Plot Summary:2312 A.D. Four years have passed since the final battle between Celestial Being and the UN Forces. Humanity, after having established the Earth Sphere Federation, forms an independent security force, A-LAWS, separate from the formal Federation army to further unify nations and the will of mankind. But in reality it is simply inhumane oppressing anti-government powers, doctrines, and ideologies in the name of unity. Setsuna F. Seiei, after surviving the battle four years ago, has decided to once again fight with his Gundam. - ANN
In the four years since the catastrophe that was Operation Fallen Angels, certain members of Celestial Being have gone missing. Saji Crossroad has realized his dream of working in space, but ends up being associated with an anti-A-Laws dissident group called Katharon. Because Saji is caught simply talking to the Katharon member, he and the other man are taken to a high gravity mining satellite as punishment. Unbeknownst to Saji, Setsuna is in the process of infiltrating the satellite, his Gundam stashed safely (don't ask me how that works) outside. Setsuna ends up wreaking havoc on the place, rescuing Saji, and taking him back to the Ptolemaios II.
The next item of business is to strengthen Celestial Being's numbers once again, so Setsuna sets out to replace their sniper, Lockon. Somehow he tracks down Neil's twin, Lyle. Setsuna informs Lyle that Neil was killed in action. Setsuna leaves in order to give Lyle time to take care of any immediate priorities, and later that evening Lyle is shown making a call to some unknown person, leaving a message asking them to contact him as soon as possible.
In the short time Setsuna is waiting for Lyle to wrap up his personal affairs, Setsuna goes to find Tactical Forecaster Sumeragi Lee Noriega (real name Leesa Kujo), who has been living with Billy, and has really hit the bottle hard since last she was seen. Reluctantly, and not at all sober, Sumeragi goes back with Setsuna, Lyle joins them, and plans begin to rescue Allelujah and Marina Ismail, who has been taken into custody because of her prior interactions with Setsuna.
From there, the presence of the A-Laws continues to complicate things. No longer is Celestial Being conducting interventions as they were before, but instead form an alliance with a rebel dissident group called Katharon.
In the process of all this, relationships are formed and ultimately destroyed. New crew members are introduced; Mechanical Engineer Ian Vashti's wife Linda, and their young daughter Mileina, as well as Anew Returner who was coincidentally (no, not really) recommended by Veda. During a mission, Allelujah is reunited with a girl from his past named Marie Parfacy, who like himself has a split personality and is herself a super soldier. (Marie/Soma was a main character in season one, but as I said detailing everyone's role would take forever.) At times, Lyle and Anew are seen in brief conversation, Lyle obviously making good use of the Dylandy charm. About half way through the season it is very evident the two have become lovers, even amongst all the chaos.
Meanwhile on the military side of things, it is revealed early on that Sergei Smirnov (I haven't said much about him but he is pretty awesome) has a son, Andrei who also serves in the military. Unfortunately, they are barely on speaking terms because of something that happened years earlier.
In addition to the menacing shadow of the A-Laws, the Innovades are preparing to take center stage. In partnership with the A-Laws, their leader and self proclaimed savior of humanity Ribbons Almark along with other strategically placed Innovades are slowly wearing Celestial Being and Katharon down. The A-Laws have constructed a hellaciously destructive particle beam weapon by the name of Memento Mori which it uses to wipe out any country that oopses it.
Tieria finally finds out what his supposed purpose in life is, and is forced to decide between joining Ribbons, or staying the course with Celestial Being, while at the same time Setsuna, after a confrontation with Ali al Saschez and Ribbons, is undergoing a transformation. Here's a hint:
Naturally the Gundams have been rebuilt. I assume from the ground up since all of them with the exception of Virtue were pretty much trashed in season one. Exia transitions to Double O (GN-000), with an add-on dubbed 00 Raiser. Dynames, if my understanding is correct, was all but totally destroyed. Lyle pilots its successor Cheridum (GN-006) which is a bit more of a multitasker than Dynames was. Alle/Halle also get a new model named Arios (GN-007). And last but not least is Tieria's new machine, Seravee/Seraphim (GN-008). All of the new Gundams have an advantage that makes them all invincible for a limited amount of time. This is called the Trans-AM system. (No I am not kidding.) Not only does it make the suit invincible, but it also can cause the pilot to have an out of body experience when under extreme stress. It psychically links with the enemy, causing dreamy, shiny nakedness. That is not to say just any enemy, but rather the people who have been torn apart by fate, ending up on different sides of what they feel is the right path in life.
Now, I have issues with the latter part. So yeah, I get the relevance of the shiny nakedness. My gripe is this: I don't need to see more than one character experiencing such a thing. Once would have been fine for Setsuna, but I didn't need to see Saji and Louse naked and shiny. And in all honesty, yes I was just crazy about Neil, and since Lyle is his twin I have the same amount of affection for him as well. He and Anew were adorable together, but seriously, I didn't want to see them like that. Not that there's any real detail, but I still think the animators went a bit overboard here. The episode the above pic was taken from also comes with wide angle full body shot, but again no detail. Thank the anime gods for small favors.
I gave this season a higher rating because even though it follows the same formula, the events run a lot more smoothly, making everything easier to follow. The animation and voice acting is still outstanding, and there are quite a few twists and turns, some you will see coming, others you won't. While I love the character development and interactions, the whole season is very fast paced. Each episode runs about twenty four minutes, but they're over before you know it. At the end of the final episode, my advice is to let it run the entire time because the movie will be for shadowed.
I have no idea how much canon romance the other Gundam shows have in them. I know that much of Gundam Wing's relationships were rather vague, and even the canon ones like Zechs and Noin weren't elaborated on that much. Speaking on a personal level, the fact that Gundam 00 has canon established pairings makes it that much better-because when they end it's nothing short of heartbreaking. In this way, the characters become three dimensional and extremely easy to identify with. I've seen a lot of anime over the years. Most I liked, but only a select few I've become addicted to so that I spend hours re-watching. Gundam Wing was the first. Gundam 00 is the second, and my absolute favorite obsession.