Anime Review: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing 00 (I am GUNDAM!)

Produced by Sunrise, 2007. Licensed by Bandai Entertainment.

Summary

In the 24th century, earth’s fossil fuels have been consumed. Provided by three orbital elevators that are anchored to the Earth, solar power is the main source of energy. The world is split in three factions: the Union, the Human Reform League, and the AEU, whose common energy reliance perpetuates a continuous arms race. As war erupts, an independent organization called Celestial Being appears. Equipped with powerful mobile suit Gundams, they fight in order to prevent and eradicate the existence of war. 50 episodes. TV-13.

Review

Mobile Suit Gundam 00, is the eleventh incarnation of Sunrise‘s long-running Gundam franchise, and consists of two seasons. It is the first Gundam series to be animated in HD widescreen, also the first Gundam to be set in a non-fiction A.D. timeline. It aired in Japan from October 2007-March 2009.

Unlike Gundam SEED, the pace of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 begins at full throttle; we see the fragile peace of the world start to crumble. Celestial Being is a powerful organization intent on ending war forever with the help of their Gundam meisters. Gundam 00 has epic battles, tense confrontations, and a few shonen clichés that may seem predictable to anime cynics.

While the futuristic setting and political games are carefully crafted, the speed at which this show begins causes underdeveloped characters. Aside from their roles with Celestial Being, not many details of their lives are given. Gundam 00 prefers bursts of mission-oriented action to the planned escalation of Seed. There is no human spirit, and the main Gundam meister Setsuna remains cold & unlikeable throughout most of season 1. With no empathy anchor, Gundam 00 is difficult to enjoy apart from a purely cerebral or aesthetic level.

As season 2 begins, The new global government decides to take action against Celestial Being, while the main characters keep up their goal of eliminating war. The ending action scenes, explosive and plentiful, are finally able to create some tension and the puppet pilots get some long-awaited character development. For example, Setsuna matures, and seems less robot-like. Gundam 00 does manage to pull itself together, and delivers a decent ending.

To Gundam 00’s credit, the animation quality is extraordinary, and has some of the most appealing mecha fight scenes yet. Gundam 00 proves that the franchise may yet be financially viable, but that Sunrise is unwilling to escape the mold of past Gundam series. While an attractive and intelligent series, Gundam 00 was somewhat lifeless and unoriginal. If this is your first exposure to Gundam (or Shonen in general) you may find this enjoyable. Otherwise, it’s…ok.

Meet the Gundam Meisters. From left: Lockon Stratos, Allelujah Haptism, Setsuna F. Seiei, Tieria Erde.

Genre: Action, Drama, Gundam, Mecha, Military, Science-Fiction

Age Rating: Teenage and above (may contain bloody violence / bad language / nudity)

No. of Episodes: 50 episodes

About Anne's Anime Blog

I am an astronomical anime fan. I enjoy watching it, collecting figures & merchandise, assembling models, and attending conventions. California burrito glutton. Let's be friends:)

Posted on April 27, 2012, in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. If the characters are undeveloped, I’d put more weight into the large cast rather than the pace of the series. The overarching plot moves forward at a comfortable pace, I think, but it may feel a bit rushed due toe the number of different perspectives that the series tries to portray the conflict through: Earth-military (Soma, Sergei — splinters in Series 2), Celestial Being (The individual meisters, plus supporting crew), A-Laws, Innovators …

    I think it just tried to push for too grand a scope. But that’s how Sunrise tends to roll, anyway. I personally thought the character development was fine, leaving origination questions unanswered is okay in my book unless it’s something pivotal, which it didn’t seem to be aside from Soma and Allelujah.

    Did you see the Gundam 00 movie?

  2. I haven’t seen it yet, either — there’s no legal stream for it from what I know, and I’m usually not so keen on buying anime movies on disc. I hear it concludes the series pretty handily, though.

  3. This series did get better in the second half. I think I liked Gundam Seed a lot better. The characters were drawn cool.

  4. Hi hi! I’m currently watching the movie, I just need to conclude Gundam 00 properly (^^)
    Love your blog btw, just want to know what you’ll be reviewing next? I’m watching La storia della Arcana Famiglia as well as the movie for 00. I have no idea what I should watch next though so maybe you could reommend something? I have a long list of stuff to watch already but who cares xD keep up the good work!

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