Gundam SEED is Mobile Suit Gundam as seen by hardened antimecha fans. This review is hard to write in that its hard to laser in on the greatest faults of SEED because it really does get almost everything wrong. But lets go with the kneejerk one first. Kira Yamato is a terrible character in every way. He is simultaneously a delusional idealist a massive hypocrite morally bankrupt unlikable unrelatable the perfect human being the least competent human being and aggressively unfun to watch. Any fight with Kira has no tension in it it is merely a question of when Kira decides to get serious and then wipe the floor with his perfect mobile suit that he can perfectly control. Within two episodes Kira finishes the operating system of an unfinished prototype mecha while fighting off an opponent while awkwardly crammed into the pilots chair with someone else. He does this in approximately 10 seconds. And the show likes to make the point that Kira is the perfect pilot programmer fighter person philosopher idealist and lover. Constantly. This is a show where on frequent occasions everybody stops to ask Wheres Kira? What is Kira doing right now? because the setting revolves around him. Countless people die when Kiras superpowers could save him because he just wasnt motivated enough to actually do something or he was so hung up on his asinine total pacifism after sustaining a bodycount that he still hesitates to fight in the season finale. He fucks his friends fiancee almost on screen to the complaints of Japanese mothers everywhere and for the crime of not bowing to Lord Kira Kira threatens to kill him. Naturally the friend totally gets over this in a few episodes and goes back to loving Lord Kira. He is a textbook mary sue. The most underdiscussed part of SEED in my book is the pacing. SEED crawls. As SEED is a soft reboot / heavily inspired by the original 79 Gundam the direct comparison of pacing is this: The protagonists party is attacked flees in a space ship and arrives on Earth in the original show in 5 episodes while getting respectable character establishment in for that length of time. SEED takes 15 episodes to do this and manages to even pad out the runtime with a a recap episode This is doubly unfortunate because remarkably little happens in that 15 episode stretch resulting in the recap episode having to pad itself out to hit its intended length. Like a checklist SEED runs down the list of events from 79 and adds perhaps one event. SEED now goes on its own for a while not directly adapting the 79 show. Here the pacing shifts from that long 15 episode stretch of waiting for one event to happen to events happening evenly just very slowly. Where we would expect one episode would be enough two are used. This pattern continues until they go back to space around episode 40 at which point the show returns to adapting the 79 show again. This is also the point at which you realize one of SEEDs other greatest failings. SEEDs antagonists are atrocious. The 79 show sort of split the duty between the enemy royal family and the enemy ace which made sense for its purposes of being a war drama focusing around a character evolving to meet the demands of the situation. SEED however doesnt really bother to do that. Kira is essentially the same person at episode 1 as he is in episode 48 of the remaster. Consequently there is nothing to really reflect in his antagonists. Therefore the primary motivation of the opposing force in SEED is a poorly explained race war between the genetically modified colonists and the naturally born Earth dwellers. I say poorly explained because the argument really stops at I dont like genetic modification. There is no real explanation for why the Earth dwellers are so virulently antimodification. They arent show to be religious or worried about socioeconomic consequences for ubermensch to exist. They just hate the principle of it because they just do. They hate them so much that they are willing to nuke them out of existence and the men on the field just dont question this. SEED goes very far out of its way to make the Earth people look bad. The Colonists also started an unprompted invasion of neutral colonies so theyre also morally bankrupt. If you want to understand exactly WHY anyone did anything in this setting I hope you like reading the wiki because the show does not explain a lot of key details in how the war started or why it started or what either side wants or how theyre organized or really anything other than the basic.And then theres Le Creuset the antagonist rival pilot. His motivation? He has none You can kind of infer that he just likes war or hes somehow bitter about how he was born but its just guesswork. The other antagonists of the show like the Earths insane research director who is clearly crazy why havent you noticed earth federation command?? also have no motivation besides furthering the mindless race war that they were never given a reason to care about. And if youre a slightly redeemable antagonist and sometimes if youre not sometimes Kiras natural godliness will encourage you to hop sides into a hopeless neutral faction read: Kiras posse that will inexplicably save the day anyway because Kira. This happens multiple times and even the person hopping sides is just as confused as the viewer is. They call themselves coordinators but based on their performance very few of them are coordinators. I strongly suspect this is a holdover from the original show where Zeons internal propaganda was that all spacenoids were newtypes which was blatantly untrue and not falsifiable . SEED does not explain why they say this since you surely have records of who was gene modified so the population surely knows its bullshit. Then theres the niggles of which there are countless. Frequently things are name dropped but not explained. Commands are given that seem pointless weapons are named but given no context as to what they are or how dangerous they are. Eventually the original cast is sidelined so badly that Yamcha would be embarrassed. Scenes that might have emotional impact are ruined by the unlikeablility of the cast and the meaninglessness of the plot and withheld information. One character has her established character assassinated and replaced with a generic peace princess halfway through. Several characters are hyped up as major shakers and then proceed to do nothing. Mass murderers are given a pass by the Kira posse because theyre useful. The acting is poor. Composition is mediocre most of the time. Most of the scifi concepts are nonsense and were clearly written by people whose last drop of science education was in high school in the 80s. The budget seems to be mishandled and spread very unevenly leading to large stretches of shotreverse shot stills with rudimentary lip flaps to save up for the next big action scene. The ensuing action scene will then heavily reuse shots from previous scenes. This review is already long enough but suffice to say that there are maybe four episodes in the 48 episode run where I didnt question Sunrises decisions at least every three minutes. SEED being loved in Japan for some reason got a remaster which best I can tell only exacerbated SEEDs problems. The upshot of the remaster is that they cut out a lot of reused scenes the remaster still contains a lot of stock footage and flashes back constantly which is a positive change. On the annoyingbutnottotallyunspeakable side of changes the show frequently alternates between 720p new footage and 480i old footage. This is extremely distracting but you will eventually stop noticing as the other flaws of the show command your attention. The most egregious part of the remaster is that Sunrise has redrawn most faces of characters when they are up close to be more bishounen and shiny. This has the absolutely infuriating side effect of making everyones face totally unreadable meaning that any chance of show dont tell acting is essentially gone. Every shot of a character reacting that was in the original is now a waste of time because it no longer conveys its original meaning. So if for some reason you plan on watching SEED despite this review I encourage you to watch the original and tough out the extra filler. Or maybe the special edition pseduomovie compilation. In conclusion: Seed is a show with a badly written setting characters plot and screenplay a show with poorly written and clumsily integrated music mediocre to outright bad mechanical and character designs and every original bone in its body is fundamentally a bad bone There is no reason to watch SEED. What it wants to do has been done better by its predecessors. This show is not even fun to mock. There is absolutely no joy in it and it was a chore to watch with only morbid curiosity keeping me going.
10 /100
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