Why does Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny receive so much hate? And are they worth watching?


Short Answer:

Both anime series receive a lot of hate for a lot of things. One big factor, if we talk about the anime, is that many people hate recycled animation where the show keeps showing us things that we have already seen before. The animation back then was relatively new to mecha so if you compare it to the mecha of today, you can see a significant difference in the animation quality.

Oh and let’s not forget about what the people call “Gundam Jesus”. We’ll also tackle that topic on how Kira survived a blast from the Aegis at point black with an open cockpit.

Keep reading to find out more about why people don’t like the both Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny as well as the reasons why you yourself should actually give it a try.

Let’s talk about why people hate it first and then we’ll talk about why people like it after that.

Why do people hate Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny

Poor Animation

One great factor when it comes to the anime industry nowadays is quality in animation. Although it is not necessarily true that for an anime to be good, it needs to have good animation quality, it cannot be denied that nowadays, anime with better animation quality get better reviews and better sales.

Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny was animated at a time where the company that made the anime, Sunrise(TM), was still new to animating mecha anime. Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny were early mecha anime and the animators at that time were still learning and getting used to animating mecha anime.

The technology used in animating during the time of Gundam SEED is also old compared to newer mecha animes today, so it isn’t so surprising that mecha anime like Gundam 00 or Gundam Unicorn have better animation quality, especially during mobile suit fight scenes.

The Strike punching the Aegis during the battle at the Marshall Islands.

If you watch anime like Gundam 00 or Gundam Unicorn before Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny then you can see the difference in animation quality and your eyes may be biased to better animation quality by then. This poor animation quality was one reason that led newer anime fans to shun Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny.

Recycled Animation

If you watched Gundam SEED or Gundam SEED Destiny or both, then you will be familiar with its recycled animation. Let’s name a few examples of this:

  • Every launch of main characters
  • The launch of the Impulse that takes way too long once you’ve seen it so many times already.
  • That GINN getting destroyed the same way
  • The Archangel firing its armaments especially the Gottfrieds and the Valiants.
  • Mobile Suit fights between main characters or battles between important characters. Someone even made a compilation of all the recycled animation there is (Here’s the link to that compilation)
  • There’s also the “Naked in space with the ghost of a dead girl” scene. In Gundam SEED, it was with Kira Yamato and Flay Allster , in Gundam SEED Destiny it was Shinn Asuka and Stella Lastimosa.

Frequent Flashbacks

When you watch something interesting, you keep watching for development, not rewinds. Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny has a lot of flashbacks though and although the intent of the flashbacks is to remind the viewers of past events and also to let the viewers see what the characters are thinking, it has still left a bad taste with its viewers as most see it as a way to fill the time needed to make one episode approximately twenty to twenty-five minutes long.

Athrun Zala remembering Nicol Amalfi after he was killed by Kira Yamato.

Also, many viewers see it as unnecessary as many other anime, mecha or not, have dealt with reminding viewers of past events without flooding the episode with flashbacks. 

Gundam 00 is an example of such an anime. You need to remember the past events but you don’t need to worry so much if you forget about them as the anime will remind you in ways other than flashbacks.

Unexplained plots

This part is mainly about viewers complaining about how certain characters survived.

Characters like:

  • Andrew Waltfeld “The Desert Tiger” whose mobile suit, the LaGOWE was destroyed by Kira Yamato. The LaGOWE Exploded in such a manner that one would think that a human could not have survived that. However the desert tiger is a coordinator, we have to take that into consideration, and a number episodes later, we see him alive and well. The only damage we can see on him from his battle with Kira is that he has lost his right eye and he seems to be using a cane now when he walks, implying a damaged leg.
  • Mu La Flaga coming back to life as Neo Roanoke. In Gundam SEED, after Mu is hit by the Lohengrin, we can see the wreckage of the Strike and his helmet floating in space, which can only mean that he died. However for reasons unexplained, he comes back in Gundam SEED Destiny as Neo Roanoke, Captain of the Earth Alliance Forces 81st Autonomous Mobile group, Phantom Pain. We don’t fully understand how as well how Mu survived as all that was in between him and the Dominion’s “Lohengrin” Positron cannon was the shield of the Strike. Let me emphasize that he was hit with the Positron cannon of the Dominion. That is most powerful weapon of the Dominion. How Mu La Flaga survived such a blast will be forever unknown.
  • Gundam Jesus… also known as Kira Yamato. Of course we saved the best for last. Of we did not forget about one of the things that makes Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny infamous. How could we not include one of the greatest sources of hate Gundam SEED.
ムウ・ラ・フラガはあの爆発でどうやって生き延びたの? : GUNDAM.LOG ...
Mu La Flaga’s helmet seen floating in space after he blocks the positron beam from the Dominion using the Strike.

… The Battle at the Marshall Islands

In that battle, Athrun slashed the cockpit of the Strike open… it was open, the cockpit of the Strike was slashed open, and Kira was now visible  from the outside.

The cockpit of the Strike slashed open by the Aegis before self-destructing.

Athrun then transformed the aegis into a mobile armor and grabbed the Strike with the four limbs of the Aegis, hoping to blast it with a shot from its Scylla at point blank range, however it was unable to as it ran out of power.

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The Aegis grabbing the Strike with its remaining 3 limbs before self-destructing.

Athrun then decided the next most destructive method, blowing up the Aegis. As athrun was escaping from the blast zone, Kira realized he only had seconds before the blast.

Self-destruct timer of the Aegis.

Next we see the Aegis blowup while it is still grabbed the Strike. This is where a good fraction of the hate comes from because just the following episode, we see Kira Yamato, in the PLANTs, in the care of Lacus Clyne. Kira stays in the PLANTs for a while before returning to Earth piloting the Freedom.

How could Kira Yamato have survived a blast from point blank with an open cockpit, having realized his situation with only about 4 seconds before the blast?

The author did provide an explanation in Gundam SEED Astray, a side story of Gundam SEED, but fans feel like this was just his answer due to his great mistake of not clarifying it on how Kira was able to survive that blast in the Gundam SEED manga or anime itself. 

To make matters more redundant… Kira dies a second time… and revives again!            

Shinn Asuka using the Impulse, equipped with the sword silhouette, stabbed the Freedom’s torso with an anti-ship sword. It is clearly animated, we can see where the Impulse strikes the Freedom.

Kira vs. Shinn - Gundam Seed & Anime Background Wallpapers on ...
The Freedom stabbing the head of the Impulse and the Impulse stabbing the torso of the Freedom during operation Angel Down.

The stab destroys the Freedom and it sets off a nuclear reaction. How Kira survived this is still up for theory as the explanation in the manga and anime is generally not accepted by majority of the fanbase.

Haters from other Mecha anime

Some of the hate Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny receive comes from the hard core fans of other mecha anime. These are the types of fans from other mecha anime that refuse to watch other mecha anime. They claim that the one they like most is the best mecha anime and they try to attack other mecha anime, in this case it is Gundam SEED,  by bashing it online in order make the anime they like look better than the anime that they are bashing.

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 AMV Fight - YouTube
Left to RIght: Nadleeh, Dynames, and Exia. Gundams from the series Gundam 00.

Reasons you should watch Gundam SEED (and Destiny)

The Plot has many colors to it, not just simply a black and white story.

Unlike other anime, that have a war theme, Gundam SEED is quite different as it has a lot of different nations that are at war with each other.

Although most would say the war is between the Earth Alliance Federation and ZAFT or some would say it is between Naturals and Coordinators, it is more complicated than that. There are other nations such as Orb, The Kingdom of Scandinavia, and a lot of rogue militia fighting for their own cause.    

It boasts having some of the best music in all of mecha anime.

Although this only pertains to the anime, music brings 40% of how you perceive what you are watching. If you watch a horror film with silly or jolly background music, it will not be as horrifying as it would be if the background music is one that sets a horrific mood.

In Gundam SEED, we often hear the piano and violin providing an emotional atmosphere when the scene calls for it. However we also hear suspenseful music during fights and music with a mysterious feel during certain episodes.

The Development and Release of Mobile Suits or Gundams is quite realistic

Many people wonder why is there only one Strike? Only one Freedom? Only one Justice? These people tend to forget that these were the newest models of their time. When you make something, you start by making one, testing it, study the data, and then you decide if you make more or not. ORB made only five GAT models as they were all still to be tested.

We can see that mass production of Mobile suits does happen but it takes time, as seen with the Strike Daggers, MS-Astrays, and the ZAKU warriors. We can also see mass production with the Destroy. When the first destroy showed that was capable of such great feats, with that in mind, LOGOS created more.

Time frames like these and the span of introductions of new mobile suits fits well with real life. We have to consider that ZAFT had to study the GAT models before they could replicate the technology from it, which is arguably ZAFT’s second series of mobile suits.

We also have to consider that the Earth Forces had to study the data it got from the GAT models before it could make the Strike Daggers. Such a delay in introduction of new models fits in real life… that is if real life had mobile suits at all.

Our final thoughts

In conclusion, Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny may not be perfect mecha animes, it is apparent that they have their many flaws, but if you are patient enough, do not mind old animation quality, and have an open mind, then I suggest you try watching Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny and hold on to your seats, you are in for a wild and emotional ride!

I hope you enjoyed reading!

Did we miss anything?

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