First, let's get one thing straight. Yes, there are a lot of mobile suits in it (as in WAAAAAY MORE than other Gundam
series), and they give them a lot of detail and exposition because they want to sell merch. But it might interest you to know that that is not only Gundam's main source of income, but the reason Bandai
still commission new Gundam series in the first place.
So once we get past that hurdle, what do we find? Actually, a pretty damn good and, um... ''innovative''
take on the Gundam formula and series as a whole. It takes the realistic approach, especially in its setting, which uses the "real" AD calendar and refers to actual conflicts like Northern Ireland. As well as this, it has by far the most political intrigue of any Gundam show thus far, which comes so close to Real Life
in the first season it could qualify as Twenty Minutes Into The Future
in this respect. Though, any Gundam fan worth his salt will instantly notice that the basic formula is based directly off of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
As well as this, the combat scenes are visceral and pace well, not to mention being full of surprises; and the (VERY) ubiquitous mecha themselves are generally well-designed, which, along with the nice, shiny
art-style provide enough eye candy
to soften the obligatory sales points (which, to give credit where it's due, are MUCH subtler than Wing's, SEED's or Age's).
That said, nobody and nothing is perfect, and there are points where the series falls short. The characters are one. Bar the four Meisters, Graham, Sumeragi and Ali, it's quite easy to forget the rest, which is a shame, given their cumulative potential, and of the characters that you can remember, only Setsuna, Graham, Ali and Hallelujah reeeeally
stick. OK, maybe also Colasour! The plot also has its bugs, requiring your CONSTANT, FULL ATTENTION and photographic memory just to get it all, and its rhetoric becomes somewhat one-sided as the second series progresses.
While most complain about the physics and such, I find it an Acceptable Break From Reality
at worst, as it's mostly theoretical stuff that some argue must exist somewhere.
All-in-all a good 2 series that play with the franchise's conventions and that is, if nothing else, refreshing.