Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (AKA Double Zeta)

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Week 8 of our Hot Summer Flashbacks Series brings us to Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, a 47-episode TV series launched in 1986. Double Zeta, as it is affectionately known by no one because no one could possibly be affectionate about this show, is set in UC 0088 and is a direct sequel to Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.

I’m at least 60 hours into my Gundam binge and there isn’t much to say: MSGZZ has the lowest production values of any Gundam I’ve reviewed so far (parts of the animation are so choppy you can’t tell what is going on at all) and it continues MSZG’s tradition of over-designed (yet overly similar) character design, atrocious 80’s dialogue, and, worst of all, the entire cast is made up of teenagers.

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In so far as the Universal Century is concerned, not much happens in MSGZZ. No characters from it are referenced in future Gundams and the only event that matters (Khann’s death) is presented completely differently in Gundam Unicorn, which I still don’t understand…

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Is MSGZZ worth watching then? Yes!…If you want to watch eye-bleedingly terrible everything?

The animation is choppy; budget. The story is mostly told for laughs, but isn’t funny. The cast is made up mostly of random teenagers who are maniacal kleptomaniacs. The first villain is a dandy with no real interest or ability to fight. MSGZZ is just a mess and impossible to get into.

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If you are looking for anything good to say about Double Zeta, you can at least say it gets a little better in it’s last few episodes. Characters come together and action, what little there is, keeps going… but OUCH! This show takes too long to get there with too many silly hammy moments.

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5 thoughts on “Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (AKA Double Zeta)”

  1. To be sure, ZZ’s production had some issue. #1 issue was that it was planned initially to have elements of Char’s Counterattack in this series. That is both Char and Amuro was supposed to be in the show but got held back by the movie that was greenlight early in the production. Thus, the planned Neo Zeon civil war got a new leader, and the character Glemy Toto (who was introduced initially as a wet behind the ear Newtype pilot from Axis) filled in for Char. Hell, Glemy Toto went from that innocent newbie to Gihren Zabi clone (as he claimed himself t be) was just a wee bit incredulous.

    1. Yeah, i’d heard about ZZ’s troubled backstory and, even before learning that, it was pretty obvious something went wrong because Amuro and Char appear in the opening credits but not the show…

      Still, for what it is, ZZ is really bottom of the barrel animation and the characters are totally bizarre from the beginning. The humor is forced too. Hard to imagine Amuro and Vhar fixing that… Since I don’t think they really helped the previous zeta either.

      1. I actually enjoy Zeta Gundam quit a bit. It was pretty much everything they actually want to do in Gundam, but with an full slate of episodes and more money. Unfortunately when the next Gundam tv series came around, it was Victory Gundam. Granted, I like Victory Gundam, but Sunrise was in the midst of being bought out by Bandai, and you can tell the animation budget got sliced to the bone. Executive meddling means that episode 4 was shown first (it was when the Victory Gundam was finally revealed, but Bandai want to have it shown in episode 1). It was also when Gundam creator Tomino was in his deepest depth of his undiagnosed (and untreated) depression state. And this reflected in the show as it killed off more of the named characters than any other Gundam show. Only Space Runaway Ideon managed to kill off more characters (and they cheated by literally killing off EVERYONE).

      2. My issue with Zeta stems from its truly bizarre take on human behavior. Between the constant self sacrifice of women to Jerrid and the whole ‘understanding the heart of a woman’ narrative, it just feels gender-dated in a way that’s equal measure eye rolling and gross.

        That said, I didn’t watch Zeta in its day and, given my own nostalgia for Macross/Robotech, I certainly can’t claim moral high ground ;)

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