Synonyms: Gekijouban Kidou Senshi Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer, Gundam Double O Movie
Japanese: 劇場版 機動戦士ガンダム00 -A wakening of the Trailblazer-
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Sep 18, 2010
2 hr. 9 min.
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.481 (scored by 15151 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisThe year is 2314 AD, two years after Celestial Being's last great battle and the world faces a new crisis. A derelict Jupiter exploration ship, abandoned 130 years ago, has left its orbit and is approaching Earth. The ESF has also begun to exploit the power of Innovators through Descartes Shaman. The world's exposure to GN Particles has resulted in many people awakening as True Innovators. Realizing the military benefits of such individuals, the Earth Sphere Federation has begun to research Innovation and exploit the emerging Innovators' abilities. As Celestial Being and its Gundam Meisters begin their final mission to save humanity from an unimaginable threat, the Extraterrestrial Living-metal Shape-shifters (ELS), Gundam Meister Setsuna F. Seiei is about to discover the true purpose of his evolution as an Innovator and the nature of the "dialogues" for which Aeolia Schenberg's plan had prepared the human race.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Mobile Suit Gundam 00 - A Wakening of the Trailblazer
Prequel: Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Second Season
Characters & Voice Actors
First original Gundam theatrical feature in almost two decades. The directorial talent behind Fullmetal Alchemist. The musical scoring of Kenji Kawai. The inclusion of aliens for the first time in the franchise's thirty year history. The namesake of a cultural phenomenon. To the cynical mind, Awakening of the Trailblazer could have almost instantly been dismissed as a failure due to the surrounding hype, the general attitude of indifference many fans have adopted thanks to Sunrise's shaky track record, and just the general air of disapproval by the die-hard Universal Century fans arguing that Gundam has just 'lost' its way.
And maybe some of it is true, maybe Gundam has 'lost' its way, maybe it doesn't focus extensively on the hardships of war anymore, maybe the whole 'kill-em-all' nonsense stopped with Victory Gundam, and as an innocent new Gundam fan asks: "What's so great about Zeta Gundam anyways? I like Gundam 00 better.", the reactionary legion of Tomino cock-suckers instantly start screeching like little girls, and immediately start ranting about how Gundam has 'lost' its luster, passed its peak, ruined, and why Gundam today "sucks balls because it's not what Tomino wanted." But never do they ever commit the blasphemous act of thinking that, perhaps, this self-pleasuring canonization of old-school Gundam has outdone some of its magic? And just maybe the whole idea of 'kill-em-all' and the idea of the traditional trope-ridden Gundam has gotten quaint? After viewing this movie, I can safely say that if Gundam 'losing' its way means actually progressing the franchise onto new boundaries, then I hope Gundam continues to 'lose' its way.
Which actually brings up an interesting quirk about Gundam 00. For a series that has drawn a huge number of parallels to Gundam Wing, and even Zeta Gundam thanks to the introduction of A-Laws (a la the Titans) in the second season, it's fascinating to see the movie component of the series turn out so fresh, and so originally its own piece of work; it's especially puzzling considering this movie almost has a doomsday quality to it, and where the focus and foundation of the series seems to borrow more from the likes of Evangelion than any Gundam show, it's almost as if Mizushima grew tired of Gundam and just decided to make a science-fiction flick however he wanted it to be.
The real interesting bit about the story is that it completely disregards any Gundam conventions, especially the almost collective defining theme for the franchise: human vs human conflict, and its effects on both soldiers and civilians. Instead you have, for the first time ever, a human vs alien conflict; granted the aliens are conceptual, and nothing really humanoid, which is a wise choice considering a franchise so deeply rooted in traditions would have felt cheated if the aliens were anything like those found in Macross. Likewise, this movie has no masked villain, and maybe the biggest slap to the face, is the ending, which averts the big showdown between protagonist vs villain found in almost every main Gundam series and seems to be more rooted among the lines of something you would find in Evangelion, though certainly more optimistic. The whole story gets very psychological and metaphysical towards the end
Concepts aside, the story itself is a bit inconsistent. The story can be easily separated into two parts: the calm and happenings before the storm, and the storm. Though as a whole, the story is wobbly because it feels like two different people directed different parts of the story. The first half of the story is character centric and surprisingly dark, in that it almost possesses an apocalyptic air to it all, and the general sense of confusion, and fear is especially well portrayed in the events, ultimately creating an atmosphere of chaos while under the supervision of a useless government that has become radically pacifist. This half of the story is really uncharacteristically edgy and dark, and it's interesting because Gundam shows aren't like this at all, it is radical, and it is refreshing from the staple Gundam formula.
The second half is where this movie treads back into standard Gundam territory, there is a huge fight that literally lasts for at least 1/3 of the movie and towards the end of it all, things get Evangelion-esque psychological (a la metaphysical visions and pseudo-philosophical babbling), and the prominent (admittedly cheeky) theme that peace can only be achieved when all living things can understand each other, rears its head to solve the problem and by the end, things get a bit ... flowery (literally). It is ideological, but at the core of this radical movie, it is still a Gundam.
The problem with the story is that it is a bit of a roller coaster ride in keeping a consistent atmosphere, it's all over the place in keeping the same tone. Likewise, Mizushima tries too hard to provide us differing 'perspectives' on this story with the segments including Marina, Saji, and Billy essentially doing ... nothing. Though I think that's something that should be blamed on the Anno Domini series in general and not exclusively criticism just for this movie. This story sometimes has a hard time of knowing where it's going, and the convoluted writing seems like it's almost teasing fans.
Also, this story happens to have the most unnecessarily misleading subplot ever.
Art and Animation:
Production values are, as expected from a Gundam feature film, pretty high. The animation quality during the battle scenes are incredibly fluid, though inconsistent animation is prevalent in non-fight scenes, and the mixture of CGI and 2D animation is awkward at best.
The character design is pretty consistent, some characters have had redesigns to show growth, though not too apparent. The innovator/clones concept may be looked by some as storytelling, but by others as taking a shortcut in character design (e.g. Mina and Nena similarities). Likewise, mobile suit designs are mainly rehashed or just colored with a different color palette, and the new Gundams look the same with the exception of Tieria's Raphael Gundam.
The aliens (the ELS), are a mixed bag in terms of design, they're just parasitic fragments of metal, which doesn't make for the most visually appealing villain of the series. But it works because, Gundam as a series, has always had a very visual enemy to fight against (e.g. enemy mobile suits, mobile armor etc.), and having something as abstract as the ELS to fight against is both refreshing and innovative for a franchise so stubbornly rooted in its old ways.
The score for this film is a bit of a disappointment, it uses the same tracks as the ones found in the first season. Though there is an Evangelion-like ominous chant track found towards the end that accommodates the scene effectively, that one effective track is boggled down by a horrible song (courtesy of UVERworld), and some very generic J-pop played during one of the battles in a misguided attempt at creating a "valiant moment", or something among those lines. It should be noted that this film actually doesn't have much background music throughout the majority of its course.
In many ways, Setsuna's condition is very similar to how Cloud Strife was in Advent Children. Both are lost, contemplative, and trapped in their own psych, but where Cloud fought and inexplicably, and suddenly, found a purpose. Setsuna slowly comes to the realization of his purpose, and why he is what he is. The social disconnection and isolation brought on by becoming an Innovator is a theme portrayed in Setsuna, as a character, much more effectively than the likes of Amuro Ray ever was.
The emergence of Feldt as the traditional main pilot love interest is the standard Gundam trope, though Feldt is slightly more interesting because of her progression as a character throughout the series. The rest of the cast is pretty monotonous, relying on their character progression from the past seasons to establish their character, they aren't progressed mentally in the movie in any way. The lack of explanation for the emergence of Hallelujah, and the complete irrelevance of Descartes Shaman as a character makes the quality of the writing quite questionable.
The main issue with characters for this movie is the size of the Gundam 00 cast, and Mizushima's inexplicable need to reintroduce every one of them (if not in a sloppily rushed way). Further adding to the problem is that these characters were never relevant, nor were they developed in any way, even in the series; so why Mizushima feels the need to include them in the movie is beyond me. Does anyone remember Klaus and Andrei? Me neither.
Awakening of the Trailblazer is quite a strange piece of work. On one hand, it's the most refreshing, and exciting Gundam installment in well over a decade, on the other hand, it is sloppy, it is convoluted, and it is embarrassingly idealistic. One moment it's a doomsday thriller, the next moment it's a hallucinogenic acid trip. It is real robot, it is super robot, it is psychological, it is science-fiction. Awakening of the Trailblazer is purely interesting, it's not a spectacular film, but it is very interesting, so for that factor alone, it is worth watching as a film that runs more on ideas than execution.
It's important to point out that this movie is not the second coming of Char's Counterattack, nor does it traditionally define Gundam, in fact, it's not even an example of a good film. Rather, this movie is something conceptual, it has the right ideas, and the concepts are fascinating, but the convoluted writing and the inherent flaws of the series prevent this film from reaching its full potential. This movie is a raw engine running on ideas alone, with sometimes directionless execution. Though maybe one day, in retrospect, this will be a Gundam looked back on as a transitional piece into something even better. For a franchise so locked in traditions, Awakening of the Trailblazer is a flawed step into the right direction.
This is my first review on an anime and I hope to be as helpful as possible!
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 The Movie: A Wakening of the Trailblazer is the sequel to the 2nd season of the series. It forms a "trilogy" if I can put it like that. I enjoyed the 2 seasons of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 a lot and loved the story, art and characters. I kind of prefer to believe the anime should have ended at the 2nd season. The movie adds a whole new concept to the Gundam Universe and it might seem "alien" to the loyal Gundam fans. (Excuse the pun)
I did not find the story incredibly intriguing or captivating, but I did not find it horrible either. I like the idea of adding a new, untested element to broaden the Gundam Universe but I think it caught many fans off guard. I would have preferred that the movie be at least 1 hour longer to allow for more room to develop the story. It seemed a bit rushed to me at times. What I did like about the story is that it served as the final transition of the 00 series from fighting for peace to understanding each other. (My personal opinion is that you need both to achieve and retain peace.) I prefer the ending of season 2 where humanity is taking the first steps towards peace and the possibility of alien dialogues in the future is discussed, but I did not really want to see this future. Overall I think it is a good attempt at broadening the universe of Gundam, but I would have wanted a longer movie or short mini season.
Yet again, the 00 animation does not fail to impress and awe! Detailed battles and mechs. Unique ships and weapons and intense battle scenes! The whole 00 series has mastered the art of being epic and beautiful at the same time!
I can't really review the sound in high detail, cause I am not very experienced in this department haha All I can say is that I have no complaints.
The characters developed immensely in the first 2 seasons but experienced minimal development or change in the movie. The only character who really showed signs of change was Veldt. The newly added characters also did not play a big enough part in the movie to many any kind of impression on the viewer. Descartes Shaman was the biggest disappointment for me. He had the potential to become one of the movies great characters, but alas this potential was never tapped. Overall I think the movie's limited time aspect and time consuming battle scenes (not complaining haha) lead to character development being shelved and not given enough attention which is understandable. That is why if they really wanted to add this 3rd installment I would have preferred a mini 3rd season or longer movie. I loved Setsuna's cold emotionless personality in both seasons with hints of human emotion showing in special moments. But in A Wakening of the Trailblazer he was "too" cold and gave everyone a cold shoulder. I would have liked to see more cracks showing in his hard outer shell like I did in the first 2 seasons.
The story may not have captivated me, but the art of this series and film saved the day. It is IMPOSSIBLE to hate something so beautifully epic. The story had its flaws and there was not enough character development for my taste, but I enjoyed it enough to give it a overall rating of 8/10. The ending message was good but...*SPOILER ALERT*....have you stopped reading? Good. ...the ending reminded me too much of Eureka 7's ending. The flower was too "perfect" I would have preferred a more metallic colour with a similar shape but with less perfection and smoothness. But that is just me haha
Overall rating: 8/10
I think for some Gundam 00 fans the end to the "trilogy" would have been satisfying. I personally prefer the end of season 2, but I do like the transition that takes place in the method to achieve peace. I would recommend you watch this and form your own opinion. I think a lot if not most will like the ending and the story and will not mind the minor flaws. I will definitely rewatch the series and the movie in the future to make more sense of it and improve and adapt my opinion on it :)
Facepalming the end of the Gundam Movie? It however even pales in comparison to the end of Eureka 7.
Aside from that both are mecha, include alien forms and a central topic is "understanding each other".
Alien invasion. alien communication.
Endings are quite similar.
These 2 anime have so many similarities it's scary haha Firstly both are Mecha and focus heavily on "understanding each other" Both also feature misunderstood aliens who seem hostile at first but their intentions turn out to be peaceful. In both series the aliens need to merge with lifeforms to "share" their knowledge, but this has deadly effects on humans. Both alien species don't have a human shape and don't resemble any living organism in particular. They both use a "hive mind" Both series have really strange endings and leave you with more questions than answers.
Opening Theme"Tozasareta Sekai" by THE BACK HORN
Ending Theme"Qualia" by Uverworld
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