5 Reasons ZZ Gundam is Awful and should not be considered Canon

This image does a fair job of summing up both the show and my hate for it.

Having only recently begun to watch anime, the list of shows that I have watched is rather low, I believe only around one hundred or so. Yet, one franchise that I cannot get enough of and refuse to ever stop watching, is the Gundam franchise. I grew up watching Gundam Wing and G Gundam, and it holds a very special place in my heart. I love the action, and I truly enjoy the different types of interactions between the characters within the Gundam universe. Yet though I enjoy the Gundam universe, I have to say that ZZ Gundam is one of the worst anime I have watched as of yet. Not only as a sequal to an amazing anime such as Zeta Gundam, but as a stand-alone anime as well.

5. The Villains are more wacky cartoons than they are evil conniving villains

Let’s just take a quick look back at some of the main villains within the Mobile Suit Gundam series. First off, we have Char, the quintessential MSG villain. Char was a conniving intelligent man who always had his next move planned. In Zeta we have Scirroco who appeared to be this omniscient God. In ZZ, we have Mashymre Cello, a fool of a man who carried around a rose of Haman Karn. Mashymre was more of a romantic renaissance man than he was a true villain. Rather than kill the men of the Argama, Mashymre instead went off on tangents where he lamented his love for Haman and completely fell out of any fight he had with Judau and the crew of the Argama. Not only Mashymre though, most all of the villains in this show were similar to this, including Glemy Toto. Though Glemy’s character was strong in terms of his relationship to Judau’s sister and Ple two, in the end, his love for Roux Louka proved to be too overwhelming as he degraded into another useless character with no real motivation.

[HL]Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ 03 [E118D184](h264).mkv_snapshot_19.48_[2013.09.16_21.40.39]

Cockpit open, rose pinned to your chest, blue hair. Yep, time for a saber fight.

4. The Characters are all below the age of twelve

While personally I don’t have a problem with this, ZZ takes the characters lack of maturity and age to an extreme. While I can acknowledge that Tomino was attempting to reach a younger audience, creating a cast of entirely young characters was not the best choice to follow Zeta. Both MSG and Zeta started off with a small cast of young people, forced into taking on the role of soldiers. As the show progresses though, they slowly begin to mature and develop real personalities. ZZ on the other hand, starts off with a group of immature kids out to make money by stealing the Zeta Gundam (which was one of the most disappointing plot points ever by the way), and ends with a group of immature kids out to save Earth. There is no development, and no matter what anyone says having the characters grow up in the last four to five episodes does not equate to a set of developed characters. An immature kid does not just decide to grow up, there has to be a good reason or idea behind it. Not newtype bull shit.

3. The ZZ Gundam looks stupid.

LOOK AT IT.

[HL]Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ 38 [1C6C45BC](h264).mkv_snapshot_21.39_[2013.09.16_21.45.03]

THOSE ARE BEAM SABERS ON TOP THERE. YEP. GIANT. BEAM. SABERS.

[HL]Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ 38 [1C6C45BC](h264).mkv_snapshot_08.03_[2013.09.16_21.44.14]

It’s beam rifle is twice the size of that fighter. I’m just saying. Not like it’s a big deal or anything. Oh wait, it kind of is.

2. Random, useless plot arcs

One of the main reasons that both Zeta and MSG are so great, is because the plot felt as if it was one piece of an entire story. A few episodes may have drifted off every once in a while, but the drama was always still there. The main conflict between either the A.E.U.G. and the Titans or the Earth Federation and Zeon, was always in the background and was never forgotten about. In ZZ though, the plot constantly felt as if the story was drifting off. Gone was the cohesive plot of Zeta and MSG, instead replaced by different arcs that never appeared to be connected. Only by forcing them to in the last ten episodes was Tomino able to piece it all together and force it into one plot. By this point though, it was too late. Even with all of the arcs coming together, it still felt as if none of them mattered and that the characters introduced within them were all pointless. It was hard to care about anything that happened to the characters, making it more of a chore watching them, rather than an entertaining show.

[HL]Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ 15 [9A51A966](h264).mkv_snapshot_22.04_[2013.09.16_21.33.27]

Nope, it’s an awful place no matter how you look at it.

1. Completely and utterly destroys the good points of Zeta Gundam, while upholding all of the bad ones

Zeta Gundam was, in my opinion, one of the greatest examples of mecha anime ever created. AM I biased in saying this? Yes. Do I particularly care? Not really. If you happened to enjoy ZZ Gundam, then more power to you. Anime is anime and we all have different tastes and preferences. No matter how you feel about ZZ Gundam though, we should all be able to agree that the shift in tone, plot direction, and character development between ZZ and Zeta were monumental. All of the amazing aspects of Zeta were entirely left out of ZZ. The impact of death, the difficulty and fighting, and even the basic intereactions between characters were all just gone. While in Zeta one could sit through an entire episode and enjoy both the mecha action and dialogue, sitting through ZZ’s dialogue felt like tasting a disgusting medicine to help you go to sleep. The characters were about as shallow as can be expected of any typical twelve year old and it appeared that even the adults in the show wanted to be on their same level. I found myself constantly just skipping the dialogue and moving straight to the mecha action, which even I will admit looked consistently clean and well-done throughout most of the series.

I wish I had an image to go along with this paragraph, but I don’t. One image cannot sum up my pure disappointment with ZZ.

20 thoughts on “5 Reasons ZZ Gundam is Awful and should not be considered Canon

  1. Sauperman

    Out of the original three series ZZ is by far my favourite, it’s entertaining and covers all the points that Gundam aims to hit. I don’t understand how “The impact of death, the difficulty and fighting, and even the basic intereactions between characters were all just gone”, did you stop watching a quater of the way through or something?

    The characters are not all “under twelve” and the character development actually surpasses the nonsensical character development of many of the characters in Zeta. Please watch the entirety of a series before making an uninformed blog post about it. Oh well.

    Reply
    1. flightzz Post author

      I have actually watched the entirety of ZZ and stand by what I posted. While I can understand how some people may enjoy ZZ, I simply cannot get behind it. What you consider to be entertaining within this series, I consider to simply be stupidity. The characters make mistakes that no normal person would make, unlike in Zeta. The characters in Zeta were all relatable to a certain extent, and had depth to them. Depth in this case, meaning that they had emotions that were not visible without them yelling about them or explicitly stating them. The only subtle bit of depth that could be gleamed from Judau, was introduced only in the last few episodes where he began to take control of the situation he was in, rather than merely push it to the side. I do not consider this to be an in depth source of character development. If you do then, I suppose that’s your own prerogative. ZZ could be considered fun for some people, but coming off the basis of Zeta it made no sense in terms of flow or continuity.

      Reply
      1. piratekingray

        Emma getting out of her battlefield suit in the middle of a war zone? Reccoa defecting to get into Scirocco’s pants? Fa commenting that Reccoa defecting “is something many women would do?” Jamitov repeatedly trying to court haman even though she tries to whack him every damn time they meet? The titans being cartoonishly evil douchebags? In some ways Zeta is worse. Judau is more relatable. He feels like a normal kid cares about others vs kamille who’s a whiny little asshole when we first meet him

        Reply
        1. chase

          Every single one of those plot points you mentioned to me has a reason, and was well explored in the series, and was infinitely more interesting than ANYTHING that happened in ZZ… reccoa was pretty much a broken woman who wanted the comfort of a man to ease her pain. This is a much more interesting character than the female main chars of ZZ who just argue with each other the whole time, never change or grow up, and just get tacked on with male chars at the end who they have shown no interest to throughout the entire series and whose relationships have had no developement whatsoever. Everything you mentioned has a reason, even Kamille’s attitude at the beginning, and Kamille actually grows up and becomes a man, falls in love, and becomes a very likeable character, one of my fav protagonists of all time. Unlike Judau or the rest of the cast of ZZ who stay exactly the same throughout, have no real pain or issues to work through, puru’s death is forgotten in one ep, and thats really the only ep of the whole series that explores that knd of thing. There is literally no character development AT ALL in ZZ , Hayato’s death is just pathetic, Haman Karns character is ruined, the only character that changes even at all is Mashmyre, n who the hell cares about him? The only good part of ZZ was the colony drop part and the parts with kamille, which shows you just how sad ZZ is it has to rely on its past zeta protagonist to be good. The desert part was OK, everything else, the beginning, end and how they ruined Haman Karn’s character is just garbage compared to zeta. The fact that ANYONE could think ZZ is better than Zeta just blows my mind.

          Reply
          1. chase

            There is a reason why Judau and the rest of the shitty cast of ZZ have no place in the rest of UC gundam, its because they are an embarassment. Its only gundam not represented in unicorn, excuse me, the only GOOD character from ZZ is, puru. Even retconned ZZ out of existence with the Zeta movies. Which I don’t agree with though, because Zeta TV is better than the movies, they should have just made a zeta sequel movie to replace ZZ, that maybe involves Char/ Amuro fighting a Haman who is as intimidating as she was in Zeta, and this movie could lead into CCA. If they did ths and people could watch that movie instead of ZZ UC Gundam might just be best anime of all time, but sadly the garbage that is ZZ greatly drags it down as its a chore to get through. ZZ Gundam should have been the first AU gundam, and not involved with UC at all, then it wouldn’t get so much hate for ruining the Universal Century, and it could just be looked at as its own show such as G Gundam, Seed, 00, etc.

            Reply
          2. piratekingray

            you’re giving no arguments. reccoa is problematic because to quote an acquaintance

            AmbarSonOfDeshar said”Actually the problems in Zeta go a lot deeper than just the fridge stuffing (which happened to about half the male cast as well), or the fact that our two big bads are respectively, a glorified pick-up artist, and a Woman Scorned. There may be a lot of female pilots, but take a look at how much they accomplish and how they are portrayed.
            In no particular order:
            Lila: Introduced as a capable pilot, but exists solely to a) provide Jerid with another reason to hate Kamille, and b) show that non-Newtypes can’t hack it, dying shortly after her introduction.
            Mouar: Likeable, competent Action Girl, who is however, a satellite character to Jerid. Killed to further his rivalry with Kamille.
            Four: I know this is sacrilege, but Four’s just a terrible character in general. She’s portrayed as a psychopath in her first arc, prepared to murder everyone in Hong Kong, just so that she can get her memories back. Her initial death is done to further Kamille’s angst; her return makes her slightly more sympathetic, only to kill her off again, this time at Jerid’s hands, so that Kamille can angst and hate Jerid more. Even her romance with Kamille is in and of itself forced and shallow, with Newtype mindlinks being used in place of actual character development. Pretty much nothing positive here.
            Rosamia: She’s a repeat of Four’s plotline, with the additional issues of being a mentally handicapped lunatic who locks onto any male figure she sees as a substitute big brother. This is justified in-universe by her insanity, and I like her more than Four as a character, but when taken with all the other stuff that’s going on, it just adds to the show’s women problems.
            Fa: Fa’s actually a well-developed character, but suffers from a bad case of Can’t Catch Up. Her inability to perform well might be justified in-universe by her lousy mech, but the fact that a girl got the lousy mech speaks volumes about how Tomino was thinking. And we won’t get into how she’s automatically the designated caregiver to orphans Shinta and Qum who were brought onto the ship solely so the show could demonstrate her mothering potential.
            Sarah: A dumb, impulsive teenager defined entirely by her one-sided crush on Manipulative Bastard Scirocco. Also, a coward in her first outing. Again, pretty much nothing REDEEMABLE here.
            Reccoa: Bar none the worst female character in Zeta, and I would contend, the franchise as a whole. Her entire character consists of failing as a pilot, failing as a spy, and whining, constantly, about how none of the men on the Argama (in particular Char) want to sleep with her. Betrays them in order to hook up with Scirocco, and while this is heavily implied to be the result of mind rape, the cast don’t know that, and treat this as a thing that many women would do. Fa flat out states “Reccoa Londe made the choice a lot of women would have.” Gag.
            Haman: Haman in this show, is a badass and Magnificent Bastard, whose characterisation unfortunately is tainted by being a woman scorned, angry at Char for not joining her. Sidematerials reveal there never was a relationship and that it’s a lot more complex, but that isn’t discussed in the show proper, which renders her a very problematic “bad woman” stereotype (albeit a brilliantly executed one).
            Emma: Emma’s the best female character in the show, and one of the best in the franchise. She’s reasonable, responsible, acts like an adult, kicks a lot of ass in an outdated mech, and has an actual decent romance arc with Henken Bekkener. And then she fights Reccoa and becomes a mouthpiece for the show, CLAIMING “You’re letting your emotions as a woman getting in the way of your reasoning.” Then she’s killed off by Yazan (a misogynist) so that Kamille can angst more.
            Zeta’s female cast is sizeable, but none of them, save possibly Emma Sheen and Haman Khan fit the mold of “strong, independent female”, and even they have serious problems in terms of how they were portrayed, and the opinions that they served as mouthpieces for. Generally speaking, the show treats being a woman as an emotional and mental handicap, which only a rare few can truly overcome. Throw in the fact that most of them die to motivate Kamille or Jerid, and the show’s gender politics become very skeevy indeed.
            What makes ZZ better in this regard is that even the female characters who are killed off, have stronger identities. Elepo Puru might fullfill Rosamia and Four’s roles, but the fact that she’s a child, and builds an actual relationship with Judau, mitigates a lot of the problems that those two embodied. Haman’s “bad woman” tendencies get toned down a lot, in favour of more Evil Overlord tropes, and the presence of dumb, crazy woman Chara Soon is set off by the presence of dumb, crazy man Mashmyre Cello. The incompetent Fa is removed from the show early, and Elle and Roux, both drawing a fair bit from Emma, manage to survive the show, without compromising their independence at all (I hate the Elle/Beecher relationship, but she sure as hell isn’t subservient to him, so it’s not a gender issue). Roux is an especial relief as she’s able to control and use her sexuality to her advantage (though not beyond the bounds of good taste for TV) and no one thinks less of her for it. The only really awful female character is Emily and she’s not around for long. Most importantly of all, the fact that women are seeing combat isn’t discussed. Neither are differences between men and women. The presence of Roux, Elle, Chara, Haman, etc, on the frontline is treated as a normal thing for a woman to be doing.”

            So yeah, Zeta’s sexist, and getting out in the middle of a battle to check on an enemy you dislike is sheer stupid.

            I beg to differ that there is no development. At first most of the cast just sees it as a game; over time they become more disciplined, realize that war is serious business, and in Judau’s case forges an unusual connection with an enemy, develops a sense of sympathy towards them (he’s saddened by chara’s death and its implied that he does sort of sympathize with haman). By nature he becomes more mature. He realizes war’s not a game, is willing to face Haman to end the bloodshed (whereas before he just wanted to steal it). Haman is still ruthless badass and coldblooded (seriously the fight with judau is a draw despite having a weaker mech and weaker powers, and she not only makes the federation her bitch, but shows that despite sort of liking judau she will kill him if he gets in her way. The entire reason judau lets mineva go is because he realizes she’s dead serious when she says she’ll kill both of them). Haman’s relationship makes sense; she’s used to seeing everyone as an evil cynic so seeing someone genuinely idealistic is a shock and source of curiosity to her.

            Also Judau is more mature. He has no parents and he’s STILL WILLING TO WORK A FULL TIME JOB TO CARE FOR HIS FAMILY! He drops out of school, takes a low paying job, to support someone he loves. That’s dedication. Kamille’s parents are technically there even if they’re distant, he’s rich (his parents are high ranking employees who are engineers) and he has a nice school, yet he cuts class, angsts all the time (hey at least your parents come home each night and spend SOME time with you).

            Answer the sexism charges. Also it was confirmed ZZ is canon (the gundam team is mentioned the nahel argama shows up

            Haman’s still deadly, Judau is actually more likable than kamille and his relationship with haman works (she’s curious, sees a younger version of herself and is attracted to power, he hates her, but sort of sympathizes and even wants to help her, but they aren’t the same and their understanding each other doesn’t stop them trying to kill each other.

            Reply
            1. flayjunior

              that moron mind you, answer all this string of shit but I hold better or typical of filthy gringos like you.

              Reply
            2. Supo A

              Agree with the article, ZZ had potential but was wasted the comedy and serious tone was poorly balanced. The first half of the show characters like Fa who survived the Gryps Conflict treated like a newbie pliot and useless, Yazan tuned into a parody character and Haman become memory montage.

              I like how the one comment is trying undermine Zeta to try make ZZ look better, even logical fans who love ZZ admit story wise and in other areas the show is a step down from Zeta.

              Reply
  2. aguy

    “I found myself constantly just skipping the dialogue and moving straight to the mecha action”
    Yeah, not really going to agree with someone’s opinion if they skipped a whole bunch of stuff.
    And the reaction is complete classic “This show is nothing like Zeta therefore it is bad” – I mean ZZ is not an amazing show, but to go in expecting a repeat of Zeta is completely the wrong way of watching ZZ.

    Reply
    1. flightzz Post author

      It doesn’t really matter if you agree with my opinion. While yes I skipped over certain bits of dialogue throughout ZZ, that doesn’t mean it was necessary by any extent. I would argue that the dialogue of ZZ was actually the least necessary part of the series. None of the characters ever said anything substantial, nor were they interesting in the least bit.

      And I wouldn’t say I expected a repeat of Zeta, but I at least expected a similar tone or mood. I enjoyed the grittiness or intense aspects of Zeta, they made the show enjoyable. Rather than being about some kids messing around, it was instead about a war. Not only a few kids getting mixed up in a war, but an entire war. That is what helped make Zeta for me, but as I’ve said before, we all have different tastes.

      Reply
      1. donkangoljones

        I’m also an Eva fan, a FMA fan, a Cowboy Bebop fan, a Hunter X Hunter fan, a Clannad fan, an Azumanga Daioh fan, a fan of Berserk, movies, video games and cars. You don’t have a point.

        Reply
  3. hiljalle

    Haha Glemy’s crush on Roux making him a shallow character. Did you possibly skip every scene past the beginning’s childish chivalry where he for example uses his past courting as a shield when he’s about to get beamed in the back by Roux, making her hesitate. It twists into something so self-seeking you can’t possibly cover it just with “love”.

    Reply

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