After War Gundam X

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Is there a Moon?
...the Moon will always be there...
Narrator

After War Gundam X (Kidou Shinseiki Gundam X, lit. "Mobile New Century Gundam X") is the seventh, and shortest, Gundam TV Series. The story follows a group of scavengers called Vultures on a hunt to protect Newtypes. The series background involves a violent war 15 years earlier that killed nearly every human, in earth and space. It was not, as some had predicted, the end of the world. Instead, the apocalypse was simply the prologue to another bloody chapter in human history. And Gundam? Gundam never changes. Despite the grim premise, Gundam X retains a shockingly optimistic tone.

While scheduled for 49 episodes, it was cut short down to 39 due to Executive Meddling. Despite this resulting in the final arc being compressed from a planned 12 episodes to a mere 3, Gundam X managed to have an entirely coherent (if rushed) ending. It's sequel manga "Under The Moonlight", has become quite popular, and appearences in the Super Robot Wars games have gained it more popularity in recent years.

Tropes used in After War Gundam X include:
  • After the End: 99% of the Earth's population got wiped out in mass Colony Drop before the series even began. Welcome to a Planetary scope and Species Extinction scale Apocalypse How.
  • Alternate Continuity / Alternate Universe: In addition to being an alternate Gundam timeline, the series' backstory strongly resembles a worst-case scenario version of the original series.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Tifa is fixated on her creepy drawings & her soft, loose-fitting wardrobe looks like something a girl with sensory integration issues would wear. Par for the course with Newtype kids, really, though.
  • Attack Drone: More like Mobile-Suit-sized Attack Drones: the G-Bits.
    • Too bad Jamil shoots them down after they help him fend off a horde of grunts.
      • It helps that in Super Robot Wars and in the G-Generation series of games you can get them as a (secret) attack (for the Gundam X/DX) or build a squadron of them, respectively.
  • Badass: The Captain Jamil Neate - what can you say about someone who is as jaded as an older Amuro Ray, wears Quattro Bajeena's sunglasses and knocks some sense into those who need it a la Bright Noah, all the while sporting Hotblooded Sideburns?
  • Badass Normal: Garrod
  • Bait and Switch Credits: Unlike what the opening would lead you to believe, only a handful of episodes in the final stretch take place in space. The Freeden is also a land vehicle and is destroyed just prior to Garrod reaching space.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 16
  • Beware the Superman: An midway example of this trope in that the existence of Newtypes has made the world worse off, but this is primarily because of opportunistic politicians and militaries exploiting the concept of Newtypes to advance their own agendas rather than any direct actions of the Newtypes.
  • BFG: The GX's Satelite Cannon, the X Divider's Harmonica Cannon, Double X's Twin Satellite Cannon, and the Satellite Launcher, which requires both Ashtaron Hermit Crab (the launcher itself) and Virsago Chest Break (the Microwave absorbing apparatus) to connect with each other before it can be used.
    • The Hermit Crab's Satellite Cannon can be used by itself in the G-Generation series of games, however it packs a much weaker punch than if used in tandem with the Virsago Chest Break.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Subverted because the younger brother is the one who fiercely adores and protects the other.
  • Book End: The series begins and ends with two Federation soldiers boasting about being Newtypes who fought in the previous war.
    • Variant: The title of the first episode is the question 'Is There a Moon?', and the title of the final episode is the reassurance that 'The Moon Will Always Be There'.
  • Broken Bird: Ennil El. Jamil is a rare male version of this.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Jamil suffered brain damage & lost his Newtype powers during the war.
  • Canon Immigrant: SD Gundam G Generation introduced the Gundam Belphagor, a brother unit to the GX, Airmaster, and Leopard, and the basis of the Frosts' Gundams. It later joined X canon thanks to sequel manga Under the Moonlight.
  • The Captain: Jamil is this for the majority of the show until he regains his piloting ability and is upgraded to near-Sixth Ranger status.
  • Char Clone: Jamil Neate was designed as this, although he also shows a little Bright Noa.
    • Lancerow was to Jamil during the 7th Space War what Char was to Amuro during the One Year War.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Roybea Loy, hits on many girls and cared for them... repeatedly dumped. He does, however, finally get lucky at series' end.
  • Colony Drop: This is Gundam, after all, and X has the biggest one in the franchise; the backstory is that numerous colonies were successfully dropped, to the point that humanity itself is an endangered species.
  • Cool Big Sis: Lucille Lilliant. Before her Girl in a Box years.
  • Cool Shades: Jamil wears them. He ditches them at the start of the last episode, though.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Toniya.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: The Correl (see Fragile Speedster below) is armed with nothing but a weak beam dagger, meaning this is the only way it can destroy an enemy MS (they even say the trope name).
  • Disk One Final Boss: The battle in episode 4 and 5. The way Episode 5 ends makes you think the show ended here... until the black screen with white letters saying PREVIEW comes up. And if you didn't know there are 39 episodes.
  • Everyone Can See It: Between Garrod and Tiffa, so much so that several episodes feature Shipper on Deck moments revolving around the two.
  • Evolving Credits: In the first opening, Dreams, Gundam X's appearance changes to that of the X-Divider after being rebuilt in the aftermath of the fight against Carris. It also promotes the Frost brothers to the opening as well. The opening changes * again* , showing the silhouette of Gundam Double X once they start mentioning it. The second opening, Resolution, changes once, replacing Leopard with Leopard Destroy as well as briefly showing the G-Falcon.
  • Expy: Lancerow Dowell is the requisite Char Clone, but Jamil is the series' first ever Amuro Clone (with Quattro's shades, a less crippling version of Kamille's brain injury and Bright's pimp hand). Ennil El even has a few trappings of Ramba Ral in her, down to using blue robots and bonding with Toniya over some drinks with neither one realizing who the other is. Ennil also shares Ramba's affinity for grenades. Fortunately, it ends much better for her.
    • In the realm of mecha let's not forget the Leopard, which is an as-close-to-blatant-but-not-really Expy to Heavy Arms. Down to the knife. This is even lampshaded in Super Robot Wars.
    • Lancerow may be A CHAR, but physically he looks like a redheaded Trieze Khushrenada. Ironically, one of Treize's aides late in Gundam Wing looks like Olba, though this may have been intentional (as with G Gundam's final episodes).
    • The G-Falcon unit is similar in form and functionality to that of the G-Armor, only the G-Falcon was built to support three Gundam Class Mobile Suits instead of a prototype.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Ennil and Dr. Tex Farzenberg
  • Five-Man Band: Towards the end in regards to the main pilots.
  • Foreign Language Theme: The first ending theme ("Human Touch"), sung in English (by Warren Wiebe).
  • Four Is Death: The Estard Arc
  • Fragile Speedster: The Correl, a Mobile Suit stripped of all excess weight, giving it insane running speed. After doing a fine job nearly totaling the Double X, it gets blown to bits. By VULCANS.
  • Frontier Doctor: Tex Farzenberg. Also a Warrior Therapist.
  • Funbag Airbag: Happens twice with Garrod and Pala.
  • Genki Girl: Toniya and Pala.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Jamil (and Dr. Farzenberg) does this to Garrod more than once in the series when the kid goes out of line.
    • Mind you, Jamil even passes on this epic manly philosophy into Garrod before Garrod faces Carris once more in a manner most awesome: "When a man strays from the right path, a kind man needs the courage to raise his fist and correct him." Garrod doesn't actually punch people to get them into shape, but his actions after Jamil's advice prove that those words really did have a positive effect on him.
  • Lady In a Capsule: Poor Lucille.
  • Global Currency: Averted. In episode 20, when the Frieden arrives at a prosperous port city, the crew is shown exchanging their currency at a booth.
  • Grand Theft Me: Since she's kept inside a capsule, Lucille uses her powers to possess Tiffa's body and use her as a medium so she can reach for her "little brother" Jamil.
  • Gundam vs. Series: The GX (can turn into Divider) and Virsago are in Gundam vs Gundam NEXT, with the Double X recently revealed as a Bonus Boss.
    • Extreme Vs has both the Virsago and Double X, with the Ashtaron and G-Bits as assist units.
  • Guns Akimbo: Gundam Leopard is just loaded with almost all kinds of gunnery a la Heavyarms. Airmaster is Dual-Wielding two guns.
  • Happy Ending: A rare one for Gundam. Olba and Shagia are defeated, the Satellite System is destroyed, the NUNE and the Colonies make peace, and the various couples live on happily in a recovering world...oh, and did I mention all the main characters live? Kill'Em All Tomino wouldn't ever have let that happen.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Averted. Garrod realizes after losing to Carris that unless he trains furiously in simulators to get used to fighting against Bits, he's never going to win against a Newtype.
    • Also partially subverted when he sees the solution to those pesky Bits in action; by Jamil, no less.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Katokk
  • Heroic BSOD: Garrod, after Tiffa is kidnapped and sent into space. Doesn't last very long though.
  • Hot-Blooded: Garrod Ran and Witz Sou
  • Humungous Mobile Armor: The Newtype-driven Patulia. At 617 meters, it's as big as the SDF-1.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every single episode title is a line spoken in that episode.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Tiffa, but just once. When she went skinny-dipping with Newtype dolphins.
  • It Runs in The Family: The Frost Brothers
  • I Uh You Too: Garrod and Tiffa.
  • Kid Hero: Garrod Ran.
  • Karma Houdini: Neatly subverted. The Frost brothers survive the final battle, Olba without a scratch and Shagia only bound to a wheelchair. However, this is arguably the cruelest punishment for a Gundam villain ever. They get to survive, to see all their plans and efforts to bring about a war that would destroy civilization fail, with both Spacenoids and Earthnoids restoring peace with each other and the Newtypes that they hate so very much able to live happily and not be abused as tools for war.
    • I think this can also be interpreted as an opportunity for the Frost Brothers to change their point of view on the world. After all, most of Gundam X is about second chances.
  • Lighter and Softer: As noted in spite of its post-apocalyptic setting, X is one of the most upbeat and optimistic series in the entire Gundam franchise. All the main characters in it get to live, make the world a better place then it once was and receive happy endings.
  • MacGuffin Girl: To a degree, Tiffa and Lucille.
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: The Divider set for the GX, which removes its (now broken) Satellite Cannon and original Beam Rifle, opting out for a stronger beam assault rifle, an extra Beam Saber, and a shield which mounts flight-capable thrusters, as well as the "Beam Harmonica" Divider Cannon. The G-Falcon counts as one too, able to attach to a Gundam Airmaster to boost its mobility, a Gundam X/DX to increase its total available firepower, or a Gundam Leopard to give it a means of flight.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Garrod eventually ditches the GX for the Double X once he steals it from the New Federation.
    • The Divider simultaneously plays this straight and averts this. Compared to its original form, the X Divider is more mobile, has more conventional firepower, and is overall a better option for straight-up battles. However, its Harmonica Cannon is downright pathetic compared to the raw firepower of the Satellite Cannon and would in theory be useless against Colony Drops. Fortunately (sort of), there aren't many colonies left to drop by that point, so it's not an issue.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Gable, one of the Psycho for Hire MS used in the Estard arc, fits this trope to a tee, being gigantic, heavily armored, and using a beam deflection system for further defense. It doesn't even use weapons; instead battling enemy MS with nothing more than its titanic fists.
  • More Dakka: The Gundam Leopard - which is somewhat fitting since it plays the role of fire support.
  • Mythology Gag: It wouldn't be a Gundam series without several of these to the original series.
    • During the Estardo arc, the Frost Brothers promise potential Newtypes a two-rank promotion if they defeat Garrod. Ramba Ral was similarly offered one.
    • In episode 31, when faced with mobile suits equipped with beam rifles while trying to destroy a space shuttle to prevent Garrod from making it into space to chase after Tifa, Shagia Frost, in his red Virsago, takes down one of the mobile suits and declares, "It doesn't matter how powerful your weapon is if you can't hit me!" Remind you of what a red-mobile-suit-piloting Commander said in the second episode of a previous series?
    • Episode 32, Lancelow Dowell's flashback of the previous war is entirely this: at the end of the last war, the experienced lead ace of the space colonies fights the teenage Newtype ace of the Federation, piloting a mobile suit carrying finger-mounted beam weapons, and escapes death due to the head-mounted cockpit, while the Federation's Gundam ends up losing its left arm and head in the fight. Shades of RX-78-2 vs. Zeong indeed...
  • Mr. Fixit: Kid Salsamille.
  • Mysterious Waif: Tiffa, for her powers and her shyness.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Fixx Bloodman comes to mind.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Arguably, by turning their Satellite Launcher on Bloodman and Zidel, the only two who really wanted to go to war, the Frost Brothers did more to pave the way for peace than any other single action in the series.
  • No Export for You: An example that absolutely mystifies most fans and drives them batty. It's a show set largely in America, it's stylistically very similar to the incredibly popular and successful Gundam Wing, it's highly regarded by everyone who has watched it... and Bandai absolutely refuses to bring it over. They won't even discuss it at conventions (and it gets brought up a lot). Granted, the pre-digital animation would probably look a little rough today, but why the show didn't come over in 2001 or so confounds nearly everyone. The only explanation most people have been able to come up with is that the Bandai execs can't get past their own dislike of the show and see how it could appeal greatly to another market.
    • The smash hit of Gundam Wing was probably the only part of introducing the Gundam franchise to America that Bandai didn't botch. They just don't (or can't) understand that the American anime market differs from the Japanese market, and a show that fared poorly in Japan can do well in America.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Garrod usually replies to an enemy with either this or Shut UP, Hannibal.
  • People Jars: Lucille Lilliant, Jamil's Cool Big Sis and first love, was put in a coma and placed in a capsule in suspended animation
  • Playing Against Type: Mika Kanai, Tiffa's seiyuu, is best known for her archetypal Genki Girl performances. Here, she's playing a painfully shy and softspoken lass. Likewise, Chieko Honda's previous Gundam role was Genki Girl Elpeo Puru which is in stark contrast to Ennil El.
  • Psychic Powers: And then goes on to debunk the concept of Newtypes being THE next step of humanity's evolution in the last episode.
    • Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't DOME say that Newtypes were A possible evolution of humanity, but not THE next evolution of humanity?
      • DOME discounts the idea that Newtypes or anybody else are "more evolved" than other humans. Psychic powers are no different from something like above-average intelligence; it's just a talent, not a sign of the next step in evolution.
  • Psycho for Hire: In a twist, the Estard arc (eps. 25-28) sees the Frosts sending psychotic Newtype candidates against the Freeden; while they already work for the New UNE, they're promised a two-rank promotion if they destroy the Double X. Also somewhat crosses into Monster of the Week.
  • Razor Floss: Weapon of Choice of Dweyt Langraf in episode 27.
  • Relationship Voice Actor: Toshiyuki Morikawa (Shagia) and Nozomu Sasaki (Olba) often play either best friends or brothers.
  • Sapient Cetaceans: One arc has a Mysterious Waif actually talk to dolphins, presumably with her Psychic Powers. The arc also includes a white dolphin, which seems to be psychic itself.
  • Scavenger World: there's so much scavenging going on, there's a name for doing so. Vultures.
  • Screwed by the Network: Sadly.
    • Yet the director and writers manage to resolve all the romantic subplots AND pull out a convincing ending in 39 episodes (given its premature cancellation). Talk about a Crowning Moment of Awesome for the staff.
      • Made more impressive because the series was penned single-handedly by Hiroyuki Kawasaki. And he didn't know somewhere around episode 30 that he'd only have 9 more episodes to finish things up; prior to that he thought he'd be getting the Gundam standard of around 50 episodes.
      • And more impressive because while Jamil Neate can be arguably an amalgamation of the early UC protagonists, he ends up as a well-written character on his own.
  • Screw Destiny: Every time a Newtype gets worried about a terrible future or event coming, Garrod leads the charge to avert the crisis. DOME eventually states in the final episode that those views of the future will not become true unless people actively takes steps to achieve that future.
  • Shout-Out: It's Gundam, so there are a few.
    • One notable is the Psycho for Hire Mobile Suit, Gable, probably named after the psychotic Ace Pilot Yazan Gable from Z Gundam.
    • Gundam Leopard is a Gundam Heavy-Arms Custom.
    • Gundam Airmaster is a Re-GZ remake in its Waverider mode, while a Zeta remake in its Mobile Suit mode.
    • Gundam Virsago is a Palette Swap of the Shenlong Gundam from Gundam W.
    • The G-Bits resemble GM's.
    • There is an operation before the colony drop where the Colonies send out 5 prototype mobile suits to attack the Earth. Turns out they were all destroyed when they entered the atmosphere.
    • In the beginning of the first episode, we see hundreds of Mobile Suits that look like Zaku IIs and Gelgoogs. The Daughtress bears resemblance to the GM.
    • Jamil Neate. Just, Jamil Neate.
    • The entire backstory is the beginning of the year 0079 of the Universal Century, only with slightly updated graphics and different Mobile Suits... And more Gundams.
    • Carris' Mobile Suit when we first meet him is pretty much a re-painted Dom or Dowadge. Only with Bits instead of a large rocket launcher.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: Garrod's go to response for a Hannibal Lecture, "The Reason You Suck" Speech or Motive Rant.
  • Super Robot Wars: Debuted in Alpha Gaiden, also shows up in Reversal and the Z series.
  • This Is Reality: In episode 10, Garrod duels his first Newtype opponent, Carris, and declares that even a Newtype won't beat him. Cue a brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that utterly wrecks the Gundam X before Carris combines this kind of speech with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: See Colony Drop, which was so extensive that it exterminated over 99% of humanity.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Inevitable because the series hasn't been brought stateside.
  • The Starscream: The Frost Brothers
  • The Stoic: Jamil Neate. Quite a contrast with his Cheerful Child former self...
  • Shrinking Violet: Tiffa Adill, after spending years as a lab rat because of her powers, develops almost crippling shyness and fear of people. Can't really blame her.
  • Stripperiffic: Ennil El is one of the few pilots in Gundam history who strips down when piloting her robot.
  • Suicide by Cop: An episode's title is: "I'm a Fool; Shoot Me".
  • Super Robot Wars: Has appeared in Alpha Gaiden, R and more recently Z and Z2.
  • Tag-Team Twins: The Frost Brothers.
  • Taking the Bullet: Shagia takes an energy blast for Olba. Who does NOT respond well.
  • There Is a God: Episode 1, when Garrod tries to use the controller he stole to activate the Gundam... and it works.

Garrod: (thinking to himself) If this works, I'll believe in God! ... "Tiffa! I believe in God!"

Shagia: Im-impossible! We're supposed to be in control of the Satellite System!
Olba: Brother!
Shagia: SHOOT THE DOUBLE X!
Olba: But it hasn't charged yet!
Shagia: I DON'T CARE!!!!!!!!

  • Yandere: Olba Frost may count as one of the rare male examples. Ennil El goes through a phase of this early on as well... although people don't seem to remember that as well (because the episode where she makes friends with Toniya overshadows all that).