This review contains spoilers
Gundam Seed is the first Gundam show that I've seen and while I'm sure that there are better Gundam shows out there, this one didn't leave an amazing first impression of the legendary series. I'm not saying this show is bad by any stretch but I feel this is a show that is quite flawed in a couple of areas.
I'll start off by briefly commenting on the art, animation and music before I get to the meat of this review (Kind of feels weird calling it a review but I'm not sure what else to call it). First of all, this show is very okay looking. Middle of the road. Good enough. Nothing that's going to blow you away but quite serviceable. Of course seeing how the show is approaching 15 years old, I guess it's kind of excusable. I do take issue with some of the character designs however. Some of the characters, particularly Kira seem to have eyes that are waaaaay too big. It's not exactly Clannad but I did find them to be quite distracting sometimes. The actual animation itself is nice, especially in the battle scenes. The fights are always very well animated and fluid. The music was also really quite good and consisted of a good range of music.
The characters in this show were a bit weird for me. On the one hand, most of the main and supporting cast get development throughout the series and are given backstories. However, I never really found myself caring for them that much. In the latter half of the show, there are some character deaths but none of them made me really feel anything. I felt like I should given, like I said, they are pretty well developed characters. I'd say the highlight of the characters are Flay and Cagalli. Flay made me feel such incredible animosity like I haven't felt towards a character in such a long time, she's a total bitch throughout the majority of the show, and I feel that is quite an accomplishment. I really liked Cagalli's character and her journey and I thought her relationship with Athrun was very well done. This is in stark contrast to the Kira and Flay relationship which I thought was handled quite poorly. She seems to swing between love and hate on a dime with no real reason and it all felt quite forced IMO. As for the story, I felt that it was the show's main flaw. To sum it up in one word; monotonous. This show fell into a formula very fast and that made it get quite stale towards the end. The cycle of set destination, arrive at destination, destination gets destroyed, set destination gets tiring after the 3rd time and that's all the story does. It's a very character driven show, so it isn't a huge issue and that is a bit of an oversimplification, there is a bit more to it than that, but that is the basic formula. The battles throughout the show, although very well animated, also get stale in the latter half of the show. There are only so many times I can watch a robot shoot lasers at other robots before it looses it's spectacle. This became especially tiresome in the last 5 or so episodes which were a non stop battle and it really just became a chore to sit through. Something else I dislike was also the amount of footage that it reuses. Flashbacks are a common occurrence and there are 2 recap episodes and 2 episodes that might of well have been recap episodes due to the sheer amount of old footage used. It was just way too much. Finally, I really disliked the ending. When the ultimate outcome of your anime about a huge interplanetary war is delivered via a voice over the end credits it's incredibly disappointing. Not to mention it leaves one very VERY important question unanswered (That being how Kira got resurrected after Athrun self destructed. He just woke up on a PLANT and they mention something about him having the Seed or something but it is never explained in detail) and it also made me question how Athrun and Cagalli survived when Athrun self destructed to destroy the Genesis. That explosion would have been nuclear, how the hell did they make it out? I know there is a second season and I really hope it ties up all the loose ends.
Overall, I enjoyed most of my time with Gundam Seed although I do think that it could be improved in a number of ways. I'd definitely recommend it as a Gundam entry point, unless there is a better one someone else can provide. I just hope other series are better than this one.
Original Publish Date: 18/7/15