Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam

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One-time rivals Amuro Ray and Char Aznable, new hero Kamille Bidan and the Zeta Gundam.
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One-time rivals Amuro Ray and Char Aznable, new hero Kamille Bidan and the Zeta Gundam.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (aired 19851986) was a televised anime, one of Gundam series and a sequel to the original Mobile Suit Gundam. It takes place in UC 0087, seven years after the end of the One-Year War. After the events of Gundam 0083, the Federation military established an elite division called the Titans to hunt down the remaining pockets of Zeon resistance, but the Titans used brutal methods to reach their goals. Two resistance groups, the AEUG (Anti-Earth Union Group) and their earthbound counterparts, the Karaba (led by Mobile Suit Gundam's Hayato Kobayashi), were formed. The series begins when a thinly-disguised Char Aznable, now a member of AEUG under the alias "Quattro Bagina", raids a Titan military base in the occupied colony Green Noah in Side 7 to acquire intelligence on the Federation's new Mobile Suit prototype, the black Gundam Mark-II. Kamille Bidan, a hot-headed Newtype dissident, is caught up in the raid and helps AEUG steal the Mark-II. Eventually, he joins the AEUG, initially as the Mark-II pilot, then as the pilot of the new Z-Gundam mobile suit (made by the AEUG and based on Kamille's own design).

The show was written and directed by Tomino Yoshiyuki, with character designs by Yasuhiko Yoshikazu, while the series' mechanical designs were split amongst Okawara Kunio, Nagano Mamoru, and Fujita Kazumi. It is well known that Tomino was suffering from clinical depression while producing Zeta Gundam, and the series reflects its creator's dark mood - many characters both good and evil die throughout the series, in what is arguably the bloodiest Gundam series. Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam can even be seen as a Futuristic Gundam-style interpretation of George Orwell's Classic 1984, with the Titans Standing as the Party. In celebration of Gundam's 25th anniversary (and also the 20th anniversary of Zeta Gundam), this series will be compiled into a new movie trilogy in 2005. Bandai also released in the US a limited edition Zeta Gundam box set that incudes several collectibles (pencil sharpeners with the likeness of several mobile suits on them as well as an episode guide) along with the full series, with both dubbed English and original Japanese audio tracks.

Contents

Titans

In the fictional Gundam universe (Universal Century or UC), the Titans were an elite counter-insurgency group formed by the Federation Council in response to Operation Stardust. The group was tasked with the job of eliminating any remaining Zeon sympathizers within the earth sphere; however this objective eventually expanded to include all persons who opposed the Federation.

The Titans were founded by Jamitov Hyman, who argued that the safety of the Federation displaced the civil rights of the citizens living under the Federation. In creating the Titans, he essentially created a special forces unit that had the ability to act outside the limit of Federation's supervision. As timed passed more and more people lined up to join the Titans, inspired by the group's success in repelling Anti-Federation movements.

Eventually, the Titans got overzealous in their pursuit of dissidents, and began resorting to Zeon-like tactics to force people to do their will. The Titans were called in to suppress the citizens on Side 1's 30 bunch, who had originally gathered to protest Titans actions but ended up rioting. The Titans shut down air circulation to the colony and pumped it full of piosonous gas, killing millions. When the Federation Council refused to charge the Titans with any wrong doing, dissident citizens and soldiers both on earth and in space formed the Karaba and AEUG resistant movements, respectively.

The Titans seem to have been based on the Schutzstaffel, there are far too many similarities to be a coincidence. Most notable are their black uniforms, elite recruiting procedures, and horrible callousness to all human life.

AEUG and Karaba

Karaba was the Earth-based resistant movement against the Titans. Although they are not as well known as their space counterparts in the Anti Earth Union Group, they were nonetheless extremely important in the fight against the Titans. Their most important members are ace pilot Amuro Ray, and Karaba's leader, Director Hayato Kobayashi; both fought together as members of the White Base crew during the One-Year War. The Karaba operates from the Audhumla, a giant cargo ship stolen from the Federation during the AEUG attack to Jaburo, which became the resistance's mobile headquarters and flagship. Karaba's most significant operations were an all-out attack on the Titans headquarters in Kilimanjaro, and temporarily seizing control of the Federation congress in Dakar to allow Char Aznable to make a globally televised speech.

In ZZ Gundam the mission of the Karaba shifted from fighting the Titans to fighting the Axis/Neo Zeon movement.

Titans activities placed numerous restrictions on trade and commerce. As a result, AEUG and Karaba acivities were funded to a a large extent by the private sector who often sent representatives aboard AEUG ships to supervise military decisions. During the events of Zeta Gundam, one such representative, Won Li, spent a large amount of his time aboard Argama. Bossy and argumentive, Won Li frequently clashed with Argama officers and crew over everything from tactical procedures to the somewhat informal atmosphere aboard Argama.

Axis Zeon (later Neo Zeon)

The Axis Zeon (or simply Axis) are remanent members of the Pricipality of Zeon who, for various reasons, retreated to the astroid Axis at the end of the One Year War. Most members of this group seek to forcibly re-establish the Principality of Zeon. They are lead by Haman Khan, who was chosen to rule over the Principality supporters until Mineva Loa Zabi became old enough to do so on her own.

The Axis returned to the earth sphere on 12 October, UC0087, during the height of the Earth Federation's civil war, which made them very important to both the Titans and the AEUG; if either side was able to form an alliance with the Axis they would virtually double their size. The AEUG was the first group to send representatives to negotiate with the Axis, but the negotiations broke down, and in the end Haman choose to side with the Titans. However, the AEUG secretly opened a second round of negotiations with Axis, in which Haman pledged to assist them against the Titans. In truth, Haman's goal was to play the Titans and AEUG against each other, so that whichever side emerged victorious would be sufficiently weakened that her forces could overcome them and seize control of the Earth Sphere.

In ZZ Gundam the Axis adopted the name Neo Zeon, and sought to capitalize on that mostly successful strategy.

Newtypes

The "Newtypes" began to grow in numbers during and following the One-Year War. However, they became the target of different military organizations, this time the Titans and the Earth Federation who believed that they can be made into living weapons of war. The Psycommu (Psychic Communicator) system was invented, which allowed these Newtypes to control remote weapons known as "bits" and "funnels", and even mobile suits, through thought alone. Experimentations began so that certain Newtypes' psychic abilities would be expanded even more, and a new project also began, conducted by the Federation Murasame Labs to bestow Newtype abilities on ordinary humans. This process was extremely flawed, however. While many of these "artificial Newtypes" do have powerful abilities, they frequently suffer from extreme mental inestability, and also were subject of mind control. Kamille, Amuro and Char, all of them being natural Newtypes, fought with the AEUG to stop experiments on Newtypes. Eventually, Kamille would start a doomed romance with an artifical Newtype, Four Murasame.

See also

Preceded by (in production order): Mobile Suit Gundam

Preceded by (in timeline order): Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory

Followed by: (in production and timeline): Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ

Variation models: Z Gundam Mobile Suit Variations (Z-MSV)

Zeta Gundam is being compiled into three movies which break down the essence of the series and add new animation and updated CG to many scenes, alongside the original animation. The first film opened on May 28, 2005.

Official Zeta Gundam: A New Translation site (http://www.z-gundam.net/)

External Links

Template:Universal Centuryja:機動戦士Ζガンダム zh:機動戰士Z鋼彈

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