The first anime I fell in love with was Code Geass, but shortly after that another show captured my attention. It is called Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (sounded out as Gundam Double Oh).
Gundam 00 is in many ways a standard Gundam series. The story takes place in an alternate timeline in the future, as multiple nations/organizations are fighting each other. A super weapon appears, a princess is rescued, and madness ensues. That is where the similarities stop. Gundam 00 departs from typical Gundam tradition and tries to tell a plausible story for our future. It incorporates geo-politics with religious genocides, resource wars, Middle-East turmoil, and world powers playing against each other in proxy wars.
The show starts off with a show of force at a weapons unveil and a skirmish erupting. The pilots of the Gundams are later unveiled to be members of a secret military organization known as Celestial Being. They announce that they will perform armed interventions in military conflicts. The show then continues from that point with the Gundams being super powerful, but slowly they become less and less effective. The show is a very interesting play on the Gundam franchise as it seems to look at what Gundams in our world would be like. It is also my favorite Gundam series. I really appreciate the layers of characters from every side. They create a picture of how actions of different parties effect all the others. Most Gundam series tend to be very one sided. One nation is good, the other is bad. Gundam 00 throws this out the window and paints a picture in which no party is innocent.
After many years, Gundam 00 is still one of my favorite mecha series, but it is not without some major flaws. I for one do not like a couple of the villains in the series, because they are evil for the sake of being evil. I can find no possible redemption for them. Second, we don’t talk about the movie. It never happened. Don’t watch it, it is terrible. Lastly, the series continues with the concept that war is super evil and run by evil people and evil corporations. I tend to find this a bit too fanciful at times at it feels like they are smashing it into your head with a mallet.
That being said, I still find this series quite enjoyable. I love the Gundams first off. The Gundam Exia is a beautiful machine. Second, the concept is brilliant and very well executed. The story is driving and very enjoyable. Third, the openings and endings still rank upon my all time favorites. And finally, the diversity and quality of characters is incredible. It is hard for me to find another show that so completely deals with the diversity and difficulty’s of a crew facing down the entire world. Each character has personal struggles, but none of them can afford to let them stand in the way of their mission.
Overall, I recommend the series. The show is also an interesting study of how some Japanese perceive of war. The timing of what is happening here with the politics of Article 9 of the constitution has made thinking about this series quite thought provoking. I see a lot of similarities between the politics in the series and real life. Any way, I do recommend giving it a try, especially if you like politics, mecha, or anime with strong plots.