Disclaimer: This is written by a firm fan of the Mobile Suit Gundam Seed series. If you read on knowing that, it’s your own fault.
To start, a blurb from Anime News Network:
It is the year A.D. 2307. Fossil fuels on Earth have been depleted entirely, with mankind turning to the next available power source: solar energy. During this time, 3 orbital elevators with solar power generation systems are built, each under control by the Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations (formerly United States of America), the Human Reform League (Russia, China and India) and the Advanced European Union. However, not all countries are able to enjoy the benefits of this system, leading to widespread resentment and war. Arising out of the conflict, a mysterious military organization known as Celestial Being appears, dedicated to end all warfare using Mobile Suits called Gundam. This begins the stories of Gundam Meisters (pilots) Setsuna F. Seiei, Lockon Stratos, Allelujah Haptism and Tiera Erde as they are thrown into conflict between the 3 superpowers and the various other factions.
As usual in the Gundam series, the story is set in a world where war is rampant and there are people in the world who are not happy with this fact. They do a good job of showing the various conflicts and the general situation of the world. A little variation is introduced with a side character, Saji Crossroads, who goes to a private school in Japan with his Spainish girlfriend.
The plot is a little hit and miss. Although the events of each episode are required to lead to the ending, it seems a little haphazard and repetitive. It is really a character driven story, as most of the Gundam series, although Gundam 00 did not focus so much on the character development which made it less interesting.
A vast array of characters which, on their own, are theoretically interesting. However, almost nothing is done with these interesting characters. They seem robotic and boring for a large part of the battle scenes until the unevitable moment where they all feel the need to shout random things at people who can’t hear them.
Most of the series follows the pattern of the Gundam franchise. I’ll admit they were more ruthless than usual towards the end.
Yes. A lot. Cool battles I guess, although the wow-factor of some of the fights was lacking.
Hardly. Which, in a way was good, but also a chance for development that they didn’t get a hold of.
Quite a bit. Different to Gundam Seed in that you spend a lot more time thinking about what is going on behind the scenes. Most of this is left unfinished, of course because there is a second season, but it is frustrating nonetheless.
Subjective question. If you like the themes covered(war, killing, ethics, loss) then watch. If you’re an action fan, watch. If you want to feel like the characters are real, don’t watch.
As for me, I’m still watching the next season 😛