Well the situation from last article has grown very out of control and it’s probably going to get even more intense as we go on… so much so that I have gotten a bit caught up in trying to help research things to aid in the issue. However, despite the fight for the innocent going on, I still have my own job to do, my own stuff to break down. Today I’m going back into Zeta Gundam because like I said before, there are still so many parallels with what we are dealing with today, especially in an era of witch hunts, false flags and violent ‘retribution’ for imagined slights to a self proclaimed ‘victim’.
So today we have one of the primary TITANS pilots and rival to our main character Kamille, Jerid Messa. Now why am I going into Jerid and analyzing his character? While he does get constantly and consistently beaten by Kamille throughout the anime, he also is a brilliant example of a baseline blue pilled person, someone who thinks he knows everything, when he knows and learns nothing throughout his journey. He is unwilling to change, and ultimately dies because he refuses to grow out of his bubble and his initial talent withers. So let’s see how that happens in the series, Let’s Hammer This In!
First some pre-Zeta setup, at the age of 24 Jerid was brought up in a family of trained Federation soldiers at 0063. This would mean that not only did his father likely participate in some early instances of suppressing the people of Side 3, later to be known as Zeon, but that he is the same age as Amuro Ray. This would likely produce, in many people, some cognitive dissonance when they see the more stoic and mature Amuro and the more brash and impulsive Jerid in some of the same battles. Granted, Amuro would have had an entire 4 months of solid combat with little reprieve between the attack on Side 7 and the Battle of A Baoa Qu, while at the time of their in combat meeting, Jerid has just about two months experience plus a few mop up operations.
These are operations that he did well at, after scoring brilliantly at Earth Federal Forces aptitude test. One of them is the one that got him scouted to the TITANS alongside Emma Sheen. Soon after his indoctrination into the elite group, he was sent to Kamille’s colony of Green Noa in Side 7 to train and test-pilot one of three RX-178 Gundam Mk. II units, all sporting the signature black and navy colors of the TITANS rather than the typical parade style coloration of the Gundam class of mobile suits of the Universal Century. We’ve discussed this incident previously with Kamille’s breakdown, but at first Jerid was more than willing to let the shot by Kamille go as just a moody teenager being a moody teenager.
It wasn’t until after he had killed Kamille’s mother Hilda that any sort of rivalry started. Jerid did apologize for leading to the death of Kamille’s parents, for which Kamille forgave him, namely because Jerid foolishly thought the capsul they were in contained only a bomb, not people, and thought he was saving the boy’s life. However Jerid could never let go of Kamille’s seeming arrogance, which was actually more Kamille’s Newtype traits manifesting. Also he felt that a kid that came from engineers beating a ‘born soldier’ so easily dishonored him, forgetting that Amuro Ray, one of the top aces of the One Year War, was the son of the original designer and developer of the RX-78 Gundam series of mobile suits, Dr. Tem Ray.
From this point he would be under the tutelage of One Year War veteran and expert pilot of her Galbaldy Beta, Lila Milla Rira. Often referred to as Lieutenant Lila, she viewed her Junior Grade subordinate as a joke even after he restrained his own pride to ask her for help. She explained to him that fighting in space is far from fighting in Earth’s atmosphere, and you have to feel out the hostile intent around you. This is a tenet of many forms of self defense, and usually many tests of mastery include some demonstration of this concept before one is even considered. In any case, Lila is an Oldtype, someone without the advanced perceptions that several other pilots in the series have. However, while Jerid was grounded from combat, Kamille killed Lila in battle. Jerid becomes unable to let this go and has to white-knight for Lila from this point forward.
Here is a massive difference I notice in the series that I don’t believe is intentional at all. It just happens to be developed on its own organically. In the original set of Universal Century stories (I don’t see this necessarily in either Unicorn or the coming Narrative stories) both Oldtypes and many of the antagonist groups seem to be exceedingly gynocentric. The Principality of Zeon glorified Kycillia Zabi along with Ghiren, and their Neo-Zeon successors all but worship “Princess” Mineva Lao Zabi and her aide, Hamon Karn (which is shown in the latter parts of Zeta Gundam.) The hero teams, however, are very egalitarian. Take the team that ends up going forth from the Argama: they fielded Emma Sheen, Reccoa Londe, and Fa Yuiry readily into combat without a second thought. This is not simply because of low manpower, but because they didn’t once consider gender or its expression into their strategy or ship compliment. Everyone got where they were by merit alone. As such, the AEUG won the GRYPS Conflict.
He didn’t learn things well from seeing that battle, and as such the next time he had a chance at Kamille was when trying to enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Due to his mistakes, a constant partner and close personal friend of his named Kacricon Cacooler dies in re-entry. Kacricon’s ballute pack, which most mobile suits need to re-enter the atmosphere, was shot, and failed, leading to the suit burning up during re-entry. The original RX-78-2 lucked out, because not only did it have a built-in coolant pack, but its shield was able to hold up in one emergency re-entry. If it were any other suit at that time, the unit would have been destroyed just like Kacricon’s Marasai.
After the atmospheric entry, he proceeds to go after the AEUG force led by Quattro and Kamille as they attack the Jaburo headquarters of the Earth Federal Forces, not realizing it was set up as a trap and mostly evacuated for the explosion of a nuclear bomb, violating the Antarctic Treaty signed the better part of a decade earlier. When finding out more about the history of the TITANS, you learn that in 0083 an all but erased project was based partially around a nuclear bazooka that was attached to a specific experimental Gundam. At this point, as far as the Earth Federal Government was concerned, there was no need to honor the Antarctic treaty anymore, due to the Principality of Zeon becoming all but absorbed as the Republic of Zeon, remaining as a puppet state. Universal Century politics are a complete mess.
It’s here that he meets a love interest in the Newtype Mouar Pharaoh, a feeling he chose to reciprocate, and from here proving my tenet of not dating a co-worker solid. In a lunar battle, they both became extremely haphazard and it ends up with Mouar dying to save Jerid, which leaves him even more bitter toward the man who barely even considers him a threat. It was after this that Jerid was sent to Kilimanjaro to heal and train for his next fight with Kamille. It’s at this point that Jerid gains a new personal suit called the Byarlant. He keeps with this suit until nearly the end of the conflict, where he ends up claiming to be a Newtype after killing longtime AEUG pilot and close friend of both Quattro Bajeena and Kamille Bidan: Apolly Bay. For this. Jerid gets the Baund Doc as his final unit. It is in this transforming suit that he dies in a duel against Kamille when his actions and actions of his teammate in this battle, Yazan Gable, lead to the death of his former compatriot and constant flight partner of Kamille – Emma. The battle is short, and even at the end, Jerid curses Kamille for being a barrier to his self-titled ‘greatness.’
Overall, Jerid is the epitome of what I feel many blue pilled men are. He is flawed, self important, and ignorant to what is really going on or the consequences of his actions. He is also an obvious feminist figure, being constantly submissive to women overall. At the same time he projects himself as an Alpha and thinks he is immune to consequences for his actions while everyone else should suffer for their actions. There are times he tries to be humble, but his stubborn pride always gets the better of him, even at death’s door. If I were to describe Jerid Messa with a single word, it would be obtuse. It’s not like he doesn’t have the ability to be a good and intelligent man. It’s that his upbringing and elitist mindset hinder his true talents, partially because until the end, he doesn’t even believe in his own true abilities.
At the beginning, it’s obvious he meant well and was a good man at his core, but as he got exposed to increasingly corrupt individuals and started to lose himself in the conflict, he became a beast of vengeance, fueled purely by his hatred for Kamille, which ate him alive, even more so than most due to his Newtype nature. We have to be vigilant in our own way so we don’t become absorbed like Jerid. Sure, he was blue-pilled the entire time, but obsession over things can easily make us lose ourselves in similar ways. This is why we need to escape every now and again. It’s also why those we find ourselves against keep trying to rob us of such things. They want an army of Jerids for them to use against the rest of us.
February has been a bit crazy I have to say. I think we are at a turning point, it may take me a bit but I will show you what I mean next week. Until then, Please Remember to Game Freely.
Latest posts by Alex Tinsley (see all)
- Breaking the Narrative Episode 124: Nice Try Kotaku! This Won’t Work Though! - July 8, 2019
- Breaking the Narrative Episode 123: We Shouldn’t Go Straight to Mars! How Anime Got Space Right! - July 1, 2019
- Breaking the Narrative Episode 122: You’re Reviewing What Now? The Dissenter Web Browser! - June 10, 2019