Gundam... Gundam never changes...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, has become quite popular; appearances by Gundams from this show in the Super Robot Wars games have helped it gain more popularity in recent years.This show has a Character Sheet.
After War Gundam X contains examples of the following tropes:
After the End: 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.
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.
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.
At least in Super Robot Wars and in the G-Generation series of games you can get them as a (secret) attack (for the Gundam X/DX) or build a squadron of them, respectively.
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.
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 any direct actions of the Newtypes.
BFG: 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.
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.
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.
Expy: 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 let's not forget 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 I mention all the main characters live? Kill 'em All Tomino wouldn't ever have let that happen.
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 Satanyway because the colonists were going to fire it on Earth. He mocks them for falling for it, too.
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 villainever. 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.
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.
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 eventually 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 albeit as point defense of the Frieden II rather than out-and-out offense 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".
More Dakka: The Gundam Leopard. It fills the fire support role (even more so as the Leopard Destroy) but is in fact the most versatile model.
During the Estardo arc, the Frost Brothers promise potential Newtypes a two-rank promotion if they defeat Garrod. Ramba Ral was similarly offered one.
In episode 31, when faced with mobile suits equipped with beam rifles while trying to destroy a space shuttle to prevent Garrod from making it into space to chase after Tiffa, Shagia Frost, in his red Virsago, takes down one of the mobile suits and declares, "It doesn't matter how powerful your weapon is if you can't hit me!" Remind you of what a red-mobile-suit-piloting Commander said in the second episode of a previous series?
Episode 32, Lancerow Dowell's flashback of the previous war is entirely this: at the end of the last war, the experienced lead ace of the space colonies fights the teenage Newtype ace of the Federation, piloting a mobile suit carrying finger-mounted beam weapons, and escapes death due to the head-mounted cockpit, while the Federation's Gundam ends up losing its left arm and head in the fight. Shades of RX-78-2 vs. Zeong indeed...
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Arguably, by turning their Satellite Launcher on Bloodman and Zidel, the only two who really wanted to go to war, the Frost Brothers did more to pave the way for peace than any other single action in the series.
People Jars: Lucille Lilliant, Jamil's Cool Big Sis and first love, was put in a coma and placed in a capsule in suspended animation.
Poor Communication Kills: Drives the plot of episodes 6-8. It's initially largely Garrod's fault, but it turns out to be rather endemic to the setting. Outside of the Frieden crew, none of the characters have any real loyalty to each other at this point.
Psychic Powers: And then goes on to debunk the concept of Newtypes being THE next step of humanity's evolution in the last episode.
Specifically: DOME (the original Newtype) discounts the idea that Newtypes or anybody else are "more evolved" than other humans. Psychic powers are no different from something like above-average intelligence; it's a personal talent, not a sign of the next step in evolution.
Psycho for Hire: In a twist, the Estard arc (eps. 25-28) sees the Frosts sending psychotic Newtype candidates against the Frieden; while they already work for the New UNE, they're promised a two-rank promotion if they destroy the Double X. Also somewhat crosses into Monster of the Week.
The Gundam Belphagor from Under the Moonlight also uses this weapon. It was apparently developed as a countermeasure to Bits.
The Remnant: The Federation, now known as the New UNE is still around, albeit in a much weaker state. As it turns out, so too are the Spacenoids themselves. And there are factions within both sides who are still seeking to finish the war.
Scavenger World: There's so much scavenging going on, there's a name for doing so. Vultures.
Screw Destiny: Every time a Newtype gets worried about a terrible future or event coming, Garrod leads the charge to avert the crisis. DOME eventually states in the final episode that those views of the future will not become true unless people actively takes steps to achieve that future.
In the beginning of the first episode, we see hundreds of Mobile Suits that look like Zaku IIs and Gelgoogs.
Jamil Neate. Amuro, if he dressed like Quattro and got slapped around mentally by Sirrocco, taking over for Bright and ultimately getting right back into a Mobile Suit like Char while still leading.
The entire backstory is the beginning of the year 0079 of the Universal Century, only with slightly updated graphics and different Mobile Suits... And more Gundams. And a more catastrophic Operation British.
Carris's Mobile Suit when we first meet him is pretty much a Dom or Dowadge in Qubelay colors. Only with Bits instead of a large rocket launcher.
Shrinking Violet: Tiffa Adill, after spending years as a lab rat because of her powers, develops almost crippling shyness and fear of people. Can't really blame her.
There Is a God!: Used semi-seriously in Gundam X episode 1. Garrod finds an abandoned Gundam, but when he tries to use it to fight off some pursuers, he finds it doesn't have a control stick. He pulls out a disconnected control stick he found earlier and mutters:
Garrod: (thinking to himself) If this works, I'll believe in God! ... "Tiffa! I believe in God!"
Twin Telepathy: The Frost Brothers again. (And given how effectively they use it, you have to wonder what the hell the Federation was thinking when they rejected them. Not being able to find a use for long-range, unblockable and uncrackable telepathy isn't holding onto the Idiot Ball, it's playing full-on Idiot Billiards.)
Used Future: The Federation and the Colonies are both trying to get out of it, but not entirely successfully...
Villainous Breakdown: Shagia Frost, in spite of defeats and setbacks throughout the story, never loses his Smug Snake status until the very end, when Garrod is able to override his manual control of Satellite System microwave emitter and thereby interfere with him setting the new war into motion. Even his usually loyal little brother is stunned by him.
Shagia: Im-impossible! We're supposed to be in control of the Satellite System! Olba: Brother! Shagia: SHOOT THE DOUBLE X! Olba: But it hasn't charged yet! Shagia: I DON'T CARE!!!!!!!!
Walk on Water: Subverted when someone is shown not to be standing on water, but on the top of their submerged submarine.
A World Half Full: The series is unapologetically optimistic despite being a Gundam show in a post-apocalyptic setting.
Yandere: Olba Frost may count as one of the rare male examples. Ennil El goes through a phase of this early on as well... although people don't seem to remember that as well (because the episode where she makes friends with Toniya overshadows all that).
The Moon will always be there. And Gundam? Gundam never changes.