Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny Vol. #03 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny

Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny Vol. #03

By Luis Cruz     August 25, 2006
Release Date: July 25, 2006


Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny Vol. #03
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
The Alliance is still reeling with the failure of their attack on the plants. Meanwhile, in Orb, Cagalli battles against allying with the Earth Alliance, but her words fall on deaf ears. On the PLANTs, Athrun wonders what his next course of action should be, and spends some time with some old friends. Things deteriorate quickly, and the Minerva leaves Orb, in international waters, Yuna orders the Orb navy to attack them.

Meanwhile, a group of Coordinator commandos comes to Orb and infiltrates the house where Kira, Lacus, and the others are staying. Their target: Lacus. Enraged, Kira boards the Freedom for the first time since the war.

The Review!
Everything old is new again...

Audio:
The Japanese soundtrack was used for my primary viewing session. It is a solid stereo track free from distortion, drop-outs, or other noise. While not the most powerful or dynamic audio track, it provides some decent directional effects during the battles and balance all elements appropriately.

Video:
Originally released in 2004, the video is presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio and look gorgeous. Whether it is the dark reaches of space or the bright colors of the Gundams and their weapon fire, the colors are sharp, vivid, and bring out some great details at times. Some of the scenes, mostly the shots of the Minerva, do stand out as obvious CGI, but these are few and do not detract much from the overall viewing experience.

Packaging:
The front cover sports Sting Oakley and his Gundam. The series title and volume number are placed along the bottom of the cover. Filling up the back cover are the usual suspects of screenshots, synopsis, disc specifications, and a Sting's Gundam striking a pose.

Menu:
Bandai puts you in the pilot's seat for the menu system as you interact with various cockpit controls and panels. The main menu features some video clips playing inside a display screen while music loops in the background. Transition delays are minimal and keep with the theme by shifting your focus to another control panel.

Extras:
The only extra is a textless version of the new opening.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One of the more interesting points that Gundam Seed Destiny opened with was humanity's utter inability to avoid repeating past mistakes. After all the destruction of the last war, the politicians of Earth and ZAFT are still maneuvering to destroy their perceived enemy. The most interesting players on the stage are Chairman Durandal and Yuna Seiran. They may be on opposite sides, but they share a remarkable aptitude for manipulating people and events.

Cagalli is the lone voice of opposition against a treaty between Orb and the Atlantic Federation. Yuna slowly breaks down her arguments, countering that the treaty is the only way to prevent their nation from falling into the fire again. His efforts also strong arm her into agreeing to marry him "for the good of the nation". This treaty and a ZAFT force liberating their base on Earth forces the Minerva out into open water and into a trap Yuna has prepared for them.

Unfortunately for Yuna, his plans collide with those of ZAFT; ZAFT sends an elite squad of troops to assassinate Lacus. This attempt results in Kira climbing into the pilot seat of Gundam Freedom and the eventual liberation of Cagalli from Yuna's wedding plans. While not explicitly stated, it does not take much to connect the plot to kill Lacus with the Lacus doppelganger controlled by Durandal.

Yuna could learn much from Durandal; while his plan to assassinate Lacus failed, he has succeeded in convincing Arthrun to also return to the pilot seat of a Gundam. Durandal expertly pulls the right emotional strings on Arthrun and tells him to use the Gundam to "build a better future". What future Durandal has in mind is still to be determined, but the honey he is pouring into Arthrun's ears is sure to aid Durandal in shaping his ideal future.

Despite these interesting exercises in deception, the bulk of this volume serves mainly to move all the old players from Gundam Seed, most notably Kira, onto the stage as main players. It is necessary foundation work for the story, but it felt too much like foundation building rather than absorbing you into the plot. Putting Arthrun and Kira back in the saddle does setup some promising angles for the future, but many of them seem similar to ones covered in the first Seed series.

In Summary:
The politics of war is the focus of this volume, and it provides some interesting turns in the plot. We begin to glimpse just how devious Chairman Durandal can be, but his ultimate goals are still hidden. Watching him manipulate Arthrun was the chief highlight of the volume; however, the bulk of the story was chiefly used to reintroduce Kira as a main player on the stage. Hopefully, the foundation is finished being laid, and we can move onto more interesting story and character development.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Textless Ending #2

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Panasonic RP-82, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and optical audio cable

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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