In Universal Century 0088, the Anti-Earth Union Group (AEUG) has emerged victorious in its war with the Earth Federation's Titans at the cost of devastating losses. Neo-Zeon, the third faction in the war formerly known as Axis Zeon, remains as powerful as ever. Led by Newtype Haman Karn, Neo-Zeon has been implementing plans to take over both Earth and the space colonies.
The AEUG flagship Argama heads to the Side 1 colony Shangri-La for repairs. Living in the colony is Judau Ashta, a 14-year-old junk dealer who is struggling to make enough money to put his younger sister through school. Upon the discovery of an escape pod containing a former Titans pilot, Judau and his friends are quickly led to the Argama in hopes of stealing a mobile suit which they can sell for a fortune. However, with the arrival of a Neo-Zeon ship seeking to defeat the Argama, Judau and his friends are dragged into to a conflict that will bring them across space and Earth.
This is a direct sequel to Zeta, but not only as that, I think of them as one big series itself despite the opposite nature of the first half ZZ that no reviewer should over look when reviewing this anime. Apparently some of the audience, executives of Sunrise and Bandai, and Tomino’s wife thought that Zeta was way too dark and gritty which is something many fans thought was what made that series distinguishing. Plus Tomino even felt bad about the nature of Zeta and thinks anime should make people happy. Then again, he was going through a depression. While with the first half of
Double Zeta, he makes it very campy and childish. It’s pretty bad to the point where it has driven fans away from the show. Granted it is annoying, sorry to bring this as a spoiler, but it eventually goes back to the dark and gritty nature of Zeta, which I thought was enough to redeem itself. Thankfully this transition gives opportunities where the characters will develop and they become likeable. But I think you should understand Tomino’s mentality and approach to things to truly appreciate the story and characters.
The contrast of this anime is a little brighter and the designs are more neon in a very 1980s manner. Especially the hair styles and costume designs. It’s just more childish to truly make it more cartoony in comparison to Zeta and thus being more kid friendly. And of course some of the battles in the beginning are more comedic and ridiculous and untradtitional of what you can say is Gundam, though not as cheesy or over the top as G Gundam of course. But it’s nice to see that the Zeta Gundam, and other suits from Zeta are still in use and present, but they don’t have the same charisma which is a bizarre way to describe it as they did in the first season. But I do think the Double Zeta is pretty nifty and it’s bulkiness and style brings another kind of likeable distinction mostly because it’s different. But the battles eventually go back to the quality it had in Zeta and what most hardcore Gundam fans would like.
Some of the music is also of course more campy and childish though it still retains some of the background music from Zeta Gundam. The first opening theme, Anime Janai is very ookie and geeky, but despite that, I naturally have to agree that it did compliment the nature of the series at that time, but still went well with the presented imagery. But the 2nd opening theme, Silent Voice where the series gets better is more traditionally of something you’d rather hear in anime. It’s very high spirited and intense and energetic.
The seiyuu cast is still top notch. Yao Kazuki, the voice of Jedau sounded a little old for a 14 year old and the childish nature of his character. He was also the voice of Iketani of Initial D, Takeda from History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi, and Fei Long in Street Fighter II V. It’s hard to take him seriously in a more comedic role and as an early teenager. And I enjoyed the voice of Sakakibara Yoshiko as Harman. She had a passion and charisma to her character as well as this intimidation to her voice. So I got nothing much to complain in the voice acting department.
Just like One Piece, this series takes a while to get into and get into a certain pace to truly appreciate it. I don’t think the initial episodes despite how insulting it was after going through Zeta should not refrain you from watching the whole series since it does redeem itself. I was only able to survive and enjoy the series because I gave it that chance. Afterall, this isn’t Gundam SEED Destiny, which is what I personally found as the worst Gundam series of all time and got progressively worse. Anyway, I say this is something more for the likes of dedicated Gundam fans, and not necessarily for casual anime fans. Just give this series a chance.
It gets a lot of bad press. "Worst Gundam Ever" is a common phrase when ZZ comes up in conversation. However. I'm going to go and stand out on a lonely, creaking limb and say I liked it. Say I liked it better than Zeta. Now let me tell you why...
The main difference between Zeta and ZZ is that a majority of the main characters are teenagers. Judau Ashta - the protaganist and pilot of Gundam Double Zeta - isn't interested in piloting or fighting at all in the beginning. When the badly damaged Argama lands at
their colony, he and his friends are simply interested in the Gundam for its scrap value, as they have been left to fend for themselves while their parents have presumably gone off to (or died in) the war. His younger sister Leina worries about him sacrificing his education to earn money and doesn't like him hanging around with the somewhat inscrupulous Beecha and Mondo. Along with feisty girl Elle and unassuming Ino, Judau and his friends get caught up in the activities of the Argama during their attempts to rob it, and form the core of the series from beginning to end. While it's hard to warm to them all at first, you can't help but feel happy for Beecha as after doubts about the war and attempted defection, he finds his calling as a Captain rather than a Mobile Suit pilot, or get caught up in their personal battles when grief causes Mondo to have no thoughts except revenge.
The idea of the Cyber-Newtype is carried on from Zeta in the guise of Elpeo Puru. A young girl similar to Four Murasume and Rosamia Badam, Puru can go from child-like over dependance on Judau to ace pilot bent on destroying him. My main problem with the cyber-newtypes in Zeta was that firstly I felt that having Four, Rosamia and Sarah was overkill, and that they could have been combined into one memorable character. Secondly I never really felt very much for them (which also made it hard to empathise with why Kamille did) as they never got much screen time. Puru however spends a lot of time with the main characters during the middle of the series which gives her character a chance to develop much more than Four or Rosamia did.
Haman Karn is back again as the main antagonist of the series, along with the new characters Glemy Toto, Mashymyre Cello and Chara Soon. Mashymyre is the first foe Judau and friends face - initially almost a comic relief character, a chivalrous villain who refuses to play by anything other than the rules for the sake of his hopeless infatuation with Haman. Indeed, this is really the only thing which saves the untrained (and inept) Judau from death in the early episodes. Later we see a different side to Mashymyre when he is the architect of a colony drop on Dublin. Chara follows a similar (but more sympathetic) path - possesed of particularly overt sexuality she is always a source of humour, but there is also the feeling that something is not quite right in her mind - a personality split which makes it equally likely she will behave in a fun-loving or cruel manner. Glemy Toto, Judau's main nemesis, we see first as he too naively enters his first Mobile Suit battle, and watch as power gradually comes to corrupt him utterly. Sadly he never gets the kind of character development or sympathetic scenes that Jerrod Mesa got in Zeta, which makes him a weaker character as we never really learn what (if anything) drives him to make the decisions he does.
I enjoyed Zeta Gundam, but I often found myself picking holes. The most pervasive problem I had was the short lived and duplicated storylines. For example; Someone develops feelings for an enemy. Someone is kidnapped. One episode later they escape. Wait, they've been captured again. Kamille meets Four. She's gone. Here she is again... etc. With ZZ some of the same ideas are there, but they are slowed down to a speed which actually allows for some character development. Leina is kidnapped by Glemy and is gone for 10-15 episodes, and Puru joins the Argama and stays for a good 20. Chara and Mashymyre dissappear completly to be returned towards the end only when they are relevant, they aren't kept around needlessly or killed off and replaced with yet another generic villain.
As with all Gundam series, ZZ has it's tragic moments. But it picks them carefully and neither milks them for pathos nor glosses over the characters' emotions making them seem cold. People suffer, some moreso than others and some cope with loss better than others. The ::slap:: "get over it, this is war!" attitude to emotion seems to have gone - indeed Captain Bright even says at one point, when berated for the fact that the main characters still behave like kids; "I gave up trying to make them anything else." Which seems to be as much a lesson that the writers of ZZ have learned as he has.
I can understand why people react badly to ZZ at first. The first few episodes on the Shangri-La colony have a lot of humour in them - they don't take themselves seriously and even gently parody ideas from previous Gundam series. Quite a contrast to the dark final episodes of Zeta, but Tomino has said that it was his intention to cheer the audience up, as he felt that more of the same would depress them. And that's perhaps it, the fact that Double Zeta feels more hopeful than it's predecessor, not afraid to have a little fun along with the war and the tragedy, has endeared it to me.
The black sheep of Gundams UC timeline starts off horrible with its comedic approach, but almost reaches Zetas quality of dramatic storytelling in its last third. Especially the second half makes it a must watch for any Gundam Fan, as important political UC relevant events take place. If you want to have a complete understanding of the UC timeline ZZ is quite important to watch (Haman Karn is one of the most intimidating villains in the franchise). The cast of likable characters makes it also very enjoyable.
Art Animation 7/10
Hello, everyone, this is Shawn aka KurataLordStage and this time we will be taking a look at one of the most notorious Gundam shows from the franchise Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ.
Spoilers ahead of this show takes place directly after Zeta.
It is the year Universal Century 0088 the Titans have been defeated and Kamile Bidan mind was lost in the process turning him into a living vegetable because of this the Neo Zeon raise in power and gain control. The Arguma crew land on Shangri where they meet Judau Ashta a teenager who is taking care of his sister by dismantling mobile suit and selling
them for scrap for his buddies. As soon as the Neo Zeons attack the Arguma recruits Judau to pilot the latest mobile suit weapon the Double Zeta Gundam.
Am just going say it right now the story of ZZ Gundam is hot garbage. I know that your all thinking but the show fixes itself in the second half, the finale was great and it returned Zeta roots. No. ZZ Gundam was always bad and the show did not improve all that much in second half.
Before I tear apart the story of ZZ Gundam am going to tell you good about the story of ZZ Gundam
What I liked ZZ Gundam story.
I actually thought the themes of growing up to be decently handed. It didn't become a preachy piece of shit and the show did a decent job at showcasing this because as much I hate most of the new characters they actually grow up as the show progresses.
What I dislike from ZZ Gundam story.
Everything else really due to the show being such a horrendous written show in almost every way possible.
The first half of ZZ Gundam aka the 2 worst of Gundam content-wise.
Many Gundam fans say that Seed Destiny second half is the worst thing from the franchise. I have to play an unpopular opinion on that because ZZ Gundam is easily the second worst thing I have even from the Gundam franchise only losing to Victory Gundam second half. I will get to the show soon because I have a lot of things to say to you.
Back on topic. I was aware of ZZ Gundam goofy reputation because I been told by my friends and at first I didn't mind it the show has a different tone compared to Zeta. Then I watched it and now I just want to Bright Slap Tomino for directing this garbage.
The comedic tone of ZZ Gundam is absolutely horrendous in every level.
Not only it not appropriate for a Gundam show which keeps in mind it takes right after Zeta ended but it actually butchered the writing and pacing of the show. The comedy was cringe-worthy as we see characters and mechas put in retarded solutions like for example one of my favorite Gundam Zeta has was been reduced into a boxer thanks to Juadu. Who thought that was a good idea to write that.
As for the episodes, the only episodes that I liked were the ones that featured Ple in it because she was honestly one of the only redeeming things about this shit show. Everything other episodes including episode 1 were horrendous to watch. Some of these episodes are just so horrendous they feel skippable because they are just that bad like the moon moon story arc which was the 2 episode arc which had no point existing.
The second half is a bit better but not by much.
The writing has slightly improved as the show has more stakes but it didn't fix everything that was wrong with the show.
Overall the story of ZZ Gundam is hot garbage.
The second half may be a slight improvement but the show cannot fix the travesty that is the first half.
Since the story of ZZ Gundam was absolutely horrendous how are the characters? Are they any better?
NO! in fact, some of these characters are worse than the story itself.
Judau is just a shitty Gundam protagonist. Imagine Kamile Bidan but without the charm and growth of this character. He's an insufferable brat who is an asshole to people including his own sister. For example of his stupidity is where in one episode he aggressively tries to attack Fa after she slaps him for being a dick to his own sister. For whose asking Yes he does grow up in the second half and it he kinda matures as a character. The problem is that we the audience don't feel any sympathy or connection to this character because he was just an insufferable douchbag in the first half. Now I like flawed characters because they actually have time to grow up and change as human beings.
Judau is a perfect example to not write a flawed character and because of he just becomes just another one dimensional Saturday morning cartoon character. By the way, you will be seeing these words Saturday Morning Cartoon characters a lot during this selection of this review. Anyway, screw this character let's talk about Juadu's friends.
They are all unlikeable, poorly written and they just felt like Saturday morning cartoon characters. Just horrible.
Lenia is not a fucking character whatsoever She a plot device that only the plot going not to mention she's a fucking damsel in distress and a nag. How beautiful.
Bright Noa. What did they do to you?
You went from a proud and valiant leader in 0079 and Zeta and now in ZZ he devolved into a newtype babysitter.
He is so less strick when you compare to him to 0079 and Zeta. What a wonderful way to ruin one of the main iconic characters from the franchise Tomino.
The only good new character in ZZ is Ple. Unlike almost all of the characters in ZZ which are basically One Dimensional Satudary Morning Cartoons characters Ple actually has a personality and actually left like an actual character despite being a cyber newtype kid. She was honestly the only characters that I enjoyed from start to finish. It's such a shame that Ple is in this piece of shit show instead of Char Counterattack or even the prequel show Zeta.
The villains in ZZ are pathetic.
Before I start to roast these quotations "villains" let's talk about Haman Karn.
She still a good character as still a badass and threating villain and she didn't get butchered unlike a lot of the previous characters. However, I question Haman's obsession with Judau. It was a bit out of character for Haman to have an obsession with Juadu an enemy. In the end of the day she still the best character in the whole entire show. I just wish she was in Char Counterattack instead of this shit show. She was clearly too good to be in this show.
Now for the new villains. They are all horrendous.
The first Saturday morning cartoon villain character list is Mashymre.
He is a one-dimensional character, acts like a fool and he only exists to bring the most repetitive gags from the Gundam franchise where he always chivalry for his lady.
Next, for the Saturday morning cartoon villain character list is that fat fucker Guzin who is an obnoxious scumbag. That all can say about him.
Glemy is also not a good villain and he mostly exists to teach Leina in quotations "some manners" and become a pathetic loser around Roux. Least your not a Saturday morning cartoon character which is a blessing.
Chara Soon is a horrendous excuse for a villain. she has no concrete personality beyond being an insufferable bitch whenever she on screen. Also, the voice acting form this character. was ear bleeding? The only decent thing I can about this character that she, not a stupid Saturday morning cartoon villain. Other than that she a fucking mess.
Overall like with the story the characters are hot garbage.
Visually ZZ Gundam is almost identical to Zeta Gundam.
The characters designs still have that 80s charm that I liked and the backgrounds scenery is still good.
As for the mecha designs, I thought they were okay.
The double Zeta itself looks cool but I feel it draws the line between real robot to super robot.
The rest of the mechs range from good, mediocre to uninspiring.
Overall the visuals of ZZ is still pretty good for what it is.
The music ZZ Gundam is pretty good overall.
Most of the songs in Zeta make a return here but there are some new songs that fit the light-hearted tone of the series. Some of my favorite tracks in ZZ Gundam include Arghama, Shangri La, Masshima Cello and Judau in Space (Track).
Anime ja nai is a catchy song that fits comedic first half of the series while the second opening theme Silent voice fits the more serious second half of the series.
The voicing, for the most part, is pretty good and most of the seiyuus did a good job for voicing each character minus Chara who sounds like dogshit.
Overall the soundtrack is still good as ever. The opening and ending themes were good and the voice acting minus Chara was pretty good.
Train-wreck is the best way to describe this series.
The first half was full of a lot of comedic garbage that felt like a poorly made Saturday morning cartoons Most of the characters sucked that behaved like Saturday morning cartoons and the show is a poorly written mess.
The only good things from ZZ Gundam were the themes, Ple, visuals, and the music.
ZZ Gundam is one of the worst Gundam shows that I have the pleasure of watching from start to finish.
Is this worst than the Build Fighters Try, Wing and Seed Destiny?
Yes because least those shows were fun to laugh at. ZZ Gundam is a fucking failure of a squeal.
ZZ Gundam is one of the worst anime squeals I have ever watched in anime.
I don't recommend this show to anyone unless you are a big Gundam freak such as myself.
Final Score 2/10
Anyway this was Shawn aka KurataLordStage and I will see you guys next time.
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