Gundam SEED/ Destiny deculture!


I’ve always avoided the Gundam series because of one reason: the rabid fanbase just turned me off. That, and no mecha can be cooler than a transforming jetfighter!  Also, Macross was one of the first anime I remember seeing as a kid, so it holds a special place for me.

Back on topic, after a lot of deliberation, and mainly due to the pathetic Fall 2009/ Winter 2010 season with nothing good to watch, I decided to plunge into the Gundam universe. After taking into consideration the recommendations of many people, along with the fact that I didn’t want to start off with something really old, I decided to go with Gundam SEED, followed by Destiny.

Now Gunda SEED is one of the more interesting series in the franchise history, with nothing but praise for it, and almost universal hatred for Gundam SEED Destiny. Beginning with SEED, I can see why people love it so much. In fact, up until the end of the first season, SEED was shaping up to be my favourite anime EVER! And yes, I say this despite having watched Macross, Full Metal Panic, Evangelion, Gurren Lagann, Gunbuster, etc.

So why isn’t it at the top of my list? Well, the ending felt like a mindless action movie, devoid of emotions and full of unnecessary explosions. I felt that the very end was sort of incomplete, with a bloody robot-bird flying into the sunset space, leaving me with a sense of emptiness as I didn’t know what happened after the war. It would have been great if Sunrise decided to end the SEED storyline with an OVA, showing the surviving members of that bloody war trying to pick up the pieces of their lives, spending the rest of their days in peace. You know, like how Gurren Lagann did, with Simon growing old and living out the rest of his days in relative calm. Instead, we get SEED Destiny.

What made the first series so great was this small group of people, surviving against all odds to reach home. Only to find out that they have been betrayed by the very people they tried to protect; finally deciding to go on their own path, separate from either factions in the war, and trying to bring the bloodshed to an end. While this base premise is pretty cool in its own right, it was the complicated relationships of the crew members onboard the Archangel and their ZAFT counterparts that made Gundam SEED such a touching story. The clashes between Kira and Athrun were legendary, not only because of how cool the mecha fights looked, but their friendship with each other. Finding out that your best friend is on the enemy side and fighting against him is not exactly a novel idea, but the level of respect they showed each other and the lives of other people close to them getting entangled in this web of hatred was absolutely epic!

There wasn’t a single character in SEED that I disliked, even Flay had her reason for being the bitch that she was, and got a well deserved end. If you really think about it, there wasn’t even a specific “bad guy” since everybody had their own reason to fight. Fleshing out the past history of the cast and how it affected their present decisions was a brilliant way to unfold the events of the story. The animation was pretty damn good, considering SEED came out in 2002/03. As far as the music is concerned, the core theme with different variations was nice, but all of Lacus Clyne’s song didn’t have shit on Macross! Sorry, but at least SEED and Destiny songs were average at best, and downright crappy compared to any Macross song. Perhaps the other Gundam series have something better to offer?

Speaking of crappy, I just want to mention Gunda SEED Destiny very briefly, the sequel to one of the best animes in history that never should’ve existed. Gundam SEED suffered because of its own success in the form of Destiny. The image of the whole series was tarnished because of this god awful sequel. I guess the fans wanted something more, and Sunrise went the route of Gears of War, with “bigger, better and more badass”. Or at least that’s what the studio thought. What we got instead was an overwrought story with way too many characters, too much emo, too many battles and too much of trying hard to be better than the first season. All of this resulted in something that was a mere shadow of its former self, nowhere near as evocative as the first season. Mind you, I watched the movies of Gundam SEED Destiny; from what I was told and read online, this was the least painful and sensible way to watch the sequel. I can’t imagine how much I would’ve hated myself for going through 50 episodes of that mess.

The funny thing about this whole situation is that my friend who actually sparked my interest in Gundam has only seen one series in the whole franchise. Sadly it’s Gundam SEED Destiny. He swears by how awesome it is! It sucks that his DVD case made no mention that Destiny was a sequel, and not being an anime buff, he didn’t know any better! Good for him I’ve got the original Gundam SEED. Can’t wait to see his reaction!

In any case, Gundam SEED was as good a point as any to start off in the Mobile Suit Gundam universe, and I absolutely love it! In my mind I’ve made up this story that they all lived happily ever after, once the war at Jachin Du got over. There was no Destiny. So now I’m going to watch 08th MS Team, a classic from 1996. And I’ll finish things off with Gundam 00, which I’ve heard is the new darling of the Gundam fans.

8 Responses to “Gundam SEED/ Destiny deculture!”

  1. 1 Square
    February 5, 2010 at 3:32 am

    Totally agree with your review. Loved Seed S1 to bits even with the pretty bow tie ending. Destiny… that was total crap. The only part I liked was Heine Westenfluss was out in his Gouf Ignited totally kicking the crap out of Stella, only to be stabbed in the back later 😦

  2. 2 th
    February 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Many people died in Destiny just for the heck of it. Actually, this was systematic population control; there were too many people introduced and they had to let some of them go.

    Shinn should’ve died.

  3. 3 Kazuma
    July 10, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Totally agree with you man, the 1st season was one of the best if not the best gundam anime i watched in my life, but the fuc*** at sunrise had to tarnish the good name of GS.

    If you think the GSD is CRAP, but the GS good then i got a great story for all who love GS but not GSD: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2754991/1/Gundam_SEED_Chaotic_Cosmos (it is a story right after GS ended) Hope everyone likes it ^^

    • 4 Durrtan
      February 25, 2011 at 9:47 am

      One thing I would like to point out about Chaotic Cosmos is even though it is well written and a far better continuation of the SEED story, is that it is over a million words long. To put that in perspective, all the Harry Potter books put together have about the same word count as Chaotic Cosmos, and CC is just the first book out of three. But even though the books Chaotic Cosmos, The Eden Disaster, and The Reclamation War (this one is about halfway done with over 770,000 words right now, they are well written and tell a great story with great characters.

  4. 5 Valensco
    February 13, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Yeah, Bandai f#*$% SEED when they made it sequel. SEED was very good, but it only brought tears to my eyes ’cause of the resemblance with the original series, Kidou Senshi Gundam, which aired on 1979. Despite the poor animation (for today standards), the story itself is what matters. Watch the original series, then after Z Gundam (the series, not the movie) and 0083 Stadust Memory. Then you’ll know what Gundam is about.
    SEED and Wing are welcome just to bring the franchise to a younger and broader audience. G Gundam, V Gundam, ZZ Gundam and SEED Destiny are SHIT. Gundam 00 is super-sentai (like Power Rangers) with mechas.

    • 6 Karel
      February 20, 2011 at 4:49 am

      Yeah Destiny was crappy. On other hand Stargazer was good (the Noir and titular MS have a great design). After watching Shin “Berserker Angst” Asuka and later OAV I wish Sven story was longer.

  5. 7 Maximillion Genius
    November 29, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Seed was a remake of UC. Seed destiny was a remake of a remake of UC.

    One of my former favorites, but now its nothing but a terrifying nightmare. Not after watching classic UC classics that make my turn into a 180 degree pole shift.

    From love to hate. From best to worst. From gem to a pathetic garbage.

    Sieg Zeon!!!

  6. 8 Maximillion Genius
    December 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

    But this shit is still nothing but a rip-off of the the best, universal century. Storywise, character development and the injection of the main theme of gundam. “War is hell”.

    You should try 08th Ms Team, War in the pocket and Zeta: the new translation and Char’s Counterattack if you want REAL Gundam.

    I feel sorry for seed and 00 when unicorn took the spotlight. =P

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