Monday, October 08, 2007

Gundam 00: My First Impression

I watched the first episode of Gundam 00 on Youtube the other day, and even though I had no way of understanding the Japanese narration and dialogue since my understanding of that language is close to nil, I must say that I'm really pleased with it. The demonstration of how Celestial Being opposes all weapons and war by wrecking havoc at Enact's party is easy to understand, and how first blood drawn by Gundam Exia is going to escalate into future battles is highly anticipate-able.

In short, the First Episode really laid a great foundation for the whole story of Gundam 00 to move on.

Some of my friends discussed it today, and they missed the large scale battles between nations, such as the war between ZAFT and Earth Alliance in SEED, or the war between AEUG and the Titans in Zeta Gundam. On the other hand, I like the idea of shifting the battle sequences to guerrilla warfare, or smaller scale sorties which allows the audience to focus more on each of the Gundams, as well the other enemy MSs. Plus, the animation team won't have much excuse to "recycle" scenes (as seen throughout SEED Destiny) and cook up an episode with reused sequences. As the number of MSs involved in each battle is fewer for Gundam 00, they will have to provide more details.

I do have some of my own opinions though:
(1) The helmet design - I believe most of you will agree if I say the helmets worn by the four Gundam pilots in Gundam 00 are more natural-looking than the ones used in SEED or SEED Destiny ^^ Also, I particularly like the idea of how the helmet of Setsuna is designed closely to resemble the head of Exia. This most certainly pushes the relationship between him and that Gundam even closer than any other in the past.

The helmet is much easier to accept than the huge-awkward ones in SEED.
By the way, note that there's no more split on the mask/face of Exia, which is a characteristic shared by all the Gundams in Gundam 00 actually.

(2) Cockpit design - I just love the cockpit of Gundam Dynames. It looks more spacious and relaxing ^^ as compared to most other MSs' cockpits I saw in the past. Lockon Stratos sure looks relaxed in there before starting his mission of shooting down Helions in pursuit of Exia. And the way the sniper camera is positioned in the cockpit, like a huge revolver cannon really makes it looks extremely fun as well.

Imagine sitting in a Lamborghini playing Counterstrike :-D

A grown-up who keeps a Haro. Hem... that sure reminds me of how many people think about me in the past when they know about my interest in Gunpla XD

(3) Character design: Tieria Erde - Now here's something I don't get it: why would they design a fella who looks so feminine, with a near girlish name as well, but give him the opposite gender instead. I remembered how embarrassed I was once, when reporting the announcement of the characters for Gundam 00, mistaken him as a her, only to be corrected by a reader via the comment section.

Everytime Tieria speaks, which isn't much actually, since he appeared last among the four Gundam Meisters in Episode One, I wanted to laugh. I was imagining how well it would be if Tieria was given a female voice-actor instead. No offense if you're a fan of his now, but I sure hope for at least one female Gundam pilots instead of an all-boys-gang.

I used to mistaken Heine Westenfluss in SEED Destiny as a girl, before he started talking and "shocked" me completely XD But Tieria's "gender confusion" is even worse!

(4) Who's that Gundam? - This is the biggest question I had about Episode 1 actually: who's that Gundam Setsuna saw when he was a kid about to be killed. It's definitely not Exia, and more troubling, many of its parts looks suggestive to RX-78-2, the first Gundam, which is not supposed to exist in the time line of Gundam 00.

Chest design, pistol and shield similar to those of Exia, shoulder and waist armors and beam sabers (I'm guessing those are) from RX-78-2, and head of Gundam Mk. II.
Seriously, if they can't find a good reason for introducing this Gundam in the series, they can always say it's Setsuna's hallucination :-D

Is this just a gesture of respect to the Gundam franchise? or maybe this "predecessor" to Exia will have some significance in future episodes? Hopefully there'll be some answers as the series move on.