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Mobile Suit Gundam SEED

C.E. 71: In the midst of war between the Naturals (OMNI) and Coordinators (ZAFT), a unit from ZAFT is dispatched to hijack the Earth Alliance's newly developed mobile suits on the neutral colony of Heliopolis. Orb Civilian Coordinator Kira Yamato attends the technical college on Heliopolis. After ZAFT hijacks 4 of the 5 mobile suits, Kira stumbles upon the last one, Strike, forced to pilot it to save his and his friend's lives. During this confusion, Kira also reunites with his childhood Coordinator friend, Athrun Zala, who ironically turns out to be a ZAFT soldier and one of the hijackers at Heliopolis. Having control of Strike, Kira joins the Earth Alliance boarding the ship known as Archangel, to protect his friends while despairing over becoming the enemy of his childhood friend and people.
User Count10470
Favorites Count178
Start Date5th Oct 2002
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank1127
Rating Rank1612
Age RatingR
Age Rating Guide17+ (violence & profanity)
SubtypeTV
Statusfinished

Episodes

All Mobile Suit Gundam SEED released episodes

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Reviews

Energetic and pacey, the first opening theme of "Gundam Seed" captures the feel of the anime perfectly. With so much action, drama and tragedy, it doesn't take a genius to see why this is such a highly regarded show in the mecha genre.With an aggressive opening sequence of events, the tone is set from the very first episodes when two close friends Kira and Athrun find themselves caught up on opposite sides of an outbreaking war. And it's one hell of a war, one that is both epic and tragic, where there are no "right" sides, and where people are forced to choose between conflicting feelings and loyalties. The strength of "Gundam Seed" lies in its portrayal of war, both in terms of production values and the ideals that drives it. For a 50-episoder, it's mightily impressive that its story rarely feels like it's dragging its feet. It's a rollercoaster of a ride from start to finish with plenty of heroic deaths and shocking twists along the way. For enjoyment value, "Gundam Seed" easily ranks amongst the heavy weights. The music deserves special mention for its excellent quality. Though the opening and ending themes, with the exception of the first OP "Invoke", aren't spectacular, the background music really really shines through. There are two main aspects to the depiction of war in "Gundam Seed": the collossal feel of its political struggles and spectacular mecha battles, and the human, emotional drama underneath. The background music plays a giant part by creating exactly the right kind of atmosphere for both these aspects. For the first, the soundtrack provides a number of suitably grand pieces. During the awesome battles scenes, the powerful, swelling orchestral score is in perfect fusion with the explosive action sequences to make the whole experience positively exhilarating. The more touching scenes, often teeming with raw, human emotions, are also intensified by the heart felt instrumentals in the background. The through the roof production values also throws up numerous other small pleasures. I especially like the way the episodes tend to naturally fade into the ending credits/theme, and also the returning eyecatch really caught my er... eye (and ear) with its enchanting ballerina in a music box effect."Gundam Seed" shouldn't be dismissed as all flash and melodrama though, because underneath all the gloss and the theatrics, it has a surprising amount of substance in its war-related themes. The web of motives and ideals of the cast is not just complicated, but in constant change throughout the course of the series, and "Gundam Seed" does remarkably well in mapping them out clearly and making them easy to understand. One of the series' strength is painting everything in shades of grey rather simplifying issues down clear differences of black and white. It's clear that there are no "right and wrong" sides to this war - none of the parties involved in it are completely bad, nor completely innocent in general. The naturals may have fired the first shot, fueled by their hatred born from prejudice and fear of the genetically enhanced "artificial" Coordinators, who they barely view as human beings, but the Coordinators struts around with a certain air of arrogance and superiority, and seeks the total extermination of the Naturals, who they see as threats to their existence. Even as I despised the leaders of both sides for being so manipulative and deceiving the masses with their hatred propaganda, "Gundam Seed" made me sympathise with the more ordinary, helpless people caught up in the war against their will, as well as the lower ranked soldiers who are often torn between obeying orders and upholding their own ideals and moral principles. By focusing on these kind of people from both sides of the war, and showing them becoming more and more disillusioned, questioning the reasons that they fight for, it really makes it difficult to decide who to root for. Prejudice is a theme that features heavily in "Gundam Seed". It manifests in different levels of severity. At the worst level it's systematic prejudice, the kind that give rise to irrational hatred and triggers off wars. But the anime took pains to illustrate that even the nice, ordinary, sensible people like Kira's classmates are not totally unsucceptible to these feelings now and then. When push comes to shove, even they can display the unpalatable taint of prejudice. At the most subtle level, it's actually unclear what's right and what's wrong. For example, upon hearing a Coordinator sing in an incredibly beautiful voice, is it really so wrong to wonder whether this is due to genetic enhancements? It's a similar kind of question to how far political correctness should be taken to, and "Gundam Seed" does a sublime job of presenting this kind of dilemma.While most of the cast of "Gundam Seed" are thoughtfully fleshed out (though admittedly I didn't take a particular liking to any of them, nor did any of them seem particularly interesting, thus the relatively low score I gave for the characters), there a few that are a little subpar. One of these is the popstar Lacsus. To start off with, she seems to play the role of a sweet, naive pop princess ("Really? Am I really not allowed to go wandering around on a warship belonging to an enemy nation?") with pink hair that matches her personality perfectly. Halfway through, the producers appeared to change their mind about what kind of character they want her to be, and so she ended up suddenly maturing into a personality that's more suitable for her ambassador role. I didn't find this change of personality particularly convincing.Also, le Cruz comes off as just another one of those "one dimensionally crazy bad guys who just want to destroy the world coz he's crazy" type of character. Speaking of le Cruz, the unravelling of his mysterious background is brilliantly executed, but having uncovered it, I struggle to figure out its relevance to the story. And here we move to the series' weakest point - the unexplained significance of le Cruz's background (there may be none, of course, but the build up to this feels so deliberate that I have trouble getting my head to accept this idea) is just one of many unexplained or badly explained plot points. On one occasion this resulted in such a jarring experience that I had to briefly skim back through a couple episodes to convince myself that I didn't just accidently skipped past an episode and missed some crucial story development. One aspect they really should have dwelled upon some more is the whole Seed thing. I only really touched on it without going into details. I'm not sure whether it's supposed to have any connections with those Berserker pilots. (Speaking of those, is it just me, or does it seems like every good guy and their dog turn out to be Berserkers by the end?!) In addition, even though the storyline itself isn't exactly slow paced, its progression does often get bogged down by repeats of previously shown events. The repeats, which are not presented in the form of flashbacks, are both more frequent and longer than necessary and some are so bad that I'm not sure whether they are meant to be recap episodes or not. I'm a pretty patient viewer generally, but even I was a bit restless sitting through all of those. Those partial recap episodes practically disappear during the later stages of the series, which just makes me think the earlier ones are just stalling for time so they don't break the "Gundam series must be 50 episodes long" golden rule. I wouldn't have minded seeing a more detailed explanation of the story if they had so many episodes to spare.Apart from the that, the rest of my complaints are mostly minor. They include things like Lacsus' overrated songs; the rather unusual character design that takes a bit of getting used to; the horrific noises the characters make when crying; the uncalled for fanservice in the opening credits which made it look like there was going to be a lot of fiery romance in it, which there isn't; then there are all those Gundam cliches (well it is a Gundam after all) - the obligatory man in mask, the practically invincible hero, the ridiculously overpowered Gundams etc. Also, while the "Gundam Seed" is well dramatised in general, it is guilty of being a little overly melodramatic at times, especially with the somewhat stereotypical overly emotional female characters who annoyed me sometimes with their over the top reactions. With the most trivial of events enough to make them squawk, go all tearful and dish out bear hugs, it does make some of the character interaction slight cringeworthy to watch. In addition, "Gundam Seed" is also occasionally guilty of the Saikano Syndrome, where some of the characters seem to do stupid things for no apparently reason other than to create more drama and tragedy for the series, like during the battle involving the Desert Tiger.Still, this is mostly nit-picking, because ultimately, "Gundam Seed" gets it spot on when it matters. The excitement, the drama, the action can all be regarded as close to the very best on offer in its genre. It may not be the most perfect of anime, and may not leave a long lasting impression (my extremely good impressions of it went stale rather quickly afterwards), but its strong points and the sheer passion contained within it is more than enough to make it stand out from the crowd. Even if you've been avoiding the Gundam franchise, you might still find yourself pleasantly surprised by this offering.

The Gundam franchise is an series of space opera epics created by the all-known Yoshiyuki Tomino. Boasting of (as of the time this was written) 35 years of history and countless merchandise, it has succeeded in appealing not only to teenagers but also adults due its thought-provoking themes, rich dialogue and colorful characters. However, in recent years the franchise has made a name for itself for much more negative reasons. The first of which was the unfortunate assessment MANY people have made; if one Gundam wasn't appealing, then there's absolutely no point in checking out the rest. The second reason, tying in directly with the first, is the unfortunate recycling of many concepts and themes, which leads to many people (including old-school Gundam fans) to jump to the conclusion that Gundam as a whole jumped the shark. And last but not least, many anime fans' reluctance to watch any Gundam series that isn't Wing or 00, the former because of nostalgia and the latter due to its spectacular animation quality. It comes as a surprise then, that the series widely considered as the re imagining of the original Gundam manages to be an excellent gateway into not only Gundam but also anime in general and the mech genre in particular. A wide variety of reasons made me reach such a conclusion, starting with: Story: SEED's initial premise is strikingly familiar to the original Gundam; war between the Earth and space colonies, whiny (by which I mean REALLY WHINY) teenager discovers a mobile suit, decides to pilot it and I can literally list most mecha anime cliches and they'd fit in here perfectly. However, what sets SEED apart positively from other Gundam series are three things. One, it is the first Gundam airing after the events of 9/11. This means that instead of focusing on the Newtype concept ever-present in the Universal Century, more focus was instead placed on racism. This adds new flavor in SEED in spite of its unoriginal beginning, and instantly helps make viewers suffering/who have suffered from such problems feel right at home, making the characters in SEED instantly more relateable. Secondly, the script-writing in SEED is less complex than the original series. Don't get me wrong, there is still a great deal of substance and merit in the story nevertheless, but its simplistic presentation makes it easier for newcomers into the franchise to settle into instead of the more complex dialogue present in the Universal Century or Gundam 00. This can be considered negative with many experienced anime and/or mecha fans, however, so take this advantage with a grain of salt. Finally, SEED proves that Gundam is ultimately not about the giant robots but rather about about the humans piloting them; SEED's plot is overall character focused, and how well you like SEED depends on how well you like the characters. This is, again, a disadvantage to those who would much rather watch the fast-paced mecha action shows that are Code Geass or Gundam 00. I nevertheless feel inclined to place it as an advantage, however, as there is a large cast of characters all of which have personalities and stand-alone quirks, making it easy for the viewer to find someone to root for. SEED is not without its problems, however, as excessive flashbacks (aka the Naruto syndrome) and dragged out pacing as well as a few unexplained plot points (arguably left to interpretation in certain cases. I'm looking at the SEED factor here). I nevertheless feel that it is an above average story by anime standards, so it most certainly gets a recommendation from me. Score: 8/10 Animation: As with most series which aired during the 1999 to 2004 period, CG effects are all over the place, making this a very flashy (literally) series. Repeated frames are abundant, and as mentioned previously, so are flashbacks. However, the series is really...colorful. I mean really, really pretty to look at, in spite of everything I said. The artwork is quite hated, but I actually got used to it after a period of time, and the recent HD Remaster puts this among the better animated series of its time. But yeah, back to the color - everything looks so vibrant and pleasant, in spite of all the problems I said, that I just feel it deserves an above average score for Art/Animation. A lot of energy went into the backgrounds for this series, and you can feel the passion, especially during the mecha battles, which despite everything were very tense and well-presented. Score: 8/10 Characters: As expected of a Gundam anime, the cast of characters in this series is HUGE. Not all characters get the sufficient development they should, but those that do have WONDERFUL character development. Kira Yamato and Athrun Zala in particular grow magnificently over the course of the series, and Lacus and Cagalli are excellent female leads to those of you out there positively fed up of weak female leads in anime. Mu La Flaga, Ramius and Natarle provide a more mature aspect to the show, proving that no, adults are not bloody useless. Mu La Flaga in particular was very charismatic and his interactions with Kira made him in particular very memorable and easy to like. The characters fighting with ZAFT are far from shallow as well; Athrun is by far the most like-able character in the show and his comrades are very hard to hate, especially by the end of the series. Rau Le Creuset takes the usual masked man role in this series, and is a fantastic masked man at that as his action in motives are perfectly kept in secret up until the very end. There's a LOT of melodrama, however, which comes in the form of a certain character called Flay All-aster. She is to Gundam SEED what Sakura was in Naruto; whiny, annoying and completely useless. Nevertheless, even she develops throughout the course of the show, making up for some of her really annoying moments over the course of the series. Kinda. Generally, most characters get some backdrop or development, while some don't. The development that is there, however, is wonderful. Score 9/10 Sound: Voice acting is a mixed bag in this series, with some absolutely fantastic voice acting while some performances remain rather questionable due to the melodramatic tone of the show (I guess even too much passion can be a bad thing). The music...is absolutely wonderful, on the other hand, and has some of the most fantastic tracks I've heard not just among Gundam series but in anime in general. TM Revolution's Invoke remains one of my favorite openings, even after all these years, and the new ending called Distance by none other than Yuki Kajura in the HD remaster. Overall, voice acting is melodramatic but nevertheless above average, while the soundtrack is top notch, fitting the tone of the series and having excellent rehear value outside of the series. Score: 9/10 Enjoyment/Final Impressions: Overall, Gundam SEED is a solid entry point for newbies into the Gundam franchise due its simplistic storytelling, colorful characters and wonderful soundtrack. It suffers from many problems, like being overly melodramatic and the CG effects may annoy lots of viewers, but I believe that it's overall a solid watch and should be a joy for both anime fans in general and mecha fans in particular. I grant this a 9 out of 10. Thanks a lot for reading. Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

The Gundam franchise is undeniably the "name franchise" when it comes to mecha anime - it's one of the first series most people will associate with the genre whenever they think of it.  While most Gundam fans recommend watching in production order, I decided to have SEED be my first taste of the Gundam franchise, due to the fact that I had heard that it was basically a modernized version of the original series.  And I could not have chosen a better series to start with. The story for Gundam SEED is, from what I understand, somewhat typical for most Gundam series - 2 factions of humanity are at war with one another, and it's not so much a "good vs evil" conflict, but rather, a "one side vs the other" one - the story presents the 2 sides as both having good and bad people, so you can root for whoever you want without having to feel like you're supporting the "Bad guys".  However, I found it somewhat interesting that the way the story begins actually reminded me of another mecha anime, RahXephon - in both stories, the male lead (Ayato Kamina in RahXephon, Kira Yamato in Gundam SEED) is living in a city (in RahXephon)/a colony (in Gundam SEED), and during an attack on where the male lead is living (in RahXephon, the attack is by TERRA; in Gundam SEED, ZAFT is behind the attack), he meets a woman (Haruka Shitow in RahXephon, Murrue Ramius in Gundam SEED - coincidentally, both have somewhat similar personalities), who causes a chain of events that leads to the male lead piloting a mecha and leaving their home (there is a slight difference - Haruka Shitow is indirectly responsible for causing the events that lead to Ayato Kamina becoming the pilot of the RahXephon; Murrue Ramius forces Kira into the cockpit of the Strike Gundam to save him and herself from an explosion).  The plot is very solid overall, but there are some minor things that I felt were plot holes - one of the most notable ones involves nuclear weapons. The animation reminds me of a prototype of the style used in Code Geass - although I don't think CLAMP was involved in the character design of this show.  The mechas are all hand drawn, which is always a good thing.  However, there was a lot of recycled animation - while it's not noticeable early on, as the show progresses, it becomes much more noticeable.  Other than that, I found the animation to be great. The OST is flawless - but considering the fact that one of the main love interests, Lacus Clyne, is a pop star, I would've be surprised if the OST was terrible.  As for the opening and ending themes, there were a large number, with my favorite opening being the first ("Invoke" by T.M Revolution), and that goes for the ending as well ("Anna ni Isshodattanon" by See-Saw). The characters are also great - Kira Yamato is a character that I found myself rooting for right away, and his rival, Athrun Zala, won me over pretty quickly.  Even some characters I thought I would end up hating, like Yzak Joule, ended up winning me over by the end.  In particular, I found myself to be a huge fan of 2 characters - Dearka Elsman and Murrue Ramius.  Of course, there were some characters I legitimately hated, most notably Flay Allster (or as I like to call her, "Bitchus Clone") and Muruta Azrael. Overall, my introduction to Gundam was well worth my time, and the enjoyment I had is what I hope to have in future Gundam Franchises.  While I might prefer the deep and powerful symbolism of RahXephon or the political and military actions of Code Geass, Gundam is a series that I will definitely be revisiting in the future.

This was the first anime i ever got into when i was about 11 and its one of my top faves 9 years later lol. I love everything about it, It has everything from a great story line, friendships, romance (including love triangles) betrayals, and fighting in mobile suits XD Its very futuristic and if you like si-fi id recommend it. The only warning i have is that some parts get very emotional and sad, so be prepared to cry. I still do xx

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