Friday, 25 May 2007

Gundam SEED

Ok, now I have reviewed the tame, the funny, and the slightly risque anime, so now its time to go on... Now this anime is meant to put to rest the notion that some scoffers have, that is, all anime are for kids. True, not as vicious as those who claim that all anime are sexually explicit, but almost as annoying. Let me tell you, scoffers, if you can feel the same way after you finish watching this anime, I take my hat off to you. Well then, let me begin. Oh, a word of warning, the next paragraph is the background story of the anime, explained piecemeal throughout the anime. So if you are interested in watching the anime as it is, without all these extra information, please skip the next paragraph.

In this mecha anime (mecha is short for mechanical, this term refers to anime where the usage of robots or mechanical devices are a main theme), in the near future, or Cosmic Era, genetic manipulation has advanced to such a stage that the populance has been divided into two: 'pure humans' and genetically modified humans, called 'Coordinators'. Mutters against genetic modification and the envy of pure humans towards the more agile, more talented Coordinators have caused strained relations between the two groups, finally erupts into war when the humans begin killing the 'non-human' Coordinators. The war finally came to a head when the human military, the Earth Forces send a nuclear onslaught to the space colonies of the Zodiac Alliance for Peace Treaty, ZAFT (the military protecting the Coordinators), causing complete destruction of a heavily populated space colony. This tragedy is given the name Bloody Valentine, and the war that followed, the Bloody Valentine War. The highly technologically advanced ZAFT (perhaps due to their genetic advantage) retaliated by sending MS (mobile suits, a machine-cum-body armour piloted by the Coordinators) with Nuclear Jammers to the Earth, thus negating the Earth Forces' significant nuclear arsenal. The war then went into full throttle, with battles taking place on land, sea and outer space.

In the midst of war, Kira Yamato, a brilliant student was living a quiet life in a neutral colony run by ORB, the powerful nation that maintained a strict neutrality, welcoming both humans and Coordinators to its doors. However, his life was turned upside down when he and his friends were attacked by ZAFT forces in his professor's lab. In the confusion, Kira meets a strange girl, and while attempting to rescue her, comes across five MS in a military base belonging to ORB. He is separated from the girl and finds himself with an Earth Forces officer, who is desperately protecting the MS from the onslaught. As the injured officer and Kira make their way across the MS, Kira comes to terms with what he learns: that the military base was actually used by the Earth Forces with permission from the ORB government to develop a new model of MS, based on technology used by ZAFT. Then he meets someone he did not expect to see: an old friend, working on the side of ZAFT, Athrun Zala. As the two friends respond to meeting the other with shock, the factory starts falling apart. Athrun immediately jumps into the nearest MS and flees with it. Kira and the officer then jump into the only remaining MS, as the others have already been stolen by ZAFT soldiers. In a fit of pique, some ZAFT units started attacking the colony itself, endangering the lives of Kira's friends. Seeing this, Kira takes over the controls of the MS, easily defeating several ZAFT MS. As the invaders flee, the officer, impressed with Kira's skills, swears him and his friends into the service of the Earth Forces, inside the Archangel, a massive space battleship originally meant to house the five MS. As it turns out, Kira is actually a Coordinator, an 'enemy' to the Earth Forces. Though reluctant to fight on any side, he is the only one possesing the skills and reflexes to pilot the MS. He learns that these MS are a prototype of a new version of MS, one that would render all other MS ineffective and clunky comparatively. All the five MS were developed for various areas of combat, such as close range melee attacks, far range artillery, stealth and speed, but his MS, the GAT-X105 Strike, was developed for all-round combat, able to adapt itself into whichever way battles turned. As he somewhat reluctantly pilots Strike to protect his friends aboard the Archangel, he faces the guilt of killing, betrayal, opposing loyalties, manipulation, friendship and love, as he quests to protect his friends, and to return peace to the universe.


Now that was complex, right? You bet! If you are a machine-lover, you will go mad over the many types of MS and battleships represented in this anime. Sometimes I wonder where the mangaka gets his ideas... Battle strategies and tactics are also used unreservedly here, for those interested in military strategy. And the various emotions and actions of the highly complex characters fleshed out in this anime will appeal to those more in touch with their emotions. It is an anime that has something for almost everybody. Notice the almost? DO NOT watch this if you do not like war nor the sight of someone of killing someone. That theme is prevalent in this anime. And to those who have preconcieved ideas (like me during the first few episodes), the matter of who is right and who is wrong is not in black and white, but is a very greyish shade of grey in this anime. All in all, good artwork (especially those GUNDAMs, very well drawn) and storyline, if you do not mind the complexities. The characters are well fleshed out and are seldom not what they are... If war and machines are your cup of tea, this is the anime for you.


P.S. - GUNDAM is the name given by Kira to all MS developed during and after Strike's development. It is actually an acronym for what appears on the main screen in the pilot's cabin when the MS is started up. If I am not wrong, it stands for General Unilateral Neural Defensive Autonomic Manuever.... Hahahaha.... SEED refers to a state of mind for some humans (though more prevalent in Coordinators) where they lose control over their emotions, making them brutal and efficent killing machines, also known as a beserker rage. Familiar to some gamers out there, I am sure...

2 comments:

Loucos do blog said...

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http://loucosdoblog.blogspot.com/

mattleon87 said...

hmmmm, sorry, but I dont understand that language... anyway, thanks for stopping by! Appreciate it! =>