Eight years after the One Year War, the Earth Federation creates an elite force called the Titans to hunt Zeon remnants. When Titans proves to be no better than Zeon, the Anti Earth Union Group (AEUG) is formed to restore peace in space.
In the war between the Earth Federation and Zeon, a young and inexperienced crew find themselves on a new spaceship. Their best hope of making it through the conflict is the Gundam, a giant humanoid robot, and its gifted teenage pilot.
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Judau Ashta, a junk collector from Side One colony Shangri-La, decides to steal the Zeta Gundam from the Argama. Instead, he finds himself helping the AEUG from the pursuit of Axis' Mashymre Cello. With the loss of its ace pilot Camille Bidan, Captain Bright Noa persuades Judau, along with his friends, to join the Argama and pilot its mobile suits, putting an end to the threats of Neo Zeon. Written by
It's hard for any anime to pick up the mantle of the masterpiece 'Z Gundam', but ZZ Gundam does a fine job doing so. In Universal Century 0088 the AEUG, weakened after their victory over the Titans, has to deal not only with the rising power of Axis Zeon, but of the loss of Camille Bidan, their greatest pilot. Their flagship the Argama docks at Side 1's Shangri-la colony, where new pilots such as the spirited Judau Ashita, Elle Viano, and Lu Luka pilot the AEUG's new mobile suits, including the powerful ZZ Gundam. Haman Khan returns from Z Gundam as the regent of Axis, and new villains such as knight-wannabe Mashmyre Cello and Glemmie Toto, one of Gundam's best developed characters, also prove to be interesting additions.
The show itself can be split into two distinct halves. The first half is rather campy and has plenty of comedy, none of it subtle. This has given it an unsavory reputation among purists as totally lacking depth and merely a kiddy pleaser. Yet as the story progresses the mood begins to seriously darken, and the issues the series takes up include ones rarely seen in the franchise, such as racism. When the show gets to space, the action intensifies, all building up to the final, climactic duel between Haman and Judau.
This show, relatively unknown in America, shows that Z Gundam level depression is best taken in moderation. The lightheartedness makes for an enjoyable viewing experience, and the later seriousness makes for a meaningful one. As shows such as Gundam SEED DESTINY continue to dominate the markets, it's good to know one can always turn to the roots with an anime like this.
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