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Sometimes, I think I just like to hear myself talk. XD Well, that might not be the case, but even though there doesn't seem to be a real reason for a dissertation such as this, I wrote one anyway. And I'm even setting it to public so I can spam the rest of LJ, instead of just you lovely people. Regardless of my reasons, I sat down and babbled quite a bit about Gundam Seed and Seed Destiny. I tried to keep it spoiler-free, so if there's anything I missed, it's mild. Real spoilers are in ()'s and the text must be high-lighted to be read. The Seed section is mostly just me saying, "This show sure is spiffy!" whereas for Seed Destiny I actually listed things I like and things I don't like.

Gundam Seed

When I think of Gundam, really my only other experience was good old Gundam Wing. After that, I've avoided all Gundam series like the plague--while wondering at the same time why they went from such pretty art, to crayon-like drawings even I might have drawn better (although that is debatable :F). When I first heard of Seed, I was intrigued (mostly by the cast, many of whom I adore) and wanted to see it but just as it was premiering in America, I was heading off to Japan, where it was already finished and done with. Then as FMA ended, I caught a CM about what looked to me, like Seed. "Whoo hoo!" I thought, "I can catch the re-runs!" As it turned out, these weren't re-runs, but a sequel series, and so at first, I decided not to watch it since most of the cast members I had wanted to see/hear (Mitsuishi Kotono, Koyasu Takehito, Seki Toshihiko, etc) didn't appear to be in it. Then I accidentally caught a couple episodes, found out some seiyuu I liked were in it, and quickly became ensnared by the story. It was actually flashbacks of events from Seed that did it. Curious to find out more behind things that kept being mentioned, I found a page with detailed episode summaries and stayed up very late reading the latter half of the series. Since then, I've done whatever I can to find out everything, reading the anime manga in Book Off, renting the DVDs, viewing screencaps, etc. And now that I'm hooked, I think back on the only other Gundam series I know (Wing) and wonder what the hell about that series I could have thought was great. XD

Granted, it's been a long time since Wing, so I don't remember the story so much, but in the end, we all know it was just a story about five pretty boys (one of whom everybody seemed to hate but my one friend), a couple of pretty bad guys, giant robots, and an overabundance of slashable materials. Oh yeah, and Relena that whore that just refused to die. XD Yes, there were some good story elements and I too was moved at various points in the series, but it really pales in comparison with Seed, in my opinion. (Look at it this way, the Gundam Wing doujinshi section at K-Books is twice as large as the Gundam Seed section. If that doesn't tell you something about the basic aim of the series, what will? *snerk*)

So in Seed, you've got Kira Yamato and Athrun Zala, two great friends who are separated during their childhoods when the Zala family moves up into space and the Yamatos stay on Earth. Years later, when the two finally meet again, they find they are on opposite sides of a rapidly developing war. Sounds pretty simple (you can read a more detailed description of the events leading up to the war here.) but the basic premise of the story is about Kira and Athrun. What it develops into is something much more impressive and moving. Kira is a sweet-hearted boy who doesn't want to fight but is forced to in order to protect his friends. The story is about a war so of course, the issues of killing/not-killing, why we fight, right/wrong are discussed. Words just don't do this show justice, at least not coming from me.

The characters are incredible. I want to have Murrue Ramius's babies, Lacus Clyne is awesome (despite the fact that I don't usually like the "feminine" characters, simply for how they're portrayed. Lacus, however, gives a speech near the end of the series that, combined with the visuals, just gave me goosebumps, which is just one reason why I adore her), Cagalli's mouthy but sincere, Yzak and Dearka managed to smuggle their way into my heart, and of course, there's Kira and Athrun. Kira, who fights the cruel nature of war, and Athrun who struggles to understand why his best friend is on the wrong side, and just what makes each side right or wrong.

The seiyuu do an outstanding job, even down to the smaller roles, like Kira's friends. I could have done without so much of the druggie pilots (so dubbed because they are Naturals who take drugs to enhance their performance piloting Gundams) but I understand they were kind of necessary to the plot...or something. ^__^;; Yuuki Hiro as Clotho was amusing, at least.

In a lot of the reviews I've seen, there is much complaining about how Seed is basically a rip-off of previous Gundam series and all I have to say to that is, "Deal with it." Who cares if this scene is almost identical to that scene from another series, or this character has a clone somewhere else? There are enough stories being recycled by other anime out there for it to be kind of stupid to nitpick about. Take the magic girl genre, for example. Talk about getting old, people. Another complaint is the over-usage of flashbacks, fight or launch sequences, etc. And again, allow me to point out the magic girl genre. Do you honestly think they animate Sailor Moon's transformation from scratch in every single episode? Of course not! They have their pre-generated clip and they throw it in there whenever she whips out her brooch. Sometimes they shorten it, sometimes they don't, and same for her attacks. It's a Gundam show, for pete's sake. I don't expect them to not show any of the main character's launching into battle, or a trademark attack move, because somewhere out there, there's a fan of this show (or others) who's into it for the mecha, whereas I'm into it for the people. If such fans didn't exist, there wouldn't be such an insanely large market for the models. ^__~;

At this point in time, I haven't been able to see the dub, so I can't make any remarks as to whether the show has been butchered or not, but I definitely recommend seeing it if you can (preferably a sub, since it's usually just better that way). In my book, it gets 11 out of 10 stars, three thumbs up, etc. etc. ^__~;; Oh yes, and the music is gorgeous too.

Gundam Seed Destiny

Things that please me:
Talia Gladys - Captain of the Minerva, the Archangel of Seed Destiny and oh so rawr. After Seed, I wanted to have Murrue's babies, and while Gladys doesn't quite make me squee to that point, I still like her verreh verreh much. Her co-captain Arthur amuses me too.

Athrun Zala - Athrun powah! ♥ He really seems to have it together in this series, despite lingering doubts about why they're fighting, and who they should fight for. (Sadly, I'm concerned Dullindal might be leading him astray, but hopefully Athrun will stray true to what he learned from the last war.) I guess you should expect nothing less from a survivor of war. He gets super brownie points for telling Shinn off when he's too much of a punk.

The former crew of the Archangel - Which is I guess the best way to refer to people involved with the Archangel in Seed, like Murrue, Kira, etc. Unfortunately, most of my comments after that are kind of spoilery. ^__~; (MURRUE. *__* ::sings "She's a laaady!":: I love this lady, honestly. That scene where she was covering everyone's retreat during the attempted assassination? OMGLIEKSOKEWL. I had a flashback to Misato and was reminded just why Murrue rocks my socks. ^__~; Also, while I was just as shattered when we lost Mwu at the end of Seed, seeing her living companionably with Andrew kind of warms my heart. It's like, "Aww...they both lost their beloved and so that kind of connects them." If nothing more than a strong friendship is developed, I won't be disappointed, but I do think they make quite the pair. And Kiraaaaaaa! ^____^ I was a little peeved at first, when he and Lacus seemed capable of only saying each other's names and looking sadly into the distance or at the other--as in Lacus's case--but now that the Archangel has set sail, they seem to have returned to the land of YesI'mawesome™. Re: Kira kidnapping Cagalli from her supposed wedding and the talk he had with her afterward. +10 cool points, Kira. I couldn't have said it better myself. Also, there have been a couple shots of Miriallia and I would just like to say right now, that if she and Dearka meet again in Destiny and there is much with the sweetness and the love, I will be a very satisfied Beth. ::curls up around them and purrs::)

Things that displease me:
Shinn Asuka - Main character and a punk. Just a mouthy little punk who only recently has he gone from "Boy, Imma kill you," to "Boy, Imma hit you" in my mind. I think the little chat he had with Athrun might have helped, or at least I can pray it did. Also, I'm really getting sick of the flashbacks to his family dying too. I mean, yes, it's sad, boo hoo, AAAAANGST and all that, but if I have to see his family blown up (and I mean literally, with arms and legs just kind of lying here and there) one more time, I'm going to scream. (This is actually a problem since the next episode is a "flashback" to tell us what exactly happened after what we see in the first episode) And the thing with his sister? O__o I snickered when I was flipping through an anime magazine and they said something about, "Does Shinn have a sister complex?" Because you would certainly think so, given how hung up on her he is. I tried to put myself in the kid's position and imagine (God forbid) if something happed to Sean, and admittedly, I'd be pretty destroyed. However, I don't think I'd carry around his cell phone, listen to his voice mail message, and constantly look through pictures of us. (Well I'd look at pictures of us, at least) So I think they're pushing too hard to make us feel for Shinn. Seriously, Bandai, WE GET IT. His family's dead, his beloved sister's dead, he's oh so angsty and punky. Enough already! >__<

Shinn vs. Kira - They hint at this in the opening sequence, showing the Freedom and Impulse Gundams facing off, and Kira and Shinn's faces in the foreground, but I really hope they don't go any further. First of all, Shinn didn't really swear he'd kill the pilot of Freedom after his family bit the dust, he just freaked out and said he'd stop them all (or something). Second, Kira didn't kill Shinn's family. An unfortunate blast during the battle between Kira and one of the druggie pilots in Seed ended up blowing his family into little bits. So blaming Kira is stupid and punk-ish and will result in much Beth-wrath. Third, (after facing off against Athrun in Seed, and nearly dying, I have this horrible feeling that the writers will decide it's time for a weird twist of fate, and actually allow Shinn to kill Kira--just to increase the angst factor--which is just plain dumb.).

Unresolved love - All right look, people, it's pretty damn clear at the end of Seed who's with who. Don't just drop potential relationships or decide to screw around with them simply because it provides more intrigue. Athrun does not need 3 love interests when he's only got ONE; furthermore, he does not need to appear so damn wishy-washy. (If he's going to give Cagalli a ring and kiss her yet again, it's pretty clear he loves her and wants to be with her, so stop making it seem like he could possibly be swayed into liking someone else. And the Lacus-as-fiance thing was finished in Seed! >__< ARGH) I understood the thing with Yuuna, that's fine, but the other stuff is a load of smelly, dead carp. So quit it.

Gilbert Dullindal - I love this man...or so so I thought. As the series progresses, I'm sadly beginning to wonder if they're going to make him one of those bad guys who isn't really bad because what he's doing makes sense and is for the purpose of ending the war, but is also kind of bad at the same time. (Like Lacus's attempted assassination. I sadly think he was the one behind it, since he brought out Meer and having the real Lacus wandering about might be a problem. Especially if the real Lacus disagrees with Dullindal, as it seems she just might. Also, I think he's trying to manipulate Athrun and if it ends up with Athrun and Kira being on opposite sides again--and for the love of God, I hope not, because please, we already went there and back again and hopefully learned our lesson--I'll flarge mightily. Also, I think he knows the truth behind Rey and Neo and that does not bode well either.)

Neo Lorrnoke - (It couldn't be more obvious that he's a clone of Mwu, or at least is going to look identical to him somehow, and this makes me very sad. Especially since in the opening they hint of a showdown between Murrue and Neo--with Neo's mask off--and when that happens, it's probably going to break my heart. I only hope Murrue isn't destroyed by it. Perhaps having Waltfeld around will help. They are a cute couple, if I do say so myself. ^__^;;)

Meer/Mia Campbell - Need I say more? The bouncing breasts thing is really too much, guys. Honestly. ::rolls eyes::
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