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File:GundamZZSerires2Group.jpg

 Anime Ja Nai!

Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (Kidou Senshi Gundam Double Zeta), is the third series in the highly successful Gundam anime franchise. A direct sequel to the vastly popular Zeta Gundam, Gundam ZZ marks a major departure from the tone of its predessor, despite being (unusually for a Gundam series) a direct sequel. Picking up days after the conclusion of Zeta Gundam, Gundam ZZ's first half is rather light-hearted and generally upbeat, especially after Zeta's Darker and Edgier story. According to reliable reports, it was an attempt to restore Gundam's reputation as a children's series and family entertainment, and its director Yoshiyuki Tomino is said to have made it as a reaction against the incredibly bleak ending of Zeta Gundam. Unfortunately, this resulted in Mood Whiplash, and the entire series is generally frowned upon by the more serious fans who enjoyed Zeta and were expecting more of the same.

Remember, people, that this is what usually happens if you let Tomino do two shows back-to-back.

However, the series eventually undergoes Cerebus Syndrome and becomes much more serious; this is generally considered to have improved the quality. This is at least in part due to the fact that, partway through the production of ZZ, Tomino recieved permission to make Char's Counterattack, thus necessitating major changes in the plotline of ZZ. The series eventually ends in typical Gundam style, though without repeating the ending of Zeta Gundam.

Gundam ZZ was also one of the mainstay titles of the UC Gundams when it comes to Super Robot Wars though it's starting to fall behind, as it hasn't been in a game since Alpha 3. During the announcement of Super Robot Wars Z 2, Terada let it slip that Bandai and Sunrise have something big in mind for ZZ, but what exactly this is is not known.


This contains examples of:

  • Ace Pilot: Somewhat less common than in most Gundam shows (few of the AEUG's aces survived to appear in ZZ, while Neo-Zeon never had many aces in the first place), but by the end of the series a new crop of them has risen up so that they can wipe each other out in the final battle again. Also amusingly played with somewhat with Judau and his buddies. While they grow to be aces in the end, the first time any of them pilot a mobile suit, they can do little but flail around.
  • Almost Kiss: Between Judau and Haman in Episode 22, or at least it looked that way. Haman was, probably, going for it before they were interupted.
  • Anime First: As with most Gundam shows.
  • Anti-Villain: Mashymre Cello and Kyara Soon.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Gundam ZZ itself has a built in Wave Motion Gun with a tremendous energy demand. After firing it, Judau's lucky if he can squeeze another minute of life out of his beam sabers. After that, he's kaput.
    • Even more Awesome but Impractical, in that said Wave Motion Gun is mounted in the head, which is usually one of the first parts to be shot/cut off, unless a Mobile Suit is completely destroyed. Whoever thought of mounting such a powerful weapon in the most exposed part of the machine clearly didn't think it through properly...
  • Ax Crazy: Puru is repeatedly proven to be a psychopath as are several other previously harmless villains.
  • Bait and Switch Credits: Amuro and Char show up in the credits but never appear in the show itself.
  • Beginner's Luck: Hilariously played with when Judau first pilots Z Gundam. The first battle between him and Mashmyre is basically the latter getting so confused with Judau's flailing around that he let down his guard and got his mobile suit's arm cut off. The second fight's almost the same.
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: Haman and Mashmyre.
  • BFG: The ZZ's double-barreled suit-powered beam rifle certainly counts.
    • Then there's also its Hi-Mega Cannon, which is arguably the most powerful suit-mounted beam weapon ever used by a Gundam (or possibly any mobile suit period) in the Universal Century.
  • BFS: The ZZ's hyper beam sabers; both in size (as long as the Gundam itself) and in power.
    • Suffice to say, the ZZ is rather big on lots of things...
  • Big Bulky Bomb: When the ZZ is strapped with bombs because Beecha thought it would be a good idea to try to humiliate Judau so that he could look better.
  • Bird Run: Puru does this.
  • Call Back: The Tigerbaum arc retreads many of the goofier aspects of the first half of the series, complete with the dreaded Moon-Moon people, a gang of kids trying to steal the Gundams, Mashymre's return to prominence and even classic mobile suits from the original series to underscore the theme of revisiting the past. This is all in aid of showing off Judau's Character Development, underscored by Haman and Sarasa's comments about maturity and loss of innocence.
  • Cargo Cult: The Moon-Moon people and their Gaza-D worship (or at least a reasonable facsimile of one).
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Most people consider it a case of Growing the Beard, though.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Beecha and Mondo go through a phase where they have this.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Emily Ounce, when off-duty. She drops it off later. Also, Puru.
  • Cloning Blues: Puru-Two, who is much less of a Genki Girl than her original.
  • Colony Drop: The Dublin drop is the first one, chronologically speaking, since Operation Stardust; production-wise, it's the first one witnessed in its entirety. It is a Gundam series, after all.
  • Coming of Age Story: For the Shangri-La kids. Despite the show's light-heartedness, it's not always terribly optimistic.
  • Char Clone: ZZ is the only UC Gundam series to not have a dude with a mask running around, due to Char's absence. Elements of your standard Char Clone can be found in Glemy and Mashymyre, though.
  • Cool Ship: The Argama, a holdover from Zeta Gundam.
    • And then its successor, the Nahel Argama, which is, by design, a Call Back in itself to White Base.
  • Combining Mecha: The titular ZZ Gundam.
  • Cyber Cyclops: As usual, most Zeon mobile suits.
  • Dead Little Sister: Averted in a rather creepy fashion, when Judau remains convinced that his little sister Leina is alive, despite watching the building she was in explode messily. Everybody around him just sort of goes with it, fearful of provoking a Heroic BSOD. Naturally, it turns out he's right all along.
  • Death or Glory Attack: The head mounted High Mega Cannon.
  • Driven to Suicide: Haman Karn chooses this over the alternative, despite Judau begging her not to. She actually seems offended by his reaction.
  • Easter Egg: So blatantly obvious it borders on a Shout-Out. The first resupply crates the Argama receives all have the Bandai logo prominently stamped on them.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Zeta Gundam picked up a few quirks from having a powerful Newtype flying it for so long - among other things, it reacts... poorly when a pilot it deems unworthy gets in.
  • Enemy Civil War: Glemy Toto's coup against Haman.
  • Evil Chancellor: Haman Karn serves as the dubious regent of the Axis Zeon.
  • Executive Meddling: The second half of the series had to be retooled after Tomino received the green light for Char's Counterattack, and canned Amuro and Char's appearances in ZZ as a result.
    • Though both did receive passing mentions by Hayato and Sayla, respectively.
  • Face Heel Turn: Whilst the Earth Federation was already a bit iffy in Zeta Gundam (they did, after all, create the Titans), this is the show where they finally stop giving a damn about their citizens, leaving the AEUG and Karaba to fight Neo Zeon alone.
  • Falling Into the Cockpit: Actually closer to Trying To Steal The Cockpit And Sell It For Scrap, but the end result is the same. Also happens literally sometimes.
  • Famous Last Words:
    • "I'm glad I came back... and got to meet you." Haman Kahn, to Judau.
  • Fashions Never Change: Totally The Eighties.
  • Five-Man Band: The Gundam Team! They even call themselves as much in-universe.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Look at some of Glemmy's early lines after he begins his evil scheme. Some could be interpreted as him all but screaming on the inside as he forces smile after smile.
  • Future Spandex: Puru Two, although not too noticeable since she doesn't have a figure to begin with. If she did, it would likely be similar to a Plugsuit.
  • Genki Girl: Elpeo Puru.
  • Glass Cannon: The ZZ Gundam, which combines enormous firepower with structural weaknesses that the AEUG spent pretty much the entire Neo Zeon War trying to fix.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Leina Ashta gets this treatment from Glemmy. Considerably creepier since she's ten.
  • Growing Up Sucks: A major theme, thanks to combining a Coming of Age Story with a generous does of War Is Hell. Sarasa Moon says it best:

 "In becoming mature we take on a kind of darkness and lose something beautiful within ourselves."

  • Gundamjack: Amusingly, the hero starts off by attempting to steal the Zeta Gundam. More than once.
  • Heel Face Revolving Door: Beecha and Mondo
  • Honor Before Reason: Judau starts acting like this in the second part of the series, to not have to kill people when he could help it.
  • Humongous Mecha: Mandatory in a Gundam series.
  • Improbable Age: Judau Ashta is officially 14 during the story. To put this in perspective, he's already living without adult supervision, and working full-time to support his little sister. Before he gets embroiled in a war and becomes a Gundam pilot.
  • Joisey: Shangri-La is basically Joisey In Space!
  • The Juggernaut: The Quin-Mantha, an unholy, perfected union of the Titans' Psyco Gundam and Neo Zeon's Qubeley. To make matters worse, it's fast, too. Fortunately for the heroes, the pilots are considerably more fragile.
  • Knight of Cerebus: A weird case with Cecilia. She herself is a fairly good person at heart, but the story arc dealing with her is the point when the series stops fooling around and starts to be a serious tale by killing her off along with the series' Goldfish Poop Gang. The worst thing? None of the main characters know about it.
    • Actually Judau does know after watching the whole thing and trying to stop her from doing so -- but apparently, he keeps quiet about it afterward. (Considering that Cecilia was a sort-of love interest for Torres, though, can you blame him?)
  • La Résistance: The AEUG, sorta. After Zeta they had the full support of the Earth Federation, but by that point the Federation didn't have much support to give, so they're still largely on their own against Neo Zeon.
    • The same Federation that tries to confiscate the Argama and locks up Judau and Bright? That's full support?
  • Latex Space Suit: The pilot suits, as normal for a Gundam series. It should be noted, though, that UC Gundam Normal Suits prior to F91 are a lot bulkier than what most people are used to in fiction. The thickness of the material is probably about 1/4 or 1/3rd of the space suits NASA uses today, and it's definitely not latex.
  • Lighter and Softer: The first half, especially when compared to its predecessor. Despite what the Fan Dumb wants to believe, Tomino was responsible (as he put it in later interviews, he saw that Zeta was dark and depressing and felt that anime should be happy and uplifting, so he deliberately made the start of ZZ silly to counteract Zeta's dark ending). The latter half is more serious, but there's still some campy moments.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Plenty, though the gold medal goes to Glemmy's final superweapon, the Quin-Mantha. It's basically a super-Qubeley, a towering, Nigh Invulnerable behemoth with the firepower of a battleship and the manoeuvrability of a suit half its size. The heroes only manage to beat it by convincing one of its pilots to switch sides and sniping the other one while he's outside the cockpit.
  • Killed Off for Real: Friggin' Hayato!
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Gundam ZZ can accomplish this, as can certain Neo-Zeon mecha (especially the Zssa, which is badically a walking block of missile launchers).
  • Marth Debuted in Smash Bros: Judau & ZZ, as well as a handfull of other characters and mechs have appeared in licensed games released in English. Though Dynasty Warriors: Gundam is the best known, Judau's actual stateside debut was the beautifully rendered but otherwise forgettable Gundam Battle Assault Fighting Game.
  • Melee a Trois: The last story arc combines this with Enemy Civil War.
  • Mood Whiplash: Twice, once when compared with Zeta Gundam, and once when its Cerebus Syndrome kicks in.
    • The minor ones are all over the place.
  • Mythology Gag: As with the two shows before it, ZZ has an episode named "Reentry to Earth". However, unlike the first two shows, ZZ's "Reentry to Earth" actually only leads up to the actual "Reentry to Earth"-episode. It seems like Bandai got the titles swapped around a bit...
  • Named After Somebody Famous: One very obvious example in Episode 25 - a skilled Zeon desert commander named Rommel. Pretty much the only thing he doesn't have in common with Erwin is his callousness towards his subordinates.
  • No Delays for the Wicked: Neo Zeon's efficiency (or, at least, outward appearance thereof) is what gets the Earth Federation's leadership to side with them.
  • No Export for You: Bandai has no plans for releasing the TV series for Region 1, although characters and mobile suits in this series have been featured in games that eventually got a North American release.
  • Not So Harmless: Most of the villains.
  • Psychic Powers: Newtypes, naturally.
  • Shotacon: Canonically 14-year-old Judau is pursued by 22 year old Haman and has grown to be a sort of Memetic Mutation. Extremely hilarious when you consider the fact that Char is a Memetic Lolicon.
    • Oh, and Judau also ends up with Roux, who is 17 years old.
  • Scunthorpe Problem: Judau's surname is "Ashita", which has created some problems on forums such as GameFAQs. Apparently Bandai got around this by removing the I from the official translation.
  • Shipper on Deck: A darker-than-average example. Later in the series, the Argama crew began to seriously consider the pros of a Judau/Haman relationship... because they were quite aware that she was a ruthless and exceptionally dangerous dictator, and would happily take any weapon they could get to stop her.
  • Shrinking Violet: Torres' old friend Cecilia.
  • Shout-Out: Judau's outfit in the latter half of the series looks surprisingly like a popular Shonen Hero of that time...and his haircut doesn't help. If you hadn't guessed, he looks like a young Kenshiro.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: Haman tries to get Judau to join her. He refuses even though "she smells nice".
  • Space Amish: For a period of a few episodes, the heroes found themselves on a colony that had suppressed all technology -- despite being a space station. If you're wondering how that worked, they had a small, trusted council run basic maintenance, whilst otherwise trying to keep their lifestyle as low-tech as possible. Despite the obvious drawbacks, it worked out pretty well for them.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Worse than most Gundam series, due to its lack of official English translation. The worst offender is Elpeo/Elpie Ple/Puru. Supposedly, her official Japanese-English rendition of Elpeo Ple is a play on the name of a magazine featuring small girls called L People (ie., change the spacing in her name and it becomes El People), but some people don't consider this enough of a counterbalance to the fact that that name looks wrong in English. And just try saying Ple.
    • Gundam Unicorn seems to have cleared this up: her name is pronounced "Elpie Pull" in English. Fitting, as it retains the pun.
      • It's also fitting, in that "Pull" is what they shout when they launch targets in front of skeet shooters, reflecting how utterly expendable the poor girls are.
  • Stealth Pun: Double Zeta's upper body is formed from a space fighter called the Core Top.
  • Super Robot in a Real Robot world: As with most Gundam series, though Gundam ZZ leans more toward Super Robot than most UC series do.
  • Super Robot Wars: Another mainstay of the series which has appeared in a lot of the games.
  • Superweapon Surprise: The aforementioned Space Amish station happened to have a leftover mobile suit that was later used in battle. It's humongous.
  • The Baroness: Haman Karn.
  • The Remnant: Lots of 'em! The most clear-cut example is the group of Zeon soldiers on Earth (who have been hiding out in the desert for eight years after their side lost way back in Mobile Suit Gundam[!]), but Axis/Neo-Zeon were originally Zeon soldiers who fled to the asteroid belt rather than surrender. In a rare heroic version, the Argama and crew are the remnant of the AEUG as a whole, who suffered a Pyrrhic Victory at the end of Zeta Gundam but continue to fight against Neo-Zeon.
  • Serial Escalation: The Gundam was a Humongous Mecha. The Zeta Gundam was a Humongous Mecha that turned into a plane. The ZZ Gundam is a Humongous Mecha that turns into three planes. Luckily, the madness stopped here, unless you count the Nu Gundam's fin funnels.
  • The Starscream: Glemmy Toto
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Saegusa manages to survive all of Zeta where most of his compatriots didn't. And then is promptly killed by Yazan in the very first episode.
    • The weird thing is, you can see someone who looks just like him in the background of the last scene when everyone's saying goodbye to Judau.
  • Terraforming: The ecological situation on Earth has become bad enough that humanity is now having to do this to its own home planet. For instance, Europe is now covered in artificial rainforests to compensate for rampant desertification.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. When it becomes obvious that even with her Psychic Powers, Pru is so unstable that she's more trouble than she's worth, the first thing the Argama crew do when they get back to civilization following the Africa arc is to get her into therapy.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: A couple of examples:
    • How Judau kills Rakan. It involves a dozen or so missiles, a beam rifle to the face, and finally slicing his suit into little pieces with the ZZ's beam sabre. Given how hard to kill the guy had been in their previous encounters, it was probably necessary.
    • Obliterating Glemmy with the Zeta's beam rifle, meanwhile, was definitely not necessary (he was on foot at the time), but it was the closest weapon to hand.
  • This Is Reality: The opening theme song is "Anime Ja Nai!", meaning "It's Not a Cartoon".
    • Probably meant to be ironic, since ZZ was, prior to the creation of G Gundam, the absolute cartooniest entry in the Gundam saga.
      • Probably a bit of Lampshade Hanging too.
      • It was actually, according to Tomino, a shot at Zeta Gundam which he felt was over the top serious. That's going to cause a shitstorm in the fandom.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Emily again... firing on an enemy that was retreating is a good way to convince them they should kill you.
  • Took a Level In Badass: A non-character example - the AMX-011 Zaku III, one of the deadliest mass-produced suits of the Neo Zeon War. Yes, really.
  • Transforming Mecha: And plenty of them, from the lowly Gaza series to the ZZ Gundam itself (which is both this and a Combining Mecha - it can turn into between one and three planes, depending on the pilot's choice).
  • Troubled but Cute: Both Purus.
  • Tsundere: Elle Vianno.
  • Tyke Bomb: The Purus again.
  • Unstoppable Rage: After Leina gets shot, Judau's sheer fury is enough that every vaguely Newtype-sensitive person in the city feels it, and Haman (who's at ground zero) runs for her life.
  • Villain Song: The second opening doesn't bother hiding the fact it's being sung from the perspective of Haman about Judau.
  • War Is Hell: As usual for a Gundam series. ZZ makes it part of its Cerebus Syndrome - things get less and less fun and silly as the Neo Zeon War takes its physical and psychological toll on the characters, and despite a happy(ish) ending, it's clear that the survivors are going to have some lasting scars.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Judau and Iino have to do this in an attempt to infiltrate Tigerbaum. Results in a Crowning Moment of Funny when Judau is turned away because he's "ugly," and subsequently pretends to cry about it.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Cyber Newtypes -- particularly noticeable in this series, where we see a few characters both before and after their "enhancement".
  • Zeerust: The bizarre 80's clothing.
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