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Gundam Seed: Mobile Suit Gundam
Masatsugu Iwase, translated by Jason DeAngelis
Del Rey, 355 pages

Gundam Seed:  Mobile Suit Gundam
Gundam Seed
Taking place in an alternate universe, this series allows the artists and writers to draw on the deep history of Gundam without being restricted to it. Featuring a new variety of Gundam designs, you'll be introduced to the Cosmic Era, where a war is underway between genetically enhanced Coordinators and unmodified Naturals. Through a twist of fate, Kira Yamato becomes the pilot of the Coordinator Alliance's Strike Gundam prototype. Kira has no choice but to fight his own people in order to protect his friends!
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Cindy Lynn Speer

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Kira Yamamoto has lives a peaceful existence on the satellite Heliopolis, which belongs to the neutral nation of Aube. The war between Earth and the Zaft has been raging a long time, and this supposedly neutral nation has been developing mobile suits. Imagine huge, humanoid-like robot tanks controlled by a single driver. This will remove Zaft's edge in the war, since only they so far have the suits. But the Zaft have found out, and they're launching a strike against the satellite, one that will force Kira to take a stand: fight with his old friend, Athrun, or side with the friends he's made on Aube.

The realities of war are made very clear in this fast paced space adventure. People are not spared, and it's only by quick thinking and bravery that anyone's saved at all. People who would rather remain out of it, untouched, find themselves in the very center. You can really feel for Kira, who is torn between who he is and what he cares about, making him the ultimate reluctant hero as he dons the mobile suit (or, rather, climbs into it since the things are so huge he looks like an insect next to it) and goes to war.

The art is very well done. The battles are well wrought and exciting, showing a lot of action in a few panels. Space ships are swooping in for the kill, mobile suits firing their guns -- the interaction of high tech and fighting are what truly make this adventure fly.

The Zaft are also not portrayed as evil beings, despite their invasion. Aside from the ruthlessness with which they pursue their goals (which could almost seem to be justified -- as I said, Aube was supposedly neutral, and here they are developing weapons that might turn the tide and allow their enemies to win), they are just like the people they are fighting against. This is especially true of Athrun, with whom we spend time. One of the Zaft's top fighters, he's worried about his old friend Kira. Especially when he gets the idea that Kira might be manning an Aube mobile suit. We can see how he, too, is torn between duty -- what he is -- and friendship.

Being the first in the series, Gundam Seed: Mobile Suit Gundam ends in a bit of a cliffhanger, which only makes you want to find out what happens next all the more. I grew up watching what anime was allowed over the ocean. Voltron and Speed Racer are the shows I remember off hand. So Gundam Seed, being just a little reminiscent of Voltron, is fun for me because of the nostalgia as well as the adventure.

Copyright © 2004 Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy Lynn Speer loves books so much that she's designed most of her life around them, both as a librarian and a writer. Her books aren't due out anywhere soon, but she's trying. You can find her site at www.apenandfire.com.


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