ZERO :: the Fool (annwyd) wrote,
ZERO :: the Fool
annwyd

Gundam 00, episodes 16-20

The length on my commentary for episode 20 here? That's about the average length of what my single-episode commentaries will be when the second season starts airing.

Episode 16
--I thought this at the end of the last episode, too, but I'll say it here: Setsuna going "Gundam...Gundam...Gun...dam...Gundam!" is, er, well. Yeah.
--Nena's Gundam is damned cool, though.
--Huh, so the Trinity kids are supposed to be with Celestial Being?
--Man, Nena's adorable. I kind of wish I hadn't been spoiled for her being crazy and evil.
--Oh, I was looking forward to seeing Soma's reaction to Allelujah's destruction of the supersoldier facility. Obviously they're not going to get into it in detail now--needs moar Trinity badass--but I hope she gets to confront him about it at some point.
--Awww, Graham looks like he's upset that Gundam cheated on him by having...more Gundams.
--Huh, so at least the Ptolemaios crew doesn't know of the Trinity Meisters...which suggests that there's another arm of Celestial Being? Interesting.
--Heh, Tieria seems more upset that something different from Veda's plans appeared than, oh, relieved that he got rescued.
--Now that's an interesting Mysterious High Council Room. They represent themselves with famous paintings? Oh, and other objets d'art, apparently.
--Oh no, the Mysterious High Council's secret weapon is the recap.
--Should only be five functional solar furnaces? Is one for Ptolemaios or for an as-yet-unrevealed fifth Gundam?
--I'm not sure whether I missed something, but the way they've talked about Veda is...awfully vague. I didn't even realize it was a supercomputer until asterphage mentioned it to me a few episodes back, and even now it's hard to tell just how much decision-making power they give it.

Episode 17
--Eighty years ago? Well, uh, that's certainly an interesting place to start an episode in the middle of a series.
--What the--how did some mysterious ship with Haros get all the way out to Jupiter?
--That Haro's the same color as Nena's Haro, too. I wonder if that's relevant?
--Sumeragi commenting on how young the Trinity kids are when Setsuna is a Gundam Meister is, uh, a bit hypocritical. But I guess there's a difference between letting one kid be a Meister in a group of four young adults and having an entire trio composed of teenagers.
--And Nena promptly hits on Setsuna because she liked his fighting style. Heh. You'd have your work cut out for you even if you weren't crazy, Nena.
--Hee, she goes right on to kiss him! We're probably supposed to hate her for that, but I think it's pretty funny.
--...yeah, their crazy gets revealed pretty fast.
--Even their Haro is mean and crazy. That would be overkill if it weren't funny as hell.
--I love how quickly they establish that the Trinity kids and their Haro are Bad News without ever saying it outright.
--Tieria has the good judgment to withdraw from a social situation he can't handle? That's almost surprising!
--Haha, there's the "he'd be really hot if he were a girl" comment.
--And Nena promptly goes into e_e mode when she doesn't get what she wants. She's like Fllay without sanity brakes.
--If Johann were really that sorry for Michael's aggressiveness and total lack of tact, I doubt he'd let him mouth off quite so much.
--Awww, I actually feel sorry for Haro.
--Yeah, uh, I can see why people ship Michael/Nena.
--Hee. Louise wants so much more drama in her relationship with Saji than there actually is.
--Oh, so the Gundams were created in Jupiter? Wacky.
--How does Eifman jump from "that mission to Jupiter helped create the Gundams" to "Schenberg's real motive isn't eradicating war"? Want more information now!
--...and I'm not going to get it, because unsurprisingly, the guy who's Figured It Out has to die before he can spoil the audience. I wonder if that trope is on TVTropes?
--Michael really digs both his siblings, doesn't he. Although perhaps Nena in a more, er, "jealous of potential boyfriends" way.
--The Fangs are pretty cool weapons, I must admit.
--Graham actually showing sympathy and grief over the loss of the Professor and one of his pilots, not to mention disappointment in himself for failing as a commander, is a new side of his character--before he seemed like just a cocky Gundam-obsessed bastard. Not that I didn't love him that way.
--...although he still frames it in terms of his own pride. He did seem to be genuinely upset for a bit there, though, in a way that wasn't entirely about himself.
--Awww, this "kiss me goodbye" thing is actually a cute scene between Saji and Louise. You can actually see why they got together--they each know that the other is annoying and a little weird, but they find those flaws endearing most of the time.

Episode 18
--The ethical issues raised by the Trinity kids are interesting. They seem like crazy villains, and they kind of are, but really they're just taking Celestial Being's apparently noble philosophy to its natural extreme. If you're going to eradicate war by waging war, why not just go around blowing up all military stuff everywhere? Well, because that would be cruel and unfair and cause lots of collateral damage...but it's only different than what the other Meisters are doing by degree, not kind.
--I also notice that they're showing the faces of the people killed a lot more with the Thrones than with the other Gundams.
--Random shot of Ribbons! Too bad I was semi-spoiled by TVTropes (that's what I get for browsing it too much). But come on. How do they expect us to take a character named Ribbons seriously?
--Huh, Graham is actually at the grave of the guy who died last episode. Now that's new.
--I have to say...I totally get what they're trying to do with the Trinity kids, like I said a few lines back, and I even like it in principle. But the fact that one of the ways they're going about it is by humanizing their victims, while leaving the victims of the other Meisters faceless? That's kind of uncomfortable, and it actually obfuscates what it seems like the purpose is: to show that the aims of Celestial Being taken to an extreme are ugly and untenable. It's making it seem like what the Trinities are doing is completely different rather than just more.
--How does Kinue get from Tokyo to the Southern US on such short notice? Well, I guess her job is funding her search, and she could just hop on a super-fast futuristic plane.
--Kinue telling this guy to keep vital military information secret is...kind of dubious.
--...okay, Nena going after a random wedding party is kind of gratuitous. We get that they're the villains. This is definitely a Kick the Dog moment. TVTropes has it listed as Rape the Dog instead, which I'm not so sure about, but...
--Johann really doesn't do a good job of disciplining his siblings at all.
--I know that Billy/Sumeragi and Graham/Gundam is the canon, but damn, Billy and Graham have fun "partners" chemistry.
--Aww, Saji flying across the world and hurtling into the hospital to see Louise is pretty sweet.
--Uh, wow. The way they play out the Tragedy Of War in this one little story of a girl losing her hand and her family is pretty impressive. I like the shots of the hospital staff's reactions.
--Gundam vs. Gundam was inevitable, really. But still awesome.

Episode 19
--I gather from the previews that Setsuna is not doing this under orders. Still, it's pretty awesome.
--Tieria rescues Setsuna? Now that's a surprise. I expect he'll say he was only doing it to save Exia, though.
--Awww, Christina deleting the picture. It's such a cute gesture of support for Setsuna and Tieria.
--Dude, Nadleeh is badass.
--Really, really badass.
--And more rainbow eyes! Yay!
--Interesting...Tieria seems to be doing this out of his own principles rather than to save Exia. Which did lead to some nice (albeit brief) bonding with Setsuna.
--And there's Alejandro's creepy smile!
--Once again, Tieria's about to have hysterics because Things Didn't Go According To Plan. There's something almost autistic in his rigid adherence to Plans and Order and his inability to function socially. Don't worry, I'm not doing the diagnose-a-fictional-character thing, especially since apparently he's an android anyway? Just pointing out the similarities.
--Ooh, they not only know Lockon's real name, but also his past and some of his angst? Interesting.
--It took Tieria this long to figure out that they were the ones who hacked into Veda? Come on.
--Wait, why did a Kurdish terrorist organization kill an Irish guy's family?
--Okay, uh. It's a nice twist and the Lockon/Setsuna angst will be delicious, but seriously.
asterphage: maybe they were bombing ireland because ali has a thing for redheads.
annwyd: hahaha
asterphage: MAYBE ALI'S WEAVE IS MADE OF NEIL'S MUM'S HAIR

annwyd: to be fair, there was an episode of Spooks where Kurdish terrorists took British people hostage in London.
asterphage: THAT PROVES IT!
asterphage: if it can happen on the BBC, it can happen in real life.
annwyd: YES. TV LOGIC PROVES GUNDAM LOGIC RIGHT

--So yeah, I guess I can reconcile it--it's just that up until now, we were generally given a picture of Setsuna's organization as working against the government within Kurdistan/Azadistan, and suddenly we're told that they're actually an international terrorist organization? It's a bit of a whiplash there.
--Aww, Louise trying to push Saji away because of her own sudden lack of self-worth. Don't let her do it, Saji. :(
--I guess she also genuinely feels it's the best thing for Saji. But still. Woe.
--Ooh, more information on this Ragna/Laguna guy.
--Setsuna just quietly going "yes" to Lockon's questions is...augh. They're all so traumatized here.
--Okay, so they do explain why Kurdish terrorists would be all over the map...but like I said, it's just a bit out of left field because the previous flashbacks had shown Setsuna's group as being concerned only with fighting within their own country.
--As much as I'm happy to have more information...in the middle of a scene where characters hash out their own personal demons doesn't quite seem like the place for general exposition about world history that everyone knows. Still, it's Gundam; I can live.
--Augh, Lockon being sympathetic to Setsuna while expressing his own pain is just...so very Lockon. Wibble.
--And that he knows the moral ambiguity of Celestial Being's actions.
--Maybe it's just that I know spoilers, but I'm not so sure Lockon expects to be able to "atone for those countless murders" after the world has changed.
--Oh yeah, Setsuna/Soran did shoot his parents. Messed up.
--No, Setsuna wouldn't place much value on his own life, would he?
--...awww, Tieria's "this is what it's like to be human" reaction. And not at the angst, but at Lockon laughing and Setsuna smiling.

Episode 20
--Oh my God, that totally looks like Chi the kitten waving in the message from Louise. Yeah, I know, I'm a dork.
--Augh, this show can make over-emoticoned emails heartbreaking.
--Oh God, and her next email is all in plain text with no funny colors or emoticons or cute little cartoon animals and bawww.
--Oh hey, it's Marina again. Whee. I still find her boring aside from Shirin.
--Yeah, now Tieria brings up the tampering with Veda's data. Why didn't he mention it earlier? Well...I guess I can assume he mentioned it to Sumeragi offscreen.
--Huh, Lockon notices and even comments on Tieria's pronoun shift there.
--Augh, Graham, don't be an idiot...although I guess his perverse insistence on honor even when it's clearly, well, stupid, along with his ability to actually make that work while still seeming kind of crazy, is pretty interesting. I like the way his archetype is played with here, as a matter of fact--the Ace, only not one of the heroes, and occasionally just a little psycho. I'm still a little uncertain about the rapid shift into more sympathetic (rather than just hilariously awesome) territory after the Trinity kids showed up, but it does open up some interesting avenues of development. Right now the overall effect, at least for me, is to highlight the improbability of the usual Ace archetype (at least in Gundam/mecha series), while keeping what makes it awesome.
--I wonder why Sergei is suddenly hesitant to put Soma in one of the new GN suits? Sure, he's more honorable than a lot of the other soldiers, but at least after his initial displeasure with the idea of using a genetically modified barely-more-than-a-girl, he didn't really show any unease at putting her into combat.
--Ahahaha oh God, Patrick showing up at Kathy's door with flowers. Hitting on his commanding officer = bad idea, but he's Patrick, so he does it anyway. God, I love all three of the aces.
--And she's all "what do you want :|" even though it's obvious. Hee.
--I love that rather than either swooning or getting all angry-tsundere at him, she simply treats his ridiculousness utterly matter-of-factly. And she kind of likes him for it, but she has no illusions about him being anything but a huge dork, either.
--So Ragna Harvey is double-crossing his own organization? Charming.
--Oh, so Ali is finally starting to actually care about fighting Setsuna. I guess there's some satisfaction to be had there...even if he's still only thinking of him as "someone who messed up my plans."
--His voice as he says "I wish to find somewhere I can continue fighting" is creepy.
--I accidentally spoiled myself for what's going on with Kinue, but man. :(
--You know, what's going to happen here is comparable to Nena's moment of evil crazy--as far as I can tell, Ali's only doing it because he's bored and cranky with Celestial Being.
--Ali seeming to feel that Setsuna should be grateful to him...yeah, that's creepy.
--So basically, he's doing all this to Kinue just because he wants someone to whom he can rant about Setsuna messing with his plans.
--But still. That little "I'm a terrible man" speech was pretty awesome.
--Oh jeez, seeing Kinue struggle for a moment before she collapses is just harsh.
--While on a pure story-appreciation level it sucks that I spoiled myself for this...in some ways it's a good thing, because I tend to get irrationally pissed off when cool female characters are killed off solely to advance the plot/demonstrate the badass or evil of villains/make male characters angst. Fucking women-in-refrigerators syndrome. This case was awesomely done, but I still would have been pretty pissed off if I'd been hit with it cold. And yeah, I know, that makes me whiny and oversensitive. Blah. (For the record, I wouldn't have gotten so cranky if she'd actually been able to pass on some of the information before dying. Then she would have died a hero instead of a pointless Example Of How Evil And Badass Ali Is.)
--As another whiny feminist tangent here: my "wtf Fujiwara Keiji you are hurting my brain with this role" led me to wonder just why I found this trope so satisfyingly heartbreaking when Fujiwara was on the other side of it, even though I'd been spoiled then too. I started to think, shit, I have horrible double standards for men and women! And I've gotten so bitchy about characters-as-plot-device since I watched FMA! Then I realized something. Hughes's death had a threefold purpose: one, show how deep the conspiracy ran and how evil the villains were; two, motivate Roy for the rest of the series; three, complete Hughes's character arc and answer the question of "who's the real Maes Hughes, the family man or the spy? Where do his priorities lie in the end?" Kinue's death had a twofold purpose: one, show how profoundly evil Ali is; two, angst Saji up. Hughes was a character in the end; Kinue was mostly a plot device.
--For the record, I know I'm overreacting, but it's not like I'm going to refuse to watch more or anything. This was actually well done, it just...pinged my buttons the wrong way. :/ I've been oversensitive to this shit since Code Geass, I think (although this wasn't anywhere near as bad as that, and I know it). In retrospect, it actually bugs me when male characters who've been built up as likable get offed just to motivate/build up other characters, too...I just tend to rant a bit more when it happens to women.
--The stuff with Alejandro and Ribbons would probably be a lot better if I hadn't spoiled myself. Dammit. I had definitely better watch the second season as it comes out to avoid pulling that shit again.
--Man, even the villains are yaoi bait in this show.
--Michael's so crazy he can't even get along with a Haro. To be fair, that Haro is evil. Which, by the way, will never cease to amuse me. Ever.
--What exactly does being an "Agent" of Celestial Being entail? In any case, it's nice to see Liu Mei actually doing something for a change instead of sitting around looking cute and supervising plans.
--Of course, that only happens when she becomes a villain, or at least a Trinity ally.
--Evil Haro even comments on Liu Mei being cute, then mocks Nena for being jealous. I continue to love it.
--Liu Mei's sounding like a Final Fantasy villain now, talking about how she'd rather see the world destroyed than have it remain as it is--and I love it!
--Heh, and Sumeragi pretty much outright admits here--"since when did we have punishments for disobeying orders?"--that Celestial Being isn't really that military.
--The interactions right there are interesting--Lockon smiling at Tieria and clapping him on the shoulder, Allelujah noticing that they're more friendly now. Personally, I am inclined to believe that Lockon is deliberately being more open with Tieria now because he's noticed that Tieria is on the edge of opening up more around him (and this is what his commenting on the pronoun earlier was about), and he hopes to get Tieria to do that. Not for any romantic reason or anything like that: just because he thinks it would make Tieria feel better. Lockon is like that--okay, I'll stop linking to TVTropes now, I swear.
--Is this the first time we see Soma really smile? That's...kind of cute, in a twisted way. She's finally happy when she gets a mobile suit that's good enough for her.
--Awww, this is her first time experiencing "the sweet taste of victory."
--Oh snap, Ribbons has the rainbow-eye power too! I liked it best when only Tieria had it.
--Well, uh, wow. A lot changed that episode.
--At this point, before I make my every-five-episodes LJ post, I'm going to comment on the Trinity kids: I really love them in theory. Colorful crazy evil types working for essentially the same goal, in apparently the same organization, as the heroes, while still being clearly evil? Fantastic way of creating moral dilemmas. However, the way the evil was cranked up was...at times cheap at best and morally questionable at worst. The extra humanizing of their military victims bothered me in particular--they could just as easily have done that to the protagonists' victims, but they chose not to. Still, I enjoy their character designs and concepts, particularly when it comes to Nena.

This time, as far as fanart goes, I bring a handful of Trinity sites.

想 (Sou) -- Trinity kids, Hallelujah/Allelujah. I would say that you'd be surprised at how much of the latter there is in fandom, but I suspect that most of you saw it coming. Fandom is predictable sometimes. Anyway, this site is still really pretty and often disturbingly cute when depicting the Trinity siblings. There's also a handful of adorable pictures of the Meisters.

limit -- Lockon/Tieria, Trinity kids. Also includes some cute gen of the Meisters.

Mixer -- Setsuna/Nena, gen. Really pretty, appealing art, especially of Nena, as well as some great crack.
Tags: anime post, fanart, gundam 00, links
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