I have been much amused by rachelmanija
's various posts
about Gundam series, particularly SEED and 00. Though I am thoroughly spoiled for both, I strangely am also not spoiled, as there is so much crack and insanity that I cannot keep it all straight.
It also helps that both Rilina and Rachel get confused as to who is in which series as well, so it's not just me and my poor facial recognition!
So far, I am greatly amused, albeit entirely confused as to who is who, who pilots what Gundam, what everyone's names are, what everyone's Gundam's names are, and what faction everyone belongs to. At least I have the comfort of knowing that the latter will be completely inconsequential, as no doubt people will begin switching sides as soon as they sneeze.
While unlike other series, in which I get confused as to who is who because they all have the same color, style, and length of hair and all wear hats or have beards, everyone here is fairly distinguishable via hair. Sadly, this, like faction knowledge, is rendered completely inconsequential, as the pilots all wear face-and-hair-obscuring helmets while piloting!
I first thought that everyone's hair color matched their Gundams, but this is not the case. Instead, Allelujah Haptism, who has green hair, wears an orange jumpsuit and pilots an orange Gundam, while Lockon Stratos, who has brownish hair, wears a green jumpsuit and pilots a green Gundam. At least purple-haired Tieria Erde's hair matches his jumpsuit, as I guess that though he looks like a girl and wears a pink cardigan, a purple Gundam was just too much. (I keep pronouncing his name as "tiara," which I feel goes with the purple.)
Both Gundam SEED and 00 have been mucking up my usually good gender-detection radar, as anime and manga have long taught me to look for the presence of breasts, as opposed to hair style, clothing, or facial features. For the first time ever, I mistook a girl for a guy.
As mentioned, I identified the male Tieria as female. In my defense, it was before I heard him speak, and his images in the opening sequence make it look like he has breasts! How was I to know that the character design would include two lumpy breast-plate things over his chest area?
So far, as I suspect is with all Gundam series, the civilians are completely boring, the pilots are bugfuck insane, though sadly the main pilot (Setsuna F. Seiei, I swear I am not making these names up!) does not introduce himself with a maniacal laugh, as Heero does. On the other hand, he does get introduced via a traumatic backstory that, unlike Heero's, is actually as traumatic as the writers think it is.
Amazingly, I managed to get this far into a write-up without even touching on the plot! In 2307 AD, Earth is split up between three conglomerate nations, the HRL (vaguely Central Asian), the Union (vaguely USan), and the AEU (vaguely Western European). The world is fighting over solar energy (their oil equivalent), and each conglomerate has built a giant orbital elevator leading to solar energy collection stations.
No, I am not sure how the orbital elevators work either, as they go straight up for thousands of miles and the Earth orbiting one inch with mean who knows how many up in space and I will simply handwave.
Handwaving seemed to be a particular good idea after I realized that the Gundams (handily labeled "Gundam" on their heads!) were powered by..... magical green sparklies!
Not only that, but the magical green sparklies allow the Gundams to evade radar detection!
Anyway. An obscure and mysterious organization (as are they all) named Celestial Being has decided to end all war on Earth -- by waging war on anyone attempting to make war! As one does! This is a practical strategy only in the Gundam universe, though thankfully, even the characters seem to find it insane, which bodes well for their mental competence.
So far, this has lead to hilarious sequences in which people say things like, "Celestial Being is about to attack!" Celestial Being is apparently founded upon the principles of some old dead white guy, who I am certain will show up in flashbacks later. ( Spoilers )