MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: THE SECOND CENTURY (PART 2: THE SECOND CENTURY)
If you’ve clicked on this thread, a reasonable assumption is that you have already read Mobile Suit Gundam: The Second Century Part 1: Prelude 0099 and enjoyed that story, and that’s why you’re here for Part 2.
If you aren’t interested in reading about the genesis of this story, then go right on ahead and skip to Episode 1.
For the rest of you, however, here is how this story came to be and some of my thoughts on the story.
Although Part 2 is the second part of the saga, it was the first to be written. Part 2 was actually what I started with when I first began writing this story in 1991, and by the time I finished around 1994, I had 50 episodes (then intending it as a screenplay for an anime television series). Even before I finished writing the 50 episodes, however, I knew that I wanted to provide more of a backstory for the characters of Jolie Minh and Athena Ibaz and hence, beginning in 1994 and until 1996, I wrote Part 1 (which is now complete and available elsewhere on the Fanfic Forum at the link given above).
The central character of Part 1 was Athena Ibaz (Minerva Zabi), and Part 1 revolved around the beginning and early trials of the two young women’s friendship. This is to lay the foundations for much of what comes later (especially in Part 3), but is no longer the focus of Part 2. In Part 2, Jolie Minh takes on a greater role than she did in Part 1, while Athena becomes more of an important supporting character in this round (although there will be a few Athena-centric episodes dead-smack in the middle of Part 2). Additionally, Part 2 introduces the third major character of the saga overall, Jonah Michaels.
So who is Jonah Michaels? Well, to start with, his real name is Jonah Miguel. If you’re a long time Gundam fan, you might be wondering: is Jonah connected in any way to Nanai Miguel from Char’s Counterattack? The answer is yes: Jonah is the youngest of three siblings of which Nanai is the eldest. Jonah and Jolie together are the focus of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Second Century Part 2. They are, in Gundam tradition, destined for a tragic relationship that will change both of them forever. Some might think: is this a repeat of the subplot with Hathaway Noah and Athena Ibaz in Part 1? Not exactly. There are some themes in common between the Hathaway/Athena subplot (which will be resolved in Part 2 and take on greater significance in Part 3), but Hathaway/Athena was just a mild foretaste of what to expect with Jonah/Jolie. For starters, whereas Hathaway was in and out of the Part 1 storyline in two episodes (more or less), Jonah is the FOCUS character (alongside Jolie) in Part 2, and readers will be seeing many events unfold through his and Jolie’s points of view. Part 2 features Jonah and Jolie sharing the story focus and top character billing.
And what of the political backdrop of the story? Old-school Gundam fans will be pleased to know that Part 2 reintroduces the classic Earth Federation/Archduchy of Zeon war that was the focus of classic Gundam in full force. This does not mean that the ISRLA movement introduced in Part 1 becomes irrelevant: FAR from it. The ISRLA will play a crucial role in the second half of Part 2, but what that exact role will be is not to be revealed until near the end of Part 2. The focus of the first half of Part 2, however, is the Federation and the Zeon, and the ISRLA does not become a significant presence in the story until halfway into Part 2.
An important thing to note is that in my original draft of Part 2, there were a total of 50 episodes. In retrospect, a number of those episodes contained fluff and filler that, given the perspective of a decade, serve no useful purpose and that I’m not particularly proud of. They seemed like good ideas at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight, some of them were poorly done and self-indulgent. For these reasons, the final episode count of Part 2 might be 45 or even 40 (I haven’t decided yet) rather the originally-intended 50.
Finally, a continuity point for the sake of clarity: Episode 1 of Part 2 takes place between March and June of U.C. 0098, which means on the timeline, it actually overlaps with the early episodes of Part 1 (i.e. around the time that Jolie first joined the Centurion Team). It is not until Episode 2 of Part 2 that Part 2 “synchs up” with the end of Episode 10 of Part 1 (I hope you’re following all that so far). So don’t let the sequence of events confuse you.
I think that’s enough information to get you all started. Enjoy the story, and please leave comments.
The adventures of Jolie, Athena, and now…JONAH, continue.
Jonah Miguel and Jolie Minh. Lovers in the crossfire of war.