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Episode 25: Rebirth

 

Review by Chris Guanche

April 3, 2009

 

Summary

 

Setsuna asks Ribbons if he's going to keep pretending to be God, but Ribbons declares that he is God. He says that he has to rule over humanity to prevent it from destroying itself. Setsuna says that Ribbons isn't even trying to understand humanity, and Ribbons replies that he's simply controlling humans they same way they exercise dominion over animals. Setsuna says that he'll destroy the rebirth that Ribbons has created, and the two rush toward each other. Feldt gets a message from Veda saying that the Reborns Gundam is engaging the 00 Raiser. Everyone is surprised when Lasse returns to the bridge and takes up his position. Allelujah briefly stays with Marie in the infirmary before launching again, and Haro tells Lockon there's a message from the ship. Ribbons fires a wired claw and beam cannon, and Setsuna dodges while waiting for Trans-Am to charge. He then tries to rush in to attack at close range, but Ribbons swats him with a beam saber and knocks him onto the surface of the Celestial Being. Setsuna is then surprised when the Reborns Gundam transforms from cannon to Gundam mode, and Ribbons comments that Setsuna isn't the only one who has the Twin Drive System. Ribbons blocks Setsuna's sword attack and fires his cannon, which blows off the 00 Raiser's right leg. Another shot damages one of the Raiser's wings, and Setsuna is also hit by incoming fire from Revive's Gadessa. Hiling tries to attack Setsuna with beam saber claws, and Setsuna dodges another cannon attack. When another cannon shot comes at the 00 Raiser head on, it's blocked by Lockon's shield bits. Hallelujah laughs and attacks Hiling by cutting off the Garazzo's right arm. Lockon attacks Revive with the heavily damaged Cherudim Gundam and destroys the GN mega launcher, saying that Innovators are nothing without Veda to support them. Hallelujah attacks Hiling from behind and rips off the Core Fighter. He then rams the Arios Gundam into the Garazzo and destroys it with his pincer claw. Ribbons attacks Setsuna with fangs, and when Allelujah joins the fight, he gets disabled by two fangs. Ribbons then comes under fire from the Ptolemaios 2 and opens fire on the ship. Sumeragi fires off smoke charges to cloud the battlefield, and Setsuna charges at Ribbons. He loses his left arm to fangs, but manages to cut off Ribbons' right arm. Lockon wants to use Trans-Am, but Haro says it will only last for a second. Lockon rushes in and takes some damage, but at the last second he activates Trans-Am to dodge Revive's attack. He then fires his beam pistol at point blank range to the Gadessa's cockpit, killing Revive. Sumeragi tells Ian to launch the R II, even though they don't have a spare GN Drive for it. Ribbons tells Setsuna that he's strong only because he has a real GN Drive, so he wants it back. The voice of Tieria then tells Ribbons that the Innovades are meant to help humanity, but Ribbons says he doesn't want to associate with inferior humans. Ribbons and Setsuna both use Trans-Am, and Setsuna uses quantization to teleport behind Ribbons. He cuts into the Reborns Gundam, but Ribbons manages to cut off the 00 Raiser's left arm and GN Drive.

 

Ribbons escapes and is happy that he's gained control of a real GN Drive, which he thinks will allow him to surpass Aeolia's plan. The Reborns Gundam begins to malfunction due to heavy damage, but Ribbons is surprised to see the 0 Gundam floating in space near one of the Celestial Being's hangars. In the wreckage of the 00 Raiser, Setsuna reaches out for Feldt's flower and sees a light in the distance. Nearby, Ribbons connects the GN Drive to the 0 Gundam and begins searching for Setsuna. He then finds the 00 Raiser, which has been abandoned and had its remaining GN Drive removed. Setsuna then appears in the Gundam Exia Repair II and attacks Ribbons by slamming him into the surface of the Moon. Setsuna destroys the 0 Gundam's beam rifle, and the two suits engage in hand-to-hand combat. Setsuna and Ribbons then slice each other's cockpits open with beam sabers. Setsuna charges in and stabs the 0 Gundam with his GN sword, but Ribbons also stabs the Gundam Exia with his beam saber. The 0 Gundam then explodes, knocking away the damaged Gundam Exia. Later, in the reformed Azadistan, Marina writes a letter to Setsuna, saying that despite their different backgrounds, they feel the same way about peace. She wonders why they couldn't travel the same path, even though they understood each other. She thinks Setsuna's way of life is painful, so she hopes he can find his own happiness. Marina then gives a speech to an enormous crowd, stating that Azadistan has been reinstated with help from the Federation. In a hospital, Saji wonders if Louise's cellular mutation was stopped by Setsuna's GN particles. Louise sits next to Saji and watches a speech from the new Federation president. Homer commits suicide in his home, and the president announces that the Federation will be reorganizing the military. Klaus and Shirin sit in on the meeting, and Shirin comments that the world is changing. Klaus agrees, but he says this is just the beginning and that there's lots of hard work ahead. Louise asks Saji what will happen to the world now, and he says he doesn't know. He says they now know how they achieved peace, so they can't remain ignorant about the world. Now a regular Federation officer, Andrei speaks to Kati over video and asks about Celestial Being. She says that they'll keep pursuing Celestial Being as long as they refuse to disarm. Kati then yells at Patrick for walking in on her before the wedding. The two then get married and are greeted by a large crowd outside the church. Andrei vows to live on as a soldier like Sergei and Holly. Billy works at his computer and gets a visit from Graham. Lockon visits his family's grave, which is now next to a grave for Anew. Allelujah and Marie backpack around Europe with a group of people. On the Celestial Being, Tieria decides to watch over humanity until it's time for the future dialogues. Elsewhere, the Ptolemaios 2 returns to space, and Setsuna says they still have a job to do.

 

Commentary

 

After nearly two years and two seasons, Gundam 00 finally comes to an end. It's been quite a ride, and this show has definitely had some firsts for the franchise. Most obviously, it was the first Gundam series to be aired in two seasons, a trend which is likely to continue given how pervasive it is now in Japan. It was the first Gundam series to feature a multi-year time skip in its story. Although 00 wasn't the first to do this, it is one of the few Gundam series that moves away from the traditional Earth vs space conflicts. And most noticeably in this episode, it's the first time that the hero and villain have had to downgrade to weaker mobile suits in the final battle. Overall, the series finishes strongly, even though there's a forthcoming movie that will continue the story. With most of the conflicts resolved in episode 24, there's a lot of space left here for a solid final battle and epilogue. Lockon certainly gets points for using a nearly useless Cherudim Gundam to take down Revive. It was also nice to see Hallelujah toy with Hiling and kill her with a Kamille Bidan-style ramming attack. Setsuna also has a fast-paced final battle with Ribbons, culminating in the theft of the GN Drive and the surprise final confrontation between the Gundam Exia and the 0 Gundam. There's certainly a lot of symbolism in Setsuna returning to his original Gundam and having to destroy the Gundam that he idolized so much. I have to wonder about the Reborns Gundam's cannon mode that appeared earlier, though. Like the Alvatore before it, this was kind of a case of "how much crap does this thing have?" Between beam rifles, sabers, cannons, claws and fangs, it's definitely a bit of overkill. Still, it made for a good battle, and it was nice to see that the 00 Raiser isn't invincible.

 

With regards to the epilogue, most things are wrapped up. Homer commits suicide, and a new president promises change and peace. Saji and Louise get their happy ending. Graham makes a split second cameo, which is disappointing. It wouldn't have hurt to have him say something. Patrick is indeed alive and marries Kati, which is out of left field and pretty ridiculous. I'm not sure why Marina is leading Azadistan again, but there was a nice contrast to the end of season 1 with her writing a letter to Setsuna. Celestial Being still exists, and the showing of Jupiter hints that more is to come. Also, throughout the epilogue we see loads of Innovator-looking people across the world. I don't know if they're supposed to be eyes-and-ears for Tieria-Veda, or if they're sleeper agents left behind by Ribbons. Overall, 00 was a strong series that took some chances with its characters, plot and mecha design. It paid off. There were some bumps along the way - characters like Allelujah and Graham got the short end of the stick in season 2. Some plot points remain unresolved, but they will presumably be addressed in the movie. Although the show has just ended, I think it will leave a mark on the Gundam franchise for some time to come. The next Gundam series will certainly have a higher standard to live up to than this series did with DESTINY as its predecessor.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam 00 S2 Episode 25 Gundam 00 S2 Episode 25
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