The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny

Title: Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny aka Gundam Seed Destiny aka Kidou Senshi Gundam Seed Destiny
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Sunrise
Format: 50 episodes
Dates: 9 Oct 2004 – 1 Oct 2005

Synopsis: Cosmic Era 73, a year and a half has passed since the end of the First Bloody Valentine War. Despite the Peace Treaty of Junius, an arms war is being waged between the Coordinators and Naturals. With the remains of the ruined Colony Junius Seven roaring down onto Earth, this fragile peace is about to be shattered.

The Highlights
Music: Superb.
Animation: Beautiful but redundant.
Characters: Flat, angst-filled and shallow.
Story: Carries all the faults of Gundam Seed(1,2)… and then some.

The first three minutes of Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny led me to believe that I had pure gold in my hands; this anime has one of the most gruesome introductions of any Gundam series. Once again, this show proves that one should not judge a book by its cover; all the potential the series had was gone by the second episode. It doesn’t take much to notice that this series is just too similar to the original Mobile Suit Gundam Seed. It is understandable to pay homage to a series from over two decades ago; it is unacceptable to steal from a series from only a year ago.

Ironically, it is not the blatant unoriginality that ultimately buries this series; it is the lack of character development. This show could have been condensed to half of its length without skiving off on much genuine drama. Due to this lack of development, a lot of situations feel forced and the supposed “romance” carries no substance. While the new cast is easy to sympathize with, they become wall-flowers during the final stretch, dulling any impressions these characters had made.

Despite all the show’s flaws, there are two places where the series really shine: the action and the music. This series still manages to have some of the best choreographed fight scenes in the Gundam universe. However, the show reuses cels so frequently it feels like the same battle is occurring over and over again. In the end, the music is the only attribute that remains consistently at a high level.

Much like how this show’s predecessor took plot points from the original Mobile Suit Gundam, this series fittingly takes from Zeta Gundam. While I would love to say that this anime only borrows concepts from the aforementioned series, it is undeniable that the show rips-off virtually every Gundam series the other side of the Cosmic Era. If the characters had become the driving force instead of the trite plot, this anime could have created its own identity, but all hope is lost in the final quarter when the original cast from the first Gundam Seed literally hijacks Destiny and drives the entire anime to the ground.

Chances are that diehard fans of the original Gundam Seed will enjoy this sequel, but it is hard to recommend to anybody else. It is probably better to buy the OST and skip the anime. Nice try to the director, Fukuda Mitsuou; hopefully, he’ll never get a third run.

The Rating: 3

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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