Those are mostly valid criticisms you've mentioned, and I can see why they'd bother many gundam fans.HellCat wrote:First of all, I'm going to agree that the reputation of Zeta is built on how scarce it was when the English speaking fandom was building up over a decade ago. It was made out to be the ultimate Gundam show and with most of us being hot headed teenagers, we accepted this with little question and told others like it was fact.
There's more I could say but for now I'll wrap up. Zeta is far from the worst thing I've ever watched but it's also far from the tightly plotted legend certain fans and indeed even some official references make it out to be.
But come on, give the show the benefit of the doubt. The show's allure is not solely based on the scarcity of availability like people seem to keep suggesting. In spite of it's easy accessibility now and the number of flaws people have become savvy to, Zeta Gundam still has a strong following. That must mean that Zeta does something right.
I enjoy it immensely, and it's definitely in my top three, but it's not my all-time-favorite, mainly because of the issues and detractions you brought up.
I get it's a matter of personal opinion, but I think it deserves much of the reputation it amassed on merits alone. When I heard that Zeta Gundam was really good, I didn't blindly accept that and tell people to watch it like some "hot headed teenager". I watched it myself first, and then determined that I enjoyed it.
The more I hear statements about "certain fans", and blind acceptance, the more I get the feeling there's an implied backhanded insult about being sheep somewhere in there. I enjoy Zeta Gundam a lot, but I still recognize that it has flaws, ones which ultimately do not reduce my overall enjoyment of the series. I don't think anyone beyond the most blind strawman-fan nowadays would go touting Zeta Gundam as some sort of flawless masterpiece.
Back to the title question from the OP though: It's probably pretty clear to you by now that Zeta fans are an opinionated lot who nonetheless see something in this, your least-enjoyed of Gundam shows.
I think it's becoming increasingly hard to really express what's so "good" about Zeta Gundam because we're all running around in circles on personal opinion alone. And really, I don't think there's a simpler answer. Zeta Gundam is "so great" becuase a lot of people think its great, even in spite of its recognized flaws. There's no accounting for personal taste.
I don't think anything I or anyone else could say could get you to appreciate the show. It's your opinion, not ours.