January 24, 2011
Gundam Seed Destiny
To sum up my experience with this series in one word all I can day is OUTSTANDING! I managed to get through the series in about 7 days. Not bad timing when you have to work a full-time job Monday-Friday. I'll start this one off by talking about the music. I have always been a fan of the various Gundam soundtracks that have been released across the franchise. I really liked all of the intro and ending themes for this series, with the exception of the last intro theme (I found it a little boring to listen to). The BGM was really well chosen for the scenes and many of the tracks made an appearance in the first part of the series, Gundam Seed.
Artistically, the character design is really well done. I thought that the color use and drawing style was aesthetically pleasing to look at. There were some small bouts of CGI in the series as well which helped lend to the rich graphic elements. What I did like was the fact that the CGI was blended into the scenes rather than made to be the focal point. There art is identical to that used in Gundam Seed, modern on very much what you would expect from a newer Bandai/Sunrise release.
Now time for the good part, the story. I won't go into plot details because (1) there is just too much to cover and you can find the plot summary on almost any anime database site or Wikipedia, and (2) the story is so well done that as a whole the show is much more enjoyable when you don't know what is going to happen. What I will say about the way that this story was put together though is that the writers did an excellent job incorporating some of the flagship traits from the original Gundam series into this one. Keeping the sound effect for when Newtypes come across each other in battle was a subtle but appreciated element from the original story of Gundam 0079 and Zeta Gundam. The relationship and dynamic behind the relationship that Shinn and Stella have is very much like what we see between Kamille and Four in Zeta Gundam. Also the outcome of that relationship is very much in tact with the battle between Jerid and Kamille with the Psycho Gundam. The final element that I have to mention is the homage paid to the Black Tri-Stars, Gaia, Mash, and Ortega from Gundam 0079. At the expense of spoiling a little bit of what you can expect to see near the end of the series, three pilots are brought into the battle by Lacus, piloting Dom mobile suits and launching the signature JetStream attack. This small scene in the series was by far my favorite and made Gundam Seed Destiny something that I will remember for a long time.
Aside from the details relating Gundam Seed Destiny to other shows in the franchise, there is a lot of relationship dynamic between characters as we see in Gundam Seed. Many characters fall in and out of love, some characters are struggling to find out their true selves, and some even return from the dead (watch the series to find out how this happens). Although I was expecting Shinn to become the main character in this series, based on the way the story developed I began getting the impression that the show was focused more around Kira and Athrun. There really wasn't a clear side as to who was right and wrong in the conflict between ORB, The Alliance, and ZAFT. I tended to like this spin on the concept of the war. It really shows that in wars, there is not always a clear answer as to who is right and who is wrong, gray areas does exist.