Anime: After War Gundam X
Is there a Moon?
...the Moon will always be there...
The seventh Gundam
TV series, After War Gundam X
(Kidou Shinseiki Gundam X
, lit. "Mobile New Century Gundam X"), remains the shortest full series to date.
An apocalyptic war saw every space colony drop to Earth and kill off 99% of the planet's human population. Fifteen years later (AW 0015), the Earth has begun to recover from this tragic war. A group of wasteland scavengers, known as "Vultures", finds itself on a hunt to protect Newtypes, but after group member Garrod Ran saves a young female Newtype, they stumble upon a "fifteen-year-old nightmare": the Gundam X. This discovery sets off a chain of events that threatens humanity with extinction once again...
While scheduled for forty-nine episodes, Gundam X
ended up with only thirty-nine due to executive meddling
. Even though the show's final arc played out over a compressed three episodes (instead of the planned twelve episodes), it still wrapped up with a coherent (albeit rushed) ending. The show also maintained an optimistic tone despite the subject matter.
The manga sequel, Under the Moonlight
, became quite popular and ran for several years; appearances by the show's Gundams and cast in the Super Robot Wars
games also helped it gain more popularity in (ironically) the new century, and it's been a particular mainstay of SRW Z
After War Gundam X contains examples of the following tropes:
- Abandon Ship: The Freeden's crew escapes on jeeps after ramming an enemy battleship to clear Garrod's way into space so that he can rescue Tiffa.
- A Day In The Lime Light: Episode 15 focuses on Roybea and Witz and their background, with no other members of the main cast appearing.
- After the End: Referenced in the title itself. A massive Colony Drop (almost every Colony dropped to Earth) almost wiped out humanity before the series even began. Welcome to a Planetary scope and Species Extinction scale Apocalypse How.
- Alternate Continuity/Alternate Universe: In addition to its status as an alternate Gundam timeline, the series' backstory strongly resembles a worst-case scenario version of the original series.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Tiffa fixates on her creepy drawings, and her loose-fitting wardrobe looks like something a girl with sensory integration issues would wear. Par for the course with Newtype kids, really, though.
- Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: The dolphins that Tiffa befriends have this attitude and dislike humans because of the constant wars they've waged with each other. (Science Marches On regarding this. Since the anime aired in 1996, it's been well-observed that dolphins are not so noble.)
- Arc Words: The Moon. Either "the moon is still there" or "you will die without seeing the moon" or something else cryptic. Of course, the Moon is the power source for the Gundam X's Wave Motion Gun, but there's more to it than mere weapory. Like the fact that the "first" Newtype is there.
- Attack Drone: More like Mobile-Suit-sized Attack Drones: the G-Bits. Too bad Jamil shoots them down after they help him fend off a horde of grunts.
- Badass: The Captain Jamil Neate - what can you say about someone who is as jaded as an older Amuro Ray, wears Quattro Bajeena's sunglasses and knocks some sense into those who need it a la Bright Noah, all the while sporting Hotblooded Sideburns?
- Beta Test Baddie: The Frost brothers are category F Newtypes and were rejected by the Federation because their Psychic Powers weren't strong enough.
- But What About the Astronauts?: For the majority of the series, all the action takes place on Earth and the rising New Earth Federation is focused on just that, Earth. It's clear that there's something going on with the Moon, but it's not until quite late in the show that we learn there are space colonies that survived the apocolypse as well.
- Armies Are Evil: The heroes of the show are part of a group that is roughly analogous to pirates. Most of the official and major armed factions are either misled (like Fort Severn's militia under Nomoa Long) or plain awful (like the New Earth Federation, which stirs up an ethnic conflict to get their way). Roybea outright refuses to work with a standing national army in the Estard arc, even though Estard's is one of the least malevolent.
- Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: Defunct nuclear reactors behave the same way as nuclear bombs. Apparently if you breathe on something too hard in there, they'll cause a second sunrise (and two of them do).
- Badass Normal: Garrod, who has no Newtype powers and frequently fights Cyber-Newtypes. Witz and Roybea are in the same situation.
- Bait-and-Switch Credits: Unlike what the opening would lead you to believe, only a handful of episodes in the final stretch take place in space. The Frieden is also a land vehicle and is destroyed just prior to Garrod reaching space.
- Beach Episode: Episode 16, because Tiffa sense a Newtype at the shore. Naturally, it's a good reason for everyone else to get into swimsuits.
- Beware the Superman: An midway example of this trope in that the existence of Newtypes has made the world worse off, but this is primarily because of opportunistic politicians and militaries exploiting the concept of Newtypes to advance their own agendas rather than anything the Newtypes themselves want.
- The GX's Satellite Cannon, the X Divider's Harmonica Cannon, Double X's Twin Satellite Cannon, and the Satellite Launcher, which requires both Ashtaron Hermit Crab (the launcher itself) and Virsago Chest Break (the Microwave absorbing apparatus) to connect with each other before it can be used.
- The Hermit Crab's Satellite Cannon can be used by itself in the G-Generation series of games, however it packs a much weaker punch than if used in tandem with the Virsago Chest Break.
- Big Brother Instinct: Subverted because the younger brother is the one who fiercely adores and protects the other.
- Blade Run: Variation, the Correl does this to the Double X's beam rifle.
- Book End:
- The series begins and ends with two Federation soldiers boasting about being Newtypes who fought in the previous war.
- Variant: The title of the first episode is the question 'Is There a Moon?', and the title of the final episode is the reassurance that 'The Moon Will Always Be There'.
- Broken Bird: Ennil El. Jamil is a rare male version of this.
- Brought Down to Normal: Jamil suffered brain damage & lost his Newtype powers during the war. We later learn that the same thing happened to his rival, Lancerow Dowell.
- Canon Immigrant: SD Gundam G Generation introduced the Gundam Belphagor, a brother unit to the GX, Airmaster, and Leopard, and the basis of the Frosts' Gundams. It later joined X canon thanks to sequel manga Under the Moonlight.
- The Captain: Jamil is this for the majority of the show, until he regains his piloting ability and is upgraded to near-Sixth Ranger status.
- The Cavalry: Garrod, and occasionally the entire Frieden crew, are routinely saved by everything from Newtype dolphins to Pala's G-Falcon to Carris Nautilus.
- Char Clone:
- Jamil Neate was designed as this, although he also shows a little Bright Noa.
- Lancerow was to Jamil during the 7th Space War what Char was to Amuro during the One Year War.
- The Frost Brothers are Dragons With An Agenda and are the foil to the protagonist, and Shagia is the pilot of a red mobile suit.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Roybea Roy, hits on many girls and cares for all of them... but never seems to enter a serious relationship with anyone. He does, however, finally get lucky at series's end.
- Colony Drop: This is Gundam, after all, and X has the biggest one in the franchise; the backstory is that numerous colonies were successfully dropped, to the point that humanity itself is an endangered species.
- Cool Big Sis: Lucille Lilliant. Before her Girl in a Box years.
- Cool Shades: Jamil wears them. He ditches them at the start of the last episode, though.
- Cozy Catastrophe: Sure, the world's been thoroughly trashed by the last war. But for a post-apocalyptic wasteland, things are looking up.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Toniya.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: The Correl (see Fragile Speedster below) is armed with nothing but a weak beam dagger, meaning this is the only way it can destroy an enemy MS (they even say the trope name).
- Die or Fly: The Frost brothers sic potential Newtypes on the Double X in the Estard arc on the principle that it takes a life-or-death battle for the abilities to emerge. It only works for the final pilot. And since the Frosts want to kill all Newtypes, they shoot him on his return.
- Disaster Scavengers: Most people on Earth. Hence the term "Vultures", although there are plenty of individuals (like Garrod, at the start of the series) working on their own.
- Disk One Final Boss: The battle in episode 4 and 5. The way Episode 5 ends makes you think the show ended here... until the black screen with white letters saying PREVIEW comes up. And if you didn't know there are 39 episodes.
- Downer Beginning: The 7th Space War destroyed most of the world and its population, leaving mostly Shell Shocked Veterans and children to pick up the pieces. Banditry and piracy are rampant, and most people are living by the skin of their teeth.
- The End of the World as We Know It: See Colony Drop, which was so extensive that it exterminated over 99% of humanity.
- Everyone Can See It: Between Garrod and Tiffa, so much so that several episodes feature Shipper on Deck moments revolving around the two.
- Evolving Credits: In the first opening, Dreams, Gundam X's appearance changes to that of the X-Divider after being rebuilt in the aftermath of the fight against Carris. It also promotes the Frost brothers to the opening as well. The opening changes again, showing the silhouette of Gundam Double X once they start mentioning it. The second opening, Resolution, changes once, replacing Leopard with Leopard Destroy as well as briefly showing the G-Falcon.
- Lancerow Dowell is the requisite Char Clone, but Jamil is the series' first ever Amuro Clone (with Quattro's shades, a less crippling version of Kamille's brain injury and Bright's pimp hand). Ennil El even has a few trappings of Ramba Ral in her, down to using blue robots and bonding with Toniya over some drinks with neither one realizing who the other is. Ennil also shares Ramba's affinity for grenades. Fortunately, it ends much better for her.
- In the realm of mecha there's the Leopard, which is an as-close-to-blatant-but-not-really Expy to Heavyarms. Down to the knife. This is even lampshaded in Super Robot Wars.
- Lancerow may be A CHAR, but physically he looks like a redheaded Trieze Khushrenada. Ironically, one of Treize's aides late in Gundam Wing looks like Olba, though this may have been intentional (as with G Gundam's final episodes).
- The G-Falcon unit is similar in form and functionality to that of the G-Armor, only the G-Falcon was built to support three Gundam Class Mobile Suits instead of a prototype.
- Garrod Ran has also been described as what Judau Ashta from Gundam ZZ would be like as a Badass Normal.
- Fake-Out Make-Out: Ennil and Dr. Tex Farzenberg do this to escape from the Feds.
- Fantastic Racism: The Space Revolutionary Army is big on the "spacenoid master race" philosophy. They even intend to wipe out humans on Earth.
- Fictional Country: Due to the distant future and post-apocalyptic setting, like San Angelino in California, then Estard and its neighbors (somewhere in Southeast Asia).
- Final Solution: Two attempted ones.
- The Frost brothers wish to wipe out all Newtypes out of a personal vendetta, having been rejected for not being Newytpe enough themselves.
- Seidal Rasso wants to wipe out all humans on Earth. Garrod and Pala put a stop to it.
- Foreign Language Theme: The first ending theme ("Human Touch"), sung in English (by Warren Wiebe).
- Forgotten Superweapon: The titular Gundam. Gundams themselves, while rare, are not the singular quantity that they are in most series—however, the X's Satellite Cannon is, and it's capable of melting huge chunks of the landscape into glass. Comes Great Responsibility most definitely applies.
- Fragile Speedster: The Correl, a Mobile Suit stripped of all excess weight, giving it insane running speed. After doing a fine job nearly totaling the Double X, it gets blown to bits. By VULCANS.
- Frontier Doctor: Tex Farzenberg. Also a Warrior Therapist.
- Funbag Airbag: Happens twice with Garrod and Pala.
- Genki Girl: Toniya and Pala.
- Get a Hold of Yourself Man: Jamil (and Dr. Farzenberg) does this to Garrod more than once in the series when the kid goes out of line.
- Mind you, Jamil even passes on this epic manly philosophy into Garrod before Garrod faces Carris once more in a manner most awesome: "When a man strays from the right path, a kind man needs the courage to raise his fist and correct him." Garrod doesn't actually punch people to get them into shape, but his actions after Jamil's advice prove that those words really did have a positive effect on him.
- Ghibli Hills: Occasionally, in parts of the world that weren't so devastated. Witz's agrarian hometown is one example.
- Girl in a Box: Poor Lucille.
- Global Currency: Averted. In episode 20, when the Frieden arrives at a prosperous port city, the crew is shown exchanging their currency at a booth.
- Grand Theft Me: Since she's kept inside a capsule, Lucille uses her powers to possess Tiffa's body and use her as a medium so she can reach for her "little brother" Jamil.
- Green Aesop: The two episodes where the Freeden takes on a quest to save a Newtype dolphin and her pod from having their brains harvested for pirates' navicomputers.
- Grenade Hot Potato: During the escape from the Feddies, one of them lobs a grenade at the crew. They simply yell "You threw it too early!" and kick it back, where it detonates.
- Gundam Jack: This is Garrod's day job. Hell, his Establishing Character Moment is jacking a Jenice with just a flashbang, grappling hook, and a pistol! He tops himself at the end by jacking the Double X.
- Gundam Vs Series: The GX (can turn into Divider) and Virsago are in Gundam vs Gundam NEXT, with the Double X recently revealed as a Bonus Boss.
- Extreme Vs has both the Virsago and Double X, with the Ashtaron and G-Bits as assist units. Full Boost will add the X Divider.
- Guns Akimbo: Gundam Leopard is just loaded with almost all kinds of gunnery a la Heavyarms. Airmaster is Dual Wielding two guns.
- Happy Ending: A rare one for Gundam. Olba and Shagia are defeated, the Satellite System is destroyed, the NUNE and the Colonies make peace, and the various couples live on happily in a recovering world...oh, and did we mention all the main characters live? Kill 'em All Tomino wouldn't ever have let that happen.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Averted. Garrod realizes after losing to Carris that unless he trains furiously in simulators to get used to fighting against Bits, he's never going to win against a Newtype.
- Also partially subverted when he sees the solution to those pesky Bits in action; by Jamil, no less.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Katokk
- Heroic BSOD: Garrod, after Tiffa is kidnapped and sent into space. Doesn't last very long though.
- Hit So Hard the Calendar Felt It: The calendar ended after the Colony Drop. Now, it's After War 0015.
- Holding Back the Phlebotinum: The Satellite Cannons have a laundry list of conditions in order to be useable—the Gundam's, for instance, can only be used when the Moon is visible and the charging station has a clear line-of-sight to the Gundam's receivers.
- Hot-Blooded: Garrod Ran and Witz Sou
- Humongous Mobile Armor: The Newtype-driven Patulia. At 617 meters, it's over half as as big as the [[Macross SDF-1]].
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every single episode title is a line spoken in that episode.
- I Lied: A rare heroic instance pulled off by Garrod and Pala late in the series. They hold a Kill Sat hostage in exchange for Tiffa—when the colonists give her up, he and Pala destroy the Kill Sat anyway because the colonists were going to fire it on Earth. He mocks them for falling for it, too.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Tiffa, but just once. When she went skinny-dipping with Newtype dolphins.
- It Runs in the Family: The Frost Brothers.
- I Uh You Too: Garrod and Tiffa. Garrod's taken with her from the start, but he's really awkward about expressing it. Tiffa reciprocates, but she's even worse at communicating than a normal teenager.
- Kid Hero: Garrod Ran.
- Kill Sat: The Space Revolutionary Army's Twin Satellite Cannon. They destroy breakaway colony Satelicon and plan to wipe out human life on Earth with it, but Garrod destroys it before they can make the shot.
- Karma Houdini: Neatly subverted. The Frost brothers survive the final battle, Olba without a scratch and Shagia only bound to a wheelchair. However, this is arguably the cruelest punishment for a Gundam villain ever. They get to survive, to see all their plans and efforts to bring about a war that would destroy civilization fail, with both Spacenoids and Earthnoids restoring peace with each other and the Newtypes that they hate so very much able to live happily and not be abused as tools for war.
- Knowledge Broker: Many of these are around, making a good living selling information to Vultures. Information on the Gundam X soon becomes quite valuable.
- La Résistance: Two examples.
- The National Liberation Front in the Estard region, which Roybea is briefly involved in when his girfriend Yurina turns out to be an agent. They are wiped out after the New Earth Federation takes over.
- The space colony Satelicon broke away from the Space Revolutionary Army and Cloud Nine. Garrod meets one of their pilots, Paula Cis. They, too, are destroyed, but by the SRA.
- Lighter and Softer: As noted, in spite of its post-apocalyptic setting, X is one of the most upbeat and optimistic series in the entire Gundam franchise. All the main characters in it get to live, make the world a better place then it once was and receive happy endings.
- MacGuffin Girl: To a degree, Tiffa and Lucille.
- Mecha Expansion Pack:
- The Divider set for the GX, which removes its (now broken) Satellite Cannon and original Beam Rifle, opting out for a stronger beam assault rifle, an extra Beam Saber, and a shield which mounts flight-capable thrusters, as well as the "Beam Harmonica" Divider Cannon. The G-Falcon counts as one too, able to attach to a Gundam Airmaster to boost its mobility, a Gundam X/DX to increase its total available firepower, or a Gundam Leopard to give it a means of flight.
- The original Gundam Leopard got one too - the S-1 armament option that gave it underwater functionality.
- Mid-Season Upgrade:
- Garrod ditches the GX for the Double X once he steals it from the New Federation.
- The Divider simultaneously plays this straight and averts this. Compared to its original form, the X Divider is more mobile, has more conventional firepower, and is overall a better option for straight-up battles. However, its Harmonica Cannon is downright pathetic compared to the raw firepower of the Satellite Cannon and would in theory be useless against Colony Drops. Fortunately (sort of), there aren't many colonies left to drop by that point, so it's not an issue.
- Witz and Roybea upgrade their Airmaster and Leopard to Airmaster Burst and Leopard Destroy. Had the series gotten its originally planned 52 episodes, Ennil would've also gotten to upgrade to a Gundam-like "Esperansa II". Arguably, the lack of this upgrade makes her more badass, since the finale instead has her kicking assnote in her severely outdated Jenice Kai.
- The Frost brothers realize partway through the series that they're getting outpaced in terms of technology, so they also make sure to upgrade their Gundams for the final battle, into the Virsago "Chest Break" and the Ashtaron "Hermit Crab".
The Moon will always be there.