So after S2 Hillrod 00 brings about a new age of prosperity by giving into the demands of the Middle Eastern thugocracies and monarchies to ensure everlasting peace. Innovators have disproved Darwin’s theory of evolution and innovators are being activated slowly. Zekes are now showing up and making trouble in the colonies but old CB is there to stop them. In the mean time CB lays low instead of handing themselves in like they said they would. Rather they build yet another Gundam to sell more kits for Bandai as Jihad-kun has leveled up to Jihad-Jesus and so they venerate him, sadly they don’t turn him into a sand worm.
Saji and Louise revert to being useless, more so than in S1, as Louise despite being a Yuri-Powered Ace armed with True Love for Soma can now no longer pilot and is now suffering headaches. Saji tries to become a jock but can’t even play little league soccer, and spends his days watching superb Feddie 30 for 30 documentaries (the one he saw was Alejandro’s Counterattack) that basically blows all of Gundam 00 out of the water. Back in outer space a very bored T-1000 who was born of the fake tears of false love and failed relationships, hither to known as ELS, decided to turn into something other than a very cool assassin from the future. He makes his way to the Earth to assault those who Do Not Remember Love. A new movie only character, by the name of Shaman, goes out in a splendid mobile armor but instead of pulling a Gato beforehand and starting Operation Stardust to really ramp up the excitement he shoots the hell out of the a space probe that can’t fight back.
ELS comes back and CB being the FAIL Family that they are pretty much get their asses handed to them and their Jihad-Jesus starts sleeping on the job. Unfortunately for Graham Aker her has now become Jihad-Jesus’ NUMBER ONE FAN and leads the Sol Braves to the NLCS Championship, errr saves the day to tune of my rabid fanboy WARCHANT and TOMAHAWK CHOP. In one of the few awesome moments of combat. The Sol Braves do a variation on Boom and Zoom along with the Lufbery Circle to show CB how to get shit done. While the GNX-Y903 is “technically inferior” to the new fugly looking Zabanya, the Braves take the crown for best mecha in Trailblazer because the Gundam Designers got too carried away with festooning their Gundams with weapons and instead of reducing the armory to streamline their designs, kind of like Nu-Gundam. However they opt to instead drop the Dendorbium and Nu-Gundam setup and give Zabanya a wedding dress because since it worked in Wedding Peach it would also work here. Besides it makes Lockon’s butt look big and the staff seems to life long fans of Baby Got Back.
Patrick and Kati are happily married and go off to lead the defense of the Federation by setting up HQ in Ribbons’ mansion. Billy has been busy and gets a handout girlfriend because he made a deal with Hades and forsook Zeus because he could not get a girlfriend the Patrick way. So while discussing pseudo-science Billy gets glomped and jumped by this new Meena who sounds and looks a lot like Nena but sadly there is no stabby time only lame fanservice in lieu of a Kati and Patrick PASSIONATE KISS. Instead of giving us a kiss that mattered Billy and Meena kissed while viewers booed and heckled them harder than Philadelphia Eagles fans. So comes the final battle which is a turkey shoot where things are going bad, but colorful and FABULOUS until GARham shows Jihad-Jesus how to BE A MAN. Jihad-Jesus saves all of humanity my turning ELS into a flower. Later on Klaus gets the idea that he is Misa and decides to make a copy of Megaroad 1 with Ex-Gear copies to serve as work platforms to explore the Galaxy with innovators. You can catch all their adventures on MBC’s newest reality show Klaus’ Island will it be like Gilligan’s Island or will it end up like Lord of the Flies? Catch this and more from Sunrise.
Once again this huge cast gets bigger for no real reason, and they try to develop secondary characters that spent most of S1 and S2 doing little more than sit on their arses and look pretty. Marina, Feldt, and the not so subtle Nena or Meena take up a lot of time trying to get more fans. Given how they were so reluctant to kill any of the mains they probably would have been better off just sparing the hated ones they did kill so that they can be killed off in the Movie. I am sure Prince Ali could have been an easy stand in for Shaman, hell it probably would have done more to hammer home that simply being an innovator does not make you a good person. Meena or Mina is pretty much a Nena clone whose only discernible purpose is to give Billy a good end. This I think is pretty damn lame almost fan-fiction level lame it’s awful there is no setup you may as well give Billy a harem since there is no history to the pair and it contributes little if anything to the plot, underwhelming as it is.
If they want a fanservice character they may as well use Sumeragi since they already did it before and besides she is already cheap and easy whore that will put out tricks for whiskey shots. Marina at least did us the service of ditching the fat Seelian kid and her aspirations for a singing career. After that though we have to take as fact that Marina is a good and just ruler of a prosperous Azadistan by sitting on a couch and watching TV for most of S1 and S2. If any one really deserved to get the axe it probably would have been Marina and this Meena, it is decidedly late to make people care, and disgustingly desperate in the case of Marina where they still want the audience to embrace her as a model ruler.
Feldt I am sure had plenty of fans since emotionless waifs are a staple moe these days and this thing with Setsuna…it was like just one scene in S2 with a flower and then they make a whole subplot based on it. A shipping war is only fun if the ones involved generate fanboy and fangirl hysteria, it takes time as part of the fun of ship to ship combat is that it lasts for a season, you can’t have a shipping war in two hours and expect people to care. But to be fair they could at least say they tried to get the shipping war started…at the 11th hour when S2 ended on a rather lame note with Unlimited Gaga Works.
I feel very cheated that Patrick and Kati did not get to have a PASSIONATE KISS hell if they wanted romance sub plot they already had it in those two. Moreover both Kati and Patrick were better fleshed out than Meena and Billy… I hate that they wasted as much time as they did no Meena and Billy because it was not all that necessary, Patrick being Patrick could have asked enough questions to bring every one up to speed though I really do pity the people who get Trailblazer as their Gateway Gundam. Still much of the little enjoyment I had watching this movie was from seeing Kati and Patrick be happy together forever. Sadly their screen time paled in comparison lame relationships that weren’t terribly romantic and definitely forced. Between Meena and Billy alone you had enough justification for mocking the ELS “innovation” in Gundam as Extremely Lame Shipping.
Combat was ho-hum since every one had Trans-AM, funnels/fangs were every where, the cacophony of colors made it hard to ID who was dying since they took a clone wars approach, everything looked samey and out side of the Sol Braves, Diebuster-ELS, and CB. What is the point about spouting about the morality of war when it S2 pretty much ended all real fighting and all that was left was a turkey shoot against an alien intelligence that was lazily characterized with a still montage about how they miraculously survived their home star going supernova. Despite all the shout outs to Char’s Counter Attack and Gundam 0083 Trailblazer can’t even hold a candle against them. CCA was a final battle between Amuro and Char two characters who had a lot of history behind their feud. NinaxKouxGato was annoying but just as annoying as MenaxBilly but at least 0083 had more consistency and wasn’t wrapped up in homage and trying to elevate Kou to be some sort of savior.
Gundam 00 Trailblazer to me is a case study of how bad Sunrise’s “Me Too Mentality” for Gundam has gotten. they should do their own thing and not have to ape what everyone else is doing. Shipping was never a Gundam strong point until CE came along and to be frank at least in that regard Gundam 00 S1 and S2 seemed like a step forward but Trailblazer is the equivalent of three steps back. I don’t see the need to force a love triangle for Jihad-Jesus nor do I see any merit in a Billy pairing this late in Gundam 00. The latest Gundam designs seem more concerned with power levels and become overloaded with weapons instead of elegant aesthetics as seen in the GNX-903 Braves. I usually like Gundam designs hell I even think Wing Zero looked good in Endless Waltz, but these Trailblazer designs just look so hideous I am not sure if they simply got lost in festooning CB with guns or that the Braves are just that good looking.
Given how much they have borrowed from Macross I wished they took a page in how to integrate heavy armament with an elegant design. Given how they tried to make Marina a Minmay and make the Warship Sumeragi Megaroad 1 along with their EX-Gear copies I wish they would have gone with armor packs too. Even if it would come off as them being creatively bankrupt and below Kawamori’s level. It is kind of sad how the homages got way out of hand and made it come off as them cutting and pasting a bunch of good sci-fi scripts and pasted it all into one. ELS the alien didn’t really work because it doesn’t really communicate intent intent very well, the Vajra worked to a degree because they were developed over a course of 25 eps, here a lot is taken for granted. Moreover they don’t have a unique aesthetic since they borrowed from Diebuster and then something very Vorlon-esque before deciding to simply clone Feddie tech. For a sapient species that has been exploring for possibly eons certainly they wouldn’t need to copy Feddie and CB tech if they can cross star systems and survive supernovae. At least with a unique aesthetic combat wouldn’t have degenerated into a light show that was hard to keep track of.
I really liked the movie in a movie as a super robot take on Gundam 00 probably would have worked better in the long run since Trailblazer and S1 couldn’t be any more different thematically. Fundamentally it is again too fantastic to be real robot and not hot-blooded enough to be super robot, the fact that they really borrowed more than they should have only emphasizes how Gundam isn’t really leading mecha trends any more they are following what other shows do. The variable fighter concept was borrowed in the aftermath of Macross SDFM, along with their failed attempts at bringing in a Minmay. I have never seen a movie try so hard to ship a new pair since even in CCA, Quess at least served a larger purpose. It was exasperating to see them ship Billy and Meena as hard as they did, I am still confused as to why they thought it a good idea. As much as I liked Alejandro’s Counterattack it was almost all homage, it wasn’t uniquely Gundam 00. All that Gundam seems to have now are basically fabulous colors, beam spam, pixie dust, a series of mecha that seem to be evolving more towards ridiculously heavy armament than being real robot at least in AU, and newtype messiahs.
I wish there was a lot more to love outside of KatixPatrick and the Sol Braves. I wished it had lived up to being a Trailblazer instead of being so mired in homage that they lost sight of being a Gundam 00 movie instead of a shout out to Science Fiction that depending on your view will either be well appreciated or come off as stupidly heavy handed. If only it were more like Stardust Memory in terms of plot coherency, theme, innovation, and pacing. If only it did provide a suitable end to a character conflict they way CCA did, but there was nothing left to solve but elevate Jihad-Jesus and bring in a turkey shoot to make more money. If they were going to borrow judiciously they should have thrown caution to the wind and given the Sol Braves the Tomahawk Chop and a Highway to the Dangerzone shout out.
Given how much iterations there are within Gundam 00 already I would like a ESPN 30 for 30 documentary treatment for the CB war in the vein of Alejandro’s Counterattack. Just imagine how cool it would be to give the Flag Fighters and the Sol Braves the Top Gun treatment it wouldn’t have to be canon it could still be EPIC as simply Feddie Propaganda. Without the CB and the GN drive it could actually you know be real robot again. Why not animate the wars between the Union, AEU, and HRL, to see the rise of Aker, Kati, and Sergei? Why not fill in the gap between S1 and S2 to see how “vile” the A-Laws were and what desperate terror tactics Kataron resorted to to stay in the fight in the name of “peace and justice”? I want to see a spin off dealing with Kati, Sumeragi, and Billy’s college years. They can do plenty original things with the franchise they have a world built even if they don’t have a war it can still be mecha, it’s just sad to see that the title of Trailblazer is pretty much a misnomer.
If this is only part you read.
I found Gundam 00 to be generally bad with a few sweet but all too brief moments of awesomeness for the ages. Nevertheless it is something one has to see for themselves. It can be entertaining depending on who you are. But for me I was laughing and sighing at how excessive they had gone with homages to great sci-fi works and decided to heavily ship pairings and force a triangle this late in the franchise.