Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny poster

Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny

C.E. 73: While the second battle of Yachin Due brought the war between the Naturals and Coordinators to a close, tensions between the two races are at an all-time high. During a meeting between PLANT Chairman Gilbert Dullindal and Orb Representative Cagalli Yula Athha, a unit of soldiers hijack ZAFT's newly developed Gundams. ZAFT soldier Shinn Asuka along with his friends at the ZAFT ship Minerva sortie in attempt to deter this hijacking. With the assistance of Cagalli's bodyguard, Athrun Zala, the Minerva chases after the unknown ship that hijacked the Gundams until an even greater problem occurs leading to the start of the second Bloody Valentine war.

Ranking 1699

User Count6509
Favorites Count76
Start Date9th Oct 2004
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank1699
Rating Rank5114
Age RatingR
Age Rating Guide17+ (violence & profanity)
SubtypeTV
Statusfinished

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After the success of "Gundam Seed", the follow up series "Gundam Seed Destiny" is often seen as a bit of a flop. However, there does exist a handful of people who think it's a very under-rated anime... and it just so happens that I'm one of them. In fact, I'm actually ASTOUNDED by how under-rated this show is, so here's my long winded take on "Why Gundam Seed Destiny Is At Least As Good As Gundam Seed", in which I shall attempt to bore anyone with opposing views into submission with the sheer weight of my wall of text :DI can think of several reasons why this sequel proved to be so unpopular. One of the main ones is that, despite the superficial similarities, "Gundam Seed Destiny" is very much a different kettle of fish to its predecessor. A lot of people who enjoyed the action packed, exhilarating nature of "Gundam Seed" no doubt came away from this more subtle, politics heavy sequel disappointed that they didn't get more of the same. A friend of mine made the statement that if you take the "Gundam" out of title "Gundam Seed Destiny", it'd probably suddenly become a lot more well received, and I'm inclined to agree with that. One of the primary things you'd look out for in a Gundam series (and this is something "Gundam Seed" does very well) - explosive mecha battles - are done rather shoddily in "Gundam Seed Destiny". The action leaves a lot to be desired - it's mostly a rehash of what we've already seen a million times already in the 50 episodes of "Gundam Seed", except not as good; nearly every battle boringly ends with someone going berserk and annihilating everyone else on the battlefield, and there's a shocking amount of reused animation, as though it's made on about a quarter of the budget of "Gundam Seed", which would be very strange, considering the commercial success of that show. What all this amounts to is that, with a few notable exceptions, the battles in "Gundam Seed Destiny" are mostly snorefests.What "Gundam Seed Destiny" lacks in aesthetic values however, it makes up with something arguably more important - substance, because it's an anime that excels in areas of story and character development. The story, it has to be said, does not get off to a great start, with the whole copy cat Gundam stealing plot opening feeling a bit too similar to what happened in "Gundam Seed" (as well as about 1321 other Gundam stories) for comfort. Perhaps it's trying to convey some kind of "history is repeating itself" message, but the whole thing feels stale rather than thought provoking. Once the first few episodes are done, the series really starts to shine as the plot thickens and the strands of political intrigue are slowly woven together.In comparison to its predecessor, there is a significant shift in the focus of the story here. People who are expecting the story to continue to feature heavily on Kira and Athrun will be disappointed (and no doubt many of them were, as Kira is reduced to almost cameo appearances). The focus of this sequel is spread across quite several different characters, with none of them getting enough screen time to be justifiable labelled as \*the\* main character. The one that comes closest would probably be Shinn, and Shinn is one heck of a big talking point of "Gundam Seed Destiny", as he is both one of the most popular reasons for hating this series, and, in my opinion, by far the best character in both series combined (a claim that's probably nearly as controversial as the claim that "Gundam Seed Destiny" is at least as good as "Gundam Seed").The reason Shinn is so unpopular probably has something to do with the fact that he's a teeth grindingly annoying character. While many would argue that Kira is also annoying because he cried so much while in his role as a main character in "Gundam Seed", that's nothing compared to Shinn. Because, ultimately, Kira is still taken from the "hero" character mould, and mostly does a good job of following his moral compass. Shinn isn't like that. Shinn is a cocky, rebelling, misled brat. Like a similarly named character from "Neon Genesis Evangelion", Shinn possesses a natural talent for pissing viewers off. However, unlike that other character, I don't find Shinn so extreme that I have difficulty understanding him. In fact, it's exactly because his personality and character progression are so effortlessly natural as well as interesting that I rate him as one of the finest anti-heros around. For instance, he does do a lot of angsty whining, but considering his personal loss, it'd be quite odd if he's some happy-go-lucky chap instead. On top of all of that, he's a character with intense emotions, but he's no good at hiding them, and this gets played upon as he is caught up in all the intricate political power play. He has a lot of redeeming features, such as a strong sense of justice and a desire to use his power to protect the weak, but even these end up being used to manipulate him. This wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't so talented as a Gundam pilot, and it doesn't help that his cockiness goes off the charts as his skill increased, blinding him to reason. His relationship with Stella is particularly fascinating even though Stella herself is annoying and one dimensional, with the whole crappy love story smells suspiciously like a shoe-in that happened simply because cliche demanded it. What's interesting about this relationship is the effect of it on Shinn as he is driven to extremes, consumed by a burning desire to protect what he couldn't protect before. Throw this in along with his fiery temperament and misguided feelings of disillusionment and betrayal for someone he looks up to, and you end up with a very multi layered and explosive powder keg of a character, even if he is very dislikable. I'll admit that I don't like him either, but I do recognise that he's a a fantastic character as everything about him "fits" and makes perfect sense. And in fact his annoyingness does end up giving rise to some of the most exhilarating battles in "Gundam Seed Destiny", due to the fact that I just wanted someone to kick his ass so badly lol.In addition to the most central character being an anti-hero, "Gundam Seed Destiny" also has an anti-villain counter part. I like the fact that he has a lot of subtlety and charm. Though he may not quite be on the same level as the awesome villains from "Berserk" and "Gankutsuoh", he's at least cut from a similar cloth. When all is revealed, it can be argued that, rather than being evil, the "villain" has simply walked down the wrong path in his desires to achieve what he perceives to be the greater good. His frequent musings is very much at the heart of the main theme of "Gundam Seed Destiny" which, incidentally, suits its title much better than "Gundam Seed" - "Gundam Seed" barely devoting any time explaining the whole "Seed" thing whereas this sequel does a pretty serious exploration of its theme revolving around destiny, asking questions such as whether we would actually be better off with our life already laid out for us.A lot of characters from "Gundam Seed" makes a return in "Gundam Seed Destiny". Most of them have changed for the better. In particular, Athrun seems to have acquired quite a dignified aura. Kira's time on screen has been drastically cut down, but this has actually given him an enigmatic air, like he's some kind of masked crusader for justice, which definitely makes him more interesting as far as I'm concerned. Both Athrun and Kira have a greater feeling of maturity about them, which makes sense considering all they had to go through.I do have some complaints about the characters though. There are some parts about the characters' progression didn't make sense. For example, Rey's change at the end of the show feels totally out of the blue. I don't see how he can deviate from something he's committed to for so long just because someone said a few words to him (words that I even didn't feel was that persuasive or stirring to begin with). Also, I don't really like those youth pilots like Stella who were pumped full of drugs. I think I'm supposed to feel sympathy for them, but I found them irritating instead as the anime tried too hard to make them "edgy" for the sake of melodrama. Speaking of melodrama, it's actually pretty well done in "Gundam Seed Destiny" for the most part. I remember a scene between Stella and Shinn that was particularly memorable. Admittedly, it was a blatent rip off of one of the best cut scenes in "Final Fantasy VII", but since it's a very worked rip off, I didn't mind.Despite me rating "Gundam Seed Destiny" very highly, I must admit that I found watching it somewhat hard going towards the end. It was probably a mistake to watch it so soon after "Gundam Seed". With the two series both suffering from the franchise's obsession with making TV series that are about 50 episodes long, watching them back to back not surprisingly caused a bit of a burn out in me. The original series already felt a bit dragged out, and the feeling is even more prevalent here. Maybe it simply feels this way because this series is built on an already overstretched first series, but honestly, does it really take a whooping 100 episodes to tell this story?! There are other things that "Gundam Seed Destiny" inherited from "Gundam Seed" and the Gundam franchise in general that contributed to my fatigue with watching it. Most of these elements are either stuff that are inherited badly, or stuff that I wasn't keen on to begin with. Aside from the action which I already mentioned, there are the distinctive character designs (which I never particularly liked); the miraculous ability of some characters to survive through seemingly impossible situations (with no follow up explanation as to HOW they managed it); and the obligatory man in mask cliche etc. There's even an attempt to re-create something comparable to the enchanting eye-catch from "Gundam Seed"... an attempt that failed as it came off looking like some cheesey ad for a Barbie & Ken doll set instead. Thankfully, one thing that "Gundam Seed Destiny" has inherited that's actually good is the epic music. It is every bit as good as the music from "Gundam Seed", and the huge OST that spans across quite a few CD's is still one of my favourites to date.So there you have it, whether you'll enjoy "Gundam Seed Destiny" will depend heavily on how open you are to the changes found in this rather unorthodox Gundam series. For those who don't crave the polished action found in "Gundam Seed" and who enjoy some subtle politics and solid character development, you might just find "Gundam Seed Destiny" to be a shining gem beneath all its surface roughness.

*Gundam Seed Destiny*, the name that strikes a sense of dread into the hearts of Gundam fans everywhere.  But is it really as bad as everyone says it is?  Short answer, no.  But it sure is one of the weakest, if not *the* weakest entry in the franchise.  It tries to tackle a lot, especially thematically, but never quite seems to know what it really wants to.  Every character has their own personal philosophy, but when you give all these characters focus, the overall philosophy of the show just gets muddy.  This isn't even considering half of their philosophical dialogue is just contrived idealism.  But I digress, if Seed was a re-imagining of the Original Gundam, this is Seed Zeta, only without the parts that made Zeta, well, good.  But I have to admit seeing some characters from Seed return does hold the same sort of charm that it did from MSG to Zeta.  Keep in mind this review is of my viewing of the HD Remaster of the show. **CHARACTERS** This show has 3 protagonists, shaking up the traditional Gundam formula,  Both Kira and Athrun return from Seed, and now we are introduced with Shinn Asuka, a ZAFT soldier who has some life-changing experiences behind him.  Fun fact: he's really angry.  All the time.  While some may see this anger as incessantly whiny,  I feel as though it isn't completely unprecedented, considering how the show sets him up early on, and gave him a pass for a while.  Only, it doesn't stop.  In term's of Shinn's character, there is very little progress.  In episode one, you learn that he's angry and wants to stop war, and up to around episode 49, nothing has changed, only that he now has some more fuel for his anger. Of course, by the end he finally turns around, but 1 episode of character development does not excuse 49 of stagnation. Kira "Jesus" Yamato, the main protagonist from Seed also becomes much more unbearable.  All of his character in Seed, the "hopeless" foil to the more serious Athrun, is completely gone, replaced with some sort of Messiah who only serves to mess things up upon his reentry into the battlefield, completely with his own preachings of ideology that really don't match up with some of his actions.  There's really not much else I can say about that.  Sure, he gets better as time goes on, but in my mind, the damage was done. I'll make no secret about it, Athrun was definitely my favorite of the three.  He was generally level headed, save for a stint of whine during the late-mid of the series.  While some see Shinn as Destiny's main character, I'm more inclined to say it was actually Athrun, which is completely welcome.  This isn't to say Athrun was much better written than all of them, Seed writing is still Seed writing, but he was definitely the most tolerable.  Much of the things that reintroduced Athrun back into the war, such as ZAFT remnants still following the path of his father, are completely abandoned, which is quite a shame.  A certain theme runs throughout all three of these characters, that being: missed potential.  So much more could've been done, but they keep to the same dimensions they're introduced with. Other characters, new and old, are varied in their presentation.  I feel like Cagalli takes a couple step backwards, Yzak and Dearka are criminally underused, Captain Gladys is altogether decent, Chairman Durandal is literally Char, "Roanoke" shouldn't even be alive, Heine is just Heine, Rey steadily gets worse, Lacus is still a bit insufferable, Meer is just crazy, Auel and Sting are just pointless except to provide an explanation for the Extended, which were never explained in Seed, Stella provides very little to progress Shinn (Angry before and after), Lunamaria is a contender for best girl in the beginning, but Meyrin being best girl is clearly evident towards the end of the series.  **SOUND** In terms of sound I wasn't too thrilled.  The most memorable tracks are the TM Revolution insert songs, and the piano version of Invoke you'll hear from time to time, though there is one orchestral/vocal piece that is quite memorable (though I don't know its name).  Again, the voice acting is fine, the cast list is basically just a bunch of all stars, but I notice that Kira's voice has lost a certain something that it had in Seed, probably a byproduct of the loss of any sort of personality. **AN**{::}**IMATION & DESIGN** The animation is just OK, which should be a bit better considering this is a remastering of the series.  In terms of character design, it's really a question of whether you like Hisashi Hirai's work.  It's definitely something I got used to accepting, but I wouldn't necessarily say that I like it.  The Mechanical design is a bit better than Seed's (though nothing beats the Providence Gundam in terms of CE).  I found myself liking the Impulse much faster than I ever did the Strike, and seeing the Zakus again was a nice touch, if only they had been updated just a tad more.  Many of the designs are a throwback to UC suits, most notably the Zaku, Gouf, Doms, and to a lesser degree the Destroy Gundam being reminiscent of Big Zam.  That sort of familiarity helped it achieve, in my mind, a stronger connection to what makes a Gundam series.  **CONCLUSION** So, Should you watch Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny?  Yeah, I'd say so, but just don't expect to be blown away in any sense of the word.  It's an average mech show, but a subpar Gundam show.  It's definitely below Seed, which some consider one of the weaker entries.  However, I did find myself enjoying it.  Some "bad" series are such a drag to get through, but this one actually wasn't.  Gundam Seed Destiny was ambitious, but ambition doesn't make a show good.

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