[Crusader] Anime ja nai!

Crusader, because of his kind heart and even kinder pockets, were one of the two people who solicited their monetary aid when I sought for something rare and something I have obsessed about for quite some time. I’m very grateful with his help: this is my token of gratitude to him, and these are my opinions after watching Gundam ZZ. Once again, thank you very much, Crusader. Next week will feature an article on Sora no Woto because of the help offered by another reader of my site, Angelus.

I think it’s quite sad that this series is not as respected as other Gundam series, but I think it’s also partly the fault of Yoshiyuki Tomino (or perhaps some of his staff that influenced him) as the series started with a lot of stupidity and slapstick comedy. Even I, as a fan of Gundam (and I say that I am because it was primarily Gundam Wing that led me into a fondness with anime), was quite alienated with the series’s beginning. I was not used to oranges as weapons of mass destruction, or an insipid, metrosexual antagonist in Mashmyre Cello.

It did not help much that the protagonists were grating characters: Judau was bad, but Beecha and Mondo were even worse. Although at the back of my mind I recognized that they were still children and had to adapt, it was difficult to believe that they were that aloof despite the daily hardships they face in the colony (they were already junk collectors at their ages!). The first fifteen or twenty episodes were, frankly, excruciating. I was glad that Roux Louka appeared, because while still young, had at least some common sense in her and looked attractive enough as a possible partner to Judau. While there were still verbal battles among the crew and two egregious idiots in Beecha and Mondo, Judau was speedily developing as a character and there was Roux to balance out the two morons. I don’t think fourteen-year olds or adolescents in general sell their friends out just because of a little hard work required for everyone to flourish, and I never was able to warm up to Beecha, who, until the thirty-second episode, was still quite a braggadocious imbecile. This was during the time that Mondo recognized the importance of their work in the Argama and when Judau was able to focus on ending the war after the tragedy seemingly suffered by his sister. Beecha took out the Double Zeta Gundam and did so horribly with it that he almost cost the lives of the Argama crew. I’m glad Elle took pity on him eventually.

Gundamzz

I didn’t hate the series, despite these. On the contrary, I thought the change in focus from romantic love found in most Gundam series to filial and familial love in this one was unique and deserved notice: after all, a lot of the focus of the series as it progressed was Judau’s relationship with Leina and his relationship with the Argama. There was little said about romance except perhaps during the ending, where one can see that Elle finally returns Beecha’s feelings and Judau and Roux appear to be holding hands with him embracing her in their transit to Jupiter. It is also only during the ending where one can finally see that Kamille has moved on from Four’s passing and enjoys life with Fa after Judau’s successful defeat of Haman.

I also thought that the series was strong in terms of Judau’s progress. After some time Judau, while still childish, was a capital example of a youthful protagonist, in possession of feelings and unwise choices but nevertheless also in possession of sight as regards the big picture and a dogged persistence that endeared me to him early on. I admired him ever since he moved past the memory of his sister and thought about ending the war that plagued not merely the Earth but most of the solar system. That was a wonderful decision made by him, and it was even more pleasing because it was made by an adolescent. Despite the shortcomings of the animation, his dialogue chartered his emotional development, and it was wonderful.

I simply thought it was sad that the beginning of the series was so bad that it dirtied and negatively affected the rest of the show. I thought that Puru would be resurrected a little while after her death because of the show’s start. No one really dies in a slapstick show, whether in real life or in cartoons, or even in anime imbibing this element. It was with this perception that I saw Puru’s death, only to realize that, akin to Martin Lawrence’s muted exclamation in Bad Boys 2 – ‘shit just got real.’

Puru’s death caused a catharsis within me, and a necessary one, because it allowed me to recognize that this series was no longer the puerile slapstick comedy: it had become a legitimate Gundam series, and I needed to view it as such. Death was no longer sacred or impossible, and it was bound to happen to anyone. While this wasn’t Kill ‘Em All Tomino rearing its ugly head, there were bound to be sacrifices among the crew as well as the enemies because both had causes that overlapped and both would not back down. In the end most of the Neo Zeon perished beautifully stuck to their causes and to Haman’s ideal world. My only misgiving during this part of the series was that they didn’t respect the death of Puru and Puru Two. For someone Judau cared for and visibly loved, he wasn’t too perturbed or disturbed with Puru’s death, and they didn’t even give Puru Two a proper burial. I was wondering what happened to Puru Two since she clearly died as she wasn’t with the Argama crew after the final battle, but they didn’t even respect what she did to save Judau and the causes of the AEUG. I knew they probably gave her a hero’s burial, but I simply wanted to see that because she was also an important part of Argama’s success in the end.

This was probably the saddest part of the show for me. I loved Puru.

This was probably the saddest part of the show for me. I loved Puru.

I was glad that after the dust settled Judau and Roux seemed to have ended up with one another: this is something I must give to this Gundam series, because unlike the original MSG or Zeta Gundam, or even the series after it, this doesn’t have strong romantic vibes and romance is merely part of the background. In MSG we had Lalah and Char, and to some extent Sayla and Amuro; in Zeta there was the more obvious romance between Four and Kamille: it so affected Kamille’s psyche that he begun ZZ Gundam in a comatose state.

To conclude, this was a tale of two series: the slapstick and stupid part was quite intolerable, but after it gained momentum and transformed into a legitimate Gundam series this was good. I didn’t write quite good: I thought it was good despite its age and despite its beginnings. Had they begun with a serious tone depicting the struggles of coming-of-age with better-written characters, the series would have been more endearing. Overall, it was a decent series redeemed by its better part and conclusion, but it’s no knock to its ability that even 18 years removed from Gundam Seed and Gundam Seed Destiny it was still the better series against both.

P.S. Anime Ja Nai! is one of the best OPs of among all of the anime I have watched. It’s so trippy and yet it’s so good. It was very impressive and I sometimes sing it to myself just because of its fun-factor and uniqueness.

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7 Responses to “[Crusader] Anime ja nai!”

  1. maglor Says:

    I think the last ZZ Gundam OP is better than Anime Ja Nai!, but Anime Ja Nai wasn’t bad. In fact, it is a interesting case of musical study as to how to develop very simple theme into very full feeling song. Its theme developmental pattern may have been influenced by Beethoven’s 5th symphony 1st movement.

  2. Michael Says:

    I liked Silent Voice but not as much as Anime ja Nai! 😛

  3. mbile suit gundam unicorn Says:

    This gundam serie is the best. I cannot overlook my very first time watching Gundam Wing then know about Japanese mobile gundam. Hope to have a lot more fantastic gundam serie within the future

  4. pokemon white version Says:

    adore robots in general, esp japanese gundam. Gundam is really a piece of arts, why do they look so detail. Japanese are sure wonderful.

  5. pokemon white version Says:

    adore robots in general, esp japanese gundam. Gundam is truly a piece of arts, why do they look so detail. Japanese are certain incredible.

  6. gry na telefon Says:

    Hello! I realy like to read your posts. Greetings!

  7. professional photography Says:

    nice and thanks.

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