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  • Accidental Innuendo: When it comes with Mobile Suits:
    • The front armor support stand on the Guncannon Detector's artillery form's crotch.
    • The crotch sensor on the Barzam units.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Quite a few.
    • Char/Quattro: Complete Jerkass who is ready to lie and try to bed Reccoa...maybe just for fun, or is he a perfectly human character that can be charismatic to many people but is useless one-on-one when it comes to stuff aside from combat?
    • Quattro himself is a major source of this. Just how real was Quattro? Some view him as Char's Sheep's Clothing and only a mask that he put on to try and make himself look better. Some view him as Char's attempt to start over either as a way to escape his past or atone for it. Others view Quattro as a mask that Char tried his hardest to become and that he wanted to be a better person but circumstance and his own inability to empathize held him back. While another group views it as a Took a Level in Kindness before he Took a Level in Jerkass again.
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    • Jerid: An anti-Char: blonde hair, likes red, and instead of becoming the big bad/main antagonist of the show is killed rather quickly in the penultimate episode after appearing less frequently. Or was he supposed to be a joke-rival from the start, who just scored a few lucky wins early on? Though he did ascend rather quickly, even working right next to Jamitov, and though he failed to kill Kamille he did survive numerous fights with him for a long time.... You can't promote pilots who die can you?
    • Reccoa: Did she go to the Titans because of Scirocco pulling some kind of Newtype power on her? (Scirocco demonstrates in the finale that he can Mind Rape people.) Or is she really a "combat junkie" who felt spurned by not getting more combat missions, and went to the Titans to handle her addiction instead? (She did admit to Kamille the "combat junkie" bit) Or was that bit of both?
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    • Scirocco: Is he manipulating women and seizing power for his own profit, or is he acting out of more Dark Messiah motives? His speech in the final episode hints heavily at the latter... but as numerous characters comment, Scirocco can't really be predicted at all and even more than 30 years later, his motives are still shrouded in mystery.
      • Does his stated desire to create a world ruled by a woman stem from a belief that they're less warlike? Or did he actually have a desire to be The Man Behind The Woman, considering the fact that he's a glorified pickup artist who finds them easy to manipulate and does manipulate emotionally-unstable ladies like Sarah and Reccoa to be insanely devoted to him?
    • Even Jamitov Hymem of all people gets some of this, was he a powerhungry Earth-Supremist who wishes to hinder human evolution into newtypes and kill and oppress all Spacenoids, or a visionary who wants to overthrow the corrupt Federation elite and move the population to space on his own terms, or both?
      • Supplementary materials says it's the latter and that he purposely filled the Titans with abusive powerhungry assholes so that their actions would eventually cause war. Doesn't really forgive what he did though.
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    • And then there's the (somewhat) joking interpretation of Haman where the reason she's so angry at Char is because he never slept with her in the time they were together.
  • Anvilicious: Can be seen this way, particularly about how Newtypes are the future, and how our 'souls are bound by gravity' and that we need to move into space to both evolve ourselves as well as give the exhausted Earth some breathing room. It's just the show really shoves it in your face, but then again, some might argue that Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.
    • Of course, the exact opposite is argued in other Gundam series, such as Crossbone.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Kamille. There are some who find him to be a good replacement to Amuro and enjoy his Character Development, whereas others find him annoying for his high angst and tantrums. Some of his worst detractors even believe that he doesn't deserve his Fix Fic from the movies.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Yazan Gable is a warmonger who goes so far to admit that he joined the Titans' military so he could legally kill members of the Anti-Earth Union Group (AEUG). He has no interest in the rules of warfare, murders solely because he is good at it, and gladly participates in the Grenada Colony Drop, knowing it would have killed thousands of civilians and seeing it as an opportunity to shoot down anyone who tries to defend Grenada. When a superior officer tries to stop a pointless battle, Yazan takes this as a hindrance to his bloodlust and arranges for the officer to die at the hands of an AEUG pilot. When Paptimus Scirocco betrays the Titan leadership, Yazan does so as well, out of his belief in fighting for the strongest military power. In the finale, Yazan leaves his mark on the show's tragic take on war when he goes on a savage killing spree, leaving numerous major heroic characters dead and even murdering some of his own allies. With a series of equally-monstrous expies in the franchise, Yazan is a blight upon his world, more of a feral predator than a man.
    • Captain Bask Om, the second-in-command of the Titans, is first seen beating the tar out of one of his officers for opposing his order—an order which risked civilian lives. Later, Bask has Kamille Bidan's mother, Hilda, put in a capsule in outer space without a spacesuit in order to retrieve the Gundams stolen by the AEUG, and orders one of his men to shoot at it, claiming the capsule contains a bomb, leading to her heart-wrenching death. He subsequently orders two massive colony gassings. He is also the man responsible for the Titans' brutal treatment of the colonies in the first place, favoring the seizure and murder of hostages to get people to go along with his plans, and being a major proponent of the use of Cyber-Newtypes, teenage super soldiers created through Mind Rape and a cocktail of Psycho Serum.
  • Continuity Lockout: The compilation movies seem to have been made under the assumption that one has seen the original series, as they act more as a highlight reel than a full-on replacement with a lot of exposition left out.
  • Creepy Awesome: Paptimus Scirocco. He's a practitioner of Mind Rape, and yet despite that—or because of it—he's one of the most effective, well-liked villains in the franchise.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Everyone in the Crapsack World the series takes place in spends so much time yelling at each other that it can be hard to care about what happens next. Tomino disliked this which apparently led to the changes in the compilation movies.
  • Die for Our Ship: Fa has been bashed often and for a long time by Kamille x Four fans. Made worse when Four actually does die, Kamille lives but his brain is fried after being Mind Raped and Fa stays with him by his side as he slowly recovers from it.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Scirocco and Four are both really prone to this.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Apolly, to an extent. He had by far the most character of the minor cast and he almost made it to the end despite being a Mook Rick Dias pilot, only dying because he was protecting Fa. Almost everyone who watched the show likes him, but it really didn't come apparent until him and the other minor Z Gundam pilots were removed in the Super Robot Wars games to make room for the Gundam ZZ pilots. Thankfully, he and Roberto help represent Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam in SRW Z and SRW 64 as well.
    • Also Emma and Henken are still extremely popular characters in the fandom. It might have something to with the fact that the two are likable, (mostly) rational adults that don't annoy the cast and watchers, and are overall healthy mentally and emotionally. Also fans found the fact that Henken having a crush on Emma was adorable.
    • Haman Khan for being seen as awesome, piloting a cool suit, sexy, her bitchiness, being a good pilot or all of the above. She's especially popular on 4chan's mecha board where she's hailed as the Queen of /m/.
    • Also Four seems to have her fans considering she gets saved and joins the heroes in many SRW games. She even won Animage's Anime Grand Prix Award in 1985 in the category of favorite female anime character of the year and there's a novel that tells her origin story.
    • In terms of Mobile Suits, despite its relatively short appearance on-screen and being piloted by an extremely minor character, the Barzam has a rather sizable following, so much so that it was able to get its first HG Gunpla kit in 2017 - almost 32 years after its debut.
  • Even Better Sequel: As well-liked as the original Mobile Suit Gundam may be, most fans feel that Zeta is a significant improvement with better writing, action, and animation. To many fans, Zeta can be compared to other, better sequel installments like The Empire Strikes Back and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
    • On top of that, it's considered more memorable and influential given how the series is frequently referenced in other anime works and has the best-selling line of model kits.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Peace is a nice ideal, but you have to be willing to fight because the world is full of bad people who delight in tormenting others. Indeed, the Grand Finale basically has Kamille getting over his earlier "Why do we have to keep fighting?!" attitude and killing the Big Bad.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The movies are stated to be an Alternate Continuity by Word of God, but that doesn't stop some people from treating them as the "true" outcome for the sake of getting rid of ZZ.
  • Foe Yay: Between Haman and Char.
  • Fridge Horror: Kamille, on average, kills two people an episode.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Knowing what will happen in Char's Counterattack, several of Quattro's interactions in the early series hit this. When discussing the gassed colony Char brings up the need for people to leave Earth and migrate into space as part of the protest, which is a major part of his schemes in the movie. Especially when Quattro discusses the mentality behind it; he disparages it but ultimately he would apply a similar mentality.
    • The grim consequences of Titans' nerve gassing operations became more horrifying with the condemnation of the government's use of chemical weapons on rebels and civilians in Syria by the government in The New '10s, decades after show's release.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The Libyan word for Scirocco is "Ghibli" (Studio Ghibli didn't technically exist yet when Zeta first came out). Scirocco's self-important attitude and two-faced "male feminist" pretensions could easily be mistaken for a rather unflattering caricature of Hayao Miyazaki. Both of them even have a background in aviation mechanics.
    • The Bolinoak Sammahn was given the Fan Nickname "Mori No Kuma-san" (forest bear) because of its odd name and vaguely ursine appearance. The Kuma Origami from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger fits that nickname better.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Kamille Bidan.
    • Four Murasame is one as well; no matter how sorry you feel for her, she's still the one who burns down Hong Kong while laughing about it in her first appearance.
    • Also, Jerid. He may have the personality of a 1980's Jerk Jock and killed Kamille's mom and Four but he also lost all the people he genuinely cared for throughout the series because of Kamille.
  • Love to Hate: The Titans produced some fascinatingly sick individuals.
    • The Titan commander, Bask Om. Easily the most brutal of Jamitov's inner circle Bask has patience for nobody and violently beats or gasses anyone in his way.
    • Yazan Gable absolutely revels in his cruelty. Where he goes, major character death follows and he launched a Fountain of Expies for future Gundam shows.
    • Paptimus Scirocco, making all of the factions dance around him with ease. His oily charisma and creepiness made him a more deserving Big Bad than Jamitov.
  • Magnificent Bastard: "The Man from Jupiter" — Titans Lieutenant Paptimus Scirocco — is an Enigmatic Minion who graduates to taking over the organization. A brilliant tactician both in and out of a mobile suit, Scirocco excels at reading potential in his subordinates and outmaneuvers the Anti-Earth Union Group (AEUG) to capture the strategic stronghold of the lunar city Von Braun. Leaving the day-to-day operations of the district in the hands of his antagonistic superior, Scirocco divulges the man's schemes to the AEUG and arranges for his death to gain more dominance within the Titans for himself. Forming an alliance with Haman Khan of Neo-Zeon, Scirocco bolsters the strength of the Titans with the Axis military and personally assassinates the Titans leader, Jamitov Hymem, assuming command over the syndicate and blaming Jamitov's death on Haman, rallying his forces to fight against her. Giving a former AEUG pilot he corrupted to his side an eloquent lecture on his ambitions for humanity, Scirocco engages the AEUG personally and reveals he has kept his alliance with Haman to revitalize the strength of his fleet. Even with his armada destroyed by the blast of a colony laser, Scirocco continues to fight Kamille Bidan and even in his dying moments, destroys Kamille's consciousness, unrelentingly unwilling to accept his vanquishment. Emotionally manipulative yet charming, charismatic and stylish, Scirocco proves himself to be every bit as brilliantly Machiavellian as he is mysterious.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Captain Quattro, He is a CHAR!"
    • Zeta PAUNCH!
    • Kamille is also sick of adults and their lies.
    • To a lesser extent: AMELIAAAAAAA.
    • I came here to laugh at you.
    • Dissappear from this world and go where the X is!
    • Isn't that a girl's X?
    • Scirocco's death by being impaled by Zeta's Waverider nosecone is often associated with triangular-shaped and watermelon-flavored popsicles (called "watermelon bars").
    • Violate! explaination 
    • Violence is no answer! note 
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Kamile himself is also widely mocked as a woman thanks to Jerid Mesa.
    • Non-human example: An understated example as the Mk. II actually avails itself quite well and is quite well-liked, but it is a unit that isn't even that high-performing at its rollout and gets more and more left in the dust as the series goes on and its status as a mediocre unit is often the subject of jokes. Its loser status is likely referenced in Super Robot Wars which has a Captain Ersatz of Gundams called the Huckebein. The Huckebein Mk. II was a meh unit, while the Mk. I and III are both amazing units.
  • Memetic Molester: Yazan "I'm gonna violate you!" Gable. There's also the early episode where he checked how "excited" rookie pilot Adol was about their mission with his hand.
  • Moe: Four and Rosamia for some.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Bask crosses this in the 3rd episode by tricking Jerid into executing Kamille's mother Hilda and somehow only gets worse further on. Reccoa has hers when she gasses a civilian colony.
    • In Reccoa's defense, Bask ordered her to gas the colony to prove her allegiance, which is probably one reason why She later kills him when she gets the chance.
    • Jamaican get's his own when he orders a Colony Drop on Granada out of anger when he and his soldiers are forced out of the city.
    • Kamille's dad Franklin was a huge jerk and he showed it via slapping his wife Hilda when she calls him out on his crap and regarding her death very coldly, but it really shines when he tries to kill Kamille in battle despite Kamille pleading with him to not fight. It's a relief when Quattro decides to kill Franklin with his own mecha.
  • Narm: At the end of "Half Moon Love" Kamille's contorting and tortured face, after realizing Sarah had escaped, makes him look like a stoner.
  • Never Live It Down: Kamille calling himself an autistic child and having a girl's name.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Beltorchika in her second appearance. Not only is she more mature and humble than she used to be, but she got a Moment of Awesome via recording the brutal mecha battle whose footage Char uses in his speech.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Katz Kobayashi wasn't exactly beloved in the previous series, but his more stubborn personality and many gullible moments in this series caused fans to call him one of the worst characters in the show. Some people cheered when he crashed into an asteroid during the finale. Even the compilation films' attempts to make him more sympathetic did nothing.
    • Reccoa's Face–Heel Turn earned her the scorn of fans for her reasoning seeming completely nonsensical, as AEUG treated her as a great friend and ally while the man she turned to, Scirocco, is a womanizer.
    • Wong Lee is generally seen as an annoying Jerkass instead of the Stern Teacher he had shades of at the start. Not many were upset when Judau punched him in the sequel.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Kamille and Four, whose Newtype powers cause them to fall in love within seconds of meeting. This is justified in-show (Four is badly messed up due to her Dark and Troubled Past, Kamille was the first person to treat her like a human being and not a test subject), but it doesn't make the relationship any more real to those watching it.
    • It's given a lampshade by Chris of MAHQ. When commenting on G Gundam's Grand Finale and the epic end of Domon and Rain's love story, he points out that "They ( [Domon and Rain) are not Newtypes who magically reach an understanding of each other, they're normal people who have to develop their love over time."
    • Amuro and Beltorchika meet in episode 15. They barely talk. Then in episode 16 they are already kissing for the third time. Somebody needs to learn how to write romance apparently. Again, justified in-story: Amuro doesn't actually love Beltochika, but is using her presence as an excuse to not deal with his massive traumas. Interestingly enough, had Tomino gotten his way with his original draft of Char's Counterattack and had Amuro marry Beltorchika, it's likely that he would have eventually fallen for her for real.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The ending of the A New Translation trilogy for some.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The compilation movies generally aren't held in very high regard in the fandom for, among other things, removing the Downer Ending, changing the roles of several characters, and making the Universal Century works that take place afterward impossible.
  • Tear Jerker: Where to even begin!?
    • Four Murasame's death in the episode "Forever Four"(made more poignant by a Hope Spot and Kamille's Death Wail), remembered as one of the best episodes of the Gundam franchise. In fact, a certain death scene in Gundam SEED Destiny (Stella's) was basically copied from this very scene.
    • Another tear jerker for this series is when Kamille kills his "little sister" Rosamia. She was basically mindscrewed by the Titans and only wanted a normal life; Kamille felt bad when he killed her, because he wanted to see her have a normal life in the end. What really makes it hit home is her last words, "Brother, I've found you.".
    • The next to Four's death was when Kamille's mother, Hilda, was killed. He was trying to save her and just about did, then Jerid has to shot her capsule exposing her to the vacuum of space without a space suit on. It's a tear jerker because it happened right in front of Kamille, not to mention she may have been a Missing Mom but she still cared for him way more than her Jerkass husband.
    • Emma Sheen's death. Which came right after the sacrifice of the Radish and Henken Beckener's demise. The saddest part of her death was how Kamille lingered in the room with her. You could really see his hesitance in leaving her body there and the way he turned back to her as he opened the door was the saddest thing in all of Zeta Gundam and is perhaps the saddest launch announcement ever.
    • It's easy to forget in among all the heroic deaths in episode 49, but the death of Jerid Messa is just depressing. To see a character, even a villainous one, who's been with us since the first episode, who we've learned to sympathize with, die such a pointless, meaningless death, is honestly pretty heartbreaking, especially since he wasn't that bad compared to the rest of the Titans.
    • Episode 45: Between Apolly's death and Fa's talk with Emma after her showdown with Reccoa, where Fa blames herself for not being able to kill her...
    • The final scene in the show hits home HARD. Fa finding Kamille alive, only to realize he's been brain damaged by Scirocco Just seeing her expression sort of sums up the show...
    • The ending of the final movie, which completely inverts the ending of the show. The final scene is of Kamille and Fa tearfully reuniting as they float around the quiet battlefield, with Kamille commenting that even after all the horror and death he's been witnessed, they're still alive. It also leans more towards a Heartwarming Moment because of this.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Aside for the many deaths and dark themes, it has also one of the saddest endings in the franchise and many love the series because of it.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Like Kamille, Jerid tragically loses many loved ones over the course of the story, but he never changes from being a power-hungry fascist.
  • Values Dissonance: Even more so than the original series, characters are quick to dish out Corporal Punishment. Wong's beatdown of Kamille in particular for disobeying orders and talking out of line was treated as both right and justified by other characters. The fandom's opinion on this, was quite the opposite.
  • Wangst:
    • Kamille spends a pretty big portion of the series whining about everything wrong with his life and the world. It's not even a girl's name, you know.
    • Four, Beltorchika, and Katz are all prone to obnoxious bouts of self-pity too. Then again, two of them are teenagers (and one's very mindscrewed) and the other is extremely naive in regards to war.
  • Woolseyism: Kai's introductory line to Reccoa is a little more straightforward in the dub. It also sets up nicely for some dialogue between them at the end of the epidosde. But the direct translation actually has Narm Charm due to it not seeming to make a whole lot of sense. Reccoa's amused response, however, is probably more in character for the line in the sub.
    Dub: My name's Kai Shiden. And as a freelance journalist, I can behave professionally, even with a beautiful woman such as yourself.'''
    Sub: My name's Kai Shiden. As a freelance journalist, I can appear anywhere, anytime. Even the Vatican.

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