It is Universal Century 0088. Haman Khan has claimed Axis as Neo-Zeon and rages war on both the Federation and the remaining Anti-Earth Union Group (AEUG), in order to resurrect the Zabi Family Dynasty. Meanwhile, fourteen-year-old junk collector Judau Ashta encounters the ship Argama, and with the help of his friends he plans to steal their Gundams. However, because of Judau's skills and unique Newtype abilities, he is instead entrusted with the AEUG’s newest weapon: the Double Zeta Gundam. The clash of the Newtypes continues as together Judau and his friends form the first Gundam Team.
This is a direct sequel to Zeta, but not only as that, I think of them as one big series itself despite the opposite nature of the first half ZZ that no reviewer should over look when reviewing this anime. Apparently some of the audience, executives of Sunrise and Bandai, and Tomino’s wife thought that Zeta was way too dark and gritty which is something many fans thought was what made that series distinguishing. Plus Tomino even felt bad about the nature of Zeta and thinks anime should make people happy. Then again, he was going through a depression. While with the first half of Double Zeta, he makes it very campy and childish. It’s pretty bad to the point where it has driven fans away from the show. Granted it is annoying, sorry to bring this as a spoiler, but it eventually goes back to the dark and gritty nature of Zeta, which I thought was enough to redeem itself. Thankfully this transition gives opportunities where the characters will develop and they become likeable. But I think you should understand Tomino’s mentality and approach to things to truly appreciate the story and characters.The contrast of this anime is a little brighter and the designs are more neon in a very 1980s manner. Especially the hair styles and costume designs. It’s just more childish to truly make it more cartoony in comparison to Zeta and thus being more kid friendly. And of course some of the battles in the beginning are more comedic and ridiculous and untradtitional of what you can say is Gundam, though not as cheesy or over the top as G Gundam of course. But it’s nice to see that the Zeta Gundam, and other suits from Zeta are still in use and present, but they don’t have the same charisma which is a bizarre way to describe it as they did in the first season. But I do think the Double Zeta is pretty nifty and it’s bulkiness and style brings another kind of likeable distinction mostly because it’s different. But the battles eventually go back to the quality it had in Zeta and what most hardcore Gundam fans would like. Some of the music is also of course more campy and childish though it still retains some of the background music from Zeta Gundam. The first opening theme, Anime Janai is very ookie and geeky, but despite that, I naturally have to agree that it did compliment the nature of the series at that time, but still went well with the presented imagery. But the 2nd opening theme, Silent Voice where the series gets better is more traditionally of something you’d rather hear in anime. It’s very high spirited and intense and energetic. The seiyuu cast is still top notch. Yao Kazuki, the voice of Jedau sounded a little old for a 14 year old and the childish nature of his character. He was also the voice of Iketani of Initial D, Takeda from History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi, and Fei Long in Street Fighter II V. It’s hard to take him seriously in a more comedic role and as an early teenager. And I enjoyed the voice of Sakakibara Yoshiko as Harman. She had a passion and charisma to her character as well as this intimidation to her voice. So I got nothing much to complain in the voice acting department.Just like One Piece, this series takes a while to get into and get into a certain pace to truly appreciate it. I don’t think the initial episodes despite how insulting it was after going through Zeta should not refrain you from watching the whole series since it does redeem itself. I was only able to survive and enjoy the series because I gave it that chance. Afterall, this isn’t Gundam SEED Destiny, which is what I personally found as the worst Gundam series of all time and got progressively worse. Anyway, I say this is something more for the likes of dedicated Gundam fans, and not necessarily for casual anime fans. Just give this series a chance.
It has all the bad tropes that existed in the previous seasons (mainly the terrible pacing) except it added more shitty comedy and unnecasary tangents. They tried to capture a new audience with the goofy action and the more colorful cast of characters, but they ended up almost ruining the franchise. By the time it got more serious, it was already too late, since I didn't really care about any of the characters. But thankfully, it picked up some steam around episode 20 and got better. The first episodes are trash, after that it got some really good episodes but even those are mixed with some really boring and meaningless action. Overall I don't regret watching ZZ because it added a lot of things to the timeline, but I don't ever see myself rewatching it.
By far the worst of Tomino's Gundam. A sequel to Zeta that has less connective tissue to what came before than Zeta had to 0079. While I don't mind the idea of the franchise pivoting into a more kid friendly goofy monster of the week type show, the orginal and Zeta have shades of this already, I have to say they should've gone all in. The jovial first half kneecaps the second half's "darker" themes. I'm hesitant to even call it dark as it's only dark in contrast to the first 20 or so episodes of it's own show. Even the opening of 0079 had more adult themes. Haman Khan, the series main antagonist that first appears in Zeta Gundam has a less meaningful and impactful death than Paptimus did in Zeta. Spending all that time building to her fall only for her mobile suit to explode and her head be superimposed in the sky before quickly moving on just does not sit right with me. The show feels disjointed at best, rushed at worst. As I said earlier, it should've picked a lane. More kid friendly, or more adult. Splitting it right down the middle only hinders either choice. That's not to say this show is all bad. There are some gems here and there. Dessert Romel sticks out as a great arc. Personally I even find much derided Moon-Moon arc a fun time. Ultimately, this show should've been the setup that was missing in Char's Counter Attack, but seeing as Amuro and Char are only mentioned, it fails on that front, only letting us know how Axis (now Neo Zeon) falls into Char's hands. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this show to casual mecha fans or Gundam fans. I personally feel you need only watch this if you are a fan of Tomino's work.
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