a.k.a. Kidou Senshi Gundam ZZ
It is Universal Century 0088, and the bloody Gryps War has come to an end. Now a battered AEUG must take on the forces of Harman Karn and her Neo-Zeon. Young space junker Judau Ashta becomes the pilot of the new Double Zeta Gundam; whether the AEUG wants him or not is another question.
summary by Ender
Highs: The second half; fun music; some mecha designs
Lows: The first half; new cast; unbalanced comedy; other mecha designs
Following right after Zeta Gundam, Tomino Yoshiyuki was pushed into creating a new show with a slightly more comic touch to it. Thus Gundam ZZ was born. Now a change in formula may sometimes be a good thing. Is this one of those times? Probably not.
The main problem with this series is not the fact that it’s different; it’s the fact that it is the wrong kind of different. Considering how dark its predecessor was, the comic nature here becomes so out of place that it seems stupid; it becomes hard to imagine characters throwing oranges at each other while people are getting killed. The new cast does little to help the situation. Judau and company are nowhere near as interesting as Kamille or Amuro were. It becomes more and more bothersome when these characters start to push away the older, more interesting cast towards the back burner and forcefully take the center stage. It becomes even worse when the older characters are used for nothing more than sight gags.
The second half seems to want to make up for the first. By the midway point, this anime tries to return to its dark roots. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, especially in the final episode. Although, I have to say that the oft-quirky music and mecha designs do really fit the bill. Suits like the Hamma Hamma, Zaku III and the enhanced Hyaku-Shiki look very Gundamesque. At the same time, other suits like the mega-rider, the EWAC Zack and the Double Zeta Gundam (which resembles more a mobile truck than a suit) border on the unimpressive.
When all is said and done, Gundam ZZ is moderately entertaining and can be a joy to watch. But if you can’t get past the third or fourth episodes without finding faults, then it would be best to abandon ship. You’d be better off sticking with Zeta Gundam.
Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.