30 November 2010
Gundam 00 Movie: An Afterthought
I've watched Gundam 00 Movie: A wakening of the Trialblazer in a cinema a little more than 2 weeks ago. As I have been eager to watch the movie for a long time, it is good to be able to watch on the big screen finally.
This post is to be served as an afterthought about the movie, not a review of it (no, not at all) nor on the entire series. I'll try to avoid spoilers for those who want to watch it, so whatever I say in this post are a bit vague overall; it's just something for me to share my thoughts on.
N.B. I do notice that I have very rarely talked about anime on my blog, which has mostly focused on merchandise/toys and other anime-related stuff. With this said, this is going to be one of the very few times I will comment something about an anime itself.
Gundam 00 Movie: Awakening of the Trailblazer was aired in Japanese and Singapore cinema on 18th September 2010. It is a movie to conclude the Gundam 00 series, which had 2 seasons of 25 episodes (total 50) aired from 2007 to 2009.
At first, only one cinema would air the movie with approximately 6 screenings in total over 3 weeks or so. Not surprisingly all tickets were sold out very quickly, and I wasn't able to get one for myself. It's only until 2 weekends ago I have found out that other cinemas from the same company have started to do regular showings (i.e. daily), so I was able to grab a seat in the closest cinema in the next hour. Even though I have heard mixed opinions from the Internet and from fellow bloggers (mostly from Singapore), I just couldn't wait any longer ^^;
But I must say I was a tad surprised on how little promotion there was for the movie; I couldn't even find a promotional poster at the cinema I've watched, as if the movie was intended to be low profile. Besides, I wouldn't know that there would be regular showing in cinema if I didn't decide to check on the actual cinema website personally (out of curiousity).
For a (very brief) recap on what happens on the two anime seasons of Gundam 00:
In the first season we see the introduction of Celestial Beings and its 4 Gundams entering "armed intervention" against the world's 3 factions/superpowers while carrying out a supposedly deceased scientist's (Aeolia Schenberg) grand plan in an attempt to remove conflicts and warfare. The 3 factions, aided by a traitor originally working for Celestial Beings, united together and defeated the Gundams, forming the new Earth Sphere Federation afterwards.
In the second season we see the world 4 years after Celestial Being's defeat and disappearance, and is oppressed with an iron fist from a separate military branch of Earth Sphere Federation called the A-Laws. Celestial Being reappeared, regrouped with 4 new Gundams (00 Gundam being their trump card, piloted by protagonist Setsuna F Seiei) and fought primarily against the A-Laws. It was only later they have learnt that there was a another group that was pulling the strings on the conflict from the backstage - a group of posthuman individuals originally created to support Aeolia Schenberg's plan and to guide humans through evolution and advance humanity into deep space but decided to take over the world on their own.
The movie takes place 2 years after the end of 2nd season. With the main threats from previous season eliminated, Celestial Being continues to operate in the dark and overlook the peace of the world as the Earth Sphere Federation establishes pacifist and tolerating approach to manage world problems, while monitoring the emergence of the evolving posthumans called Innovators across the world that may help guide the world to advance humanity as Aoelia Schenberg has planned. However, a new enemy appears in the form of an extraterrestrial alien has entered within Earth's vicinity, and asEarth Sphere Federation and Celestial Being joint forces together for one final mission against such unprecedented threat, the protagonist Setsuna F Seiei, who has evolved into a posthuman Innovator throughout the course of 2nd season, would soon realise his purpose for evolution, with the aid of his newest Gundam - Gundam 00 Qan[T].
As for the movie itself, I must say this Gundam vs alien concept is quite radical, but ultimately I think the points are shown at the end. The movie seems to have a very mixed feedback, with some people downright rejecting the idea (of aliens like Macross and what the movie is trying to point out), and some people managed to draw meaningful points out of things. Plot is fairly straightforward, but there are a few symbolism here and there too it seems which may make some parts appear more abstract than they seem. Pity how some voices against the movie are very strong, and bashed outright that it ruins Gundam traditions, wants 'revolution' but it fails miserably, and that its a rehash of Gunbuster but with Gundam etc etc.
Bad things aside, I am glad that some people manage to draw meanings out of it and treasure it. I think ultimately unlike the UC universe and timeline (which is pretty dark overall I must say), the director and writer (Seiji Mizushima and Yousuke Kuroda, who have no prior experience on Gundam series) feel optismistic of the world they would like to imagine. It's not the best series for Gundam metaseries, but definitely not the worst. Perhaps some more stuff can be extended on (perhaps an immediate aftermath on what happened to the rest of the characters), but I think it's an interesting change to previous Gundam series we had in the past.