Mamerto Adan is an engineer by profession, but a writer by night. He loves toys and knives, and has a martial arts background.
Whenever I watch the Gundam series, all I care about are the giant robots. I mean they could insert whatever themes they like, be it the ravages of war, terrorism, or whatever wild ideas they wish. Just make sure that the mechas look good enough. But apart from flying mobile suits ripping each other apart, I always get some undesirable bonuses that I never asked for. The thing about the Gundam series is that, although it revolves around the central anti-war theme, the people behind are not afraid to explore new ideas.
And the results may shock you.
Gundam Wing, my first introduction to the Gundam world is meek compared to the other surprises lurking in their twisted world. I mean just look at the SEED series, with its collection of surprisingly gory deaths, and scenes not suitable for innocent minds (I’m looking at you Kira and Flay, stop what you are doing right now). Earlier Gundam series were even known for their depressing deaths and shocking violence, but sometimes, you don’t need melodrama or adult scenes to make the fans go wild.
Gundam 00 series had a lot of fanservices, with the protagonists’ Captain Sumeragi being the biggest of them. But fans agree that the crown for the prettiest and the hottest belongs to someone else. Tieria Erde is indeed beautiful! In fact, the name means “Earth Angel” and a deserving one indeed. But there is one problem, Tieria is a dude. Not just a dude, but a violent one. And fans went crazy on what Tieria wore in a dance party, during one episode in season 2.
Traps in the Gundam World
For a boy’s anime, the Gundam series has a large population of bishounens, but they won’t be taking center stage until Gundam Wing took flight. But even by Bishounen standards, Gundam pretty boys are still rough and hard, almost close to being a shonen, and it’s clear that they are not a reject from a Magic Girls universe.
But then came the Turn A Gundam.
Loran Cehack was never a psychotic samurai like Heeri Yui. He counts as a Bishounen, but fans know all too well that he deserves to be called a male Bishoujo. He holds several records in the Gundam world. He is the only main protagonist that looks like a girl, the prettiest Gundam protagonist in the 90s and the only one bold enough to cross dress in a convincing manner.
Loran have earned both the admirations, and the ridicule of the fans, but he eventually carved himself a place among the pantheons of the Gundam pilots. Over the years though, no one challenged Loran for being the prettiest trap in the Gundam universe. Gundam SEED came close, with their own army of effeminate soldiers like Yzak Jule, though no one was brave enough to show up in women’s clothes.
But a pilot from Gundam 00 dethroned Loran for being the prettiest.
Tieria is not the person to mess with. Earlier in Gundam 00, he was a virtual jerk among the Meisters. He was stoic, strict, self-righteous, and lacking trust. His ego was further inflated by the fact that he could connect to Veda, while the sole reason he hanged around with mere humans is because he needs them. And he had no trouble killing anyone, if he became a burden to his plans. Nevertheless, he warmed up to his fellow Meisters, and learned to respect them after they stood up behind him when Veda was stolen.
For a suit, he pilots an imposing, but odd Nadleeh (with Virtue inside) and Seravee (also with a concealed Seraphim). Both are built like tanks, with a hidden unit lurking inside, and packs the heaviest blast among the Meister suits. In the Trailblazer film, he sports a slimmer Raphael.
There is no denying that Tieria is a hard character, far rougher than the likes of Kira Yamato. But on the outside, let’s just say that Loran just met her match. People reckoned that he is the prettiest in the Gundam 00 universe, even prettier than the already eye popping Sumeragi. His choice of wardrobe in Season 1 never helped either, which so resembled the getup of a strict high school council president. He did don a more manly outfit in season 2, until they infiltrated a party hosted by A-Laws.
The One Fateful Episode
Be warned though, of the possible spoilers. But the eight episode of season two raised a lot of eyebrows, especially the party scene. Now, A-laws sets up this ball, and the Meisters need to go undercover. So, they sent their boys Setsuna and Tieria to infiltrate that dance party. But they need to go there unnoticed, so they dressed up like high class guests. Setsuna showed up in the usual formal attire, but Tieria upped the ante and decided to add extra disguises.
To be short, Tieria came to the dance party in gown.
His disguise was so convincing, that I thought Gundam 00 had a new character. I mentioned that Tieria got extra accessories, and I’m still wondering how he changed his voice and got himself a fine set of b***s.
And I almost thought that he and Ribbon would kiss as they dance!
As expected, the reactions were epic. I mean Tieria was already too pretty from the start, that he already inspired a lot of fan-made yaoi. And now, the yaoi fans got what they always wanted, to have Tieria dressed up like a chick. And do note that despite being effeminate, Tieria is not a delicate little flower, seen on how he acted like a jerk in the first episodes of season 1.
Yet, a lot of Gundam fans are not yaoi followers, and reactions vary from getting freaked out, to getting fits of laughter. In my case, I have both reactions, from having goosebumps on how Tieria made himself so lady-like to rolling on the floor. I mean, what the heck was Bandai thinking? I have a feeling that it got to do with fanservice, to please the yaoi people, and to gain a female fandom.
I believe that Tieria’s outfit was never the theme of the episode. Whether you got chills or not, Tieria’s creepy attire became the highlight of the day, and the talk of the town for years to come. And by the looks of it, the scene became a classic, and will count as one of Gundam’s oddest moment. Here, we got a character that demands to be taken seriously, only to cross dress in a party.
Sorry Loran, but Tieria just stole your crown.