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|Average Rating: 6.83|
Sarah scored this with 8/10. Disagree?
Cagalli is out of her depth. She has been trying to do the right thing for the nation of Orb but events have overtaken her. Yuna Roma Seiran, her violet-haired fiancé (could he be any more obnoxious?) is taking control, belittling her efforts and patronizing her in front of the council.
Meanwhile, the Minerva is in grave difficulties. Trapped by the fleet of the Atlantic Federation, Captain Talia Gladys (love those names!) tries to retreat into Orb waters, only to be fired upon by Orb (who, at Yuna’s instigation, are about to sign a treaty with the AF). Captain Gladys decides that their only chance is to make a bid for freedom before the ship is blasted from the water. In the ensuing battle, it seems as if the Minerva is doomed, facing impossible odds. But top ace Shinn Asuka is not ready to die; will his skills as a Gundam pilot save the ship and crew?
Back at the PLANTS, Chairman Durandal makes Athrun a member of FAITH, his new elite force with the freedom to act on their own authority, created with the aim ‘to bring about peace’. He sends Athrun to join the Minerva, telling him, ‘I have high hopes for that ship.’
Athrun’s old friend/enemy, Kira watches the flares from the distant battle with Lacus Clyne. They having been helping care for war orphans in a house overlooking the sea with Andrew Waldfelt and Murrue Ramius. A military unit attacks the orphanage under cover of nightfall. As everyone runs for shelter, they learn that the unit is made up of ZAFT Special Forces on a secret mission to kill Lacus. Fleeing from a hail of bullets, their chances look pretty slim unless Kira breaks his vow and protects them by piloting the Freedom. Yes - the orphanage has secretly been hiding not only his Gundam but the Archangel as well! Cue the exhortation at the end of the episode: ‘Archangel – take off to a new future!’
Matters are going from bad to worse for Cagalli; her fiancé has plans to hold the marriage ceremony as soon as possible – and at the same time as the signing of the treaty. ‘I thought it would be perfect,’ he tells Cagalli, who is silently weeping at the thought. ‘You’re a symbolic mother to the nation.’ Soon Cagalli is smothered by wedding plans and etiquette and in no time at all, she is on her way to the ceremony, being urged to smile and wave at the crowds by Yuna. What is she doing, marrying this creep? What about her feelings for Athrun? How can she possibly avoid making the biggest mistake of her life?
Confession time: I enjoy this series tremendously – but a lot of the time, I have NO IDEA what is going on. The character designs are not much help, as the faces are so similar, it’s often only possible to distinguish Shinn from Athrun from Kira by eye colouring and hair. Matters have improved a little since ‘Gundam Seed’, however, with Hisashi Hirai adding more facial contouring, although more subtlety in the characters’ expressions would be helpful. But these criticisms aside, ‘Gundam Seed Destiny’ bowls along at a fine pace, mixing exciting action sequences with the political machinations of the warring nations. The underlying theme of Coordinators versus Naturals is still ever-present and even though we see little of Neo Roanoke and his Extended Gundam pilots Stella, Auel and Sting in this volume, the groundwork is laid for future explosive encounters.
There are certain traditions to be respected in the Gundam Empire and ‘Gundam Seed Destiny’ respects them all: the Gundam launch sequence, as ritualized as the obligatory Magic Girl transformation scene in ‘Sakura’ or ‘Sailor Moon’ (even if the Gundams themselves differ from series to series); the fair-haired masked villain; and the exhortation at the end of each episode. Then there’s the music; stirring military themes, excitingly orchestrated by composer Toshihiko Sahashi, enhance the drama. And where would a Gundam series be without its theme songs? Phase 13 is the last to use ‘ignited’ by TM Revolution as the opening song; it’s replaced by ‘Reason’ in Phase 14 by High and Mighty Colour. The strikingly memorable ending song ‘PRIDE’ is replaced by the equally striking ‘Life Goes On’ by Yuki Kajiura.
Extras (as on the previous discs) Opening and Ending textless Character files and Beez Trailers: not a lot, compared with ADV, for example, but there are five episodes on each disc, so perhaps I shouldn't grumble…
The old potent Gundam magic is still alive here: political machinations, noble ideals, conflicted heroes – and mecha battles galore. Worth investigating for the music alone!
Screenshots (click to pop out)
|Score:||8 out of 10|
|Date Published:||Tue, 19 Jun 2007|
1. Comment by hioz eiz
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