Everything Under The Sun... And Then Some!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Getting Better: Gundam ZZ

Aztec space ninjas, forsooth!

Anyway, onto episodes 17-21.

So the comedy seems to be very slowly giving way to an actual balance in these episodes. It seems like the Argama is actually fighting a war now, what with all the hubub over its new Hyper Mega Whizbang Pocket Death Star. We also see the infamous Elpeo Puru (or Ple or Pull or whatever it is; I like Puru) and another Qubeley, Batman-style. The Qubeley was a monster in Zeta and here it proves it's no slouch by stymieing the Gundam Team. I'm not sure what to make of Puru yet. She's seems to be a little schizo at the very least. Plus Puru hitting on Judau is kinda weird. Speaking of weird, does anyone else find it creepy with what Glemy is doing with Leina? I do.

Beecha and Mondo prove how petty and small-minded they are; is anyone surprised?

We also have Judau's first meeting with Haman, and I gotta say, I like it when we see her with different hairstyles. Where's Mineva though?

There's several good points here, surprisngly enough. Judau, like Amuro and Kamille before him finds that its harder to shoot at his enemies when they're not hidden in a mobile suit. And when Bright is about to fire the Hyper Mega Whizbang at Axis's engines, he and Judau have a good moment. Judau has a good point about the civilians (although that could be a whole other argument about culpability) and Bright's tactics are sound from a pure strategic standpoint. Plus, since he was aiming at the engines, there's a chance that the Moussa block might not have been catastophically damaged. It's a good example of the hard choices of war.
We then have some development for one of the Argama Bridge Dudes, Torres, which of course is an immediate death flag for his old friend Cecilia. Saw that coming from a mile away; instead of pineapple salad, it's pineapple pizza!! :D I'm evil. :twisted:
It's also interesting seeing the original Gundam Team in action, especially when reviewing the records of subsequent Gundam mashups, like in Wing, SEED or 00.

So far I'd say that ZZ is the opposite of AGE. Whereas AGE fell apart in its latter two-thirds, ZZ has a first third that is just footling drivel and now seems to be getting good. Hopefully it'll stay that way.

Oh and I noticed that Chara was in the brig when Bright threw Judau, Mondo and Beecha in there. WHY WASN'T SHE IN THERE BEFORE, INSTEAD OF BEING GUARDED BY A PAIR OF KIDS?!! Damn, Bright, Brightslap™ your own self and then Brightslap™ Beecha and Mondo into MEN OF DESTINY.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

ZZ, Again

So, episodes 12-16.

You know what ZZ's prevailing sin right now is? Wasting time. There is almost nothing of worth going on here. I mean, the biggest fricken' plot points so far have been the kidnapping of Leina and the intro of the MSN-010 ZZ Gundam. I mean, for frak's sake, by episode 16 of Zeta, a whole ton of stuff had already happened, like the Jaburo invasion, Karaba, etc. Even by episode 16 of Destiny more had happened than has in ZZ. Let's summarize really quick: I gather that the overall plot of ZZ is supposed to be the First Neo Zeon War. But all that has happened in the show so far is farting around on Shangri-La with the idiots on the Endra, rendezvousing with La Vie En Rose, getting the ZZ Gundam and Moon-Moon. Haman herself has yet to make an appearance outside of Mashymre's flashbacks. Any actual development of what the Neo Zeons are supposed to be doing hasn't happened yet. When's the fricken' Earth invasion?
Now, yes, I get that they're trying to go for a lighter tone than Zeta, but they're not doing it right. Take Return of the Jedi for example. That's a great show of lightening things up while not sacrificing the overall plot. Frak, if you compare this to G Gundam, G Gundam is as goofy as all get out but by episode 16, again, a whole ton of stuff has already happened, we're in Shinjuku and the Devil Gundam just showed up! ZZ's premise presents a whole myriad of possibilities but they've all been squandered in this first third of the show.

Beecha and Mondo continue their antics to get off the Argama and continue to wear thin my patience. And why is Chara being guarded by freakin' Shinta and Qum? If they thought the kids would be able to keep her in line, guess what? They ain't. Ugh.

And then of course there's Moon Moon. Oh Moon Moon.
What can I say about this? It's right there alongside G-Saviour, Destiny and the latter two-thirds of AGE as the worst Gundam ever put to film. Why would people choose to live like this in the Universal Century? It's made pretty clear that they're aware that they're on a colony, yet there's all this Cult of Light nonsense. It's pretty much the ultimate representation of what I was talking about earlier about this show wasting time. Now, all that said, Moon Moon didn't insult my intelligence and piss me off like the last few episodes of AGE did or Destiny. It boggles me. I am thoroughly boggled that this tripe somehow made it on screen and somehow became part of Gundam.

Also, in episode 16 we have what could possibly be a call-back to an episode of the original Gundam when Gottn comes up with a plan to infiltrate the Argama. Unfortunately, since this is Neo Zeon, the plan fails rather miserably. I mean honestly, trying to take over an entire ship with your bare hands and Gottn's the only one smart enough to use a gun? Judau should have blasted the whole lot of 'em and ridden the universe of their stupidity.

Also, there was a scene in episode 16 that kind of amused me. Judau gets on the intercom and gives a bit of a morale speech to the crew, specifically calling out Beecha and Mondo as traitors. Elle gets pissed about it and I really don't know why. Judau is absolutely correct, they ARE traitors and if it were up to me and not Bright Noa (Tired Old Man ver.), they'd be tossed out the nearest airlock. I guess it's 'cause she has a thing for Beecha?

All in all, this show had better stop dragging its feet. We are not amused.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Oh The Mediocrity - More Gundam ZZ

So... episodes 7-11.

Episode 7, more of the same crap, except this time we have some moron pilots who decide to spew smoke all over the place and then... are utterly confused. What was the point? At least they died for their stupidity.

The Argama finally gets the heck out of dodge in episode 8, but it takes too damn long. That damn Gemon shows up again but at least he dies too, as does Yazan. Man, that guy must have really lost it if he thought jumping out of a mobile suit with his jacket as a parachute would actually work. Man, I used to be intimidated by that guy.
Judau's antics are also a little grating but at least they make him grow into his skills.

So we're out in space now and off the damn colony but things really aren't that much better. And, oi vey, here we go with Beecha and Mondo. They've been out in space for a couple of hours and already they want to betray the Argama and go back? If they didn't really want to go then why did they even bother? And can someone PLEASE toss Shinta and Qum out the airlock? Obviously their dead parents and/or Char never told them to not talk to strangers or believe what they say. Stupid war orphans, stupid, stupid orphans. It's no wonder Bright skips out on the second half of this show.

The one bright glimmer in all this is the introduction of the ZZ Gundam itself. I'm not sure if I like it more than the original Zeta but it's kinda neat, although there is a bit of that "why didn't we shoot it during the stock footage transformation and docking sequence?" going on. Guess I now know where Shinn got the idea.

As for Chara, funnily enough I didn't mind her when she first appeared, but the second she got into that R-Jarja.... whoo boy, this rates about a 9.0 on my weird crap-o-meter. Better buckle in for a long ride.

Let's see, I'm now on episode 13... when's Moon-Moon? Episode 14. Oh frak me....

This Is Not An Anime - Gundam ZZ

So as I mentioned before, I'm watching Gundam ZZ for the first time. I skipped episode 1 because it's just a glorified clip show, so we move straight into episode 2. This episode is actually fairly good what with setting up Judau and the Junkyard Kids and the return of Yazan and the death of poor Saegusa. There's the strange sort of passing-of-the-torch moment between Judau and Kamille and the Endra shows up... and then nothing. No, I'm being totally serious here. I'm really trying not to let previous info and biases color things here but I honestly think that episodes 3-6 are just plain boring. Not terrible or insulting, just boring. Monster-of-the-week only works for G Gundam you know. And First Gundam. ;)

As for Mashymre... Scirroco would eat this guy for breakfast. Bask Om would rip off his arms and beat Mashymre to death with the wet ends. And I can't see him surviving in the original Zeon military.... except maybe under M'Quve. :D Man, is this what happened to all the Zeon soldiers who were bumming around Axis?

And what can I say about Gemon the Trash-Man? I can't decide if he's a worse character than some of the morons we ran into in AGE. He probably is; at least the AGE characters attempted some competence and weren't as dumb as this guy. If I was Mashymre, I would have been like, "Ok, why don't you just take your weird MS and go fight the Zeta by yourself? Your suit is obviously strong enough to take on the Zeta single-handed!" (Insert your own sarcasm here)

Also, am I a terrible person for wanting to toss Shinta and Qum out the nearest airlock?

All in all, not terribly impressed so far. By episode 6 of most of the rest of the Gundam shows and OVAs, a whole ton of stuff had already happened and ZZ is just kina plodding along. How about that Neo Zeon War? When do we get that?

There are some positives. I think I'm going to enjoy Judau as a protagonist. He's not annoying like MSG Amuro or angsty like Kamille. He's just a simple Newtype trying to make his way in the Universe, man! :) The rest of his friends are OK, especially fiesty Elle, but I can already tell I'm not going to like Beecha and Mondo. Imma toss them out the airlock too, ok? :twisted:
The music from Zeta is back and that's always a big plus although I wish they'd been able to spin out a few new tracks for ZZ and change things up a little.

Alrighty then, on to episodes 7-11!