At least he is not crying in defeat…
As per a few demands by the pro-Gundam 00 camp I guess it is time I explained what they call my irrational hate for the series and my lack of being fair and balanced. They bothered to read so I must respond. There are things I like about the series and more that I do not. It would be a more simple matter if the UN guys sucked as hard as those CB terrorists, but I still like Sergei, Katie, Patrick, Ali, Soma, and Graham. They are why I watch this series and every time they take a back seat to Feldt crying or a Moreno eulogy I am filled with rage and honestly as a soldier I am supposed to have an abundance of aggression, its just that my job gives me direction as to where to aim it. So is there legitimacy for the Gundam 00 hate? I say that there are plenty of reasons…
Bow to your new leader. (As the ranking of evil hegemons go I find my self wishing Mineva Lao Zabi would kick his ass and take over. Sieg Zeon.)
So when this series started there was a lot of hubbub about zero sum games, back room deals, regional power plays, and what amounted to a Cold War without nukes. To be sure CB spent one episode attack the causes of war but that was about it, they also spent a few episodes beating up the guys who called Ceylon their home. However all this didn’t really come into play unless we buy into the idea that blood diamonds, and illegal drug trafficking has all ceased to be a problem, it was solved by a few bombs. The political part of the series has pretty much died since Corner has more clout as a UN diplomat than their 21st century counterparts. I still wonder how Corner has monopolized political power when prior to the Union, AEU, and HRL played their own games without a need to consult the UN where Corner’s power lies. I find it rather hard to swallow that the UN becomes a viable means of Corner hegemony when the Big Three were able to do whatever they wanted prior to allying under the name of UN. I don’t think that they have explained how Corner was able to monopolize power, though they can credibly argue trough financial power given the amount of gold Corner seems to possess. However if Corner is the king of a financial empire then he does fit the mold of the typical African President for Life as he certainly has been brown bagging a lot of lunches to get his golden mobile armor.
For me all soldiers are equal (I have a major bias in favor of Soldiers)
Now that’s the spirit, never give up. Never give in.
I liked Lockon until he went all vengeful rather than planning a comprehensive revenge. I had high hopes initially as he was billeted as a sniper but eventually got downgraded to marksman and even then a fourth rate one. A sniper these days means a guy who has a spotter, inserts himself into the battlefield, spends time staking it out, and spends days moving a few inches in hostile territory while defecating in his ghillie suit. A sniper has to be methodical and calculating to make his shots, but Lockon’s little charge against Ali was not how a sniper would have approached the situation. Nevertheless he can brag about shooting long distance, but in the end he charged out beam saber in hand to meet his opponent when he first caught sight of him.
You know being an idiot ain’t all that bad, the world is simpler, and your needs more reasonable. At least the guy is happy, after all has Sumeragi’s intelligence netted her happiness?
I like the UN blokes and I do like Patrick more than most people. Patrick strikes me as that eager young ensign who signed up during peacetime to play with cool toys. Like any rookie show comes out of basic he is self assured and is eager to prove himself. He could have been more than that but alas they declined to show how war was terrible from the eyes of an eager young ensign who slowly becomes jaded by the horror of it. Instead we get the long lost relative of Team Rocket who gets to blast off time and time again. I really like the bloke because his motivation for living was infinitely more human and average than fighting for ideology. All Patrick wanted from life was to pilot a mobile suit and spend his days with Katie until his 20 years were up or they had to forcibly retire him after 30 years in service. For Patrick the great struggle in life was already won he knew what he wanted and he goes for it. Patrick does not ask the stupid questions like where God is or what is the purpose of Gundam? Sure most of his prowess comes from luck, but I have found that being lucky in war is at times better than being skilled, and Patrick was lucky.
Mien Oberst Kaite is still the smartest woman in all of Gundam 00.
Sure Patrick is an idiot, but he is not fucking things up for the rest of his comrades and at least he has the common courtesy to praise himself mostly in the confines of his own cockpit. I think Patrick was capable of learning though it seems that he can only learn if his teacher is his beloved Katie. For a time Patrick did kick arse and I would have hoped that the streak would have lasted, but some one has to provide comic relief it might as well be the guy who can survive just about anything.
Ali on the other hand is deliciously evil and is completely honest about why he is fighting. It is for no cause, he just wants to die from the last bullet in the last war. He is the guy who form some unknown reason could no longer adjust to peace. War is an adventure, often a tragic one, but an adventure nonetheless. After all in war you get to go to strange places and meet new people, though you might have to kill them. Ali was the only one who consistently lived up to the role of villain more than any one else. He killed Kinue for teh lulz and then murdered Lagna. Ali keeps things interesting in ways no other character can as the reigning leader of the Gundam 00 leaderboard Ali is epitome of a fighter without a cause. Sure we can slight him for using Setsuna as a child fighter, but we still do not know the circumstances of Kurdistan’s fall. For all we know Ali could have been the only guy willing to fight for God, emir, and country (do this Sunrise and I will never mention Ms. Wang again). He had already lost his war and yet he still endures trying to find a place to die, but too proud to kill himself because suicide is not acceptable even in Islam. Unfortunately some how Corner gets a mobile armor and Ali has to warm the bench until his return.
See even the Wild Bear was happy and proud to see Patrick survive. That’s one letter home to a grieving mother that he won’t have to write.
I like Sergei, Katie, Soma, Aker, Ali, and Patrick because they are just there trying to do their jobs. They are not so arrogant as to believe that they know what is best for the world and go about trying to use violence to make people conform to their ideal world on their own accord. To be sure they have faults Sergei is at times a bit too cautious, Katie needs to let her hair down, Soma needs to kill something, Patrick needs to learn to be as cool headed as Katie, Ali needs to kick Setsuna in the teeth, and Graham needs to show up for work. Nonetheless they are to me normal (okay maybe not Ali) soldiers going about their business trying to earn a living. To me just trying to get by in life is about as normal as you can get and for me it engenders a lot more sympathy on my part. As soldiers I feel that I share the fate of having one’s country provide me with food, equipment, and pay – much of it poor, late, and inadequate – and declares me the defender even as the society I am told to defend looks down on me.
Happy Katie is fine too.
Contrast this to the CB scum. They fight for ideology alone, and instead of trying to change the world in non-violent ways opt for force instead. They seek to enforce their will on the rest of the world who never asked them to kill for the sake of peace. They want to change the world because they think that they know better, and this, to me, is arrogant and unappealing. While the UN blokes try to do their jobs properly, the CB guys can’t even be good terrorists. A few bombs here and there will not solve anything, and honestly the world will always be imperfect because humans can never fully agree on anything. Yet I am supposed to cheer for these assholes even if I disagree with their goal and their methods? Fuck that I won’t pretend to like them because I don’t. I don’t think any one is under some obligation to like these fuckers. Just like how some people can have the opinion that Sumeragi is likable does not mean that I have to over look her tactical ineptitude and just stare at the assets.
War on War
Yep both Katie and Sergei have read Sumeragi’s book…
I think that war was a the casus belli then it stands to reason that there should be some well reasoned arguments against war, and that would imply that Sunrise has to present us with what war is supposed to be. However we get instead a watered downed version of the current situation in the Middle East that while we know it to be bad in the 2300s it is overly simplified and really just smacks of soap box preaching about how the Sunni and Shia just need to hug to get along. The whole Azadistan poverty thing and internal conflict has not been elaborated on in full and as it stands remains a joke. Sure their oil wealth is gone, but they now have an energy crisis? I am sure there were plenty of those oil fueled power plants that the Big Three would have been eager to sell, and if they didn’t I am sure that the energy conglomerates would have been eager to cut their losses and would have sold off their old equipment. One cannot ignore how Mariana is living in a pimped out palace with servants and clean clothes when her people live in abject poverty, and not laugh a bit inside.
TURKEY TROTS TO WATER GG FROM CINCPAC ACTION COM THIRD FLEET INFO COMINCH CTF SEVENTY-SEVEN X WHERE IS RPT WHERE IS UNION ACE GRAHAM ACRE RR THE WORLD WONDERS (kudos if you know the original line)
We have not heard a single new development on the war in Ceylon so clearly that war too has been settled with a few bombs and swords. That or the conflict is no longer of serious concern. While the Big Three were engaged in Cold War it was at least preferable to open warfare and to be honest three massive armies eying each other warily is better than a forest of terrorist snakes. A little saber rattling is better than open war with cluster bombs being dropped in every village. A standing army under civilian leadership has limitations on what it can and cannot to, the rules are always in effect in regards to friendly civilians and where ever possible are extended to belligerent civilians as well. The rules are not always followed but you have to admit the at Western Front in WWII was not the unmitigated wholesale slaughter of the Eastern Front or the plentiful massacres on the Japanese Army fronts in East Asia.
Even if politicians are scum they are at least mindful of having to get elected every so often and place limitations on their military commanders on what they can and cannot do. Like how Johnson imposed limitations on Westmoreland, and how the first Gulf War was ended by Bush Sr. despite some misgivings of military commanders who wanted a drive on Baghdad. Terrorists on the other hand are not obligated to care about those people who end up in the crossfire as they have no electorate or civilian authority to answer to.
Yes, because screaming their names from the safety of your vehicle of escape shows how much you really care.
A successful terrorist group often uses tactics that are beyond the pale and goes much further than a random suicide bombing. Hostage taking, economic sabotage, executions, bribery, extortion, and drug trafficking are all means in which such groups use to further their agenda. They have to deal with extralegal means to get their weapons and that means a trip to the local arms merchant who just wants money and will not give it away for free. Sure you can get weapons from a power that wants you as a destabilizing influence in what ever country your activities focus on. By becoming a client of a belligerent power you as a terrorist have to please your arms dealer from time to time. You will always beg for more weapons and ammo, but you will never get it until you are firmly under the thumb of those who give you the most funding and guns. Or at least convince them that you are under their thumb and need their support to rule. The PLO did not come to power by being a bunch of nice blokes to their Israeli neighbors, nor did the FLN refrain from brutalizing those they perceived as enemies in their quest to overthrow the French in Algeria. Terrorism means following the policy that your goal is indeed worthy and that the means in which you use to achieve that goal are irrelevant.
I’ll give him this much he is eloquent in defining his cowardice.
Yet for some reason the blokes at CB are never forced to resort to such measures. As terrorists go they suffer few if any of the morally questionable things that they might have to do to further their cause. Had they been a grassroots movement like a genuine communist insurrection then I could at least given them a pass on how they get the resources to build Gundams, feed their fighters, and some how reimburse them as well. At least Mao had to appreciate how much those simple peasants weren’t buying communism wholesale during his Yan’an days, thus he had to play nice with those dirty land owning parasites and not institute Cultural Revolution right at the beginning. However we have no idea what questionable activities CB uses to get their cash, we never see any local support for their operations and it seems very much to be a few people operating in a single terror cell rather than a revolution of the masses. As it stands Ms. Wang and Corner have a lot of money to be sure, we just never get to see how precisely they earn it. Given how the UN has been losing the stock market can’t be all that great and if it looks like the Big Three are about to fold government war bonds no longer seem like a viable investment meaning that Corner and Ms. Wang should not have that much cash if financial power is their actual means of funding CB’s acts of terror. So either Ms. Wang has been stealing big time or she is a high class escort for the rich and powerful. Given how Ms. Wang could not be of much use to Johann Trinity, I seriously doubt investment banking is her strong suit.
I see your Lichty development and raise you an ass shot.
I like to see some tactical sense in my war anime because it shows how important thinking is to an army and how an anti-intellectual and pro-emo bias can screw an army over no matter how seemingly strong. The UN has one good tactician and one good operational planner. However neither is given the spotlight as often as the vaunted Grofaz Sumeragi who has been billeted as a skilled tactician and a cunning strategist. However while both Sergei and Katie have earned their stripes with enough sound decisions, Sumeragi still has not. Her formations are a joke and I will never forget how they sortied in a column instead of a Schwarm or fuck even a Vic formation at this point. Even if a Gundam is a different machine than a fighter, a lone pilot cannot have full situational awareness at any given time, you always need a wingman to watch your back. They could have had more inter meister cooperation if they had decided to use the wingman dynamic, but it never occurred and the meisters still fight as individuals rather than as a team.
I’d say you collectively have 3/5s of a brain.
As captains go Sumeragi is probably down near the bottom even with her imitation Bright Slap. She is more of a glorified babysitter than anything else and probably spends more time drinking and just sitting there looking pretty than taking command or directing Gundam traffic. Instead she elects to fight with much reduced combat power when retreat would have been her first priority given how:
1. always assume the enemy is better shape that you
2. if you cannot attack, defend
3. if you cannot defend, retreat
4. if you cannot retreat, die
Basic military principles and easy enough to implement in fiction, nevertheless our much praised Sumeragi is not in the business of preserving her force to further the mission. In fact the way things have been going Teiria and Setsuna have basically taken command of 50% of her starting combat power and she just tends the maintenance depot. The fact that she ASKED Ian to make repairs in 6 hours instead of 8 tells me she is no captain. The CO of a ship does not have to ask, and honestly any officer worth his/her rations wants something done they order it to get done, they never say “please distract that MG nest while I sit here safely behind this piece of cover and out of sight…” For a woman who adheres to strict time tables and elaborately coordinated assaults she actually does not even give effective orders for such a set up to work. It’s almost like the old Methodical Battle Doctrines of the French, but with out the command structure for it to work (it would have worked too had Trench Warfare been the norm). Sumeragi seeks to minimize human error in her plans yet allows it to run rampant. She never walks away with any tactical lessons form her losses her tactics have not changed since day one. Heck even the Egyptians and Syrians took valuable lessons from the Six Day War on how to fight, despite blaming the West. That is why the Egyptians and Syrians came damn near close to beating Israel in 1973. Too bad (for them) they did not stay under their SAM umbrellas, but that is another more interesting story. Sumeragi is in a war zone but seems to act as if this is still some sort of training exercise. Discipline on her ship was most lacking as not only was she drinking heavily she allowed Tieria to intimidate her into doing tactically unsound things.
I could pretend to like this guy. However I do not give aid and comfort to terrorists. (I miss Heero)
As it stands she is a subpar commander of troops, and a terrible strategist, and yet some how we are supposed to respect her for her brilliance? It comes as little surprise that Sumeragi is merely loved for her rack rather than any tactical skill she might posses. She essentially abandoned ship before her crew and instead of using the assault container as a fighter she used it as a freaking turret with huge blind spots and limited firing arcs. I have been steadily losing hope that she would ever live up to the rep that we have been given. She did not go down with her ship and abandoned her crew that to me is disgraceful. Even Captain Edward J. Smith of the Titanic at least had enough decency not to take up a seat on a life boat when he sunk his own ship. If cowardice and abandoning your own men is not hateful then I could not do what I do to earn college money. I would definitely be for fragging Sumeragi with a grenade while she took a piss because she is a failed commander in a war zone if I could not get her discharged. I would be much more forgiving is she took away tactical lessons, but she can’t even do that she has not changed much as a commander. So what if she can talk to her crew now? The primary responsibility of a commander is to complete his/her mission with minimal losses. It is not to baby sit your pilots or get to know them personally. She sunk to a new low by not going down with hr ship and abandoning her crew. She could have sent Lichty to pilot the container, but as captain Sumeragi should have never left her ship with crew still on board. I don’t find this action to make me want to sing her praise, or about how she bravely left her crew behind to make her escape.
Lost Lichty, lost Chris. It came from BEHIND. (At his moment I had hoped Ali would come in and say “I have you now.”)
If I am not supposed to take this that seriously then why even bother to bring real conflicts into play if they want us to simple gawk at the mecha? If you have nothing to say about these conflicts then what was the point in making direct references to real conflicts where the death toll mounts daily? Surely they could have at least respected the opposing sides by not watering down their conflicts as overly simple affairs, and just used imaginary factions and fictitious countries. If war was so central to the initial sales pitch for this series then there should have been a real portrayal of war in all its horror. Instead I am left with this mess, and as it stands the original direction this series was headed for has pretty much been lost. If CB was against the killing and the butchery why fight the guys with political limitations? They might as well kill policemen as a way to stop gang violence since the police get into shootouts with civilians. Tieria is about the only honest guy about what they are actually fighting for, a world at peace that is enforced by them. What he is advocating is essentially a dystopia where the only weapons are in the hands of a Gundam junta that came to power not by the will of the masses, but by threat of force. Other than that what could they be fighting for other than their own vanity and inability to turn themselves in?
Yes, it is impossible to think that she is trying to lure a kid into her car.
The fundamental problem for me is that none of the protagonists are really that appealing, I hear the cries that they are changing and thinking for themselves. However, they are still stuck in their old ways. Setsuna still thinks that he is Gundam and he still hates God, Tieria is still trying to fulfill his version of the grand plan, Sumeragi is still bending over for Tieria, and Marina is still princess poverty. To be sure Christina and Lichty did grow a little, but honestly will they be remembered for the good that they have done for the world or the series? I highly doubt it as there did not seem to be much said about them. I prophecy to you this that Christina will be known by future generations (if at all) for her melonpan and telling Feldt to change clothes, and the Lichty will be remembered for having a bionic member rather than being a kick arse helmsman. Sure world peace is a cause we can all like, but if we look closer at what kind of peace they are looking for it is not so sympathetic. Add to the fact that most of the CB has a big case of the stupid they remain seldom respected and as for the female cast, they are still celebrated more for their racks rather than their abilities. If fans did celebrate smart women I would think that Katie would get much more love, such is not the case.
For tragedy to occur the audience must care. I do not care (I doubt that every body and their mum cares), so why the fuck should I cry that they have learned something…? Oh they did not die alone and will live on in each other’s hearts and in Feldt’s nightmares, big deal. I am just glad they were killed by some dude (where is your Aeolia now?!).
There would probably be few problems on my end if the CB guys actually showed enough tactical insight for their little scheme to work, but their combat power is derived from upgrades, not so much skill or any change in tactics. The running theme here seems to be if there is a problem we have an upgrade. For me this series has thrown off the shackles of realism and is not a serious anime as we were lead to believe with the use of terrorism, mention of the Tamil Insurgency, and the Sunni-Shia split. It could have been much more that what it is and in my opinion fails to live up the legacy of the UC Gundams. Sure nostalgia may have dulled my memories, but I miss having Gundams that were only marginally better than the enemy’s suits, that needed combined arms support, and I miss having an opposing suit that can consistently remain a credible threat to a Gundam. At least Universal Century had a coup, the Feddies going Titan bad, Christina Mackenzie, and Zeon splitting into groups that supported demagogues who invoked dead leaders. Things were more interesting back then; Char actually winning was not so far fetched in Char’s Counterattack.
As a fan of Ali, I agree that Chris and Lichty can go ahead and die. To expect me to cry for a Chris and Lichty is like asking Ali not to kill someone… (Evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.)
If all this is just a mere mecha fight, then why not just go the route of G-Gundam? Why try and make it semi serious if all you’re going to do is piss on real conflicts as mere sideshows? At least G-Gundam was clear on what it was about, Gundam Fights! I find it strange how I am not supposed to apply and form of seriousness to this, and yet cannot mock it for the melon-pan parade that it has become. If Gundam 00 is not a serious critique of the current situation or about the real issue of terrorism and the dynamics of war and peace, why do I do I have to blog seriously about it? The demands for a fair and balanced portrayal of Gundam 00 are impossible for me. I cannot sympathize with the CB cause or make any military sense of their actions, heck they don’t even seem to follow tried and true methods of terrorism as historically demonstrated by the FLN. Even if the FLN was amoral and had a brutality streak at least I can make military sense of what they were doing. I could at least respect that fact that the FLN were being coldly calculating and waging a war without compromise when they set out to end French rule rather than being idiots. I can respect competence in an evil man, but here that is lacking.
Yes, gold plated mobile armor shows that this war is indeed serious because nothing says wasted government funds like gold plated weapons.
I firmly believe that a blog post merely voices the opinion of the bloggger, and it is just that an opinion. I have never professed to being an authority on Gundam and since I picked up this series I intend to finish it. I might be wrong I might be right, but so is every opinion. Maybe there is a person who believes that Sumeragi has lived up to her billet as supremely skilled tactician. However I don’t see any tactical brilliance on her part at all. Sure she tried to force Sergei split up way back when, but once her plan fell to pieces there was no back up plan, and she still has no back up plan.
Still soon this will all end and as much as I want Ali to kick Setsuna’s ass before the credits roll, I don’t think that is going to happen.