feel like talking about it:
Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashi
I knew I was going to love this one. It starts off with a shot of the 0 Gundam as viewed through a young Setsuna’s eyes as the camera zooms out to reveal the battleground on which he was saved by the Gundam as a kid. It serves to remind of this very important moment in his life, and now that he has both the GN Drive of his deity and the GN drive of his own Gundam in the 00 Gundam he should probably feel complete in a way. After that we see the scenes of each Meister’s individual horror or regrettable past and I can only assume the shot of people in pods includes Tieria somewhere, hinting at his likely origin as an innovator. Then we have Setsuna standing looking all manly as we cut away to shots of each of the new Gundam’s doing there thing and a shot of Tieria crying out as the Keldim Dynames Gundam flies by into battle, which sort of hints that he might soon be reminded of the tragedy of Neil’s death. Then we see each of the other Meister’s do their individual cool thing (Lockon putting on his jacket, Allelujah giving a salute) and following a shot of the Nadleeh Gundam (or is it) we get the trademark Sunrise character lineup shot of all the supporting cast including of all people Christina and Lichtendal in what looks like a preservation of the old Ptolemy bridge. I assume the fact that they are in a seperate space and intact means that the Celestial Being team remembers them vividly despite all the time that’s past. Kind of nice in a way. After that it’s a fingerbang from Lockon as we zoom back out of Setsuna’s eyes to a shot of the Gundam’s flying to Earth as the title card comes up. All of that happened in the first 30 seconds and honestly has to be seen to be believed as it’s really just plain cool. Cut to an adult Saji looking up in the town square with the Ash Like Snow where Louise chucked him on the ground in the first season’s second opening, teased him and then ran away, (which now that I think of it actually came to pass in sick and twisted sort of way in the actual show) to see visions of an adult Louise who then phases in to her new role as an A-Law (with a very saddened look on her face I might add). This is pretty much a continuation of that little bit from the Ash Like Snow opening showing what happened after Louise ran away. Anyway, next is a shot of the A-Laws including Andrei, Sergei, Katie and apparently most important Soma who get zoomed in upon as the camera suddenly lurches as if crossing a large distance to Allelujah in a pseudo-prison in space reaching out as if he’s trying to get to her. Hints at a possible Allelujah/Soma dynamic much? Next is a shot of a creepy eyed Ribbons in an area full of lights (search me?) followed by more Tieria and then the Kataron leaders in Klaus and Shirin off in the desert somewhere with mobile suits behind them. Revolution attempt, that sort of stuff. Then both Sumeragi and Katie call attacks from their respective command chairs, signalling the beginning of the battle (yet to come) between Celestial Being and A-Laws. Suddenly we have Wang Liu-Min sipping tea in a chair in the middle of a field of flowers (Getting weird Clannad vibes here for some reason) as she looks at the orbital elevator rather menacingly. Next it’s Neena (it’s okay to get excited now Solly) looking menacing as well in the cockpit of an unidentified mobile suit (if she’s using the Drei still then all I can say is good luck and try not to die on your first engagement) followed by a Marina in the ruined ground with the single flower growing (from Setsuna’s dream) looking up at the sky as Setsuna in his cockpit appears to look back down at her. Suddenly they start reaching out towards each other in some green space, but before they reach each other Setsuna’s arm morphs into the 00 as he slashes at an Ahead Mobile suit. I’m not buying the possibility of a significant relationship between the two and I think this shot is there to placate 2ch and shippers a little. Next the other Gundams do their things again and there’s even a shot of Ali in there. This is followed by the trademark Sunrise individual factions shot, which includes the Ptolemy crew (Sumeragi, Feldt, Melina, Lasse and Ian), Kataron (Klaus, Shirin and….MARINA?!) and the Innovators (Ribbons, Regene and ?????). The the last shot is a clash between Setsuna and the Masked Man, which ending in a stalemate cuts to the 4 Gundams flying across Earth.
As I said I love it, both the video and the song. Then again I’ve loved every Gundam opening that isn’t Pride, Wing of Words and Bokutachi no Yukue. Can’t wait for the full version.
Now then. It looks like the first batch of episodes is going to be about reforging the old alliances, and that seems to go for both sides. On the Celestial Being side Tieria and Setsuna have succeed in getting Lockon back (in a manner of speaking) as well as Sumeragi, though mostly against her will. I can sort of sympathize with her in not really wanting to go back. It’s really her choice to make and Billy seemed to be trying to help her work through her resurgent alcoholism. Setsuna basically came in and took her choice away from her though by telling Billy the truth (and he seems to show feelings of outrage, shame and betrayal all in one scene later on), and I don’t really know how I feel about that. She seems to get her spirits back up when she sees Lockon though and even though he’s not the exact same person, I think seeing him can begin the healing of the wound that was caused by the death of many of her comrades under her watch. Seeing Tieria will probably help as well, but I wonder how long it is before she’s reminded of Christina and Lichtendal. Is Sumeragi up for the job? I’m not entirely sure.
Tieria seems to have issues with the new Lockon and I get the sense he thinks of him as an imposter and that they won’t be getting along very well. I can only hope he has learned enough to put his misgivings about teammates beside him as that’s been a source for a lot of trouble in the past and they can’t afford to slip up like they could last time with an enemy that is now capable of actually fighting on par with their Gundams. Lockon (Lyle) is still a bit of an enigma, but he seems to have a lot of similar personality traits to Neil so I think he’ll fit right in before long. Feldt sure seems shocked to see him, though I can’t say at this point whether I think they’ll strike up a similar relationship to the one she and Neil had or not. Saji continues his stay as Celestial Being’s “guest” and he has the sense to look into the situation that caused Louise’s and his situation. Now that he knows it was a rogue group within the organization I wonder if he’ll start to go easier on Setsuna. And then there’s Melina who I continue to find quite annoying. I just can’t see the room for a chirpy “Desu” operator in Celestial Being, and she just seems to friendly with a prisoner for that matter. What’s she going to do when the going gets tough? I don’t know really
And then there’s Wang who is sort of shaping up to be the Haman Khan of Gundam 00 by playing both sides against each other and running her own little faction. With her fortune I can only imagine at the kinds of things she might be planning in secret along with her new servant in Nena. Could we be looking at a surprise final boss here? And one has to continue to wonder what Ribbons is up too. Does he have an official position in the Earth Federation or is he just brokering information behind the scenes. Also, I was getting some serious Loran Cehack vibes from Regene, even though the two characters are obviously nothing alike. Anyway, I’m glad to see a villain who’s key strength is his cunning and intellect that doesn’t auto-win every scenario up to the finale like Schneizel El Britannia. It’s good to see some vulnerability in Ribbons after he thought he had signed the death warrant for Celestial Beings, only for them to score a major victory against the Ahead team. It’s probably time for him to get the propaganda machine going now to explain how the Gundams “didn’t actually win the battle” or something along those lines.
Speaking of the non Celestial Beings side, the A-Laws story was kind of about getting the old elites back together two. Arthur Goodman and the Zinan team seem fairly experienced and effective enough when leading campaigns against Kataron, but none of them have actually fought a Gundam with a real GN Drive before and that is one of the key reasons why they lost. Now they’ve got the experienced folk in the A-Laws and I forsee Katie commanding a mission against Celestial Being in the very near future with Soma, Graham and possibly even Ali under another alias as point men. With Billy Katagiri possibly joining up with A-Laws out of spite as well (my predicition for his next course of action) I’m curious to see what kind of tech they can come up with to combat the next line of Gundams.
Speaking of which, there’s the 00 Gundam which makes it’s debut this episode and it’s pretty effective, but then again it only fought a couple of enemies and Setsuna still struggled a bit. The cones on the shoulders design kind of makes sense now in that they work together under Trans-Am, can provide defensive coverage in a 360 degree fashion and make it go really fast. Despite that there’s really surprisingly little that takes advantage of it’s capabilities….at least for the time being. A GN Sword and GN Rifle are all it seems to have for now, but luckily that was enough to take care of the Ahead, which I must admit put up an impressive and fairly smart fight against the 00 with it’s chaff grenades. Speaking of chaffs, it looks like the Ptolemy 2 design team had the sense to include some defensive weapons on the ship this time around. No more getting isolated and pumelled to the point of almost being sunk this time.
At the end of it all, it’s almost easy to forget the scene where Marina is arrested and if she is indeed in the same prison as Allelujah, it looks like she’s finally going to get to see Setsuna again when they try for a rescue operation. I really can’t wait for next week.
And now the ending theme (tired….)
First we see Setsuna standing in the ruined ground with weapons sticking out of the ground (as if we really need to know what caused the destruction). Sunrise sees Kyoani’s orange in Clannad and raises them SUPER ORANGE! BWAAAAAAHAHA AHAHAH HEHEHE! Anyway, next we see Allelujah walking in god knows where, followed by what must by my favourite shot from any Gundam 00 ending so far, which is Tieria visiting the grave of Neil and as he walks away the grave scene morphs to Lyle now walking away from the empty ancestral home of the Dylandy family with a table that looks half set for dinner. He’s the only one left of his family. His parents and brother are dead and now he’s all alone and can’t really go back home ever again in this lifetime. Really depressing. The next shot is of somebody walking (I’m guessing Tieria as we haven’t seen him yet) in the ruined ground with a trail of images behind him. As he continues to walk the images begin to diminish in scope and as they vanish the ground starts to show signs of life. Basically this is saying that healing can only being once one let’s go of the past. After that there’s a shot of Lockon holding some unseen person behind a curtains hands (it looks feminine and I’d almost have to guess it’s Amy Dylandy). Following this there’s a shot of an insane amount of Aheads almost blotting out the sky, and over in a corner almost hard to make out are Allelujah and Soma lying in a circle together. I get this sense that if they are going to discover their connection to one another then they are going to have to fight their way through the confusion of the battlefield to reach one another, and the fact that they are lying there looking like the life has been sucked out of it makes me feel it’s not going to be easy. Next an arm (huh?) holding another arm with a gun in it (ZOUNDS!). I’m thinking (thanks to Shuilong pointing it out) that it’s Saji x Louise reaching out to each other and Saji showing that he won’t let go, while Louise holds a gun to symbolize her nowfound life as a soldier, which is what stands between them more then anything. After that we have what must be the shot that most people are asking questions about. It’s a picture of the Innovators with the one in the foregrounds face rendered unrecognizable by the smashes frame…..but it looks like Tiera. Could this mean Tiera might betray Celestial Being to join his fellow innovator’s at some point and will hate himself for it? Very interesting indeed. Next is some surrealist artwork of Marina in a field of flowers (eat your heart out Clannad) with what looks like some sort of mechanized weapon exploding in the sky. Shot looks bloody awesome….and orange. I guess Marina’s paradise is in trouble again is what it’s getting at. The last shot has all the Meister’s in the ruined ground looking up at a hole in the clouds (This shot looks bloody amazing too). The heavens themselves opening up to reveal a celestial body sort of thing going on. Basically the Celestial Being is going to be visiting earth once again.
Well when I first heard Prototype in the trailer I wasn’t really impressed by it, but hearing it a little more in the ending sequence, I think it has a really nice flow. It’s definitely the least intense of the endings, but while I think it’s better than Wana, I still think Friends takes the crown so far. I still look forward to the eventual full version single though. And that’s all for tonight.
Rating: Nine Out Of Ten