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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Everyone loves Space Nazi's

At this point Gundam 00 would probably be better off if it stopped pretending it knew anything about politics and science, and just became a fun show about robots shooting each other. That’s the conclusion I came to after watching episode 11.

When I was watching the first season of 00 it striked me as different from most Gundam series, since their really were no evil factions involved. Celestial Being was a terrorist organisation, and they’re methods couldn’t always be agreed with, but they did slowly appear to bring about peace. None of the supposedly antagonistic factions of earth were very evil either, they were just doing what was right, defending they’re countries from a hostile terrorist group. Its something we’ve seen before, Tomino’s gundam series are often praised for giving the series sympathetic enemies, but there was usually some figurehead in the series who was undoubtedly evil (Hell, in the original series Gihren was described by his own father as much like Hitler)

Unfortunately, this moral ambiguity in 00 didn’t last like I hoped it would. About half aways through the first season the Thrones are introduced, a group of insane Gundam Meisters who are almost undoubtedly evil, or at least extremely naive and have far too much power. So hurrah! Now we have a villain our heroes can fight with no shades or grey, and we’ll know their doing the right thing by shooting the enemies mobile suits into many different pieces!

Ok, admittedly this could be seen as a bit of a copout by the writers, to abandon whatever moral ambiguity there was in the plot and instead opt for the easy way out, but at this point in the series I didn’t really care. Looking back I think the show handled that plot pretty well, even if the show became quite a bit sillier from that point on.

With the second season we’re seeing something similar happening. If you’ve been keeping up with the show (and it’s likely none of the four people reading this have) you’ll know the second season has focused on an Authoritarian government which has arose in Celestial Beings absence, the Federation (like the united nations, but bigger with more mecha and nefarious plots) The big baddies of this season have been the A-Laws (really that’s an awful name, and not just because its far too similar to A-Holes) the feddies elite fighting squad who apparently like to use they’re powerful mobile suits to pick on people in the middle east, and set fire to there cities... Or something.

So basically, it’s those pesky Titans from Zeta Gundam again, except not. Really, I’m making this sound far worse than it is, because to be honest the show has handled this fairly well. Yes the A-Laws are quite a bit like the Titans, but the difference is that some of the A-Laws are actually sympathetic (well, slightly) While the Titans were really just walking ass holes, who lived to beat up those damn protestors, take away they’re rights and gas they’re colonies, I’ve actually started to take a liking to some of the A-Laws. In fact, I think most of my favourite characters in the series are a part of A-Laws.

Let’s see, the adorable Patrick, Graham Aker... And that awesome Russian guy is part of the feddie military (which is close enough to A-Laws, really) Yup, most of my favourite characters are A-Laws. (Patrick, Probably the best character in this whole show)

It’s a pity the series hasn’t explored the idea more that maybe what the A-Laws are doing isn’t so bad after all. We know from the first season (and from real life) that the middle-east is a hostile environment, where civil war is very likely. So, maybe it would be best if A-Laws did swoop down and take over Azadistan. In the long run they’re interventions would probably be the best thing for that country.

At this point however, it’s unlikely that this will happen, because of the MASSIVE thing which happened in ep 10. I’m about to let loose some MASSIVE spoilers, so only read on if you’ve already seen the episode in question, or you just don’t care (i.e. Tissuekins)

In ep 10 the A-Laws come to the realisation that everyone in every gundam series must inevitably come to. The best way to bring about peace is through weapons of mass destruction! Usually giant space lasers, or if you want to use a more imaginative technique, why don’t you just go ahead and crash a space colony into earth? (Char decided to be a bit more original, and actually sent a meteor crashing down to earth! That’s right, HE IS that awesome!)

A-Laws decided to be classy and go for the giant space laser technique and with it commit mass genoicde. So yeah, what this really means is Gundam has once again thrown moral ambiguity to wind and opted instead for some truly evil space Nazis.
But who doesn’t love some good ol’ Space Nazis?

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