I know this series looks a bit childish, but it was actually surprisingly good. Because both seasons are each 50 episodes long, I’m going to review each one separately. So, in the future, technology is developed that allows doctors to alter genes at birth to enhance the abilities of a child at an early stage. These people are given the name “Coordinator”. Of course, this technology isn’t available to everyone, and the so-called “Naturals” start to fear the Coordinators. In response, the Coordinators decide to live in space, creating space colonies called PLANTs. Although tensions are high, there is little aggression between the two until the attack on Junius Seven, a PLANT that is nuked by the Naturals. In response, ZAFT, the military of the Coordinators, begins a war against the Naturals, called the Bloody Valentine War. The Coordinators naturally have an advantage, especially since they have the Mobile Suits, which are much more capable than Naturals tech. The story of Gundam SEED follows Kira Yamato, a Coordinator that lives on a neutral space colony called Heliopolis. However, there is an attack on the colony and Kira discovers that Orb, the supposedly neutral country that owns Heliopolis, has developed mobile suits for the Naturals, called Gundams. In this series, Gundams are named for the operating system that runs them, which is actually too complicated for Naturals and only usable by Kira after he modifies it. The main attackers on Heliopolis turn out to be 5 young Coordinators sent by ZAFT to steal the new Gundams. They manage to capture 4 of them, but the 5th of their ranks is gunned down. Kira recognizes one of the attackers as his old friend, Athrun Zala, but Athrun runs off to complete his mission. Kira commandeers the last of the Gundams, trying to use it to save Heliopolis. He and his friends, who were unable to evacuate, are taken in by Murrue Ramius, who has been given command of the Archangel, a new model ship that was stationed at Heliopolis. They eventually become part of the Earth military, with Kira piloting his Gundam, called the Strike, to help. Much of the story is the Archangel attempting to escape from ZAFT and reach some sort of safe zone, but sides change and the lines between good and evil are blurred.
Story: Score 9/10
The main character, as we know, is Kira Yamato. He seems to be an ordinary boy, but he’s actually a Coordinator, which he keeps fairly secret from those around him. In general, he’s a pretty passive person and hates to fight, but he gets dragged into the war between Naturals and Coordinators when Heliopolis is attacked. He turns out to be a skilled pilot, stemming from his Coordinator roots, as well as an aspect of him that doesn’t awaken until later in the series called the SEED factor. It’s an effect that essentially turns Kira into a much more skilled form of himself. We see it activated when a crystal drops near his head and then shatters and his eyes turn into a solid color. One of the pilots opposing Kira, and arguably a second main character, is Athrun Zala. Kira and Athrun had been friends in the past. Athrun is skilled at making mechanical…toys, creating a mechanical bird named Birdy for Kira and a bunch of mechanical Haros for his fiancee, Lacus Clyne. Athrun is the son of Patrick Zala, the National Defense Committee Chairman, so he’s kind of a big deal. I really like Athrun’s character because of the struggle that he goes through questioning his military actions and questioning his conflict with his best friend. He also has quite the troubled love life (just saying). Alongside these two characters is a slew of other amazing characters that each have their own depth and their own complexities. I could spend a whole page going through each of these characters (and I don’t mean a Word document page), but I just can’t. I doubt you wanna read through all of that.
Characters: Score 10/10
The animation for Gundam SEED was very well done and definitely looked great for the time. However, I watched it after Gundam 00, so I will always judge it against that, and it just can’t compare. Granted, it’s not the show’s fault…I’m sure it would have looked much better had it come out later, but I just can’t help comparing the two.
Animation: Score 8/10
The music track for this series is enormous and just filled with great songs for every single sort of mood. The opening and ending themes are all well-chosen and are great songs for listening.
Music: Score 9/10
As you may have already noticed with my selection of anime, mecha is pretty cool in my book. Even so, this series completely exceeded my expectations when I watched it. I had watched a few episodes when I was a kid, but never really got into it, but when I sat down and watched it all later in life, I was just amazed at how good it was in comparison to my impression of it.
Final Score: 8/10