Gundam SEED/SEED Destiny: The Tommy Wiseau of Gundam?

The following article was submitted by Amir

Disclaimer: The following article contains spoilers about anime in the Gundam franchise

Ask any mecha fan around about Gundam SEED/SEED Destiny and immediately this will be their first expression.

Why do some mecha fans dislike… wait, dislike is a very soft word, HATE Gundam SEED/SEED Destiny so much? Yet, why do some people love it so much?

Now before we go into the finer details, let’s get to know the history of the series first.

Source: hulu.com/mobile-suit-gundam-seed-hd-remaster

Let’s start with Gundam SEED, that was aired back in October 2002, developed by Sunrise and directed by Mitsuo Fukuda (who is also the creative producer of Cross Ange, hence why the designs and style is easily recognizable) which acts as the ninth installment of the Gundam franchise.

Set in an alternative timeline called the Cosmic Era, where Naturals, who reside on Earth and Coordinators, genetically enhanced human beings who migrated into man-made orbital colonies who are at war with each other, sounds familiar? And involved in that war between those 2 species is our main character, Kira Yamato, a Coordinator. Again very familiar.

The series became one of the most popular Gundam series in Japan with millions of copies of the show being sold worldwide and sales of their model kits skyrocketing through the roof! Not only that, it also received numerous awards at the Animation Kobe Awards and Japanese Otaku Awards in 2003.

Source: gundam.wikia.com/wiki/Mobile_Suit_Gundam_SEED_Destiny

Now onto Gundam SEED Destiny, aired back in October 2004, with the same developer and director which acts as the tenth installment in the Gundam franchise and a direct sequel to Gundam SEED. Pretty much everything is the same, from timelines to plotlines (literally, watch it and you’ll notice the similarities). And surprisingly, it was well received by the people.

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s get to know why some people has problems with Gundam SEED/SEED Destiny.


Overpowered main character

Source: gundam-aeon.wikia.com/wiki/Kira_Yamato

In one of the episodes of Gundam SEED, a battle between Athrun Zala and Kira Yamato happened, where in the ending moments of the battle, Athrun Zala decided to go all kamikaze and attached his mobile suit (which is set for self-destruction) onto Kira Yamato’s mobile suit, blocking the cockpit so that he has no way to escape, then boom! A giant explosion happened.

Now you must be thinking that he is dead right? SURPRISE! He did not die, heck, he didn’t even lose a limb. This exact same scene happened AGAIN in Gundam SEED Destiny, this time with his mobile suit getting stabbed with a sword and an explosion too. And yep, he still survived.

Easily said, he is indestructible.


Lazy/Repeated animation

Let’s play a game of ‘Find the Similarities’! Left : Gundam SEED; Right: Gundam SEED Destiny. (Source: gundamforums.com)

If you managed to watch the series, you will most definitely notice the recycled animation. I know making an anime is not a cheap business, but when the whole series is consisted of recycled mecha battles, it can be really annoying to watch. Oh, they did this for both the series just FYI.


Terrible and repeated storyline with lack of character development

The show is easily predictable, like really. It’s easy to know who wins, who’s the bad guy etc. There is not much of character development too in the series, it’s just a story about Kira Yamato being the savior of the series, that’s all.

Heck, Kira Yamato was praised so much that he literally overshadowed Shinn Asuka as the main character in Gundam SEED Destiny. FYI, Shinn Asuka was the planned main character of Gundam SEED Destiny till out of nowhere the director decided that Kira Yamato should just hijack the show.

And for Gundam SEED Destiny, the storyline is almost identical to Gundam SEED. Eg. the introduction of the 3 early psychopathic villains in Gundam SEED is again repeated with their own version of the 3 psychopathic villains in Gundam SEED Destiny, the scene where Kira got blown up again, Kira Yamato swoops in front of the Archangel to save the day again. You can pretty much notice the similarities quite quick.

But like all bad things, there must be some redeeming qualities right? YES!


Great soundtracks and singers

Source: syncmusic.jp

Gundam SEED/SEED Destiny offers one of the best singer/song lineup for the whole franchise. With high class singers such as T.M Revolution and Nami Tamaki singing the openings for the show, the series really has one of the best soundtracks the franchise has ever produced.


Innovative mobile suit designs

Source: kamehashop.fr/robot-gundam/9705-gundam-aile-strike-master-grade.html

As bad the show may have been, the mobile suit designs for the show were very innovative and modern. It had a very modernistic concept to it with the introduction of mobile suit backpacks, an actual beam sword, newer technologies like the N-Jammer which cancels out nuclear power and more! It was so good that people are still buying the model kits today! And the model kits itself getting a reboot!


Conclusion

Gundam SEED/ SEED Destiny is kinda like that rebooted movie that new fans like but does not appeal to the old loyal ones. Despite the criticism and terrible storyline, it has managed to win awards and bring in new people to the franchise. Should you give it a go? Yep, who knows it may appeal to you.

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