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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Lackey GM Pilot

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With Gundam SEED still fresh in my mind, I decided not to wait around and just dive into Destiny. As opposed to the other thread, where my 5-block episode reviews and comments were over-detailed, blow-by-blow synopses and reviews, I'm going to do something different this time. For these reviews, I'm just going to give comments and highlights on things that stand out. They should make for far shorter posts (and be a lot easier for me to write up). :P

And please, everyone who replies in this thread, NO SPOILERS! Even when I ask questions, I'm asking "out loud" and don't want any surprises ruined, since this is my first time watching Destiny. And here we go with Episodes 1 thru 5!

So diving right into it, we start with an explosive flashback of the Earth Forces' invasion of Orb's Onogoro Island from SEED, told from the point of view of what seems to be the series' main character, Shinn Asuka. His parents and little sister Maya die a horrific, bloody death, caught in the crossfire of the Gundams battling overhead, and he screams in anguish. Later on we see Shinn again, now a mobile suit pilot for ZAFT, pilot of the new Impulse Gundam and its Core Splendor core fighter. He has a major grudge against Orb's ruling Attha family, now personified in its current leader, Princess Cagalli Yula Attha. He grieves a great deal for his dead sister, still possessing the cell phone she lost that he went after during their evacuation from orb - the only piece of her he still has, it would seem. But so far, after 5 episodes with limited exposure to him outside of a mobile suit cockpit, I can't sympathize with him to the degree that I could with Kira right from the start.

So far, I'm not sure what to think of Shinn. He's a capable pilot - it's nice to see this series start off with trained mobile suit pilots, rather than the old "whiz kid falls in the open cockpit with the keys in the ignition" trope. :P But beyond sense of loss, which is perfectly understandable, and his anger at Cagalli, which is equally understandable, even if obviously mis-placed, we don't really know much about this kid after 5 episodes. Since he pilots the "star" Impulse Gundam, I would assume he's the main protagonist, and yet, the rest of the cast seem to get as much, if not more, screen time than he does. If he's the main character, he doesn't feel like one yet. Oh, and he looks just like Kira Yamato, except with black hair and red eyes. :)

Cagalli and her boyfriend/bodyguard Athrun Zala are back, and more or less center stage. It's not too surprising to see big names from SEED back and being prominent in Destiny, I guess at this point I'm wondering if this series is about Athrun and Cagalli, or new characters? Either way, it's good to see these two are still together, Cagalli trying to maintain the peace as the leader of Orb, Athrun by her side. Cagalli still hates to wear dresses - still the adorable tomboy, I see. :P I've also noticed a propensity (did I spell that right?) for Athrun to be constantly offering suggestions to our cast of heroes on tactics to get them out of scrapes, or taking off in a MS to go save the day. It's certainly not a bad thing, per se, just wondering if his presence isn't crowding out the new characters and preventing them their moments to shine here at the beginning of the series.

Cagalli is holding true to form, troubled by ZAFT's development of new mobile suits and their first post-war warship, the Minerva, at the PLANT Armory One. This is pretty consistent with the attitude she had about her father developing Orb's M1 Astrays in the 1st series and her desire to keep humanity from going down the road to war so soon again is commendable.

However, ZAFT, under the leadership of their new Chairman, Gilbert Durandal, does strike me as being genuinely concerned only with rebuilding their forces for self-defense, not for starting another war. It makes perfect sense to me to at least maintain a defensive force. "Power is necessary because there will always be conflict," he tells Cagalli. Wise words, assuming that this guy uses that power wisely. But Cagalli's response, "Too much power will lead to another conflict!" is equally valid - if you make super-weapons like, say, a new batch of Gundams, surely enemies will try to steal them. Durandal, for his part, seems like a genuinely honest and friendly guy, though. And he's voice by Suichi Ikeda, Char himself! How cool is that? :D

ZAFT's new warship, the Minerva is kinda neat, though I'm still warming up to its design - honestly, the Archangel is gonna be tough to beat in my favorite Gundam ship category. However, I do love its Yamato-esque bridge/conning tower and gun turrets (including the fact that some of them fire explosive shells like a modern-era battleship). The big, wide wings seem a little strange, especially used in spaceflight. And its drop-down-for-battle bridge design is cool. :)

Minerva's captain, Talia Gladys, strikes me as a capable leader and military officer with some experience. It's also good to see that, since Durandel is stuck on the Minerva for now while they chase ZAFT's stolen Gundams, the political leader often defers to her judgment when it comes to running her ship. But her hair.... good gravy, someone FIX HER HAIR! The way it all points forward in those funky spikes... how much hairspray or gel does she use on those? They have to be so stiff, they're probably sharp like weapons. I imagine this causes some issues for Durandel in the sack, since they're boffing each other. :P

The Minerva has its own team of MS pilots, in addition to Shinn Asuka. Rey Za Burrel is the resident pretty-boy, with the long blonde hair, and a voice that sounds eerily similar to Rau Le Creuset from SEED (wink, wink ;) ). He seems to be the leader of the pilots, and he has a very reserved, but serious attitude, and a bit of an air of mystery (wink, wink again ;) ). Lunamaria Hawke is the 3rd pilot, who strikes me as lighthearted and fun (in a slightly tomboyish way), and a pretty cute redhead to boot (or is it salmonpinkhead? :P ). They all seem to be very capable and professional pilots - no whiz kid student amateurs this time around, which as I said earlier, is a refreshing change.

Their mobile suits look pretty slick, for the most part. The Impulse Gundam, and its 3 optional weapon loadouts, the Force Impulse, (Really Big) Sword Impulse, and Blast Impulse, are pretty much reduxes of SEED's Aile Strike, Sword Strike and Launcher Strike, respectively. I think they all look good, though I still like the original Strike better. I do like that the different equipment loadouts also change the color of the Phase Armor. However, I've never been a big fan of the core fighter/combiner parts concept for Gundams. I'm a little disappointed to see this ancient trope from 1970s super robot animation still lingering in the modern Gundam mythos. Plus, is it necessary to launch all 3 basic components, plus a weapon loadout component, separately from the ship each time? They're all gonna have to combine into the Impulse Gundam anyway. It's like the old Voltron problem - no matter what the separate lions and vehicles do, they're not taking down that Robeast until they form Voltron. And even then, it's not going down until they use the Blazing Sword. Just seems like a waste of time, keep the Impulse in one piece and send it out that way, guys!

The ZAKU Warrior (used by Lunamaria and Athrun) and its commander variant, Rey's ZAKU Phantom, look really sweet! The MAHQ profiles for these mecha don't list a mecha designer, but I'm guessing from the looks of them that they're Kunio Okawara designs. Normally I yawn at his work, but I'm pretty impressed with the ZAKU's from Destiny. They're the old classics, but with some new twists. Lunamaria's red ZAKU Warrior looks fantastic in those colors. :D

That brings us to ZAFT's three other new Gundams, which are stolen by a trio of teenaged pilots, in one of the most surprising first episode Gundamjacks I've ever seen. It wouldn't be a first episode of a Gundam series unless an unauthorized person ended up in the cockpit of one. :P So the three new (bad guy) units are the Chaos Gundam, Gaia Gundam and Abyss Gundam. Of these three, the Abyss looks the silliest to me. It may be packing a lot of beam weapons, but it looks like something Aquaman would pilot, especially in its submarine-ish mobile armor mode. And Aquaman just isn't that cool. The Chaos is a lot better, transforming into a funky mobile armor with claws that reminds me of some of the old school stuff from First Gundam and Zeta Gundam. I'm not crazy about it, but I kinda like it. My fave of the new big bad trio is the Gaia Gundam, though. I've been slowly warming up to the 4-legged, Zoids-esque BuCUEs and LaGOWE from SEED, and the Gaia's quadraped mode looks very lean and mean - the black color scheme really sells it. :D

So the theft of these three Gundams sets off the main thrust of the story, with our heroes in pursuit aboad the Minerva. The theft itself is shocking and surprising, very unexpected when it happens. We see what seems like three ordinary teenage kids, Stella Loussier, Auel Neider, and Sting Oakley, brought onto the ZAFT base at Armory One by some ZAFT officers (can you say "inside job"?). Well, Stella's not so ordinary - she's a little weird and seems totally lost in her own world. But they make their way to the hangar where the 3 new Gundams are stored, and quite suddenly and violently, with a lot of gun-fu that looks like something out of the Christian Bale vehicle Equilibrium or The Matrix, kill the mechanics and guards and make off with their meters-tall booty. I fully expected Gundam(s) to be stolen in episode one - the way it's done surprised me. :)

So Athrun hops in a ZAKU Warrior and tries to stop them, with the assistance of Shinn in the Impulse Gundam, but a breach in the PLANT wall assures the thieves' getaway. They make their way to what seems to be an Earth Forces (Atlantic Federation?) ship, the Mirage Colloid-equipped Girty Lue. Thus begins an episodes-long chase as the Minerva tries to retrieve the stolen Gundams, with much spaceborne mobile suit and ship fighting ensuing. Athrun and Cagalli are stuck aboard the Minerva for now, with Athrun giving tactial advice and occasionally piloting a ZAKU Warrior to help with the effort. Cagalli, however, seems like she's just a hapless passenger along for the ride, who occasionally has little disagreements with Chairman Durandal, or gets in an argument with Shinn. I hope she has a bigger part to play soon and isn't just "there."

The bad guy trio of Gundam pilots, Auel (pilot of Abyss), Sting (pilot of Chaos) and Stella (pilot of Gaia), are intriguing and mysterious. They have Matrix-like gun-fu skills, they're very skilled mobile suit combat pilots... and they appear to have some brainwashing done to them to keep them in line. Oh, and they sleep in some weird energy dome/tank things. Neo Roanoke, their oh-look-another-Char-clone commander, mentions that they're better than the previous group - and I have to assume he's referring to the Druggies. It looks like the Earth Forces or Atlantic Federation or whoever these people are are already hard at work on their next-generation artificial imitation Coordinators. At least these three aren't raving lunatics - except when a "block word" is used, a la Stella in a state of almost uncontrollable fear when hearing the word "die."

That brings Neo Roanoke, the oh-look-another-Char-clone for this series. The bad: His helmet looks really goofy. And Gundam producers seem unable to make Char clones without the long pretty blonde hair anymore. The good: He pilots a very slick and powerful Mobius Zero-esque mobile armor called an Exus (wink wink ;) ). The I-don't-know-what-to-think-yet: He sounds just like Mu La Flaga from SEED (wink wink ;) ). I've been warned that certain character deaths in SEED will seem cheapened by events in Destiny. I really, really, really hope Neo Roanoke isn't Mu La Flaga. But it feels like there's been a role reversal between Mu and Rau Le Creuset in SEED, and Rey and Neo here in Destiny. Swapping voice actors, good guy/bad guy status, even their particular hair colors. Oh, and Rey and Neo have Newtype awareness flashes when either of them enter the battlefield/get close, just like Mu and Rau. I don't know what to think of this yet. I'm leaning towards "not happy."

Later on, we get our first impending colony drop, when forces operating ZAFT model MS's put some keypad "flare motor" doo-hickeys on the remains of the Junius 7 PLANT and knock it out of orbit, sending it plummeting towards Earth. The Minerva is forced to break off its pursuit of the Girty Lue to assist other ZAFT forces, led by Yzak and Dearka show up to try to stop them but are driven off. Great to see those two are back! And hey, Yzak finally got rid of the scar. :D

We also see that Blue Cosmos is alive and well, now led by another slimy snake-like man named Djibril. The leaders of Blue Cosmos have gathered to discuss the impending fall of Junius 7 and its destruction and how they can use the situation to their advantage and accelerate their anti-Coordinator agenda. They decide to evacuate Earth, let the PLANT hit, and then blame it on the Coordinators and give them another excuse to try to wipe them out. I get the feeling, watching this group of men together, that they have a lot of wealth and power (which isn't surprising, considering they basically took over the Atlantic Federation side of the Earth Forces/Alliance leadership in SEED). I get this Skull & Bones-esque "evil elite scumbag gentleman's club secret society" feel from this group.

To wrap this post up, some miscellaneous notes and comments:

The opening credits song is very pulsating and fast-paced, and considering how much action there is in these first 5 episodes, throwing you right into the thick of things right from the start, this series is very exciting and is starting off with a lot of adrenaline. It's a good thing, but here's hoping we get a good, captivating story to grow with it. Looks like we're finally starting to see the start of that with the Junius 7 thing and the Blue Cosmos intrigue.

I like the 2 mechanic kids on the Minerva (don't know their names yet).

I see that the ending credits has a similar theme/animation to SEED's earlier ending credits.

Some of the music is good, some of the music sounds like it comes from a cheezy kid's video game and is a little annoying.

A couple of lines from Neo that caught my interest: "We're still in the trial stages in many regards. This ship, the mobile suits, our pilots... and the world." Hmm, the world, huh? I wonder what he could mean. And this one: "The day will come when everything will begin in the true sense. In our name." A blue and pure world, perhaps? Or something else?

Djibril says he sent "Phantom Pain" to investigate the falling Junius 7. Who or what is Phantom Pain?

Who exactly has started Junius 7 on its planetfall? It wasn't Blue Cosmos (or at least the leadership), if Djibril had to talk them about what to do about it. I suspect Djibril himself may be involved. But I also wonder, since they were using GINNs and such, if they're connected with the ZAFT officers who snuck the trio of pilots from the Girty Lue into the base to steal the Gundams?

And who exactly are the people on the Girty Lue, who are they working for?

Overall, for the first 5 episodes, I'm impressed and entertained, though not quite as much as I was with SEED. I think part of it is because I was expecting a new show very much in the same vein as SEED, and yet so far this series actually feels different. Not in a bad way, just different and a little unexpected. It has a different feel, from some of the music, to the very fast pacing. Also, the animation quality (specifically the hand-drawn linework for the characters and mecha) just doesn't seem as good as SEED. It's not bad, it still looks very good, but not quite up to the high standard that SEED set. There's also more of a focus on action and not so much on characterization that I can see. I like my drama and character stuff as well as my fightin', 'splodin' robots, and I hope we'll get more of a balance in future episodes. But for a hook to draw in a new viewer, I like it and I'm looking forward to more. :)

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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:35 pm 
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Lackey GM Pilot
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Welcome to Destiny.

I came to it as someone who'd gotten hooked by SEED, and I watched it while it aired. I will say that the show has some of my favorite characters, music, and mecha designs in the entire Gundam universe (despite other shortfalls), and I hope you find it a similarly worthy journey.

The Minerva's mechanics are Vino Dupré (with the red hair in front) and Yolant Kent (the one who teased Shinn about Stella).

Phantom Pain is OMNI/EA Special Forces (or possibly just the Atlantic Fed's); anyway, it's the group that Neo is in charge of, including the Girty Lue and its complement.

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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:53 pm 
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I'll try to keep my replies to you spoiler free.

Yes, Destiny telegraphs a LOT of its twists pretty much from the get-go. As I said before, Shinn is the main focus, but he's not the protagonist. I'm glad you picked up on it fairly quickly. Whereas SEED was mostly about Kira and Athrun, Destiny is much more an 'event' piece, where the characters play a secondary role to the plot somewhat. This is one of the shows biggest weaknesses.

The ZGMF ZAKU is one of my favorite CE units, even if it's just 're-imagined'. Luna's Zaku is a modified version, though the Gunner Wizard pack (the big-ass gun she has on the back) is one which can be used by any Wizard-capable suit (primarily Zaku, but there are some others). This actually is the ZAKU to me, particularly if you swap around the shoulder and shoulder/shield.

The Impulse seems to be a callback to the original Gundam as well as the Strike. I don't think it works, honestly, since the 'core fighter' concept always seemed wasteful and overly complex. I actually didn't like the 'phase shift color change' either, since it was a pretty cheap way to require buying three models for the same suit. (Though the Sword color scheme is actually fairly nice on its own...)

Of the three 'new bad-guy' Gundams, the only one I really liked at all was the Gaia. Yes, it turns into a BaCue, but it manages to pull it off fairly well whereas the other two... don't... so much. I don't understand why ZAFT would spend a lot of time making another deep-sea Gundam again, at least in the PLANTS themselves. IF they had made this unit for Carpentaria, that would at least made sense...

Ah well, glad to see you getting started!


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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:03 am 
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Unfortunately my comments on Destiny are going to run rather into the negative this time around.

'Boffing.' That sounds like a British phrase perhaps?

Certainly Shinn has the fact that he's a trained pilot unlike a host of other Gundam leads or, say, Alto Saotome from Macross Frontier, but I can't say too much of him at this point in the series. But he unfortunately reminds me of Beltorchika Irma from Zeta with his mouthing off at Cagalli, so that's not helping me.

Now I may be alone in this, but the opening of Destiny and even the first few episodes just don't do anything for me until they get to the Junius 7 drop. To me it goes kind of like this: (Deadpan voice) Oh look, there's a Gundamjack, which is not only a Gundam cliche, but is just how SEED started out. And now there's a wild and crazy chase across space, but this time ZAFT are trying to get back their property. (/deadpan voice)

Impulse does nothing for me. It's low-rent Strike, to borrow a phrase from Gundamn! And the Gaia? Gonna have to disagree with you mate. I mean honestly, a Gundam dog in space...
And the ZAKUs? After staring at pictures of a ZAKU Warrior and a Zaku II, I gotta say that they're not being very original here. There's a fine line between homage and rip-off.

And about Mu la Flaga. Well the guy did get hit with an antimatter beam and gamma radiation and all that jazz...

We had the Druggies in the last series and these three are called the Destiny Stoners, or at least that's the nickname I picked up. You'll see why later.

Lord Djbril, is this guy funky-lookin' or what? :lol:

The Junius 7 drop. Now here's a good story idea! It spells all sorts of bad news, as the Gundams swoop in to take revenge for Heero Yuy's death... er, I mean, Blue Cosmos is certain to use this to their advantage! As to whose behind it, just think: who in Cosmic Era would like to drop a colony onto Earth?

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:11 am 
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Burke Rukes wrote:
That brings Neo Roanoke, the oh-look-another-Char-clone for this series. The bad: His helmet looks really goofy. And Gundam producers seem unable to make Char clones without the long pretty blonde hair anymore. The good: He pilots a very slick and powerful Mobius Zero-esque mobile armor called an Exus (wink wink ;) ). The I-don't-know-what-to-think-yet: He sounds just like Mu La Flaga from SEED (wink wink ;) ). I've been warned that certain character deaths in SEED will seem cheapened by events in Destiny. I really, really, really hope Neo Roanoke isn't Mu La Flaga.


Sometimes hope is just the name of a cheap hooker. :|

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:12 am 
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I came into Destiny after my first watching of SEED left me lukewarm. The first watching through, I felt Destiny was more engaging. I haven't seen it again since, but do ackowledge its many flaws. I don't think at this point that its better than SEED as a whole, but it has elements that are, and if it had been carried out better, it had the potential to top SEED. As it is, though, it can be a very fun ride.

Burke Rukes wrote:
I'm a little disappointed to see this ancient trope from 1970s super robot animation still lingering in the modern Gundam mythos. Plus, is it necessary to launch all 3 basic components, plus a weapon loadout component, separately from the ship each time? They're all gonna have to combine into the Impulse Gundam anyway. It's like the old Voltron problem - no matter what the separate lions and vehicles do, they're not taking down that Robeast until they form Voltron. And even then, it's not going down until they use the Blazing Sword. Just seems like a waste of time, keep the Impulse in one piece and send it out that way, guys!


Without specifics, I'll just say that, as goofy and repetative as it is, this series finds rather creative "reasons" for the launch sequence. Stay tuned. 8)

Burke Rukes wrote:
The opening credits song is very pulsating and fast-paced, and considering how much action there is in these first 5 episodes, throwing you right into the thick of things right from the start, this series is very exciting and is starting off with a lot of adrenaline. It's a good thing, but here's hoping we get a good, captivating story to grow with it. Looks like we're finally starting to see the start of that with the Junius 7 thing and the Blue Cosmos intrigue.


What intro do they use on the DVDs? Is it really Ignited by TM Revolution? (male voice), or is it the rock/rap song with a female lead voice? I've seen Bandai using their own spoiler-filled opening credits in promo runs.

Burke Rukes wrote:
Djibril says he sent "Phantom Pain" to investigate the falling Junius 7. Who or what is Phantom Pain?


Not explained in too much detail in-show that I recall. It's the covert special forces of the Earth Alliance's OMNI group. Neo's ship is a part of that group, and in SEED Stargazer (the 0080-esque Original Net Animation OVA of Cosmic Era), you see other members and their secret missions over the course of Destiny's timeline (in Stargazer) led by Sven Cal Bayan.

Burke Rukes wrote:
It has a different feel, from some of the music, to the very fast pacing.


I liked this, as SEED had A LOT of slow, normal-life exposition to start with, and this starts with military life on the fritz linked to shadowy political conspiracies with more sides than one can comprehend at first. This links up better with the pacing from the latter half of SEED, pushing the CE universe forward. It's not retreading the 0079 path, which is nice. You mentioned that Shinn and the new cast is getting crowded out a little bit. I won't say much in detail, but this, I believe, may be Destiny's biggest story flaw.

And now, my general thoughts on Destiny as it starts (1-5). These were made in preparation of your [Burke’s] comments. (I made these beforehand because the thread wasn’t up).

*It was really smart to connect the series to one of SEED’s strongest arcs (The Invasion of Orb). You see that Kira, in his desire to protect people (from the Druggies no less), inadvertently created Shinn’s grief. In essence, Kira may have helped the eye-for-an-eye mentality he wanted to stop.

*The links to SEED, building off minor background points and making them major (Junius 7, Blue Cosmos, etc), is equally smart as the first arc moves toward a shocking early climax.

*The Gundamjack is perhaps the most fun and dynamic outside of 0083.

*The political tones of Destiny are more central, and the conspiracies in them and all the new players create a great air of mystery and complexity as the series starts. It just feels fresher than SEED’s start and less one-dimensional than the 0079 reimagining.

*Shinn is a love-hate character for most people. I like him a great deal, because he’s a contrast to Kira and Athrun. He has an intensity and commitment greater than either of them due to seeing the price of war first-hand in a way that was more visceral than either of them. He’s reminiscent of Kamille in some ways, but his anger feels more genuine and understandable, and his range of emotions more subtly pronounced as he shows his hurt over his sister (those cellphone moments, for example). Even if he oversimplifies things in his head, he has some genuine points about war and the follies of politics. He’s not afraid to stand up to anyone, no matter the odds, which is an attractive trait for a character, even if it can be considered a flaw, as well. His emotionality over his sister's passing, and his anger over the Gundams getting stolen just leap off the screen--he's much more a "beast" than Kira and Athrun when he goes on the warpath.

*Rey’s calm and cool personality is a nice foil to Shinn. He has skill, and he has a mysterious and almost wise, older sibling air about him that grows the more we see of him.

*Lunamaria has an appealing personality and spirit—different from anything in SEED, even if she can be rough around the edges in terms of skill.

*The men meeting at the lavish estate, including Djibril, give Destiny a sense of intriguing cast diversity and an overarching plot that is just as intriguing. The change of setting to that old-fashioned place and the secret meeting was surprising and neat.

*Durandal is one of my favorite characters in Destiny and all of Gundam. He is clearly a complex man. He has both a practical and philosophical air about him, and he has no trouble challenging other would-be politicians like Cagalli with smooth, well-thought words and arguments.

*Talia is a good follow-up and contrast character to Murrue. She feels like a mix of Murrue and Natarle, but has an air of her own. The hair is a unique point; I like it.

*Arthur Trine is a fun second-in-command, and gives the bridge its own character separate from SEED.

*Athrun’s (or Alex Dino's?) dilemma of what identity he wants, and what he should do with his life, makes for a compelling tale here.

*The three new enemy Gundam pilots are not as appealing to me as Shani, Clotho, and Orga (they seem less ominous). But they serve their purpose, and make for some interesting plot points and connections to SEED.

*Neo Roanoke is an interesting masked man--more earthy, nonchalant, and perhaps paternal than the typical masked man, even if he has the same cunning in battle. And his scenes raise A LOT of questions...

*The CG is much better than in SEED, and the ship-to-ship battles are more exciting here.

*The action in these early episodes is very well choreographed and set up; Neo’s surprise attack with the stealth MS is especially cool, and there is no shortage of neat sequences.

*The new ZAFT suits, copying Zeon designs verbatim almost, are largely unappealing to me. It's not that they're bad, but they're too blatantly similar. IE: The GINN was more original than the ZAKU.

*The new “evil” Gundams are unique and creative; the Chaos is probably my favorite, though. (To Burke, the Gaia is very close, though. Abyss is best left to its element, where it can be a lot of fun in context).

*Sword Impulse is AMAZING! (Blast Impulse is equally cool!)—these are better (more symmetrical) than the Strike’s alternate packs, IMO. Sleeker and more kinetic. The Strike by itself is probably a little more balanced, though, and has a cooler speed/air-based pack. But Impulse by itself isn't too bad in motion; I just don't like its air pack much.

*The battle animation at this point is better than SEED, IMO...less panning or quick cutting. A lot of the moment is genuine MOVEMENT, like when Sword Impulse was going on a tear. The level of action and pacing (combined with the background mysteries/conspiracies) brings to mind the early episodes of Gundam Wing.

*ZAFT’s new warship isn’t as sleek as the Archangel, but at least it's unique and functions well in battle.

*A lot of good and/or fun dialogue in Destiny between characters to this point, like the question about “names,” Shinn’s “another war!” and Cagalli affronts "I wish people wouldn't talk about things they know nothing about," and Neo’s quips about “had them on the run but now they're back in the game” and “white baldy.” Not to mention the Blue Cosmos meeting's "%ammit man, you've thought that far ahead?!" While these are taken from memory and may not be spot-on, I recall Destiny having some of the most memorable dialogue and political/philosophical discussions outside of Wing for me.

*Music tracks are more intense and in-your-face than SEED, making the fights more hectic. (There is a grander sound, too, borrowed from Pirates of the Caribbean).

*The color palette to the series is a bit bolder and sharper, less pastels. There's something of a different style; edgier, as some of the characters are older/have aged.

*For what it's worth. I found an old post of mine about Destiny, and what parts I felt strongest about (There may be more, as this was based on memories and not a re-watch). In it, I say: “episodes 1-7, 10-13, 16, 18-19, 21, 25, 27-29, 31-32, 34-38, 44-46--all of these I remember as being either partially good or excellent. That's basically 29 episodes of quality material right there.”

PS: About SEED’s dub from your last thread. Kira is done by Matt Hill of Sunrise’s Ronin Warriors’/Samurai Troopers’ Ryo character fame. If you haven’t seen that dub (Or his work in the Fatal Fury Motion Picture), his voice could take some getting used to; but it works well and has grown on me. Listen good in public, and it matches a certain swath of the modern younger generation.

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:16 am 
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Burke Rukes wrote:
So diving right into it, we start with an explosive flashback of the Earth Forces' invasion of Orb's Onogoro Island from SEED, told from the point of view of what seems to be the series' main character, Shinn Asuka. His parents and little sister Maya die a horrific, bloody death, caught in the crossfire of the Gundams battling overhead, and he screams in anguish. Later on we see Shinn again, now a mobile suit pilot for ZAFT, pilot of the new Impulse Gundam and its Core Splendor core fighter. He has a major grudge against Orb's ruling Attha family, now personified in its current leader, Princess Cagalli Yula Attha. He grieves a great deal for his dead sister, still possessing the cell phone she lost that he went after during their evacuation from orb - the only piece of her he still has, it would seem.


A lot of people have said that they laughed or rolled their eyes at the opening scene of SEED Destiny, but I thought it was well done.

Burke Rukes wrote:
But so far, after 5 episodes with limited exposure to him outside of a mobile suit cockpit, I can't sympathize with him to the degree that I could with Kira right from the start.

So far, I'm not sure what to think of Shinn. He's a capable pilot - it's nice to see this series start off with trained mobile suit pilots, rather than the old "whiz kid falls in the open cockpit with the keys in the ignition" trope. :P But beyond sense of loss, which is perfectly understandable, and his anger at Cagalli, which is equally understandable, even if obviously mis-placed, we don't really know much about this kid after 5 episodes. Since he pilots the "star" Impulse Gundam, I would assume he's the main protagonist, and yet, the rest of the cast seem to get as much, if not more, screen time than he does. If he's the main character, he doesn't feel like one yet.


This is a very common complaint. After five episodes we don't know what is really going on or much about the main character, whereas with SEED and Kira we knew comparatively a lot more after the first DVD was over.

Burke Rukes wrote:
Oh, and he looks just like Kira Yamato, except with black hair and red eyes. :)


The character designs are pretty recycled in this show, get used to it.

Burke Rukes wrote:
Cagalli and her boyfriend/bodyguard Athrun Zala are back, and more or less center stage. It's not too surprising to see big names from SEED back and being prominent in Destiny, I guess at this point I'm wondering if this series is about Athrun and Cagalli, or new characters?


Fanboys were too attached to the returning cast and the director, writer and producer weren't able to resist them. Therefore, the confusion about just who the main character(s) really is/are.

Burke Rukes wrote:
Cagalli is holding true to form, troubled by ZAFT's development of new mobile suits and their first post-war warship, the Minerva, at the PLANT Armory One. This is pretty consistent with the attitude she had about her father developing Orb's M1 Astrays in the 1st series and her desire to keep humanity from going down the road to war so soon again is commendable.


Can't protect anything without sufficient ability. Militant pacifism is good and all, but the world is not as kind as we would want it to be. In theory if everyone was like Orb then there would be no conflict. Except that even Orb would have broken its own codes of conduct if it meant the difference between survival and destruction. The only reason they could afford to remain neutral and (initially) peaceful was because they weren't as badly affected by the energy crisis as everyone else.

Burke Rukes wrote:
However, ZAFT, under the leadership of their new Chairman, Gilbert Durandal, does strike me as being genuinely concerned only with rebuilding their forces for self-defense, not for starting another war. It makes perfect sense to me to at least maintain a defensive force. "Power is necessary because there will always be conflict," he tells Cagalli. Wise words, assuming that this guy uses that power wisely. But Cagalli's response, "Too much power will lead to another conflict!" is equally valid - if you make super-weapons like, say, a new batch of Gundams, surely enemies will try to steal them. Durandal, for his part, seems like a genuinely honest and friendly guy, though. And he's voice by Suichi Ikeda, Char himself! How cool is that? :D


Durandel has it right. Cagalli also has it right, but she's applying it too strictly. Nothing wrong with modernising your fleet, especially given the downsizing that is implied to have gone on after the war. Your military strength hasn't much changed overall.

Burke Rukes wrote:
ZAFT's new warship, the Minerva is kinda neat, though I'm still warming up to its design - honestly, the Archangel is gonna be tough to beat in my favorite Gundam ship category. However, I do love its Yamato-esque bridge/conning tower and gun turrets (including the fact that some of them fire explosive shells like a modern-era battleship). The big, wide wings seem a little strange, especially used in spaceflight. And its drop-down-for-battle bridge design is cool. :)


The drop-down bridge is the single greatest invention Gundam ships had seen up till then. If a single GINN had the ability to blast the Archangel's bridge apart (as was implied in episode 35 of SEED), then your ship designers should be court-martialled.

I do like the Minerva, although it suffers from the "all guns on the top" problem that most Gundam ships suffer.

Burke Rukes wrote:
I imagine this causes some issues for Durandel in the sack, since they're boffing each other. :P


I always found the decision to make these two lovers to be rather interesting. Guess it allowed for some more fanservice?

Burke Rukes wrote:
The Minerva has its own team of MS pilots, in addition to Shinn Asuka. Rey Za Burrel is the resident pretty-boy, with the long blonde hair, and a voice that sounds eerily similar to Rau Le Creuset from SEED (wink, wink ;) ). He seems to be the leader of the pilots, and he has a very reserved, but serious attitude, and a bit of an air of mystery (wink, wink again ;) ). Lunamaria Hawke is the 3rd pilot, who strikes me as lighthearted and fun (in a slightly tomboyish way), and a pretty cute redhead to boot (or is it salmonpinkhead? :P ). They all seem to be very capable and professional pilots - no whiz kid student amateurs this time around, which as I said earlier, is a refreshing change.


Can't tell you how much I liked this. The pilot falling into the cockpit has always been a hated Gundam trope of mine. If the machines are so complicated, how can one teenage boy pilot it like an expert in just five minutes? Real robots aren't like hopping into a (magic) car and driving away. So yeah, trained pilots for protagonists are awesome.

Burke Rukes wrote:
Their mobile suits look pretty slick, for the most part. The Impulse Gundam, and its 3 optional weapon loadouts, the Force Impulse, (Really Big) Sword Impulse, and Blast Impulse, are pretty much reduxes of SEED's Aile Strike, Sword Strike and Launcher Strike, respectively. I think they all look good, though I still like the original Strike better. I do like that the different equipment loadouts also change the color of the Phase Armor. However, I've never been a big fan of the core fighter/combiner parts concept for Gundams. I'm a little disappointed to see this ancient trope from 1970s super robot animation still lingering in the modern Gundam mythos. Plus, is it necessary to launch all 3 basic components, plus a weapon loadout component, separately from the ship each time? They're all gonna have to combine into the Impulse Gundam anyway. It's like the old Voltron problem - no matter what the separate lions and vehicles do, they're not taking down that Robeast until they form Voltron. And even then, it's not going down until they use the Blazing Sword. Just seems like a waste of time, keep the Impulse in one piece and send it out that way, guys!


I felt the series never explored the full potential of using the combination system. There was maybe two times that the system specifically came in handy. That's it.

Burke Rukes wrote:
The ZAKU Warrior (used by Lunamaria and Athrun) and its commander variant, Rey's ZAKU Phantom, look really sweet! The MAHQ profiles for these mecha don't list a mecha designer, but I'm guessing from the looks of them that they're Kunio Okawara designs. Normally I yawn at his work, but I'm pretty impressed with the ZAKU's from Destiny. They're the old classics, but with some new twists. Lunamaria's red ZAKU Warrior looks fantastic in those colors. :D


I thought the ZAKUs looked like proper war machines, as opposed to many of the other MS which were a bit far-fetched.

Burke Rukes wrote:
That brings us to ZAFT's three other new Gundams, which are stolen by a trio of teenaged pilots, in one of the most surprising first episode Gundamjacks I've ever seen. It wouldn't be a first episode of a Gundam series unless an unauthorized person ended up in the cockpit of one. :P So the three new (bad guy) units are the Chaos Gundam, Gaia Gundam and Abyss Gundam. Of these three, the Abyss looks the silliest to me. It may be packing a lot of beam weapons, but it looks like something Aquaman would pilot, especially in its submarine-ish mobile armor mode. And Aquaman just isn't that cool. The Chaos is a lot better, transforming into a funky mobile armor with claws that reminds me of some of the old school stuff from First Gundam and Zeta Gundam. I'm not crazy about it, but I kinda like it. My fave of the new big bad trio is the Gaia Gundam, though. I've been slowly warming up to the 4-legged, Zoids-esque BuCUEs and LaGOWE from SEED, and the Gaia's quadraped mode looks very lean and mean - the black color scheme really sells it. :D

So the theft of these three Gundams sets off the main thrust of the story, with our heroes in pursuit aboad the Minerva. The theft itself is shocking and surprising, very unexpected when it happens. We see what seems like three ordinary teenage kids, Stella Loussier, Auel Neider, and Sting Oakley, brought onto the ZAFT base at Armory One by some ZAFT officers (can you say "inside job"?). Well, Stella's not so ordinary - she's a little weird and seems totally lost in her own world. But they make their way to the hangar where the 3 new Gundams are stored, and quite suddenly and violently, with a lot of gun-fu that looks like something out of the Christian Bale vehicle Equilibrium or The Matrix, kill the mechanics and guards and make off with their meters-tall booty. I fully expected Gundam(s) to be stolen in episode one - the way it's done surprised me. :)


That Gundamjack has to be the best in the entire animated franchise. It was plausibly done (unlike in 0083 where the guy just strolls into the hanger), it was intense and brutal, and had lots of action and excitement. I loved it.

The Abyss was my favourite out of the three, simply because it had a cool weapons loadout. It is however really poorly equipped for underwater battle, the lack of a phonon maser cannon is saddening. But it looks cool.

Glad you picked up on the Equilibrium shout-out.

Burke Rukes wrote:
So Athrun hops in a ZAKU Warrior and tries to stop them, with the assistance of Shinn in the Impulse Gundam, but a breach in the PLANT wall assures the thieves' getaway. They make their way to what seems to be an Earth Forces (Atlantic Federation?) ship, the Mirage Colloid-equipped Girty Lue. Thus begins an episodes-long chase as the Minerva tries to retrieve the stolen Gundams, with much spaceborne mobile suit and ship fighting ensuing. Athrun and Cagalli are stuck aboard the Minerva for now, with Athrun giving tactial advice and occasionally piloting a ZAKU Warrior to help with the effort. Cagalli, however, seems like she's just a hapless passenger along for the ride, who occasionally has little disagreements with Chairman Durandal, or gets in an argument with Shinn. I hope she has a bigger part to play soon and isn't just "there."


Ah yes, Cagalli. Let's just say her character gets even more worse and helpless than she already is (at the start of SEED Destiny, she was awesome during SEED).

Nice to see Athrun giving advice. As someone who was a battle-hardened ace pilot, he knows his stuff.

Burke Rukes wrote:
The bad guy trio of Gundam pilots, Auel (pilot of Abyss), Sting (pilot of Chaos) and Stella (pilot of Gaia), are intriguing and mysterious. They have Matrix-like gun-fu skills, they're very skilled mobile suit combat pilots... and they appear to have some brainwashing done to them to keep them in line. Oh, and they sleep in some weird energy dome/tank things. Neo Roanoke, their oh-look-another-Char-clone commander, mentions that they're better than the previous group - and I have to assume he's referring to the Druggies. It looks like the Earth Forces or Atlantic Federation or whoever these people are are already hard at work on their next-generation artificial imitation Coordinators. At least these three aren't raving lunatics - except when a "block word" is used, a la Stella in a state of almost uncontrollable fear when hearing the word "die."


At least the druggies were fun. These lot are boring as hell. Common fan consensus is that the druggies are better pilots, if only for raw skill alone. I guess making the second batch less violent also made them less skillfull.

Burke Rukes wrote:
That brings Neo Roanoke, the oh-look-another-Char-clone for this series. The bad: His helmet looks really goofy. And Gundam producers seem unable to make Char clones without the long pretty blonde hair anymore. The good: He pilots a very slick and powerful Mobius Zero-esque mobile armor called an Exus (wink wink ;) ). The I-don't-know-what-to-think-yet: He sounds just like Mu La Flaga from SEED (wink wink ;) ). I've been warned that certain character deaths in SEED will seem cheapened by events in Destiny. I really, really, really hope Neo Roanoke isn't Mu La Flaga. But it feels like there's been a role reversal between Mu and Rau Le Creuset in SEED, and Rey and Neo here in Destiny. Swapping voice actors, good guy/bad guy status, even their particular hair colors. Oh, and Rey and Neo have Newtype awareness flashes when either of them enter the battlefield/get close, just like Mu and Rau. I don't know what to think of this yet. I'm leaning towards "not happy."


My condolences for your loss.

Burke Rukes wrote:
Later on, we get our first impending colony drop, when forces operating ZAFT model MS's put some keypad "flare motor" doo-hickeys on the remains of the Junius 7 PLANT and knock it out of orbit, sending it plummeting towards Earth. The Minerva is forced to break off its pursuit of the Girty Lue to assist other ZAFT forces, led by Yzak and Dearka show up to try to stop them but are driven off. Great to see those two are back! And hey, Yzak finally got rid of the scar. :D


Yzak managed to stop holding the grudge, I like how his character has matured a bit. Dearka was demoted for joining the three ships alliance which is why (IIRC) he is no longer in red uniform.

Burke Rukes wrote:
We also see that Blue Cosmos is alive and well, now led by another slimy snake-like man named Djibril. The leaders of Blue Cosmos have gathered to discuss the impending fall of Junius 7 and its destruction and how they can use the situation to their advantage and accelerate their anti-Coordinator agenda. They decide to evacuate Earth, let the PLANT hit, and then blame it on the Coordinators and give them another excuse to try to wipe them out. I get the feeling, watching this group of men together, that they have a lot of wealth and power (which isn't surprising, considering they basically took over the Atlantic Federation side of the Earth Forces/Alliance leadership in SEED). I get this Skull & Bones-esque "evil elite scumbag gentleman's club secret society" feel from this group.


Another group of obviously evil guys so the audience is prevented from siding with them. Sigh. Although these guys are pretty horrible. I smell a 9/11 conspiracy theory here.

Burke Rukes wrote:
A couple of lines from Neo that caught my interest: "We're still in the trial stages in many regards. This ship, the mobile suits, our pilots... and the world." Hmm, the world, huh? I wonder what he could mean. And this one: "The day will come when everything will begin in the true sense. In our name." A blue and pure world, perhaps? Or something else?


Yeah, the shite is about to hit the fan.

Burke Rukes wrote:
Djibril says he sent "Phantom Pain" to investigate the falling Junius 7. Who or what is Phantom Pain?

And who exactly are the people on the Girty Lue, who are they working for?


Phantom Pain is Neo's group (AKA the Girty Lue and everyone on it). I don't think that's a spoiler.

Burke Rukes wrote:
Who exactly has started Junius 7 on its planetfall? It wasn't Blue Cosmos (or at least the leadership), if Djibril had to talk them about what to do about it. I suspect Djibril himself may be involved. But I also wonder, since they were using GINNs and such, if they're connected with the ZAFT officers who snuck the trio of pilots from the Girty Lue into the base to steal the Gundams?


You're on the right track.

Burke Rukes wrote:
Overall, for the first 5 episodes, I'm impressed and entertained, though not quite as much as I was with SEED. I think part of it is because I was expecting a new show very much in the same vein as SEED, and yet so far this series actually feels different. Not in a bad way, just different and a little unexpected. It has a different feel, from some of the music, to the very fast pacing. Also, the animation quality (specifically the hand-drawn linework for the characters and mecha) just doesn't seem as good as SEED. It's not bad, it still looks very good, but not quite up to the high standard that SEED set. There's also more of a focus on action and not so much on characterization that I can see. I like my drama and character stuff as well as my fightin', 'splodin' robots, and I hope we'll get more of a balance in future episodes. But for a hook to draw in a new viewer, I like it and I'm looking forward to more. :)


I actually thought it was too much like SEED, and that's why it had problems. Although, since you are only talking about the first five episodes here, your opinion is valid.


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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:21 am 
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Burke Rukes wrote:
Who exactly has started Junius 7 on its planetfall? It wasn't Blue Cosmos (or at least the leadership), if Djibril had to talk them about what to do about it. I suspect Djibril himself may be involved. But I also wonder, since they were using GINNs and such, if they're connected with the ZAFT officers who snuck the trio of pilots from the Girty Lue into the base to steal the Gundams?

I think the uniformed ZAFT people who let Sting, Auel, and Stellar in were simply undercover agents who didn't have any other job then to get as close to ZAFT's latest MS development and park themselves there to keep an eye on it.

Also the Hi-Mo II GINN pilots seem to be genuinely on the track about what they say and who they say they are, but are just another unwitting pawn in Blue Cosmos and Djibril's game. Djibril also has a major trait that just screams "I'm a villain.": He has that cat that is around him much like Blowfeld did in the James Bond movies.

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:24 am 
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I forgot to mention that the flashback to the battle of Orb was a great scene. Bloody death and gore. I do feel sorry for Shinn in that regard.

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:31 am 
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A lot of fun stuff being said so far, but all I can really add to it is that Talia is voiced by Mami Koyama, better known as Kycilia Zabi. In fact, late in the series they asked the voice actors for ideas for silly little illustrations. Besides Athrun and Cagalli doing the Love-Love Tenkyoken, the best was the hilarious reversal of Talia blasting Durandal in the face with a bazooka, the shell sticking out of his forehead like a comedy arrow prop.

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:28 am 
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AmuroNT1 wrote:
Besides Athrun and Cagalli doing the Love-Love Tenkyoken, the best was the hilarious reversal of Talia blasting Durandal in the face with a bazooka, the shell sticking out of his forehead like a comedy arrow prop.


Oh I gotta see these, where they be?

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:51 am 
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Destiny opens very strongly, I was quite hopeful, even if the first half-dozen episodes feel a lot more like "The Athrun Zala Show" than anything else, with Shinn coming off as some kid that's had too kind a guardian, and who hasn't learned when to keep his mouth shut yet. This is particularly amusing given that Shinn's been treated so poorly by life; but while some would have been aged beyond their years by experiences like those Shinn has had, he merely rages.

Djibril and the other guys in the brown not-quite-uniforms are members of Logos -- essentially they're the Earth Alliance (particularly the 'Lanties) military-industrial complex. Azrael was also a member, and he evidently used his power to run Blue Cosmos (or took over the organization, since he never seemed old enough to have been the founder). You might find it instructive to watch the scenes with the overall Logos group with care, as what they say -- and leave unsaid -- often helps explain what the hell is going on from the Earth Alliance perspective.


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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:03 am 
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Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
AmuroNT1 wrote:
Besides Athrun and Cagalli doing the Love-Love Tenkyoken, the best was the hilarious reversal of Talia blasting Durandal in the face with a bazooka, the shell sticking out of his forehead like a comedy arrow prop.


Oh I gotta see these, where they be?


If I had them I would gladly share, but these pics came out around the end of the series and I haven't seen them in years.

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:53 am 
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Hi everyone! I just finished watching episodes 6 thru 10 tonight, and I'm really impressed! I'm also really tired and gotta get to bed soon, I was just checking on everyone's posts and had to reply to a few things.

Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
'Boffing.' That sounds like a British phrase perhaps?


It could be, I really don't know. I heard it used once in Babylon 5 and loved it, it's stuck with me ever since. I can't recall ever seeing/hearing it anywhere else, though.

LightningCount wrote:
What intro do they use on the DVDs? Is it really Ignited by TM Revolution? (male voice), or is it the rock/rap song with a female lead voice? I've seen Bandai using their own spoiler-filled opening credits in promo runs.


It's Ignited by TM Revolution, at least for the first 10 episodes that I've watched so far.

LightningCount wrote:
I liked this, as SEED had A LOT of slow, normal-life exposition to start with, and this starts with military life on the fritz linked to shadowy political conspiracies with more sides than one can comprehend at first. This links up better with the pacing from the latter half of SEED, pushing the CE universe forward. It's not retreading the 0079 path, which is nice. You mentioned that Shinn and the new cast is getting crowded out a little bit. I won't say much in detail, but this, I believe, may be Destiny's biggest story flaw.


I wouldn't say it's a flaw, per se, but it does make this series stand out as being different from the Gundam norm of having a main hero character be the focus. One thing I've picked up on after watching episodes 6 thru 10 this evening is that this series has a far bigger scope. So far Athrun seems to be the main protagonist, but it really feels like more of an ensemble piece, as we're seeing events unfolding from many different angles, rather than focusing on the plight of "one little ship" as SEED and its 0079 progenitor did. I rather like this, seeing the bigger picture that we didn't get a whole lot of in SEED (at least until later episodes, to some degree).

LightningCount wrote:
*The political tones of Destiny are more central, and the conspiracies in them and all the new players create a great air of mystery and complexity as the series starts. It just feels fresher than SEED’s start and less one-dimensional than the 0079 reimagining.


I heartily agree. :D

LightningCount wrote:
*The men meeting at the lavish estate, including Djibril, give Destiny a sense of intriguing cast diversity and an overarching plot that is just as intriguing. The change of setting to that old-fashioned place and the secret meeting was surprising and neat.


Yep... adds more to that "bigger picture" scope of the series, and I love it. As for this group, I'll have more to say about it in my detailed post on eps 6-10 tomorrow. :)

LightningCount wrote:
*Durandal is one of my favorite characters in Destiny and all of Gundam. He is clearly a complex man. He has both a practical and philosophical air about him, and he has no trouble challenging other would-be politicians like Cagalli with smooth, well-thought words and arguments.


Oohhhhh I have a LOT to say about this man! Oh boy oh boy oh boy! :D

LightningCount wrote:
...I recall Destiny having some of the most memorable dialogue and political/philosophical discussions outside of Wing for me.


*points up to my reaction to Durandel and giggles with glee* :P

Izayuukan wrote:
A lot of people have said that they laughed or rolled their eyes at the opening scene of SEED Destiny, but I thought it was well done.


I agree, and the more I've seen of Shinn in episodes 6 through 10, the more I'm starting to "get" him. That opening scene in the first episode is the single defining moment for his entire character so far that I've seen.

Izayuukan wrote:
Ah yes, Cagalli. Let's just say her character gets even more worse and helpless than she already is (at the start of SEED Destiny, she was awesome during SEED).


Well, that's not encouraging... :(

Izayuukan wrote:
Another group of obviously evil guys so the audience is prevented from siding with them. Sigh. Although these guys are pretty horrible. I smell a 9/11 conspiracy theory here.


I have much to say about this group, and where I think it's going, and the real-life parallels...

AmuroNT1 wrote:
A lot of fun stuff being said so far, but all I can really add to it is that Talia is voiced by Mami Koyama, better known as Kycilia Zabi.


Aha, I thought she sounded awfully familiar!

Thanks for all the great replies, everyone. I'll be back tomorrow to talk about eps 6 thru 10 in greater detail!

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:36 am 
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Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
I forgot to mention that the flashback to the battle of Orb was a great scene. Bloody death and gore. I do feel sorry for Shinn in that regard.


If only it hadn't been shown at least twice an episode...


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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:02 pm 
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I'm back, with my review and comments for Episodes 6 thru 10. As I indicated in my post from last night, I was really excited by these episodes, and I have a lot to talk about. The series is really diving into a good story now, and more character/drama stuff, beyond the really cool action the first 5 episodes start off on a bang with. And I apologize in advance, I said I'd try to keep my posts on Destiny shorter than those from SEED, but... for these particular episodes, I just can't help myself.

So the Minerva crew and Yzak's team are battling the GINN-driving forces that have started Junius 7 on its deadly drop to Earth, the enemy hanging around to try to prevent our heroes from using Meteor Breakers to break up the ruins of the PLANT. When all is said and done, it appears (at least on the surface) that it's a group of rebel/former ZAFT soldiers who started this, people still loyal to the late Patrick Zala and his anti-Natural, genocidal warmongering, and burning for revenge for, well... not "losing" the war, but losing the war's objectives because of the truce. My impression is that they're a small force akin to the Delaz Fleet in 0083 - unaccepting the truce, feeling betrayed by their own government, still out for blood against the enemy, staging a bold attack of mass destruction to "make their point" and go out with foolish pride. Though I gotta say, with all the ZAFT mobile suits - aside from the Gundams - fighting each other, it was nearly impossible to tell who was who. :P

So our ZAFT heroes manage to break up Junius 7 into smaller pieces, which fall to Earth and don't cause the end of Life As We Know It... but it does cause widespread devastation, nonetheless. The PLANTs, under Durandel's leadership, sends aid to Earth to help those affected, while at the same time, trying to de-fuse a potentially violent situation. But it's already too late. The situation between the Earth Alliance and the PLANTs has been tenuous at best, a powderkeg waiting to be re-ignited because the bloody war is only 2 years past and the wounds are still very fresh. And these disgrunted ZAFT jokers just lit the powderkeg's fuse.

I have to point out the scenes of the Junius 7 fragments hitting Earth, and the devastation caused - very powerful and horrifying and chilling. The Gundam mythos has its its fair share of mass destruction and gore, but I don't think we've ever really seen it on the scale and brutality and so painfully close-up as we have in SEED, and now even more so in Destiny with this event. And Lacus's "Fields of Hope" song while the fragments were impacting... just so surreal and haunting. *shudders*

And during this we get our first peeks at Kira Yamato and Lacus Clyne, along with Reverend Malchio and the orphan kids at his church/orphanage on that island from SEED and After Phase. Glad to see they're still trying to enjoy a peaceful, quiet life. Well, until it started raining Junius 7 pieces... too bad their home got wiped out, but at least they have friends in Orb and a place to stay afterwards. But all is not well, and won't be for a while... Lacus: "A storm is on its way." Kira: "Yeah. I know." *shudders again*

The Minerva and its mobile suits make it safely through the atmosphere and lands in the Pacific. I gotta say that I'm slowly warming up more and more to the Minerva's design - seeing it flying through the atmosphere with its big wide wings looks very, um.... natural? Not sure if that's the right word, but I like it. The Minerva then makes its way to Orb's Onogoro Island for repairs, and to drop off their passengers, Orb Chief Representative Cagalli Yula Ahhta and her bodyguard Alex Dino - oops, I mean, Athrun Zala. The Minerva MS pilots (well, mostly Lunamaria Hawke) know who he really is and consider him a hero for what he did at the Battle of Jachin Due.

However, Shinn Asuka and Athrun have an exchange that leaves me wondering. Shinn feels sorry for Athrun - that's surprising, though I'm not sure I understand why Shinn would feel that way or admit it. Maybe because, like himself, Athrun lost the last of his family in the war? Even if his father ended up being a psycho raving genocidal maniac... But when confronted about what he does at Orb, Athrun's keeping mum. We know he's Cagalli's bodyguard, and (I assume secretly) her boyfriend, and he also acts as an envoy for her (as we'll see later in these episodes). I can understand the ZAFT people knowing who he is, as the son of their former madman chairman, but I'm surprised he's not well known in Orb - particularly among the slimy Orb politicians like Prime Minister Ema Seiran, or his even slimier (and creepy looking) son, Yuna, who's a little too fresh with Cagalli. But Athrun doesn't answer Shinn's question - partly because I think he himself doesn't really know, other than to be there for the girl he loves.

But.... I also get the impression that he's been ultimately labelled a traitor to ZAFT/the PLANTs after the war, for his part in the Three Ships Alliance (hence Yzak getting a promotion but Dearka still pretty much a grunt pilot, since joined the Three Ships as well). But Yzak seemed pretty angry at learning Athrun was there, when they were trying to stop Junius 7's fall. Did Yzak and Athrun have some personal falling out as well? I'm wondering what's happened between then. I get the impression that Athrun is pretty much a man without a home, even though he's at Cagalli's side.

Speaking of Prime Minister Seiran... man, what a sleazeball. How did this guy end up being Prime Minister? Of course, we knew back in SEED that even the Orb Union, the great jewel of a nation of peace and prosperity, has had its own problems with government corruption - hence the council members and Morgenroete heads who gave in to pressure from the Atlantic Federation to develop the original Gundam prototypes and Archangel for them. Looks like some of Orb's scum has floated to the top. And now, with the Earth Alliance beating the war drums in response to the Junius 7 colony drop disaster, he sounds eager to sign an alliance treaty with the government/nations that invaded them just 2 years ago. And Cagalli's under -so- much pressure, trying to do what's right and hold off an impending disaster. She's a strong girl, but I can already see the cracks forming in her resolve...

And oh so quickly, like a tidal wave that can't be stopped, the situation spins right out of control. The Earth Alliance (probably via Phantom Pain/the Girty Lue) releases photos of ZAFT mobile suits at Junius 7 during its fall - thus fueling the fires of anti-Coordinator/anti-PLANT hate on Earth. Blue Cosmos has just been handed their best recruiting tool in years. The Alliance makes an unrealistic list of demands of the PLANT government: "arrest the terrorists and hand them over" or face military invasion, disband your government and allow the Alliance to put "observers" in the new government, and disband your military. Gee, sure sounds like modern day, post-9/11 events... *tries to steer clear of political talk* :P

Well, if the Junius 7 drop wasn't an "inside job" with Djibril/Blue Cosmos helping pull the strings of the angry ex-ZAFT soldiers who pulled it off, it doesn't matter now. Blue Cosmos had their hooks deep in the Alliance government in SEED, and even though Muruta Azrael died, their hooks are still in very deep, with Djibril having a nice little chat with someone at the White House in Washington, D.C. (*blinks in surprise*) - the president of the Atlantic Federation, I guess?

Djibril and President Whoever-He-Is talk about their long-term plans... as part of a group we've never heard of, Logos. (Word of God, huh? Hmm....) Djibril talks about people wanting things well managed and neat and orderly, like a well maintained lawn, with people in charge making the rules and making new things to keep all in order. Djibril wants the war renewed, to wipe out the PLANTs and Coordinators. "So let's quickly get rid of them and hurry on to our next, enjoyable step, to make a beautiful lawn for us, of Logos. Let's build the structure for our new world system." Dunh dunh DUNH! Yep, Logos strikes me as a deep, high-level globalist elitist scumbag secret society, a la the Illuminati or Bilderberger Group or Bohemian Club, etc., pulling the strings of their political and corporate and media puppets, to consolidate their power and create their "new world order." I'm also theorizing that Blue Cosmos, being a very popular "social movement" on Earth, that's also controlled by Djibril, a member of this "Logos" group, is essentially a front organization, a useful tool for the -real- people in charge. Thus, if things go wrong for Logos, Blue Cosmos can be sacrificed as a patsy scapegoat organization - but Logos, the secret powers-that-be, will go on.

Wow, even deeper conspiracies abound... this is getting GOOD! :D

Meanwhile, the PLANT council is in a panic, with Chairman Durandel keeping a cool head, trying to find a diplomatic solution and avoid war. Unfortunately, they're clueless as to what to do - there's just far too many angry people on Earth right now who are believing the Alliance's propaganda and have drunk the Blue Cosmos kool-aid. It's like watching an even bigger disaster looming closer and closer, and there's no way to avoid it...

During all of this buildup to doomsday, we have a very brief scene, that surprised and baffled me. Lacus Clyne is on Earth, and yet... there's her, sitting in silhouette in a room with Durandel, discussing the Junius 7 drop disaster and the aftermath. Idly playing with a chess set, specifically a knight piece... how can she be in 2 places at once? A clone? An imposter? What's going on? And I can't help wondering if there's a significance to her finger playing around with a knight... :)

And speaking of the "knights" of the real Lacus Clyne, Athrun's still feeling very lost, with all the trouble brewing. He and Kira go for a ride in his very cool looking futuristic Ferrari, telling Kira he still can't find the answer to what they should be fighting against.

In response to Athrun's question of what he should be fighting against, I'm going to get a little soap-boxey, so I apologize and ask for your indulgence. I'm really, really trying hard not to get into political opinion stuff that's not allowed on Mecha Talk and take this thread totally off the rails with arguments getting started. But what I want to say does tie into another very important scene in these episodes that I'll touch on later in this post, so I'm trying really hard to keep what I say relevant and on-topic to the world/setting/story of Destiny. :)

When I hear Athrun asking what he should be fighting against, I would say the dark parts of the human heart that believe violence is an acceptable solution to any problem besides self-defense, because peoples' parents and so-called "authority figures" - governments, religious leaders, etc - tell them so, that they put stock in the words others tell them to think and believe and thus act on those bad ideas, rather than searching for solutions within themselves. (But then, I believe in individual self-government and voluntary beneficial cooperation with your neighbors - no rulers/governments/leaders required. :P ) How do you change society, the way people raise their kids, treat each other, etc, if violence isn't the answer? It's not something that you can do with a powerful mobile suit and/or a fancy speech - it's going to take hard work at the grass roots level, and it's going to take generations. But I can certainly empathize and understand Athrun's sense of helplessness and hopelessness. I feel that all the time. When it comes to humanity's future, there's a part of me that clings to some small hope, that someway, somehow, we'll get through these problems and finally find a peaceful, prosperous future for everyone in this world. But a bigger part of me feels like, as the late great comedian George Carlin put it, "we're circling the drain." I guess in the end, I'm a cynic - which is, to say, a disappointed optimist. *shrug* :)

Anyway... whew... back to the scene of Athrun and Kira talking in the car. I'm totally connecting with Athrun in this scene, on this point - I feel as lost as he does. And it's good that, no matter what happened between them during the last war, Athrun and Kira are still the best of friends, and can talk to each other and share their thoughts and their hearts. The end of this scene, with Kira silently putting his hand on his friend's shoulder, it's so simple but very touching - saying so much to Athrun without words, full of empathy and understanding.

So Athrun decides to go to the PLANTs, being worried about their position on this whole mess and those like the ex-ZAFT guys who dropped Junius 7, people who were swayed by his late father, Patrick Zala. And as he leaves and says goodbye to Cagalli, he gives her an engagement ring! WOO-HOO!!! That's soooooo sweet! And yet... did he actually ask her to marry him? Or is it just a ring? He just wordlessly puts it on her ring finger, and she chews him out for not doing right. But they instantly kiss and make up. These two are such a great couple. :D

Meanwhile, Shinn Asuka gets some more screentime in these episodes, at first not disembarking for shore leave at Orb while the Minerva is repaired, but then later going out to a memorial park for the victims of the Earth Alliance's invasion of Onogoro Island during the last war. With his dead little sister Maya's cell phone in hand, he stands in the park, remembering the brutal death of his family there at the hands of the battling Gundams overhead. He's in so much pain and grief and full of anger. It's finally in these episodes that I'm truly starting to feel for Shinn, and realize that, like Athrun, he's a very lost young man right now. Lost for different reasons that Athrun, but very lost indeed...

And while at that park, he has a chance encounter with Kira Yamato - one of the very Gundam pilots who may or may not have inadvertently killed Shinn's family. Lacus Clyne (the real one) is there with Kira, as they leave some flowers at the empty memorial tomb (cenotaph - I had to look that word up :P ). Shinn makes a comment about someone coming along and wiping out the flowers, too, someday. It's a cold comment, full of pain and cynicism and probably even a touch of nihilism... and I can understand it, though it takes Kira and Lacus by surprise.

That scene ends with Shinn walking away, with Kira and Lacus looking after him in the background... and the way it's set up, it feels like a VERY important moment, a turning point for all 3 of them, but certainly the most for Shinn. Symbolic of potential things to come... that Kira and Shinn will be enemies in the future? Only time will tell. Shinn is angry about his family's death, he's angry at the Ahhta family for their neutrality which led to the Alliance's invasion... but who does he really -blame-? Orb? The Earth Alliance? The Gundam pilots? Well, an obvious answer is the Earth Alliance - they were invading his home, after all, and it makes perfect sense for him to join ZAFT after the war, in case a new war starts and he can get some revenge against the Earth Forces. But until then, he strikes me as an angry animal, lashing out at anyone and anything, but desparately searching for one thing, one person, one target that he can lay all the blame on, and his desire for revenge. And after this scene, I have a sinking feeling that it's going to be Kira.

Athrun's planning to go to the PLANTS, but before he gets there, the powderkeg between the Earth Alliance and the PLANTs finally explodes. The Alliance formally declares war on the PLANTs... and one hour later, launches yet another nuclear missile attack. Fortunately, ZAFT has been prepared for this eventuality, and using a super-weapon called a Neutron Stampeder (sort of a ship-mounted, miniature version of the Genesis weapon from the previous war, it seems like), they wipe out the nuclear missiles and the invading Alliance force with one shot. And I have to say, the sweeping, grand-sounding, and even slightly perky classical music playing during this scene, particularly when the Strike Daggers fly up "above" the PLANTs to launch their missiles "down" at them... it reminded me of one of my big anime favorites, Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Hooray for big space battles with a classical music soundtrack! :D

So the PLANT public is hopping mad or running scared, lots of outrage that the government didn't warn them of the nuclear attack. Lots of people demanding retaliation, but lots of people not wanting to repeat the pain of war again, still so fresh in everyone's minds. Athrun arrives at the PLANTs and goes to meet Chairman Durandel, and en route has an encounter with... Lacus Clyne? But Lacus is on Earth! Who is this girl, really? We'll know soon enough. :)

Durandel meets with Athrun, in what I think is one of the most fascinating and important scenes in the series so far. I normally loathe politics and politicians, but seriously... I like Durandel. I like him a LOT. And he tells Athrun so -much- good stuff in this meeting! I would love to quote it all, but this post is too freakin' long already. :P I'll try to point out the highlights I love.

"Many people have good intentions, but end up making great mistakes," Durandel says of Patrick Zala. Okay, yes, Patrick Zala may not have started off wanting the destruction of Earth and death of every Natural, but he got there, easily enough. If you give someone power and authority, it's almost like a law of physics that said power will be abused and used for evil ends. Several thousand years of human history prove this. And yet... I really, really want Durandel to be a good guy. I seriously think he is. And I really, really hope he doesn't end up going down the same road as Patrick Zala. However, whereas Zala was a military man (and thus already of the mindset that violence is a solution to any problem), Durandel seems to be cut from entirely different - and quite civilized - cloth.

Durandel points out the power of leaders to influence others with their words and ideas, and how people who are lost, confused, and angry are looking for anyone with an idea or a "solution" to their problem, and put all their stock in that person and their words. "The criminals at Junius 7 had no way to express their feelings of anger, so they took advantage of Chairman Zala's words to justify their actions. They said, 'We're not wrong. Why? Because Chairman Zala said so himself.' So you mustn't let something like that take control of your emotions. The criminals are the criminals. Chairman Zala is Chairman Zala. And you are you. Regardless of whose son you are. You mustn't allow something like this to drag you down. It has nothing to do with you as an individual." GOOD STUFF! No matter what notions there are about collective groups - be they political parties, nations, racial/genetic groups (a central theme in the CE-verse), religions, whatever - we're all ultimately INDIVIDUALS. We have to find our own way, our own truth, our own heart's place and desires, and not put so much stock in someone else telling you what to think, what to do, what to believe. Seriously... I'm totally digging Durandel. If only he weren't a poltician... sigh. :P

And I love this line of his: "All the people who feel like you will be the ones to save this world. People may think of me as a dreamer, but I believe it to be true." Except for the fact that Lacus Clyne (and her soon-to-be-revealed doppelganger) are the singers with the same message of peace and hope, I'm about ready to call Durandel the John Lennon of the CE-verse. :D

And now... we learn the truth of the Lacus Clyne doppelganger at the PLANTs, who comes on a "pirated" broadcast throughout the PLANTs. She asks for calm and cool heads, for the chance for diplomacy and a peaceful solution. Oh, and to support Durandel and the Council as they work on the people's behalf. And yep, Durandel admits it to Athrun - the doppelganger is a government PR actress. Athrun is shocked and troubled by this... and frankly, so am I. I... trust Durandel, that he means well and is trying to do what's right, and I would think, and hope, that the real Lacus Clyne might approve of this, since they share the same desires for peace. But... Durandel just said individuals should think for themselves, not listen to what other people tell them to think. And here's "Lacus Clyne," his PR/peace propaganda puppet, telling people what to think and do. I love Durandel, but this makes him a hypocrite. And I don't want to think that about him. *sigh* What he's doing is very dangerous. If things go bad for him and the PLANTs... will he use his replacement "Lacus" to stir the people to war and militarism, if he goes the road of Patrick Zala? Will the replacement "Lacus" be something akin to the fake EVE from Megazone 23 Part II - a fake singer/idol who promotes war, replacing the real singer/idol who promoted peace?

Durandel then makes an offer to Athrun - he shows him and wants to give him another new Gundam prototype, the Savior Gundam. This scene mirrors Lacus "giving" Kira the Freedom Gundam in SEED, as Durandel wants a knight, an ally on his side that he can trust, with the power (through this Gundam) to back up his beliefs if need be. And if things go really bad, he wants Athrun to have the power to steer things back on the right course. Durandel seems to be putting a lot of faith in Athrun with this.

After this, Athrun meets the doppelganger Lacus, whose real name is Meer Campbell. She's a very talented and very close lookalike to the real thing, who is a huge fan of Lacus and came to closely mimic her singing style, before being recruited by Durandel to be his "replacement Lacus" PR actress. Meer and Athrun have dinner, though Athrun is troubled, because Meer's "lie" reflects his own "lie" in his double life as "Alex Reno," agent of Orb. He does tell Meer that she's almost identical to the real Lacus in her performance she gave, and that totally makes Meer's day.

I like Meer. She's cute and fun, and doesn't strike me as ditzy and air-headed as Lacus seemed to be when we first met her in SEED. Meer seems sincere in her desire to do the right thing by being a "replacement Lacus," believing in both Lacus' and Durandel's desire for peace. I can tell there's some sadness in her, knowing she's "living a lie" and that this gig is probably temporary, but she seems very happy to do it. I wonder how Lacus will react when she learns of Meer, however. And I'm hoping there's more to Meer that we get to see in the future. I'm intrigued by her. :)

Whew.... okay, now for the miscellaneous stuff, though some of it is kinda major, too. Just so much happens in these 5 episodes! Here we go.

I've figured out a little more why I like the ZAKU Warrior, beyond it being a great looking reimagining/recycled Zaku design: it reminds me a lot of the Geara Doga, one of my other fave Zeon-ish grunt MS types. :)

When it comes to being a MS pilot, Athrun's still got it. And he is a -scary- good shot with a pistol!

Is Shinn a Coordinator? I'm guessing so, since he's in ZAFT, though being a Coordinator isn't necessarily a prerequisite to be a MS pilot anymore.

The Gerty Lue and its crew and their Gundam pilots are mostly absent in these episodes, following the Junius 7 drop. Stella does look pretty horrified as she watches the fragments fall on Earth. Her psychological issues intrigue me, and I want to know more about her.

Athrun gets a shower scene! Fair is fair, I know the pretty-boy characters are popular among big segments of fandom, so good for those looking for beefcake to get some fanservice, as well. :P

The Minerva crew mentions that they could have gone to Carpentaria Base rather than Orb for repairs, except they needed to get Cagalli to safety. Does ZAFT still control Carepentaria on Earth?

Woot, Murrue Ramius and Andy Waltfeld are back! Oh, and the mechanic from Archangel - Murdoch, I think is his name? - has a brief, wordless cameo, too. So Murrue is now living in Orb under the alias Maria Bernes - I guess the Archangel crew had to get political asylum in Orb, due to their deserting/defecting from the Earth Forces during the previous war. The scene she has talking with the Minerva's Captain Talia Gladys is pretty nice. And hey, Andy's got a new arm! Cloned replacement, or some sort of prosthetic, I wonder? Still got the scar and missing eye, though. We also see Andy and Murrue together a lot - good friends now, or something more, I wonder?

And there's Miriella! Pretty obvious from the opening credits already that she's now a photojournalist. I hope we see more of her soon.

ZAFT gigantanormahumongous space supercarrier Gondwana reminds me of Zeon's Dolos from First Gundam. :D

I wonder if the Minerva will have serious trouble, since they're stuck on Earth right now when the new war is breaking out.

So to wrap this too-damned-long post up, these 5 episodes are fantastic! The first 5 were action packed and exciting, but now I've got the drama and good story I hunger for, and Destiny is delivering it so well now. I stand by my statement I made about the first 5 episodes, that this series has a different feel from SEED. Destiny is definitely a much broader, "bigger picture" type series, with more of an ensemble cast and treating us to events from many different angles, from the MS pilots to the politicians behind the scenes to the average Joe on the street. I'm going to compare it to Legend of the Galactic Heroes again, in that it's as much about the events/war/plot, if not more, than any particular individual characters (save Athrun, who -seems- to be the main protagonist, but... doesn't quite).

Whew... okay, I'll shut up now. Be back soon to talk about Episodes 11 thru 15. Keep the comments coming, I love reading them all, everyone! :)

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:20 pm 
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Burke Rukes wrote:
I'm going to compare it to Legend of the Galactic Heroes again, in that it's as much about the events/war/plot, if not more, than any particular individual characters (save Athrun, who -seems- to be the main protagonist, but... doesn't quite).


I think by the time you finish this series you'll realize that you insulted Legend of the Galactic Heroes. :wink:

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:41 pm 
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Burke Rukes wrote:
I have to point out the scenes of the Junius 7 fragments hitting Earth, and the devastation caused - very powerful and horrifying and chilling. The Gundam mythos has its its fair share of mass destruction and gore, but I don't think we've ever really seen it on the scale and brutality and so painfully close-up as we have in SEED, and now even more so in Destiny with this event. And Lacus's "Fields of Hope" song while the fragments were impacting... just so surreal and haunting. *shudders*


Now that you've seen that, It's a good time to watch Stargazer first episode. It took place around that Junius 7 incident too. And I don't think it will spoil anything to you (just hold off 2nd and 3rd episode for later). You'll see more devastating impact of Junius 7 fall there.

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:43 pm 
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Quick non-spoilerly clarifications for you.

Andrew and Murrue are bonding, but out of a shared sense of loss and at a level of professional equals. They're also in a common house on our friendly Blind Priest's island with Kira and Lacus (and the children, etc.) . This will become more relevant later, but it's shown here, but not all that clearly.

Shinn is indeed a coordinator, though they oddly don't talk about it too much. He has all of Kamille's rage, but not quite his intelligence and no real positive force guiding him.

An interesting tidbit, the little shot of Kira and Lacus on the island was originally supposed to be an 'Amuro' reference, showing them retired and not really part of the main story. Constant behind-the-scenes infighting during the making of SEED would change this, of course...


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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:43 pm 
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I always thought that Lord Athha (Cagalli's father) was stupid to throw his life away in SEED. It wasn't necessary, and look at the scumbags that are in power now. Yeah, they were still doing naughty things when he was alive but at least he could mitigate them.

The drop of Junius 7 is the highlight of the entire series. Field of Hope is a wonderful song, and from the visuals you get a sense of apocalyptic destruction. The series will never be as good again as it is in these episodes, so enjoy the view while it lasts. Speaking of views, the one that Kira sees at the end of episode six was utterly fantastic (in a horrific sort of way). Yeah, my jaw dropped too when I first saw it.

Athrun is still asking himself "what are we fighting for?" I thought he found his answer in Orb back in SEED when he decided to fight alongside Kira and protect it. He's lost all the development he already had, it makes me blanch.

A fifth of the series down and Shinn still hasn't met Stella, which of course is given away by the OP. Neither has Kira launched yet (also given away by the OP).

Shinn is a Co-ordinator, his family were living in Orb by taking advantage of their neutrality towards both sides.

It's never specifically confirmed (I don't think) that Kira killed Shinn's family, but that doesn't matter. As I mentioned in the other thread, the truth doesn't matter, what matters is what people THINK the truth is.

Minerva will indeed find itself in trouble.

FAITH is actually the name of the special forces Athrun ends up joining (spoiled by the OP yet again), so yes, Durandel is putting a lot of "faith" in him.


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