Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Undefined Gamer: "Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 2" Review

I really should have reviewed this before
the movie...

      Season 2 picks up where Season 1 left off... sort of.
      4 years has passed since the death of Lockon Stratos. In that time,
Celestial Being has been largely inactive, as the world has almost
completely united under the "United Federation."
      The Federation is essentially a worldwide dictatorship, destroying all
who do not join them through their Autonomous Peacekeeping Force, or
A-Laws for short (in Japanese.... I guess.... weird, I don't actually
guess why they call them A-Laws). The A-Laws can basically do whatever
the hell they want from a legal standpoint.
      This leads to horrific results, such as their use of Automatons,
robots equipped with machine guns created to mow people down.
      This premise, of an overpowered abusive government, works for at least
the first 12 episodes. This season has 25.
      This season starts out incredibly strong, introducing interesting new
blood, such as Lockon's brother, Lyle Dylandy, who would take his
brother's place and his codename "Lockon Stratos" (Lockon's real name
is Neil). In between seasons, several characters have received
impressive amounts of character development. Amongst the most extreme
have been Saji Crossroad and Louise Hallaby. These two characters
existed solely to express how normal life was in the United
Federation, far from the action. They where harmless enough, and grew
on you.
      In between seasons, Saji's (hot) sister and Louise's parents are
revealed to be murdered in a Throne (Thrones where the 2nd, shittier
set of Gundams, revealed in one of the final story arcs of season 1).
     Ouch. What a blow to the balls.
      What makes this so effective, is that Saji and Louise were the most
relatable characters in the show. Everyone else is either there to
avenge some lost family member, part of the military, sadistic crazy
people, or scientifically engineered super soldiers.
      Ironically, Louise goes nuts and joins the A-Laws to avenge the loss
of her family members, She does. She doesn't gain anything. Woop de
f*cking doo.
      Meanwhile, Saji lets go of his resentment (part of this has to do with
the fact that 2/3 of the Throne Gundams are dead in the beginning of
season 2), and becomes one of the most interesting characters in the
show. Setsuna F. Seie, the main character, does this also to the same
effect, though it is more meaningful in his case, being he was a
former child soldier who killed both his parents against his will.
      Speaking of dead parents, the guy who made Setsuna do that, Ali al
Sanchez, finally gets his comeuppance, though it was terribly dragged
      Ali and the A-Law plot arc are terribly dragged out. Like the original
quest to defeat the Fire Nation in Avatar, our heroes are provided
with multiple chances to end the arc, but don't. One might see this as
Sunrise building up to a grand, final, epic conclusion. They don't. At
the last minute, Sunrise pushes the arc aside to focus on their
Innovators arc.
      This show might look fantastic, and did have a stellar 12 opening
episodes, but the plot lacks good structure. So many story arc run at
the same time, and many needed quicker, more satisfying conclusions.
Also, the English dub is not as good as the first, oftentimes having
characters spout out lines that should've been edited out by
      Still a stellar series. If you have not seen the movie (which takes
place after season 2), it will keep you in suspense. Lots of great
characters and stellar animation (not to mention great music), make up
for the drastically different and messy plot.

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Season 2 gets 4 stars out of 6

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