Gundam 00 Awakening of the Trailblazer – Review

It is the year A.D. 2314. Two years have passed since the defeat of the ruthless A-LAWs, and the new Earth Sphere Federation government has sought for peace by establishing a weapon-free world. However, a long forgotten ship that was sent to Jupiter 130 years ago somehow returns to Earth, seemingly with no signs of life onboard, but actually bringing with it a dangerous new alien threat – the Extraterrestrial Living-metal Shapeshifters (ELS), who have started assimilating Earth’s technology and inhabitants. Now, with humanity at risk of total destruction, the Celestial Being makes its return to defend against the invasion of the ELS. (ANN)

Story: 7/10 I’m actually quiet new to the Gundam franchise since the first Gundam series I’ve watched and liked was Gundam Seed but I’m not that ignorant with this franchise since I at least know that its the first time that the Gundam universe introduced an alien enemy. I think it was a good idea to introduce aliens instead of the usual human vs human that people have seen for so many years since it gives a new feel to the series.Those aliens termed ELS (Extraterrestrial Living-metal Shapeshifters) is a very challenging opponent even for the Celestial Beings since you cannot touch them or else they’ll absorb you and turn you into metal and they even gives mental stress to those who are Innovators or to those who has the potential to be one. Because of the ELS, the atmosphere of this movie gives horror and suspense at the beginning since the viewers don’t know what are these metallic beings, what are they capable of and why are they attracted to earth then there’s the desperation during the climatic battle at the end where the ratio of the aliens far exceeds the Earth Sphere Federation army.If you want to watch this movie, make sure you’ve watched season one and two of Gundam 00 or else you will be confused throughout the movie. Its ok if one needs to rely to the original material but it has to have something that will make it stand out from its predecessor. Its not enough that one aspect is good and you can forget the rest it has to be a package like good story paired up with good character development and even a good animation just like what KyoAni did with ‘The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya’. In this movie however, I hate to admit it but almost everything is flawed. Sure the ELS was a nice concept for the story to progress since they made humanity feel desperate and was able to work hand in hand with each other but its not enough specially how they ended the movie. I expected that the ending would like be any Gundam ending where there’s a showdown of the protagonist against the antagonist but what the heck did they do? It felt like as if they’ve just realized that the movie is already long and ended it abruptly just like that. I also think that the way this movie delivered its theme/moral was too cheesy for my taste that I ended up laughing at it at the end so I think it could have been written or delivered better.The saving grace of this movie is the action since it was fast paced and kept me at the edge of my seat and even found myself leaning closer to the monitor so as not to miss anything. I love the camera angles during the fight scenes and it somehow felt like I’m also there piloting a Mobile Suit.Overall, good atmosphere, pacing and an adrenaline pumping action but the lackluster ending that looks like it was thought at an instant and the cheesy delivery of the overused theme ruined the story for me. Again *face palm* for the ending.

Characters: 7/10For me, the main selling point of Gundam Seed is its characters since they are more interesting than the mechs they pilot so its a bit sad that we get no development of the main characters so this movie heavily relies on the viewers knowledge of the tv series. I really felt bad for Feldt since her development is this movie is one sided and somehow it even felt forced. Its also nice to see that Saji and Louise is not so annoying anymore and that hey have settled down. Mister Bushido is also very memorable in this movie since he dropped that ridiculous mask and he died in a very honorable and memorable way. I thought that one of the villains would be Descartes Shaman but it turned out he’s a good guy and I’m surprised he got killed a bit too early in the movie and didn’t have enough development. There’s also an introduction/reappearance of Meena and the secretary that looks and even sounds like Nena Trinity and Anew Returner and despite of their appearance the movie didn’t explain anything about them. I find the villains of this movie shallow since all their actions involved attacking earth and messing up the head the Innovators. Since those ELS didn’t talk in the movie so somehow its understandable that they are shallow antagonists.

Animation: 8/10I’ve watched the 720p mkv version of this and I think it look pretty good. The CG of this movie is absolutely beautiful specially during the fight scenes but the character animation on the other hand have little improvement from the tv series. The action is very fluid and like I said earlier, I like the camera angles during the fight scenes since it felt like I’m also there riding a Mobile Suit. As expected of a movie since it has a fairly good amout of budget, there were no rehash of any fight scenes.Sounds: 6/10The OP song “Tozasareta Sekai” by THE BACK HORN is quite similar with “Day Break’s Bell” by L’arc~en~Ciel that sounds apocalyptic. I didn’t really like both of those songs so I’m expecting they’ll play something like “Ash Like Snow” by the brilliant green and “Namida no Mukou” by Stereopony which are the 2nd OP song of season one and two respectively. I really prefer those songs than the first OP of both seasons. The ED song on the other hand “Qualia” by Uverworld is a bit better than the OP and its somehow sad but I hoped the ED would be sung by Stephanie or even Yuna Ito who sang an ED song of both season since their songs are really catchy specially Trust You and let’s not forget Friends.As for the BGM I barely notice it but I think its there playing during the action scenes, maybe I’m to busy watching the action.

Enjoyment: 8/10Yes, I enjoyed watching this movie and its all because of the action that had my adrenaline pumping. Even if this movie has its flaws, I’m glad since at least I get to watch a Gundam movie since I’m really craving for a mecha show. To those who are a die hard fan of Gundam 00 then I think this show is for you but for the veteran Gundam fan, I definitely think they will have diverse reaction to this movie. Also, if you want to start watching a Gundam series and you decided to watch this one I suggest that you should avoid it and watch season 1 and 2 first of Gundam 00 or else you’ll end up confused.

Overall: 7.2 (Low Priority Watch)

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