# Submarine Tradition (Gundam Seed 04) The silent run - and corresponding countermeasures - has a glorious space opera history. It formed one of the central scenes in the glorious *Starship Operators*, still one of my all-time favourite shows. More recently, a frankly laughable example was one of many things that kept *Space Battleship Yamato 2199* from being something my group could take seriously. *Gundam Seed* is somewhere in between. A few of the details are right - deceleration with the main engines, spaceships that can rotate on a pinhead but struggle to change their linear velocity. I do wonder about the... economics, for want of a better word, of mobile suits in this world. Given the scale on which they'll later be deployed, the idea that a ship like Le Creuset's could simply run out seems implausible. Are four really a fighting force considering how many died earlier? Heck, can one hold off a whole ship - in which case, why bother with the ships at all? One assumes there's some kind of aircraft carrier dynamic here (indeed I think a later episode is explicitly about the Strike running out of power), but a carrier for a single craft? A couple of hours is a plausible timeframe for an orbital rendezvous, at least if we assume we're well above LEO - maybe space colonies would be in geosynchronous orbit? It's hard to imagine the moon playing a meaningful role in earth-orbital combat, except by long-range kinetic attacks - something which doesn't seem to exist in the *Gundam* universe (and would probably have wiped out *everything* in orbit). And there seems to be some inconsistency about gravity - people float around when it suits the visuals, but adopt conventional up-down postures more often than not, and I'm pretty sure the queue of civilians being interviewed was lining up on the floor. Still, acceptable space opera breaks from reality. A more interesting break is Badriguel's near-arguments with the Captain, in public and on the bridge. Badriguel has been the voice of militarism, but at the same time she's undermining the military hierachy - something that's only emphasised when Kira's friends join up. As university students, they're comfortably of age (compared to e.g. WWII pilots), and from the technical background we saw in episode 1, it's plausible that they could be able to contribute to running a warship. But it all adds up to a strange sense of amateurism, of children playing at war when they don't really understand it - an ironic counterpart to Ramius' earlier complaints at their pacifism. Flay, in yet another piece of irony (this one not available to first-time viewers), is the odd one out. We don't (yet) see her in uniform, and around the dining table the camera makes a point of avoiding her, boxing her out of the frame as we flick between each of the friends nodding to their plan. There's also one clever cut a little earlier, where we go from Flay's face to Mu's words about doing what you can with the skills you have, which again take on a completely different meaning in her context, before cutting onwards to Kira. (It's almost good enough to justify the cardinal sin of flashing back to a scene that's just happened). But for all these clever points, this episode is slow; it's a bridging episode where the previous one was already that, and a lot of time is spent reiterating the basic points that we've already covered last time - Kira's willingness to fight, Athrun's willingness to kill him and so on. The large number of character scenes - which haven't been rerendered in HD - make this the worst-looking episode so far, with faces that while less pixellated (perhaps more blurry) are no more detailed than I remember from 2005. Though one thing I didn't appreciate at the time was the white-on-black text cards in the opening. They're pretty subtle - one or two frames each, in a relatively conventional show-the-characters-one-at-a-time opening - and I wouldn't have got the Evangelion reference even if I had noticed them. I'm starting to get worried about the pacing - IIRC that was the biggest flaw in the middle section, and the 45 remaining episodes is plenty of time for this show to drag. But I'm seeing enough cleverness to keep me going, at least for now. Roll on next week. [Home](/) <div id="disqus_thread"></div> comments powered by Disqus