- Gundam 101: Anime Crash Course – 2020 Edition: 1979-1999
- Gundam 101: Anime Crash Course – 2020 Edition: 2000-2009
- Gundam 101: Anime Crash Course – 2020 Edition: Movies & OVAs
Welcome to the second installment of the Gundam 101 series. In case you were wondering what this is all about, it is a “Crash Course” into the world of Gundam for first time viewers, or Gundam vets who are not up to date on their “Gundaming”.
On Monday, Part 1 went over Gundam series created from 1979 to 2000. Today, we will go over series made in 2000 to 2009. Friday will conclude the series as we take a look Gundam Movies and OVA (Original Video Animation) series.
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Part 2: TV Anime from 2000 – 2009
Part 2 will be shorter than the last as there aren’t that many shows that I’ve watched (there’s actually a few more that have aired in Japan, but I have yet to watch them). Like in Part 1, comments can be left if there are any questions or any errors.
(Author’s Note: these will be as discussed in 2009, but there will be honorable mentions for franchise entries that have been released in the time since this was written in a separate post.)
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (Seasons 1 & 2)
Episodes: 52 (Split into two seasons with 26 episodes each)
Timeline: Anno Domini
Gundam 00 was the most recent series in the franchise at the time of writing. It debuted in 2007 and concluded in Spring 2008 with only 25 episodes. In Fall 2008, Season 2 of Gundam 00 aired with additional 25 episodes, making it a grand total of 50 episodes (the average episode count of a Gundam series). Season 2 came to an end in late March 2009.
The universe Gundam 00 is actually set in present time; A.D., or “Domini”, a huge adjustment from the UC, AC and FC universe. Of course, a Gundam series has to include at least
two three factions to keep the story interesting: HRL (Human Reform League), Union, and AEU (Anti-Earth Union… Not to be confused with AUEG from Zeta Gundam).
The lead character, Setsuna F. Seiei, originally an orphaned soldier, becomes a Gundam Meister (pilots) for the Anti-War organization, Celestial Being. In addition, he teams up with 3 other Meisters: Allelujah Haptism, Tieria Erde, and Lockon Stratos. Like Setsuna, the Meisters also come from different backgrounds.
Along with the Meisters, there are two other characters: Saji Crossroad and Louise Halevy-who are sort of in the way, but they provide extra material for the story…*hint hint*. Gundam 00 has no major villains (ala Char or Treize), at least on the surface, watching the first season, but each of the factions have at least one (insane) person who wants to put a stop to Celestial Being’s actions.
The first season of 00 starts off at a slow pace. Like the other series, there’s more political interaction than MS encounters. However, it picks up later in the series, especially in Season 2 when a lot of things that wasn’t explained earlier are finally told-a long with a few surprises.
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
Timeline: Cosmic Era
Set in the Cosmic Era (C.E.), a war breaks out between the Earth and the colonies in tradition fashion as in the previous Gundam series. Gundam SEED is the first series in the 21st century since Turn-A-Gundam in 1999 (another series yet to be released in North America).
It begins with a view of space-followed by an intense battle between two factions: Earth Alliance vs. ZAFT. (Just think Zeon, except everybody is younger). Of course, the Earth and the Spacenoids don’t agree with each other, so a war breaks out. Some of the colonies are hit in the attack, except for one.
Kira Yamato is a typical High School student. He spends the morning studying at the last minute before his friends drops by to pick him up. In the meantime, the bad guys are planning something. (*Insert evil plot here, along with a Char/Zechs look-a-like*).
In no time, the colony is under enemy fire. Kira and his friend Cagalli frantically make a run for it, until they run into Murrue, a member of the Earth Alliance who is fighting for her life. (When I think about it, her scenario is similar to the first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam.)
Kira comes to her rescue-until he sees a familiar face. It’s Athrun Zala: a childhood friend of Kira’s, and an unlikely villain of SEED as he is a member of ZAFT…for now.
SEED is a Gundam series I didn’t like very much. For starters: there’s just too much angst involved to stomach… and that’s just the first episode. Of course, for a Gundam series, you’ll find familiar elements from the previous Gundam shows, but it wasn’t enough for me to buy into it.
However, SEED is something that anyone who hasn’t watched a Gundam series before can get into. With that said, I will list this anyway: a lot of younger fans enjoyed it and maybe others will too!
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny
Timeline: Cosmic Era
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny is the second series in the SEED storyline. The anime premiered roughly two years after the first SEED series, with the story taking place two years after the events of SEED. (Author’s Note: I could have included this with SEED, but I hope after reading you will understand why I separated this.)
After the long war, the Earth Alliance and ZAFT sign a peace treaty. Earth and the colonies finally live in peace… That is until a secret organization surfaces and steals Mobile Suits to prove a point.
We see some familiar characters, Shinn Asuka, Cagalli Yutha Athha, Kira Yamato, and Athrun Zala from the original series. Despite both factions finally making peace, others have their own motives.
The first episode of Destiny is pretty much like the first episode of SEED; a base gets attacked, but we see Athrun and Cagalli instead of Kira. Instead of civilian firepower, Athrun pilots a mobile suit to ward of attackers. He finds himself unable to continue-that is until a core fighter, with a familiar pilot, shows up on the battlefield…
Just like SEED, there’s not much to say about Destiny-except for the fact that other SEED fans agreed that it wasn’t very good as SEED itself. To be honest, I did preview the first episode to make sure the story was right. (And mind you, it was irritating just after 2 minutes).
Again, I will leave this series here for others to decide whether it is worth watching. You could buy it if the price it right (and I mean if the price is right), but it’s pretty much a rental right here.
End of Part 2
That ends Part 2 of the Gundam 101 series. Friday will conclude the feature with a look into the Movies and OVA series. And for Gundam Wing fans, there will be a bonus attached that’s related to the end of the series that you may not know about! ^_^