a.k.a. Kidou Senshi Gundam SEED DESTINY
Cosmic Era 73, one-and-a-half years have passed since Shinn lost his family at a battle on the Kingdom of Orb. The Earth Alliance and ZAFT have come to accept peace with one another. However, ZAFT continues to produce mobile suits, a move that becomes costly as a rebel faction steals three prototype Gundams. Now, with hatred burning in his soul and the Impulse Gundam at his fingertips, Shinn takes off with the crew of the Minerva to prevent another war.
summary by Ender
Highs: Story starts off well enough; the new cast
Lows: Story breaks down drastically; annoying animation; the old cast; uninteresting mechs
Now this is what I call a disappointment. Despite having the distinction of being the first ever sequel to an Alternate Universe Gundam series, Gundam Seed Destiny fails to be anything more than a mobile suit miscarriage of weak ideas. And here I am wondering how on earth did Sunrise let this happen?
The series started off all right with a new story and new crew. Though the plot began as a rehash of other Gundam stereotypes (how often do Gundams get stolen, anyway?), it quickly built into an interesting parable for a post-September 11th world. The new cast of characters (Lunamaria Hawk and Shinn Asuka, in particular) proved a bit more interesting than the previous series’ staple; they actually looked like they had flaws and were not superpowered. Of course, all of that was blown to bits once the old cast from Gundam Seed showed up. Instead of taking the positions of supporting characters a la Zeta Gundam, Kira and company push the cast to the side and turn the spotlights on themselves. Naturally, the story quickly went south and the whole series turned into useless flashbacks and continuous yelling.
After the cast became huge, I forgot who was who. This I can blame on Hirai Hisashi’s character designs; I could stomach them in Gundam Seed, but in Destiny the only thing splitting Kira and Shinn apart were their hair color. Flashbacks, characters and designs weren’t the only things robbed as most of the action sequences utilized the same exact frames as those in Gundam Seed. Speaking of action, one would imagine with the gratuitous amount of mobile suits in this show, there wouldn’t be as much boredom, right? Unfortunately, there is no point in showcasing upwards of 40 mobile suits if they all do the same thing. It doesn’t help matters when most of the mecha were robbed from previous Gundam outings. Fin funnels? Zakus? Shining fingers? Please.
As an anime, this show fails. As a marketing device, it could do better. At least there a few good songs interspersed. Seriously though, Sunrise should seriously go back and turn Gundam into the epic it used to be. Until that happens, I’m just going to think how it all used to be about the story… and not the J-Pop candy mecha.
MobileSuit Gundam Seed Destiny can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.