Welcome to another Gundam SEED Destiny Doubletake! Each post, I dive into an episode or two of SEED Destiny and present two “takes” from it — two commentaries on plot or character points that stood out to me. I then explore each point from two perspectives — a fan’s perspective and a fiction writer’s perspective.
Frongi, Gundam DEE CORe... LAUNCHING!
Big Take — Sloppy Chaos Everywhere
Phantom Pain and Orb try to sink the Minerva again. Neo wants to avenge Stella, but he has no idea Stella’s on the Minerva. The Archangel shows up again to try to stop the fighting, but nobody is happy to see them this time — least of all Athrun, who blames Kira at once for bringing nothing but chaos to the battlefield whenever he shows up inside his Freedom (again). Shit just... goes down everywhere.
Kira takes out the Chaos, but doesn’t kill Sting. Shinn — irked to hear Cagalli try to talk Orb out of action — loses his shit and starts attacking her. Kira protects her, but after that Shinn is a loose cannon, especially because he’s gone SEED mode. Shinn kills Auel (see you later, Abyss), skirmishes with Kira, and eventually even kills Captain Todaka, who ends up sacrificing himself for the sake of Orb (see you later, Todaka). Lunamaria’s ZAKU gets destroyed; she ends up badly injured.
Athrun continues to shout angrily at Kira, blaming Kira for all the destruction... until Kira finally decides he’s had enough of being hollered at. Kira decides he has to defeat Athrun if they can’t agree with each other. In a fight scene very reminiscent of the first series (complete with furious shouting of “Athrun!” and “Kira!”), Kira takes out the Savior, tearing it into scrap metal... but without killing Athrun, of course. Because Kira doesn’t kill any more. (At least there’s that?)
Reaction as a fan: What in the royal HELL. I called it about Todaka. Sad. And… SO MUCH FOR YOUR SAVIOR, ZALA. I really liked that mobile suit! Everyone, everyone on all sides is making good points, everyone has a perspective and a reason I can understand. But this is TOO much of a mess. I’ve lost track again of who I’m supposed to side with — and while I often appreciate not knowing those things, because it gets me thinking, finding gray area... I do not like too much not-knowing. Give me somebody to root for, one solid perspective character to follow and believe in! I don’t like sitting here helpless, going, “Uh, okay — so literally everybody is wrong and I get to support no one? Even the people trying to stop war cold are screwing up? ‘Too bad, life sucks?’” That feels lousy. What is the point of all this? What is Destiny trying to say?
Reaction as a writer: Um. I hope the literal point of this episode was to make viewers abhorred by the chaos. Because if the point was to convey anything other than “Look, whoa, chaos!” it seriously didn’t work. Way too much happened. It’s not clear who’s in the right, or if “right” is even present. If that was deliberate, if that’s what my takeaway is supposed to be, then congratulations, Destiny, you delivered. But if you were trying to show me anything else... then, no. No, I am pretty lost.
And I don’t know where this plot could possibly go next. This chaos feels like the unsatisfactory end of a terrible novel. “And then everything spiraled down into flames, because the world and the hero were eaten by rage and hatred, all was darkness, and hope doesn’t exist — The End.” We are only halfway through the show, but unless something major changes VERY SOON, I do not see how there can be story after this.
Something has to give, or nothing can move forward decently. I really hope the writers realize this and aren’t going to force their way through the aftermath of this episode’s events sloppily while expecting to hold my respect....