# You Win This Round (Gundam Seed 03) I suppose I deserve what I get, trying to criticize *Gundam Seed* for things it hasn't done - and, it turns out, won't do. Kira's acceptance of the pilot seat is more fraught than I remembered; "you people aren't fair", he cries, a charge that applies to the writers just as much as to the Earth Forces. That does Kira do?there is only one mobile suit available is, if anything, even less plausible than that there would only be one coordinator available to fly it. And yet, for those of us willing to suspend disbelief, here we are. So: what would you do? In this light, Kira's decision to fight seems a little more plausible - and the fact that he kills, downplayed as it is, gives him reason to become a soldier, because what would he be now if he tried to give it up? That he would kill Athrun's colleagues but stand moodily before the man himself is... awkward, but perhaps not entirely implausible, particularly as both are teenagers. The absence of any good choices is underscored elegantly by a few lines of bridge conversation; Ramius wants to avoid damaging the colony, but that's simply not a practical option when they're fighting inside it. As always, the show is eloquent and forceful in its portrayal of the consequences, as the habitat falls inevitably from damaged to shattered. The series tries to put a face on the citizens whose home has just been destroyed, but unfortunately it's that of Cagalli, who we (for the moment) have very little reason to care about; indeed we don't even know her name (or sex). Kira's student friends (still) have a similar problem; we have names and a few hints about who's involved with who, but not enough to hang a character off. A longer series like this one can afford to take its time, rotating characters in and out of the main cast, but *Gundam Seed* knows these are perpetual third-stringers, and treats them accordingly; it might have done better to give Kira one or two more fully-developed civilian friends - if that's even what we call them after this week. Their reaction to his revelation as a Coordinator, although necessary to the story, was somewhat disappointing; I would hope even teenagers will usually be more supportive. (It occurs to me that the analogous X-men are frequently an analogy for homosexuality; I don't think that's what this series is going for, but we can stretch to an analogy between Kira and e.g. Turing, or anyone who did great things for a military that hated them for what they were). In fact that whole scene suffered from a level of clunkiness. La Flaga brought it up mostly for the sake of exposition - I guess you could argue he's deliberately isolating Kira from his friends, but that seems an unlikely way to make him more willing to pilot. Badgiruel in particular seemed to be acting purely as a foil, asking the obvious questions so that they could be explained to the audience, rather than saying things that make sense for her character. Contrast this with the aforementioned bridge conversation, or the simple, sparse impact of La Flaga telling Ramius that she's the captain now. I'm impressed by this show's ability to pre-empt my criticisms - particularly with Kira killing already, something I'll point back to when the repetitive inconclusive mid-show battles get to be too implausible. I am slightly worried that these are things I still remember as flaws, even though the series is addressing them so directly - the positive interpretation is that maybe the hi-def remaster also attempted to patch some of the weaker parts of the narrative. My fear now is that we'll reach a holding pattern of giant robot battles where all the excuses start to wear thin. But so far, I'm still loving this show. [Home](/) <div id="disqus_thread"></div> comments powered by Disqus