I'd just like to make clear that I was not try to make this a bashing thread. Seed was the series that got me in Gundam in the first place. I was just wondering why it so much flak from the fandom here. Also I have another question that in relation. Is it true that back in the early 2000s, the fandom was fiercely split between the fans of G Gundam and Gundam Wing and the older fans of UC?
In the US, there was definitely a great rift between Wing (AC) fans and UC fans in the early 2000s. Wing affected the expectations of what a Gundam series should have in it/look like for newcomers, while UC stalwarts called Wing "UC cliff-notes." G-Gundam (FC) came along later in the US (about a year before SEED, I think), and really didn't cause much of an uproar in my experience (though I enjoyed it greatly). Over the years, these "camps" have simmered down a good deal, but there are still some who hold to one Gundam timeline and one Gundam timeline only (though probably not so much on this MAHQ site as compared to the internet at large. The "one timeline" phenomenon resurges every time a new timeline starts basically).
As for SEED and SEED Destiny: I originally was excited about SEED, but when I first watched it, it suffered from TV editing, the animation felt stilted, there was too many clip shows, and I found too much of it following 0079 far too closely (making it seem far from the largely fresh takes Wing and G were, or the unique spin the OVAs like 08th Team and 0080 had been). However, when it got to the Alaska Base arc, I found myself drawn in somewhat. In the end, for years, I became a hater on the series because (despite some points) it just didn't live up to the experiences I had had previously with Gundam, and yet there was a lot of people on the net singing its praises. Rewatching the series about a year ago, unedited, I felt better about the whole thing. The problems I noted are still there, but time has helped the series, as a lot
of animation today is stilted, and SEED seems sometimes less so. Also, I realized that while the scripts do follow 0079 a lot, the presence of multiple Gundams and the different dynamics brought by Mu/Rau and the like give it some unique charm.
SEED Destiny, I actually think, has a more interesting setup than SEED with more factions and more gray areas when it starts. It begins by taking the best unique elements of SEED, and pushing them to the fore. The animation has also improved from SEED overall. However, Destiny is too inconsistent, repetitive, and too flippant with where it goes. It feels like the last quarter of the series is just thrown together, and only holds a vestige of the potential it started with. Even so, I do find some charm in Destiny. It's not total garbage, and I actually enjoyed it more watching it the first time than I did SEED--or at least it kept more of my attention. (The stuff prior to Junius 7 dropping is very tightly written, and there are some moments of genuinely good and frenetic action that are a lot of fun on their own).
We've forgotten Stargazer here: Too short, but some great stuff in there that shows potential for CE. Personally, though I was once a huge hater on CE, I would like to see one last CE title to round out the timeline given the way Destiny ended. At this time, while I'm not a huge fan of CE, I find parts of it enjoyable, and have certainly stopped hating it.
Because G'00 was brought up in this thread, I'm just going to note that I felt its animation was a big step up from SEED and Destiny (though not always in choreography), but like others have noted, I just didn't like the way the series went, particularly with Season 2. In the end, taken as a whole, I'm not sure its plotting was that much better than Destiny. I contend that 00 was at its best in S1: 1-16 & S1: 22-25. Overall, my appreciation has grown for all the things 00 got right, but it wasn't the mind-blowing experience that I had with Wing, 08th Team, 0080, and G-Gundam when they first aired.
Seed failed hard not because it sucked, but because kids just didn't want anime anymore. You cannot blame CN or whatnot for giving kids what they want.
I can agree with some of what you're saying, but not this. CN and Bandai had a revenue sharing deal for Gundam toys. By the time SEED was about to air in the U.S., Bandai decided to stop selling Gundam toys in America. With no revenue incentive, CN did hardly any advertising for SEED, and halfway through the show's run they moved it to a late Friday night death slot. So no, it's not at all that kids didn't want anime, because other anime that aired at the time were popular, ie Inuyasha. It's that they didn't buy Gundam toys and thus give CN a reason to be enthusiastic about promoting the show. As to why Gundam toys stopped selling here, there's plenty of culprits that can be blamed, but that's for another thread.
You're both right in my opinion, but then there were some OTHER factors that really
made it a perfect storm. As was noted earlier in this thread, CN did one heck of a job tastefully/carefully editing Gundam series prior to SEED and marketing them better than Bandai (so much so that Bandai used Toonami's ads on their DVDs at points). However, SEED's launch in the US corresponded not only with an inconsistent North American identity for Gundam, but with these three deathly trends.
1.) The NA anime market was starting to and was going to crash big with the fall of its major retailers.
2.) CN's Toonami had been stripped of its five-to-six day after-school schedule and was on its way out as CN policy changed to focus on Adult Swim, and with Adult Swim, the focus was quickly moving away from anime toward cheaper endeavors (the fact that THE BIG-O Season 3 was optioned prior to Season 2's airing but then passed on is proof of that).
3.) Censoring was becoming a big deal on TV due to current events, which made CN gun shy (literally), to the point where Toonami probably wasn't sure what would fly and what wouldn't in the current climate. Combine this with the loss of influence to Adult Swim, and Toonami had an identity crisis, causing confusion and inconsistency. (I remember IGPX The Series, Toonami's last gasp crown jewel, being taken off of Toonami allegedly due to the fact that it was attracting too old of crowds, and I remember that show having some swearing in it that usually would have only been shown on the "uncut" Midnight Run version of Toonami (which didn't exist at the time).
PS: For those who missed Toonami's heyday, check out their custom promos (nobody does it better, IMO):Gundam Wing trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIa7bQfxiMQGundam Wing daily intro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51rOp1Ow-NYGundam 08th MS Team trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oajULdUM ... re=relatedMobile Suit Gundam 0079 trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c30IcxtrnUG-Gundam trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRercuwU ... re=related
And really, despite Toonami being marginalized, they did give SEED
a shot with this competent promo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToV3SqqD240