Char's a character who's brilliance can only truly be measured by looking at the life he lived, and comparing its various stages and eccentricities therein. Char from MSG still exhibits traits from Quattro, for instance. He fell in love with Lahlah, yes, but she started out as a protoge like Kamille, and was a Newtype. His whole life was an internal battle as to whether he should succeed his father or just hide behind his various masks, and the first moment of indecision is with the Flanagan Institute's discovery of Newtypes, which tied in with Zeon's beliefs.Nikkolas wrote:It's been almost two years since I started my Gundamathon and experienced most Gundam series. To recap briefly, I largely disliked 0079. I liked nobody on White Base except Kai. The best characters were the Zabis and they're in like, 5 episodes out of 41 or 42. Then I went onto -8th MS Team. It was a bit better - very different from MSG. Much more natural I felt. Still nothing special though.
It was Zeta when the Gundam Magic hit me. From Episode 1 and onward, I was enthralled. For one thing, Kamille is amazing. In the first episode alone you just have to sit back and marvel at how absolutely nuts this kid is. So Kamille makes a very strong first impression as essentially a teenage rebel on steroids. Yet he's far from uncaring or unkind. We get to see how, with the proper instrudction and guidance, he becomes a better person. I've seen it argued Kamille never loses the "essential mentality' he held at the beginning ie. his black-and-white ideas of morality. Can't really blame him though - the Titans are evil and Kamille wants to stamp them out to protect people. On a similar note, I've always been fascinated by Kamille's condemnation of Haman. He treats her like a demon of purest darkness and malevolence. Yet I hear in ZZ, its resident Newtype MC finds Haman to be sympathetic.
Anyway, in short, Kamille grows up and it's great.
Secondly, there's Char aka Quattro. I never liked MSG Char. I was constantly waiting for this amazing character people ranted and raved about but he never came. He was kind of just a petty jerk who was more than happy to abandon his mission of Kill All Zabis because he found a girlfriend.
But in Zeta, you see a marked shift in his motivations and interactions. There's much to discuss about how much of "Quattro" was real. It's intentionally ambiguous and that adds to the character's appeal for me. I personally think Char was legitimately trying to be a better person, to help guide Kamille and humanity to something greater. The problem is, not only did everything fall apart, it was possibly too late for him. "Quattro" was just another mask, just like" Char" is. This mask was nicer than Char but Casval is far too damaged by this point to truly change.
Speaking of tragic characters, Zeta has a lot of those. One I absolutely love is Four. Kamille and Four's relationship, to me, is everything that Amuro and Lalah's relationship wasn't. Kamille and Four interacted more, they had some things in common, Four got some real characterization and development.... Don't come in here and tell me Lalah was some prostitute Char rescued. Maybe that's true but I don't remember them ever talking about it in MSG. Original Gundam loves that - it explains everything in side material. Whereas in Zeta, Four's reasons for being with the Titans are spelled out very clearly and are very easy to understand and sympathize with.
Also Four had an amazing theme song.
In fact, another reason to praise Zeta is its fantastic score.
Another tragic character - albeit a rather controversial one - is Reccoa. I don't hate Reccoa like so many do. She betrayed the AEUG for very selfish reasons but many AEUG people were AEUG people because they were selfish. Many people fight in wars, not for ideals or something abstract like that, but because a loved one was killed or they lost their home or something else. Wars are not fought just for principles.
I was kind of thinking of making a thread on this but since this one exists, I'd like to ask fellow Zeta fans what they think of something.
This occurred to me when a person elsewhere made the accusation that Kamille never really becomes a 'nice guy" and treats the other AEUG members like dirt. In response to this I jotted down Kamille's general interactions with the others to disprove the claim. It made me realize something...
Just who did Kamille care most about in the AEUG?
While Quattro was Kamille's mentor of sorts, I don't know if I'd ever say Kamille had a strong affection for him.
At one point I believe someone makes a comment that Kamille thinks of Emma like a mother. She promptly rebuffs that claim. I kind of agree with her.
To me, perhaps it's because we get to see Kamille's anguish over her defection, but it always felt to me like Kamille had a special fondness for Reccoa. From my memory, he was typically nicer and more respectful towards her than anyone else. If anyone was potentially a surrogate motehr fr him, I thought it be Reccoa. They had the closest "emotional bond" when it comes to Kamille and an adult.
As for Kamille, I think he got along with Reccoa and Emma. He seemed to have more emotional care for them, and to some extent Apolly, than with most everyone else.
I do believe he hated Wong Lee, but that's a no brainer, and the feeling was mutual.
I'm actually on a rewatch of Zeta right now. I'm enjoying much more than my last one. Maybe it is only me personally, but I feel the story richness shines more. Perhaps I've simply matured enough in my appreciation to understand the naunces involved with the story, and why it grabbed me the first time.
There's so much subtlety strung into the background, detail in both behavior and the surrounding environment. The artwork itself is grand and perfect, the animation is pretty much the only real flaw I see as far as visuals go, and that's no flaw given the time in which it was drawn.
Comparing Zeta to other series I'm also currently watching, I've noticed that Fafner Exodus has some striking similarities in its first episode. I watched Winds of Jaburo (Still my favorite gundam ep title ever) and the first episode of Exodus last night, and was surprised with how closely related their music score was at certain points. I think there's some similar themes with out to make a deep, mature story in both of them that takes careful consideration and time, not to mention patience, to pick through. It all just snowballs, starting out inconsequential and ending with fantastic weight.
One nitpick in my rewatch is the action. It feels like watching the same fights from Exodus or Iron Blooded Orphans. The same style and flare is there. No shounen shouts and wacky poses that arrived in G Gundam and never quite left until IBO. There's depth and tactics displayed continuously through the early battles of Zeta, and while I believe they take a nosedive during the Earth Arc, and don't really return the same way later on, its still worth taking special consideration to note why so many of us loved Tomino's way of directing fights. Even if the physics don't always match up, they are broke subtly, rather than in flamboyant disregard. Suspension of disbelief is at its best when the laws are bent instead of broken.
I fully believe that if Zeta's animation were as fluid as IBO, the two would be extremely close in the ways the fights are choreographed.
Oh my. I never meant to say all that.