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File:Gundam Seed Destiny.jpg


Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny is the sequel to the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED anime series; it is the tenth televised series in the long-running Gundam franchise and the second to be set in the Cosmic Era Alternate Universe. Destiny has some thematic ties to Zeta Gundam, similar to the relationship between Gundam Seed and Mobile Suit Gundam (though less pronounced that SEED's pseudo-remake status); these include SEED characters, now Older and Wiser, reappearing in Destiny, and a very similar Romance Arc in Destiny and Zeta.

Destiny takes place two years after the end of SEED, and follows the story of Shinn Asuka, a young Coordinator and ZAFT pilot. A surprise attack on a ZAFT military base and the subsequent Gundamjacking of three of ZAFT's new Super Prototype Gundams kicks off a sequence of events that results in a second full-scale war between ZAFT and the Earth Alliance. However, things are not as clear-cut as they seem at first, and questions arise over which side of the conflict is really in the right. About halfway through the series, much of the cast from Gundam Seed returns to the spotlight, and the series gradually shifts to their POV, considerably changing the tone of the series.

While Gundam SEED Destiny was wildly popular in Japan, the reaction among English-speaking audiences was much less positive. This largely spawns from the mid-show POV-shift, with Western fans typically preferring Shinn to Kira, and feeling that the latter "stole" the show from the former, while Japanese fans are more fond of Kira and thus much more forgiving of the shift. Some displeased fans take this to extreme levels, and the series has a vocal Hatedom.

Destiny makes numerous appearances in various Video Games, such as the Massively Multiplayer Crossover franchises Super Robot Wars and Another Century's Episode, in addition to the Gundam vs. Series. Its inclusion in Super Robot Wars Z is particularly notable for being widely considered something of a Fix Fic; the story was reworked by Banpresto's writers to fix parts of the plot that had frustrated viewers, and to show both Kira and Shinn as heroes, which was well received by both sides of the Broken Base. Destiny characters and mecha also appear in Gundam Fighter, a Flash-based Web Game featuring nearly the entire Gundam franchise.


Tropes used in this show:

  • The Ace: Many, but Athrun in particular gets this treatment by Minerva's crew early on, as does Shinn later on.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The Special Editions manage to be surprisingly improved thanks to editing out some of the more hated elements.
  • Affably Evil: Gilbert Durandel.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Shinn, with aluminum cans, on at least three separate occasions.
  • All There in the Manual: Want to know how Athrun feels about Meyrin? Want to know how Shinn was during his school days? Well, you'll just have to buy the drama CD.
  • All Your Powers Combined: In a rare mecha example, the Destiny's design is an All Your Powers Combined version of the Impulse's (and Strike's) various Mecha Expansion Packs -- agility, massive firepower, and a really big sword all at once instead of one at a time!
  • An Axe to Grind: The beam tomahawks used by ZAKUs, as benefits their Expy nature to the original Zaku and their heathawks.
  • Animation Bump: Notable because it happens frequently in several episodes where the animation is not at its best, they'll just always manage to save the best for certain scenes. Episode 32 is a good example, as the episode itself contains pretty good animation that suddenly goes up to excellent quality during the Hope Spot and the scene where Stella dies.
  • Arranged Marriage: Yuna and Cagalli.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Lunamaria Hawke, when she finally gets the chance to pilot Mobile Suits alongside her idol Athrun.
  • BFG: The Gunner ZAKU's Orthos beam cannon, Blast Impulse's Kerberos cannons, Destiny's long-range beam cannon, and Strike Freedom's chest cannon.
  • BFS: Sword Impulse's Excalibur and Destiny's Arondight anti-ship swords.
  • Beam Spam: If you thought Freedom was the master of this, just wait until you see Strike Freedom. Also, in order: Destroy, Legend, Infinite Justice (with or without the METEOR), Abyss, Blast Impulse, and Yzak's Slash ZAKU Phantom.
  • Berserk Button: Played straight with Shinn, and to a more subdued degree by Kira, when the ladies in their lives are threatened.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Djibril and Durandal are on opposite sides of the war, utterly loathe one another, and both need to go in order for the story to end well. Which of them is the more dangerous (and whether Durandal is using Djibril or not) is a matter that's open for debate.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Kira is the king of this trope. Especially after he gets the Strike Freedom.
  • Big No: Athrun's agonized cry when Kira is apparently killed in his climactic duel with Shinn. The English version is especially gut-wrenching.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Pretty much explains the series. While there are lots of Alternate Character Interpretations, both in-universe and out, all of the characters have reasons for fighting, some with better motivation than others. Infact, the only truly (unquestionably) evil character in the series is Djibril.
  • Blade on a Stick: Abyss Gundam's beam lance, which also has actual metal blades.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: Del Rey's treatment of the SEED Destiny manga. Meaningful Names are butchered to the point of losing their meaning, and basic punctuation and grammar are ignored.
    • This was inherited from Del Rey's translation of the SEED manga, where the same happened to an incredible degree. The second volume of the SEED Destiny manga finally used the official spellings of characters and mecha, but contained a letter at the start of the book essentially complaining about how they had to follow someone else's translations rather than their own. The grammar problems remained, however.
  • Body Double: Meer Campbell for Lacus Clyne.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Athrun and Cagalli in the first eight episodes.
  • Bridge Bunnies: Meyrin, most prominantly.
  • Broken Bird: Stellar Louissier, due to being a Tyke Bomb. Talia Gladys also counts.
  • Character Shilling: In Destiny, Heine Westenfluss is set up as an ace pilot like Athrun as well as charming and a really nice guy. Unfortunately, he doesn't get a chance to live up to his extreme reputation since he dies too soon.
  • Chastity Couple: Kira and Lacus; though there may have been doubts at the end of SEED about Kira's feelings, Destiny leaves little question that they are romantically involved.
  • Chess Motifs: Durandal is a fan of these.
  • Chest Blaster: Notably, the BABI, Abyss, and Strike Freedom all have chest-mounted beam cannons.
  • Chickification: Cagalli. She ultimately gains her Action Girl and leader status back.
  • Clip Show: Gundam SEED fans thought the first series had more recap episodes than it really needed - the problem is worse here. Special notice should go to episode 29 which used almost all footage from the first show!
  • Colony Drop: The Remnant of Patrick Zala's genocidal anti-Natural faction drop the wreckage of Junius 7 onto the Earth, resparking in full the war between the Alliance and ZAFT.
  • Combining Mecha: Impulse follows the basic Gundam mold by being made up of a top, bottom, and fighter plane acting as the cockpit. It can also combine mid-battle with its Silhouette Packs by way of having them brought out by a remote unit and then docking. Rey uses the concept to great effect in developing Shinn's strategy to defeat Kira.
  • Composite Character: Shinn is prety much one to both Amuro and Kamille, his Impulse is similar to The RX-78 Gundam a Combining Mecha consisting of legs as one section, upper body as another, and Space Fighter/Meta Mecha cockpit as the torso, and a very similar red-with-gold-cross design for its shield just like Amuro even his dub voice is Amuro's Zeta dub voice and he has Wangst Unstoppable Rage due to suffering through a Trauma Conga Line, and romantic troubles with their enemy-cum-love interest just like Kamille.
    • Stella is Rosamia Badam, living Four Murasame's life.
  • Cool Ship: The Minerva in addition to the Archangel and Eternal making a return later on. There's also the Girty Lue, Neo's very cool assault carrier, which can turn invisible.
  • Corporal Punishment: Athrun beats on Shinn for disobeying orders after he attacks an OMNI base during the Lohengrin Gate mission, and then again after Shinn brags about killing Kira.
  • Crash Into Hello: Shinn meets Stella this way. She crashes into him backwards, so Shinn ends up with two handfuls of flesh. Oops. Those Two Guys immediately ask him how it was.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Any fight involving the Strike Freedom and Infinite Justice.
  • Custom Uniform of Sexy: Female ZAFT Red Coats use the standard uniform with pants, but Lunamaria inexplicably wears a pink miniskirt. No one seems to mind.
  • Dead Little Sister: The trope that defines Shinn's character.
  • Dead Star Walking: T.M. Revolution voices Heine Westenfluss, who dies rather quickly; his Miguel Aiman character did the same in Gundam Seed. This actually becomes a running gag, since Miguel was said to have had a Orange GINN. Guess what color Heine's GOUF was?
  • Demoted to Extra: Fan favorites Yzak Joule and Dearka Elsman. Former secondary characters and Gundam pilots are reduced to piloting Elite Mook units and are only given limited roles.
  • Easily Forgiven: The Orb/Clyne Faction seems to forgive and allow to join anyone so long as they are sorry for fighting against them. Then again with the "cycle of hatred" being a major theme, this makes a certain amount of sense.
  • Evil Is Bigger: The Earth Federation, and Blue Cosmos in particular, have a fixation on giant mobile armours, with the Destroy being the most obvious example of this.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Durandal probably counts, as his Destiny Plan effectively consists of assigning everyone to their "proper" lot in life via genetic analysis.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Between Djibril and Durandal, with the cast (not to mention the planet) caught in the middle.
  • False Soulmates: Athrun Zala and Cagalli Yula Athha went down this path. Though, this is more due to poor writing and pacing, so who knows what is going on with those two.
  • Fighter Launching Sequence: Gratuitously abused; the launch sequence combined with the combination sequence for the Impulse Gundam seemed blocked to eat the maximum possible amount of screen time.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Fun with Acronyms: Many ZAFT mobile suits (though some are never explained), as well as ZAFT[1] itself, and the numerous Backronyms for GUNDAM. Of particular note is ZAKU[2], a double acronym. Most of them indulge in Gratuitous English.
  • Gainaxing: Mostly Meer, but several other female characters have that "bounce", too.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Stellar's heartbreakingly adorable "I love you, Shinn" before she dies.
  • Good Looking Privates: Pretty much everybody, but of special mention are the Hawke sisters and Rey.
  • Heroic BSOD: During his duel against Rey, Kira gives us the Oh Crap look for all of two minutes.
  • He's Back: Neo Roanoke, a.k.a. Mu la Flaga. Cagalli and Kira too.
  • Hidden Buxom: Lacus, if the post-commercial intro is any indication. Perhaps Meer was more accurate body double than we thought?
  • Hot-Blooded: Shinn. Yzak is less so than in Seed, due to his Character Development.
  • Idiot Ball: According to some, it's given to whomever isn't the center of attention during any particular episode. Kira during the second quarter, Athrun during most of the third, and Shinn during the fourth and anytime someone else isn't.
  • I Just Want to Be You: Meer to Lacus.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: You got all day?
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Averted. The GINN High Maneuver Type IIs used by the zealots instigating the Colony Drop of Junius Seven carry katanas, but they are eventually outclassed by the beam weaponry of the ZAKUs sent to stop them.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Yzak and Dearka despite being Demoted To Extras. In the Compilation Movies, they are kicked all the way to the ZAFT Supreme Council.
  • Kill the Cutie: Kira Yamato is forced to kill Stella Louissier to prevent any more tragic death of Berliners, much to the anger of Shinn.
  • Latex Space Suit: The pilot suits.
  • Mask Power: Neo Roanoake.
  • Mass "Oh Crap": Pretty much the whole cast's reaction when the Destroy reveals that yes, it's a mobile suit, not a mobile armor.
  • Meaningful Name: Freedom vs Destiny. The Destiny Plan would result in a society without freedom.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Every named pilot that's not dead by mid-season gets a new machine.
  • Modesty Towel: Invoked by Meyrin to ensure that the ZAFT soldiers looking for a runaway Athrun are Distracted by the Sexy. She wasn't even naked under the towel!
  • Music for Courage: Lacus sings for the children she takes care of during the Break The World catastrophe. This is also part of the point behind Durandal's plan to have Meer impersonate Lacus.
  • Mythology Gag: Numerous!
    • Many of the mecha designs are based on mobile suits from earlier Gundam shows. The Impulse has quite a few similarities to the RX-78-2 Gundam, what with being a Combining Mecha consisting of legs as one section, upper body as another, and Space Fighter/Meta Mecha cockpit as the torso, and a very similar red-with-gold-cross design for its shield. The ZAKU, GOUF, and DOM aren't even subtle about it, using the same names as their Mobile Suit Gundam counterparts (with added acronyms). The Akatsuki, Destroy Gundam, and BABI are also very similar to Zeta Gundam's Hyaku-Shiki, Psyco Gundam, and Hambrabi, respectively.
    • Since they were already reusing GOUF and ZAKU, they couldn't resist having Heine (in a GOUF) use Ramba Ral's classic "This is no Zaku, boy! No Zaku!" line from Mobile Suit Gundam. The battle between Heine and Stella in general is very similar, down to camera angles in some instances.
    • In reference to Mobile Suit Gundam's Kai Shiden making a cameo appearance in Zeta Gundam as an investigative reporter, Miriallia (a character from Gundam Seed) first shows up in Destiny as a photojournalist. The two characters are otherwise completely dissimilar.
    • At one point, they used a piece of stock footage from Gundam Seed's Strike Gundam in place of the Impulse. Since it was nearly a Freeze-Frame Bonus, it's generally assumed to be an in-joke by the staff rather than a genuine mistake.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Athrun was ostensibly meant to be The Mentor to Shinn, but most of his interaction consists of punching him or calling him an idiot; not once did Athrun give Shinn any form of positive reinforcement or encouragement. Perhaps if he had, the poor kid could have gotten some positive Character Development...
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Nice job getting Kira to come out of retirement after a failed assassination attempt on his girlfriend, Durandal.
  • NGO Superpower: Despite getting it's butt kicked in the previous series, Blue Cosmos remains a dangerous and influential threat. LOGOS is also this considering that Blue Cosmos was merely a catspaw for them.
  • No One Could Survive That: Kira and the Freedom's explosion and Athrun and Meyrin when their GOUF was totaled by Shinn.
  • Nuke'Em: The Earth Forces' try to do this to ZAFT again.
  • Number of the Beast: Rey's Gundam, the ZGMF-X666S Legend.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: It seems the quickest way for someone to get back on board the Archangel is to get in a mobile suit and let Shinn impale it with his BFS. By the looks of it, you only run a one-in-three chance of getting any injuries.
  • Older and Wiser: The original SEED cast. The "wiser" part is disputed between the fandom and hatedom.
  • Once an Episode: If a battle spans more than 1 episode, all Mobile Suits will return to their ship by the end of one episode, only to launch again in the next. Also, every episode has at least one Gundam sortie. Except when they forget it in one, and make up for it by having 4 or 5 sortie in the next episode.
  • One-Man Army: Kira, Athrun, Shinn, Stella in the Destroy, and Neo in the Akatsuki.
  • Only Six Faces
  • Pieta Plagiarism: Athrun carrying Meer, and Shinn carrying Stellar.
  • Posthumous Character: A few of the deceased SEED cast serve this role, including Rau Le Creuset, who may or may not be a hallucination.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the English dub, Lunamaria says "Oh fuck" upon being told that they're going to have to fight underwater, where her Weapon of Choice beam cannon is no good.
    • Also, in Phase 12, as well as the first TV Movie, Shinn says, "Aww, shit!" when a Zamza-Zah grabs Impulse's leg. You can see it here.
  • Praetorian Guard: FAITH (Fast Acting Integrated Tactical Headquarters), a ZAFT elite force that only answers to Durandal, and which many of the protagonists are members. While they're not the Chairman's bodyguards full-time, they do end up protecting him during the Armory One attack, and serving him during the Battle of Messiah.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Phantom Pain.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: It's really not that uncommon for people to keep things like answering machine messages and old family videos featuring people that have died. When Shinn does it, he's viewed as a sick freak by his Hate Dumb.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Shinn.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Lord Djibril is an in-universe example, lacking the charisma and intelligence of his predecessor, Muruta Azrael.
  • Retcon: A Flash Back at the beginning of the 1st episode implies that Kira may have accidentally killed the Asuka family. Later on, another Flash Back clearly shows that Kira was not at fault. However, they are inconsistent with one another.
  • Right-Hand-Cat: Djibril is occasionally seen stroking a cat while contemplating acts of villainy that have been set into motion.
  • Take a Third Option: The leftover members of the Three Ship Alliance take this route when they determine that both ZAFT and ORB are heading towards less than ideal futures.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: In one battle, Shinn breaks off combat in order to free civilian prisoners of the Alliance; when Athrun administers Corporal Punishment afterwards, Shinn responds with this trope.
  • Ship Sinking:
    • Athrun/Cagalli, much to the rage of many a rabid shipper (with the rage being greatly enhanced by unconfirmed rumors that it happened due to the writers not getting along with Cagalli's voice actress, Naomi Shindo).
    • Athrun/Meyrin, due to the rumor of Athrun labeling her as his little sister in the CD dramas.
    • The Special Editions try to stress that Shinn viewed Stella entirely as a surrogate sister and nothing more, which some fans consider Blatant Lies given their first and second encounters.
  • Shout-Out: There are numerous references to Future GPX Cyber Formula, the series that put director Mitsuo Fukuda on the map; this includes shots in the opening lifted frame-for-frame from Future GPX Cyber Formula SAGA and SIN, as well as several SEED characters driving the same cars and motorcycles featured in the earlier show. Here are comparison shots between the two series.
    • Also, there are numerous references to the original Mobile Suit Gundam. Most obvious among them are the CE retreads of UC mobile suits (ZAKU, GOUF, DOM).
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The nightmarish images of the Junius Seven Colony Drop set against Lacus's "Fields of Hope".
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Kira objects!
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Not as bad as many Gundam series, but the fansubs had fun with Gilbert Durandal/Durandel/Dullindel/etc, apparently not getting the reference.
  • Spoiler Opening: The second opening shows us that Mu La Flaga survived before it was even close to being revealed.
  • Stock Footage: There is so much reused footage in this series, especially towards the end, that it actually earned the director the derogatory nickname of Mitsuo "Flashback 'Em All" Fukuda. To make matters worse, some of footage came from its prequel.
  • Strange Salute: ZAFT military.
  • Stripperiffic: Meer's outfits.
  • Super Mode: SEED Mode, the ill-explained phenomenon that turns random people's piloting abilities Up to Eleven via a psychedelic vision of a seed exploding and Mind Control Eyes.
  • Taking the Bullet: Poor Meer dies as she takes a bullet meant for Lacus.
  • The Abridged Series: One on YouTube, plus The Typical Gundam SEED Destiny.
  • The Reveal: A rather understated (and generally unsurprising) one concerning Rey's origins. Another regarding the true purpose of the Destiny Plan.
  • Theme Naming: Most of the Minerva's weapons are named after Wagner operas.
  • Transformation Sequence: Impulse Gundam's launch sequence, debuting with a music track lasting well over a minute.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Savior, Chaos, Gaia, and Abyss Gundams all transform into various Mobile Armor forms (ironically, the Impulse is more of a Combining Mecha), as do several other ZAFT designs.
  • Trigger Phrase: The Phantom Pain pilots have at least two; one that acts as a Berserk Button and one that calms them back down again. They're seen using them on each other occasionally. Shinn accidentally uses both on Stella when they first meet.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Shinn, Rey, and Lunamaria and Sting, Auel, and Stellar. Meyrin and Those Two Guys from the Minerva may also count.
  • Tyke Bomb: All three Extendeds.
  • The Un-Reveal: We never learn whether the Asuka family was killed by a stray shot from Kira, the Druggies, or something else entirely.
  • Unwanted Harem: At its peak point in the series, there are no less than four hot young women who are vying for Athrun's attention.
  • UST: in the last episodes, Cagalli has removed Athrun's ring, while she still wore it when they fought on opposing sides.
  • Villains Never Lie: Gilbert Durandal pulls this off with his speeches of good doing in the beginning.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Tannhauser and Lohengrin positron cannons affixed to the Minerva and Archangel, respectively. The Destroy has one that it combines with Beam Spam. The Requiem is another example, albeit turned Up to Eleven. Messiah Base also features Neo-Genesis, a scaled down version of the Genesis from the first series as part of its defences.
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction: The nukes, the Requiem, Neo-Genesis, and the Destroy all count.
  • Wedding Smashers: Kira crashes Cagalli and Yuna's wedding to kidnap/rescue her. Cagalli is not amused, at least initially.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Dearka and Athrun returned to ZAFT despite defecting in the last war. Dearka at least gets busted down from Red[3] to Green[4] and apparently isn't allowed Ace Custom colors for his ZAKU until the very end of the series.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Shinn pretty much blames all that happened at Orb on Cagalli, and he isn't exactly subtle about revealing his opinions. In fact, Shinn calls out Cagalli so much it's nearly a Once Per Episode deal.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Stellar once she's forced into the Destroy Gundam. She starts tearing up the countryside, blowing up cities and killing scores of people... because they scare her. Rau Le Creuset's status as such is also brought up again in the flashback episodes, but Your Mileage May Vary significantly on whether he actually qualifies.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess / Gambit Roulette: Whether you think Durandal is behind everything (including the Colony Drop, the attack on Lacus et al) that happens in the series or is just very good at altering his plans to take advantage of events as they occur has a lot to do with whether you think he's a villain or not.
  • Zen Survivor: The original characters from SEED, especially Athrun to the Minerva's pilots.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Lunamaria, thanks to her custom miniskirt. Meer Campbell, though just once.

Notes

  1. Zodiac Alliance of Freedom Treaty
  2. ZAFT Armed Keeper of Unity
  3. the uniform color given to top graduates of the ZAFT military academy
  4. the uniform for common soldiers

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