Our look at the remastered version of Mobile Suit Gundam Seed continues! I was going to originally put this part of the story with my previous post, but I felt that since several important things happen here, I wanted to give it its own post. Let’s not waste anytime and dive into the next story arc: The Flight from ORB after the cut!
When we last left off, the crew of the Archangel had been betrayed and left to die by the Earth Alliance, Flay was kidnapped by Rau Le Creuset, and Kira, with renewed purpose, returned with the new Freedom Gundam, powered by nuclear energy. Hot on his trail however is Athrun, now piloting the Justice Gundam who, after a confrontation with Lacus, is struggling to realize just what he is fighting for, and if he should sit down and hash it out with his former best friend.
This arc pretty much does that, and as the crew of the Archangel now flees to ORB, we see that the country is under considerable pressure to join the Earth Alliance, and when they decide to refuse, it means only one thing: war. In the resulting episodes, we find out main characters fighting against the forces they were once part of, and bravely returning to space to carry on their new mission: stop the war before it wipes out all of humanity.
To do that though, it requires Kira and Athrun to make peace, and thankfully it isn’t something that is dragged on too much. After getting an assist from the Justice in the first battle in Orb, Kira and Athrun decide to sit down and hash out their problems. It is a good scene, and throughout their conversation it becomes clear to both of them that Kira and Athrun didn’t want to kill their respective friends, and that they need to look past their misunderstandings to the bigger picture. Yet while Kira is comfortable in his new mission, Athrun is still torn by loyalty to his father, and the need to do what is right. While he does end up standing with ORB, this is a feeling that won’t go away anytime soon. Overall, I am glad that SEED was able to put the Kira/Athrun plot to bed here, instead of dragging it out through more fighting and misunderstandings. SEED could have easily brought this right to the conclusion of the series, but the fact that it doesn’t allow the story to go where it needs to.
And like I said last time, the story is on full course to a war of annihilation, as we are introduced to a new villain in the form of Azrael, the leader of the terrorist group Blue Cosmos, who would do nothing better than to wipe out all of the coordinators. While Azrael is a bit one-dimensional in terms of his villanly, he serves the plot well enough, putting a face on the bigotry and hatred of the Earth Alliance. It is his actions that force ORB to send its forces to space, for Cagalli to leave her father, and is given only a picture of a woman holding her, and a brother she never knew she had. The final scenes of the arc, where the Kusangi warship blasts off into space as Uzumi blows up the mass-driver and mobile suit factory, is a powerful moment and a great way to end everything.
Overall, The Flight from ORB is the opening salvo in the remaining story arcs of Gundam SEED, throwing the cast back into space so they can head towards the final confrontations. It’s a good way to re-adjust the story, put old plot points to bed, and get (most) of the gang together for the last few hurdles. However we are only getting started here, because the next arc in the series is not only the best in SEED, but also one of the best moments in all of Gundam: The Revelations of Mendel.
- This arc also contains the biggest change to the remastered version: The addition of the Perfect Strike Gundam, which wears all three striker packs at once. While clearly a way to sell model kids, it’s a cool thing to see, and as always, it’s great to see Mu La Flaga throw down in something that isn’t a freaking jet.
- Dearka and the Buster Gundam join the Archangel in full this time. I like that his character, while clearly a supporting one, decides to jump the gun on Athrun’s decision.
- Kira and Cagalli being siblings is the worst kept secret in the series, but it’s still pretty good. We’ll get into more of that in the next arc.
- Kuzzy deciding to jump ship when Murrue gives the entire crew the chance is a good moment, because unlike Flay, he has the courage to know when to bow out. Sai’s reassurance that he is doing the right thing is also a nice touch.
- Kira and Sai also make peace in this arc, though it is brief. Again, I am glad that people are actually getting along and looking at the big picture, instead of falling to petty grievances.
- I’ll be honest here, I do not care for the Earth Alliance’s three new pilots. They are annoying, one dimensional, and just bleh. Cool suits, but they feel like disposable villains in the worst way. The dub really, REALLY leans into making Clotho a gamer, like damn they jump went down on all the puns.
- Murrue and Mu finally kiss! About time, I say, their relationship was always one of the best in the series.
- We see the briefest tease of Shinn Asuka, the “star” of Gundam Seed Destiny. Say what you will about that series, but his initial introduction is pretty great, the first time at least.
- Were Rau and Flay banging? I like to think so, that just seems like something that would happen.