This particular Gundam movie continues on from two years after the second season finale. With that first statement it is quite evident that you must be a follower of the franchise or else you will be left very confused by the proceeding. The World is trying to get all nice and peaceful, until something called the Extraterrestial Living-metal Shapeshifter decide to wreck a bit of choas. In addition to destroying the world’s technological infrastructure, they go one step further and start transforming people into metallic entities! Right out the gate you will notice that the visuals are outstanding, even though the four main characters didn’t get a lot of screentime which made time for the extra characters. Laser battles are great and the ending is very abrupt and peaceful that is nothing similar to past movies.
With that short paraphrase out of the way, I’ll dive more into the meat and potatoes of the film. Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Awakening of the Trailblazer is cementing the fact that if you go in expecting manly mecha fights, you are in for a disappointment. With all new mobile suits for the protagonists to play with, I expected a lot more action from these guys. The high budget fleshes out great attention to detail but sadly, all we are reduced too is a laserbeam fest that goes on for the majority of the films running time. While the buildup to the climax is well-done, this is one of those anime films that need action scenes to jog the plot of the film along in a nice smooth direction. After the Twin-Drives Flag team comes in to aid the characters, we get to see nothing of what happens to the Celestial Beings, or the rest of the cast for the matter. Very big plothole that I can not overlook.
What I can say was a delight, was the score. The accompanying music and soundtracks are quite appropriate for what the film entails, and it was a nice addition. Cast of characters were also well drawn out as well. Graham is the coolest non-gundam pilot ever now in my opinion and I would love to see more of him. The characters are what brought out a certain amount of depth from the story in an otherwise hollow shell of an anime. Gundam 00 explores the world’s need for solar energy and has a huge anti-war campaign hidden behind the subplot. Ironically, the characters that I praised also bring up another negative note about the film. Too many gundams appear, to the point where I gave up trying to match the names of the gundam with the gundam itself.
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Movie: Awakening of the Trailblazer is the first Gundam anime series to have a movie released in theaters in 19 years. This is another selling point of this Gundam 00 movie and will provide plenty of hype for Gundam fans. Sad to report, the hype and everything else that comes with it, is a failure. Perhaps why I didn’t enjoy it is because previous Gundam efforts had so much more substance. Despite its flaws, its obvious that Bandai and Sunrise do have another box office hit on their hands. That fact aside, one has to give credit to director Seiji Mizushima for daring to try something new and fresh in Japanese cinemas. Gundam fans should check it out, but casual anime fans should avoid. There are no good fight sequences except one or two, and there are no engaging conflicts of interests, all components needed in a successful action anime film.