The Gundam franchise is the stuff of legend. That isn’t up to debate. The series has changed anime forever and pioneered the mecha concept and laid the foundation for those that have followed it. Gundam has been around so long that every generation for the past 40 years has had a Gundam series to grow up with. There have been dozens of Gundam stories and each has captured the hearts of a generation. Gundam 00 landed mid-way through the 2000s having first aired in 2007, connecting with a generation that had known a world of unrest.
Gundam 00 is undoubtedly one of the best Gundam series ever made. The series explores the themes of war, terrorism, peace and the reasons why we fight. At the time of its release the world was baring witness to the Iraq war and a world of terror. Call it perfect timing, call it era appropriate story-telling, but Gundam 00’s war themed story hit very close to home to viewers across the globe.
The series is complex to say the least and the countless morality questions it poses gives the viewer a lot of food for thought. Following the organization Celestial Being and their fight to end all war on Earth, Gundam 00 lives within the shades of grey of human morality. What is right and what is wrong are questions largely left up to the audience. Is Celestial Being’s entire existence a massive contradiction? How is ending violent war with more violence the answer? These are the compelling ideas that Gundam 00 sets out to explore and the rewards it reaps are simply mind-blowing.
On top of its excellent story the series really gels because of its well developed cast of characters. I would argue that this is the best cast of any Gundam series to date in fact. Setsuna is compelling lead and carries the weight of this world in a real way, setting him apart from the more exaggerated leads of Gundam’s past. Rounding out the cast are the rather ridiculously named Lockon Stratos and Allelujah Haptism, both of whom undergo some huge transformations as characters over the course of the series (especially Lockon). The evolution of the cast is undoubtedly one of the greatest parts of Gundam 00 and across both of the series’ seasons the growth and exploration is deeply enriching.
Whether it is the incredible action sequences, the detailed plotting, the nuanced character writing, the genuinely shocking twists or the powerful messages it conveys, Gundam 00 proves to keep on hitting home runs from start to finish. This is 52 episodes of tour-de-force Gundam action and is a must watch for all fans of Gundam or science fiction in general.
The animation and artistic direction for Gundam 00 is phenomenal to say the least. The visuals are simply stunning, with fluid sakuga animated sequences aplenty and unforgettable character and mecha design. On top of that the series soundtrack is a masterstroke in and of itself. With brilliant opening and ending themes, the tunes ingrain themselves into the viewers minds. Furthermore the incidental music sets the perfect tone and atmosphere for each situation building the intensity with each passing note.
This particular release from Madman Entertainment is astonishing in just about every sense. Not only does this collected release include all 52 episodes comprising both seasons of the series, the release also features the brilliant English language dub. To add even more to an already sweet release, Madman has included a truck load of special features such audio commentaries, featurettes on the series, special episode explorations of season 1 and 2 and even an interview with the director of the show. This is about as good as it gets in terms of anime releases and Madman have done the works for Gundam 00 here.
Gundam 00 is not only one of the best Gundam series ever made but it is also one of the best sci-fi anime ever made. With genuinely thoughtful storytelling, brilliant characterization and a breakneck pace, Gundam 00 fires on all creative cylinders from episode 1 through 52. There is a reason Gundam is considered legend among anime fans and Gundam 00 is animated proof of why it has earned that title. Gundam 00 is a modern classic.
You can pick up a copy of Gundam 00 from Madman Entertainment here.