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Gundam 00 - Licensed to Thrill
Written by Danj

Those of you who have heard the name "Gundam" before will immediately think of at least two things - giant robots and war. In Gundam 00's case, you'd be half right - there are giant robots, but the war hasn't actually started yet.

Unlike all the other Gundam series, Gundam 00 actually uses the regular A.D. year system. It's set in the year 2307, and the world has coalesced into three major power blocs due to the construction of the space elevator and its accompanying solar energy system - the Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations (abbreviated as "the Union", includes the Organization of American States, Australasia and Japan, and controls the elevator in South America), the Human Reform League (abbreviated as "Jinkakuren" in Japanese or "HRL" in English, includes China, Siberian Russia, India, some nations of South Asia, Mongolia, the member states of the ASEAN, Papua New Guinea, the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan, and controls the elevator in the Pacific Ocean), and the Advanced European Union (abbreviated "AEU", includes Iceland, the islands of the Barents Sea, Greenland, Anatolia and all of Europe proper, and controls the elevator in Africa).

For those of you who have never seen a Gundam series or any other "mech" show, all sides are usually equipped with giant-size manned humanoid robot weapons (referred to as "mobile suits"), and over the course of the show the development of these normally escalates, usually in the course of a war (although not in Gundam 00's case, so far).

The series opens with the AEU showcasing its latest mobile suit model, the Enact, piloted by its so-called "ace" Patrick Colasour. During the test, a mysterious unknown mobile suit appears, and despite Patrick's efforts it handily defeats the Enact and flies off. The only identifiable marking on it was the word "Gundam" etched into its armour.

Gundam 00 has something to offer everyone, even people who wouldn't normally even consider watching a mech show. For the girls, there's pretty-boy pilots with a side helping of drama and angst (although unlike, say, Gundam Wing, they're definitely not gay - certain fansub groups' mistranslations to the contrary). For the boys, there are pretty and well-endowed girls and plenty of mobile suit action, including a few melee scenes which you don't normally see a great deal of in a Gundam show. It's not quite on the same level as Sunrise's other big-name franchise, Code Geass, which has CLAMP behind it, but it's definitely worth watching and it's also been produced in high definition.

At the time of writing, Gundam 00 has not been licensed for distribution in the United States and is available fansubbed by Menclave in both standard definition and 720p high definition. Please support your domestic anime industry by purchasing this title when it becomes available in your territory.


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