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  • Ass Pull: 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 Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, but as her VA was unavailable for the film, this didn't materialize.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Beecha and Mondo's Chronic Backstabbing Disorder in the early portion of the series rubbed some fans the wrong way, especially because it was often Played for Laughs. This is a side effect of the first half of the show being Lighter and Softer than the predecessors. As explained below, viewers tolerance for the antics of the duo was really determined by how much they liked the early tone of the series.
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  • Bizarro Episode: "Prelude ZZ", the very first episode, 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.
  • Complete Monster: While Lighter and Softer than earlier works, ZZ still has this duo:
    • Rakan Dahkaran is an Axis-Zeon Ace Pilot with a tenuous grasp of personal loyalty. 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 Khan's forces, willingly kills many of his old comrades, including 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.
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    • 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, 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 monster, Gihren Zabi, whose DNA may run in his veins, 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.
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  • Contested Sequel: Zeta was a Tough Act to Follow and to this day, ZZ has always been a contested series. The lighter tone put many fans off while others were happy for some levity after the Downer Ending of the previous series. Judau is often seen either as a great protagonist who contrasts well with the previous two (and continues to make appearances late into the UC timeline) while others found him over-powered and unlikable. The shifting of gears around the halfway point is commonly cited as where the series grew the beard with the plot and characters becoming stronger, the tone evening out, and the antagonists finally showing real direct competence; while detractors felt that the show took too long to come together and even at its best it was still a step down from Zeta. Then there's a number of fans who felt ZZ was strong all the way through and that people come down to hard on the first half.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Haman's fans are divided between those who Love to Hate her and those who want to turn her into a hero, marry her, or both. She's already a highly sympathetic character, but there are those who take that too far and forget the part where she's a mass-murdering Misanthrope Supreme dictator. With the Gundam video games, this has translated into cases of Adaptational Heroism.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: 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.
    • Years before, Yoshiyuki Tomino confirmed in interviews with Animedia and B-Club magazines that Glemy was Gihren's son with an unnamed Newtype woman. He also confirmed that Ple and Ple-Two were "artificial/unnatural twins" whose parents were Gihren and a different Newtype woman, meaning they're half-siblings, which adds a new layer of Squick to those scenes where Ple-Two acts romantic towards Glemy.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Fans who were less than happy with ZZ eagerly latched onto the Compilation Movie version of Zeta Gundam, whose ending was incompatible with ZZ, as proof that it had been kicked out of canon. Tomino himself said this wasn't the case, and the Zeta movies were merely another take on the events. This was supported by Gundam Unicorn, which features not only several ZZ mobile suits, but a character closely tied to that series as well.
  • Growing the Beard: Most fans tend to say it's when the show was retooled and Cerebus Syndrome kicked in at around episode 21. The show becomes much more serious and plot orientated as the whole of Axis takes the stage rather than a few scattered agents. The humorous tone is downplayed but not wholly jettisoned which works to combat the Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy that Zeta could fall victim to. The pacing picks up considerably in this time.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: There's an online quiz out there that lets you construct your wolfkin name by matching your first and last name to two wolf-related words. Due to the word Moon appearing in both lists, it's possible to be named Moon Moon, which has even led to Memetic Mutation.
    • Speaking of the Moon Moon, a race of people who live on the moon and prefer peace when possible, and the protagonist crossdressing at one point? Sounds familiar.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Ple Two. You can't blame her for all the bad things she did.Thanks to Glemy, who never treating her as human.
  • Magnificent Bitch: Axis warlord and Neo-Zeon Regent for Life Haman Khan came closer to conquering the Earth Sphere than any of the despots to come before or after her in the UC timeline. Intervening in Zeta Gundam's Gryps Conflict on the side of Paptimus Scirocco's Titans, Haman helped turn the battle between the AEUG and the Titans into a full scale civil war within the Earth Federation, from which she emerged as the one true winner following Scirocco's death and the obliteration of the Titans and most of the AEUG. Invading the Earth before the Federation could recover from the war, Haman occupied huge swathes of the planet, and used the Dublin Colony Drop to terrorize Federation officials into surrendering to her, all while employing sheer force of personality to mask her myriad personal issues and hold the backstabbing house of cards that was Axis-Zeon together. Betrayed at the zenith of her power by Glemmy Toto, and faced with internal rebellion by his supporters, Haman quickly moved to quell the descent, meeting Glemmy in open battle. Confronted by series' protagonist Judau Ashta, Haman was persuaded that humanity did not, in fact, need her jackboot on its throat to stop them from killing each other. The only UC Big Bad self-aware enough to come to grips with what she had become, Haman killed herself in the name of giving the world a better future.
  • 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 mother 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?"
  • Special Effect Failure: When Rasara Moon dies, she's supposed to be crushed by falling debris beforehand, but due to an animation error, the debris lands a few feet away from her, making it look like she just fell on Mondo and died for no reason.
  • 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. 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.
      • As of The Return of Johnny Ridden, he's gone back to being a bloodthirsty Ace Pilot, so this definitely counts.
  • Vindicated by History: Gundam ZZ has started to get some love, namely in Gundam Build Fighters Try, a Ple clone in Unicorn, an entire Gundam Evolve short about what Judau's up to sometime after ZZ, and Judau shows up as a Cool Old Guy in various spinoff mangas.
  • TheWoobie: Elpeo Ple.Sure, she is a selfish girl, has Greyand Gray Morality and shows her enviousness toward Leina. However, Ple actually wants a person who truly cares for and loves her as family. Also, she is extremely loving and very protective toward Judau, like her own big brother. All of these are things that she never got in her life,since she only raised to be a cyber-newtype AND SHE'S FREAKING 10 YEARS OLD.

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