Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny Vol. #09 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • 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. #09

By Luis Cruz     July 20, 2007
Release Date: July 17, 2007

Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny Vol. #09
© Bandai Entertainment

What They Say
With the Archangel removed from the battlefield, Chairman Durandal gathers the ZAFT forces for a fullscale attack on the Earth Alliance stronghold of Heaven's Base. As a reward for their exploits in battle, Shinn and Athrun are presented with a pair of powerful new Gundams. While Shinn reacts with delight, Athrun cannot hide his doubts about Durandal's actions, and the famous ace pilot suddenly finds himself becoming a hunted fugitive.

Shinn and his comrade Lunamaria are shaken by the outcome of Athrun's escape attempt, but they have no time for regrets as the ZAFT forces begin their assault on Heaven's Base. The Minerva and its pilots face their greatest challenge yet as they attempt to bring the members of the Logos secret society to justice.

The Review!
Everybody wants to rule the world...

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.

Originally released in 2005, 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.

The front cover of the volume features Neo Roanoke 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 Neo's Gundam striking a pose.

The main menu simply contains the menu items to the left, a Gundam head to the lower right, and clips from the volume playing in the background. A small loop of music rounds things out. Transition delays are negligible making for a straightforward system.

The main extra is the "Mecha Encyclopedia Chapter 2" featuring descriptions of the various Gundams and other mechas used in the series. A textless version of the fourth opening is also included.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Since Seed Destiny began, the Earth has experienced catastrophe and destruction at every turn. Cities have been leveled; nations are in turmoil. Yet there still seems to be enough people, time, and resources to field a powerful army featuring five Destroy Gundams against the ZAFT forces. We arrive at this "epic" battle after Shinn's victory over Kira.

While the Archangel limps unseen towards Orb, Shinn celebrates his victory while Arthrun fumes over the turn the war has taken. Despite Durandal's offer of a new Gundam and more honey poured into his ear, Arthrun (finally) sees Durandal for what he is, an expert, duplicitous manipulator. Durandal and Rey Za Burrel recognize that Arthrun is no longer their puppet and plan to eliminate him. With the help of Meyrin, Arthrun attempts to escape but is pursued by Rey and Shinn. Rey goads Shinn into shooting down Arthrun and Meyrin, but the pair manages to survive and are reunited with Kira and the Archangel.

Durandal presses forth with his plan to destroy Logos and "end all wars". He attacks Heaven's Base and faces nearly overwhelming resistance. However, Shinn manages to tear through the Destroy behemoths with his new Gundam. The battle is set to an impressive orchestral score; it gives the action a sense of grandeur.

However, the series still lacks the character depth that could push it to be truly grand and epic. Nearly all of the characters have swallowed the fifty-two flavors of crazy scooped up by Durandal and are gleefully asking for seconds. Arthrun is the only one really questioning Durandal's and his own motives, and this is becoming tedious. Shinn has two emotions: angry and whiny. Both of them are not endearing making it difficult to connect with him. The rest of the cast fare little better in their brief screen time.

While the series remains mildly entertaining, it seems doomed to simply rehash the same plot and character resolutions seen in the first Seed series. Is this the message of Destiny, that the more things change the more they stay the same? This sentiment may be true, but Destiny could dress things up better and distinguish itself from its predecessor.

In Summary:
While the orchestral music provided the illusion of grandeur, Seed Destiny cannot manage to cross the barrier separating a decent action series from an epic story. We see Durandal continue to expertly pull the strings on his puppets and inch closer to his endgame. His machinations are becoming repetitious; other than Arthrun, the characters continue to be deluded by the same arguments with no introspection. As it enters its final story arc, the series seems headed to the same plot and character resolutions seen in the original Destiny series. It's not a white hot story, but it manages to entertain just enough to stick with it to the finish.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Mecha Encyclopedia #1

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


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