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YMMV: Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ

  • Asspull: Sayla's involvement in the series often gets this response due to lack of foreshadowing or explanation to her actions. It is heavily suggested that her appearance was meant to foreshadow a role in Char's Counterattack, but as her VA was unavailable for the film, this didn't materialize.
  • Bizarro Episode: "Prelude ZZ" has no particular plot and consists of a long stream-of-consciousness recap and foreshadowing mixed in with occasional acid trips and mobile suit quizzes.
  • Canon Discontinuity/Fanon Discontinuity: Fairly confused on a few levels. For almost as long as the show has existed, a subset of the UC Gundam fandom has vociferously considered it straight-up non-canon due largely to the stark tonal differences between it and the rest of UC Gundam. (Others, meanwhile, say they'll take ZZ over what New Translation did to Zeta any day.) And so on that note, it remained limited to fan debate until the Zeta Gundam: A New Translation compilation movies came about in 2005-6... and the end of the movie series fairly clearly retcons ZZ out of existence. Okay... but then Gundam Unicorn comes along a few years later, and that features at least one character whose backstory makes no sense if ZZ doesn't happen, and one who literally can't exist without it. In short, who the heck even knows at this point - it goes far beyond even the usual looseness of Sunrise's canon policy. The closest anyone can get is that something like the events happened, but not necessarily in the way we saw in the show. And this, of course, leaves both sides of the old fan debate rather dissatisfied.
    • The best anyone seems to hope for at this point is for ZZ to get its turn at some compilation movies, which would hopefully even out its odd tone and pacing issues one way or the other.
  • Combined Energy Attack: During the final battle, Kamille Bidan gathers the spirits of the dead to reassemble Judau's ZZ Gundam, then empower his High Mega Cannon for a massive attack against Haman Khan. It still isn't enough to defeat her.
  • Complete Monster: While Lighter and Softer than MSG or Zeta, it still had its share of terrible people:
    • Axis-Zeon Ace Pilot Rakan Dahkaran, an expy of Zeta's Yazan Gable, is, like his inspiration, a brutal, nigh-unkillable Blood Knight with a tenuous grasp of personal loyalty, albeit with some actual command talent thrown in. Cold-blooded and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, Rakan has no qualms about harming civilians. This is best demonstrated in Episode 35, where he impassively guns down hospital ships and evacuation craft fleeing the Dublin Colony Drop, and destroys roads and bridges in order to make sure that nobody escapes the blast radius. He kills longtime Gundam veteran Hayato Kobayashi when the latter tries to stop him, and following his defection from Haman's forces willingly kills many of his old comrades, including Anti-Villain Mashmyre Cello and Royal Guardsman, Lance, before being stopped by Judau. Axis's go-to guy for the dirtiest of jobs, Rakan proves that in the end, his only loyalty is to himself.
    • While the anime version of Glemmy Toto had enough redeeming traits to keep him off this list, the same cannot be said for his manga counterpart, a vicious Smug Snake and Starscream who is bad news from his first appearance to his last. Coldly manipulating Puru, an unstable child soldier into doing his killing for him, Glemmy keeps a small army of brainwashed clones of her as backup for when she inevitably dies on him. He burns down a village to draw out Judau Ashta, has a defecting Puru killed by her Evil Twin Puru-2, and eventually betrays Haman Khan, triggering a devastating Enemy Civil War in the process, as he aims to make himself the dictatorial ruler of both Earth and the colonies, unleashing his entire clone army in the process. Idolising the franchise’s original CM, Gihren Zabi, Glemmy promises to be every bit as brutal a tyrant as he was, and betrays no concern at all for the dozens of little girls who are dying to make his dream a reality.
  • Contested Sequel: It's not Zeta, and it's attracted quite a bit of backlash for that.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Elpeo Ple, who is also one of the first lolicon characters in anime history.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Haman Karn and Chara Soon, though with contrasting styles.
  • Fanon: A rather popular in its day theory says that Glemy isn't Gihren Zabi's clone, but his bastard child. The whole "clone" deal would be false, for two possible reasons: either Glemy a) claimed to be a clone to to disguise his true heritage as Gihren's child and the other Zabi descendant (aside of his "cousin" Mineva) from enemies; or b) it was a lie that he came up with as a youngster to psychologically protect himself from such a burden, and then he himself came to believe it as he grew up. It does provide for a rather interesting Alternate Character Interpretation, though.
  • Magnificent Bastard: There is Glemmy Toto, who along with having his own agenda and managing to keep it under wraps until the big reveal, flies up the ranks quickly in order to get close enough to Haman. And managed to charm her for a while too. Only to use his new status and popularity to form his own faction, giving a riling speech to the people of Zeon to motivate them to fight for his side. He also believed in handling things in a sophisticated manner. His ultimate goal is to see Zeon united under the Zabi rule, believing their method to be the most successful. He tried to accomplish this not only by winning the crowd over, but also creating clones to use as military weapons, being one of the first big bads to use clones in the Universal Century. And although he was ultimately defeated by Judau and Roux, his actions did make an impact on Zeon while he was alive. And he managed to accomplish all of this at the mere age of seventeen.
    • Haman Khan fits the trope, though her personality is significantly different from Glemmy's. While she's not quite as deceptive as Glemmy, this is mainly stylistic; she's equally skilled at politics and able to effectively play her enemies off against each other. In addition, her strength of will is beyond question; she is willing and more than able to take to the battlefield when it's called for, whether on foot or in a mobile suit, and she once stood down an attacking mobile suit with bladed hands and didn't even blink. She makes it clear that her goal is to bring the Earth Sphere under her jackbooted heel, and while she doesn't win, she outlasts Glemmy's rebellion against her.
  • Love It or Hate It: Fandom is very split on ZZ. Typically those who liked Zeta (which makes up the majority of the fanbase) hate ZZ, while those who liked ZZ hated Zeta.
  • Moe: Ple and her clones.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Dublin Colony Drop serves as one for most of those involved: Haman Khan (who orders its implementation), Mashmyre Cello (who aims it), Rakan Dakharan (who guns down the civilians attempting to flee it), and the Federation officials (who leave their own citizens behind to die in it.)
  • Nightmare Fuel: Ple and Kamille go utterly batshit when Dublin is destroyed via Colony Drop. The split-second image of Ple, who was not in the best mental health to begin with, spasming in terror is one of the most unnerving images in the entire franchise. At least for some people.
    • Also, what happens when Haman shoots Leina. Judau, normally a Hot-Blooded kid, completely snaps in the mom and grandmom of all tranquil furies, with anger and power strong enough to cause Haman to Freak Out and literally cry in fear and be felt by Newtypes who were far away from the place. (The visualization was a demonic phantom emerging out of him. The last time this happened, it was Dozle Zabi doing it.) That is how massively pissed off he was, and it's scary to see. This scene is probably why some consider Judeau to be the Newtype with the strongest raw power.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Gundam fans who started with later shows and worked their way backwards might find themselves asking "Why does Dorothy have purple hair?"
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Judau's first meeting with the much-despised Wong Lee ends with the former kneeing the latter in the gut.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In early episodes Judau does not follow orders of repairing the Zeta Gundam just because he doesn't like being ordered. Guess what nearly happens the next time he fights?
  • Tough Act to Follow: The show is a direct follow-up to Zeta. On the other hand, it's a direct follow-up to Zeta. Needless to say, fan reactions tend to be divisive. See Contested Sequel above.
  • Villain Decay: Yazan. After being the resident Complete Monster of Zeta and miraculously surviving the final battle thereof, he's subjected to repeated embarassment at the hands of the ZZ cast before being forced to leap from a flying mobile suit. With a poncho for a parachute. You could almost feel sorry for him... almost.
    • Actually, he makes a couple of blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameos after this, so he may have at least managed to pull a Karma Houdini.
    • Especially considering he manages to kill one more significant member of the Argama crew before the decay sets in.
    • Fanon tries to explain this away as a combination of oxygen deprivation (after being shot out of his suit at the end of Zeta) and hunger (being forced to live like a bum for a majority of his appearance). That might make his situation A Fate Worse Than Death.