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 Fereshte- A self defeating support team?
HellCat Gundam
Posted: Dec 26 2010, 11:21 AM


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Following the completion of the third generation Gundams and the beggining of Celestial Being's public activities, the key surviving members of the development and testing team are organised into the splinter group Fereshte. This group's purpose is stated to be one of covert support for the main Celestial Being organization, providing clean up of their interventions and a trump card of a fifth active Gundam should the worse happen to the main 4-man team of Gundam Meisters.

Despite this, Fereshte seems more inclined to actually work towards hurting its parent. Although they initially follow their role, things quickly become muddled. Fon Spaak, who is only within the group due to having learned of the Gundams existance some years prior and boasting considerable piloting skills himself, is frequently given more command of a group that he is supposed to be taking orders from. Even to the point where Eco, a less skilled pilot but more in tune with the stated ideals, is overlooked to allow Fon to do as he pleases with a Gundam. By the time of the space battle between the UN forces and the Gundams, Fon goes out of his way to not help his fellow Meisters. His allies (and supposed superiors) support this with little to no argument.

Following the battle, Fon is soon the group's leader in all but name. Under his command, they target the secret repair bays intended should the Gundams become seperated and stockpile the parts for their own use. A partial consequence of this is surviving Meister Setsuna having to repair his damaged Gundam Exia with patchwork parts from outdated suits.

Eventually Fon elects to steal the Gundam Astraea and the group's sole GN Drive, attacking the world as he sees fit. Whilst Fereshte leader Chall goes through the motions of classing Fon as a high level traitor, the group still supports him by releasing the support AI Hanayo into his care.

After laying low for some time, Fon re-emerges at the same time the rest of Fereshte (now supposedly reabsorbed back into CB proper) are working secretly with a group of Innovades. Not only do they take money from the group's dwindling cash reserves to provide Fon's Astraea with at least one new weapon but they also work to smuggle one of the Innovades into Celestial Being so that he may alter the mind of Tieria, the group's current leader and commander. Although this does not come to pass, the group still go quite far in trying to achieve a secret 'brainwashing' of their leader, a man they are supposed to defer to.

There's more to the picture but looking at the mounting evidence we should ask- was Fereshte really such a good idea?
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Ideon
Posted: Dec 26 2010, 11:29 AM


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It wouldn't be Celestial Being if it wasn't self-defeating in some form or fashion.

Less flippantly: maybe a decent idea, but incredibly horrible execution.
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EinhanderAstreaMk.I
Posted: Jan 13 2011, 12:43 AM


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The original idea was great, if a bit cliche or typical of a secret organization; a super-secret shadow support organization designed to ensure that the public side flowed smoothly.

However, the moment the creators decided to install a man far worse in the Gary Stu department than any existing Gundam character is the moment that it all went downhill.

It would've been much better had the group been portrayed to help the scatter CB forces to regroup and rebuild so that come S2, the reformed CB would be stronger and united, while dealing with some of the side plot to not only provide strength to CB's restoration and mission, but to also help expand the 00-verse w/o resorting to ridiculous characterizations.
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Charred Knight
Posted: Jan 15 2011, 06:56 AM


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The reason that Gundam Astray worked was the massive size of the organizations that made up the background of the C.E universe. You can have these small organizations that shadow things like the Earth Alliance or Zaft and not bring it up within the proper story. You can add characters to organizations as large as the Three Ship Alliance and it wouldn't look weird that there not mentioned by the crew.

This is the reason that OVAs like Gundam 0080, the 8th MS Team, and Igloo all take place during the One Year War. It's the largest war, they have the most troops and the biggest stage to tell it in. You really can't make a side story to Char's Counterattack.

Celestial Being is so small that it doesn't really make sense that Celestial Being would have all these mechas lying around for support and never see them in the main show itself.

You could have made the manga about the support crew who do things like buy Celestial Being supplies, and do maintenance but that would frankly be boring.

EinhanderAstreaMk.I. has the only idea I could think of which would have been to make a manga bridging the two seasons together, to explain what happened. The problem is that's pretty hard to do at the time the series was running.
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HellCat Gundam
Posted: Jan 15 2011, 11:35 AM


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Well, I thought the concept was silly back before it started thanks to them offering 'A mask on the face completely disguises it's a Gundam!'. The main story didn't even keep that- anyone who sees one of Fon's ride automatically assumes it's a new type of Gundam.

I like EAMk.1's suggestion about the CB remnant forming a dedicated group to bring the group back to strength. That would have been an interesting and enjoyable read that would have been perfectly placed to take advantage of a blindspot in the story.
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SonicSP
Posted: Jan 16 2011, 09:31 PM


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I think they were really relevant at first back in the S1 times and the merging back with CB in S2 makes a lot of sense but they're stand alone operations after that doesn't though.

I think the concept of Fereshte is quite sound, leaving off the last of your Drives to an organization meant to provide support to the main team in different ways. I think the problem stands from their actual execution in the sidestories so I would fault the author and model kit pressure more than the actual concept of Fereshte.

But I see no problems with them hording CB's spare supplies though, this is beneficial because most of this supply goes back to Celestial Being's resources back in S2. More importantly, if they didn't get it the UN would have destroyed it (which was why they were such in a hurry to horde it) was so it's not like Set could have gotten access to it anyways.

I liked how they were relevant and helpful in some part to CB's survival and prosperity in some parts, from saving the Drives in some cases while saving up some of the remaining resources before the UN got to them. Without these, CB would have to run with even lesser resources in S2. That also includes using some of those resources in the development such as Sherilyn's helping out with Arios and with 00 too. It's just super unfortunate that "his name shall not be spoken" can undermined the organization itself in presentation at times.

==================

Regarding masking Astraea as a Gundam, I think it does work to an extent since the coloring really defers from a normal CB Gundam while hiding a lot of the Gundam traits. It's not absolute however and if used properly the masking and secrecy could be continued, but as I said depending on how its used so it's not a lost effort in my opinion.

Of course, the Thrones may help undermine this since they break the traditional CB Gundam color scheme but before they appeared, I truly believe the color schemes of the Astraea and Sadalsuud Type F would really work; to an extent.
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Juno
Posted: Jan 17 2011, 02:01 AM


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Yeah I think the whole putting a mask on is quite stupid....I can just imagine how dumb it'd be if the military would let a masked mobile suit go cause it doesn't have a gundam face(or any sort of face).
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SonicSP
Posted: Jan 18 2011, 12:39 AM


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I don't think it wouldd do that if it knows it's a Gundam, I believe the point here is to help hide it's a Gundam as opposed to going out there with an obvious V-Fin and redwhiteblue color scheme. Since unlike CB, Fereshte role seems to be more support with less public symbolism.

Of course, the type of mission it gets deployed to is important as well as the pilot conduct during said mission would determine how easy it is to spot that it's a Gundam. Showing off the green partocles way up in the sky while going beam spamming is one example of conduct not productive for such a hidden goal.

But at least it's something, the alternative would be to send it with more traditional Gundam colors with the quite popular V-fins, which really isn't going to help. At least with the paint scheme and mask, a smart pilot on a well planned mission can play the support less-public focused role with a better chance. Although Fon is the last person in the world I would send to such a mission.

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EinhanderAstreaMk.I
Posted: Feb 2 2011, 10:55 PM


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What I had initially liked was how some of the early interventions involving Fershte were handled, such as the Sadalsuud providing sonar data to Dynames or the Astraea used to silence a key area.

That is something that I was hoping to see as the manga progressed; Fershte providing support from the shadows, not one insane Gary Stu's rampage through the 00-verse. Sure, it'd probably be a bit funny to see the Astraea or the Plutone running around at night in ridiculous W/R/B colors and with a blackout mask, but then again, the mission was total annihilation; to help aid the public face of CB by making them seem like they could truly be anywhere at any point, which is what I felt the original idea was supposed to have been.

The fact that there was only one usable Drive for the machines made the story have more potential, as there was always the chance of one of the machines not succeeeding due to equipment, or a lack thereof, esp. once the Tau Drives made their debut.

Had the idea of Fershte been chosen to continue in S2, the most I would've probably expected is Meisters for the remaining machines, which are all running on Taus now, and just providing either background assistance or reconnaisance for missions; either before, during, or after. Esp. with the loss of the Observers, I'd expect that CB would at least have done intensive data gathering to make up for the loss, even if it meant using some of the enemy's technology against them (Tau drives and maybe an intact Trinity base).
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SonicSP
Posted: Feb 3 2011, 01:57 AM


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I don't think they would have been able to made so much Tau Drives streatched out as they were. I really wish we can learn more about them though(we still know relatively little of the Tau Drives). I still feel like CB lack the knowledge to make them though, even if they do have the schematic. It's likely not the case after S2 though after Tieria gave them all the remaining GN Drive data they didnt have.

But yeah, the story had a lot of potential but most of the time Fon could single handedly ruin it all quite frankly. Not much can be done about it though, given how the pressure will always be about promoting gunpla as opposed to writing an interesting background narrative.
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