The ending of Zeta Gundam manages to do so many things right yet also manages to do so many things wrong. Kamille Bidan, the hero of the story, is witness to the deaths of every major female character in the story. As an empathic Newtype, this does somehow empower him, but at the same time there's something problematic about all of the female characters dying like that. The only significant male character to die in that period and bring him strength is Katz, whose death within the first five minutes of the penultimate episode is welcome (despite the fact that you don't really want one of the little kids from the original series to die off, he was a little shit who caused more problems than he solved). Maybe Kamille's series of crushes throughout the series was really about his looking for a mother figure? Toward the end it looks like he realized his feelings for Fa, the girl next door. It's just in time, too, since he was infantilized at the very end.
I really don't understand that ending. Scirocco, with his dying breath upon being literally impaled on the nose of the Zeta Gundam's wave rider form, announces that he will take Kamille's soul with him. Moments later, Kamille realizes that he's out in space and wants to open his canopy because it's hot in there. He has been tragically reduced. I suppose this was done to take him out of future stories. After all, by the end of the series he literally became an invincible with his Newtype powers and the bio-sensor of the Zeta. But it's ridiculous because it's not a notion that is at all explored. It just happens and the series is over.
One way I have looked at it in the past is that this is a way to absolve him of sins. Before he is killed by Kamille, Jerid points out that Kamille has called more people than anyone during the war. It's probably true. Kamille keeps talking about how much he hates the killing that is happening, yet he seems to be blind to the fact that he has the most blood on his hands. Had he survived the war perfectly in tact, his reflection on that fact alone may have been more crippling than the mind rape he endured. The end of ZZ Gundam reveals a recovery of sorts, fortunately. Supplemental material also suggests that he regains his adult mind and becomes a doctor. The fact that there is no real closure for his story really bothers me.
On the Zeonic end of the spectrum, Haman Karn is stated to be the source of all misery, which would suggest that she's the true big bad who needs to be taken down. So Kamille only takes out the second fiddle, only to leave Haman for a future character whose development is far from intriguing? What the hell, Tomino?! And Char escapes the situation to live and fight another day. When he comes back, he's raising the flag of Zeon and trying to drop an asteroid on the Earth. There's no good reason given for why Char's Counterattack even happens, but it does. Tomino is an interesting storyteller, but he's not especially good at linking his stories. Stardust Memory was a worthwhile but lengthy link between the original series and Zeta, so maybe sooner or later someone can show what happened during that six year gap between Zeta and Char's Counterattack. We're long overdue for Gundam 0090: Char's Turnabout.
Also of note upon this viewing of the series, I got a bit of an Evangelion vibe. This is probably because I've been in an Eva mindset for reasons previously explained, but I wouldn't be surprised if aspects of Eva were inspired by this series. The connection between Kamille and Haman where they shared each other's memories to get a better understanding of each other seemed to be a goal of the Human Instrumentality Project - also known as the Human Completion Project. Everyone's minds coming together to fill in the gaps and improve one another. Then there's the overall bleak tone, but that's just a staple of Japanese war stories...for obvious reasons.
Probably after Labor Day I'll start re-watching the Zeta Gundam: A New Translation series of films. Now that I'm refreshed on how the actual series went, the changes made in the films will be that much more pronounced. Is it bad to admit just how forward I'm looking to the changed ending? I know that it's a change that doesn't fit with the rest of the Universal Century timeline, but to hell with that. Had Kamille survived, the war with Neo Zeon probably would have been a lot shorter because he would have made it his mission to finally take out Haman Karn. After all, he pronounced that she was someone who shouldn't be allowed to live because she is the source of everyone's misery. That's a loose end he'd want to tie up. Following that, Char's Neo Zeon group, and the dropping of the asteroid, would definitely have seen greater difficulty with an invincible Newtype getting the way. (Or would have been incredibly successful had he been convinced to join.) I'd love to see the further development of this alternate Universal Century.