The Need for (Gundam) SEED: Masochism (& Sadism)

gundam_seed_1_1280
One day, I realized I have become a certain kind of Gundam fan: I needed to watch everything (or as much of the franchise as I can). This meant trying to watch shows I’ve already dropped due to extreme dislike, and going on to watch shows that I have been duly warned by knowing and caring friends: Mobile Suit Gundam Seed.

I would rather watch terrible Gundam shows, than terrible shows of any other kind.

This is both true, and harmless enough. However,

I would also rather watch terrible Gundam shows at times, than even other kinds of shows that are both popular and acclaimed.

This sounds like “gratification gained from pain, deprivation, degradation, etc.,inflicted or imposed on oneself, either as a result of one’s own actions or the actions of others, esp. the tendency toseek this form of gratification”; which is a dictionary definition of masochism. But I don’t stop there.

gundam seed kira athrun
I make others watch with me. I rounded up a bunch of fans on Skype and watched the whole show over 2 weeks. I’m not so utterly black-hearted that I pick people who haven’t seen the show to watch with me; it’s too cruel to foist a 50 episode show of dubious merit onto people. So, I called on people who have seen the show, who are Gundam fans too, and happen to have seen only the Alternative Universe shows. So, no UC oldfags. If there was an oldfag bias in the group, it would be solely from me.

But ghostlightning, that’s so awful of you. You’re still making people watch something you think will suck. After all you did drop the show twice prior!

No, I’m just helping them remember love. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

As it does turn out, the show is rather terrible. The fans who I watched it with confirmed it as well. SEED was the gateway Gundam for these people and they haven’t seen the show for a long time (seven years for at least one of them). However, the shared viewing experience was actually very fun. Misery plus company can result in good times and it certainly did for us.

gundam seed aegis strike athrun kira
For the curious, what were my complaints? To begin with, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED did not avoid my gripes with Gundam anime (and real robot anime) as a whole:

  • Variable damage (weapons arbitrarily get weaker, targets arbitrarily become impervious to weapons)
  • Large beam weapons, and/or spread out beam weapons that are both pin-point and area of effect attacks for all intents and purposes.
  • Shouting matches concerning ideology and morals during fighting. And by during fighting I mean when you’re supposedly giving your all to lock on and shoot the other guy, concentrating like hell to avoid gunfire; or swinging a robot sword hand using levers, pedals, and buttons.
  • Standing around and not finishing a target off so as to allow a dramatic dialogue or scene to pass, then getting killed precisely because said drama was allowed to pass.
  • Stealing into, or just plain stealing mobile suits easier than stealing panties.
  • Remote beam weapons flying within reach of beam swords/melee weapons.
  • Hell, finding it easier to engage opponents with swords than it is to shoot them
  • HUGGING ROBOTS IN SPACE.

The good news is that there wasn’t any hugging robots as I feared there would be. For specific examples of related problems, here are a few:

  • In the beginning episodes, it is clearly demonstrable that Vulcan machine gunfire (often mounted on the heads of Gundam mobile suits) are clearly ineffective against other mobile suits. The bullets cannot pierce the armor of the basic mass-production mobile suits. In the finale, these weapons are fired at suits (by supposedly elite pilots) that have demonstrably and recently displayed resilience to far more powerful beam weapons.
  • Large scale engagements with zero casualties: a lot of firing exchanges, zero hits. It’s as if the entire battle was fought at tremendously great ranges and by utter noobs. This is exacerbated by the fact that in many cases, involving either the Coordinators (enhanced humans) and the druggies (enhanced soldiers) none of these pilots who are all competent enough to hit multiple smaller moving targets in a single attack, CANNOT HIT THE ARCHANGEL (capital ship).
  • Pilots like Yzak for example, can land three kicks in a row on an opponent Gundam that he can’t hit once with his guns firing continuously before and after landing those kicks.
  • Useless orders, which defy the laws of physics…

[enemy fires lasers LASERS]
Murrue Ramius: EVADE!
[what the crew must be thinking: EVADE WHERE?]
[Murrue Ramius: THE FUCK DO I KNOW, BUT IF WE GET HIT MY BOOBS JIGGLE]
[Somehow, the Archangel moves just in time so the lasers miss]
Murrue Ramius: GOTTFRIEDS…
[what the crew must be thinking: …]
Murrue Ramius: FIRE!
[what the crew must be thinking: AT WHAT?]
[Murrue Ramius: THE FUCK DO IN KNOW, ONE OF THOSE GUNDAMS, THE BAD ONES OBVIOUSLY!]
[Gottfried laser cannons beams are never even shown]

Murrue-Ramius-05
What would make sense to me, is how the helmsman/pilot of the ship would NOT actually need an order to evade after the enemy shoots at the ship. The order to stay put and absorb the damage should be the order that needs to be spelled out. Never mind the processing time to both recognize the threat, issue an unspecified order to evade, and figure out which way to turn somehow resolves before the ship is actually hit.

At the very least, the order to evade should either indicate the area where to go, or at least give specific directions which way the ship should align itself. Also, instead of just naming which weapons to fire, and issuing unspecified fire orders, at least indicate the target of the barrage. This isn’t like Legend of the Galactic Heroes wherein fire orders are given by admirals to the whole fleet, and the massed fire are concentrated on massed targets and not specific units.

There is also this thing about incessant, and insufferable recaps. There are entire episodes devoted to recaps, one after the other. Often, non-recap episodes will used flashbacks again, and again, and again… I remember Cagali meeting Kira for the first time… the show keeps re-playing that flashback over and over and over. This is really horrific if this chart is actually true.

gundam seed athrun le creuset

But wait ghostlightning, Gundam SEED is a great story of friends kept apart by the madness of warmongers all too willing to sacrifice lives for personal ambition! It’s a story of love as a force of peace, and the courage to stand against evil authority. It’s a story of super humans who are willing to accept ordinary humans even if they’re so much better than ordinary humans who are weaker and just as evil! Surely this is really the value in watching a Gundam show. Who cares about the robot action making sense?!

Hmmm… let me check the title of the show and I’ll get back to you. In the mean time, I’ll quote what I think is a fair and perhaps even generous assessment of the show from Mecha Anime Headquarters:

Well, that’s the end of Gundam SEED. As a series finale, I’m a bit disappointed by the end presented here. This series started out as a straight copy of the original series, but it eventually started to go down its own path with the story. With that in mind, I was expecting a different ending. Instead, what we get here is little more than a replay of the ending of the original series, Zeta Gundam and Gundam F91 all rolled together. There are of course some deaths here. First, Clotho is surprisingly killed by Yzak. Though Yzak could never fight well against Kira, he managed to score two Gundam kills and do pretty well. Next, in the tradition of Gundam pilot girlfriends, Flay is ruthlessly killed by Rau. It seems that her death could have been completely avoided had Kira not flown over to her. I’ve never cared much for Flay and found her to be a useless character that was never used properly, but she manages a bit of redemption here. Patrick dies in Gihren Zabi style, but personally Gihren had a better death. Finally there’s Rau, who for the whole series was an enigma wrapped in a riddle until it was revealed he’s just a psycho who wants everyone to die. The ending is also quite abrupt and has a rushed feel. This could have been avoided if more episodes concentrated on story rather than being pointless clip shows or poorly scripted character development. This series could have had an epic finale and done something new, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite achieve that. Maybe the next Gundam series will do better.

Chris Guanche

Maybe indeed. I am going to watch Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny next, and no one can stop me. And no, I DON’T hate Gundam SEED even if it sucked hard. I don’t have time to hate, too busy remembering love. BUT I do hate Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam .

Haven’t seen any Gundam at all? Don’t know where to start? Find your Gateway Gundam!

 

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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89 Responses to The Need for (Gundam) SEED: Masochism (& Sadism)

  1. Kiri says:

    LOLOLOLOLOL~~~~.

    Well, I can’t say I expected any better. :P It’s kind of a shame I was too busy to join in the (re)watch (and that I’m -14 hours behind you jerks). It’s also been a while since I’ve seen SEED, and I would have been the lone weirdfag in the group that actually really loved this series for some reason.

    I do wonder though, if hate of Destiny will be lessened or compounded by dislike of SEED? Either way, ENJOY~~~~.

    • I think the people I watched it with (most of them, anyway) will not lose a fondness for the show; the same way I won’t lose any fondness for Gundam 00 which is the first Gundam show I completed. Given this fondness, I’ll be less harsh on it the same way some people who liked SEED are very harsh on 00 (you).

      I am 9 episodes into GSD and I am in quite a bit of pain already. GSD’s take on Kamille Bidan — Shin Asuka, is ridiculously angry… AT EVERYTHING. I make fun of Kamille a lot, but Shin isn’t even that fun to make fun of… not yet anyway.

      One good thing though is that the Minerva’s captain Talia, now issues commands that make sense (thereby validating my complaints in SEED):

      Instead of just issuing an unnecessary evade command, she actually issues particular instructions which way the vessel turns in its attempt to evade (using naval terms like port, starboard, etc.).

      Instead of just telling which weapons to fire, she mentions the target first (Bogey #3), identifies the weapons to use, then issues the fire command.

      I have no idea if this is actually the right way to do it in naval warfare (ROTC in the navy didn’t teach me battleship tactics), but it makes sense to me as an invested viewer.

      • Kiri says:

        For sure, the fondness remains, or they wouldn’t have agreed to rewatch it. :P I do think that I might end up being more critical SEED when I inevitably rewatch it. It wasn’t my first Gundam (Wing was), so maybe the nostalgia factor will be lessened somewhat.

        Shinn is too aggravating to make fun of because even making fun of him is aggravating. I mean, seriously, fifty flashbacks to that pink cellphone later… ~_________~

  2. Twinkling stars, snow, AND annoying typography? Are you trying to kill me?

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  4. Going into SEED expecting inconsistencies from having seen some UC and Wing prior to, I wasn’t all that bothered by them. I had a lot of fun watching it and seeing it more as opera than real robot. Sure, that may be what Gundam is supposed to be all about, but it just never got to me enough to make me dislike the show. The characters ranged from ok to awesome and the new spin on Earth vs colonies and Newtypes was the best Gundam has done in a long while. The mecha designs were also something I generally liked, with the exception of the ZAFT mass production units. All that said, the ending could have been done much better. It felt like a race to the bottom for simplification because god forbid we present the viewers with anything other than the done-to-death ‘blow up the Death Star’ ending.

    • I don’t blame you — a success in enjoying something is a success! I took my pleasure in whatever ways I can.

      Here’s my theory on how Gundam TV series are and will continue to be conceptualized:

      The show is the robot anime equivalent of a Shonen battle manga/anime. Yes, I’m talking about Naruto, Bleach, One Piece (though I am no expert on these shows I am exposed to the theory on them thanks to Bakuman manga which is all about crafting shonen manga).

      Thus, the issues and drama can be somewhat ambitious… but will be simplistic. There is ‘complexity’ of war in that there are easily identifiable sides that are outright good or evil. Rather, adults bear the burden of malice.

      The protagonist, or the protagonist’s Gundam will be very powerful. Just like in Dragonball Z — whenever Goku is pushed to a limit, he will simply have another gear that will be revealed in that very moment. He will just have enough power to overwhelm the foes. This is consistent with Kira’s Super SEED mode, and Gundam 00 Raiser’s broken Trans-Am powers. The activation of these powers will be enough to defeat the foes or fix all wrongs (as in the case of 00′s Trans-Am Burst). Z Gundam also had this (NT Barrier, as well as the spiritual watermelon attack), as did CCA, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Gundam Unicorn used this.

      So, the game really is to excel within these formulas. G Gundam gets away because of going the way of super robot anime where rules are very relaxed. SEED and 00 don’t — and for shows like these that are 20-30 years into the history of the franchise, I think it’s more than fair to expect better execution.

      Then again, the bastions of long-running shonen series aren’t really doing so well in terms of executing at a high level; only One Piece consistently gets praise from some of the pundits I read and respect. So perhaps these are endemic problems in the tradition. I still expect better anyway.

  5. Kuro says:

    Maybe watching sucky anime with friends rid the suck out of sucky anime. Honestly, I watched SEED Destiny only because it was Gundam although the whole series gave me an epic facepalm. Since I probably can’t stop you, good luck in your watching of SEED Destiny!

    • ZeroOBK says:

      “Maybe watching sucky anime with friends rid the suck out of sucky anime. ”

      This is true. It’s amazing how much more enjoyable it is to watch say, Genesis of Aquarion, when you have a group of people together to laugh at it.

    • Instead of ridding the suck, the suck becomes something you and your friends can enjoy ridiculing — making jokes at, etc.

      I think I’ll find a way to enjoy GSD, thanks for the well-wishes!

  6. Bonesy! says:

    I’ll probably watch SEED late next year. My plan right now is finish up Wing and 00, watch 0080 sometime this month, then watch ZZ or X the first half of next year.

    • It’s increasingly noticeable that you don’t really respond to anything I discuss, but rather you just keep sharing what you’re watching or going to watch next. Am I mistaken?

  7. ZeroOBK says:

    “This is really horrific if this chart is actually true.”

    It certainly would be considering the budgets for Eva and TTGL. (I’m surprised at Escaflowne though.)

    • Yeah the Escaflowne budget was kind of shocking. Nothing about it struck me as incredibly animated… maybe it’s time I rewatched it, but tbh I’m not quite into that kind of story right now.

      • ZeroOBK says:

        I share the same view. They were created only a couple years apart, by the same studio, both had soundtracks by Yoko Kanno, and both had the same number of episodes. I re-watched Escaflowne just last year, and remembering it, nothing struck me as being better animated or more detailed than Cowboy Bebop.

  8. Stormshrug says:

    I have to say, I’m impressed with your fortitude getting through Seed. This post also furthers my theory that to truly hate something, people have to have some investment in it in the first place. I can sympathize with how, no matter how ridiculous and crappy it may be, Seed can never break your heart like ZZ did, because dammit, ZZ, as the continuation of Zeta, was supposed to be GOOD.

    • Hate is arbitrary enough, but as you say, intensity of hatred is amplified by investment in something related. SEED could never break my heart, the way ZZ did or, as many people in the west were knifed in the gut when Macross 7 came out… being so different from Macross Plus and Robotech. I was prepared to hate Macross 7 (after reading all those damning reviews) until I saw it and promptly fell in love with it.

  9. Myssa says:

    Ahaha, I remember going through SEED at least three times: first through subs, then with the English dubs, THEN with the DVD-remastered ‘fixed’ episodes. There were a lot of niggling annoyances, but given how casually I watched the series I could easily just shunt these into the back of my mind and just enjoy the mecha fireworks. The seeming invulnerability of the good guys did bother me at first, but these were nothing compared to the constant clip shows. Oh Haruhi, the CLIP shows (which only get worse when DESTINY rolls in).

    • The mecha fireworks are central to my dissatisfaction with the show. I can dig the shonen anime dynamics of just finding new super powers when the plot demands it, but if you’re going to do that you gotta execute superbly in directing and animating the battles. As per the reasons stated above, the fireworks are just a lot of colorful lights and pink smoke…

      IN SPACE.

  10. Chan says:

    I’m convinced that you’re a masochist.

    That chart was horrifying to think they spent so much on GSD only for most of it to be a freaking clip show, makes me wonder where all the money went, especially compared to TTGL. Someone was pocketing the money is what I’m thinking, especially since GSD re-used scenes from GS.

    And yeah Gundam Seed has some serious problems with logic, and I believe that the key to actually enjoying it is to either watch it with others or to turn off your brain (and not in the good way).

    • I am just as bewildered with the budget use, considering Ghost in the Shell: SAC costing less and being made around the same time.

      There are people who are a fan of quality, and there are fans like me… who aren’t indifferent to quality, but…

      • Chan says:

        Yeah and unlike GSD GITS:SAC didn’t have any re-used scenes. TTGL surprised me though I thought it would have been more expensive.

        I’m both I love quality, but I also love to have fun as well, that’s partly why I was able to watch and enjoy Aquarion, and (Still enjoy) Digimon.

        Though its really great when a series marries both quality and fun, like Star Driver, or Utena, or even One Piece (though it is the wordiest and longest of the shounen three- seriously don’t even pick up you hate reading).

        I think that the right mindset is also essential to enjoying a series, for instance Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt. There are people out there who hate it because they skipped the preview and were expecting it to be like Power Puff Girls. In which case the series isn’t bad its just that the you came into it with the wrong mindset.

        • It does seem that there is such a thing as a wholly wrong way to watch a show. In the case of Gundam SEED however, those who claim to truly enjoy it to a high degree I find make exceptional strategies in their approach to viewing it.

          To be fair, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt is a very challenging show. More than anything it exists to showcase ability more than deliver a narrative. It’s GAINAX showing us what’s possible and what things anime could be doing but is largely unable to. None of the characters are inherently sympathetic… they’re all disturbed and rather disgusting in their excesses. The triumph is how they end up being charming anyway.

          • Chan says:

            True all too true. That’s even I can admit that there are segments of GS that are enjoyable- if you know how to approach it, and also because its fun to make fun of its stupidity at times. Wish I could say the same about GSD.

            Which is why its interesting because no other anime has ever tried to push the envelope that far, and succeed (well maybe FLCL- but that’s still GAINAX).

  11. Shinmaru says:

    Keep in mind that you’re going through the GOOD part of SEED Destiny right now. Just wait until it takes a complete nosedive.

  12. chii says:

    I can’t wait to start this one! It’s my last Gundam title to conquer! (even if it’s a bad one!)

    aside from what digitalboy thinks I personally am in love with the star twinkles AND the snowflakes! XD

    • digiboy often so completely misses the point of the things I do… which is strange because I’m hard pressed to find anyone who appreciates me more in our community lols.

      Good luck with the show. It’s better with friends.

  13. vendredi says:

    “I am going to watch Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny next, and no one can stop me.”

    Don’t say we didn’t warn you! It only gets worse from here on out.

    As for SeeD, it in a sense is an almost distorted distillation of every Gundam trope pushed to ludicrous extreme, really, as if the creators never took a step back and tried to think through the implications but rather shoehorned in as many examples as possible as if to say “Yes, this really is a Gundam series!”. Your example with Murrue’s oft-repeated evasion orders is a perfect example; it’s included in an attempt to lend drama but is done in a rather ham-handed manner.

    It’s still a rather interesting show since it almost follows the original UC Mobile Suit Gundam storyline in the same broad general strokes, but with different flourishes (the Macross-esque Lacus, or the BL bait ZAFT aces); it’s interesting to consider how much series has changed and yet stayed the same. In a way SeeD feels a lot like what UC Gundam would have been if done in the “modern” era.

    Also, I do have a soft spot for the Mobius Zero and Mu La Flaga… an ace in something other than a Mobile Suit is always very rare in Gundam franchises. The mecha design is also decent and definitely has it’s own unique feel at first – but again takes a nosedive from Destiny onwards. (I mean, seriously, I don’t mind if you re-use the mono-eye, but when you just make a few aesthetic changes to a Zaku and call it a brand new ‘mech…)

    Also, that budget is extremely unclear in methodology. It’s not adjusted for inflation, which leads me to suspect someone is just running the numbers off the back of a napkin as opposed to looking through actual sources. My sneaking suspicion is that it’s simply taking the total money spent on the show and dividing it amongst the number of episodes, which is a very, very erroneous way to think about funding. It’s interesting but not a very useful comparison because there’s no breakdown on what the money is actually being spent on.
    A Gundam show’s total budget will be huge – not because more is spent on animation, but rather that a lot more is spent on advertising and marketing.

    • LOL SeeD is a FFVII acronym right? I kept mistaking this as well.

      You know what, they had the right idea. I too would attempt to present the UC storyline in an updated and noob-friendly fashion whilst remembering love for many things in the tradition of real robots. But as you said, the execution is ham-fisted (and utter ass).

      In Destiny I just lost it when I see Zakus doing backflips… it’s just terrible.

      Mu was rather likable, though I can’t say I liked his weird ship and its not-quite funnels. Mu x Murrue forever!

      If indeed most of the budget is spent in advertising and marketing… it’s rather sad news. It’s not like a Hollywood summer film that really accounts for spending more money pushing the film than making it. We really want to see beautifully animated robot fighting. We’ve ALWAYS wanted to see this. It’s a no-brainer.

      • vendredi says:

        SeeD is an FFVIII acronym, not VII, but yes, you’re spot on about the confusion… possibly my subconscious at work again since VIII was one of my favourites. Should be SEED.

        And yes, Mu was Kamina before there was Kamina, the “man who makes the impossible possible.” Uh, did I also mention you probably won’t enjoy Destiny? At any rate, it’s actually rather easy to see echoes of SEED in Gundam 00 – I’d say the latest incarnation draws equally from SEED as it does from Wing.

        • Oh damned Roman numerals! I did mean VIII, which is my favorite as well, more than X. I still haven’t gone past ep 09, when Meer’s BOOBs made their entrance to our confounded Athrun. I got derailed reading Eden: It’s an Endless World, a truly incredible manga right up my tastes (post-apocalyptic sf, religious conceits, superb illustrations; GitS/Appleseed style powered suits, cyborgs and mini-tanks; and ruthless graphic violence on top of compelling characterizations and some intricate plotting).

  14. Caithyra says:

    I can definitely relate to watching shows that has bugs that bother the ever-loving hell out of me (Hello, Bleach and Naruto!). With SEED, I just kind of tolerated the inconsistencies because I liked some of the characters and, well, if you remove the mecha-setting and imagine it as a very split high school, you could have a very good school drama (and then the orders of the queen bees doesn’t have to make sense!).

    Then I watched Destiny, and since the characters and interactions were the only things I liked in the previous series, the fact that a new main character was introduced (even when characters like Yzak and Dearka weren’t fully developed yet, or Miriallia or the rest [okay, so I headdesked at the "oh, we broke up!". Cardinal sin of story-telling there, you're supposed to SHOW not tell]), that so many new characters cropped up, and how relationships and characteristics that were firmly established by the previous series were uprooted so easily for story-purposes just killed it for me (though I did appreciate that some orders made a bit more sense, yet I had to headdesk at Mwu again, cause that one was just going ONE step too far on the already damaged suspension bridge). And when I say killed, it kind of took most of the enjoyment out of rewatching it for me.

    Bah, so far only Wing, X (both because of nostalgia glasses) and 00 are the Gundam shows on my rewatch list (and even with 00, I cut away the second half of the second season, as a character-oriented writer I was kind of offended with the cheap get-out-of-jail-free-cards-equivalent writing some of the characters were given. And yes, Billy, that means you, hypocritical, genocidal, stalkerish, drunkard enabling idiot that you are. Oh, and a few others as well, but then I’d never stop).

    I do like Unicorn, but that might be the shiny newness as I can’t seem to pinpoint what I like about it except animation (could be nostalgia glasses in the equine department. I was big into horses when I was a kid, and is positively disposed towards heroic portrayals of equine figures; hence Saint Seiya/Lost Canvas is my favorite shounen series).

    And that budget chart was especially crazy. You’d think with the budget of Destiny they could have hired competent writers like the ones of Legend of Galactic Heroes instead. Actually, I wonder where all that money went, considering all the reused animation, easy to animate, look-alike people, not very good scripts and well, just general average to below average-ness of Destiny.

    • I think I enjoy it best as a school drama, with all these pairings and switchings and surprise siblings!

      I have heard nothing good ever about GSD and given my expectations for it I think I’m going to get a net positive experience how about that! /delusional

  15. Turambar says:

    I have nothing to add other than man, you’re crazy. Well, that and why is Cowboy Bebop in that list?

  16. Marigold Ran says:

    Under the right conditions, virtually any show is enjoyable. Beer, boredom, and friends can do surprising things to one’s mind. I’ll believe you’re a masochist only if you watch these “terrible” shows by yourself without the company of friends or alcohol.

    • Under the right conditions, there is no masochism under this logic don’t you think?

      Ultimately what’s happening here (or with me anyway) is the attempt to generate value from a sub-optimal experience given that there are supposed better alternatives available.

  17. jsjsjs says:

    well, SEED was my first gundam and guess what? i knew about it because i was playing its game, about SEED’s logic and stuff, nuclear-powered gundams, coordinators, these makes sense, but 1 thing i don’t agree is that, how the hell can a gundam survive a nuclear blast and a HUGE cannon blast ,that could destroy an entire base, army on the moon, AT THE SAME TIME. thats what the freedom did, it survived a nuclear blast and a cannon blast, and ends up drifting in space before being found by the pilot’s pet. and almost everyone in SEED’s last episode was crying, kira was crying outside the freedom, cagali and athrun in the strike rogue, lacus was shedding tears in the eternal, oh yeah, about destiny, there are more things that don’t make sense as well, you know the VF 27 couldn’t be piloted by humans coz of the high speed thing, right? well, the “always angry” AD(asshole-dumbass) shin piloted a gundam which could move and speeds, almost equal to the VF 27, wouldn’t he be dead already?

    • I don’t require too much realism, but rather verisimilitude. If there’s any other thing in SEED and GSD that tick me off is how mobile suits continually outpace missiles, despite turning to face them and moving backwards to fire. By all means their main thrusters would be facing the opposite direction which would result in a dramatic decrease in velocity. Somehow, the missile chasing them slams on the brakes hard enough to slow down to get itself shot.

      • jsjsjs says:

        and 1 more thing about the nukes the earth alliance fired, aren’t they rather close together? all u nid to do is focus all attacks on one instead of trying to shoot all of them, the 1 goes boom, the rest will go boom as well, anyway, i was wondering why kira was rather emoish in destiny, the only answer i can give was, he became a war-addict in SEED, thus, no wars = emo

  18. Caraniel says:

    Ah SEED. Its a terrible series, but I could never actively hate it since I actually quite enjoyed watching it at the time (especially since I watched it when the only other Gundam series I had seen was Wing) and the BL is pretty damn strong with SEED!

    Its only really in hindsight and with a few UC Gundam shows under my belt that I really came to appreciate how laughable a lot of SEED was – rewatching those handful of random episodes with the SCCSAV really highlighted that to me. Still as a piece of entertainment its pretty solid, and particularly good when the pain is shared among a group!

    Also SEED really does demand pink Comic Sans font – nothing else can accurately convey the terrible!

    • Hehe I’m glad you see the wisdom in the pink font of incredible appropriateness!

      I imagine it as a common experience for many Gundam fans… they discover the franchise via SEED and then discover UC and feel sudden shame for liking SEED way too much that they overreact and hate on SEED and nearly anything non-UC.

      I don’t want to go that far. I want Gundam’s next TV series to be a better executed attempt at what SEED and 00 attempted to do.

  19. sadakups says:

    “However, the shared viewing experience was actually very fun. Misery plus company can result in good times and it certainly did for us.”
    Dude, this is how I survived watching Destiny for the first time. I had someone to share the pain.

    Imagine this, Destiny has those problems you mentioned, just multiply it by ten. Go watch Destiny and let us hear what you really think.

    Seriously though, I liked how you dissected SEED in this article. As much as you mentioned the flaws of the show, to me, it’s not because of being a masochist, but I actually liked SEED for what it was. If anything, my only complaint is that the first half was really slow and by the time the second half began, there was too much that there was less time for the staff to end it right. Deal is, there’s Destiny, but that’s a totally different can of worms.

  20. foshizzel says:

    Kira is jesus D: nothing hits him…

  21. adaywithoutme says:

    So you’re not just a masochist but a sado-masochist, huh?

  22. SquareSphere says:

    I actually enjoyed SEED as a super robot show, but Destiny was utter fail even when viewed as a super robot show.

    • SEED would be a terrible super robot show, and before we call in SRWOG:TI, the lulzy emo parts (concerning THE SCHOOL) is pretty much real robot — particularly Gundam SEED fare… not that SRWOG:IT is a good show in any way.

  23. that’s just terrible, comin from yah. couldn’t disagree more…

    • :3

      Feel free to disagree, and substantiate your statements. Like I said I don’t hate SEED, I kind of NEED SEED. But, it’s pretty awful really… like cheap cigarettes (you’re dying for a smoke and your brand can’t be found anywhere…).

  24. sadakups says:

    I forgot to mention this in my first comment, but you mentioned Chris Guanche from MAHQ. Have you heard the SEED episode from the MAHQ podcast? Heck, the Destiny episode was hilarious.

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  26. Well the two episodes of SEED I did watch with you guys were pretty damn entertaining. It’s hard to avoid the yaoi jokes in those kinds of situations. Like I said before, I don’t hate SEED. It’s just that it is lackluster Gundam personified. So much wasted potential.

    • The potential is indeed wasted… but only if your concern is to deliver a truly great work. Otherwise, the show is a spectacular success.

      But instead of the oft-trodden complaint of the fujoshification of Gundam, it’s a lot more interesting to note how SEED and GSD embrace the shonen battle anime/manga tradition of presentation: incredibly angsty characters, absurd power-level escalation, and stylized posing and power moves in lieu of realistic battle choreography for fight scenes…

      (Wing) SEED and SEED Destiny is to Naruto/Bleach/Kenshin

      Gundam 00 is to FMA: BRO

      G is obviously to Mazinger Z, Getter Robo

      UC Gundam is to well, Gundam. This doesn’t absolve the AU shows from sucking, as the tradition is merely that — a structure, or formula, or set of conventions. The overall execution leaves so much to be desired anyway. The fact that I derive most of my value from the shipping hijinks is probably indicative of the overall suckage. But then again, in ZZ there wasn’t even a shipping angle I could take pleasure in. Fuck ZZ to hell.

  27. Indeed. FUCK ZZ. It’s undeniable that SEED on some level is a success. There a thousands of examples of things being popular, but not necessarily good. Music, movies, books, styles of clothing are all things that fall into that category. It did a good job bringing much of the original Gundam storyline into a new century with a new audience. Too bad my dreams of this possibly being a timeless classic or a great anime fell by the wayside. By the end of the siege on Orb I was as high on this series as any I had watched in my short time watching anime. It’s a precious, though somewhat embarrassing part of my anime loving history, much like Dragonball Z, InuYasha, and Naruto. So your shounen comparison to SEED seems spot-on.

    • Against my better judgment, I blitzed through GSD and am 5 eps away from completion. This shonen anime theory of mine (in addition to liberal skipping and fast forwards) actually allowed me to enjoy GSD far beyond my expectations. Mind you I am in no way saying it is acceptable, but I just devised a strategy to enjoy it and found that it worked very well. I do note that Gundam 00 does not follow this shonen theory as close as SEED does, or at least it’s not as tight a fit.

      The siege of Orb is probably the best bit in the whole show.

  28. Bruce says:

    sigh ….. well , it’s true that SeeD is a huge step up from the Glorious madening journey of ZZ , but SeeD is still bad .

    i know some people think this anime is good because it has people crying , people dying for no reason, pink explosions , people yelling , boobs jiggling and more pink explosions . but Drama isn’t what makes a good Gundam show .

    i think the biggest problem with the show is Kira , he makes no sense whatsoever , for one thing he seems to be an emotional mess ( maybe this explains why so many female viewers actually liked him ) i mean crying , weeping , yelling , repeating stuff for emphasis , asking rhetorical questions , if i’m not mistaken i think he’s on his period …. YET he always wins , and sometimes he doesn’t even loses his shield … remarkable .
    . sure he pretend like he’s losing sometimes but it’s pretty obvious that god is on his side everytime ….

    and of course i won’t forget when Flay the one person that is more of a mess then Kira actually managed to seduce and molest him …. wow , Kira was THAT vulnerable , but sadly it didn’t work out because Kira wants somebody to comfort him and Flay only knows how to open her legs ….

    ok , that’s fucking high school drama , and we don’t need that in Gundam .

    sorry for the lengthy comment =_=” by the way ….

    • Hehe yes, that kind of drama isn’t good anyway (all about the execution). No the rant is fine. I do get how you feel. Kira by the end of his “trials” in this show then becomes this ultimate saint in the next one. Post will drop in less than hour, be there for that!

      • Bruce says:

        usso from V-gundam was a mess too , but Kira is in a whole other level .

        btw i never watched Destiny ( fear for my health ) but i heard it has an overly happy ending for Saint jesus and his companions .

        and i can’t wait so see what you thought about it .

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  36. Aorii says:

    Haha this is pretty burn. Well I can’t necessarily say SEED didn’t deserve a lot of it, given your perspective of view. There was an awful lot of plothax going around. (Warning: rant…)

    On the other hand, it is a drama, written to be as abso-melodramatic as possible, so much that it can’t possibly naturally happen around one guy with a very very limited view of the war (especially when he starts with almost no connections to the other military folks). So I chose to watch this show mostly as a ‘drama show with military themes’, rather than a ‘military show with dramatic presentation’.

    It made a *hell* lot of a difference.

    Honestly, I loved this show. The biggest reason because of the unique relationship between the four leads — which might be too personal preference-wise so, meh. The second one is simply that SEED and IGLOO (my other favorite in the Gundam franchise) are the only two Gundam shows, imo, that did not spend between at least 1/3 to half its time glorifying war in old Hollywood fashion.

    One of the things I give Gundam a lot of flak for is its tendency for a whiny, spoiled, naive main character who spends half the time moping and refusing to take ANY assertive action (other than waxing philosophically like a hypocrite, UGH BANAGHER! I positively HATED his guts until Ep4), then spends half the other time kicking more ass than all the other Aces (sometimes even ‘the rival’) combined, regardless of relative experiences. MSG, Gundam00, and Unicorn drove me nuts with this. I’m sorry but if this isn’t your standard ‘teenage self-insert’ slot, for a gundam fan into a gundam story, I don’t know what is.

    Kira was… well still whiny, spoiled, and naive. But I loved him because unlike half the other goddamned KIDS, he didn’t flipflop in between, he made his choice, and he stuck to it, even if he had to dye himself with blood for doing the very thing he preached against, he DID it, without pretensions of justice because he knew he HAD to (it’s a freaking war!). He might cry himself to sleep and teeter on the edge of emotional breakdown for half the series, but all your pink hearts aside, I think that’s what made him a lovable character.

    (Athrun was Kira from a more biased, opposing background. Instead of realizing how horrible war is compared to idealism, he gets to realize how bullsh*t idealism (cough propaganda) is in the face of war.)

    And by pressing himself through everything, no matter how much he hated it, I felt like he really brought out what *War* truly was — because war truly, completely sucked in every way possible. There wasn’t once in SEED (at least early SEED) where I found myself looking at Kira, thinking “wow that’s awesome, I wish I could do that”. No. War was *never* suppose to give that kind of impression. Dramatically enjoyable yes, but it stops there.

    “War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it.” – Erasmus

    I can’t speak for Zeta since I’ve never watched it (I know some Gundamfans hails it as the best); but while the other Gundam shows might show off a peace-loving theme at some point, most of them didn’t really stick, and none of them (except IGLOO, imo) stuck this well, this obviously.

    P.S. As I say, early SEED, because late SEED devolves into a fester of RIDICULOUS and IDEALISM that I’m not sure what to think of. But at that point I loved the main cast too much to care about the flow… to be honest I guess I did want to see UN Peacekeeper Supreme succeed for once (:3), because sadly it will never, ever, happen in anything remotely close to realism.

    • Sa basically, you like SEED because you love Kira, because through him… Gundam actually succeeded (for once) in communicating its theme of “War is Hell.”

      We have nothing to discuss.

    • Matt Wells says:

      War in the Pocket didn’t glorify war, and it did so with a lot more dignity, grace and pathos than the likes of SEED. Mind you, if you want a genuinely anti-war stance from a Gundam show, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

      • Reid says:

        Grave of the Fireflies is anti-war. Barefoot Gen is anti-war. Gundam (and every other mecha-related show) is about watching (and enjoying) robots and the men who drive them blow up/skewer/slice/shoot stuff in dramatic, exciting fashion. “War is hell” but it is also “better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.”

        • Matt Wells says:

          True that. By the way old chum… I finally got my second copy of SRW: OG 2 in the mail, and it is indeed legit! If you still have the means of playing GBA games at your disposal, just say the word and I can mail you my first copy (which is assuredly in working order).

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