[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Gundam_Seed.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''Each generation plants a seed. Will it ever yield more than violence and greed?'']]
->''"You have the power to make a difference, don't you? Then why not [[DareToBeBadass put it to good use]]?"''
-->-- '''Mu La Flaga''', "[[Recap/GundamSeedEp04SilentRun Phase 04: Silent Run]]"

''Mobile Suit Gundam SEED'', which aired from 2002 to 2003, is the ninth television installment of the long-running ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' franchise and the first to be set in the Cosmic Era AlternateUniverse. Occasionally considered a {{Remake}} of the original ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' adapted for modern audiences due to the similarities of the first half of the plot, it none the less manages to stand on its own due to the vastly different nature of the setting and its primary conflict, as well as the completely original second half of the storyline.

The story premise matches the standard ''Gundam'' fare by featuring a conflict between Earth and Space, but introduces an original twist in the form of widespread use of GeneticEngineering. Genetic modification of humans is illegal on Earth, but the space colonies are populated almost exclusively by an artificially enhanced breed of humanity known as Coordinators. Most of Earth falls under the authority of the Earth Alliance, which funded the construction of the [=PLANTs=] (huge, hourglass-shaped space colonies meant for use as orbital manufacturing and R&D centers); however, the Coordinators now living on the [=PLANTs=] seek independence from the Earth Alliance via the formation of a milita group called ZAFT. This basic conflict of interest, combined with the FantasticRacism between the genetically engineered [[BornWinner Coordinators]] and the unenhanced [[PunyEarthling Naturals]], eventually sparks a war between the Earth Alliance and ZAFT, that opens with a nuclear assault on ZAFT and only gets worse from thereon out. Meanwhile, the nations on Earth not falling under the umbrella of the Earth Alliance are forced to take sides or else risk the ire of both opposing factions.

Enter TheHero; Kira Yamato, a young Coordinator attending a technical college on Heliopolis, a space colony of the neutral nation Orb. Inevitably drawn into the conflict [[RefusalOfTheCall against his will]], he [[FallingIntoTheCockpit Falls Into The Cockpit]] during an attempted [[GrandTheftPrototype Gundamjacking]] and ends up being the only thing standing between his friends and a messy death at the hands of ZAFT. Complicating things is Kira's ForgottenChildhoodFriend Athrun Zala, a fellow Coordinator who joined ZAFT and now finds himself on the opposite side of the battlefield as his old friend. While the story may appear a bit monotonous at the beginning (due largely to {{Recap Episode}}s and StockFootage), after the WhamEpisode halfway through the series, the show turns into a kaleidoscope of battles, [[TheReveal revelations]], and [[KilledOffForReal deaths]], skyrocketing the intensity all the way into the stratosphere. A full recap is under construction [[Recap/MobileSuitGundamSeed here]].

Thanks to its powerful directing, an all-star voice cast, and the never-dwindling emotional tension, ''SEED'' easily became a smash hit in Japan, getting the second highest ratings in Gundam history only behind ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]'' and spawning a televised sequel, ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'', and a manga spinoff, ''[[Manga/MobileSuitGundamSeedAstray Gundam SEED Astray]]''. An as of yet untitled movie, confirmed to be in production in 2007, is expected to be a GrandFinale of the saga... if it can leave DevelopmentHell. ''SEED'''s success and the announcement of ''Destiny'', the first-ever full-length television sequel to a ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' show outside of the original Universal Century timeline, spawned speculation that CE would become the new UC. However, ''Destiny'' failing to be as successful as ''SEED'', the movie's production stalling, and the subsequent release and success of non-CE series ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'' have since dashed those hopes. The 48-episode run of the HD Remaster of the series aired in 2012. [[labelnote:*]]If you're wondering what happened to the 49th & 50th episodes, the Remaster cut out two recap episodes, which were the original 14th & 26th episodes.[[/labelnote]]

Gundam SEED and the CE timeline have become mainstays in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' after ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha Alpha 3]]'', and are the main ''Gundam'' representative on handhelds when all Universal Century Gundams where excluded from the handheld games after ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsJudgment Judgment]]''. Gundam SEED also appears in the ''GundamVsSeries'', beginning with its own dedicated game ''Alliance vs. ZAFT'' and continuing on into the {{Crossover}} games.


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!!Provides Examples Of:

* TheAce: Mu La Flaga
* AcePilot: Lots of 'em, as is normal for a Gundam series.
* AerithAndBob: Peculiar names like Rau, Mu, Flay, Cagalli and Murrue exist alongside more conventional ones such as Patrick, Miguel and Andrew.
* ALighterShadeOfBlack: [[spoiler:Aside of the protagonists on the Archangel, the Earth Alliance is almost always portrayed less favorably than ZAFT. After both organizations are completely taken over by the villains and the defection of the Archangel, this trope is in effect.]]
* AllThereInTheManual: ''[[Manga/MobileSuitGundamSeedAstray Gundam SEED Astray]]'' fills in many gaps in the story.
* AlternateUniverse: Cosmic Era is the fifth "alternate calendar" other than the original Universal Century, and the first besides UC to feature a full-length television sequel.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Dearka Elsman.
* AnimalMecha: A rarity for the ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' franchise, ZAFT has two: the [=BuCue=] and [=LaGowe=] models.
* AnimationBump: The series was known for this at times, especially with the Special Editions. The HD Remaster goes even further with several reanimated scenes from not only the Special Editions, but also entirely new ones. Compare Episode 3 of the standard edition to the remaster on youtube and you'll notice them immediately, most notably the part where Kira slices Miguel's GINN in half at the end.
* AnyoneCanDie: It ''is'' a Gundam series, after all.
* ArmorPiercingSlap: A very rare inversion -- [[TheHero Kira]] slaps [[{{Tsundere}} Cagalli]] after she continually pesters him for not rescuing enough people.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: The [=PLANT=] space colonies. Unlike the fairly practical [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_Three O'Neill cylinder]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_torus Stanford torus]] designs that are standard for the franchise, [=PLANTs=] seem designed around RuleOfCool -- and as a result are both horribly inefficient and much less safe in comparison.
* AttackDrone: The Earth Alliance's gunbarrels are wired versions, while ZAFT's [=DRAGOON=]s are wireless.
* BackToBackBadasses: [[spoiler:Kira in the Freedom and Athrun in the Justice make a good pair.]]
* {{Badass}}: Where to begin? Half the cast qualifies at one point or another.
* BadassNormal: Mu La Flaga, undoubtedly the best Natural pilot in the series, has a considerable reputation already established at the beginning of the series and repeatedly holds his own against cutting-edge mobile suits while himself piloting a mobile armor or fighter jet. Cagalli is a borderline example; she's a Natural, and puts up a good fight both as LaResistance (attacking mobile suits with jeeps and [=RPGs=]!) and with the Strike Rouge, but never reaches the same level as other characters. [[spoiler:Rau Le Creuset]] is a strange case; his backstory means it wouldn't make any ''sense'' for him to be a Coordinator, but he acts like one and it's never questioned, so he may or may not be an example.
* BashBrothers: [[spoiler:Kira and Athrun in the second half of the series using the Freedom and Justice.]]
* BattleCouple: [[spoiler:Athrun and Cagalli]]
* BeamSpam: The Freedom and Providence are the biggest examples, though Calamity gives them a run for their money. The METEOR units used by Freedom and Justice turn it UpToEleven.
* {{BFS}}: The main feature of the Sword Striker pack. The METEOR units also pack beam sabers big enough to bisect a 300-meter Agamemnon-class carrier ''length-wise''.
* {{Bifauxnen}}: Cagalli, although not entirely deliberately on her part. [[RunningGag Keeps coming up again later]].
* BigBad: [[spoiler:Rau Le Creuset]]
* BigBadEnsemble: Subverted. It appears that the war between Muruta Azrael and Patrick Zala will define the second half of the series, but in reality they're both {{Unwitting Pawn}}s of the real BigBad.
* BigBrotherMentor: Mu, to the Heliopolis crew in general but Kira especially.
* BigDamnHero: Kira, repeated. Also subverted with Nicole and Tolle in episodes 29 and 30, respectively. Both of them try to pull this off and [[spoiler:get killed for their trouble]].
* BioAugmentation: The Coordinators are genetically augmented humans.
* BirdsOfAFeather: Kira and Athrun's friendship could qualify as this with their views on war and want of peace. Kira and Lacus' relationship as well for the same reason.
* BitterSweetEnding: Though they did manage to avert ''complete'' disaster, the body count was high on all sides, and there was no decisive end to the conflict -- despite all its death and destruction, the war ultimately changed little.
* BlondGuysAreEvil: Rau Le Creuset and Muruta Azrael; averted by Mu La Flaga and subverted Dearka Elsman.
* BloodierAndGorier: Said to be even more so than V Gundam, and with the [=WMDs=] lurking around each corner, it's easy to believe. Averted in the {{Toonami}} edit, however, as Bandai wanted to sell SEED toys to a wider audience.
* BornWinner: Coordinators, which must be created in vitro, though the offspring of a pair of Coordinators is also a Coordinator.
* BreatherEpisode: Episode 19, which provides some of the few light-hearted moments in the show courtesy of [[NobleDemon Andrew Waltfeld]].
* TheBrigadier: Admiral Lewis Halberton, Siegel Clyne, and Andrew Waltfeld.
* BrokenAce: Kira. He almost single handily carries the Archangel through all it's battles and the crew praise him endlessly for it, but he's still a teen handling the trauma and responsibility that comes with war.
* CanonForeigner: In the HD Remaster, when Mu gets the Strike, it's upgraded into the Perfect Strike (basically the Strike with all three Striker Packs attached at once), which was never seen in the original run.
* TheCaptain: Murrue Ramius
* CatchPhrase: Mu La Flaga: "I am a man who can make the impossible possible."
** Mu and Rau seem to share the catch phrase "If that man can do it, then so can I."
** Clotho: "GAME OVER!" and other variants of that.
** There is also the Blue Cosmos': "For our blue and pure world."
* ChanceMeetingBetweenAntagonists: Kira and Cagalli accidentally meet the enemy commander Andrew Waltfeld and his lover/partner while scouting an enemy town for supplies. That meeting ends rather amicably: even though Waltfeld immediately realizes he is dealing with enemy aces, he likes them well enough to let them go on that occasion.
* CharClone: A different approach in this series then the rest. There are three main Char clones, each one representing a different incarnation of the original Char Aznable: Athrun as TheRival, Mu La Flaga as the BigBrotherMentor, and Rau Le Crueset as the DarkMessiah
** Interestingly, for the majority of the series, the [[ZetaGundam 'Zeta' Char]] (Mu) is TheRival to the [[CharsCounterattack 'CCA' Char]] (Rau).
* ChastityCouple: Kira and Lacus
* ClipShow: Notable for being both many in number and poor in timing. ''SEED'''s director is occasionally called "Flashback 'Em All" in contrast to YoshiyukiTomino's "KillEmAll".
* CommonEyeColors: Kira's PurpleEyes indicate his badassitude and [[spoiler:status as the Ultimate Coordinator]]; Lacus has InnocentBlueEyes.
* CompilationMovie: ''The Empty Battlefield'', ''The Far-Away Dawn'', and ''The Rumbling Sky''
* CoolShip: The ''Archangel'' (and it's later sister ship, the ''[[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Dominion]]''), which owes not a little to ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'''s ''White Base''. Orb's ''Kusanagi'' and ZAFT's ''Eternal'' are also examples.
* CustomUniform: Andy's tiger-striped flightsuit and mecha.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Very'' dark for an AlternateUniverse series and you get to watch the atrocities done close up. There is also notably little to no comic relief within the entire series even when compared to ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]'' and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam Victory Gundam]]'' which had a couple of lighthearted moments and humorous expressions to somewhat offset the dark tone of the series. It is still known for being one of the darkest AU Gundam series.
* DarkMessiah: Rau Le Creuset
* DarkSkinnedBlond: Dearka
* DeadStarWalking: T.M. Revolution, who performs the first two [=OPs=], also voices Miguel Aiman who is killed early in the story. Averted with Shiho Hahnenfuss. She was set to be voiced by NamiTamaki, but she turned down the role... to the great relief of Yzak/Shiho shippers everywhere.
* DesignerBabies: Coordinators are genetically enhanced early in their development; [[spoiler:Kira Yamato]] is a true designer baby in the "grown in a test tube" sense.
* DivingSave: Subverted ''twice'', both scenes involving Kira. The second time is particularly harsh, providing a HopeSpot where he actually successfully blocks the shot, only for the villain to simply blow up the target with one of his {{Attack Drone}}s instead.
* TheDogShotFirst: In the HD Remaster, [[spoiler:Nicol]]'s death was reanimated to make it appear largely accidental. In the original, he attacks, his target counters, and he's killed. In the remake, he attacks, his target dodges, and his attack carries him into his target's sword, which kills him. Here's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhpmGzNK0aI a comparison video]].
* DoomedHometown: The Heliopolis space colony.
* DoUntoOthersBeforeTheyDoUntoUs: The warring sides use this trope as justification for their deeds; both leaders aim for nothing less than the complete annihilation of the other side down to the last man, woman and child. Therefore, backing down and depending on MutuallyAssuredDestruction is equivalent to surrender.
* DropPod: At the start of the ZAFT invasion. Also the delivery method for the GUGNIR electromagnetic flare weapons.
* DualWield: Several of the suits come equipped with two swords.
* DuringTheWar: Referred to as the Bloody Valentine War, since it begins with the death of roughly 250,000 PLANT civilians when their colony was destroyed on February 14th, Valentine's Day, CE 70.
* EarlyBirdCameo: Shinn Asuka, one of the main characters [[{{Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeedDestiny}} of the sequel]], appears in Phases 35 and 39 of the HD Remaster.
** In Phase 39 of the HD Remaster, Lunamaria and Meyrin Hawke, and Rey Za Burrel also make appearances.
* EnergyWeapons: Similarly to ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', they've been in use on ships for some time, but versions usable by mobile suits are a new development as of the beginning of the series.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Lacus, whose position as the chairman's daughter, a popular songstress, and leading peace advocate gives her great influence among her own kind. [[spoiler:Cagalli]], the princess of Orb, is also a literal example.
** [[FallenPrincess Not always]]: [[spoiler:Flay Allster]]
* EvilCounterpart: ''Dominion'', the ''Archangel'''s sister ship.
* EvilRedheads: Flay, though not so purely ''evil'' as much as ''horribly screwed up.''
* EvilutionaryBiologist: Dr. Ulen Hibiki, who dreams of creating the perfect human. [[spoiler:Even if it means stealing his own son from his mother's womb.]]
* EvilVersusEvil: By the end of the series, neither the Earth Alliance nor ZAFT are particularly sympathetic. Probably why [[spoiler:the protagonists decide to TakeAThirdOption and form the Three Ships Alliance]].
* {{Expy}}: Lots of them, thanks to ''SEED'''s similarity to ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' -- about half the main characters qualify, in addition to numerous minor ones. [[labelnote:Details]]Kira is an expy of Amuro, Athrun and Rau are expies of [[CharClone Char]], Murrue is a female version of Bright, Cagalli has shades of Sayla, and Andrew Waltfeld is an expy of Ramba Ral. For minor characters, Tolle and Kuzzey's relationships to Kira are extremely similar to Kai and Hayato's (respectively) to Amuro, and Aisha (Andrew Waltfeld's girlfriend) is a clear expy of Crowley (Ramba Ral's girlfriend).[[/labelnote]] Lacus Clyne is also an expy of Relena Peacecraft of ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]''. In terms of character design, there are obvious influences from ''InfiniteRyvius'', which isn't surprising since they're from Hisashi Hirai, the character designer for both shows. Azrael in particular looks similar to Pat.
* FallingIntoTheCockpit: Kira and the Strike.
* FamilyFriendlyFirearms: The {{Toonami}} edit was notorious for this.
* FantasticRacism: Naturals vs. Coordinators.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Muruta Azrael, at least until he starts suffering from VillainousBreakdown.
* FauxlosophicNarration: Lacus and le Crueset at some times.
* FinalSolution: Advocated by both Patrick Zala (who believes Coordinators are a SuperiorSpecies and that the Naturals all need to die) and Muruta Azrael (who believes Coordinators are an abomination and thusly, all of them need to die). [[spoiler:[[OmnicidalManiac Rau Le Creuset]] agrees with both of them]].
* FiveBadBand: The Le Creuset Team.
** TheBigBad: Rau Le Creuset, the team leader.
** TheDragon: Athrun Zala, who acts as "first among equals" for the rest of the team.
** TheBrute: Yzak Joule, who [[TheBerserker hurls himself recklessly into battle]].
** TheEvilGenius: Dearka Elsman, the team's DeadpanSnarker.
** TheDarkChick: Nicol Amalfi, the most emotional member of the team
* FiveManBand: The Three Ship Alliance's main mobile suit team
** TheHero: Kira Yamato, the main character
** TheLancer: [[spoiler:Athrun Zala]], his best friend and the only one as skilled in combat
** TheSmartGuy: Mu La Flaga, the BigBrotherMentor
** TheBigGuy: [[spoiler:Dearka Elsman]], with his MightyGlacier mobile suit
** TheChick: Cagalli Yula Athha, the TokenGirl and TheHeart
** EleventhHourRanger: [[spoiler:Yzak Joule]], who doesn't join up until most of the way through the FinalBattle.
* FixedForwardFacingWeapon: The ''Archangel'' is equipped with massive ''[[WaveMotionGun anti-matter cannons]]'' in it's two pylons.
* FunWithAcronyms: It's a series trend; Gundams are called such because their OS spells out the acronym G.U.N.D.A.M. in varying ways, all of them full of GratuitousEnglish and typically entirely nonsensical. SEED itself is an acronym, as is ZAFT, and numerous ZAFT mobile suits have names consisting of a series of capitalized and lower cased letters that make it ''seem'' like they're acronyms, but no explanation is ever given.
* ForgottenChildhoodFriend: Athrun and Kira towards each other.
* FreezeFrameBonus: A rather creepy one. When the two remaining Astray Girls are killed, you can see their silhouttes in the respective explosions of their mobile suits.
** Of a more normal sort, Episode 47 features a cameo appearance of the ''Re H.O.M.E.'', from ''[[Manga/MobileSuitGundamSEEDAstray SEED Astray]]''.
* {{Gainaxing}}: Murrue every time the ''Archangel'' takes a nasty hit, eventually joined by Natarle and Flay in the last few episodes.
* GenericanEmpire: '''P'''eople '''L'''iberation '''A'''cting '''N'''ation of '''T'''echnology
* GeoEffects: Played a large role in battle during Kira's time in the Strike, as he would fight numerous enemies in mobile suits designed for specific environments, and Kira would have to adjust the Strike's operating systems to compete. The two biggest examples are the fights against the [=BuCUE=]s in the desert and the [=GOOhN=]s underwater.
* TheGlovesComeOff: Kira and Athrun do it to each other ''simultaneously'' in the WhamEpisode. The result is one of the most brutal fight scenes in the series.
** Something of a FreakOut moment as well, as all the emotions they had been holding back sense the start of the series came spilling out in a very ugly mess. Neither of them were [[CharacterDevelopment quite the same]] after that fight. [[spoiler: Particularly Athrun, who was the "winner" but was so shaken up by the event that he began doing some serious soul searching, leading to his HeelFaceTurn.]]
* TheGoodTheBadAndTheEvil: Towards the end of the series, the [[spoiler:Three Ships Alliance]] is the Good, '''both''' ZAFT and the Earth Alliance are the Bad, while OmnicidalManiac [[spoiler:Rau Le Creuset]] is the Evil.
* GoodVersusGood: The initial conflict between Kira, who just wants to help protect his friends, and Athrun, who wants to destroy the ''Archangel'' (a warship belonging to the country that nuked his mother) without hurting Kira.
* GoOutWithASmile: Several, ranging from TearJerker to CrowningMomentOfAwesome; [[spoiler:Izumi, Cagalli's adoptive father]], [[spoiler:Mu la Flaga]], who ''laughs'' as he spouts his CatchPhrase and ''explodes'', [[spoiler:Natarle]], who ensures the death of Azrael with her own, [[spoiler:Flay]], who died thinking [[spoiler:Kira had just saved her]], and [[spoiler:Le Creuset who dies smiling because he believes the entire world will soon be following him]]...
* {{Gorn}}: The Cyclops system and GENESIS essentially flash-boil people, causing them to ''pop''. The scenes involving them do ''[[AvertedTrope not]]'' make use of the GoryDiscretionShot.
* GrandTheftPrototype: Happens twice; in the first episode, when Athrun & co steal the Earth Alliance prototypes from Heliopolis, and later when [[spoiler:Kira, with Lacus's help]] returns the favor by stealing the Freedom from a ZAFT base.
* GunsAkimbo: Actually, Freedom can shoot all ''five'' of its guns at once... and hit five targets, too. Then hit five more targets about every tenth of a second. The Freedom Gundam is a master of BeamSpam.
* HeroicSacrifice: Multiple, occasionally happening in ''chains'': [[spoiler:Tolle's and Nichol's, for example, as well as Mu's and Natarle's]].
* HotScientist: Erica Simmons.
* HumansArePsychicInTheFuture: Mu la Flaga and Rau le Creuset can sense each other psychically. Towards the end, Kira begins to do so as well.
* HumongousMecha: Does it even need to be mentioned?
** RealRobot
* IdolSinger: Lacus
* ILetGwenStacyDie: Kira, about [[spoiler:Flay]]
* IllKillYou: Yzak to Kira, though he refers to him as "the pilot of the Strike" since he didn't know who Kira was specifically.
* ItGetsEasier: Andy Waltfield, an experienced soldier and commander, tells the young and still-somewhat-naive Kira this point blank.
* ItMeantSomethingToMe: [[DoubleSubversion Double Subverted]] with [[spoiler:Kira and Flay]]. At first she's just using him and his feelings are sincere; when he gets over her ''she'' realizes that she actually ''does'' have feelings for him, but before she can act on it, [[spoiler:she's killed off, ''specifically'' to mess with Kira]].
* ItsPersonal Kira and Athrun get this about each other after [[spoiler:Kira kills Nicol and Athrun kills Tolle]] in the same incident.
* KickTheDog: The way that Flay reveals to Sai that she's been cheating on him with Kira. That was just cold...
* KillEmAll: Holds the record for most character deaths in all of Gundam.
* KillSat: GENESIS
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:Tolle Koenig, Nicol Amarfi, Flay Allster, Natarle Badriguel, Aisha, Muruta Azrael, Patrick Zala, Rau Le Creuset, George Allster, Uzumi Nara Athha, Siegel Clyne, Lewis Halberton]]... the list can be continued.
* KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter: Inverted with phase shift armor, which is impervious to most kinetic weaponry.
* TheKingdom: Orb... sort of. Their government is complicated. It involves actual royalty sharing power with both noble houses and elected officials. Thankfully, for the most part, it's relegated to AllThereInTheManual.
* LargeHam: Rau, by the end of the series. Not so much at first.
* LatexSpaceSuit: The pilot suits.
* LonelyRichKid: Mu and Flay as children.
* TheLostLenore: Patrick Zala's wife, who died in the Bloody Valentine. She gets bonus points for actually being named Lenore, too.
* LoveHurts: [[spoiler:Flay]]
* LudicrousGibs: Those caught in the effective radius of the Cyclops system or GENESIS are shown exploding into clouds of red mist. Actually {{Justified|Trope}}, given that said unlucky people are basically being ''microwaved'' to death[[note]] This literally boils their blood (along with all their other bodily fluids); the resulting steam pressure causes all the soft tissues in their body to burst[[/note]].
* MadScientist: Dr. Ulen Hibiki, [[spoiler:Kira and Cagalli's birth father]].
* MaskPower: Le Creuset
* MeleeATrois: ZAFT vs. Earth Alliance vs. [[spoiler:Three Ships Alliance]]
* MerchandiseDriven: As with every other Gundam franchises.
* MildlyMilitary: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], since some of the ''Archangel'' crew are civilians, but Murrue and Mu are not big believers in clinging to regulations to begin with. Murrue owns up to it when she lays out the crew's options just prior to ''Archangel'' joining in the defense of ORB.
* MilestoneCelebration: The HD Remaster was released to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show.
* MilitaryBrat: Athrun, Nicol, Dearka, Yzak and Natarle.
* MidSeasonUpgrade: Freedom and Justice. Strike also gets to stick around as a hand-me-down version, and Duel gets upgrade add-ons, though well before mid-season.
** The Perfect Strike in the remastered edition combines all three previously used Strike packs.
* NGOSuperpower: Blue Cosmos, a radical anti-Coordinator terrorist group. It has enough influence to control the policies of the Earth Alliance. [[spoiler: Lacus leads the Three Ships Alliance/Clyne Faction which serves this role... and winds up winning the war]]
* NietzscheWannabe: [[spoiler:Rau Le Creuset]]
* NonIndicativeName: Given the title of the series, you might expect it to feature a mobile suit named the Seed Gundam. There is no such mobile suit, and strictly speaking this installment of the series features no mobile suits called Gundam ''period''. [[FunWithAcronyms GUNDAM]] is actually the name of the operating system that runs some mobile suits. See also, the name of the second episode ("Its Name Is Gundam").
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: [[spoiler:Andrew Waltfeld]] survives his mobile suit blowing up around him, though [[spoiler:his co-pilot doesn't, and]] he earns some permanent injuries in the process. Kira Yamato survives [[spoiler:Aegis' SelfDestructMechanism to the face]] without so much as a scar, though he's out of commission for some time afterward.
* NoOneGetsLeftBehind: Kira pull's one with Athrun when returning to space. It involves a TakeMyHand between ''Gundams''. [[NarmCharm Awww]]...
* NotSoDifferent: ZAFT and Earth Alliance military.
* NotUsingTheZedWord: The word "Gundam" is coined by Kira as an acronym for the operating system of certain BiggerStick mobile suits, and is only used a handful of times. None of the HumongousMecha officially have Gundam in their names. However, the term Gundam starts it's spreading through the universe in the second half of the show, and is used much much more in the Cosmic Era's expanded universe installments.
** Lampshaded by Lacus when she's giving Kira the Freedom. He calls it a Gundam and she's got no idea what he's talking about, explains the name of the mobile suit, but says she thinks the term "Gundam" sounds better.
** In a similar way, it's "enhanced spatial awareness". Never "Newtype powers".
* NukeEm: Both the Earth Forces and ZAFT race against each other to end the war this way.
* OddlySmallOrganization: The rebels in the desert. Despite their much smaller size, and weaker equipment, they get by.... quite well.
* {{Omake}}: Gundam Seed Supernova. Featuring chibi-Kira and monster Tori.
** What is SEED mode? UnstoppableRage? BerserkButton? HeroicResolve? TranquilFury? Just plain GreenRocks? Join Yzak as he tries to find out, to finally steal a march on Athrun.
* OmnicidalManiac: [[spoiler:Rau le Creuset]] wants to escalate the war until both sides annihilate each other.
* OneManArmy: Kira, Athrun, and Le Creuset.
* OneProductPlanet: ZAFT's space colonies were arranged in this manner, with one group focusing on Farming, another on Information Science, another on Chemistry, and so on.
* OneWorldOrder: Averted. Unlike the Universal Century's Earth Federation, the Earth Alliance is a coalition of powerful blocs that's a cross of sorts between NATO and the UN. Countries outside of the Alliance either side with ZAFT or attempt to go neutral in an attempt to escape the ire of both factions.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Rau Le Creuset believes he and he alone can [[spoiler:kill off all of humanity]], especially Kira.
* PhysicalScarsPsychologicalScars: Yzak gets a nasty facial scar while fighting Kira, which is symbolic of his [[UnknownRival one-sided hatred]]. By [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeedDestiny the sequel]], he's [[spoiler:gotten it removed, signifying that he no longer holds a grudge]].
* PlayingBothSides: The BigBad
* PowerTrio: Murrue, Mu, and Natarle, as id, ego, and superego respectively. Murrue and Mu also function as {{The McCoy}} and TheKirk respectively, although Natarle doesn't ''quite'' qualify as TheSpock to round out the trifecta.
* RapidFireTyping: Lots of it; Kira is especially guilty and uses this technique to upgrade the Strike's original OS.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Murrue Ramius, Uzumi Nara Attha and Siegel Clyne.
* RebelliousPrincess: [[spoiler:Cagalli]]
* RecapEpisode: ''In spades,'' but most obvious in episodes 14 and 26.
* RedOniBlueOni: Yzak Joule and Dearka Elsman, respectively.
* ReliablyUnreliableGuns: Type 1 is played straight: Cagalli[[labelnote:*]]Whose experience with firearms may amount to a crash-course in the desert about a month before[[/labelnote]] throws a pistol in frustration, causing it to discharge. Athrun[[labelnote:*]]Who ''has'' received military training with pistols from ZAFT[[/labelnote]], who very nearly gets hit by the stray round, immediately chastises her for being stupid enough to throw a loaded and cocked pistol.
* ReluctantWarrior: Kira Yamato in the first half of the show.
** Luckily for him, he gets better with handling guns later on.
* TheRemake: Of the original ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', no less... for the first half or so, anyway.
* RenegadeSplinterFaction: Two major examples:
** Blue Cosmos for the Earth Alliance [[spoiler: until they take de facto control of the coalition]].
** Inverted with the Clyne Faction – once they go “renegade”, [=ZAFT=] becomes fanatical, and the Faction remains decent.
* LaResistance: The Desert Dawn in North Africa and the Three Ships Alliance.
* TheReveal: Several.
** Cagalli is not only [[spoiler:the princess of Orb]], and also [[spoiler:Kira Yamato's twin sister]]
** Kira is [[spoiler:Cagalli's twin brother]], and also [[spoiler:the Ultimate Coordinator]]
** Rau Le Creuset is [[spoiler:a clone of Mu La Flaga's father, and TheManBehindTheMan to both the Earth Alliance ''and'' ZAFT]].
* RevisedEnding: The CompilationMovie edited out [[spoiler:Mu La Flaga]]'s helmet floating in space in the final shots.
* RichBitch: Flay, though being rich is hardly the [[FantasticRacism biggest source]] [[ManipulativeBastard of her bitchiness.]]
* TheRival: Mu vs. Rau, Kira vs. Athrun, later Kira vs. Rau
* RobotBuddy: Athrun loves making them; he gave Kira a robot bird named Torii (Birdy in the dub), and Lacus has a couple dozen Haros rolling around her estate. In the GameBoyAdvance game ''Tomo to Kimi to Senjou de'', he decides to make one for Cagalli and ends up settling on a hamster design; unfortunately, when she first sees it [[EekAMouse she mistakes it for a rat and smashes it]], but after Kira explains things she's quite touched by the gesture.
* RunningGag: Kira, despite being a coordinator who can pilot a [[HumongousMecha humongous mecha]] [[spoiler:who also happens to be the ultimate coordinator]], does not know how guns work. The first time he uses a gun, he throws it at a person and kicks him, in order to knock him out. The second time he gets a gun in his hands, he's chasing an armed person. Mu La Flaga quickly notes that Kira's gun [[NotWithTheSafetyOnYouWont still has the safety on]].
* SacrificialLamb: Rusty Mackenzie, Miguel Aiman and [[spoiler:George Allster]] all die shortly after being introduced. Their deaths are mainly events for characterization other characters.
* SacrificialLion: The series isn't sunshine and rainbows to start with, but it's after the deaths of [[spoiler:Tolle and Nicol]] that the series gets progressively darker.
* SelfDestructMechanism: Everything seems to have it. But Athrun in particular seems fond of blowing up his own mobile suits. First with the Aegis to kill Kira, then with Justice to destroy GENESIS.
** The Earth Alliance uses the CYCLOPS system to destroy JOSHA in a trap to wipe out a huge chunk of ZAFT forces. In the expanded materials, it's revealed that the EA had done this before at the Battle of Endymion during the battle where Mu got his nickname. But the plan also destroyed the Alliance elite Mobeius Zero corps, Mu being the only one left.
** At the end of the series, Patrick sets Jachin Due to self destruct.
* SergeantRock: Natarle
* SeparatedAtBirth: [[spoiler:Kira and Cagalli]] are actually twins.
* ShoutOut:
** Lacus painting a mustache on one of her Haros is a clear one to ''Anime/TurnAGundam'', which Fukuda has noted is one of his favorite series by Tomino.
** Erica Simmons is named after Mark Simmons, the [[BigNameFan Biggest Name Fan]] of ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' in America, and possibly elsewhere too. It's not the first nod he's received, either.
** Waltfeld's personal MS, the [=LaGOWE=], is a nod to Fukuda's earlier series ''GEARFighterDendoh''.
** Murrue Ramius, captain of a ship who is out to defect is a shout out to ''Literature/TheHuntForRedOctober'', where the titular ship is captained by Marko Ramius, who spends the film trying to defect.
* SignatureMove: The Freedom's [[BeamSpam Full Burst Mode]]
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Somewhere in the middle of the scale initially. By the end, it's murky. The main crew champion their ideals [[spoiler: and "win" militarily]], but at the same time, [[spoiler: both ZAFT and the Earth Alliance go off the deep end in their philosophy, show that they are more than willing to use weapons of mass destruction on both their enemies and their allies alike, and the whole background of Coordinators and Naturals is revealed to be tainted with depraved science experiments.]] Seeing how the end of the series didn't actually change these facts, there's still a good amount of cynicism left in the Cosmic Era.
* SoundtrackDissonance: In Phase 41 (39 in the HD Remaster), while Lacus and Patrick were engaged in a propaganda war on the [=PLANTs=], [[spoiler: Siegel, Lacus's father, was assassinated by Patrick's soldiers]], with Lacus's image song, "Mizu no Akashi", playing in the background.
* SpaceIsAnOcean
* SpoilerOpening: [[spoiler:Nichol]] is notably absent in the third opening, despite appearing in the first two. This is a war story, so it's not hard to guess what that means. Sure enough, two episodes after the third opening's debut, he's killed off.
* TheSoCalledCoward: Nicol Amarfi. Yzak even straight up calls him a coward, but in reality he is a pretty decent pilot, especially considering he made it to the Red Coats.
* StandingBetweenTheEnemies: [[spoiler:The Three Ships Alliance]] does this to the Earth and ZAFT armies, but it soon devolves into a MeleeATrois.
* StockFootage: Used throughout the series, but it's most noticeable with Murrue's {{Gainaxing}} and the Freedom's BeamSpam.
* StrangeSalute: ZAFT military
* SuperMode: SEED mode, which [[BornWinner only certain people]] can access, effectively turns all the user's abilities UpToEleven.
** PowerMakeover: People in SEED mode lose the "light" of their eyes, resulting in an effect similar to MindControlEyes except that their pupils don't disappear.
* SuperPrototype:
** Mu's Moebius Zero, which is a SpaceFighter equipped with wired "gunbarrels" (essentially self-contained gun pods mounted with thrusters to allow them to move independently), is the forerunner of the various AttackDrone units used in the CE timeline.
** At the beginning of the series the Earth Alliance creates prototype mobile suits developed under the G-Project: The [[JackOfAllStats GAT-X102 Duel Gundam]], [[MightyGlacier GAT-X103 Buster Gundam]], [[MechaExpansionPack GAT-X105 Strike Gundam]], [[ChameleonCamouflage GAT-X207 Blitz Gundam]], and the [[TransformingMecha GAT-X303 Aegis Gundam]]. Four of them are stolen by the Le Creuset Team and Kira pilots the Strike.
** For the last half of the show, ZAFT releases its own ZGMF-X series of Gundam units using technology derived from the four captured Alliance Gundams. After the Strike and the Aegis are destroyed, Kira acquires the [[LightningBruiser ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam]] and Athrun gets the ZGMF-X09A Justice Gundam. The [[DroneDeployer ZGMF-X13A Providence Gundam]] is piloted by [[spoiler:Rau Le Creuset]] in the final episodes. These Gundams are not only far more advanced than the originals but are nuclear powered with limitless stamina because of the N-Jammer Canceller technology.
** The second set of prototype mobile suits developed under the G-Project was developed solely by the Atlantic Federation: The [[MightyGlacier GAT-X131 Calamity Gundam]], [[DeflectorShields GAT-X252 Forbidden Gundam]],and the [[TransformingMecha GAT-X370 Raider Gundam]]. These Gundams are piloted by [[SuperSoldier Super Soldiers]] under the supervision of [[MugglePower Blue Cosmos]] leader [[BigBadWannabe Muruta Azrael]].
* SuperSoldier: While the Coordinators' enhanced abilities are in no way limited to combat, they do make them far better fighters than Naturals, e.g. before Kira develops an MS operating system suitable for Naturals, only Coordinators can efficiently pilot mobile suits; also, "artificial Coordinators" a.k.a. "the Druggies" are literal super soldiers developed by the Atlantic Federation.
** As Rau Le Creuset had received gene therapy to deal with his imperfect clone status (resulting in shortened telomeres), was taking medication on a daily basis, and performed so admirably as to kick serious ass in the Providence with no prior practice, he was probably kept at an "Artificial Coordinator" level as well.
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: Most of the time, but it's particularly noticeable when Engrish appears, such as in Episode 20.
** The previews of the next episode at the end seemed to suffer from Engrish more frequently than the episode itself.
* SwordFight
* TakeAThirdOption: Instead of [[spoiler:siding with one of the two equally extremist factions of the war]], the ''Archangel'' crew eventually [[spoiler:forms their own side together with Orb and Clyne Faction.]]
* TakeMyHand: In episodes 40 and 50, we see Athrun being rescued.
* TeamMom: Murrue, later Natarle.
* TechnoBabble: Lots of it.
* ThemeNaming: Of HumongousMecha, no less -- OMNI's Gundams tend to reflect their combat role (eg, Duel, Strike, Blitz, Raider) while ZAFT's are named after philosophical ideals (Freedom, Justice, Providence).
** The title of the series itself is an aversion, though. The lack of a "Seed Gundam" makes the show the only Gundam series to not be named after a specific mecha -- instead "seed" refers to the series SuperMode.
** In an early interview, [[WordOfGod Mitsuo Fukuda said]] that "Strike" and "Aegis" were named for the unstoppable spear and the invincible shield from the Chinese version of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irresistible_force_paradox irresistible force paradox]].
* ThirteenIsUnlucky: ZGMF-X'''13'''A Providence
* ToBeLawfulOrGood: Many characters to a greater or lesser extent, but the two most prominent examples are [[spoiler:Athrun]] (who chooses "good" after much soul-searching) and [[spoiler:Natarle]] (who chooses "lawful", but [[spoiler:changes her mind and betrays her superior later, [[RedemptionEqualsDeath at the cost of her life]]]]).
* TragicKeepsake: Murrue's locket, Kira's origami flower.
* TransformingMecha: Athrun's Aegis, Clotho's Raider.
* {{Tsundere}}: Cagalli is simply ''adorable'' when blushing in embarrassment.
* VillainousBreakdown: Many of the villains feature rather nasty ones.
* WarIsHell: People are dying left, right, and centre. Kira and the rest of the cast are going through [[HeroicBSOD trauma-induced mental breakdowns]]. ZAFT is run by a GeneralRipper and has no problem [[NoQuarter executing prisoners]] or firing a WaveMotionGun at Earth. The Earth Forces are controlled by a [[FantasticRacism fanatically anti-Coordinator]] psychopath who wants to [[NukeEm nuke ZAFT out of existence]] and considers his troops [[WeHaveReserves expendable cannon fodder]]. Out of ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'''s alternate universes, SEED's is easily one of the [[DarkerAndEdgier darkest]].
* WarfareRegression: Neutron Jammers inhibit fission reactions and jam radio waves. This allows for all-out warfare without the risk of mutually-assured destruction, and prevents the use of long-range radio communication or radar, leading to the rise of close-range mobile suit combat.
* WaveMotionGun: The Lohengrin positron cannons mounted by the ''Archangel'', which (as the name implies) are a type of {{Antimatter}} weapon; there's also GENESIS, a KillSat that used [[NukeEm nuclear weapons]] to generate a gamma radiation laser capable of attacking Earth from high orbit.
* WeaponsOfMassDestruction: The nuclear weapons used by the Earth Forces, ZAFT's [[WaveMotionGun GENESIS]], and arguably the Gundams themselves.
* WhamEpisode: Episodes 29, 30, 35, ...and pretty much everything between 40 and 50.
* WhatMeasureIsANonSuper: Azrael to his mom in the movie compilation.
* WhatTheHellDad: Sums up Patrick and Athrun Zala's relationship quite nicely. Patrick, a GeneralRipper if ever there was one, treats Athrun as though he were any other subordinate. He expects a lot from Athrun, but only because of his elite status, and has no qualms about [[spoiler:shooting him]] when Athrun starts to question orders.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: The "[[FanNickname Druggies]]", whose use of performance-enhancing drugs that make them able to fight on even terms with [[BornWinner Coordinators]] has also made them... unstable.
* AWorldHalfFull: The combination of FantasticRacism and good old fashioned human greed makes the world of Gundam SEED a less-than-pleasant place to live, but that doesn't stop the protagonists from improving things -- if only a little -- through properly applied violence.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Azrael is all-but-''worshipped'' by the EA generals, has the Earth's rulers in his pocket, and Natarle has heard of him.
* VisualNovel: The little-known GameBoyAdvance game ''Tomo to Kimi to Senjou de''[[note]]"On the Battlefield with You and My Friends"[[/note]], which did have action sequences, but those played second fiddle to letting the player wander the Archangel as Kira and interact with the rest of the cast. Special {{Event Flag}}s could let the player obtain the MSV-only Gunbarrel Strike for Flaga, prevent [[spoiler:Flaga, Natarle, and Flay]] from dying, and even have Kira partner up with [[Manga/MobileSuitGundamSEEDAstray Lowe or Gai]] on one stage.
* XanatosGambit: The BigBad, [[spoiler:Rau La Creuset]], tries to set one up as part of his EvilPlan, so that regardless of who eventually won the war, both sides would end up wiping each other out with various [=WMDs=]. When one side gained the upper hand or calmed down, he gives technology to other to keep the fighting going.
* XMeetsY: Literature/HeavenSwordAndDragonSabre meets Anime/MobileSuitGundam
* YouAreInCommandNow: Murrue in the beginning of the series.
* ZettaiRyouiki: Flay and Miri use [[MagicSkirt really short skirts]] and really long socks.
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