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.
When Gundam 00 finished its broadcast, I was quite excited to hear that there was going to be a film sequel to resolve the last part of Aeolia's plan mentioned in the TV series and that it would be the first Gundam iteration in the 30 years of its existence that would actually have aliens included in the story.
A Wakening of the Trailblazer takes place 2 years after the end of season 2 where peace is slowly starting to come true with the A-Laws disbanded, but with the arrival of a bizarre alien life form called the ELS from a space ship sent to Jupiter
over a hundred years ago, all hell breaks loose and Celestial Being must step in again to save humanity.
Even with this basic plot, I was very excited to actually be able to see this film because I am a rather big fan of Gundam, but upon viewing it, I was both satisfied and disappointed at the same time.
First the good.
The animation looks very similar to the TV series(which isn't a bad thing) but it is of significantly higher quality and shows it off especially during the action sequences. Speaking of action, the movie is full of it. Almost the entire film consists of insane, fast paced mecha battles that made us watch 00 in the first place, you won't be disappointed. The opening scene of the film is hilarious and parodies the series along with making a tribute to the ever popular Gurren Lagann and somewhat referencing the battle of A Baoa Qu from the original Gundam. Also the mecha designs are still as unique as ever, I couldn't tell you how many times I geeked out whenever they started to show off the new Flag mobile suits(ie Braves).
Now for the bad(and sadly there is a lot of it)
The story is VERY generic and any actual plot movement is nonexistent. The only thing that really moves the film's plot is the arrival of the ELS and the constant jibber jabber that minor characters make about stopping them before they reach Earth. If there wasn't any of the fast paced fight scenes, I highly doubt anyone would have wanted to watch this film, there is no point to the story really.
The ELS are fairly underwhelming as alien antagonists. Other mecha series such as Macross were able to successfully utilize aliens into the story by making them unique and interesting with a good backstory. Come on, how are 40 ft aliens who are afraid of affection and culture not interesting? Liquid metal aliens that are fleeing from their destroyed home planet simply doesn't cut it and their assimilation into vehicles on Earth are not frightening nor interesting, they're actually quite hilarious.
The next major problem with the film was its handling of its characters. Several new characters are introduced to the film( ie Descartes Shaman and Meena Carmine) but add nothing to the story, it wouldn't make a difference if they didn't even appear at all. Shaman's character managed to disappoint me the most, as previews made him out to be a major character, instead he gets very little screen time and is there only to be cannonfodder. The returning characters also get very little screen time and most of their appearances are rather pointless, rendering them very one dimensional personalities. Saji and Louise were used in the TV series to show how ordinary people could get involved in conflicts that they don't think would affect them, but they don't serve any purpose in the film they're just there, much like Marina whose appearance seems even more pointless. I don't even know what their purpose was in being shown, despite the fact that they were there. These characters don't even progress any further in film or are the given any sort of epilogue at the end like in season 2, with the exception of a few characters in the last bonus scene.
Besides all of my ramblings about how flawed Trailblazer is, the film is still very entertaining to watch because of its fast paced action sequences and high quality animation. You won't get much depth out of its non existent story and one dimensional characters, but if you want to watch giant robots blow the crap out of each other in fast paced battles, look no further. However, if you are somewhat of a perfectionist and wants to get the ultimate satisfaction out of watching the 00 series, ignore the film completely and just pretend the whole series concludes with season 2.
Like alot of other people who saw and enjoyed the TV Series, I was hyped up for this film. Although I did keep a few lingering doubts in my mind to make sure that the hype didn't ruin the film for me. Obviously being a movie, certain elements have to be condensed in order to function, so the question is: does Awakening of the Trailblazer serve as a fitting conclusion to Gundam 00? Well...Yes and no. Let's go over the main aspects of the story. This is the first entry in the franchise to introduce aliens, which is of course one of the film's biggest
selling points. The ELS do make for interesting obstacles, as merely touching them can mean a slow painful death. Combined with the fact that they're literally everywhere on the battlefield adds a feeling of horror and suspense that (let's be honest here) is rarely seen in Gundam. For the most part the film does a good job at building up the ELS as a legit threat. However Gundam's strong point has always been about the characters being more interesting than the mechs they pilot, so sadly we don't get any bouts between main characters since all of humanity has banded together to go up against this alien menace. Not to mention, if you never saw the TV Series, then the presence of aliens in a Gundam-related work can be very jarring, since it's only hinted at in Season 2. However my biggest gripe overall is the way the film handles it's characters. There's virtually little character development. Again, watching the TV Series is essential since it's there that all the characters reach the peak of their development. Feldt is the only one who gets any sort of relevant change and she's not even a main character. Because there's little development, I couldn't help but question the presence of two of the new characters: Mena who looks and sounds like Nena Trinity (something which is never explained) mostly serves as Billy's new love interest and does provide us some info on the ELS, but not much else. And then there's Descartes Shaman. The trailers seemed to hype him up as the potential new rival to Celestial Being, and honestly he was the character I was most looking forward to since I always felt that 00's villains were lacking compared to antagonists of the past. Sadly Descartes is merely a throwaway character. Although I will give props to the film for redeeming Graham Aker. Thank God he dropped that whole Mr. Bushido nonsense. However for a sequel to be good it needs to properly re-establish the returning cast (assuming they do return), and the story needs to stand out without needing to rely on past sources. Don't believe me? Watch Terminator 2. In the end much of my enjoyment for the film's characters and story was mainly due to the fact that I liked the TV series and I wanted to see how it all ended. But if you never saw the series, you won't understand why there are aliens, and you won't understand the relationships of the characters or their motivations.
From a visual standpoint, Trailblazer looks pretty good, but when you go back and watch the TV Series, it doesn't seem like that much of an improvement. Don't get me wrong, the animation is smoother and the art is fairly detailed, but it's not like in Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa where the already good visuals that the TV series boasted where upped two times over. Still the visuals don't disappoint, though I am still annoyed by the male characters looking effeminate. The mech designs is one area that will be hit or miss with some people. I do find the designs of the new Gundams fairly unique. They take some of the elements from their Season 1 predecessors (such as the vent-less mouths) while still retaining the bulkier look of their Season 2 predecessors. Though I do admit that the Zabanya (Lockon's new Gundam) does look goofy with those picket fences hanging on it's hips. The ELS on the other hand remind of the T-1000 from Terminator 2. Hm. No wonder they're intimidating. However as far as battles go, they're fast paced, explosive, and damn entertaining, but I was disappointed by the lack of screen time that two of the main Gundam's have in the film (not gonna say which ones. If you saw the movie, you know which ones I'm talking about). The 00 Raiser does appear again although I was disappointed by the way it's final moments were depicted.
Much like the series, the music is pleasing to the ears. The opening song "Closed World" by the Back Horn does have some of that heavy dark mood that L'arc En Ciel's "Daybreak's Bell" opening had, but without any of the hopefulness, and comes off as more impending. The ending theme "Qualia" is performed by Uverworld, who sang Season 2's first opening song. Personally I wish they got L'arc back for the movie, but I guess beggars can't be choosers. Much of the background music is from the TV series, which is okay by me since they suit the scenes just right, and fit in with the tone of the film.
In the end Gundam 00 Awakening of the Trailblazer does succeed in being an entertaining action film but it stumbles in doing so. From a thematic standpoint I was able to understand what Director Mizushima was trying to get across with the show's themes about ending war and understanding one another. These are themes that date back to the original Gundam series, and for the most part it deals with it in it's own way, but it didn't work for me until I sat down and thought about it. Because of that, I feel that the movie does get better with time, but then again that could just be me thinking too much about it. I liked the movie. It was fun, it was entertaining, but there were things about it that disappointed me. I'd say the film is on par with Gundam F91, but not as good as Char's Counterattack. Still if you liked the series, I say watch the film and decide for yourself.
To be very serious in reviewing this movie, I would say this is not at all a gundam series and that falls into several big problems that this series has.
Art; 8 points
Firstly, the art it is self is great, it is what you would be expecting out of a movie at this time from the Gundam anime industry. It represent a lot about how much the art has developed through time in the Gundam history. However, it is not the best art and graphic you can find from Gundam. Unicorn on the other hand is an OVA series yet, its attention to small details
and effects are amazing and flawless. Therefore, in compare to an OVA airs about the same time that has better qualtiy overall, a movie has this level of art cannot receive its full marks.
Sound: 8 points
The sound effect is solid. It fits the movie really well.
Characters: 5 points
Even more new characters are being introduced and follow second season's fashion, they are underdeveloped. Some very great characters are presented heroicly but was given less attention; while other, included even some core characters, are being overexagereated in a very unrealistic way and could not resolves much about them granted extensive time spent on these characters overall.
Story: 3 points
The worst aspect of this movie is the story. There is no clash between ideals, the story is very cartoonish and lacks the freshness value that a movie should have had. the untolerable point of this movie is that it has more elements of a super robot movie than a Gundam. Many striking similarities to Fafner can be recognized. The movie has a increasing amount of meta-science elements that leads its collapse at the end due to its conflict with the logical based concept that has always been the core behind any great Gundam series.
Enjoyment: 7 points
The battles are great as akways but that all it has...again, there are 'supermans flying around destroying everything' to a point, it becomes very typical. Anyone that dislike beam spamming should be dissappointed watching this movie since this has 10 times more beam spamming than Seed or Destiny ever had and for 90% of the time the Gundams would flying around spaming fangs, bits and beams...again.
The story is the crucial part to a Gundam movie or to any anime series overall since the art quality has been steadily improving in recent time while the level of depth to a story has been long given far less attention than it should really have. In addition, 'Awakening of the Trailblazer's failure to distinct itself as a Gundam series from the super robot series is perhaps its greatest weakness.
Thus, overall, even the beautifully done animtion cannot covers for its easily recognizable weaknesses, so the overall score I can give ti tis 5, average.
To sum up, the series has done very well in the first season but starts to decrease in quality over time while could not able to meet expectations from experienced old Gundam fans. If you are a new comer to Gundam and you prefer action rather story then 00 may not be a bad place to start with; however, it should be note that even if you watch 00, you can't obtain a throughout understanding of what a Gundam series should be as well as the greatness in the stories of many great old Gundam series. I would highly reccomend any UC series over 00
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
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 :)
I would say out of all the up coming sequels Gundam 00: Awakening of the Trailblazer was on the top 5 of my list. After much anticipation, I would have to say it was a bit of a disappointment.
I would say the biggest problem I had with this movie is its storyline. It was pretty generic as far as mecha anime story lines go. I was expecting something new. It flows somewhat well and keeps you into it throughout. It also builds wonderfully to a climactic ending battle seen, the only problem is that it just ends. It seemed
as if they couldnt figure a spectacular way to end the story so they thought up something stupid. My initial reaction was,"That's it?" Also make sure you keep watching after the credits because the story tries to redeem itself with something extra but just adds more questions. The bottom line is the story was descent at best. Not enough drama in the story at all. The best part of the story were the Gundams and the battle scenes. But they save the best Gundam for only the last 10 minutes of the movie. I wanted to see much more of that.
The art was great, quite flawless. The battle scenes were crafted perfectly so that you could see what was happening. The Gundam's were very cool. Like I said earlier the best of the Gundams doesnt make an appearance until the last 10 min or so. But besides the fact the Gundams were cool and the characters were drawn very well.
The Voice acting was great but a little difficult to get into at first. I watched the first and second season in English so it took a few minutes to get used to the new voices.
All the old characters were in it as well, especially my favorite Patrick Coulisour "Ace pilot of the AEU" haha. It just felt a little too congested. So many characters for a two hour movie was too much. The new characters didnt really even have much to do with the story line so they probably could have been left out. Some characters who had major parts in the first two seasons were left with two or three cameo scenes.
Overall this is still a really good movie. Definitely worth seeing. Animation is great and it had a high quality cast of voice actors. I just wish the movie had a better storyline. It needed way more drama to keep me on the edge of my seat. They also did a poor job with character relationships. They seem to build throughout the movie and evolve into nothing. For most people im sure the fighting will be enough because the battle scenes are fantastic. A solid 8, I just hope that the Gundam Seed movie will come out soon and hopefully they get it prefect.
The fact that the score for this is 7.48 is incredibly misleading and I cannot fathom how it has a score that high. This movie is a 4 at best, its bad. How is it bad? Well... if you liked Gundam 00, imagine stripping it of all character development, all creativity, all plot, all suspense... and all sense, only to leave you with one of the dumbest premises/villains ever.
Gray intergalactic blobs are attacking!! and the Gundam team needs to teach them the meaning of love and peace. No really... thats it. That is the entire plot of the movie. No, seriously... that really is it!
It has nothing else building on the Gundam 00 series, just... intergalactic gray space blobs that can mimic and absorb matter and we need to not fight them and instead teach them love and peace.
The animation was nothing to write home about for being a movie. I had seen about the same from the show. It was nice, clean, fluid and seizure inducing... just the way I like it.
Music was just rehashed from the show, again, nothing to write home about.
The voice acting was good. Voices stayed roughly the same from the show.
In the original show, almost everything was cleaned up nicely. It left room for continuation but in a very narrow window. This movie should have gone back to Gundam basics. It is 4 years after the events of the show, the colonies that were in the series have come together to develop a government of the United Colonies. Unbeknownst to anyone, remnants of the A-Laws have infiltrated the colonies government's positions of power and have begun building mobile suits in secret. After 4 years and after amassing an army, they attack the Earth and destroy several cities and do some serious damage The gundam pilots, all having gone their separate ways after their time of peace must now be brought back together to fight this last battle for good. In the end you can have Setsune and the princess come together and he finds peace as the world finds peace.
See? How hard was that? It may not be perfect but it is damn sure better than this!
The ending I wont spoil, but really it too doesn't make any sense. It seems tacked on and weird. There were also a lot of scenes and character interactions that seemed important but were forgotten about and went nowhere. I miss the days of Gundam Wing, my friends. I really do...
In conclusion, enjoy the series if you can... but skip this movie. Its not worth your time. You would have better luck watching something else. Virtus Signum gives this a 3/10.
A quick preface to say that if you haven't read my review for the Gundam 00 series then I recommend that you do because this is going to be written relative to what I said there. And one of the things I said was “I'm finally done with Gundam 00.”, but oh ho ho this is the Gundam series that just will not quit. With this two hour movie Gundam 00 is just barely the longest Gundam series ever made... for better and worse as it continues the downward trend that happened through most of season 2. But season 2 still generally held on to
the series's good qualities and didn't succumb to its missteps. Can the movie accomplish the same? Let's take a look. Also, expect spoilers or skip to the final paragraph if you want the recommendation.
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 The Movie: A Wakening of the Trailblazer [sic] is a title that's two integers and one random semi-colon away from being the name of a Kingdom Hearts racing game. It also stars something new for the Gundam franchise: aliens! All is well in the Earth sphere now that everyone has abandoned their differing interests and have gained an inexplicable peace without war that satisfies everyone, but soon humanity faces a new common enemy as a race of aliens dubbed the ELS threaten to drive humanity to extinction. Instead of the usual thing with the aliens being a race almost exactly like humans except with a tail or a weird symbol on their forehead, they're actually metallic-like shape-shifters that can't verbally communicate and bond with things to assimilate (i.e. kill) them.
The addition of aliens to Gundam has met with a lot of controversy, but I can't understand why anyone would care. Gundam 00 is an alternate universe series, and that's the whole reason they exist: to experiment with the standard Gundam formula that's been kept mostly consistent in the Universal Century timeline. It doesn't taint any franchise ideology. The existence of aliens in Gundam 00 doesn't imply the existence of them in other series. Secondly, communicating with other intelligent life was hinted at in the actual series which in fiction is practically enough to confirm they exist in that universe so it's not out of nowhere. Lastly, the use of a non-verbal lifeform that's threatening to humanity's existence is a great medium to use for displaying the series's general themes of understanding to prevent conflict, and ties it to the series's unique technology that's a necessity to communicate such as telepathic quantum brain waves and Innovators. The aliens were the most clever thing the movie managed to come up with, and their first doomsday attack on Earth was cool to watch and had one of the four cool things Allelujuah did in the entirety of Gundam 00.
Getting back to the ongoing story, it's been two years since the end of season 2. Which isn't that much time, but apparently it was enough time to make a big budget movie about Celestial Being that we see a bit of at the start of our movie. Although it's not enough time to expect anyone to noticeably physically age, the creators still want to show time has passed so everyone with short hair has now grown it out considerably while everyone who had long hair has had it cut. It's not a big deal, but it's pretty funny how it's seriously almost a 1:1 ratio. However silly this was, it was all worth it because Felt with short hair is adorable. Short haired Felt is 90% of the reason to watch this movie. She also now has a sudden romance with Setsuna that feels completely undeserved (like anyone's interest in such a dull guy), but it's probably because the creators realized she got the short end of the stick out of all the main characters. Too bad Setsuna doesn't care as usual.
The rest of Celestial Being also gathers together again, each with a newly designed Gundam that looks far better and more elaborate than the season 2 redesigns. While on this subject of art design, the animation is as good as ever which is actually kind of lame. Since the series looked almost as good to begin with, the jump in quality you'd expect from a movie almost isn't there. The frame rate is better, but that's the only change that really stands out. Despite the action being as intense and flashy as ever, it's far harder to get into because of the nature of the enemy. There are no interesting one-on-one rivalries because our new opponents are completely mute and without identity, and so for all of your action scenes you have a bunch of mechs flying around avoiding the metallic spears trying to latch onto them while shooting wildly. No beam saber clashes, no clever maneuvers and people shouting "what!?", just going fast and blasting away for several minutes in wide-open space. With the action scenes and exciting scenarios being the greatest strength of Gundam 00 and what season 2 had to fall back on being nearly gone, A Wakening of the Trailblazer has to rely on its story and characters.
Several characters return but none develop because their character arcs were already finished. New sub characters are introduced only to end up dying and/or doing nothing because the story is still too focused on Setsuna like season 2 was. One new character is named Meena, who looks exactly like Nena would after this time skip. But lo and behold, this confusing thing is never addressed in the movie and only in a niche manga where it's revealed one of Meena's ancestors contributed DNA to the clones that became the Trinitys. In that case Meena's family must have been incredibly lucky with inbreeding considering they look exactly the same generations later. Graham returns and is the only one who has their personality elaborated on in ways the series didn't do as we're actually shown the change in him after his final fight with Setsuna. Susano-o, however, does not come back even though it wasn't fully destroyed and then Graham just ends up being tossed away again for characters less cool than he is.
Nearly all of this movie falls apart under scrutiny and you'll wonder where the time went after numerous unnecessary scenes of the government talking about how they need to evacuate citizens and their attacks on the ELS that continuously do nothing. This all climaxes in Setsuna using his new Gundam's improved powers to telepathically communicate with the ELS to understand what they want.
We learn that the ELS's home planet was under danger so they're migrating. Okay, that makes sense. And that they're bonding to and killing humans in order to understand them. ...What? With the ELS's ability to learn about things they touch, you'd think they'd realize that it's impossible to read the conscious of someone who is dead and give up. But more importantly, why does this have anything to do with their survival? They aren't even after Earth's environment since they just pack up and leave after like nothing happened. If they just want to bond with humans, then why did they begin with taking over vehicles and running them over? That doesn't help anyone. Why are they after people with quantum brain waves? Why do they want to merge with people without them as well then? How does Setsuna's communication with them do anything to fix the problem of their migration? Why do they form a big flower at the end? Is this their new planet or something? If they can do that anywhere in space, why was their extinction even a possibility? Why why why? Nothing is resolved and all we learn is that the problem made no sense to begin with because the ELS apparently didn't have one. For a story about understanding, I didn't understand diddly squat. The ELS just killed a ton of people for no reason. I just watched a two hour movie just to be told at the end it was all for nothing and there's no concrete thematic lesson. Get out of here.
Well, I said all about what I've wanted to say already. For two hours you'd expect I'd have more to talk about, but so little of significance actually happens and the plot is thin despite being stretched so far out. The good qualities of the series such as the action are diminished while the worst parts like plot depth and character drama are exacerbated. It's an unnecessary conclusion and doesn't really shed light on anything from the series. I'd say skip it unless you still loved season 2 despite its faults. If its faults are enough to make you hesitant about the movie's continued decline of quality, then steer away. You aren't missing anything important. What a lame end to something that started off so promising.
I had high expectations when I first heard of a gundam movie (although I shouldn't have with the crappy ending of 00) and I was thoroughly disappointed. The artwork and sound were fantastic as you would expect from an anime movie made in 2010 but it couldnt make up for all of its flaws.
Firstly, the story just didnt make any sense and it just seemed like it was trying to push some kind of peace message. The fighting was not very good and somewhat sparse throughout the movie. Honestly, this disappointed me the most as I was looking forward to some badass fighting.
movie also introduced a lot of characters out of the blue and many for no reason. Also it was odd that everyone from 00 somehow became friends (and lovers...) quite quickly. I found it very weird when random characters were so unexpectedly in love with other ones.
Overall, its an interesting watch but dont go in with your hopes up. Then again I guess we should be used to sunrise by now...
Sequel to 2nd season of Gundam 00
Anno Domini Timeline
1st Franchise with "Aliens"
Spoiler (Might also spoil your enjoyment of whatever enjoyment you can get outta this)
You know that mock film that's shown in the 1st 5 min of the movie? I would rather watch that. This doesnt deserve my Pro/Con format cause I couldn't find anything "Pro" about it. Let me just list down SOME of the bad
- WTH happened to these characters? They're all over the place. (Why is Ribbons here?)
- Faceless antagonist (just a bunch of funnels really)
- Pacing is wack (I kinda wanted at least a montage of preparation against the funnels but
*insert Spongebob Time Card*)
- Action is pointless (fighting funnels?)
- Felt is hurting herself by liking a guy who thinks he's a Gundam.
- DAT ENDING!! WTF?!
Gundam was a show that while heavily defined by action sequences, but also displayed various aspects of human emotions.
How scary war is, about how enemy might be an enemy but they can't be considered evil, clash of values between characters, etc. Gundam series portrayed those clearly, so Gundam was always a great show that both risen your adrenaline by awesome actions while at the same time moved your heart.
This latest movie of 00 have no such things...
First, they fight freaking aliens, which was a taboo for Gundam series. The reason is clear, fighting a mindless being like robot or monster
was always less heart moving than fighting a sentient being and especially of the same race like humans. You can massacre millions of robots and monsters and you won't feel a thing. Maybe for other show is okay, but not Gundam, because it wants to tell you that every fight has a meaning. While watching they fire their beams, rounds, and missiles everywhere and aliens exploding here and there, what I thought was.... this is as fun as me spraying my room with insecticides to kill mosquitoes... which is not fun at all and more like a chore.
Emotionally driven combat is long gone in this one. Simply said, this is so not Gundam.
I still hate the characters from the series as well, especially "discount Hiro Yui" ups I mean Setsuna The Gundam Lover, Insignificant princess, etc. But I still like the series though, but not this movie, this movie is a stain to the franchise.
A lot of people despise Trailblazer, arguably, it was better than 00 S1 and S2.
Trailblazer`s animation is similar; slightly amped up from the TV Series.
Way too many large machines are 3d CG in anime and I loved that 00 never did that.
I hardly could notice the BGM spark. However, the opening theme is riveting, though, it`s the ending theme "Qualia -Gundam Ver-" by UVERWORLD, which is so special, it`s a slow burner that erupts into such grand work.
The film may feel short because there wasn`t much to cover with them dealing with the alien life forms. A lot of it is just fighting, there
is a lack of character time because it`s just action. With the momentum built from the film, it was extremely satisfying to watch the choices and final that falls upon everyone and especially Setsuna. It`s sad to see their journey come to an end, for them, though, it was all worth it.
Don't you just love when you think things go ok and then they just sink down so low?........Don't answer that.
Story: I would have given it a 6 but meh I went with 7 cause of the other 2 seasons.Firstly,Sunrise...do NOT make a movie if you want to, in the end,skip a timeline of 50 years or so.....The biggest problem in this was the after-credits timeline skip which I believe we all could have done well without.It's practically saying to all of us '' Oh well yah...and now every1 is actually dead or damn old almost ready to die and Setsuna and Tieria are only ones
not affected'' add to that a shiny Setsuna and a blind-old-Marina.......and you can practically see the ''GLOOM'' words written on our faces,especially after we saw the before-credits ending and we all went ''Oh!Hope!...Setsuna leaves but he will come back and...maybe..continue smth..''. i also see alot of people RAGING over the Feldt-Setsuna relationship and I must say my friends.....I feel like shooting Sunrise !^^The girl shows concern,the girl shows love...she freakin cries...the boy...well the boy decides to leave for half a decay and yah..come back when all are dead...................................................''GLOOM'' Thank you again! ^^ Besides that,although the story with the aliens was pretty generic,it had a good introduction and all......until the end when the generic crushed us.But then again,I don't mind a cliche if it's done well so basically the 2 big problems of the storyline are the first 2.If this truly was inspired by some classic sci-fi novels [ some1 on episode discussion mentioned that] then all the more the story ain't that bad.
Art: Well yes...something good.Art didn't change much from the anime and yet you can see the very good quality...I really enjoyed the art.Giving a 10 on this one.
Sound: Soundtrack was pretty dynamic ,especially the battle sequences and tensions,but the OP and END songs....I expected something a little better from the Back Horn and UVERworld which made very good songs in the animes.What didn't disappoint me at all was the song i already had for 1 month or more,which is the IN of Chiaki Ishikawa-Mou Nanimo Kowakunai ,Kowaku wa Nai, very beautiful song and i was curious in what moment they will fit it in.9 for sound.
Character: Ouchies...another reason why Sunrise shouldn't make MOVIE of Gundam 00 with so many characters. On the character part it felt like Sunrise put them all in a blending machine,threw a few more new characters and shake shake shake them until they got a sucky character shake..........And again....and the end of second season and now too...WHY the hell are you tormenting poor Feldt? First Lockon [ original]...now Setsuna.............O_o Sunrise are you sadistic or smth?? What I loved was,as always,Patrick *laughs hard* I just LOVE that guy *thinks of putting him to favorites*Also,I think a Big talk was about that Shaman guy or w/e....I was like..''oh there he goes..what just happened?'' So again...BAD IDEA to make a movie with so many characters, or maybe Sunrise thought they already introduced them enough in the 2 series or so and decied to skip that....hmm....Also it felt like some sacrifices *ahum*Graham*ahum* were.....ridiculous and made without any feel to it.........."GLOOM''.....7 for characters..; ; [ because I still remember the animes]
Enjoyment: i would have given it a 9 if it ENDED BEFORE credits,as movies sometimes do,but for that ending,and for tormenting Feldt .....and for the shiny Setsuna [ any1 noticed the weird Twilight reference *brrr* SHiny edward ...glowing eyes...homege! save me! ] ..so..7!!!
Overall:..7..."GLOOM" ..............I hate you Sunrise *goes into a corner and sulks*
Two hours. Two hours gone that I will never again get back. Two hours in which I could have done much better things with my life. Who knows, I could've created the next Flappy Bird clone in that two hours but no, I spent it watching this. So instead, I pass the torch onto you. Recreate Flappy Bird. Don't watch this.
Conceptually, this movie could have been something great. The basic premise, though simple, could have easily been expanded into a whole 'bother season. For the first time in some 30 odd years, the Gundams aren't fighting other humans. They are fighting an alien race. You
would think that the creators would have went all out on this idea and made it at least on the same level as the series it's based upon but, alas, failure and disappointment are all that we get.
***Be forewarned, there are some spoilers ahead.***
To start with, let's get the "plot" of the movie out of the way. Four years have passed since the end of season 2 and things are going well for Earth. Peace has pretty much been found and the Gundams, though still around, aren't really needed much anymore. That is, until "they" appear. Who are "they", you may ask? Yeah, I don't know either. Gray space blobs from Jupiter is what it seems like. Though we will just call them ELS as the movie does for simplicity. Anyway, the ELS appear on a derelict probe that was sent to Jupiter some 100 odd years ago and are headed for Earth. Quantum brainwaves are there goal and where can they find those? In humans, of course! Yada, yada, time goes on and we humans are about to be annihilated. So we fight back. Kinda. Really, it's all about love and understanding our enemy. Seriously, that's about it. Through his mass amounts of love and understanding, Setsuna saves the day and the ELS create a giant flower in space. WTF?
What about the character development, you may be asking? Well, look elsewhere because none will be found here! The only real development is that Feldt suddenly has a burning love for Setsuna. I don't know about you guys but I didn't see that one coming. But then she decides that Setsuna's love is simply too great for any one person. He's just too hot to handle. Other than that, Setsuna goes all flower power on us and turns into some shiny white-haired guy/thing. I hope that's not their idea of what the Innovators should look like. Other than that, everyone else just stays the same. I thought they had some potential with Descartes but nope, they kill him off in the most anti-climactic way. And what's with Meena? Who the heck is she and why is Billy with her? Oh, it's because she has a nice rack and legs, as evidenced by the fan-servicey scenes involving her.
The animation was good though so it's got that goin' for it, which is nice.
Really, I look at this movie in the same way I'm looking at Vladimir Putin of Russia right now. He spent all this money and all this time on the 2014 Sochi Olympics so that the rest of the world would look at Russia in a new light and then he goes and "invades" Ukraine. In one single move, he ruined everything he was working towards. And that's what this movie does to the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 series. It takes everything that I found masterful about the original series and smashes it all to bits.
So again, I say to you, save yourself. Save yourself two hours of your life. Flappy Bird must live on and you can save it. Don't make the same mistake I did. Let season 2 be the end of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 for you and pretend this movie doesn't exist. You'll thank me later.
This film is infamous for its full fledged (fossilised space whales appear in SEED) in the Gundam franchise, and I agree this I a bad thing, Gundam introduced human antagonists in order to make them more relatable and the conflicts ambiguous. This is an alien invasion story, while the ELS were oblivious to their attacks at first, this is the problem you cannot sympathize with the ELS properly as they have a different concept of morality, you can sympathize with the oppressed spacenoids that made up Zeon, the abandoned humans that became the Vagan, and ZAFT being victims of racism.
Secondly, Feldt declares her love for
Setsuna out of the blue, although I like the pairing it just wasn't introduced right, it makes sense that they have been comrades for a long time but there wasn't any build up to it, she just confesses randomly and worst of all, their relationship is left unresolved.
I've been waiting for this movie for a while, and could barely restrain my excitement when it was finally released on DVD. When I sat down and watched the movie, my thoughts were all variants on 'This is gonna be awesome!' Well... I was half right. The fights were spot on in terms of battle mechanics. Though the plot was half decent, there was little character...I want to say growth. Setsuna had reverted to his original self in season one. He was surly and withdrawn. When the chips were down, he then proved to be all but useless. Tieria's return was a pleasant sight, and
the one-sided romance between Feldt and Setsuna was cute. The final battle was an epic clash, but I was disappointed with the new 00 Gundam. All it did was the old 'Big Beam Sword' trick. The teleportation gate was interesting, but ultimately had one use.
Overall, it was a good action/mecha movie. As a Gundam feature, I found it a bit lacking. If you've seen the show, but not the movie, then you'll be fine with that. The movie is just a nice little epilogue. It could have been worse. But then, it could have been so much better.