Anime: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
Believe in a sign of Zeta.
"Men are perhaps born to fight each other. And women are perhaps fated to be their tools."Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
— Reccoa Londe
(Kidou Senshi Zeta Gundam
) is the second, and arguably most well-received, installment in the Gundam
franchise. It is also one of the darkest installments. The original sequel to Mobile Suit Gundam
, Zeta Gundam's story follows wangsty Teen Genius
Kamille Bidan, who joins the rebellious AEUG out of hatred for the Federation. Following the One Year War, the Earth Federation
has created a special, elite branch of the military to police the space colonies and prevent anything like the One Year War from happening again. Unfortunately for all involved, this group, the Titans, are oppressive, corrupt, and elitist, believing that those born on Earth are inherently superior.
Zeta Gundam features a much older and mature new cast; however, is supported by many characters from the original series such as Captain Bright Noah, Amuro Ray, and Char Aznable wearing a Paper-Thin Disguise
as Quattro Bajeena.
In 2005, a series of movies began which remastered the series' animation and added new animation as well. In addition, the story was given a new, Lighter and Softer Bittersweet Ending
that apparently retcons Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ
and possibly Char's Counterattack
, if not the entire rest of the Universal Century timeline, out of canon, if not for Tomino explicitly saying
it's just an Alternate Universe
retelling of Zeta
is a mainstay in Super Robot Wars
, being in every game until Judgment
, where after that all UC was excluded from the handheld titles, but reappears in Z and Another Century's Episode R, as well as returning UC to handhelds in Z2.
During its initial run, Zeta had the highest rating of any Gundam series before and since. The show continues to be extremely popular in Japan, and its model kit sales continually get near the top of the Gundam lists. As a result, the show is also more or less the single
most important production, from a meta-textual perspective, in the entire Gundam
franchise; while Mobile Suit Gundam
kicked the franchise off, it is Zeta Gundam
that established the tone and ideal of what "Gundam" should be in the zeitgeist, and every single Gundam show
that's followed in the 30 years since Zeta
aired owes something to it. Every single one. Yes, even SD Gundam
Now has a character sheet.
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam has examples of:
- Ace Custom: Amuro's MSK-008 Dijeh, which is basically a souped-up Rick Dias.
- Action Girl: Emma, Lyla, Mouar, Haman, Four, Rosamia, Sarah, Reccoa... Actually, there are quite a few.
- Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The Audhumla.
- Animation Bump: The Compilation Films, being made twenty years after the original series, feature considerably better animation in some places. Unfortunately Sunrise wouldn't give Tomino the budget to completely re-animate everything, so the new animation is mixed in with hefty amounts of the original footage and there is a stark contrast as a result.
- Anti-Villain: Jerid Messa is a Jerk Ass, but if he does come to care for someone else aside of himself, he does so very deeply, and seeing him cry when he loses those persons makes you Cry for the Devil.
- Anyone Can Die: It's a Gundam series, what did you expect?
- Chances are if you like a character, Tomino will kill them off as soon as possible. If you don't like a character, Tomino will either let them live or keep them around for as long as humanly possible (see Jerid Messa, Bask Om, Beltochika Irma)
- Armor Is Useless: Actually something of a plot point. With the widespread use of beam weaponry, conventional armor became largely... well... useless. This resulted in the advent of 'movable frame' technology, where mobile suits were no longer made of big blocks of metal, but freely-moving armor plates over a flexible, agile 'skeleton'. Not only did this boost their manoeuvrability tremendously, but it eventually led to suit engineers figuring out that you could contort the frame into a non-humanoid shape if you wanted... and thus the Transforming Mecha was born.
- Finally averted with the PMX-003 The O, which was simply too big and tough for beam guns to make a dent in its armor. Paptimus Scirocco's engineering genius probably helped, too.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Not only Bright, despite what Fanon says. Emma also has something to say about this, slapping Fa twice in the same scene. In the first few minutes, Kamille already gets slapped obviously by a teacher of his.
- Kamille gets slapped a lot
- Kamille managed to punch Char in the face twice and get away with it.
- Artistic License – Physics: Subverted in episode 3: The Titans send an MS with a white flag to the AEUG. At first, the flag seems to be flapping...in space. But after it lands on the Argama, there's a shot of the flagpole which shows a set of gasjets de-activating.
- Ascended Extra: Subverted with Gates Capa who appears in Episodes 42 and 48, and then disappears without a trace. He doesn't die. He's just... gone.
- Tomino's original plan was for him to be accidentally killed by Rosamia before her final fight with Kamille. Why this was cut is unclear.
- Awesome but Impractical: The Colony Laser. Despite its huge power, the firing angle can't be controlled too precisely, and its loading time is quite long, so getting a direct shot on a target in the middle of a fight would be difficult.
- Backup from Otherworld: During the duel with Scirocco, Kamille uses his Psychic Powers(powered up by the Zeta's bionsensor) to summon the spirits of Four, Emma, Rosamia, Katz, Sara and Reccoa to jam Scirocco's mobile suit The O and then ram into it with the Waverider.
- Badass Normal: Hero Killer Yazan Gabal has no Newtype powers and doesn't fly a Gundam. We don't recommend throwing down with him anyway.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: Jamitov and Bask. Initially set up as a Big Bad Duumvirate, they're soon supplanted by Scirocco.
- Bald of Evil: Bask Ohm.
- Battle Couple: Jerid & Mouar.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Jamitov and Bask fill this role right until Scirocco replaces them.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Jamitov and Haman Karn, and later Haman and Scirocco.
- Bird Run: Sarah, in one scene where she imagines she's a civilian.
- Four as well. In fact, a shot of her doing this is featured in the opening.
- Bishōnen: Scirocco combines this with loads of charisma and Newtype powers for a disastrous combo. Also Kamille.
- Black and White Morality: The AEUG are probably the most heroic faction in all of UC Gundam while the Titans with a few exceptions like Jerid, Mouar, Sarah, and Reccoa are portrayed as group of Smug Snakes and Axis Zeon is shown to be only slightly less worse than the Titans.
- Bland-Name Product: MacDaniels, a "hamburger restaurant."
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: The Hyaku-Shiki, to Memetic Mutation levels.
- Blood Knight: Yazan Gable.
- Boring but Practical: The Methuss, probably the weakest and least polished of the AEUG's mobile suits, goes on to lend its transformation mechanisms to a variety of superior models like the Guncannon Detector and ZII from the Mobile Suit Variations line, and the ReZEL from Gundam Unicorn.
- Scirocco's third mobile suit, the PMX-002 Bolinoak Samaan. It's the least striking of his designs and probably the weakest, but it's equipped with a sophisticated surveillance radome which entirely justifies this trope - it's intended to gather information and report back, not engage in protracted conflicts.
- On the character side, there's Gates Capa, the third and last Cyber-Newtype. He's a stark contrast to Four and Rosamia - while not nearly as powerful as either of them, he's also immune to the mental breakdowns both ladies are cursed by.
- Broad Strokes: A New Translation to an extent. Many of the story's events still happen over the course of the films, though not quite exactly in the same way it did in the original show. But the most significant departure, however, is the ending that has Kamille surviving his battle with Scirocco in one piece.
- Broken Bird: Four, Rosamia, Sarah, and Reccoa.
- Calling Your Attacks: Happens once, at the end of the third movie.
- Can't Catch Up: Fa, always trying to keep up with the other female pilots and managing to do it only once. To be fair to the girl, the Methuss isn't the best suit and Fa was still skilled enough to survive.
- And on the other side of the war, there's Jerid. He gets more mobile suit upgrades than any other pilot, but no matter what the Titans give him he can't compete with the Zeta Gundam.
- Cartwright Curse: Between Jerid and Kamille, Mouar, Lila, Four and Rosamia are killed off. The first three get killed off by their Love Interest's rival, and the last is simply killed by Kamille to prevent her from destroying the Argama.
- As a point of interest, this is just one of the reasons Kamille and Jerid become rivals. If one hadn't been born, it's entirely likely that the other would have lived a happier life.
- Celebrity Resemblance: Yazan is apparently modeled on Sting, specifically his role as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in Dune (which came out the year before Zeta); Yazan's famous turtle tattoo is likewise a nod to Sting's album "The Dream of the Blue Turtles", which came out the same year.
- Chick Magnet: Paptimus Scirocco. He manages to end the series with a harem of Newtype women ace pilots, most of which had defected to his side. He basically makes bishie charm a newtype power.
- Kamille gets a bit of this as well, with Fa, Four Murasame, Rosamia, and arguably Emma...
- Cliff Hanger: Kamille's mind is crushed by Scirocco, and even though the Titans have been defeated, Axis Zeon has not. Thankfully, Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ gave us a proper conclusion.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Beltorchika Irma has all that it takes to be one, but since she is about the only girl to fall for Amuro in Zeta, this doesn't characterize her fully. Fa also is a bit like this.
- Compilation Movie: Three of them... produced twenty years later; the show is that popular. Being twenty years older than the series they were based on, the new footage demonstrates considerably better animation.
- Cool Big Sis: Emma, Reccoa was one for Kamille. Until her Face-Heel Turn, that is.
- Cool Starship: The Argama.
- Corporal Punishment: Everyone. The one who gets hit the most would probably be Kamille.
- "Corrected. That's a military term for hitting someone."
- Crucified Hero Shot: The Zeta Gundam does this in the final battle as Kamille uses the Biosensor to channel the souls of his deceased friends.
- Cyber Cyclops: Most mobile suits look like this, since by this point the majority of mobile suit designs are based on Zeon tech.
- Dark Action Girl: Sarah Zabiarov, Mouar Pharaoh.
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to the original Mobile Suit Gundam, which was already pretty dark in itself. Zeta has been called one of the darkest Gundam series ever made, topped possibly only by Victory Gundam. Its darkness is at least partially what makes it a fan favorite.
- Dating Catwoman: Katz tries that with Sarah. It... doesn't work, to say it lightly.
- Designated Girl Fight: Avoided throughout most of the series, but done in the Grand Finale with Emma and Reccoa. Emma wins, but she dies soon afterwards.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Four and Emma both die in Kamille's arms.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The episode where Reccoa is captured by Yazan. It seems like the entire scene is that of a woman getting raped/being beaten. Far from enjoying it, Reccoa seems to stand for abused significant others who have become resigned to what they see as their fate (or who have become victims of Stockholm Syndrome).
- Dodge the Bullet: Jamitov dodges a pistol shot from Quattro when they accidentally meet at Kilimanjaro.
- Downer Ending: Although Kamille succeeds in destroying Paptimus Scirocco for good, his brain gets fried in retaliation as well. The evil Titans are finally annihilated for good, but save for Fa, Quattro, and Bright, all the other heroes of AEUG die a horrible death, and Haman Karn successfully gives Zeon a rise to its former power, shadowing the future of Earth once again.
- The Compilation Movies changed this to a Bittersweet Ending: Yes, most of the cast still die. Yup, there's still alot of bloodshed. However, Kamille doesn't get mind-fried, we see other characters reacting to the news (which includes Amuro, the Kobayashi family and Mirai), Haman retreats and arranges for Mineva to go to school on Earth, and the last scene is of Fa and Kamille hugging in space happily.
- Dubtitle: On the original Region 1 DVD release. Subsequent re-releases fixed this.
- Embarrassing First Name: Kamille and Four both discuss their names and what they mean to them after they meet.
- Enemy Civil War: A covert one. Scirocco and his followers disrupt the Titans leadership from within, and Scirocco ultimately kills them and takes over the group.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Scirocco, who starts the series as The Starscream, opposes the actions of his overlords Jamitov and Bask, and even sends his pawn Sarah Zabiarov to disrupt one of their plans. Granted, it was for self-serving purposes...
- ( Reccoa might be a traitor, but she was real happy to kill Bask as soon as she could. In fact, more than one Titan was NOT pleased to see the effects of the mass gassings: Gady Kinsey even gets a CMOA for managing to bullshit his way out of one and living to tell the tale.)
- Evil Counterpart: Reccoa, to Emma. The differences in their motives for defecting from their respective factions give a demonstration of the difference between following your heart, vs. simply following your feelings.
- Scirocco to Kamille as well. They're both ambiguously autistic, mobile suit engineering geniuses, and powerful Newtypes. The difference between them is compassion - Kamille is driven by it, while Scirocco has none of it.
- Evil Is Bigger: The Psyco Gundam, Psyco Gundam II, and anything designed by Scirocco will subscribe to this trope.
- Face-Heel Turn: After getting captured, Reccoa defects to the Titans.
- Fanservice: There's a bit here and there, such as the brief shot of Lieutenant Lila in the shower, or Fa being in the shower while trying to wash Qum and Shinta, or Four taking a bath, or Rosamia with her shirt off.
- There's a little bit for the ladies, as well: Kamille is seen in his underwear a couple of times and is also seen removing his shirt at least once. In addition to that, he gets a short shower scene. Quattro's bare arms might also be considered fanservice by some.
- Fantastic Racism: Titans towards Spacenoids.
- Faux Action Girl: Reccoa, though to be fair her mecha was completely subpar.
- Fake Memories: Rosamia thinks she's Kamille's long lost little sister, thanks to some brainwashing. She's later brainwashed to believe her upperclassman Gates Capa is her true brother.
- Final Boss Preview: Scirocco sorties against the Argama crew a couple times early in the series. After that he's not seen piloting a mobile suit again until the last five episodes.
- Follow the Leader: The emphasis on Transforming Mecha makes sense when you consider what came out between the original series and Zeta—specifically, Super Dimensional Fortress Macross and The Transformers (along with its predecessor lines Diaclone and Microman). This posed a problem with the model kits for years as some of the mecha designs were nearly impossible to translate to toy form. Zeta's transformation was a particular problem since it involves the abdomen scrunching together and the arms folding in, a feat that was unable to be pulled off reliably until the Master Grade Zeta 2.0 released in 2004. If anything, the Zeta designs forced model technology to advance rapidly.
- Foregone Conclusion: The moment that the EF Parliament outlaws the Titans, there is no longer a way for them to win. With nowhere left to turn except Haman Khan (who is simply using them for her own ends), the Titans are going down, no matter who wins out. The question is not if the Titans will lose, but rather how many of our heroes they are going to take down with them.
- Fragile Speedster: The design aesthetic behind nearly all suits of the 0080s, with the exception of the Psyco Gundams and the PMX series. See Armor Is Useless above.
- Foreshadowing: Quattro tells Roberto in the first episode that his overconfidence will get him killed some day. Halfway through the series, he underestimates the new Assimar mobile armor, and gets killed.
- The second opening to Zeta has a shot of Quattro removing his sunglasses and then has his face framed in shadow, with a contemplating look. Fast forward to Char's Counterattack, and...
- Similarly, it is quite noticeable how no one in the main cast is smiling (apart from Four Murasame) in the 2nd Opening (even Kamille's gearing up in his normal suit with thumbs up edits the smile away). We all know where they were headed.
- Gender Is No Object: The series showed strong female characters and lampshaded gender equality on both sides. Which would become recurring elements in later Universal Century works and a number of Gundam shows in general.
- Gentle Giant/Genius Bruiser: Henken Beckner, 190cms of The Captain... and Emma fanboy extraordinaire.
- Gilded Cage: It's revealed that Amuro and a number of the surviving White Base crew are kept under watch by the Federation authorities. That they're given rather comfortable lifestyles doesn't really distract from the overbearing dread.
- Gold-Colored Superiority: Char Aznable of Gundam fame changes his usual color from red in the original Mobile Suit Gundam to gold here where he fights for the AEUG, piloting the Hyaku-Shiki under the alias of Quattro Bajeena The idea being that the Gold paintjob as actually an anti-beam coating. He goes back to using red for Char's Counterattack though. Even more iconic about this change is that Char caused an entire trope in part about his normal color scheme.
- Grand Theft Prototype: The AEUG stealing three Gundam Mk. II early on is the first example of this trope in the series. Notably, their original plan was to take just one, and Kamille's use of this trope allows them to nab all three.
- Gratuitous English:
- In the opening: "I wanna have a pure time, everyone's a noble mind!"
- "Captain Quattro, he is a CHAR!" eventually became a victim of Memetic Mutation.
- "Believing a sign of Zeta/Beyond the hard times from now"
- Also, sing along: "Oh, I can't help believe in you..."
- Of course the way it's actually sung sounds more like "I can't help believing you", which is very fitting for a show where nearly all of the female characters get lied to or even outright manipulated by their love interests through the course of the series.
- Green Aesop: Played with. For a straight example, it's mentioned that any more nuclear detonations on the Earth's surface could cause irreparable damage to the Earth's ecosystem. Other than that, whenever a character is promoting an environmentalist agenda, it's a rhetorical position that's tied in with Zeon Deikun's spacenoid ideology (which holds that humanity should leave the Earth for the space colonies, evolve into Newtypes, and bring an end to warfare), rather than an end in itself.
- Hero Killer: Yazan Gable.
- History Repeats: An Ace Pilot falls in love with a Cyber-Newtype, despite the fact that she is used as a guinea pig for powerful and mind-damaging weaponry. During a fight between the aforementioned pilot and his Rival, the woman sacrifices herself to save the man she loves. What series are we talking about?
- Char and Amuro quote this directly shortly afterward.
- Hot-Blooded: To a degree, Katz. Also Kamille occasionally.
- "Kamille's a man's name, and I'm a man!"
- Hot Scoop: Beltochika, after her Character Development.
- Hypocrite/Broken Aesop: For someone who says that violence isn't the answer, Kamille has quite the kill count in the series. Not to mention starting some of the show's more infamous fights.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Bask Ohm tells Reccoa at one point that the Titans want a peaceful Earth Sphere, and their extreme methods are a result of impatience. However any possibility of a spark of goodness is extinguished when he laughs maniacally after firing the Gryps Laser for the first time, killing an entire colony worth of civilians.
- Idiot Ball: Used liberally to justify many of the deaths at the end of the series. Such as Henken sacrificing himself and the rest of his crew in order to save Emma, his crush. She, naturally, died later anyway, after getting her suit's engines trashed, barely making it back to the ship, and then launching again anyway, still engineless.
- Jamitov Hyman, full stop. If you have any doubts, just rewatch Zeta and ask yourself why he does the things he did. He must have been high.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Bask assigns Reccoa to "prove her allegiance" to the Titans by leading a gas attack on a colony. She obeys.
- Incest Subtext: On the one hand, Rosammy thinks she's Kamille's little sister, and thinks Fa is his ideal girlfriend. On the other hand, the way she clings to him is very flirty, and Fa doesn't like it one bit. This is all justified by Rosammy not being right in the head.
- Interservice Rivalry:
- The regular Earth Federation Forces and the Titans have no love lost between each other.
- The AEUG and Karaba are, in and of themselves, a faction within the Earth Federation.
- I Resemble That Remark: In the first episode, Kamille tells a Titans officer that he doesn't like being bullied by thugs. The Titans' response is to beat him up some more.
- I Surrender, Suckers: Karaba pulls this when the Titans take Amuro, Mirai and Mirai's kids hostage; they surrender to distract the Titans while Kamille deploys in the Gundam to free the hostages.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kamille is an insane Mood-Swinger, but he does genuinely care for others and tries to do what he can for them. Possibly Jerid Messa as well; see Anti-Villain, above.
- Karmic Death: Jamitov and Bask are both killed by people they tried to manipulate, which can be seen as overdue payback for their manipulations during the Delaz Fleet incident. Scirocco was also killed by Kamille when he used the latent powers of various women, including his subordinates, for a final attack with the Zeta.
- Kick the Dog: Jerid does this during the evacuation of Jaburo, attacking his comrades just so he can board the escape plane.
- Kill 'em All: Enforced Trope - Tomino was seriously depressed when he directed Zeta, which ultimately lead to ZZ. The last episodes are the incarnation of this trope. Only worse could have been an 'End of the world' Downer Ending, like he did five years prior.
- Klingon Promotion: Scirocco becomes leader of the Titans after killing of Jamitov and arranging Bask's death.
- Lady of War: Haman Kahn, Emma Sheen.
- La Résistance: AEUG.
- Last Villain Stand: Episodes 46-50 can be seen as one for Paptimus Scirocco and the Titans as a whole, as the AEUG, the EF, and Axis all try to find a way to co-opt or destroy what remains of the once mighty paramilitary force.
- Latex Space Suit: All of the pilot suits.
- The Laws and Customs of War: The Titans have completely discarded the Antarctic Treaty. When Emma discovers that they used poison gas against civilians, it finalizes her Heel-Face Turn.
- Light Is Not Good: Titan baddie Paptimus Scirocco wears a variant of the standard black Titans uniform - guess what color he picks?
- Lightning Bruiser: PMX-003 The O, Scirocco's final mobile suit.
- Love Hurts: Char and either Haman or Reccoa, Katz and Sarah, and Kamille and either Fa or Four. Boy, DOES IT HURT.
- The Magnificent: Scirocco is often referred to as "The Man from Jupiter".
- The Man Behind the Man: Scirocco.
- Manipulative Bastard: Scirocco was one of the first and is still one of the best.
- Mauve Shirt: The AEUG's Rick Dias is basically the designated suit for these. One of the Argama's Dias pilots, the unfortunately-named Lieutenant Botty, even manages to survive the show in one piece.
- Meaningful Name: Psyco Gundam & Psyco Gundam Mk. II, piloted by Four & Rosamia, respectively. Technically, "psyco" is short for psychic communicator and refers to the machines' OS, but considering what happened to their pilots....
- Also Four herself, considering Four Is Death.
- Scirocco is named for the powerful Mediterranean wind.
- Zigzagged with the Methuss. Most people think it's a reference to Methuselah because it kind of looks like a bent old man, but it's actually supposed to be "me-tasu", Japanese for "many-eyed". The five-eyed mobile suit design that eventually became Yazan Gable's Hambrabi was originally meant to be a support mech for the Zeta Gundam piloted by Fa, using its supernumerary eyes to act as an artillery spotter for it's Hyper Mega Launcher. Tomino (or possibly somebody else on the creative team) decided it was too sinister-looking for one of the most unambiguously good characters in the series to pilot and handed it over to a gleeful Yazan "I'm gonna violate you" Gable instead, sticking the poor girl with the diminutive yellow rustbucket we all know and love, but for some reason they kept the name.
- Mecha-Mooks: The Titans have an extraordinary array of suits, but the humble RMS-106 Hizack is the most common and iconic. Being based on Mobile Suit Gundam's legendary Zaku II helps, too.
- Mêlée à Trois: Titans vs. AEUG vs. Axis Zeon. This situation was so memorable that homages to this set up appear numerous times in the franchise as a whole.
- Mentor Ship: Jerid crushes on Lila, who's teaching him a few things about piloting. Lila is okay with the idea and uses it as a carrot to help turn him into a real soldier. She dies before this goes anywhere.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: This is the first ever animated Gundam series where the protagonist switches from one Gundam to another, superior one mid-season. Kamille first piloted the Gundam Mk-II and then later on, the Zeta Gundam.
- Mildly Military: A dark variation. The Titans, being a State Sec organization, have no respect for any military protocol that isn't their own; Bright Noa is beaten half to death for trying to bring them into line.
- Milestone Celebration: The Zeta Gundam movie trilogy was released to celebrate both the 20th anniversary of the show, and the 25th anniversary of the Gundam franchise.
- Mind Rape: Scirocco hits Kamille with one of these as he dies.
- Also implied to be a part of the training for the Cyber Newtypes. Considering what happened to Four and Rosamia, it's very likely.
- More Than Mind Control: Scirocco's modus operandi seems to be this. In addition to his immense reserves of personal charisma he can use his Newtype abilities to influence the emotions of others, as seen with Reccoa in Jupitris Infiltration.
- No Accounting for Taste: Amuro's relationship with Clingy Jealous Girl Beltorchika baffles both Char and Kamille. Subverted in that Amuro knows all this very well, and is only involved with her because she provides an excuse for him not to go back into space - which, after all he went through in the original series, he fears considerably more than sacrificing his personal freedom.
- And also, after being Put on a Bus, Beltochika's clinginess is toned down when she briefly reappears as a Hot Intrepid Reporter in episode 37, and even earns a CMOA by recording a brutal Titans skirmish, which lets Char show the world how horrible they are.
- Non-Indicative Name: Despite being called the Anti-Earth Union Group, the AEUG is in fact a faction within the Earth Federation.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Yazan's Crew. After the general incompetence of Jerid and Adol's doomed attempt, it comes as quite a shock how brutally efficient Yazan, Dunkel and Ramsus are.
- Not Too Dead to Save the Day: In the final battle between Kamille and Scirocco, the spirits of the dead Newtypes join forces with Kamille. Sara, however, still stands for Scirocco, but is taken aside by Katz.
- On The Next Episode Of Catchphrase: "You will see the tears of time."
- Parental Abandonment: Kamille is one really tragic version of this.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Char. Has a lampshade hung on it when Haman outs Char in front of the rest of the AEUG. While all the other present AEUG members seem shocked by the revelation, Kamille's reaction is basically just to say "Yeah yeah, real big surprise there." Probably because he saw Hayato confronting Char with the infamous letter.
- One should keep in mind though, that the disguise is only paper thin to the viewer... the AEUG is genuinely surprised, since Char normally wore a mask during most of the One Year War, so there are only a handful of people who know him by looks.
- Given Char's penchant for Red (Quattro always wears red and initially pilots a red mobile suit) and his piloting ability, it probably still counts as a paper-thin disguise.
- The Plan: Scirocco pulls these off with frightening ease. Jamaican... not so much.
- Playing Both Sides: Axis is allied with both the AEUG and the Titans at the same time, and they end up on top after both sides are exhausted.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Both Psycho Gundams are not so much vehicles as they are drone weapons that have Artificial Newtypes wired into them in order to take advantage of their Psychic Powers.
- Psychic Powers: Newtypes.
- Psycho for Hire: Yazan Gable.
- Putting on the Reich: The Titans. At one point, Bright even calls them a reincarnation of Zeon.
- Red Shirt: The AEUG's Nemos serve this purpose admirably.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: The Titans to the Earth Federation. Once they were exposed by the AEUG, the group goes full renegade.
- Retcon: The third Compilation Movie gives us a Bittersweet Ending instead of the original Downer Ending: Kamille survives the duel with Scirocco more or less unscatched and is reunited with Fa and the rest of the Argama crew. Also, additional footage includes the reactions of characters like Amuro, Beltochika, Fraw, Retsu, Kikka, Mirai, Sayla and Kai. Despite some fans' insistence, Word of God is that this does not retcon ''Gundam ZZ out of existence.
- There's an even earlier example of this: originally, all the fancy stuff the Zeta did (like the mile-long beam saber) was just Kamille's raw Newtype power. Later on it was retconned that the Zeta has a device called the biosensor that amplifies Newtype powers and causes incredible phenomenae, such as freezing Scirocco's Mobile Suit and making it so that the Zeta Gundam can ram into it without being crushed by the impact.
- Several mobile suits gained ancestors from later animated productions. For example, the AEUG's Nemo was made into a descendant of the GM Sniper II, while the Rick Dias incorporates elements of the Gundam GP02 "Physalis".
- The New Translation movies in general also retconned some of the more infamous scenes out (like the absurd number of "people punching/slapping each other" scenes), possibly reflecting Tomino's more upbeat tone since Turn A Gundam.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: AEUG.
- Self-Made Orphan: Subverted: Kamille hesitates when his father Franklin tries to kill him in battle, so someone else had to do it; it's implied to be Quattro in the original, and the Titans in the movie remake.
- Though his theft of the Mk-II is directly responsible for the circumstances that lead to his mother's death.
- His handling of the hostage situation is even more directly the cause of his mother's death. His mother was killed because Kamille handled the situation poorly
- Sequel Hook: Anything to do with Haman and Axis/Neo-Zeon, who are the main antagonists in ZZ. Even the New Translation version of events have Haman's forces pulling back from the Earth Sphere along with some AEUG and Titan sympathizers.
- Smug Snake: Jamaican Danigan, from the Titans, and Ben Wooder.
- Spell My Name with an "S": One of the worst offenders in anime history - pick any character on the cast, and you're guaranteed to find at least three different variations on his or her name. Special mention goes to Quattro Bajeena, whose last name has been romanized in a very... interesting way on occasion - see some of the Gundam video games for the PS1 to see what I mean.
- As for mecha, the Psyco Gundam gets mistakenly identified as Psycho Gundam a lot; the name is a contraction of "psychic communicator", not a descriptor of its unfortunate pilots.
- Spell My Name with a "The": Paptimus Scirocco's personal ride, the PMX-003 The O. Yes, those two 'the's were intentional.
- The Starscream: Paptimus Scirocco, who actually succeeds in his plans and supplants the big bads Jamitov and Bask.
- State Sec: The Titans started out as this.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Yazan Gable is a mean-spirited example, given his very sexist treatment of women. Kamille is a much milder example, though that's mainly due to him wanting to keep his female comrades out of harm's way.
- Stockholm Syndrome: In the Compilation Films at least, Amuro is shown to have developed this towards the "attendants" at his Gilded Cage. Though he's perfectly aware that they're all Federation minders tasked with keeping an eye on him, he's come to consider them as family.
- Super Robot Wars: This is one of the mainstays of the series and has appeared in most of the games. The movie remake series debuted in the spinoff game, Scramble Commander the 2nd and made its traditional debut in one of the most recent games, Z. It's returning for Z2.
- Taking the Bullet: Happens quite a lot.
- Mouar for Jerid
- Four for Kamille.
- Sarah for Scirocco.
- Apolly for Fa.
- Terrible Trio: Yazan's crew are a particularly competent and scary example.
- Team Mom: Emma Sheen and Reccoa Londe. Fa is also a bit of this towards the Bratty Half-Pint orphans, though she only takes up the Team Mom mantle full-time in Double Zeta.
- Teen Genius: Kamille was famous for winning several suit design contests before going to the AEUG, and in fact he actually designed the Zeta Gundam.
- Theme Naming: Scirocco likes naming his custom mobile suits after deities. Pallas Athena is named for the Greek war goddess, Bolinoak Samaan is named for a Mesopotamian god, and The O is a play on Theo, a name derived from the Greek word for 'God'.
- This Is Gonna Suck: When the Hyaku Shiki takes a shot for Kamille and are forced into an uncontrolled re-entry, Quattro comments, "I don't think this is gonna end well."
- Time Bomb: Several of these appear during the story to endanger our heroes. In all cases, they are unable to disarm them, and only survive by fleeing before they explode.
- Too Dumb to Fool: Possibly "too oldtype to connect" (or "too crazy to care"), but Yazan shakes off the Newtype images projected from Reccoa as being illusions.
- Too Dumb to Live: Katz
- Took A Level In Bad Ass: Let's see, Jerid did eventually come to even footing with Kamille in some parts of the show and eventually became a personal body guard to Jamitov. Also Kai became freaking James Bond! Hayato got a level too, he pretty much become a cool and confident Team Dad for Karaba on Earth. Amuro himself has taken a few notches despite being under house arrest and not having set foot in a mobile suit for several years.
- Transforming Mecha: The Zeta Gundam and the greater majority of Mobile Suits; in fact, Zeta still holds the record of having the largest percentage of transforming robots in the entire saga.
- Paptimus Scirocco's Messala is in fact the first transformable mobile suit ever seen in a Gundam series.
- Truce Zone: Not respected. The Titans don't mind starting fights in neutral colonies, or even intentionally attacking them.
- Tsundere: Fa Yuiri is a Type B aka Type Dere: mostly cute and gentle, unless around Kamille.
- Tykebomb: Four and to a greater extent, Rosamia.
- Unfortunate Names: Quattro Bajeena, Jamitov Hymen, and Paptimus Scirocco's "The O" mobile suit.
- The official English spelling of Quattro Bajeena in Japan is Quattro Vagina.
- As bizarre as it sounds, this may actually be Theme Naming. The disfunctional, controlling relationships between men and women are a major theme of this series, made explicit by Reccoa's Famous Last Words. Three of the most disfunctional, controlling main characters having names based on female anatomy actually kinda fits.
- While Jamitov and Quattro might be theme naming, Gundam Historica 11 confirms The O is named for Theo, a name which derives its meaning from the Greek word for God.
- Any woman whose ever been to a gynaecologist could probably tell you what a pap smear is, which makes Scirocco's first name a definite qualifier.
- Unusual Euphemism: From the Zeta-to-English dictionary:
- Correct (verb): To beat the crap out of a subordinate for reasons ranging from gross incompetence to tardiness.
- Recreation (noun): Having a screaming row with your tsundere girlfriend for the third time that morning.
- Vasquez Always Dies: Four Murasame dies very tragically, once again showing that if you fall in love with a Gundam protagonist, you can expect love to hurt a whole lot. Emma doesn't make it, either. Fa Yuiri, on the other hand, is quite broken by the events of the series, but recovers and helps Kamille get better from Scirocco's Mind Rape.
- As far as this series goes, it may as well be renamed Newtype Always Dies. Recall that that last person mentioned is NOT a newtype, and keep in mind which young girl survives ZZ... Also kind of note how they die. It seems becoming a Newtype gives you an inescapable urge to leap in the way of dangerous objects if you're Ho Yay or female.
- Vertical Mecha Fins: the Rick Dias, Hyaku Shiki, and several other mobile suits sport large back-mounted fins. Justified as Wing Binders, extra limbs to aid in AMBAC.
- Victory Guided Amnesia: In a borderline and probably one of the most sad examples of this trope, Kamille gets Mind Raped by Scirocco in the finale, not only making him forget everything that had ever happened to him, but also dimishing his mental capabilities, making his mental state somewhere between a vegetable and a young child.
- We ARE Struggling Together: As Quattro puts it, "there are a lot of people who wanna be in charge" of the AEUG.
- Weak, but Skilled: Most of the Argama crew, and the AEUG in general, didn't really have too many ace pilots. Most of the pilots were at best, average. Yet, Fa held her own in the Methuss, Roberto actually had some really great kills early on, and Apolly managed to save the day a few times, most notably sacrificing himself for Fa and bringing the Zeta Gundam to Kamille.
- Wham Episode: Literally happens when Katz slams into a piece of space debris and dies. This begins the mass culling of the cast in the Kill Them All ending of the series.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Yazan's wingmen, Dunkel and Ramsus.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Rosamia and her fear of colony drops. "The sky is falling! NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!"
- To be fair, any sane person: (which Rosamia decidedly is not) would also be afraid of colony drops. The difference is that the poor girl panics over them even when there's no logical reason to think one's going to happen.
- This gets hilarious in Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden, where the first time she does this, it's completely justified, just not in the usual way. (To elaborate, the thing falling from the sky was gonna be a lot worse than a colony.)
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Again, Four and Rosamia. They're artificial Newtypes, so that's expected in a sense.
- Worf Effect: Char, ultimately. Despite being one of the most experienced pilots, piloting two of the most advanced Mobile Suits in the series, he is usually knocked out or suffers damage. Hell, despite being arguably a better pilot than either Haman or Scirocco, he can't score ANY decisive blows on them.
- Char has more experience than Haman and Scirocco, but the two of them are both stronger as newtypes, and their respective mobile suits were each superior to Char's Hyaku Shiki. Also, they initially double-teamed him, and by the time Kamille entered the fray Hyaku Shiki was already heavily damaged.
- World Half Empty: This show was cynical even when compared to the rest of the UC Gundam series. Considering how UC is most of the time, that's saying a lot.
- Yandere: Just about any woman who encounters Scirocco, but most notably Sarah and Reccoa.
- You Are Not Alone: In a very depressing way of playing this straight, Emma tells this to Kamille at the very start of the last episode. The depressing part about this is that up to that point, Kamille has lost his mother, his father, his lover, his (sort-of) little sister, and almost all of his friends and comrades. To top it off, Emma says this while dying. The important thing to note is that Emma is completely right - the Zeta Gundam's biosensor, coupled with Kamille's newtype powers allow him to channel the powers of the dead to defeat Scirocco once and for all in the finale.
- You Are Number Six: Four.
- You Keep Using That Word: Rick, as in Rick Dom, actually comes from the word "reconstructed". The Rick Doms were Doms which have been reconstructed with vernier jets to work in space. The Rick Dias, on the other hand, is not a reconstructed version of any mech.
- Your Cheating Heart: Franklin Bidan, Kamille's father, has a mistress named Margarita. Everyone, from Kamille to Bask Om, brings her up in the few episodes before he dies.