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Thread: [TV series] Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny

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    Default [TV series] Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny

    Warning: this review may contain spoilers for Gundam SEED

    Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny
    AKA: Kidou Senshi Gundam SEED Destiny, Gundam SEED Destiny
    TV, 50 Episodes
    By Sunrise 2004-2005


    Plot Synopsis:

    2 years have passed since the end of the Bloody Valentine War which raged in Gundam SEED. The war ended with a peace treaty signed by the Earth Alliance and ZAFT following the Second Battle of Jachin Due, to strive for a way to coexist. However, tension between the two forces still ran rather high, and despite pledges to reduce arms, the two sides continued to build up and ready their military, should the worst happen. Now, in the year 74 CE, Cagalli Yula Attha, Representative of the Neutral Union of Orb , accompanied by her bodyguard Athrun Zala, have arranged a meeting at Armory One with the current Chairman of ZAFT, Gilbert Durandal, to discuss the world's current state of affairs. However, the talks were shortly interrupted by the theft of 3 new ZAFT Gundams, who promptly laid waste to the Armory. Before they can destroy much more, they are confronted with a fourth ZAFT Gundam, the Impulse, piloted by former Orb citizen Shinn Asuka. Efforts to take back the 3 stolen Gundams eventually lead to a situation which could very well start another war...


    Story:
    9.5/10

    Being a direct sequel to Gundam SEED, the backdrop has already been set. As such, the story in Gundam SEED Destiny is considerably more fast-paced than it's predecessor. While the first 5 or so episodes start out almost identically to SEED, it doesn't take long for it to take off on it's own plot. Where SEED focused most of the plot on the Earth Alliance, Destiny sheds most of it's focus on ZAFT, for a more indepth look at the other side of the spectrum (It's just as well too, because after Gundam SEED, I really don't see how anyone could begin to sympathize with the Earth Alliance...). The story does a good job of working up sympathy for some of the sides of the conflict. I found myself, just like the characters, to often question who was right in fighting, and who deserved my sympathy. Of course, it also performs excellently in working up strong responses to some of the most horrific crimes against humanity you'll see in an anime. Unfortunately, as was the case with SEED, I found myself to be somewhat cheated with the ending, which resolved EVEN LESS this time around!!! Here's hoping for a third series... Oh well, the ending notwithstanding, an excellent job.


    Characters
    :
    10/10

    Considering my review of SEED, this score should come as no surprise. As was the case with SEED, Destiny has some incredibly believable new characters, as well as the same great surviving characters from SEED. Although it should be worth noting that the new protagonist Shinn Asuka isn't quite as likable as Kira or Athrun are, it isn't a glaring issue as both Kira and Athrun are, at times, more prominently featured than Shinn is. That is actually a minor gripe I have. The new cast of characters in Destiny sort of lose some of their focus in the story towards the end in favour of the previous cast. Fortunately, the quality of the characters is enough for this reviewer to let it slide. One character worth note in particular is Chairman Gilbert Durandal, who is easily the most interesting of the new cast, and possibly even the previous cast. Everything he says seems so perfect that it is unbelievbly difficult to want to disagree with him. His ideals are exactly what a politician's should be like! And yet even through his agreeable speeches, you have to suspect something... A fantastic job.


    Animation:
    10/10

    Wow, that's all I can say. The character designs and color vibrancy are just as impressive as SEED's were. While I said in my review of SEED that the mech battles were fantastic, after watching Destiny, I cannot honestly say that I feel the same way. Destiny has mech battles the likes of which make SEED's look utterly feeble by comparison! I was utterly amazed at the true sense of how ferocious and powerful these battles could get. Well, I'm running out of things to say about the amazing quality of the mech battles, so I'll move on. Another point worth noting is that the mech designs in Destiny are the sleekest and downright coolest I've ever seen. *Spoiler Infinite Justice *drool* Spoiler*. My complaints about SEED are considerably lessened in Destiny. While there is still cel-shading on Archangel and now Minerva, it stands out far less as blatantly as in SEED. While there are still recycled animations used, I can let them go, given the overall good quality they all bear. The best animation I've seen in a TV series anime.


    Sound/Voice acting: 9.5/10

    As excellent as the music of it's predecessor was, Destiny's soundtrack is even better. It's all a new soundtrack as well, save for a few mid-episode songs. T.M. Revolution is really at the top of his game here, contributing the opening Ignited and insert songs Meteor and Vestige (I know the former was in Gundam SEED, but it's still fantastic). Further contributing to songs are the 2nd and 3rd openings Pride and Bokutachi no Yukue, by High & Mighty Color and Hitomi Takahashi respectively. The endings are equally pleasing to the ears, also. All this said, though, the only reason I am not giving this category a perfect score is because of the 4th opening, Wings of Words by Chemistry. It isn't a bad song, it is just so unfitting for the series, and the point that the series is in!! As for the voice acting, there is little to say here that I haven't already said in my review of SEED. The voice acting is well done for both the new and returning cast. I was particularly surprised at how much different Kira sounds now, so much calmer and more reserved now. In all, a real treat to the ears.


    Overall:
    9.8/10

    Wow, I already had high expectations for this series after watching SEED, and to my surprise, Destiny actually was better than I expected it to be. Everything about it is like a step up from it's predecessor, better mech battles, better soundtrack, better animation, and a more gripping storyline (they do such a good job of making you desperately want to see the next episode quickly!). With all this in mind, this anime was a prime contender for my favorite anime ever. Unfortunately, two things kept it from attaining such a title, the ending and the somewhat sporadical focus on the new cast. Still, it is a fantastic anime that any fan of mecha and drama should not miss.
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    Warning: Review contains spoilers for Gundam SEED.

    Story (9.5/10)
    When rating the story of Gundam SEED Destiny, one must take into account that it is a continuation of the story of Gundam SEED. It is not intended as a stand alone story, and in this review the story has been regarded as an extention.
    The story of Gundam SEED Destiny is spectacular. It takes everything from Gundam SEED that worked and improves upon it. Gundam SEED Destiny starts off in a very similar way to Gundam SEED, new gundam models are stolen from a prominent ZAFT facility of weapons research and development. As I said, this is akin to the theft of the GAT-X Gundam Series from Heliopolis. The difference this time though, is that the pacing of the series is greatly accelerated. From the first episode, the series captures your attention and refuses to let go. I cannot recall the last time an anime had me so greatly anticipating it's next episode. The wait between some episodes was absolutely hell. Still, the wait always payed off.
    Another big difference from Gundam SEED, is that Gundam SEED Destiny portrays ZAFT as the "good guys" and the Earth Alliance as the "bad guys". Throughout the series, you often question ZAFT's integrity and wonder whether you really should trust them. The thing is though, in comparison the uttery barbaric Earth Alliance, ZAFT will appear as saints no matter what they do. This is partly due to the character of a certain Chairman of PLANT, who I will explain in the Characters area of my review. At any rate, I found myself sympathizing with ZAFT almost unconditionally throughout the entire series. And with that, I saw the Earth Alliance as twisted barbarians.
    Now, I would have loved to give the story a 10/10, however there is one glaring annoyance that required me to dock it marks. This is the fact that certain characters are for some reason unable to die. Now I shan't name any names, but let us just say that, for some godless reason, that if a character is in a ruined mobile suit in the middle of outer space with a cracked helmet. That the if the mobile suit explodes then that character is not necessarily dead, nope, it just means that they may show up again later with memory loss! Honestly, that is the single biggest gripe I have with Gundam SEED Destiny. Now, if it happened only once, then I could forgive it. However it just so happens that many characters can survive an exploding mobile suit that is 18m high and 70 tonnes. No human should be able to survive that, coordinator or not. Still even with this the story is spectacular.
    The bottom line regarding the story is that if you like Gundam SEED's story, then you will adore the story in Gundam SEED Destiny.

    Characters (10/10)
    The characters in Gundam SEED Destiny certainly do not dissapoint. With the return of old favorites such as Kira Yamato, Athrun Zala, Lacus Clyne, and Cagallit Yura Atha the characters of Gundam SEED Destiny are an impressive bunch. Now, I am assuming that if you are reading this that you have seen Gundam SEED in it's entirety, therfore, I shan't go into detail about the returning characters. While the returning character's are even greater this time around, it is the new characters where the series really shines. Most notable is Gilbert Dullinal(also; Gilbert Durandal), the Chaiman of PLANT and the head of ZAFT. He has got to be one of the best "antagonists" I have ever seen. Now I really shouldn't say antagonist in relation to Durandal, because he is really not a villain. All through the series, you see Durandal in action as the Chariman of PLANT. He promotes peace, is kind to everyone, and is an all around samaritan. Still there is this nagging feeling you get saying that you can't trust him. The thing is, you want to trust him, he is that great. You just want to believe he is the person who will make everything better, yet the nagging feeling remains. It is something that can drive a person to madness. Yet it is that which makes Durandal such an excellent character.
    The other new character the stands out in my mind is Rey Za Burrel. A young man, friend to the main character, who looks suspiciously like Rau Le Creuset. He is extremely mysterious, and therefore, extremely interesting. With Rey you again want to trust him, but know you shouldn't. Unlike Durandal however, Rey more clearly ortrayed as an opposing force. Rey is infinitely loyal to Gilbert Durandal, and he never let's anyone forget it. Rey is something of a driving force behind Shinn, something like a reason for Shinn to stick with ZAFT. Rey is so very interesting.
    Now about Shinn Asuka, the "main character" of Gundam SEED Destiny. He is a young man with a tragic past. He is brash, headstrong, and eager for revenge against Orb. Now, Shinn is perfectly fine character, but for some reason you get the fealing that they do not give him enough focus. Sometimes it is like the story is more about Athrun, and to a lesser extend Kira. This is a minor thing that is no need for worry, after all, those two are the two returning main characters of Gundam SEED.
    As to the rest of the characters, the new acts are great. Lunamaria Hawke, Meyrin Hawke, Talia Gladys, Meer Campbell, the next-gen Extended.
    The new Extended are more developed than the ones in Gundam SEED. They are interesting and tragic. Extended are the drug-enhanced humans developed by the Earth Alliance to combat Coordinators.
    All in all, the characters of Gundam SEED Destiny are amazing, I could write so much more about them, but I feel as if I have already written too much.

    Animation (10/10)
    The animations of Gundan SEED Destiny is superb. It surpasses Gundam SEED in every aspect. The character and mech motions, the environments, and again the colour. The colour in Gundam SEED Destiny is so incredible. Just like in Gundam SEED, they use a vast array of colours to give the anime a very distinc atmosphere. An atmosphere that ranges from bright and pleasant to dark and intense. One notable thing about the animation this time around, is that the cut back on reusing attack animations for the mobile suits and pilots. A welcome change.
    I will now be discussing mobile suits and mech designs, if you consider these spoilers, then please skip down to the next underlined text.
     
    Now I must comment on the mobile suit designs. They are the best I have ever seen, I can say that without doubt. The ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam is the single greatest peice of machinery I have ever laid eyes one, and my favorite Gundam yet. It is so insanely glorious, words cannot describle. Other notable suits are the ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom, ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice, ZGMF-X666S Legend Gundam, ORB-01 Akatsuki. Those three suits are by definition, cool beyond reason. The Akatsuki in particular has some spectaculat weapons and defense systems. Despite it's obnoxious colouring, it is sweet. Another notable set of mech I must mention are the ZAKUs and the GOUFs. The ZAKUs are the new mass produced models of ZAFT, and they are cool. They look cool, and they pretty competent for mass produced suits. Especially the limited Blaze ZAKU Phantoms and Slash ZAKU Phantoms. The GOUFs are next gen models of the ZAKUs, and are introduced a ways into the series. The GOUFs, more notably the ZGMF-X2000 GOUF Ignited, are just the coolest mass produced models ever. They GOUF swords are just excellent, and the whip they have is pretty sweet. All the suits are great really, with the exceptions of a poor ZAKU that happened to be placed into Meer Campbells hands. I rage at that suit, ZAKU's are not meant to have hearts and isignia's and pink all over them!!
    At any rate, I must mention the LHM-BB01 Minerva. ZAFT's next-gen battleship. It's design is very great, it makes the Archangel look like a relic of the past. Well, perhaps I exaggerate a little there, but you see my point.

    I am now done discussing mobile suit and mech designs.
    In short, the animation and designs in Gundam SEED Destiny are damn near flawless. Easily worthy of a 10/10.

    Music/Voice Acting (9.5/10)
    Well I must say, the music in Gundam SEED Destiny is excellent. The background music is intense and always fits the mood. There is one particular track that I feel was unnecessary in the series. It is a lighthearted piece of background music. I merely felt that it was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    The opening and ending tracks are, for the most part, glorious. Ignited by TM Revolution is just plain sweet. So cool, one of the best opening tracks I've yet seen. PRIDE by HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR, is another great track, very catchy, I love it. HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR also did the third opening of Bleach, if you need reference. Bokutachi no Yukue by Hitomi Takahashi is again great, as one would expect from a Gundam Opening track. Wings of Words, by CHEMISTRY... I want to know what the hell happened here. This track it simply does not suite the tone of the series. The lyrics do, but why, just why, what this song chosen!? Alas, I suppose that 3/4 Opening tracks is not bad. The endings are all great though, they have a tone that lets you reflect on the events of the episode, and leave you wanting more by time it is over. Well done really.

    Overall (10/10)
    After watching Gundam SEED Destiny, the question must be asked: Can anime get any better than this? The answer: Not bloody likely. The only other anime to reach this level of excellence is Fullmetal Alchemist. Gundam SEED Destiny, in my mind, is the perfect anime. It has everything, even little bits of humor thrown in here and there. Now it must be said that Gundam SEED Destiny is little without its predecessor, Gundam SEED. However, together those two series are invincible.
    I sincerely hope that the director goes ahead with "SEED 3", or Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Eternity, as it is believed to be called. It is yet to be announced, but fans remain eager. There is though a 40 Minute OVA to be released that should tie up some loose ends regarding Gundam SEED Destiny's ending.
    Well, whether or not a "SEED 3" ever comes to fruition or not, Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destin are spectacular.
    If you have not seen them, then why are you still here? Go watch them. Now.
    Last edited by MuZ0NaZ; 10-13-2005 at 04:23 PM. Reason: Added spoiler tags
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    contains soilers from Gundam seed

    Story 9/10
    Well Gundam Seed Destiny is about 1 and a half years after the original Gundam Seed. It starts off with what happened in the war against ORB in Gundam Seed. It then shows you what happened there that Gundam Seed didnt and introduces you to a new character(If you have not watched Gundam Seed i highly recomend you to because you wont understand a thing). It starts off with 3 new prototype mobile suits gettin stolen and then the Junius 7s orbit was changed by the ZAFT forces which overall created the second war. The only reason that i rated this 9/10 was because of 2 reasons, too much recaps and because of that they rapped up the ending battle to 1 and a half episodes.

    Characters 9.5/10
    I consider the characters great. There is the original characters from Seed, Kira, Lacus, Athrun, Cagali, and all the other important characters. At 1st Kira isnt even in the 1st 8 episodes and it will seem he will not do anything until he is attacked by ZAFT forces and forced back on teh Freedom. That is when the story really begins to get intresting. There is also a couple of new characters like Shinn, Leo, Luna, Rey, and the chairman Durandall. I will explain these characters in deapth so i consider this a spoiler
     
    Shinn and Rey are the major people on the minerva and oppose Kira and Athrun at destroying the destiny plan which makes all people equal so that no one will have to fight. Shinn is the pilot of the Destiny mobile suit, Rey(aka Rau Le Cruset) is the pilot of the Legend mobile suit, Kira is the pilot of the Strike-Freedom mobile suit, and Athrun is pilot of the Infinite-Justice mobile suit. Further more the Akatsuki(Leo aka Mu La Flaga) suports the Archangel and Eternal while the Impulse(Luna) suports the Minerva.


    Animation 10/10
    The animation for this series is just unbelievable. It is far better than lots of the other anime including Gundam Seed. They also made vast colours to make it look reallistic. Especially the mobile suits. The Destiny mobile suit was just the best, it had so much detail when it was moving.

    Overall 9.5/10
    Overall this is a great anime to watch and i advise you all to see Gundam Seed and Gundam Seed Destiny as soon as you can. There is most likely going to be a 3rd season of Seed and an OVA for Destiny because of all the unanswered questions. If there is not a 3rd season of Seed nor an OVA the Seed series will end in a complete mystery.
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    Story 8.5/10

    altho it might look like every other gundam show out there at first glance, it evolves into something completely different. it shows with near perfection what war is to every 1 implyed... this is the more intelligent of the gundam series...

    Characters 9/10

    the sheer number of characters develloped is simply mind boggling! even if something seems like useless blabber (filler), it does, in fact, have a purpose in the devellopement! unfortunately... because so much is said... this means that they constantly have to use flashbacks to remind us of something... that will in turn help us understand the persons reaction... stunningly complicated for a show branded gundam, it really delivers in this department!

    Animation 8/10

    the fight scenes, altho less in number, are MUCH more detailed... everything is put into perspective... ppl dont just dissapear and reapear in a certain spot to advance the plot... if kira is at the other end of the battlefield, its gonna take awhile for him to get to the other... which is something that really disturbed me in the previous gundam shows... but... i give it a solid 8... for the simpl reason that they reuse alot of scenes in flashbacks... and the less-than-spectacular CG animation...

    Audio 7/10

    this is where the show seriously lacks... none of the music was particularly memorable... it was fitting, but never really struck a chord with me... but this is simply IMO... the voice acting on the other hand... well... i didnt get the chance to c it in japanese... but in english, the dialogue seems somewhat forced... the voice actors DO seem to loosen up later on in the series tho... (thank god)... i am planning on buying the DVDs... so ill edit this once i have listened to it fully in its original language...

    Overall 8.5/10

    By far the best of the gundams to date! the characters surpass the boyband that starred in gundam wing in pretty much all categorys... the word gundam doesnt mean something as corny as "they are made of gundamium!"... other mobile suits aren't simply cannon fodder... on more than 1 occasion, the best pilot will get severely PWNED... the odds are just much better for the "bad guys"... and even then... until the very end of the anime, you are left wondering who are the "bad guys"... since every 1 has their own reason to be fighting... there are so many twists and turns in this anime, that you can get a severe headache... unfortunately, at some points, they are really trying too hard to make it dramatic... instead of building to 1 climatic part, they just make lots of smaller dramas...

    i suggest watching this anime with no expectations, and watching a good dozen episodes before you get an idea in your head... this 1 is really a question of opinion... i personally enjoyed it very much, but the next person might despise it and exclaim "BLASPHEMY!" that it be called gundam...
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