Tuesday, December 19, 2000

Mobile Suit Gundam Seed

This has got to be one of the best Gundam shows out there today. The animation is everything modern technology can offer, amazing choreographed fighting sequence and perhaps, one of the most intriguing plots.

The basic plot to Gundam SEED is a war has broken out between the Earth Alliance (Naturals or normal human beings) and ZAFT (Coordinators or genetically enhanced human beings), and two friends, Kira Yamato and Athrun Zala are pitted against each other. Mobile Suits come into play when the Earth Alliance secretly begin to produce Gundam Mobile Suits, to which Zaft is intent on obtaining. The attack on Heliopolis not only allowed Zaft to capture four of the Alliance's mobile suits, but reunites Kira Yamato with his childhood friend, now enemy, Athrun Zala. Kira like Athrun is a Coordinator and his decision to help the Naturals deem him a traitor and pit him against his fellow Coordinators. Kira must now fight in the Strike Gundam against Duel, Buster, Blitz, and Aegis Gundams as the seemingly never-ending war continues. Casualties will amount on both sides, forcing both Athrun and Kira to battle relentlessly.

One of the first things that drew me into the show was the vibrant colors and the character development. You have the protagonist, Kira Yamato, who is a conflicted and emotional teenager. And though he is extremely skilled at piloting a Gundam, he rather live peacefully rather than fight. Every time a death occurs on or off the battlefield, he feels it's his responsibility, thus the toll of characters that die throughout the show, effect and burden him immensely. He is extremely sensitive to other people's feelings and does not like taking the life of an other. Some may accuse him of crying too often, but I view his breakdowns as human, which is a reason I like his character so much.

His relationship with his old childhood friend, Athrun Zala, is extremely heartfelt, because it is obvious the two don't want to fight each other and care immensely for each other, yet they're forced to fight against each other. Notably, the supporting characters in this show are extremely memorable. Athrun's teammates, Yzak, Dearka, and Nicol have interesting character developments, rare in a lot of anime shows. We see Nicol as an aspiring pianist with hope for a piano playing future. He looks upon Athrun as an older brother and is very kind and supportive of Athrun. Both Yzak and Dearka's personalities are further developed later on in the show when we see them both make surprising decisions and completely different sides to their characters. There are also characters on the Naturals side like Mwu La Fllaga, Murrue Ramius, Sai Argyle, Fllay Allster, that are memorable, especially in their relationship with Kira and how they affect him to fight.

For once, the main female leads are not annoying. Lacus Clyne and Cagalli Yula Attha actually have important roles in the series. Lacus as the emotional and physical healer and supporter for Kira, while Cagalli is the tie between Kira and Athrun. The awesome aspect of this show is that it has characters worth caring about and excellent voice overs. The only disappointing factor is, if you're watching the Cartoon Network version, a majority of the more violent and graphic scenes are completely edited out and makes the events happening in the show, lose it's full potential and true effect.

The music for Gundam SEED is extremely compelling and perfectly accompanies the show. In my opinion the best songs you hear are "Invoke"

by T.M. Revolution, "Meteor" by T.M. Revolution, and "Anna ni Isshodatta no ni" by See-Saw.

Overall, Gundam SEED is an excellent anime show with compelling characters, and fantastic animation.

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