Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam Chars Counterattack aka: Mobile Suit Gundam Chars Counter Attack
He's baaaaaaack!Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack is an anime movie set in the primary Universal Century timeline of Gundam, taking place in UC 0093. Char's Counterattack is the final culmination of the original saga begun in Mobile Suit Gundam and continued through Zeta Gundam and Gundam ZZ, marking the final conflict of the fourteen year rivalry between Char Aznable and Amuro Ray, and the end of the Earth Federation/Zeon conflicts.The year is Universal Century 0093. Five years have passed since the First Neo-Zeon War. The Federation has recovered from its defeat and has created a new anti-colonial special forces unit to deal with rebel forces: Londo Bell. Elsewhere in space Char Aznable re-appears out of self imposed hiding with a declaration that he now commands his own Neo-Zeon movement. Unlike movements of the past, Char intends to force the emigration of Earth's inhabitants to space by bringing about an ice age.The movie is also noteworthy for having a rather unusual genesis. Originally, Yoshiyuki Tomino was going to wrap up Amuro and Char's storyline in Gundam ZZ, but mid-way through production he was given the go-ahead to make a movie, forcing ZZ's plot to be rewritten (details on its trope page). Tomino's original write-up was a novel called Hi-Streamer, but Sunrise insisted on some changes, resulting in the film as it exists now. Tomino then wrote another novel, Beltorchika's Children, which draws mostly upon the movie but has lots of new content and a few important changes, such as replacing Chein Agi with Zeta Gundam's Beltorchika Irma. These two novels are the origin of the Hi-Nu Gundam (the finalized, "perfect" Nu Gundam) and Nightingale (a bigger, beefier Sazabi), which pop up in video games like Super Robot Wars and SD Gundam G Generation.
Little Miss Badass (Everyone assumes Char is after Quess because he likes young girls. The truth is that he just wants to use Quess to kill people since she's one REALLY powerful Newtype.)
Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: A possible fate for Amuro & Char. The Unicorn novels shed some light on Char's fate, they recovered Sazabi and created Full Frontal from Char's psychoframe data (which would probably have had to come from the cockpit). The anime however has yet to reach any conclusions about Frontal, and the producers indicated that they might be changed.
Bittersweet Ending (Char and Amuro end up slaying one another... as Earth is only saved by a miracle)
Could pretty much be considered a quasi-downer ending at the same time when you think about it.
Nay... A miracle it is. However, it wouldn't have happened if it were not Amuro Ray, who made a desperate push first-hand against the Axis using the reaction between the Psyco Frame of Sazabi and his Nu Gundam - which is not made just for show!! Even the Big Bad Char Aznable had to acknowledge the stream of hope and warmth Amuro has caused.
Bright Slap (Blink-and-you'll-miss-it: Bright does this to Hathaway. Sadly, it fixes nothing.)
Captain Ersatz (For a character in the same series, no less. Gyunei was originally supposed to be Kamille Bidan, having undergone questionable brain surgery & cybernetic implants to cure the brain damage he suffered at the end of Zeta Gundam, but this was abandoned for various reasons. This concept is later referenced in the Dynasty Warriors: Gundam series, where Kamille will occasionally be seen piloting Gyunei's Jagd Doga.)
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Hit Sayla hard. Despite being the protagonist's onetime love interest and the antagonist's sister, she's only mentioned once in the film (referred to as Artesia by Char in a flashback to Lalah's death) and never seen. What makes this particularly surprising is the cameo she had in ZZ which was meant to foreshadow the movie.
Though it does make a bit of sense. It's made pretty clear toward the end of the original series that as far as Sayla's concerned, her brother is dead and Char's nothing more than the thing that killed him.
And yet in the above cameo she said she'd hate to sit on the sidelines and let Char go through with whatever he was planning.
You would think that Kamille and Judau would be there to help Amuro out in stopping Char...
Judau had been living on Jupiter for years by this point due to him being sick and tired of fighting for the corrupt Earth Federation. Not to mention he never actually met Amuro & Char either. Kamille, meanwhile, was just not therenote Kamille just couldn't pilot another mobile suit after what happened to him in Zeta (Moon Crisis, a manga, claims he became a brain surgeon after recovering.)
Expy: Chan Agi was said to be a replacement for Beltorchika Irma, after Tomino wasn't allowed to use the latter. Because of this, Chan was killed off.
And since Beltorchika is an Expy of Sayla that makes her an Expy of an Expy.
Face Heel Turn: Anaheim Electronics was originally a major financial backer for the heroic AEUG, and only sold (inferior) suits to nastier factions to keep them off its tail. Now that the AEUG is disbanded and most of the company's nicer members are dead, Anaheim is a straight-up war profiteer that openly backs both sides.
Flawed Prototype: The Nu Gundam, despite being pretty incredible, is still a rushed and incomplete version of Amuro's original design; the fin funnels are even a last-second addition and just stick to a random latch on the backpack, whilst the controls are still dangerously oversensitive. Officially, the completed version is the Hi-Nu Gundam from Beltorchika's Children, which is streamlined and even better armed.
I Surrender, Suckers (Char's strategy for defeating a war weary Federation. Ironically, they seem to be willing to give Char nearly everything he could possibly want even after he launched an unprovoked attack on them).
Kill 'em All (The movie kills literally the entire cast except for Bright Noa and his family.)
And then his son Hathaway bites it in one of the novels.
Knight Templar (Char Aznable intends to force all of humanity into space so they can evolve into Newtypes)
Lolicon - Ephebophile (13-year-old Quess is an object of much sexual desire from the majority of the male cast. Only Amuro and Bright seem immune —- though how much Char is feeling and how much he's faking is anyone's guess)
Love Hurts (A significant portion of the cast is killed because of the male portion's attraction to Quess. Namely, Gyunei (who's in love with her and is killed by Amuro), the mechanic Astonage Medoz (tried to stop Hathaway from going to find Quess, was killed by an explosion - then again, his girlfriend Kayra Su had just died as well) and Amuro's girlfriend Chein (who kills Quess and is offed by Hathaway since he had just succeeded to make Quess pull a Heel Face Turn and Chein ruined it. And let's not even get into Amuro and Char...)
Motive Decay: Guyenei goes from wanting to keep an eye on Char to "must bone Quess" with remarkable speed. Than again, he is a Cyber-Newtype and they tend to be a little unstable.
Never Found the Body: The fates of Amuro and Char are unknown at the end, but in the novelization, Amuro and Char had died.
90% of Your Brain (Quess and Hathaway have a conversation suggesting that this is the origin of Newtype powers, that people used only a fraction (said to be "half," not 10% as in the trope) of their brains while living on Earth, but began to use the rest when they moved into space. How seriously we are to take them is somewhat open to debate, in that they're teenagers, not scientists, and both spend the rest of the movie doing very little that one might consider "smart," or "well thought out." Nonetheless, the franchise never openly contradicts this explanation.)
Recursive Adaptation: Beltochika's Children was a novel adaptation of the film of the novel, also by Tomino. Most notable for introducing the venerable High Nu Gundam which often pops up as a secret MS in video games featuring Amuro as his Infinity+1 Sword.
The Remnant (Neo-Zeon, which bizarrely has nothing to do with the nation of Zeon.)
Shout Out: A very obscure one to Star Trek. The Sweetwater colony's name is English for Agua Dulce, the place in California where Kirk's Rock is located.
Space Does Not Work That Way: The climax of the movie where mobile suits are trying to push Axis away from earth, somewhat falls apart when you realize that the mobile suits are pushing it in such a way to decelerate it, which would make things worse.
The dialogue however is correct: everyone is freaked when Axis decelerates, and are really happy when it is re-accelerated by the mobile suits and Nu Gundam.
The mobile suits are used so often that they don't have even be chronologically correct. Who would've known that Amuro piloted the Nu Gundam during the events of Zeta Gundam? Or Char/Quattro in Sazabi??
In the case of Amuro, the inclusion of CCA is just an excuse to give Amuro the Nu Gundam so he can match up with the other Gundam series included. Let's face it, the original RX-78-2 Gundam kind of pales in comparison when placed alongside other Gundams such as Zeta Gundam and The F91 Gundam.
Also, they liked to spare Amuro and Char from their deaths in the SRW series. But later subverted in Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, whereas Amuro survived... Char didn't.
Too Dumb to Live (The Earth Federation leadership's attitude in this movie can be summed up thusly: "Okay Char, we'll give you a huge suitcase full of money and a giant space rock, just as long as you promise not to drop any giant space rocks on us." *Several minutes later* "DUDE, C'MON! WE HAD A DEAL!")
Londo Bell is an independent paramilitary organization that fights threats against the Federation. If that sounds familiar, it should, it's the same purpose the Titans served! Is it any wonder Char doesn't trust them?
Unfortunate Names: Because of the way the lower case "nu" is written, the Hi-Nu Gundam looks like it's the "HIV Gundam", which is why there's usually a dash separating "Hi" and Nu."
Warrior Therapist (Taken to truly ludicrous extremes. Amuro & Char spend the last few minutes of their lives discussing Char's Oedipus Complex while smashing each others' mobile suits to bits as the Earth is about to get pulverized by a big rock.)
What If?: Gundam Evolve 5, written by Tomino himself, is a more positive spin on one particular event from the movie. Namely, Quess apparently performing a Heel Face Turn after destroying Hathaway's Jegan and receiving encouragement from him and Amuro to deal with her directionless anger before it causes real damage.
Makes even more sense when you recall that Quess is not just a normal newtype, but one that got her powers enhanced as well. No wonder Gyunei feels they're Birds of a Feather.
Worthy Opponent (Char actually gives Amuro a device that will allow him to fight Char on even terms. He also specifically says "You're worthy enough to be my rival" to Amuro)
Yandere - Quess. Gyunei and Hathawaymight be male examples.
Artistic License - Nuclear Physics: When the Londo Bell task force ships execute their Macross Missile Massacre with nuclear missiles hidden amongst them in an attempt to destroy Axis's engines before it can collide with Earth, both Char and Gyunei use their funnels to destroy them. The missiles, predictably, go nuclear.
Your Size May Vary: The Sazabi's cockpit ball changes size wildly between the scene where it's loaded into the thing's head and at the end where Nu Gundam grabs it out of Sazabi's shattered remains.