Short answer: Gundam SEED is an action packed mecha anime that any mecha enthusiast will enjoy if you give it a chance. Gundam SEED, like other Gundam animes, has a lot to offer. Aside from action, you’ll also get drama, romance, politics, and a bit of comedy. If you are someone who isn’t really into the mecha genre, the compelling story alone of Gundam Seed can be enough to keep your eyes peeled to the screen.
Let’s talk a bit more in detail on why Gundam SEED is definitely worth a watch. Don’t worry though, I won’t spoil you. 😀
1. The Animation
When Gundam SEED was first released, the mecha genre was still in it’s infancy. Although there had already been a number of mecha animes released at the time, the art and animation of most of them might not be as good as you want them to be. That is to say, obviously they are not as good as the animation of the latest mecha animes. However, when you take that into account, you’ll see that the animation is actually pretty good for it’s time.
Let’s try and compare the animation of Gundam SEED with other Gundam anime.
Here is a scene from Gundam Wing and you can immediately notice the difference in animation when you compare it Gundam SEED.
Here is a scene from a battle from Gundam SEED. The animation is clearer and the Mobile Suit designs look a lot more different. Whether they look better or not is really up to the individual, for us however, the mobile suit designs of Gundam SEED look much better.
SUNRISE, the studio that animated Gundam SEED has improved a lot especially when you compare their art from previous Gundam series, take for example, Gundam Wing. The obvious main difference between the art of the two is the fact that Gunam SEED has a much smooth art and much better Mobile Suit movement, and subjectively Mobile Suit designs.
Another thing that makes Gundam SEED’s animation amazing is it’s cinematography and how it was directed. When watching Gundam SEED, you can find amazing scenes with amazing cinematography that really capture the viewers attention and also projects the director’s and author’s emotion.
Here’s a scene that vividly shows the anger of a character in Gundam SEED.
There are also scenes where the drama is enhanced by their animation like this one where the episode ends with the protagonist just comforting a character as they float in space.
The battle scenes in Gundam SEED are also amazingly made. There have been some backlash because the studio sometimes recycles battle scenes but other than that, the battle scenes of Gundam SEED, with it’s flashing effects and brilliant cinematography, can make a first time viewer keep on watching.
Here is an example of what battle animation looks like in Gundam SEED.
Gundam SEED also incorporates the Japanese concept of Ma, which means empty. In these scenes, nothing really happens but they add so much to the animation. For a great example of what Ma is an means, let’s take an example from one of Japan’s greatest animated films, Spirited Away.
In a certain scene of Spirited Away, where Haku tells Chihiro or Sen to meet him at the bridge where he’ll take her to his parents, the concept of Ma is shown. Instead of the next scene showing Chihiro meeting Haku at the bridge, Hayao Miyazaki, the director of the film, shows Chihiro take a long six minute journey from her room to the bridge, passing by all the familiar places early in the morning when no one is still awake.
Nothing really happens in those six minutes of Spirited Away, but it gives the feeling of rest for the audience. As Hayao Miyazaki put it, “it gives the audience a chance to breathe.”.
Here is another iconic scene from spirited away that also incorporates the concept of Ma.
In numerous episodes of Gundam SEED, you can find such scenes where nothing really happens and it’s just a pan view of the scenery.
2. The Story
I can’t say much about the story here or I might spoil you. So I’ll try my best to describe to you what the story of Gundam SEED is like without spoiling you.
What’s amazing about the story of Gundam SEED is that it’s not a black and white story. It’s not a story where the coin only has two sides. In Gundam SEED, we follow the story of multiple characters whose stories are intertwined with each other. The story of Gundam SEED in general tends to lean on the serious side but then again, it is an anime about war, so it has to be serious. However, it’s not all about war. Within the anime, you can also find love and drama, trust and betrayal, challenges of friendship, and also a bit of comedy.
There’s also the SEED factor which is a major subject in Gundam SEED. As I don’t want to spoil potential watchers, I’ll just say that it’s something that is very powerful and you can potentially turn a battle in your favor if you have it. I can’t talk anymore about the SEED factor without spoiling you guys so that’ll just be a nice surprise for you guys.
Let’s go back to Gundam SEED not being a black and white story as this is where you will really be caught off guard. What I mean when I say Gundam SEED is not a black and white story is that it has a lot of plot twists that may catch you off guard and these plot twists really add weight to Gundam SEED and makes it all the more worthy of being watched.
The story of Gundam SEED is also complemented by how great the animation and music of the anime is. The combination of these three really bring out the projected emotion of the characters.
3. The Music
In any movie, film or series, music always plays a big role. For example, in horror movies, the music and sound effects can account for maybe 40 – 50% of the horror effect. Try watching any horror film, like The Ring, and mute it. We can all agree that it will not be as scary as it is if it the sounds were enabled. Same can be said for any other film of any genre.
Gundam SEED also has very amazing music that really compliment the cinematography and the story. The music of Gundam SEED enhances the emotion of dramatic scenes, fight scenes and peaceful scenes so much.
I want to emphasize on the amazing music Gundam SEED has when it comes to battle preparations and during actual battles. The music before battles puts you in a state of thrill. Once you hear the music, you will know that something epic is about to happen.
Have a listen to one of Gundam SEED’s sound track and see what I mean!
Here’s another song from Gundam SEED that’s still very popular!
As for the music during battles, they are simply epic. They compliment the battle scenes so well, the emotions that the pilots have during the battle, and the whole situation as well. Guaranteed, they’ll make your experience watching battle scenes from Gundam SEED an amazing one.
Gundam SEED music features instruments used in classical music. The music used is only played by an orchestra and you don’t hear any electric guitars, distortions, or drums. You hear more on violins, flutes, and timpani.
The openings song or ops and ending songs or eds, are also amazing. They are all J-pop song that can capture your attention even if you don’t understand Japanese. The animation and the music also go together so well as each opening and ending animation gives off little bits of hints about the anime and the music just compliments the animation in every way.
Here’s Gundam SEED’s first OP song
And here’s their fourth opening song. The studio took a unique turn with this one. When it comes to war anime, you usually hear rock opening songs but in this song, they took the jazzy route. To me, it makes Gundam SEED look classy and badass at the same time. Check it out.
4. The Length
The length of an anime can make or break it for a lot of people. Take for example Naruto or Bleach. A lot of people like it and can follow the anime but a number of people also don’t like it cause it’s too long to watch. The length of the usual anime is around 12 – 24 episodes but sometimes, 12 episodes can be too short and can make the anime feel rushed especially if the manga has an relatively more chapters.
Gundam SEED has 50 episodes which be might be a lot if you are someone who is used to watching anime with 12 – 24 episodes, but for Gundam SEED, 50 episodes actually is just right as the story has a lot of content. With this number of episodes, the anime wont feel rushed, it will take its time to develop characters and plot twists.
With this anime length, introduction of new characters also don’t feel rushed and out of nowhere. Taking all that into consideration, the amount, this number of episodes makes Gundam SEED a very satisfying watch as it doesn’t leave you hanging however, it may leave you wanting more.
5. The Mobile Suit Designs
The designs of the Mobile Suits of Gundam SEED feature a look refined for its age. These Mobile Suits also don’t feature certain organic parts like for example the hair of Gundam Nadleeh from Gundam 00 or the feathers from the wings of Wing Gundam Zero, or the mustach of the turn A gundam.
Let’s have a better comparison of the Mobile Suit designs of Gundam SEED versus other Gundam anime.
Here we have the art and design of Mobile Suits from Gundam SEED.
Here we have a sample of the art and design of a Mobile Suit from Gundam Wing, which is also a very famous Gundam anime.
The unique design of the Turn A Gundam, with its antenas looking like a reverse mustache.
Other than the regular zaku, the Mobile Suits of Gundam SEED feature a lot of classes that you can also find in other Gundam anime. The anime features Gundams that have a balance of range and melee. There are also Gundams that are more specialized for range or for melee fighting. There are also Gundams with special abilities such as invisibility.
Other than the Mobile Suits, the anime also features a number of classes for warships and special weapons of war.
All in all, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED is still an anime that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. I hope this article convinced you to decide and watch it or at least spread some light on what Gundam SEED is all about.
Thank you for reading!
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