With all of its various incarnations, the Gundam series is one of the longest running anime series ever. Each series has shown what people will do to protect the people they care for, and the devastating effects that war has for everyone involved, and Gundam Seed is no different.
Set in a distant future, Mankind is
divided. On one side there are the 'co-ordinators', humans who have been
genetically altered to be superior in everyway to a 'natural', humans who are
free of any genetic engineering. Due to tension between the two races, the
co-ordinators left Earth to create a colony in space, but things didn't stop
there, as each side was forced to create opposing forces, with the coordinators
creating the ZAFT army and the naturals forming the Earth Alliance.
Starting eleven months after war began; Gundam Seed follows the story of Kira Yamato, a young co-ordinator who is thrust into battle when a neutral space colony is targeted by ZAFT forces, intent on stealing a number of new prototype Mobile Suits. When another survivor of the attacks pulls him into one of the remaining Mobile Suits, he takes control in order to save his friends, showing off a natural ability at piloting.
Kira and his friends end up aboard the spaceship Archangel, where they find themselves constantly assaulted by the ZAFT forces that attacked the colony. To make
matters worse one of the ZAFT pilots is Kira’s childhood friend, Athrun Zala. With the near endless attacks, Kira is forced to continue piloting the Strike in order to defend his friends, but being a lone co-ordinator among naturals makes things difficult for him at times.
With Gundam Seed, the story is as much about its characters as it is about the war itself. Kira himself is placed into a battle he doesn't want to fight and ends up dealing with the realities of war, including killing others pilots and dealing with the fact that he cannot save everyone.
Kira's story is helped along with the cast aboard the Archangel, all of whom move the story along. Some of the notable characters include Mu La Flaga, a veteran pilot who acts as both a mentor and something as a guiding figure for Kira, helping him to make his choices. Another notable character is Flay Allster, who after the loss of her father, attempts to use Kira,
practically forcing herself into his life in order to make him do her bidding. Especially in order to make sure he kills the co-ordinators that he’s fighting against.
The series has more then its share of action too, with battles in Mobile Suits taking place in almost every episode. While most of the action is good to watch, you do get a lot of the same a number of times throughout the show. Kira's constant battles against the small force of ZAFT pilots generally always closes with a standoff in each fight, with neither side making any particular step forward. Most of the time, a death would come as a plot point, in order to move the story in a particular direction.
A few minor niggles aside, Gundam Seed
is a good series and still has a lot more to offer with its second half. A
definite buy for fans of the sci-fi genre.
Along with the standard Textless opening and closing, and trailers for other Beez titles, each disc has a number of character files. These files give the viewer an in-depth look at some of the leading characters, along with a number of the Mobile Suits seen throughout the series.