“In The Name of Peace” & What is Moral in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (OWLS Blog Tour)

Hello, my dear folks! I’m ecstatic that it’s finally my turn for our first blog tour together as OWLS. I hope that you enjoyed Venus’ tour stop over at Japanime Talks this past Monday. If you haven’t checked out her post yet, do so now! Thanks and I hope that you enjoy my post for today.


“Disruptors” Blog Tour

“To disrupt” has a negative denotation, but rather than looking at the verb in a negative light, we are going to use the verb in a positive way. It’s like the word “protest” which has positive and negative connotations depending on the perspective of the person.

Disruptors: An individual or a group disturbing a system or social norms/conventions that they believe is destroying what is morally right.

This post will be a little different from the other posts in this blog tour because I’m not going to discuss “disruptors” in a purely positive light. Just like in the real world where there’s no pure good or pure evil sides, “disruptors” is a complicated subject consisting of a delicate balance between good and bad. In this post, I will discuss “disruptors” in a more human light where actions and feelings change depending more on personal experiences and values, rather than a single universal purpose for good. But since the topic of this blog tour demands me to use this word positively, I chose instead to emphasize the positive influence of the process of “disrupting” and its results rather than the actual “disruptor” agents. This is because I believe that people change. One may start out good but then turn into a monster, and vice versa. I think it’s more important to focus on the process of change itself and the results of said change, rather than on the original people who caused disruption.

mobile suit gundam 00

This year marks the 10th anniversary of my favourite Gundam series, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, which first aired on October 2007. That’s why I’m so excited to write about this series for my turn in this blog tour. I’ve watched some Gundam anime before, but it wasn’t until Gundam 00 that I got hooked and decided to call myself a Gundam fan.

Unlike what’s common in other series where the “disruptors” are portrayed as the heroes fighting for freedom against systemic oppression, the “disruptors” in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 are essentially portrayed as terrorists. It’s an interesting, not to mention very ironic, portrayal that confuses the boundaries of our morality as viewers.

The Reality of Endless War and Battle for Dominance

The setting is an Earth depleted of fossil fuels. As a result, humans turn to solar power which can be accessed by three orbital elevators. These elevators are each controlled by the three world superpowers: Union (North American region), AEU (European region), and Human Reform League (Asian region, including Russia). Since solar energy is theoretically limitless, it should’ve been able to fuel the economic and industrial progress of all countries in the world. This is not the case, however. Since the 3 superpowers (Union, AEU & Human Reform League) control the elevators, it’s only them and their allies who benefit from abundant solar energy, while their enemies or nations they consider insignificant are left poor and war-torn. Also as expected of technological advancements, extreme religious groups are formed resisting solar power technology, claiming that it threatens what their gods promised them. This resulted in decades of “Solar Wars” that are still battering the poorest of nations.

union-high-orbital-station-gundam-00

Then comes the “disruptors” in this anime, Celestial Being, formed for the purpose of eradicating all wars in the world and uniting humanity. Celestial Being is a private military organization 200 years in the making, and is primarily armed by impressive Gundam machines piloted by the most-skilled Gundam Meisters.

celestial-being-gundam-00

Eradicate all wars. Unite humanity. Celestial Being sounds noble, right? Or are they?

Using “War” to Eradicate All Wars

The main issue is with Celestial Being’s method in achieving their purpose. They send their Gundam Meisters to “intervene” during wars by annihilating all parties involved regardless of who is in the right or wrong, demonstrating their military superiority in the process. This in turn becomes a deterrent to nations not to declare war against each other because they make themselves Celestial Being’s targets of attack. This extreme method of instilling fear through military prowess and violence against all nations is, if you think about it, not that different from terrorists whose principle is to “punish” others who don’t follow their beliefs.

seravee-gn-bazooka-gundam-00

Basically, Celestial Being declares war against the entire humanity, threatening to mercilessly annihilate anyone who dares disturb the peace. This great paradox of using warfare to end all wars is the main driving force of the anime’s first season. And for a short period of time, they succeed in uniting humanity, as the 3 world superpowers unite to form the United Nations Army to fight Celestial Being’s superiority.

Blurring the Lines of Morality

Like what I said at the beginning of this post, Gundam 00 portrays Celestial Being (the “disruptors) not as the “heroes” supported by the oppressed but basically as “terrorists” who’ll punish you if you threaten the “peace” they’re protecting. I think that this divergence from common rebel tropes in other series, where the rebel is hailed as the hero of the oppressed against the evil authority, is a perfect reflection of the complexity of the wars our real world is experiencing today. In fact, I had to take a break every couple of episodes while watching because I just felt too disturbed by the similarities I noticed between the conflicts in the anime and some of the situations in our real world right now.

As a result, I felt torn about which side to support. On one hand, I admire Celestial Being’s sense of justice and support their vision of a peaceful and war-free world. However, their method of merciless annihilation to achieve their ideals is just too extreme, bloody, and not humane at all. On another hand, I’m disgusted by the greed of the world superpowers in hogging the wealth and security gained from solar power while the rest of the world are left poor, hungry, and in constant mortal danger due to endless wars. However, I also understand their sentiment of protecting their way of life and their resistance in accepting the authority of a suspicious organization of unknown origins claiming to desire peace through violence.

krugis-gundam-00

Watching Gundam 00 questions your morality. Is it acceptable to punish and kill for the sake of peace? Does the results justify the means? Is real peace ever attainable? Or is it just an illusion? What is moral? Who decides what’s morally right or wrong? Is it morally right to say you disapprove of war when you’re not even doing anything to stop it and your government is bombing other countries? Is it morally right to turn a blind eye to the horrors of poverty-stricken war-torn countries, not even realizing how fortunate you are to have a place to live, food to eat whenever you’re hungry, and the security to walk down the streets without the fear of bombs falling from the sky?

soran-setsuna kps children soldiers - mobile suit gundam 00

Are “Disruptors” Good or Bad?
And the Power of Understanding, Tolerance, and Communication

For the purpose of this blog tour and also based on the anime Gundam 00, I’d say that YES, “disruptors” are good in this case. Although later in the series Celestial Being is discovered fallible and prone to internal betrayal and conspiracy, it catalyzed its reorganization into a more sympathetic group that are less extreme than their original methods (apparent in the second season). Celestial Being as “disruptors” may not have succeeded in achieving their original purpose of total eradication of war, but they nevertheless succeeded in slowly demonstrating the importance of the value of understanding.

I would say that the most important message this entire series has to offer is that understanding and tolerance are more effective in preventing wars and achieving peace than using violence. This is especially true since a portion of humanity’s population are evolving into what are basically superhumans called “Innovators”. Understanding and tolerance are important to prevent discrimination and war between these two species.

This is once again demonstrated in the Gundam 00 film A Wakening of the Trailblazer, where an alien ship heads to earth and of course, the first reaction of humans is to destroy it. At the climax, however, it’s revealed that it only takes willingness to communicate to the aliens and understanding them in order to end hostilities. It’s a beautiful film, a perfect exclamation point to an emotional and moral rollercoaster of a series.

gundam 00 awakening of the trailblazer flower in space

Saying all of these, however, I’m not saying that all “disruptors” are good. Like how I described Celestial Being in this post, there is no clear-cut and correct method to “disrupt” a system or social norms because one’s “morally right” may not be the same “morally right” to another. Depending on your personal beliefs and values, a “disruptor” may be a hero or just a brutal terrorist to you. Understanding, tolerance, and communication are perhaps our best hope in achieving peace, regardless of our differences.


That’s it for my tour stop for this “Disruptors” Blog Tour. I hope you enjoyed my post. I also hope that even for just a bit, it made you realize the importance of tolerance and acceptance of our differences, which are the driving forces of our group OWLS.

Please don’t forget to tune in for the next tour stop, which will be hosted by our lovely Chief Creative Officer LynLyn on her blog Just Something About LynLyn this coming Monday, January 16.

Thank you very much for supporting us OWLs in our first ever blog tour. All of us are passionate in spreading our message within the fandom, and I hope that you continue to support us from here on. If you are interested in learning more about OWLS or are interested in becoming an active member, click here. Have a great day. Take care. Cheers!

Free to be ME,
Arria


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72 thoughts on ““In The Name of Peace” & What is Moral in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (OWLS Blog Tour)”

  1. Reblogged this on grimmgirldotcom and commented:

    Wow.

    I am REALLY pushing it with Flashback Friday today… As it is literally 11:43 PM as I type this! Better late then never (or is it than?) am I right?

    I’m continuing my Flashback Friday OWLS Blog Tour theme by taking us back to January 13th with Arria from Fujinsei and her disrupters post through the eyes of Gundam 00.

    I haven’t seen Gundam 00 myself but after reading this post I’m officially adding it to the list! Arria brings up the very valid point of how far is going to far. We all like to think that our actions are really protecting people and doing what is best but how do we call ourselves out? She also ties in the shows ability to point out that many times our problems are exasperated by are lack of willingness to communicate with one another.

    I think many of times in life we miss our chance to simple listen to one another. It may sound cliche but it is true. There are so many problems that we have today that would be solved with listening, empathy, and compromise. However each day we wake up we have our own chance to be the type of disrupter that does just that.

    Listens. Empathizes. Compromises.

    We may not always see eye to eye but that doesn’t mean we cannot create a world of acceptance. Thank you Arria for the awesome contribution to OWLS.

    I hope you all enjoy this post as much as I did Grimms ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I finally got around to reading this and I can confirm that this is, without a doubt, another reason for me to enter the Gundam franchise. Seriously, you always make this show sound so interesting!! On the Disruptors side, yes, it is hard to tell if the ends justify the means. What may seem cruel now could end up being beneficial in the future–but that doesn’t necessarily make it the best nor the only option. I especially noted that in another mech-ish anime Code Geass, and it makes me excited to see similar themes span across the mech genre. Looking forward to anything else you have to add on your Gundam entries, and of course, the tour’s been great, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I hope that you watch Gundam 00 or any Gundam anime that may interest you. Most of them are really great in tackling various issues of morality. Indeed, exactly. Something very violent and bloody today may be beneficial to the future, but does that justify sacrificing the present for what we think is better for the future? These questions really make us think and are the forefront of this anime. Good thing that you mentioned Code Geass, another anime that I absolutely love. Similar issues and questions of morality. Thank you very much for dropping by and sharing your opinions, Taku. I appreciate it. Cheers!

      Like

  3. Tieria!!!!!!!! clears throat Excellent post! Gundam 00 is my 2nd favorite Gundam franchise and it’s one of the few anime series that really made me cry and think (esp. Lockon’s death).

    “Is it acceptable to punish and kill for the sake of peace?

    These questions actually reminded me to look into the Biblical and historical context that brought us today. And I believe, killing as means of punishment will never ever be found acceptable by everyone as just. Some will find it necessary, and in fact God allowed wars to occur to manifest His divine plan, but from a human perspective, it’s hard to accept real peace knowing that lots of blood has been spilled on the process.

    I agree with you Arria, the Celestial Being’s vision and sense of justice was admirable. They’re like the necessary evil to let those greedy politicians and leaders realize the importance of mutual understanding amongst themselves.

    But to answer your question about who decides what moral or not, I’ll stick to my Christian beliefs. Doing what’s in the Bible is moral regardless of how perceive it.

    Bravo Arria!!! Now you made me want to watch this series again!! (and once again go over the tragic Lockon scene..)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Venus! I appreciate it. Ooooh. 2nd most favourite? What’s your favourite Gundam?
      Oh my gosh. Yes, Lockon’s death. And then I was confused when he “came back” but it turned out it was his brother. They used the same seiyuu too, so it felt like he never left. Still different people though.
      Amen! I agree. But not everyone does. Even some have different interpretations of what the bible says, and that’s so sad.
      I like how you can’t completely side with a single group in Gundam 00. Each group has a reason they’re fighting for that we can sympathize but at the same time, we detest the bad things they’re also doing. So human.
      Thanks again, Venus. I actually rewatched some episodes of the series to refresh myself for this post.

      P.S. Tieria is my favourite Meister. And his Gundams were the coolest for me. I want a beam!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My fav remains the Gundam seed series (that includes its sequel destiny). And yes! Tieria deserves more love. I know people who hate him for some reason….but how? Why? I’ll probably rewatch the entire thing again…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I watched both seasons and although I like the animation and English voice acting, the whole idea of eradicating war with war is really, well… stupid. I really cannot feel any sympathy to their cause and their actions caused more damage than to help, and this also changed some characters horribly that were not even involved in the fray to add more chaos to the world which is divided due to conflicts of beliefs and inability to accept nor compromise. They did redeemed themselves by season 2 but it was their own dang fault the world changed dynamically to a far worse state and I cannot feel sorry for any of the “good” members of celestial being getting wasted. After all, they tried to fix something that does need fixing and they knew what was coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand what you’re getting at. As for me, I sympathized with almost all the characters. All of the groups have their own reasons for fighting and resisting, and trying to achieve their goals. I think that’s the beauty of Gundam 00. You can’t just side completely with a single group. All good and bad qualities are on full display. I like complex stories like this because it really kind of mirrors what happens in real life. There’s not a group that is all bad and not a group that is all good. I detest Celestial Being’s method, but I like their vision of a war-free world. On the other hand, I also see myself on the side of the superpowers. I think that if an organization suddenly declares that they would eradicate war using war, I would fight to defend my security along with my nation. So I understand both sides. Anyway, thanks for dropping by and commenting. I appreciate it. Cheers!

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  5. This was a great post. While it seems like the show leaves the viewers with some answers and many questions (which isn’t a bad thing in this case since it makes us think), Gundam 00 provides some insight into the query, “Does might make right?”

    The answer to that question isn’t straightforward and your blog post has captured that sort of ambiguity quite well.

    Thanks for sharing! Woo!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yay Gundam :D. That’s why I love gundam with all it’s moral complexity and stuff.

    And you are right. Peace through out the world is a good goal, but peace through force is still fundamentally terrible and flawed. Distrupters indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting post! And written so well! I haven’t gotten into any of the gundams but this post gives me a reason to consider watching it. I enjoyed reading your spin on the ‘disruptor’ topic! I’m feeling rather inspired right now! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Hazelyn! I appreciate it. Please do try watching Gundam 00. It really messes up with morality. So interesting but also so human. There are people who hate it because of this, but I love it for this reason. I hope that you get to watch it when you have the chance. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I watched most of the Gundam Series but
    Gundam OO – Season 1 & Season 2 = were the best among them
    Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans – Season 1 = were 2nd best for me

    In the Setsyuna F.Seiei becomes a INNOVATOR !

    Guys Do watch Gundam OO the Movie – A Wakening of the Trailblazer…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh. I know, right? That Trailblazer film was awesome! I love it. Gundam 00 is my favourite so far. I have not watched Iron-Blooded Orphans yet but it’s the next Gundam anime that I plan to watch when I get the chance. I’m looking forward to it. Thank you for dropping by. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have never seen a Gundam show, simply because I don’t quite know where to start. There are so many different versions of this series that it at times is quite overwhelming. That said, reading through this post, it sounds like a universe I would very much like to visit. Always like series where the lines are a bit blurry, about whi is right and who is wrong. Great post 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahaha! That was exactly how I felt like before diving into the Gundam anime franchise. So overwhelming, isn’t it? I really enjoyed Gundam 00. It’s my favourite so far. I love the extreme blur of morality, although some Gundam fans despise it because the Gundam pilots were tainted with the title “terrorists” in this series. I hope you watch it someday. I don’t know if you’ll like it as much as I did, but it’s definitely worth watching. Thank you very much for dropping by and commenting. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. That’s why I love Gundam 00. It’s just so murky. You can’t decide whether the protagonists are good or bad. They’re both. But this is also the reason why some absolutely hate this series. Perhaps they don’t like the protagonists to be the “bad guys”, no matter what the reasons are. I love rewatching this whenever I have the time because it just resonates to our humanity. Anyway, thanks very much for dropping by. I hope that one day you get to watch Gundam 00. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am all for the murky waters! I agree I think it gives a more realistic view of humans. I also feel like I learn more about myself when I watch shows like this. Considered this added to the every growing list of shows to watch! ^.^/

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I wondered if Gundam would get a look in on this tour when you were all looking at disruptors. Gundam 00 is a really interesting choice for this discussion. So many questions raised by the show and it really doesn’t seem interested in answering them only making you question the morality of the different situations.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love that if Gundam ever read this post and take a look at our Disruptors blog tour. I think most of the Gundam anime, if not all of them, tackle this theme of Disruptors. Indeed, you’re right. Watching this show can really disturb you, so much so that I have encountered quite a few other Gundam fans who absolutely hate Gundam 00 because they don’t like that the Gundams are doing “terrorist” actions. It just messes up the boundaries of what is moral and what is not. So intriguing. Have you watched it? If not yet, I hope that you do. Thanks for dropping by. I appreciate it. Cheers !

      Like

      1. I love 00 but I’ve so far only reviewed the first half of it. I meant to get back to the second half but haven’t had time to rewatch it and my memory of it is too sketchy to review it from that. Will get around to it eventually.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a very interesting post on Gundam 00. I don’t really have much experience or knowledge for the series but I always thought there would be sides of the story. Based on what I read, it seems as though there are multiple sides and they are more gray than black and white sides. These Celestrial Beings are very interesting. They want peace but they do it from brutalities on both parties. It kind of makes us wonder, how far do we go for peace and is violence necessary?
    Overall, great blog tour Arria!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, bro. So far it’s my favourite Gundam anime. I love it because like you said, it has multiple sides and gray areas especially when it comes to morality. But because of these same reasons, there are others who hate this anime because they see Celestial Being as plain terrorists. I think this is one of the anime that you need to watch at least 3 episodes or more in order to really understand the characters, especially the protagonists which seem to be the villains at first. It’s so interesting and confusing. It really affects you, I think, since the war in the anime is so similar to the wars we are having right now in the real world. I hope that you get to watch Gundam 00 one of these days. I don’t know of you’ll like it as much as I did, but it’s worth watching. Thanks for dropping by, Matt. I appreciate it. And of course, you did a great job starting our tour off. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cheers sister Arria! Based on your post, this anime does tackle on gray spots. In the past anime I seen, I usually see good vs evil but it’s interesting to see anime tackle on situations in which there is no perfect good or evil. I think what makes Gundam interesting is because each side has a goal in which they think is good. I only seen Iron Blooded Orphans but I can see how that and this anime can talk heavily about war and terrorism.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When I was little, I saw some Gundam but I couldn’t understand because it focused on the politics and social warfare. Now that we are older, we can see how things can be similar to us.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t want to fight wars, too. But I would love to go to space if given the chance. I’m actually bordering on obsessed with space right now. Have you watched the anime Space Brothers? It’s super cool. It reawakened my interest in space. Right now I’m watching a lot of space documentaries and reading astronaut books.

        Liked by 1 person

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