It’s the final showdown in the war between Naturals and Coordinators, and both sides are getting desperate. As the Earth forces begin an all-out assault on the Plants, ZAFT prepares to make its last stand, and both are set on the extermination of the other. But Kira, Athrun and co still have a few surprises of their own up their sleeves, and aren’t about to give up just yet. The last battle for humanity is about to begin!
When it comes to all-out action, the finale of Gundam SEED doesn’t disappoint. Practically the entire volume is a non-stop, massive space battle, and the action barely stops long enough to catch its breath. It’s good stuff, too; the tide of the battle turns several times as each side deploys their trump cards (the Meteors in particular are a lesson in obscenely overpowered coolness), and there’s enough twists and turns during the proceedings to keep the audience on the edge of their seat.
Of course, in any war there are bound to be casualties, and this is no exception. The bodycount skyrockets as both sides clash violently, and while there are some heroic deaths and noble sacrifices (including a few rather unexpected ones), the majority of casualties come off as quite pointless. Gundam has always has a strong anti-war theme running under its surface, and this volume really tries to strike home the futility of conflict.
While all this action my seem like a good thing, it does come at the cost of closure, and a number of questions and issues feel only partially resolved – we still don’t truly know what it means to ‘go SEED,’ for example. The climax also feels slightly rushed and poorly thought out in places (Cagalli is suddenly given her own Gundam, despite having never been in a mobile suit before), but not so much to be overly distracting. To counter this, the 5-minute Epilogue is also included on the DVD, which shows what some of the characters do next, and brings a little more closure to the proceedings. Although its very existence is questionable, the very fact that Beez have included it at all is a small coup, as it wasn’t in the American release. It’s a very nice gesture, and one I hope we see a lot more of in future with more exclusive content.
Gundam SEED goes out with all guns blazing, and makes for some hugely entertaining viewing. For mecha fans it’s essential; for everyone that likes an epic space opera with lots of action, drama and everything else in-between, it’s also worth checking out.