Mania Grade: C-
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- Art Rating: C+
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Text/Translatin Rating: B-
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: Del Rey
- MSRP: 10.99
- Pages: 176
- ISBN: 0-3454-9275-7
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
- Series: Gundam SEED DESTINY
Mobile Gundam Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY Vol. #02
By Ben Leary
August 01, 2007
Release Date: November 30, 2006
Mobile Gundam Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY Vol.#02
© Del Rey
Writer/Artist:Masatsugu Iwase / Hajime Yatate and Yoshiyuki Tomino
Translated by:Ikoi Hiroe
Adapted by:Ikoi HiroeWhat They Say
The ZAFT Empire and the Earth Alliance are caught in a deadly stalemate now that the Alliance has attempted to retaliate against the Plant. Meanwhile, Princess Cagalli, free after escaping a political marriage to the prime minister's son, is teaming up with the crew of the Archangel in their search for an end to the war, and Athrun has joined ZAFT's special forces to fight for peace. But even though Athrun and Cagalli are united in the same cause, their fates are about to collide.The Review
Any hopes I had that this volume would become coherent were dashed before the story even began. The very first page after the table of contents is a note from the editor. The gist of it is that the spellings of the names have been changed to bring them in line with the spellings in the anime. As if I'm not confused enough already. The story itself does nothing to alleviate my confusion. When Shin (or Shinn, as we must now call him) runs into the girl from the start of the first book, they show absolutely no signs of recognition. I don't think I would have even guessed the girl was the same if they hadn't repeated the old accidental hand-on-breast routine--this time with the CPR gambit. Well, what do you know: two of my predictions fulfilled on the same page. Another complicating factor is that the body count is so far surprisingly low, therefore the cast hasn't been simplified. At least I learned my lesson with the first volume and didn't try to force it to make sense, so it wasn't nearly as frustrating to me this time around. It didn't get any better, but at least it didn't get me mad.
If it weren't for the Gundam-interrupted wedding in the first volume and the different spelling in this, I'd have as difficult a time of distinguishing between the two books as I have of telling the character designs apart. There's nothing in this volume that jumps out quite as much as the wedding scene--then again, not many situations could compete with something like that as an attention-getter. I still can't figure out any of the factions or how they relate to one another. I think a new one was introduced here; at least I can't remember anybody called the Logos from the first volume, and I refuse to re-read it to find out. If they turn out to be the ones behind the war (there are inklings of this), and the Chairman's Peace Warriors or whatever they're called go after them, then maybe, maybe, just maybe this story has a chance to start making a teeny bit of sense. But that's not where the smart money is.
The use of text is still problematic. In one scene we have Stella ostensibly laughing with delight, but when the text reads "HAHA" "HAHA-HAHA" "HA HA HA" (verbatim quotes, right down to the lack of spacing and punctuation), she sounds like a robot acknowledging orders in Japanese. We also get more of the characters "talking" in question marks, exclamation points and ellipses. More of the screams and so forth have exclamation marks this time, though, so that's a bit better. Best of all though, is a case where two separate lines of dialogue have been put in the wrong balloons. If you can read Stella saying "Hand me the drugs!" while a medical tech (outside the panel) shouts "I'm scared to die!" without laughing, you have a heart of stone. (Whether this Del Rey's error or the original letterer's is hard to tell.)
We get another preview for the next volume in Japanese at the end. This makes for better reading than the English text. You can imagine the characters are saying things that make sense. It shows Stella and Shinn together looking all happy and everything, so that must mean one or both of them is about to get it in the neck. Given that Stella is afraid of dying and Shinn has promised to protect her, I pick Stella.
But seriously, if you have to have some Gundam action, look somewhere else. I'm not even sure fans of the anime will be able to follow this.