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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:27 am 
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Sume Gai wrote:
I also laugh at anyone who thought GN particles were anything less than magical pixie dust. They were an enabling plot device for the series from day one.

While this is true, you also have realize that up until the debut of the 0-Raiser, GN Particles were portrayed as more grounded in "SCIENCE!" rather than "MAGIC!", which is where they strayed more towards once it was revealed that they could be used to transmit human thoughts and feelings.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:00 am 
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The magicness of GN Particles have mostly been towards its versatality in my opinion. None of its individual functions are hard to believe for the most part; well not in a soft sci-fi story anyways. Mostly only the portrayal and animation is magical, sacred and the like mainly because of quantum communication field and well......Trans-Am Burst.


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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:40 am 
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I also have to fall into the group that found the GN particles evolving from sciency-stuff into outright magic towards the end. As I mentioned in the previously spoiler-tagged post, the particles are integral to Aeolia's plan, but they are still artificial triggers to whatever it is they can do.

I did remember the way that it turned to the 00 into particles for an even more souped-up Trans-Am which as a plot-device for Gundam power is right up there with Freedom's HiMat spamming. ;) And even that in itself was OK, but when we stepped into telepathy I thought it got a bit out of hand, and when it started bringing people back to life and healing them... well. I could understand Setsuna whose wounds were partially caused by the bad red particles being healed, but Lasse and Louise... I'm not sad/disappointed that they lived, just disappointed how it turned out that a wizard did it. ;)

SoniCSP's comment about Graham were pretty good, gave me something to think about too. It doesn't save him much from being sent to the sidelines, though. If the "good Graham" had really died in S1, then milking the "bad Graham" would've been even better, but since who've seen the movie too know that
Spoiler: show
he pretty much returned to his old self, even if only to sacrifice himself nobly, it was a a bit too little, too late.


Finally, I know there's still time to go before Christmas, but I just can't hold back on posting this any longer: Ali as Santa delivering Christmas joy all over Ptolemaios. :mrgreen:

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:45 pm 
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SPOILER WARNING! SPOILER WARNING! SPOILER WARNING! (This means you, LightningCount. :P )

Spoiler: show
Since it looks like the discussion on the 00 TV series has pretty much run its course for everyone, here my review and comments for Gundam 00 the Movie: A Wakening of the Trailblazer. This thread is spoilerific, so if you haven't seen the movie and dont' want spoilers, TURN BACK NOW!

I don't think any other single Gundam production has left me more baffled, confused, and uncertain of an opinion as this movie. I don't like this movie, but I don't hate it, either. I just don't know what to think or feel yet.

I wholly expected the alien story. In fact, I've been secretly hoping for aliens in an AU Gundam series for a long time. The ELSes in this movie are certainly VERY alien, being entities of shape-shifting living metal. When Setsuna and Tieria finally make their psychic connection with them and learn where they're from and what they're after... we still don't get an explanation for WHY they're attacking Earth, and specifically people with quantum brainwaves. Or if there was an explanation when Setsuna and Tieria communicate with them, I totally missed it. I don't mind truly alien aliens, that are mysterious and enigmatic in that 2001 sort of way, which I abolutely love. But in this case, it's not just aliens being weird and enigmatic, they're invading. And aside from the "we're looking for a new world 'cause our old one's gone" bit, I still don't know why they're doing what they're doing.

The aliens were scary in that "omg there's BAZILLIONS of us and we're going to overwhelm you like a plague of locusts" way that I've seen before and frankly that aspect didn't interest me. Most of the earlier battles between the humans and the ELSes are pretty much just "run away from the stream of ELS missile things while constantly firing at them" like Sentinels chasing a hovercraft in The Matrix. Then in the big battle in the Earth Sphere itself, it's just one big confusing hairball. I love big space battles if they're presented in a way that we can follow certain characters or units. I like to COMPREHEND what's happening rather than just feeling like a visually overwhelmed hapless bystander as "omg BAZILLIONS of mobile suits and ships and ELSses spinning around and firing and exploding constantly" go by so fast you can't even follow the battle in any meaningful way. The battle scenes just didn't engage me at all. I just kinda spaced out watching them, because you can't focus on anything most of the time.

For the main cast... nothing new can be said for any of them, except perhaps Setsuna and Tieria. Tieria provides the "tech support" for CB, both as a Max Headroom-like computer cypher, or a hologram, or even manufacturing himself a new body and Gundam (both of which last all of one battle). It's good to see him very active in his role as part of Veda, but... I have some problems with what's going on regarding Veda. More on this below.

Setsuna has regressed. Feldt DOES have feelings for him, and has trouble expressing them, and doesn't understand why, over the last, um TWO YEARS since the series finale, he's become so distant and detached, more like his old self. Sumeragi explains that since he's fully an Innovator now, he's trying to sort out himself and his new role relating to normal humans around him. This just sounds so backwards to me. I thought the whole point of humans becoming Innovators was that they were becoming more "actualized" as human beings, reaching even greater potential, not just in physical and mental abilities, but emotionally as well and in their ability to communicate with others. But considering Setsuna's tragic and violent background, I guess it might make some sense that he would emotionally retreat into a shell until he sorts some things about, but it feels like the growth his character made through the series, which INCLUDED his becoming an Innovator and reaching out to others in a meaningful way, just got thrown out the window. I don't like it.

Everyone else is just "there," to fight the aliens and save the world. No new developments or character growth for the Celestial Being folks. However, one of the best elements in this movie is Graham Aker, who's finally given up the silly "Mr. Bushido" schtick and has gone back to being a kick-ass and even heroic pilot again, like we saw back in Season 1. Oh sure, he still would like to defeat Setsuna (and not the Gundam, as he explains to Feldt) for the sake of his ego, but it's not his sole driving purpose anymore. I was very happy to see this. Now why didn't we get this for him in Season 2, instead? Oh, and he had a fairly decent hero's death, giving Setsuna the opening he needed to do his Innovator telepathy communion thing and save the world.

Sumeragi and crew run the ship, Lockon Lyle and Allelujah and Marie/Soma fly Gundams and blow things up. Saji and Louise are around, and Louise has the painful and violent reactions to the presence of the ELSes, until she's locked away in an isolation shelter for the rest of the movie. Saji goes up to the orbital platform to help with defense doing, um... something. We see him once during the battle, playing with some little keypad control thing for a few seconds. And why is Louise still hospitalized TWO YEARS later? I thought she was getting better, not worse? I mean, the green GN particles during the final battle stuff brought her back from the dead, right?

Kati Mannequin commands the Federation fleet trying to defend the Earth Sphere in a desparate and hopeless situation. She does her job as best she can, and Patrick Colasour is still around, and yay, they're still married! A brief hilarious moment as they're lounging in Ribbons' old lair on the Celestial Being colony ship, as they're about to kiss, when Kati gets a call and rather violently shoves him away. I guess we're never going to see these two actually kiss. I did love Kati's line, "When I'm with you, I feel foolish for thinking about things so seriously." :D

So the new administration running the Federation government SEEMS to be doing alright, they don't lie to the public when the ELS disaster is looming (even though they DO still control the internet and media via Veda... why would Tieria allow this to continue?). But they do keep developing new and more powerful weapons and using Innovators as guinea pigs. I know two years isn't a whole lot of time to make much reform, but still... I'm left with a very uneasy feeling and a bit of a betrayal of the hope I felt at the end of the TV series. Particularly with regards to Veda and the CB colony ship. WHY has Tieiria allowed access to it by the Fed military? It posseses a Memento Mori type superweapon, Veda still controls the internet, the Fed military use it as a base, etc etc etc. This is NOT what I expected Veda/the ship to be used for after the TV series. I figured Tieria would make sure that the resources of Veda would only be used to help humanity grow and solve problems in constructive, non-military ways... not help the military keep developing faster and better ways to kill and destroy. *sigh*

Unfortunately, there are no new answers about Aeolia Schenberg's Jupiter exploration ship, the Europa, which makes a "comeback" of sorts in this movie. No new revelations about Purple Haro. An opportunity to answer lingering quesetions and address backstory plot points is wasted. :(

As for the ending, and the Marina/Setsuna scene in the epilogue, and the Gundam looking really weird and covered in flowers... what the heck is all that about? Setsuna communed with the ELSes, and for some reason, somehow... the giant ELS... turned into a giant space flower? Huh?! The Marina/Setsuna scene felt very much like evolved Dave Bowman/the Starchild visiting his dying mother in 2010. I did like the flash-forward scene of the deep space exploration ship Sumeragi getting ready to launch, and the flashback scene of younger Aeolia Schenberg speaking with some young man who would become the template for Ribbons, speaking about The Plan and Aeolia's desire for humans to use their intellect and try to understand one another.

And a bunch of random items and comments for the movie:

The whole Colony Corporation corruption/slave labor bit involving Marina and Shirin felt hollow and just tacked-on to give them a reason to make an appearance in the movie.

Why is Lyle wearing glasses now? Is he getting some eye trouble from using that sniper's scope a bit too much?

The "Celestial Being: The Movie" trailer was wacky and hilarious! And AXIS!!! Squee! :D

Why are all explosions in the 00-verse purple?

Allelujah (or rather, Hallelujah) is a darned good gymnast. :)

That physicist Mina (who stole Sumeragi's original hairstyle!) is the single most annoying slut character in all of Gundamdom. I feel sorry for Billy, regardless of him getting some action with Mina.

Speaking of Sumeragi's hair, her style is even SHORTER in the movie, but she's still a darned fine looking woman I wouldn't mind waking up to every morning. And Feldt is still cute as a button with her shorter hair as well. :)

I don't like most of the new Gundams, they're just revamps of the previous models but with really big kibble parts. The 00 QAN[T] isn't too bad, though, I actually kinda like it, especially its shield/sword bit things. Setsuna's black custom Flag he flies early the movie looks pretty spiffy, as do the Braves that Graham and his team use. I was also surprised to see the very cool Dynames back for one battle.

The Innovator Captain Descartes Shaman is a creep and it seemed like he was being set up to be a villain or at least a rival for our heroes, but sadly that never happens. His comment to himself about humans being an "inferior species" smacked too much of Ribbons-ism. Though I was pleased to see Kati order that he be treated according to his rank, rather than being the "guinea pig" he'd been since becoming an Innovator for the military. Unfortunately, he doesn't even meet the heroes, he just makes an early strike on the ELS fleet and gets killed.

It was nice to have a cameo from that reporter guy who worked with Katharon.

The freaky ELSes' absorbing/taking over the Fed ships and MSs reminds me of the Dezalgs' freaky tentacle machines attacking the ships and mecha in Megazone 23 Part 2. It's scary and visualized very well, and makes the ELSes' truly feel like an incredible (and enigmatic) threat.

Miliena's declaration of love to Tieria was hilarious. :D

What the heck is the Gundam Harute's "Marut" system? Allelujah activates it at one point, but I have no idea what it did.

The term "slash through to the future" gets real old real fast.

When Setsuna did his quantum system Newtype communion/telepathy thing inside the giant "mother" ELS, I kept waiting to hear him say, "My god, it's full of stars." :P

In summation... I still don't know what to think about this movie. The climax of the battle with the weird communion with the ELSes, the giant space flower, the Gundam back on Earth and covered in flowers with the ashen-gray Setsuna visiting blind old Marina... I'm certain there's a lot of symbolism and deep meaning and some explanations for all the weird stuff. I normally dig movies and stories that mess with my head, but this one went right over mine. There are some very minor, meaningless elements in this movie I enjoyed, but overall, A Wakening of the Trailblazer left me feeling confused and emotionally cold when I first watched it.

I'll probably be watching it again soon, to see if I can make any kind of sense out of it. I really, really want to understand this movie, in the hopes that I might actually LIKE it, and I could use some help. Chime in with your thoughts, those of you who've seen it! Help me out here! :)

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Last edited by Chris on Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hey Burke, we've got handy spoiler tags :)


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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:38 pm 
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To respond to only a couple of your remarks...

Spoiler: show
1) I think they said that the ELS "attacks" were just their attempts to communicate with humanity, but since their methods of communication are so vastly different, what was supposed to be "We come in peace" turned into mind-rape. This seems to tie into the Raiser System's true purpose, since it's what allows humanity to finally contact the ELS and sort out this whole boondoggle.

2) As has been pointed out in this topic, making it so the ELS assimilate on contact proved extremely problematic from a cinematic standpoint since it meant that there could be no melee combat aside from kamikaze "taking you with me" moments. Which, of course, gets pretty strange when you consider that Qan[T], like all Setsuna's MS, is supposed to be close-combat oriented.

I notice you didn't say anything about Andrei. Obviously you ended the series hating the guy, but I think a lot of us are eager to know if his actions in the movie made you feel any better or if it's, as was said earlier, "too little too late".

If you were wondering Meena (or rather an ancestor) contributed DNA to the cloning project that created the Trinities, which is why Nena looks like a younger version of her. Mostly though it seemed like an excuse to bring back a character who had a bit of a fan-following.

And as was observed earlier (in a spoilered post), the manga adaptation of the movie ends on an unambiguous Setsuna/Marina note, as he uses his ELS powers to restore her sight and youth and they get together. Which, at least to me, is pretty cheesy.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:33 pm 
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Thank you all for the courteous and LOUD spoiler warnings. :D :lol:

Something SonicSp said hit me:

SonicSP wrote:
But if it happens true that the more realistic settings and themes were changed in S2 due to the fans not accepting well, then it may not bode well for more Gundam 00S1 type settings in the future really.


It is an if, but I think it's important to note, personally:

My bittersweet reaction to 00 is tied to this idea that this is probably the last time we'll see this sort of real-world-ish Gundam portrayal for a while, and I wanted to get the most out of it. (Hence why I was so adamant about the "promises"--that is, implicit statements--made in its setup, early episodes, and director interviews prior to airing). I remember asking someone from Japan who was a CE fan when it started what they thought of it during Season 1. Their understated response: "I think it's really mysterious."

Gundam AGE's apparent return to a more 0079-esque, ship-based, fantastic sci-fi view, as well as the continuation of Universal Century with Unicorn and The Origin kind of semi-confirm that the likes of 00 S1 will probably not be around again for a while. And it's not like anime like Gasaraki (despite its own many flaws) are being made these days outside of Gundam in the realm of mecha.

Ironically, though, I want to return to one last impression I got from 00, which surprised the heck out of me. Unlike Burke, who really liked SEED, I came across with a very mixed reaction toward it the first time through. And Destiny, while I enjoyed it more during my first viewing, also left me with mixed feelings at the end. So, here comes 00. It looks unconventional, it looks like it hearkens back to AU tales like Wing, and its animation looks OVA-esque at times. I'm pumped. Then I see it, and I'm like, this is pretty good, but it's got a ways to go--I'm sure it'll build up. Then it takes a hard left turn around the appearance and presentation of the Trinities, and then it goes on another road altogether in Season 2. My final reaction, which surprised me, was "Cosmic Era was better than I thought." And this coming from a guy who ripped hard into Cosmic Era at various points in the past, and was somewhat desperate for it to come to an end. Anyway, I rewatched all of SEED and took a few glances at Destiny (still have to go through all of it again), and I just felt like I was getting a more complete package, even with its flaws. I shared SEED with a friend and casual Gundam viewer who hadn't seen all of SEED who watched 00 with me during its Syfy TV airing, and he had the same reaction. If you had told me that 00 would increase my appreciation of Cosmic Era immensely, I would tell you you were crazy. But it did. And that reaction was telling to me that something wasn't quite right with 00 for me.

When 00 reaired on Syfy, I watched the whole first season again, but only got a few episodes into Season 2 before I said "enough." I think I'll always remember 00 for its first 16 episodes first and foremost--that is 00 for me. Then I'll remember the conclusion of S1 where CB got "destroyed," and then I'll think of S2 and despite some scenes like the creative prison break early on, I'll just shake my head.

That brings up a point. I thought the really different thing here was how CB, despite doing controversial good, were an enemy to the world that would have to be punished...and that never truly happened. I guess it's because they have to be the heroes with this Movie alien business I've heard whispers of. BUT, it would have been more fascinating if, had the series gone in a different direction, the end of the series was more like S1's conclusion, and in doing wrongs to create a greater good, CB is punished as a sacrificial offering to the new world. Talk about a dramatic, anti-hero approach with emotional impact. That would have been powerful and neat.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:18 pm 
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Honestly, the movie wasn't confusing at all imo. But yea Burke, did you listen to the gundamn! podcast episode on the movie? If not they pretty much explain most of the stuff that might have confused you and what not, so give it a listen.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Burke Rukes wrote:
Spoiler: show
I'll probably be watching it again soon, to see if I can make any kind of sense out of it. I really, really want to understand this movie, in the hopes that I might actually LIKE it, and I could use some help. Chime in with your thoughts, those of you who've seen it! Help me out here!

Spoiler: show
I believe the Gundamn! crew did a better job of summing up the movie and explaining it than I ever could, so I direct your attention to their podcast about the movie if need help understanding it. Although, really, I myself never really felt that it was such a mystifying story to begin with. :P

I will, however, address a major point and couple little points just for the heck of it.

Burke Rukes wrote:
Spoiler: show
...And aside from the "we're looking for a new world 'cause our old one's gone" bit, I still don't know why they're doing what they're doing.

Spoiler: show
The ELS as lifeforms gather and share information by assimilating matter and absorbing it into themselves, which is what they were trying to do to humanity in their attempt to communicate with them. Unfortunately, since humans don't really work that way, their whole effort ended up coming off as little more than big metal Zerg-rush until Setsuna finally opened the door to communication with the Quantum Burst.

Burke Rukes wrote:
Spoiler: show
That physicist Mina (who stole Sumeragi's original hairstyle!) is the single most annoying slut character in all of Gundamdom. I feel sorry for Billy, regardless of him getting some action with Mina.

Spoiler: show
Yeah, that was a little weird. Still, what they basically did was kinda/sorta bring back Nena through Mina, so I don't have any room to complain. :)

Burke Rukes wrote:
Spoiler: show
What the heck is the Gundam Harute's "Marut" system? Allelujah activates it at one point, but I have no idea what it did.

Spoiler: show
Hallelujah mentioned something offhandedly about it combining the brainwave abilities of Allelujah, Hallelujah and Somarie together. Or something. I don't know either.

....

"IKUZZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE~!!" :twisted:

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:07 pm 
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Thanks for pointing me to that episode of Gundamn!, folks. I have it downloaded and I'll listen to it tomorrow. I may give the movie a 2nd viewing here in the next day or two, try to pay more attention and see if I can absorb it better. I think my brain may have been partially paralyzed by all the eye candy and overwhelming visuals on the 1st viewing. :P

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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:23 am 
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Well, I decided to go insane and watch the last 14 episodes of 00 S2 last night, so now I'm caught up and can read all of Burke's comments! ^_^

Like Burke, I really loved the end of the TV series - it was really emotional and, IMO, ended on just about the perfect note. It was very much where I wanted the S2 to go, but kept fearing there would be a darker twist as we neared the end...and I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find it conclude on such an optimistic note. In the end, I still prefer the world of 00 S1, but 00 S2 was FANTASTIC - MUCH better than I expected, considering how different it was - and really cements Gundam 00 as my favorite series in the franchise.

I decided to say screw it to spoilers and read through Burke's comments on the movie...and, now I'm hesitating to move onto it. TBH, the TV series' ending really was a great note to end it on and what I understand of the movie just seems so...I don't know. As different a direction 00 S2 was from 00 S1, the movie sounds like an even GREATER course change. I still need a break after watching all of 00 S2, but I'm thinking I may just skip the movie entirely. Dunno yet.


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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:52 am 
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Pkmatrix wrote:
I decided to say screw it to spoilers and read through Burke's comments on the movie...and, now I'm hesitating to move onto it. TBH, the TV series' ending really was a great note to end it on and what I understand of the movie just seems so...I don't know. As different a direction 00 S2 was from 00 S1, the movie sounds like an even GREATER course change. I still need a break after watching all of 00 S2, but I'm thinking I may just skip the movie entirely. Dunno yet.


You shouldn't avoid watching something just because of someone else's opinion. Watch it for yourself and make up your own mind.

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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:02 am 
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Chris wrote:
Pkmatrix wrote:
I decided to say screw it to spoilers and read through Burke's comments on the movie...and, now I'm hesitating to move onto it. TBH, the TV series' ending really was a great note to end it on and what I understand of the movie just seems so...I don't know. As different a direction 00 S2 was from 00 S1, the movie sounds like an even GREATER course change. I still need a break after watching all of 00 S2, but I'm thinking I may just skip the movie entirely. Dunno yet.


You shouldn't avoid watching something just because of someone else's opinion. Watch it for yourself and make up your own mind.


Yeah, don't let my initial cold & confused reaction turn you off from at least giving the movie a watch and making up your own mind about it. I just feel lost about it, and I'm hoping more people who have seen it can give me their thoughts, and help me view it in a new light when I watch it again soon. I really want to give this movie a chance and figure it out. I'll be listening to Gundamn! episode 70 tomorrow, and I'll chew on that first. But come on, people who've seen it, please chime in! (And don't forget to use spoiler tags like I did the first time - thanks, Chris. :P )

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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:05 am 
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I will chime in with my thoughts on it and 00S2 but I kinda got burn out after going through 3 full shows, so I'll have to do it tomorrow.

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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:25 am 
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Which also reminds me Burke, that before Chris and the crew discuss the movie, they also address this review that a guy named Micheal Toole made after seeing the screening at the NYCC last year.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/ ... railblazer

Yea just read it and you'll see why they "tackle" it XD. And on that note, its interesting to see a few people did chew him out, namely the last guy that posts in the thread about his "review".


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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:38 am 
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Burke Rukes wrote:
SPOILER WARNING! SPOILER WARNING! SPOILER WARNING! (This means you, LightningCount. :P )

Spoiler: show
Since it looks like the discussion on the 00 TV series has pretty much run its course for everyone, here my review and comments for Gundam 00 the Movie: A Wakening of the Trailblazer. This thread is spoilerific, so if you haven't seen the movie and dont' want spoilers, TURN BACK NOW!

I don't think any other single Gundam production has left me more baffled, confused, and uncertain of an opinion as this movie. I don't like this movie, but I don't hate it, either. I just don't know what to think or feel yet.

I wholly expected the alien story. In fact, I've been secretly hoping for aliens in an AU Gundam series for a long time. The ELSes in this movie are certainly VERY alien, being entities of shape-shifting living metal. When Setsuna and Tieria finally make their psychic connection with them and learn where they're from and what they're after... we still don't get an explanation for WHY they're attacking Earth, and specifically people with quantum brainwaves. Or if there was an explanation when Setsuna and Tieria communicate with them, I totally missed it. I don't mind truly alien aliens, that are mysterious and enigmatic in that 2001 sort of way, which I abolutely love. But in this case, it's not just aliens being weird and enigmatic, they're invading. And aside from the "we're looking for a new world 'cause our old one's gone" bit, I still don't know why they're doing what they're doing.

The aliens were scary in that "omg there's BAZILLIONS of us and we're going to overwhelm you like a plague of locusts" way that I've seen before and frankly that aspect didn't interest me. Most of the earlier battles between the humans and the ELSes are pretty much just "run away from the stream of ELS missile things while constantly firing at them" like Sentinels chasing a hovercraft in The Matrix. Then in the big battle in the Earth Sphere itself, it's just one big confusing hairball. I love big space battles if they're presented in a way that we can follow certain characters or units. I like to COMPREHEND what's happening rather than just feeling like a visually overwhelmed hapless bystander as "omg BAZILLIONS of mobile suits and ships and ELSses spinning around and firing and exploding constantly" go by so fast you can't even follow the battle in any meaningful way. The battle scenes just didn't engage me at all. I just kinda spaced out watching them, because you can't focus on anything most of the time.

For the main cast... nothing new can be said for any of them, except perhaps Setsuna and Tieria. Tieria provides the "tech support" for CB, both as a Max Headroom-like computer cypher, or a hologram, or even manufacturing himself a new body and Gundam (both of which last all of one battle). It's good to see him very active in his role as part of Veda, but... I have some problems with what's going on regarding Veda. More on this below.

Setsuna has regressed. Feldt DOES have feelings for him, and has trouble expressing them, and doesn't understand why, over the last, um TWO YEARS since the series finale, he's become so distant and detached, more like his old self. Sumeragi explains that since he's fully an Innovator now, he's trying to sort out himself and his new role relating to normal humans around him. This just sounds so backwards to me. I thought the whole point of humans becoming Innovators was that they were becoming more "actualized" as human beings, reaching even greater potential, not just in physical and mental abilities, but emotionally as well and in their ability to communicate with others. But considering Setsuna's tragic and violent background, I guess it might make some sense that he would emotionally retreat into a shell until he sorts some things about, but it feels like the growth his character made through the series, which INCLUDED his becoming an Innovator and reaching out to others in a meaningful way, just got thrown out the window. I don't like it.

Everyone else is just "there," to fight the aliens and save the world. No new developments or character growth for the Celestial Being folks. However, one of the best elements in this movie is Graham Aker, who's finally given up the silly "Mr. Bushido" schtick and has gone back to being a kick-ass and even heroic pilot again, like we saw back in Season 1. Oh sure, he still would like to defeat Setsuna (and not the Gundam, as he explains to Feldt) for the sake of his ego, but it's not his sole driving purpose anymore. I was very happy to see this. Now why didn't we get this for him in Season 2, instead? Oh, and he had a fairly decent hero's death, giving Setsuna the opening he needed to do his Innovator telepathy communion thing and save the world.

Sumeragi and crew run the ship, Lockon Lyle and Allelujah and Marie/Soma fly Gundams and blow things up. Saji and Louise are around, and Louise has the painful and violent reactions to the presence of the ELSes, until she's locked away in an isolation shelter for the rest of the movie. Saji goes up to the orbital platform to help with defense doing, um... something. We see him once during the battle, playing with some little keypad control thing for a few seconds. And why is Louise still hospitalized TWO YEARS later? I thought she was getting better, not worse? I mean, the green GN particles during the final battle stuff brought her back from the dead, right?

Kati Mannequin commands the Federation fleet trying to defend the Earth Sphere in a desparate and hopeless situation. She does her job as best she can, and Patrick Colasour is still around, and yay, they're still married! A brief hilarious moment as they're lounging in Ribbons' old lair on the Celestial Being colony ship, as they're about to kiss, when Kati gets a call and rather violently shoves him away. I guess we're never going to see these two actually kiss. I did love Kati's line, "When I'm with you, I feel foolish for thinking about things so seriously." :D

So the new administration running the Federation government SEEMS to be doing alright, they don't lie to the public when the ELS disaster is looming (even though they DO still control the internet and media via Veda... why would Tieria allow this to continue?). But they do keep developing new and more powerful weapons and using Innovators as guinea pigs. I know two years isn't a whole lot of time to make much reform, but still... I'm left with a very uneasy feeling and a bit of a betrayal of the hope I felt at the end of the TV series. Particularly with regards to Veda and the CB colony ship. WHY has Tieiria allowed access to it by the Fed military? It posseses a Memento Mori type superweapon, Veda still controls the internet, the Fed military use it as a base, etc etc etc. This is NOT what I expected Veda/the ship to be used for after the TV series. I figured Tieria would make sure that the resources of Veda would only be used to help humanity grow and solve problems in constructive, non-military ways... not help the military keep developing faster and better ways to kill and destroy. *sigh*

Unfortunately, there are no new answers about Aeolia Schenberg's Jupiter exploration ship, the Europa, which makes a "comeback" of sorts in this movie. No new revelations about Purple Haro. An opportunity to answer lingering quesetions and address backstory plot points is wasted. :(

As for the ending, and the Marina/Setsuna scene in the epilogue, and the Gundam looking really weird and covered in flowers... what the heck is all that about? Setsuna communed with the ELSes, and for some reason, somehow... the giant ELS... turned into a giant space flower? Huh?! The Marina/Setsuna scene felt very much like evolved Dave Bowman/the Starchild visiting his dying mother in 2010. I did like the flash-forward scene of the deep space exploration ship Sumeragi getting ready to launch, and the flashback scene of younger Aeolia Schenberg speaking with some young man who would become the template for Ribbons, speaking about The Plan and Aeolia's desire for humans to use their intellect and try to understand one another.

And a bunch of random items and comments for the movie:

The whole Colony Corporation corruption/slave labor bit involving Marina and Shirin felt hollow and just tacked-on to give them a reason to make an appearance in the movie.

Why is Lyle wearing glasses now? Is he getting some eye trouble from using that sniper's scope a bit too much?

The "Celestial Being: The Movie" trailer was wacky and hilarious! And AXIS!!! Squee! :D

Why are all explosions in the 00-verse purple?

Allelujah (or rather, Hallelujah) is a darned good gymnast. :)

That physicist Mina (who stole Sumeragi's original hairstyle!) is the single most annoying slut character in all of Gundamdom. I feel sorry for Billy, regardless of him getting some action with Mina.

Speaking of Sumeragi's hair, her style is even SHORTER in the movie, but she's still a darned fine looking woman I wouldn't mind waking up to every morning. And Feldt is still cute as a button with her shorter hair as well. :)

I don't like most of the new Gundams, they're just revamps of the previous models but with really big kibble parts. The 00 QAN[T] isn't too bad, though, I actually kinda like it, especially its shield/sword bit things. Setsuna's black custom Flag he flies early the movie looks pretty spiffy, as do the Braves that Graham and his team use. I was also surprised to see the very cool Dynames back for one battle.

The Innovator Captain Descartes Shaman is a creep and it seemed like he was being set up to be a villain or at least a rival for our heroes, but sadly that never happens. His comment to himself about humans being an "inferior species" smacked too much of Ribbons-ism. Though I was pleased to see Kati order that he be treated according to his rank, rather than being the "guinea pig" he'd been since becoming an Innovator for the military. Unfortunately, he doesn't even meet the heroes, he just makes an early strike on the ELS fleet and gets killed.

It was nice to have a cameo from that reporter guy who worked with Katharon.

The freaky ELSes' absorbing/taking over the Fed ships and MSs reminds me of the Dezalgs' freaky tentacle machines attacking the ships and mecha in Megazone 23 Part 2. It's scary and visualized very well, and makes the ELSes' truly feel like an incredible (and enigmatic) threat.

Miliena's declaration of love to Tieria was hilarious. :D

What the heck is the Gundam Harute's "Marut" system? Allelujah activates it at one point, but I have no idea what it did.

The term "slash through to the future" gets real old real fast.

When Setsuna did his quantum system Newtype communion/telepathy thing inside the giant "mother" ELS, I kept waiting to hear him say, "My god, it's full of stars." :P

In summation... I still don't know what to think about this movie. The climax of the battle with the weird communion with the ELSes, the giant space flower, the Gundam back on Earth and covered in flowers with the ashen-gray Setsuna visiting blind old Marina... I'm certain there's a lot of symbolism and deep meaning and some explanations for all the weird stuff. I normally dig movies and stories that mess with my head, but this one went right over mine. There are some very minor, meaningless elements in this movie I enjoyed, but overall, A Wakening of the Trailblazer left me feeling confused and emotionally cold when I first watched it.

I'll probably be watching it again soon, to see if I can make any kind of sense out of it. I really, really want to understand this movie, in the hopes that I might actually LIKE it, and I could use some help. Chime in with your thoughts, those of you who've seen it! Help me out here! :)


As someone who watched this in the cinema, I would say that the action might be more enjoyable the second time since you wont be bothered trying to catch as much info in your head. I know I did and I had no access to a rewind button (and I LOVE the rewind button T_T).

Spoiler: show
Burke Rukes wrote:
So the new administration running the Federation government SEEMS to be doing alright, they don't lie to the public when the ELS disaster is looming (even though they DO still control the internet and media via Veda... why would Tieria allow this to continue?). But they do keep developing new and more powerful weapons and using Innovators as guinea pigs. I know two years isn't a whole lot of time to make much reform, but still... I'm left with a very uneasy feeling and a bit of a betrayal of the hope I felt at the end of the TV series. Particularly with regards to Veda and the CB colony ship. WHY has Tieiria allowed access to it by the Fed military? It posseses a Memento Mori type superweapon, Veda still controls the internet, the Fed military use it as a base, etc etc etc. This is NOT what I expected Veda/the ship to be used for after the TV series. I figured Tieria would make sure that the resources of Veda would only be used to help humanity grow and solve problems in constructive, non-military ways... not help the military keep developing faster and better ways to kill and destroy. *sigh*



-The current admin has had many anti military approaches. For one thing , they've downsized the army considerably just in 2 years. The sidematerials (specifically the Final Mechanics sourcebook) actually reveal they're unit counts for the final battle and they are absolutely pathetic, possibly even inferior to A-LAWS final battle units in S2. In the movie, I think one general also made a comment about the downsizing of the military policy adopted since the last admin makes it hard to prepare against a possible military defence of the ELS because their power is so much less.

-Umm........Tieria isnt "allowed" into anything. "He allows" people into things. The ESF are unaware that his there or he even controls Veda and make no mistake that he controls it for the most part even though the ESF physically controls the base; he lets them use it. Tieria also locks Federation out of some information according to the sidematerials. Also note that Tieria spent most of this time sleeping rather than doing stuff so the ESF are just left to do stuff.

Veda's network powers were shut down eventually though at a later date according to a sidestory and all information within it was declassified. If they just shut it down now instantaneously its probably not good since Veda has been helping to run the world for more than a hundred years and unintentional consequences might happen.

-Just because they use one colony ship as a military base does not mean anything. They may be downsizing the army but they still have an army and army still needs to do stuff. You can't just stop a global military complex in just two years, think of the job losses and a military is still very much needed for security in case things happen. The CB Colony Ship was at least made by the Innovators to be primarily a military complex afterall, so why not use it as such?

-Compared to the Memento Mori superlaser, the CB colony Ships's 80M GN Laser (as is what its called) is nothing. Its attack radius is far smaller than the Memento Mori and unlike the three MMs it was not designed to attack any point in the globe (the three MMs were positioned separately and strategically so they can do just that according to one of the S2 Novels)

-The ESF is a democracy and democracies may have different points of views and different factions; especially when you take things to the parliamentary level rather than executive level. As seen in the parliament scene, they were two parliamentary that was very happy that the GN-XIV will get a chance to showcase itself; I say because its possible they might actually have connections to people who have interest in this sector (IE private contractors of some sort; I assure you military is a big industry even if the government appears to develope the machines themselves). I say the fact that weapons are being developed shows that the very aspect of weapons development is not rooted out, especially considering the windfall of technology they got from the Innovators. This sort of culture and elements have been in humanity........since forever and considering its been on drugs for the past four years pre S2, its not too surprising its still there. As I've mentioned, the fact that they're downsizing the armies is a significant one, so its shows that humanity is starting to change or at least reversing what Ribbons did in 4 years time but at the same time not totally changed off its old ways. The ESF is for all intents and purposes a work in progress rather than a completed work.

-Actually, they don't control the media as tightly as far as I know, its far freer than it was before. Oh, Veda is used still for stuff but Veda has been functioning and doing these sort of things for more than a hundred years prior to S1.

-The current ESF government is very pacifist. In fact, one of the reasons why some problems like the colony worker's being happen is because the current admin takes a very non interventionist approach because the last admin took those steps too far so its more of a reaction on the opposite direction.

This is also one of the reasons why CB still does some combat interventions for stabilization purposes when the ESF is far less interventionist than before; which interferes in just about anything. Its usually for small stuff though, like there was this one group mentioned in a 00V Senki chapter who wanted to start a private militia and was actually using stealing some energy from the Solar Energy Network before CB destroyed their base. The incident prompted the ESF to investigate said bas and probably shut it down.

Most incidents are rather small and minor though and the world is for the most part stable.

-According to 00N, by 2364 no mobile suits exists within humanity at all (the Sakibure is officially classified as a workloader) and warfare is a thing of the past. so yeah, the pacifist thing was eventually achieved.

Burke Rukes wrote:
Miliena's declaration of love to Tieria was hilarious. :D


Oh, when this happened in the cinema.............IT WAS CHAOS!!!!!! I even clapped my hand because I like them as a pairing even before this.

Burke Rukes wrote:
His comment to himself about humans being an "inferior species" smacked too much of Ribbons-ism.


What I liked about this is that it shows that simply becoming an Innovator is not enough, you need to actually be a "good guy" to put it in super simplified terms in order to make it work and that the real change would come from the empathy connection that comes with it. I say that Innovation's quantum brainwave mechanism in a big network is the right way to go in order to ensure a cohesive and non combative humanity in the future (combined with the infinite energy source and politically unity that is) but it would likely involve just more simply "just" becoming an Innovator. As more Innovator generation comes and as humanity slow drifts far away from the age of warfare, I say humanity will slowly in general become better assuming its handled right that is but the way I see it its more than just becoming an Innovator biologically. Setsuna just happens to coincide with both around the same time because he truly understood the communication part when he experienced it.

Because Tieria's Monologue given alongside the S2 Final DVD volume has Tieria mentioning that Innovation must be implemented carefully and in many generations because a potential conflict between the Innovated and the non Innovated might arise if handled too quickly, so its a delicate process.

*sigh*
Still I had images of 00 Qan(T) and Gadelaza duking it out in my mind too. Such good wet dreams of mechaporn fantasy......

Also would like to point out that Ribbons does not believe Innovation in Aeolia's method is not going to work and that humanity's emphathy is not enough to wield them together and that you need to take and dominate their will by force (probably like how he did to Louise and Anew when he mind controlled them; he also said he wanted Louise to be the first "Innovator among humans" which suggests she's the prototype for such things) for the creation of a new better humanity. I believe Descartes is one example of the importance in the general "goodness" of humanity being important and how Ribbons has a decent point of view on the possible failures of "Innovation to become a better understanding society" as Aeolia described it; even if Ribbons compared to Aeolia (as far as future 00 concerned is anyways) is ultimately wrong and that the general goodness of humanity can prevail once the barriers are lifted and changes in society happen.

Burke Rukes wrote:
I don't like most of the new Gundams, they're just revamps of the previous models but with really big kibble parts


In universe wise, this relates to CB's material crisis. CB to put it in simple terms is quite broke, because most of the materials they've (referring to the Fereshte faction who did this 00F) salvaged from some of their material bases in S1 prior to the UN destroying them all. This was quite a big catch and it lasted them mostly throughout S2, but they were running low post S2 however.

Mizushima commented that Zabanya and Harute are an upgraded version of their predecessor's frame design so they're technological progression is less. To compensate, he mentioned that they were "given stronger weapons" instead. I suspect he means their more heavy nature. Notice that compared to Cherudim and Arios' basic form that these two were already super loaded?

The reason on why they can't develop these two as much as they would like is because they're running low on resources so they focus their efforts and resources mostly on Qan(T) who is designed from the groundup according to Mizushima.

Burke Rukes wrote:
That physicist Mina (who stole Sumeragi's original hairstyle!) is the single most annoying slut character in all of Gundamdom. I feel sorry for Billy, regardless of him getting some action with Mina.


I agree but at the same time as someone who've watched this at an actual cinema full of 00 fans on the same day as the debut and who've watched this at home, I can understand why she's there. At least, in my experience she greatly enhances the mood of the larger audiences. She's just there to be funny and put Billy in ankward situations; not to mention an obvious fanservice because Nena is well liked. And at least in my crowd, it worked. Spectacularly, my showing loved her scenes and we laughed really hard.

At home, I felt none of that so I was irritated for her. Still, I remember the good laughs the first time.


Burke Rukes wrote:
As for the ending, and the Marina/Setsuna scene in the epilogue, and the Gundam looking really weird and covered in flowers... what the heck is all that about? Setsuna communed with the ELSes, and for some reason, somehow... the giant ELS... turned into a giant space flower?


The flower is Setsuna's personal symbol for peace the whole series. Its been there ever since the first episode and have subtle appearences. A Gundam covered in flowers is a Gundam for peace, which is Setsuna's ultimate symbolism for it. When he finally got through the ELS and made them understand, they transformed into this to show him and them their intentions and of course a sort of a peace offering.

As for the flower suit, 00N compilation volume later reveals that it actually looked like this, just that during the scene its shell was imitating the flowers. That suit is called ELS Qan(T). Its also a reminiscent of the final scene at the end of S2's second Ending song, where 00 Gundam was covered in flowers.

Even though I understand the symbolism, I will say this though that I don't like the space flower thing either.

Burke Rukes wrote:
This just sounds so backwards to me. I thought the whole point of humans becoming Innovators was that they were becoming more "actualized" as human beings, reaching even greater potential, not just in physical and mental abilities, but emotionally as well and in their ability to communicate with others. But considering Setsuna's tragic and violent background, I guess it might make some sense that he would emotionally retreat into a shell until he sorts some things about, but it feels like the growth his character made through the series, which INCLUDED his becoming an Innovator and reaching out to others in a meaningful way, just got thrown out the window. I don't like it.


But the thing is, he's pretty much one of the few Innovators out there surrounded by new powers he is not familiar with and now he's surrounded by people who are now very unlike him. Sure it feels a bit backwards but progress to becoming a better thing is not always smooth. You will have moments in doubt, moments where you feel a bit troubled. Take into account that Setsuna's change into one was very fast, you'll more likely feel the more mundane changes after all the glory hot blooded stuff is over rather than before. The ESF made it a priority to create an institution for Innovators because they feared that people with their new ability and powers will not cope with it well and that its better for them to be taught more control and discipline and maybe with others who are like yourself rather than screaming in a room alone saying "WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING TO ME!!!!??". He's just having a temporary rough patch at the moment, and just because you're an Innovator doesnt mean you can understand every better at all times especially in a society where most people are not.

But the most important thing is, even if he became a bit more broody than at the end of S2 (I say, its more of a temporary thing; like depression which you can experience "patches" in) at this point in time he ultimately became the understanding person when it mattered. He subconsciously felt the ELS's true intentions from the very beginning (which was to understand and become friends with humanity) and risked his neck to communicate with them and made them come to an understanding even though it almost led to his death and at that point there was little to indicate otherwise their real intentions are.

Burke Rukes wrote:
And why is Louise still hospitalized TWO YEARS later? I thought she was getting better, not worse? I mean, the green GN particles during the final battle stuff brought her back from the dead, right?


That was probably a stop-gap measure that saved her from the brink of death. Even if you are getting better, does not mean you don't nee treatment while you're recovering.

Burke Rukes wrote:
Unfortunately, there are no new answers about Aeolia Schenberg's Jupiter exploration ship, the Europa, which makes a "comeback" of sorts in this movie. No new revelations about Purple Haro. An opportunity to answer lingering quesetions and address backstory plot points is wasted. :(


The thing is, 00 addresses a lot of its backstory in sidematerials. The Europa's story can be summarised by this text from S1 Novel 2; this happened at the end of the mission:

S1 Novel 2 Prologue wrote:
Prologue

At last, it was complete. That great man had postulated the fundamental theories for it one hundred thirty years ago - a long, long time. But it was one hundred years ahead of humanity's most cutting-edge technology, and when the machines to hold them were complete, that would give them another hundred years of advantage.

Technology two hundred years beyond anything mankind currently possessed was a crucial, indispensable element of their plan. They had traveled six hundred thirty million kilometers from Earth to gain the technology in order to create this. But that wasn't all. Their work here had taken them twenty years. When he volunteered for the project, he'd been thirty; he was over sixty now. The mission he'd spent half - no - his entire life on had finished. Of the comrades who had come with him, fewer than a third remained. Some had died during experiments and manufacturing accidents, and others had lost their lives to the loneliness of space's vast depths. From the start, all these sacrifices had been predicted. And the purpose of those lives is now about to be fulfilled.

The man started the five cylindrical systems before him. Four task remained. He loaded the five cylinders into unmanned containers and launched them into orbits preloaded into computers. Should someone receive them, the world would change forever. The man had no way of knowing if anyone would, but he didn't care. They had finally done it and completed their assigned task.

Watching the containers disappear into space, the man then commenced his second task, a special mission, known only to him. He approached his companions, who were celebrating the project's completion. They ran up to him, hugging him, cheering and toasting, opening bottles of champagne saved for years, with everyone laughing and enjoying themselves.

"Thank you all so much," he said under his breath. He then took out the gun held behind his back, aimed, and shot them all. He fired again and again, with no hesitation, each shot striking a comrade through the heart. Among them were his best friends and women he had once loved. But still, he continued to pull the trigger. He didn't ask for forgiveness; this action was simply another part of the immense plan.

When he was the only one left alive aboard the ship, he began destroying all onboard data. He wiped all computer databases, gathered every piece of paper, even the smallest memo, and ejected all of it from the ship. Once it had vanished into the high-gravity clouds, no one would ever recover it. Even God would be unable to retrieve it.

And finally, his fourth and final assignment. At the main bridge, he punched a code, known only to himself, into the main system. All the monitors on the bridge turned red, and a countdown began. The man turned to look at the Jovian scenery outside. Without Jupiter's high-gravity environment, completing the project would have been impossible. He rendered his thanks to the massive planet.

In the last seconds of his life, one last question entered his mind. What was the name of the organization he had been working for? Oh, that was it: Celestial Being. And the name for the machines that would carry the things they'd created? Oh. Yes, right: Gundams.

The mobile weapons, Gundams, the divine masters of the revolution. They would herald the new age the great man sought, and the particles they gave off would lead humanity to a revolution.

A small light flashed in a corner of Jupiter.

No one ever saw it.

The plan continued.



lol that dude missed the Purple Haro. IDIOT!!!! Oh well, I reckon it was a really big ship.

The Purple Haro was recovered by the Corner Faction who used it in order to make Original Drive, but making one was impossible without the TD Blanket that served as its core and Jupiter environment was needed for that so they got creative and settled for the inferior but more mass producable Tau Drives; which can be made anywhere.

==============================

I want to talk more about the ELS, its the best aspect of the movie in my opinion (and I'm not just refering to the action stuff) and the problems in misunderstanding that can lead conflict in 00 in my opinion was best done here. Trans-Am Burst in S2 didn't do it that well for me, except Andrei and Soma's scene. I'm a bit busy with real life stuff at the moment, so we'll see.


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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:59 am 
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Cardboard Leo Ace

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@Burke and Chris: Ah, okay, you're both right of course. After watching the Japanese and English trailers too, I'm actually now really itching to watch it anyway. Perhaps this afternoon? ^_^


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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:13 pm 
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Lackey GM Pilot

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Okay, I'm back for round 2 on discussing the Gundam 00 movie. I read that horrible, horrible "review" on Anime News Network, I listened to episode 70 of Gundamn! with their movie review this morning, and I just finished a much more "relaxed" 2nd viewing of the movie this afternoon. I had a much better idea of what to expect and think about on this viewing... and to sum up my opinion for everyone here, without giving away any spoilers, I'll just say this:

You know how a REALLY good movie or TV show or book or whatever improves your opinion, and you find more depth and layers and aspects to enjoy, upon repeated viewings or whatever? This movie is like that. My 1st viewing, I'll admit, was late in the evening, and I probably wasn't as alert as I should have been. While expecting the whole alien angle from the get-go, I tried to go into it without any expectations, but my brain got overwhelmed with all the crazy combat and eye candy, and I think the ending blew my mind just a little TOO much, hence my initial confused and cold reaction. But the 2nd viewing... wow! A VERY enjoyable experience!

Before I get into spoilerish stuff, I won't retract or apologize for my first review post earlier on the movie, because it was my honest opinion and reaction. But I'm going to ask any of you who haven't seen the movie yet and are curious about it, PLEASE don't let my initial reaction turn you off from giving this film a chance. I think my "mistake" on my 1st viewing is that I was a little TOO busy trying to absorb details, making mental notes (and typing notes as well) while watching it. The details are VERY important, yes, and you should pay attention to them, but don't get buried in them. When a question comes up for you, accept the question, but don't worry about the answers just yet... and instead of trying to analyze the movie on the fly, just "let the movie be" and take it for what it is, in the moment. I know what I'm saying is vague and wishy-washy, and I honestly don't know how to word it any clearer. Words are failing me right now (and as I type this, I find it amusing, since communication and the ability for people to understand each other is at the heart of the whole 00 saga).

But seriously... give this movie a chance. After this 2nd viewing, I REALLY enjoy this movie very much. It's a wonderful piece of work, and with repeated viewings over the years, I think it'll age like fine wine. And, because comparisons to other Gundam productions are inevitable in this fandom, I'll say that, while it's no Char's Counterattack (which, as I've stated previously, I think is the closest to "perfection" of any Gundam production to date), in terms of overall quality and enjoyment, I think it comes pretty close.

Alright, that monologue is out of the way. To coin a phrase from the movie, it's time to slash through to the spoilers! :D

Spoiler: show
For this 2nd round review, I'm not going to go into too many plot details, since I covered most of the important stuff in my 1st review, but I do still have a lot of lingering questions in regards to the movie itself and it's place in the "history" of the 00-verse, as well as a theory or two.

I gotta say, the 2nd viewing made me realize how great the setup, the buildup, the pacing of this film is. From starting us off with some mysterious happenings at Jupiter, then the action-packed and hilarious "Celestial Being: The Movie" bit, followed by some nice, quiet scenes with Saji & Louise, and Marina & Shirin. The Marina & Shirin shuttle scene and the brief battle around it helps build up the action and tension nicely, cranking it up JUST a bit, as the movie's plot unfolds. The mysterious return and shoot-down of the Europa (or Europa ELS copy), the missing fragments and the mysterious unmanned machines suddenly doing crazy stuff, getting people hurt and killed, the brain-splitting reactions of Innovators and quantum brainwave-using people... the Ribbons ELS copy and the creepy metal crystals... just ALL the buildup, from nice quiet "breather" scenes, to growing tension and mystery, and scariness and dread, leading up to the inevitable alien "invasion" and the fantastic battles... and ending with the fantastic "happily ever after" ending, it's all just built up and paced so WELL! I never felt bored, and I never felt rushed. :)

So I have one quibble about the plot, or maybe I'm mis-understanding something. I have to ask, why does the Colony Corporation have ONE plan to kill Shirin and Marina on their inspection shuttle with GN-X mobile suits, which fails when Setsuna shows up in his Flag and shoots them down... and then have a BACKUP plan to kill them, with their guy on the shuttle with the gun, which also fails when Lyle shoots him. Why have your PRIMARY kill team kill the BACKUP kill team to start with? This seems backwards to me. Or was the Colony Corporation chaperone guy with the gun willing to throw away his life, maybe for a big death benefit bonus for his family (by the way, the late, great George Carlin said that "death benefits" is an oxymoron :P ), if the MSs failed to kill the shuttle with him, Marina and Shirin on it? This whole setup seems very poorly thought out.

I find it fascinating and quite insightful of certain characters in the movie, particularly Billy and (believe it nor not) Mina, and during the "what do we do" meeting on the Ptolemaois, Allelujah and Marie, all saying that the ELSes aren't actually attacking but trying to communicate with humans. And yet, the general reaction of MOST people, from angry Federation assembly members to certain individuals like Lyle, can only see the unintentional harm that was done, view it as an attack, and respond with violence, rather than even TRYING to find some avenue of communication, as Setsuna tries to do. Even coulda-been-a-villain Innovator pilot Shaman Descartes points out his intuition that the altered Jovian radio waves are a "cry," and yet, nobody follows up on this. I don't think this is a failure of the plot or bad writing, I think this is intentional that, because of the desparate situation and young, still-growing humanity's "fight or flight" reaction to things, any follow-up to investigate the radio waves, or try to communicate with the ELSes (aside from Setsuna's efforts) aren't even considered. If this was intentional, I think it's brilliant, demonstrating how naive humanity is and that it still has a LOT of growing up to do.

Billy certainly has the smarts to try to solve this mystery, but frankly, I don't there was enough time, with his own resources. Thankfully Tieria comes up with a solution, with himself and Veda serving as a go-between link between Setsuna and the ELSes. Though, why Veda/Tieria couldn't have informed the Federation military and government about this, I don't know. This goes back to one of my complaints from my first review (which still stands), about why the Federation is given the run of most of the Celestial Being colony ship and access to Veda, even though Tieria is still doing his own things there as well (building Gundams, rolling out plans for the new ultra high-density GN reactor and 00 QAN[T], making himself new bodies, etc). I find Veda's "role" in relation to the Federation very confusing right now, and some explanation or good theories would be welcome.

Now that some of you have pointed out that Mina is supposed to be a "replacement" for Nena Trinity... I kinda see that now. However, I think her slutty fan-servicy behavior is both annoying and unfortunately distracts from the useful expositional dialogue she gives. So she wasn't ENTIRELY useless, but I wish she could've been a more mature character.

I had some thoughts about Setsuna's confusion through most of the movie, his inability to put the attempted ELS communication into words, and his emotional "retreat into a shell" he's in through the movie, which has Feldt all worried about him. During the "what do we do now" meeting on the Ptolemy, Feldt asks Setsuna what they should do, and he says he doesn't know. Having watched the series finale just a few days ago as well, this brought a "what if" situation to mind. What if... Veda's original selection for the Exia pilot had been in Setsuna's shoes, rather than Setsuna himself? We know Ribbons manipulated Veda into choosing Setsuna as the Exia's Meister instead, and considering Setsuna's messed-up and very violent childhood and background, it's really no wonder that Setsuna has such a hard time with communication. He SENSES that the ELSes are trying to tell him something, but he can't grasp it. I wonder if Veda's original intended Exia Meister had been there, would that person have had the mental faculties to reach an understanding better and faster? But then... if what's said about Aeolia's plan is correct, CB wasn't even supposed to be around anymore, maybe this is a non-issue? (Though I personally doubt this, as he gave the CB-equipped Gundams their own trump cards like the Trans-Am and other stuff which Veda didn't even know about - Aeolia had it ALL worked out, even CB's surviving a purge by A-LAWS.)

I still feel like Shaman Descartes maybe should have had a bigger role in the story, but maybe his only real purposes were to show us how dangerous the ELS threat was, and to demonstrate how the government/military were reacting to more Innovators emerging in human society. I'm sure many humans fear the Innovators, and thus, Shaman is treated like a guinea pig, which would naturally lead to his briefly hinted despising of normal humans as an "inferior species." I'm also intrigued by his believing the altered Jovian radio waves are a "cry." Once again, it's too bad this little clue was pointed out, but nobody in the Fed military/government followed up on it. Billy was on the right path, but the only distance he could get with it was theorizing (and doing the horizontal hip shuffle with Mina).

I'm a little confused about the origins of the 00 QAN[T]. When we first see it in the beginning of the movie (SOOO love the nod to Nu Gundam/CCA with the opening title :P ), I was under the impression from the dialogue that the new ultra high-density GN reactors, and the 00 QAN[T] itself, were brand-new designs whipped up by Linda and Ian, at the request of Setsuna. But later in the movie, we hear that the data (plans?) for the 00 QAN[T] were in Veda. So was the 00 QAN[T] also part of Aeolia's plan (and like the other Gundams, already designed?), and such plans only recently discovered in or revealed by Veda to CB?

Alright, a few questions about the ELSes themselves. I'm not too clear on this, but were the ELSes camped out at Jupiter ALL this time, for centuries, going back to before the Europa mission? And could the loss of the Europa and death of its crew (including an earlier model of Ribbons-type Innovator) have been the results of an accidental early contact with the ELSs hiding inside Jupiter? And yet, the Corner faction (for lack of a better name) came by decades later, found the derelict Europa and Purple Haro - would Purple Haro have been a witness to a possible attempted communication/"attack" by the ELSs decades before? There's still SO MUCH backstory and history regarding Jupiter that we haven't learned from both seasons and the movie. (Oh, and if it were me, I'd have called the ship the Discovery, and given the audience another homage to 2001. :P )

Did the giant "mother" ELS turn into the giant space flower? We don't see the flower actually appear, it happens off-screen and we see the characters reacting to it, but it's there, and the big mama ELS seems to be gone, with the bazillions of "missile" ELSes swarming to the giant space flower. If that's the case, and we still see it around, many years later as the Sumeragi exploration ship is about to launch... what is it? Is it still an ELS, but just in a different form? Hanging out in the Earth Sphere, visited by humans (we see LOTS of continuous green GN particle drives/trails between Earth, the moon and the giant space flower during this scene), maybe humans now have the widespread ability to communicate with the ELSes now? A cultural exchange, perhaps? I love the symbolism of the flower, but the skeptical/amateur scientist in me has to know WHAT it is. :P

And speaking of Innovator/human/ELS communication... on the Sumeragi ship, we see that schoolgirl from early in the movie, who got half her body infected/converted/abosrbed into ELS crystal, is back to having a normal body, except that half of her body has that grey metallic color. And when Setsuna comes to visit blind old Marina, he's completely that same grey metallic color, as well. Does this mean... that not only as more and more humans evolve or are modified into becoming Innovators, that we're also seeing, perhaps, Innovator/ELS hybrids? I can't help but ponder this possibility. And what about the Gundam we see in the closing shot - is the 00 QAN[T] now also a "hybrid" human/ELS machine, as we see it spontaneously grow flowers all over its body, perhaps possessing an ELS-like shapeshifting ability now?


I'm left with a lot of burning questions... but sometimes, while I desire the answers... I think it's okay if I don't get them. This movie has sparked feelings in me of imagination and wonder and hope, and that's why I think A Wakening of the Trailblazer is a beautiful work of art... now that I've finally wrapped my head around it. :P

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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:13 am 
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Newtype Emo Guy

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Ribbons seems to only help setsuna get a foot in, he still has to pass some tests before veda deem him worthy. The way I interpret Aeolia’s plan is that CB is supposed to be destroyed. CB only got trans-am and other stuff only because Alejandro shot Aeolia’s body. All these data will likely not be revealed to CB if he didn’t do it.

About innovades, i believe the term 1st appeared in 00P chapter 7 , which should be published while 00 S1 is running. The inital innovades are like Tiera in the movie, they do not possess a human body, only later batches did.

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Quote:
So was the 00 QAN[T] also part of Aeolia's plan (and like the other Gundams, already designed?), and such plans only recently discovered in or revealed by Veda to CB?


00Q is a recent design.

Quote:
but were the ELSes camped out at Jupiter ALL this time, for centuries, going back to before the Europa mission?


The ELS did not camp at Jupiter. What happen is that after ELS detected Jupiter, an advance force is sent to check the planet out. While the advance force is at jupiter, it senses quantum brainwave from earth. It then hails the large ELS after confirming there is life on earth. The large ELS then teleported itself into jupiter (hence the scene where the surrounding stuff are sucked towards jupiter) and exit from the red spot.

Quote:
maybe humans now have the widespread ability to communicate with the ELSes now?


Only innovators can communicate with ELS.

Quote:
we see that schoolgirl from early in the movie, who got half her body infected/converted/abosrbed into ELS crystal, is back to having a normal body, except that half of her body has that grey metallic color. And when Setsuna comes to visit blind old Marina, he's completely that same grey metallic color, as well. Does this mean... that not only as more and more humans evolve or are modified into becoming Innovators, that we're also seeing, perhaps, Innovator/ELS hybrids? I can't help but ponder this possibility. And what about the Gundam we see in the closing shot - is the 00 QAN[T] now also a "hybrid" human/ELS machine, as we see it spontaneously grow flowers all over its body, perhaps possessing an ELS-like shapeshifting ability now?


The ELS/innovator hybrid seems to be limited to those who survived the ELS contact/fusion (like the girl). Many of those that came into contact with ELS died as they rejected the fusion with ELS. Those ELS that fuse with humans who have innovator factors go into hibernation. They only awake after setsuna make contact. As for half of her body becoming metallic, it is basically ELS taking over and mimicking human cells, right down to the chemical reactions in normal cells. Yap, 00Q is now also a ELS hybrid but I don’t think it has the shape shifting ability, which seems to be limited to the ‘pure’ ELS.


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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:37 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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Overall, I liked the movie. It has all the action I love (Lyle kicked lots of ass), and an intersting plot as well. I had a few complaints about the movie, some of which I understand better now, but others that I still shake my head at (like Descartes Shaman). However, my biggest gripe with this movie that no one else seems to point out is that
Spoiler: show
it tottally rips off the storyline of Macross Frontier as concerned with the Vajra. I think it's too much of a coincidence that both Gundam and Macross release movies in the same year featuring aliens of a hive mentallity that meet with and cannot communicate with humans, leading to violence and conflict.


By the way Burke, if you have not seen it already, you should try watching Macross Frontier. It's the best Macross has to offer since SDF Macross.


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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:57 pm 
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Bald Wizard
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You can hardly say the 00 movie is ripping of Frontier, because stories about humans having wars with aliens they can't communicate with are old. You could easily argue that Frontier ripped off Ender's Game, and I'm sure Ender's Game probably copied it from somewhere else.

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