Over the last few months I’ve been taking a look at the HD remaster of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. I’ve examined the series arc by arc, breaking down my thoughts and views on what has been (and probably always will be) a series that divides fans. Now that we’ve done that, I want to give you my final personal thoughts on the series after the cut. Let’s get into it.
Damn do I love this series.
Going back to this show, like with any piece of entertainment that you love is always a risk. Have your thoughts changed? Does the show hold up to fresh eyes? Were you just blinded by nostalgia? Were the haters right? It is always fear, and as I’ve revisited series like Black Cat, Date A Live and High School DxD, I’ve thankfully been lucky that everything I adored still holds up. And the same has been the case for Gundam SEED.
SEED has always been the series that most of the Gundam fans, especially those who were raised on the Universal Century Timeline regard with either dismissal, or hatred. In some ways I can understand, SEED is very much a re-do of the first 0079 series, repackaged for a modern audience. I can see the criticisms and knocks people have given against the series. Yes, the animation is insultingly recycled, yes there are some plot points raised and dropped, some of its bigger themes are glossed over and yes, there is, in some regards, a sense of the story losing focus (or rather trying to go too big) around the halfway point. I get those points, acknowledge them and even agree with a few, but I also really can’t bring myself to care that much. I just love this freaking show.
The characters, the music, the mecha designs, the concepts and ideas. All of them are interesting and compelling, and tickle my mind with what they mean for both the show and humanity in general. Kira’s struggle between two worlds, Athrun’s struggle between his duty and his friendships, Cagalli’s brash, but almost endearing hotheadedness, Murrue’s kindness, and Rau Le Creuset’s cynical and cruel view of the world. I’ve always enjoyed everything these characters have brought to the story, and throughout the 48 remastered episodes I felt like I was being brought along on a story that, despite hiccups, had a solid beginning, middle and most of all, a damn thrilling conclusion. And in a franchise so varied in quality like Gundam, a solid well-told story is more than I can ask for.
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED is a good story, and it is a good Gundam series. I believe that. I believed it before, and I still believe it now. No, it doesn’t have the gravitas of the better Universal Century series, the freshness of Iron-blooded Orphans, or even the remarkable solidity of Gundam 00’s first season, but it is far from the abomination that many viewers have painted it out to be. It’s not the confused Gundam AGE, the kneecapped Gundam X, the truly bad sequel Gundam SEED Destiny or whatever the hell Reconguista in G was supposed to be. This is a good, sometimes great story that, even after all of these years, was able to still pull me into its world and not let go. That I think is more than anyone can ask for from an anime or a Gundam series. Perhaps you will watch it yourself and come away with the same feelings, or perhaps you won’t. That is your choice to make. Either way, we’ll end this how we always do.
Take us out, Invoke.