Series Recommendation: Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny [HD Remastered]

The amount of success that SEED brought to the Gundam franchise as a whole (even for BANDAI/Sunrise) was so massive that right after its finale BANDAI announced for a continuation of SEED. SEED’s sequel, named SEED Destiny, premiered on October 9, 2004 and was also a massive hit in and outside of Japan, famous and infamous at the same time. While we acknowledge its many flaws, for this recommendation, we will focus on the advantages that made SEED Destiny stand out from its predecessor.

Gundam Seed Destiny took place after Seed (well of course), and it follows Shinn Asuka – a pilot for ZAFT’s warship Minerva. He is a young Coordinator whose family was killed during the battle of Orb during Seed. Due to his tragic past, Shin is entirely focused on winning the battles he fight and protect innocent lives – much like his family. Conflicts are still going on between the PLANT and the Earth Alliance – with new forces entering the fray. Shinn was chosen to be the pilot of the Impulse Gundam, and he’s determined to change the world that robbed him of his family.

+ Plot: Plot and characterization-wise, this would be something that people called, through time it aged like cheese. While this part is really debatable as SEED Destiny was regarded as a Gundam Zeta’s remix with its own twist, not many really like what SEED Destiny brought to the table. However, it has a lot of difference from SEED and was well regarded during the first parts of the series. It’s only until the end that the plot and characters started to unravel, but Shinn as a protagonist is very different from Athrun and Kira – with him being laser-focused on his objectives, knowing what he wanted to do and constantly strive to improve himself to accomplish his goal. This shows the differences between someone who willingly chose the soldier life from someone who was thrown into it against their will. The series also has many melodramatic moments and some “plot armor” stuff happening, which is a shame since the story would have made a bigger breakthrough without them.

Animation: The original Seed Destiny isn’t bad, but the HD Remastered really bring it up to another levels. Well, if you’re gonna have to look at a dozen recycled animations, might as hell look at the pretty ones. The Remastered version also correct and changes a lot of frames, such as Lunamaria in Athrun’s cockpit (you know what I meant) and an overall makeover for the characters. Aside from many reused animations, Seed Destiny also brought us many iconic moments in Gundam, with a great soundtrack playing in the background.

Mecha Design: Basically Seed on overdrive. Destiny show the development progress from Seed very clearly and it’s both great in terms of in-universe lore as well as real life enjoyment. The new Mobils Suits look great – especially the Impulse with its pack system. Definitely one of the highlights of the series. The other MS is both a nod to UC with the Zakus and Doms, as well as improvements upon the first Seed season with the new Daggers etc… Overall, Cosmic Era mecha design have always been top-notch.

Music: With how successfully SEED’s music achieved, BANDAI decided to take it a notch. More tracks, and more variety in choices. From the unique TM Revolution’s “ignited” to “Reason” from Tami Namaki, “PRIDE” from HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR to “Life Goes On by Mika Arisaka (composed by Yuki Kajiura and Nishikawa Susumu), then Bokutachi no Yukue (Our Whereabouts) by Hitomi Takahashi and I Wanna Go To A Place… by Rie Fu, Wings of Words by Chemistry and ended with my most favorite ending of all time: Kimi wa Boku ni Niteiru by See-Saw. Even SEED’s OST composer, Toshihiko Sahashi returned, but not drown in his glory as he even produced more iconic tracks and songs. As music was one of SEED’s strong poing, SEED Destiny made it even better.

+ Conclusion: Seed Destiny is a rather controversial entry in the franchise. However, it is not without its merit. It’s also a testament to how good things can fall apart when right at the finish line. As a Gundam fan in particular and mecha fan in general, we recommend this series because it marks a very important point in the Gundam franchise. If anything, the production value of Destiny is very high, which is always entertaining to watch.

Check out more recommendations: