Posted by psgels on 26 December 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Mobile Suit Gundam 00




Gundam 00’s Awakening of the Trailblazer is one of those movies where you need to have seen the series for. Spoilers for the Gundam 00 will follow in this review, otherwise I can’t properly explain the impression that this movie left me.

Anyway, I was ready to just get this movie over with, expecting the Gundam 00 Movie to be another forgettable flick. But, to me surprise there was one thing about this movie that made me really happy as soneone who sat through the fifty episodes of the two Gundam 00 series: it has no annoying characters!

Seriously, half of the annoying characters is already dead at this point. The others really impressed me how they managed to spend the entire movie from whining: two years have passed again since the end of the second season, and finally everyone seems to have settled down. Saji and Louise who once urged me to break the screen of my laptop once every episode are actually a cute couple now. Mister Bushido finally dropped that ridiculous mask of his and stopped being a char clone, Marie and Allelujah also are quite happy together. All of the innovators who are still alive have become more than paper bags of characters and even Setsuna has a romantic interest now other than his Gundam.

The cast of this movie is still HUGE. I can’t recall any movie with more characters than this one, and I’m impressed with how it managed to involve all of them in this movie and developed a surprising amount of them at the same time while also introducing a bunch of new ones. It’s definitely much more than I expected.

This movie can very much be compared to Gundam Wing’s Endless Waltz: its villain is completely new but has a vague connection to something important in the original series, it’s much paced very differently from the TV-series that dragged on and it’s actually quite effective that way despite a few glaring problems. This movie takes a lot of time for its build-up, which makes the action scenes stand out even more. The action scenes themselves are actually pretty varied and don’t get boring, yet stay in the same Gundam-esque tradition of having space battles on a huge scale.

As for the plot itself… yeah. The villains are aliens now. Still, it’s handled decently: any kind of realism in Gundam 00 was abandoned anyway since the arrival of the Trans-am system, and this movie just rolls with it, while at the same time tying in neatly with Aeolia Schenberg’s ultimate objectives. The aliens themselves though are as flat as a pancake in terms of character and the ending of the movie is just.. ridiculous. Seriously, it feels like that ending was thought up at the last possible minute.

The graphics of the movie is a very mixed bag. The character animation is surprisingly mediocre for a movie by Sunrise. Instead however, the biggest part of the budget went into the CG near the end of the movie, and granted: that is a visual feast.

Overall, the ending is of headdesk and facepalm level, but apart from that this movie was surprisingly refreshing compared to how annoying and forgettable Gundam 00’s second season was.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Actually well paced for Gundam 00’s standards. Good action, good build-up. STUPID conclusion.
Characters: 8/10 – Shallow villains, but the other characters surprised me a lot: they’re not annoying and are actually able to show off their development.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Gorgeous CG, simple character animations for movie standards.
Setting: 8/10 – It adds on the Gundam 00 franchise in its own way. Some things work well, others don’t work at all.

Suggestions:
– Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Endless Waltz
Macross Frontier – Itsuwari no Utahime
Digimon Movie 2 – Bokura no War Game

13 Responses

  1. rrw says:

    wait there is villain? i dont consider them as villian. it simply misunderstanding

  2. Algent says:

    It’s wasn’t really bad until the last 20min, seriously WTF :'(, even worse if you see the end after the credits. I can’t believe I wasted 2h on christmas day.

  3. qwer says:

    where did you watch the movie?

  4. Tsuki says:

    Oh my, this movie certainly turned out different from what I had expected. While I did find the romance between Setsuna and Feldt touching in a sense, I still have no idea where in the world that romance started. Definitely didn’t happen in season two, and certainly wasn’t developed at all in this movie. It felt very out of place, even if I’m a fan of Feldt.

    The movie was actually rather well done, until the last few minutes of it. That’s where everything changed up completely, and not in a good way. Not to mention, the epilogue doesn’t do a good job with tying up loose ends.

    Meh, I guess this is what happens when we get a director seemingly in love with egalitarian philosophy in charge; we get a lovely message about peace and love, but leaves behind a very messy conclusion.

  5. Lightning says:

    I can’t wait to see this movie!

    Reading reviews of the movie, I don’t believe I will agree that the ending is a head->desk ending, but the ending has gotten plenty of “love it, hate it” so the fact that the rest of the movie is so good that even people who hate it still have said the majority of the movie is really very good is great sign for me as a huge 00 fan, so I can understand your dislike of how the battle ends.

    Aside from the character animation not getting much of a boost (though the Al scene I saw clips of looked nice), I’m not really surprised as most outside of mech scenes in Gundam are pretty much talking or basic running, though I agree it’s a little disappointing as I expected a bit more of an upgrade at least in the shading over the limits of having to have episodes ready each week. Still, in addition to the utterly gorgeous CG, I’m surprised the mech animation and the fantastic layers of animated action all happening simultaneously in some of the mech battle clips I’ve seen didn’t get more of a mention and bump it up to a 9 when combined with the incredible CG.

    Based on what I know of them how are the enemies shallow? They aren’t trying to “conquer the world” or “attacking for no reason,” (thanks to Descartes too) nor is their reason for attacking “well we had nothing better to do” or the usual “mysterious master plan baddie #999 who when they reveal their master plan is full-of-crap lol” It’s pure survival and then them considering us a threat as we fight back, I don’t think it’s particularly shallow.

    Maybe I’m just more positive since I really enjoyed Gundam 00.

    I’m glad to see you generally liked the movie since you expected not to, so I think it was quite successful in what it did well if it actually got through that hurdle and got you appreciating it (aside from your thoughts on the ending) even when you went in expecting to hate it :)

  6. Lightning says:

    “Definitely didn’t happen in season two, and certainly wasn’t developed at all in this movie. It felt very out of place, even if I’m a fan of Feldt.”

    I agree but I don’t think it’s too overly out of place and I think I’ll at least find it touching enough to be okay since I really liked Feldt, sure her giving him the flower at the end of season 2 was kinda late, but she’s thought of entire crew as loved ones since the first season and I felt her gravitation towards Setsuna as he became more isolated (unlike everyone else on the ship) towards the end of season 2 was quite touching and nice enough without being a romance if we got another moment like that in the movie, so I kind of agree but I’m not surprised there’s a little hints of a possible relationship there.

    The epilogue sounds fine overall, I just REALLY wish that it was a extended a few minutes to tie up the rest of our Ptolemy crew before the Setsuna/Marina scene, it’s a shame they didn’t show a glimpse of where everyone ended up like they did in the S2 epilogue.

  7. TJ says:

    I enjoyed the movie overall. The ending was a bit ridiculous, but it kind of fit given the overall message of the show and how far the show is removed from reality once everyone went Trans-Am. At least a lot of stuff blew up and the pacing wasn’t too bad.

  8. V says:

    If you think the ending was thought up at the last possible minute then you never quite understood what Gundam 00 was about. Sorry to say.

  9. fool says:

    Wow this might be the most ridiculous movie I’ve ever seen.

    See unlike most I can easily say Zeta Gundam was bad. I can easily say Char’s Counterattack was bad too. However, try as I might I can’t even come close to saying A wakening of the Trailblazer was bad. It really wasn’t. It’s solid other than the fact that it’s completely ridiculous. I get the feeling after season 1, 00 is just one huge elaborate joke.

  10. gandalf8 says:

    “Overall, the ending is of headdesk and facepalm level”. I really share that sentiment too, psgels.

    I’m so not satisfied with the ending. Open endings that just leaves it all to the fans own interpretation really makes me want to rage.

    Nevertheless, the rest of the movie was at least a good watch, if only for the action scenes and the nostalgia at seeing all the characters in action again for a last hurrah.

  11. Frost says:

    Haha what an ending… I almost expected the troll face to pop up after that

    Its like they suddenly realized they only had budget for 2 hours of movie and had to come up with an ending in 5 minutes… Oh well

    Still worth watching for the gundam action of course, but thats it

  12. Genisis says:

    when will the gundam 00 movie be released in america.

  13. Hergula says:

    I agree with that score as it is still well created, but is hardly a phenomenal film, it is a great though.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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