The Mu Effect
July 11, 2005
Before I continue, this title was shamelessly stolen from our gracious
host Chris, and I felt it deserved an article. In addition, this contains spoilers to Gundam SEED DESTINY through episode 37. In the UC timeline of the Gundam universe, there is a general constant that is almost always observed. If your mobile suit/mobile armor blows up or the
cockpit is impacted, you are generally killed/maimed/horribly scared or
turned into hamburger (I think that is by far the best line from the
0080 translation… period). That held true until the arrival of the Alternate Universe series.
It started with Gundam Wing, when our hero, Heero Yuy, decided blowing up the Wing Gundam was a good idea. Needless to say, the self destruct on the Wing Gundam was less than efficient, since 60% of the suit
remained intact, and our fearless pilot, who by all accounts should've
been burned to a crisp, and killed 3 times, once by impact, once by
sheer kinetic energy and once by the fact that he was standing on a
mobile suit outside of the cockpit when the damn thing exploded, lives
to see another day, with little more than a nice trickle of blood down
his head which miraculously becomes a big puddle.
This was the beginning. By the end of Gundam Wing, including Endless
Waltz, these same type of crazy amazing survivals occurred at least 4
more times, usually by either Heero, Trowa or Zechs. Now you might be asking, why isn't it called the Heero Effect then? Well, the long and short of it is that there is one distinct difference between Gundam Wing and
Gundam SEED, and that is that Gundam Wing was more based in fantasy and Power Rangers-esqe than SEED or DESTINY, and the believability of a person surviving in SEED or DESTINY from the same type of catastrophic demise is slim at best.
Along comes Gundam SEED, fresh from the fire, and ready to be the next
big hero survival click. It's been argued (at least between Chris and
myself) that this could also be called the Kira Effect or the Andy Effect, but the truth is, Mu was the first important pilot in the SEED universe to have his suit completely destroyed in combat and still live to tell about it
(thanks once again Fukuda for taking a great heroic death for him at the end of SEED and ruining it because he thought he was cool. Why don't we have Michael Jackson do a cameo while we're at it, that would make about as much sense.). I mean, the guy took a positron cannon to an already badly damaged and space-exposed Strike Gundam. The heat alone should've melted his body, regardless of the immense amount of explosive force he must've been exposed to. And of course, going back to the totally ruined ending, in the original ending, Mu's shattered bloody helmet was floating in space. So unless Mu suddenly learned how to breathe vacuum, he should've been done.
Fast forward a little to DESTINY. Kira, the ever prevalent agent of justice, gets Freedom nicely skewered by Anakin's… ehehm... Shinn's Impulse. Goes right through the torso, the suit blows up in a nice nuclear-like explosion, and bam, gone, nothing left... until the next episode, where we see that Freedom's entire upper torso survived the explosion and the nuclear generator was in fact shut down. Kira makes it out, looking no worse for wear that our former hero, Heero. Now go forward yet again.. oooh... 2 episodes… our hero, second rate, Athrun has stolen a GOUF Ignited, which conveniently looks exactly like the original Gouf, and has been chased down by Destiny and Legend, who completely outmatch him. Now Anakin… I mean Shinji… I mean… whoops slipped again... Shinn, like the good-natured killer he is, skewers poor old GOUF with a sword, exactly as he did to ol' Freedom. Yet again, somehow his aim is poor and he misses the cockpit. Both Athrun and Meyrin survive with no major injuries, scarring or anything. You know, a Gundam pilot isn't a Gundam pilot anymore once he loses his pretty boy exterior, and Athrun still has one more on his list of pink suits to blow up.
As a notable exception, Andy Waltfeld survived his LaGOWE biting it,
but he can't be considered a member of this elite crowd because he lost
some limbs and was scarred by the incident.
So as of today, July 11th, 2005, We await the future of the Mu Effect
in the Gundam universe…. who knows, maybe Stellar will come back ala Lalah Sune. Go Go Ghost Gundam pilots.
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