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Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Review

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Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Review

Post  HippoAdmin on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 4:14 pm

Recently, I've taken it upon myself to watch every Gundam series that I can get a hold of. For most of them, I have already seen them however, its been years since my last viewing and frankly I use to just watch mecha anime for the action. There are some that I never got around to seeing though, and Zeta Gundam was one of those.

In this little campaign of mine I decided to watch the series in order by universes starting with all the entries of the Universal Century. So far I've gone through Gundam, 8th MS Team, 0080, 0083, and Zeta, which I finished just this past weekend.

So here is just a brief opinionated review of Zeta Gundam.

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Let me just start with me stating that I think Zeta is one of the most underrated gundam series around...at least in the UC universe. Honestly, I did not expect to get as involved with the story and characters as I did, especially since I kept booing Kamille at the start yelling, "You'll never live up to Amuro!"

The plot overview is just as intriguing as the original Gundam series was. In Gundam, you had an interesting twist on the "rebels declaring independence" outline. Unlike stories like Star Wars where the rebels fighting for their freedom are viewed as the good guys, the Zeons are shown as rebel enemies. So we had Earth Federation (controlling colonies) against the Principality of Zeon (who want freedom but take the bad guy route). Come on guys...basic UC knowledge..

Zeta switches things up. After winning the One Year War, the Federation creates a team of elites known as the Titans to search and destroy any remaining Zeon forces around the universe. A new faction is formed known as the Anti Earth Union Group (AEUG) after the Titans gas a colony and the Federation does nothing about it. The Federation is now displayed as the enemies because of the Titans and the AEUG fights to stop their tyranny. Later in the story Axis, which is introduced in 0083: Stardust Memory, joins the fight creating a 3-way war.

The Story
This is the best reason you could have to watch this series from beginning to end. Zeta is way more political than Gundam ever was. I found myself really focusing and studying what every faction was up to as I watched through the episodes. Every move they made contributed to the story brilliantly. The series is also a lot darker and grittier than the original Gundam. In the first five episodes alone you'll come to realize that the Titans are even more sinister than Zeon. After Axis enters the picture it becomes even more engaging and it'll get even harder to stop watching episodes. If you're into military politics space drama then Zeta's story is something you have to make time for.

One thing I just didn't get from the original Gundam and also Zeta were the "love" stories. They always pop up out of nowhere and end abruptly. I guess you can argue that its because of love at first sight, but I just feel that they need to start the love interest way earlier and build up on it.

After watching the entire series I have noticed a lot of milestones that it has set for other Gundam series. One of them is the existence of an "evil" group within an already established faction (Titans within the Earth Federation). This paved the way for other groups like OZ in the United Earth Sphere Alliance in Gundam Wing or the A-Laws in the Earth Sphere Federation in Gundam 00. The popularity of 3-way wars in other series is also most likely the result of Zeta Gundam.

The Characters
Two words: Quattro Bajeena. Alright, so now I'm being a little biased seeing that Char Aznable is my favorite character of any Gundam series. But really Char being one of the main characters really made my day. The AEUG characters are a good bunch. Although they still have some awkward/annoying moments like in Gundam, it's not as often.

Kamille goes down the same path as Amuro did. At the beginning he's some annoying, stubborn, immature brat (even more than Amuro at times), but at the end you really see how he matures. Quattro, Emma, and Bright are all solid, memorable characters of the series. If there's anything to love about the AEUG its all those "corrections" that are given out!

As for the bad guys, Scirocco and Haman steal the show. Both are great schemers and add a lot to the entire series. Jerid Messa just made me laugh every time he showed up. Sorry buddy I don't care how many new mobile suits you get, you're just a mediocre pilot compared to Kamille!

Overall
Zeta has been bumped up to my favorite Gundam series of any universe so far. The story is captivating, the characters are less annoying/awkward than Gundam, and battle sequences are pretty solid.

- Favorite Characters: Quattro Bajeena, Emma Sheen, Haman Karn
- Most Annoying Characters: Katz Kobayashi, Kamille Bidan (for the first couple of episodes)
- Favorite Mobile Suits: The O, Hyaku Shiki
- Favorite Episodes: 05. Father and Son; 14. Amuro Flies Again; 33. The Messenger from Axis; 37. The Day of Dakar;
43. Haman's Victory; 46. Scirocco Rises

Rating: 8/10

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Re: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Review

Post  Viktor Tarasov on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 5:15 pm

HippoAdmin wrote:One thing I just didn't get from the original Gundam and also Zeta were the "love" stories. They always pop up out of nowhere and end abruptly. I guess you can argue that its because of love at first sight, but I just feel that they need to start the love interest way earlier and build up on it.
The Zeta "love" stories made sense to me because they were mostly about teenagers being teenagers. I mean, normal teenagers are pretty well known for doing sudden, stupid things, and also for falling in "love" at the drop of a hat. Plus, being a cyber newtype/Kamille really leads you to make much more impulsive, irrational actions.
HippoAdmin wrote:After watching the entire series I have noticed a lot of milestones that it has set for other Gundam series. One of them is the existence of an "evil" group within an already established faction (Titans within the Earth Federation). This paved the way for other groups like OZ in the United Earth Sphere Alliance in Gundam Wing or the A-Laws in the Earth Sphere Federation in Gundam 00. The popularity of 3-way wars in other series is also most likely the result of Zeta Gundam.
I happened to be in the middle watching Zeta at the time when the second season of 00 came out. The similarities in the initial setup, and the removal of my favorite part of 00 (the three earth superpowers, and their competition with each other), made me stop watching 00 at that point.
HippoAdmin wrote:As for the bad guys, Scirocco and Haman steal the show. Both are great schemers and add a lot to the entire series. Jerid Messa just made me laugh every time he showed up. Sorry buddy I don't care how many new mobile suits you get, you're just a mediocre pilot compared to Kamille!
I'm a real fan of Zeon, and one of the things that people told me before I watched Zeta was that Haman was a really awesome villain. Indeed, she's a great character, but one of the things that disappointed me was that it turned out that I would have to wait over 30 episodes before Axis would even show up. The moments she had were great, but there just weren't enough of them in Zeta. Scirocco was pretty great, too.

One of the interesting things about Jerid is in a way, he is an unluckier version of Kamille. Their personalities aren't really that different, but Jerid just unfortunately happens to work for the Titans, doesn't have Newtype powers, and is good friends with a lot of people who happen to tragically die. He's just a young, impulsive pilot who's caught on the wrong side at the wrong time.

Oh and I'll do my own one of these:
- Favorite Characters: Haman Karn, Quattro Bajeena, Brigha Noa
- Most Annoying Characters: Rosamia ("Brother!"), Fa ("KAMIIYU!"), Katz (I can't even remember what he did specifically but I remember hating him)
- Favorite Mobile Suits: Rick Dias, Qubeley
- Favorite Episode: That one where the AEUG goes to Axis and meets Haman and Mineva Zabi

Right now, I'm actually playing through the PS2 game, Gundam Vs. Zeta Gundam. It's really interesting, mainly because the main campaign mode is based on creating alternate timelines, with the goal of having each side win the war decisively at the end of the events of Zeta.
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Re: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Review

Post  HippoAdmin on Tue 07 Jun 2011, 6:54 pm

Viktor Tarasov wrote:The similarities in the initial setup, and the removal of my favorite part of 00 (the three earth superpowers, and their competition with each other), made me stop watching 00 at that point.
That was my favorite part about 00 as well, the competition between the three super powers. I saw 00 as it came out on SyFy about 2 years ago, so I really knew nothing about Zeta and thought that the whole A-Laws withing the ESF was an awesome idea. Now it's obvious where they got it from.

I completely forgot to add Rosamia and her "big brother" scenes to the most annoying characters hahah.

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