Just want to talk briefly about something I’ve noticed with regard to Gundam dicussions lately, and that is what I like to call the Gundam Seed Destiny Test. What is the Gundam Seed Destiny Test? Well at the moment it’s that tendency of people to try and cross compare aspects of Gundam 00 with Seed Destiny and when finding a match to imply that said aspect is a reason that they are worried about or think that Gundam 00 will disappoint them or has disappointed them.
All good and fine I suppose, Gundam Seed Destiny was after all pretty unpopular and nobody is looking to be reminded of it, but I can’t help but wonder if people realize that it’s tropes are nearly unescapable in that Gundam Seed Destiny pretty much took many tropes from each Gundam series prior to it (The Destiny Gundam itself is an example of this with the God Finger and Wings of Light aesthetics) and added them in regardless of how well they fit such that Gundam Seed Destiny was a bizarre mishmash of everything Gundam had ever done ever. The problem with Gundam Seed Destiny also wasn’t so much in the tropes it used (because I think many people would agree that the average trope was handled at least satisfactorily in it’s Gundam series of origin), but how they executed them.
Granted Gundam 00 has had it’s own share of poorly executed ideas that few would disagree on (The Anew Returner subplot and The Gaga Suicide Squad to name just a couple of fresh ones), but those were it’s own stumbles to make and the fact that it apparently has to pass (and ultimately fail by default) a sort of Gundam Seed Destiny Test week after week makes me wonder if my theory about Seed Destiny destroying the franchise hasn’t manifested itself in a new and previous undetected (from my viewpoint) light. If every plot point used in Seed Destiny was automatically awful does that mean that every Gundam series that retroactively had an idea that was used in it is now awful too? And what about the future of the franchise? Does the Seed Destiny Test become the Gundam 00 Test for the next series should the idea that Gundam 00 is worse then Gundam Seed Destiny eventually take hold, or am I getting ahead of things?
I don’t know, but when I see people mentioning the return of Fukuda every now and then I can’t help but wonder if it’s more like the phantom of Fukuda and that the fandom appears to be chasing it in a race that is unwinnable. Hell I’ve chased it on ocassion, but I feel like there’s a time to just let it get away as I’ll probably never be able to reconcile with Gundam Seed Destiny in any way. And besides I’d rather move towards judging Gundam 00 on it’s own merits and failings without having to add in the unneccesary complications of a show that ended five years ago and that really has nothing to do with the show I’m watching now besides being a part of the same greater franchise.
In short the Gundam Seed Destiny Test just seems like one not worth administering. From a reviewing standpoint it distracts and takes a roundabout way from the rather simple matter it hand, is Gundam 00 a show that one can say is good, poor or just okay overall? And really I think at this point (2 episodes to the finish) that Gundam 00 especially is more than capable of sinking or floating on it’s own accord.