Anime / Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny

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Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny is the sequel to the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED anime series. It is the tenth televised series in the long-running Gundam franchise and the second to be set in the Cosmic Era Alternate Universe. Destiny has some thematic ties to Zeta Gundam, similar to the relationship between Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam (though less pronounced than SEED's pseudo-remake status); these include SEED characters, now Older and Wiser, reappearing in Destiny, and a very similar Romance Arc in Destiny and Zeta.

Destiny takes place two years after the end of SEED, and follows the story of Shinn Asuka, a young Coordinator and ZAFT pilot. A surprise attack on a ZAFT military base and the subsequent Gundamjacking of three of ZAFT's new Super Prototype Gundams kicks off a sequence of events that results in a second full-scale war between ZAFT and the Earth Alliance. However, things are not as clear-cut as they seem at first, and questions arise over which side of the conflict is really in the right. About halfway through the series, much of the cast from Gundam SEED returns to the spotlight, and the series gradually shifts to their POV, considerably changing the tone of the series.

While Gundam SEED Destiny was wildly popular in Japan, the reaction among English-speaking audiences was much less positive. This largely spawns from the mid-show POV-shift, with Western fans typically preferring Shinn to Kira, and feeling that the latter "stole" the show from the former, while Japanese fans are more fond of Kira and thus much more forgiving of the shift. Some displeased fans take this to extreme levels, and the series has a vocal Hatedom. This has died down some since the inclusion of Mobile Suit Gundam 00. It has its own sidestory in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED CE.73: Stargazer.

Destiny makes numerous appearances in various Video Games, such as the Massively Multiplayer Crossover franchises Super Robot Wars and Another Century's Episode, in addition to the Gundam Vs Series. Its inclusion in Super Robot Wars Z is particularly notable for being widely considered something of a Fix Fic; the story was reworked by Banpresto's writers to fix parts of the plot that had frustrated viewers, and to show both Kira and Shinn as heroes, which was well received by both sides of the Broken Base. Destiny characters and mecha also appear in Gundam Fighter, a Flash-based Web Game featuring nearly the entire Gundam franchise.

On November 16, 2012, Gundam Seed Destiny: HD Remaster was announced after Gundam Seed: HD Remaster's run was completed. It aired on March 29, 2013, and finished its run on March 7, 2014.

Tropes used in this Gundam SEED Destiny:

  • The Ace: Many, but Athrun in particular gets this treatment by Minerva's crew early on, as does Shinn later on.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The Special Editions manage to be surprisingly improved thanks to editing out some of the more hated elements. Many are hoping that the HD Remaster will do something similar.
    • The Edge distillates events in the main series from Athrun's POV.
  • Affably Evil: Gilbert Durandel.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Shinn, with aluminum cans, on at least three separate occasions.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Stella and Durandal get sad exits. Durandal even goes out surrounded by his family.
  • All There in the Manual: Want to know how Athrun feels about Meyrin? Want to know how Shinn was during his school days? Well, you'll just have to buy the drama CD.
  • All Your Powers Combined: In a rare mecha example, the Destiny's design is an All Your Powers Combined version of the Impulse's (and Strike's) various Mecha Expansion Packs — agility, massive firepower, and a really big sword all at once instead of one at a time!
  • An Axe to Grind: The beam tomahawks used by ZAKUs, as benefits their Expy nature to the original Zaku and their heathawks.
  • Animation Bump: Notable because it happens frequently in several episodes where the animation is not at its best, they'll just always manage to save the best for certain scenes. Episode 32 is a good example, as the episode itself contains pretty good animation that suddenly goes up to excellent quality during the Hope Spot and the scene where Stella dies.
  • Arranged Marriage: Yuna and Cagalli.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The Destiny Plan's true nature and logic sound reasonable: to have people's place in society determined by extensive genetic analysis. The problem is that this completely ignores the "nurture" half of the Nature Vs Nurture equation. The ultimate expression of this within the series itself is Rey. Given that he's an exact genetic clone of Rau le Creuset, if the Destiny Plan's logic was sound, then Rey would be exactly like Rau, which he is very much not. The realization that he doesn't have to be like Rau, despite their identical genes, is ultimately what prompts his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Lunamaria Hawke, when she finally gets the chance to pilot Mobile Suits alongside her idol Athrun.
  • Attack Drone: The Chaos, and later, the Strike Freedom and Legend, are equipped with second generation attack drones that don't require pilots with high "spatial awareness" (i.e., normal pilots) to use them effectively.
  • Award Bait Song: Fields of Hope
  • Badass: Many various examples, but special mention goes to none other than Kira Yamato, who single-handedly enters a battlefield, defeats two armies, including their Aces, thus FORCING them to stop their fighting, all without killing a single soldier. Made more badass that he does this on more the one occassion.
    • BadassNormal: Neo Roanoke, who is a natural that can hold his own against coordinators and gundams using a mook suit. He Even destroyed the Freedom's shield, with a rocket powered exploding kunai.
    • Badass Longcoat: Gilbert Durrandal's Supreme Councilman uniform has one.
    • Beware the Nice Ones: Heine Westenfluss. Off the battlefield, he is the nicest, coolest, most chilled guy in the you will ever meet. On the battlefield, he proves why he is a member of Faith.
  • BFG: The Gunner ZAKU's Orthos beam cannon, Blast Impulse's Kerberos cannons, Destiny's long-range beam cannon, and Strike Freedom's chest cannon.
  • BFS: Sword Impulse's Excalibur and Destiny's Arondight anti-ship swords.
  • Beam Spam: If you thought Freedom was the master of this, just wait until you see Strike Freedom. Also, in order: Destroy, Legend, Infinite Justice (with or without the METEOR), Abyss, Blast Impulse, and Yzak's Slash ZAKU Phantom.
  • Berserk Button: Played straight with Shinn, and to a more subdued degree by Kira, when the ladies in their lives are threatened.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Djibril and Durandal are on opposite sides of the war, utterly loathe one another, and both need to go in order for the story to end well. Which of them is the more dangerous (and whether Durandal is using Djibril or not) is a matter that's open for debate.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Kira's specialty. Especially after he gets the Strike Freedom and rescues his sister Cagalli.
  • Blade on a Stick: Abyss Gundam's beam lance, which also has actual metal blades.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Del Rey's treatment of the SEED Destiny manga. Meaningful Names are butchered to the point of losing their meaning, and basic punctuation and grammar are ignored.
    • This was inherited from Del Rey's translation of the SEED manga, where the same happened to an incredible degree. The second volume of the SEED Destiny manga finally used the official spellings of characters and mecha, but contained a letter at the start of the book essentially complaining about how they had to follow someone else's translations rather than their own. The grammar problems remained, however.
  • Body Double: Meer Campbell for Lacus Clyne.
  • Body Guard Crush: Athrun and Cagalli in the first eight episodes.
  • Bridge Bunnies: Meyrin, most prominantly.
  • Broken Bird: Stella Louissier, due to being a Tyke Bomb. Talia Gladys also counts.
  • Character Shilling: In Destiny, Heine Westenfluss is set up as an ace pilot like Athrun as well as charming and a really nice guy. Unfortunately, he doesn't get a chance to live up to his extreme reputation since he dies too soon.
  • Chastity Couple: Kira and Lacus; though there may have been doubts at the end of SEED about Kira's feelings, Destiny leaves little question that they are romantically involved.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Athrun shows off some incredibly Improbable Aiming Skills on the Minerva's firing range by scoring headshot after headshot on a series of rapidly deploying targets in Phase 07. Much later, in Phase 46, we see those skills in action for real when he takes out an entire team of hitmen with submachine guns & grenades, using only a handgun.
    • Rey also practices at that firing range frequently. Lampshaded by Shinn and Luna later in the show. Then we get the last episode.
  • Chess Motifs: Durandal is a fan of these.
  • Chest Blaster: Notably, the BABI, Abyss, and Strike Freedom all have chest-mounted beam cannons.
    • The Destroy Gundam has three, each cannon being bigger and wider than a normal mobile suit. Nearly destroys entire cities in a single shot.
  • Chickification: Cagalli. She ultimately gains her Action Girl and leader status back.
  • Clip Show: Gundam SEED fans thought the first series had more recap episodes than it really needed - the problem is worse here. Special notice should go to episode 29 which used almost all footage from the first show! The last of the clip shows got surprisingly good ratings, apparently because it was narrated by Chairman Durandal.
  • Colony Drop: The Remnant of Patrick Zala's genocidal anti-Natural faction drop the wreckage of Junius 7 onto the Earth, resparking in full the war between the Alliance and ZAFT.
  • Combining Mecha: Impulse follows the basic Gundam mold by being made up of a top, bottom, and fighter plane acting as the cockpit. It can also combine mid-battle with its Silhouette Packs by way of having them brought out by a remote unit and then docking. Rey uses the concept to great effect in developing Shinn's strategy to defeat Kira.
  • Composite Character: Shinn is prety much one to both Amuro and Kamille. His Impulse is similar to The RX-78 Gundam - a Combining Mecha consisting of legs as one section, upper body as another, and Space Fighter/Meta Mecha cockpit as the torso, with a very similar red-with-gold-cross design for its shield. Shins' dub voice is Amuro's Zeta dub voice. Shin also has Wangst Unstoppable Rage due to suffering through a Trauma Conga Line, and romantic troubles with his enemy-cum-love interest just like Kamille.
    • Stella is Rosamia Badam, living Four Murasame's life.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The manga. The 50-episode series gets condensed into 4 volumes (19 chapters), and becomes incomprehensible at times due to the heavily rushed pacing.
    • Subverted with Gundam SEED Destiny the Edge. The manga focuses on the story from Athrun's point of view with some changes and additions similar to the movies.
  • Cool Car: The sports car Athrun is seen driving when he first returns to ORB, which appears to be some kind of cross between a Lamborghini and the Starship Enterprise.
  • Cool Ship: The Minerva in addition to the Archangel and Eternal making a return later on. There's also the Girty Lue, Neo's very cool assault carrier, which can turn invisible.
  • Corporal Punishment: Athrun beats on Shinn for disobeying orders after he attacks an OMNI base during the Lohengrin Gate mission, and then again after Shinn brags about killing Kira.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Shinn meets Stella this way. She crashes into him backwards, so Shinn ends up with two handfuls of flesh. Oops. Those Two Guys immediately ask him how it was.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Any fight involving the Strike Freedom and Infinite Justice.
  • Custom Uniform of Sexy: Female ZAFT Red Coats use the standard uniform with pants, but Lunamaria inexplicably wears a pink miniskirt. No one seems to mind.
  • Dead Star Walking: T.M. Revolution voices Heine Westenfluss, who dies rather quickly; his Miguel Aiman character did the same in Gundam SEED. This actually becomes a running gag, since Miguel was said to have had a Orange GINN. Guess what color Heine's GOUF was?
  • Decoy Protagonist: Shinn and Kira may both be this for Athrun.
    • Made more obvious in the compilation films and the manga Gundam SEED Destiny The Edge
  • Demoted to Extra: Fan favorites Yzak Joule and Dearka Elsman. Former secondary characters and Gundam pilots are reduced to piloting Elite Mook units and are only given limited roles.
  • Downer Beginning: We start the show off on a happy note with the protagonists family getting killed in what was considered one of the most brutal opening scenes of the franchise at the time of its airing.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Pretty much what happened to the Eurasian Federation. They are offhand mentioned as having been completely defeated by the Atlantic Federation within weeks.
  • Easily Forgiven: The Orb/Clyne Faction seems to forgive and allow to join anyone so long as they are sorry for fighting against them. Then again with the "cycle of hatred" being a major theme, this makes a certain amount of sense. The standout example is Kira meeting Shinn in the epilogue, and rather than express any kind of anger or disappointment at Shinn's actions throughout the series, merely offers his hand and invites Shinn to join him in protecting the world. Shinn breaks down in tears at this display of kindness.
  • Evil Is Bigger: The Earth Federation, and Blue Cosmos in particular, have a fixation on giant mobile armours, with the Destroy being the most obvious example of this.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Djibril is without a doubt the most over the top character in show, followed by Dirty Coward Yuna Roma.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Durandal probably counts, as his Destiny Plan effectively consists of assigning everyone to their "proper" lot in life via genetic analysis.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Between Djibril and Durandal, with the cast (not to mention the planet) caught in the middle.
  • False Soulmates: Played With. Athrun Zala and Cagalli Yula Athha apparently went down this path.
  • Expy: Though not to the degree of the original series' similarity to Mobile Suit Gundam, quite a few characters in Destiny bear resemblance to counterparts in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam:
    • Shinn Asuka is essentially the spiritual successor to Kamille Bidan, but without the latter's self-awareness or positive role models.
    • Kira Yamato continues to carry the torch of expy to Amuro Ray from the original series, living on Earth in seclusion at the start of the series and only reluctantly entering the conflict later on.
    • While Neo Roanoke is the traditional Char Clone of the series, Athrun Zala's role more closely follows Char as he was in Zeta. Like Char he operates under an assumed (and just as unconvincing) identity early on, eventually becoming a mentor figure of sorts for a younger pilot. He also frequently questions his role in the conflict, not living up to be the leader he has the potential to be.
  • Fighter-Launching Sequence: Gratuitously abused; the launch sequence combined with the combination sequence for the Impulse Gundam seemed blocked to eat the maximum possible amount of screen time.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Foreshadowing: In Athrun's second sortie (piloting the Infinite Justice) against Shinn (piloting the Destiny), he lops off the Destiny's sword hand (and along with it, its Anti-Ship Sword). Guess how the final battle of Athrun vs Shinn plays out against the latter's luck?
  • Fun with Acronyms: Many ZAFT mobile suits (though some are never explained), as well as ZAFTnote  itself, and the numerous Backronyms for GUNDAM. Of particular note is ZAKUnote , a double acronym. Most of them indulge in Gratuitous English.
  • Gainaxing: Mostly Meer, but several other female characters have that "bounce", too.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Stella's heartbreakingly adorable "I love you, Shinn" before she dies.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Lacus Clyne vs Gilbert Durandal vs Lord Djibril.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Explains the series. While there are lots of Alternate Character Interpretations, both in-universe and out, all of the characters have reasons for fighting, some with better motivation than others. Infact, the only truly (unquestionably) evil character in the series is Djibril.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: During his duel against Rey, Kira gives us the Oh Crap! look for all of two minutes.
  • He's Back: Neo Roanoke, a.k.a. Mu la Flaga. Cagalli and Kira too.
  • Hidden Buxom: Lacus, if the post-commercial intro is any indication. Perhaps Meer was more accurate body double than we thought?
  • Hot-Blooded: Shinn. Yzak is less so than in Seed, due to his Character Development.
  • Idiot Ball: According to some, it's given to whomever isn't the center of attention during any particular episode. Kira during the second quarter, Athrun during most of the third, and Shinn during the fourth and anytime someone else isn't.
  • I Just Want to Be You: Meer to Lacus.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: You got all day?
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Averted. The GINN High Maneuver Type IIs used by the zealots instigating the Colony Drop of Junius Seven carry katanas, but they are eventually outclassed by the beam weaponry of the ZAKUs sent to stop them.
  • Karma Houdini: Did anyone notice that Neo Roanoke never got questioned once for putting Stella in the Destroy, which led to uncountable deaths in Berlin, after he was rescued by the Archangel? May be justified as the people who capture him have no idea what he's done.
  • Kill the Cutie: Kira Yamato is forced to kill Stella Louissier to prevent any more tragic death of Berliners, much to the anger of Shinn.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: First half of GSD featured with Earth Alliance's transformable Gundam trio : ground combat Gaia (transform into dog-like mode), aquatic combat Abyss (transform into stingray-like mode), and aerial/space combat Chaos (transform into bird-like mode) representing land, sea, and sky respectively. The first two even bearing Meaningful Name.
  • Large Ham: Lord Djibril. Just read his page quote.
  • Latex Space Suit: The pilot suits.
  • Lighter and Softer: Only in comparison to its predecessor, as it's still darker than most of the other AU shows.
  • Mask Power: Neo Roanoake.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Pretty much the whole cast's reaction when the Destroy reveals that yes, it's a mobile suit, not a mobile armor.
  • Meaningful Name: Freedom vs Destiny. The Destiny Plan would result in a society without freedom.
    • It can also mean that devotion to follow your own destiny results in the loss of freedom to decide for your own.
    • Lost on many Western viewers is the significance of the Akatsuki's "Yata-no-Kagami" mirror coating's name. Namely that it is a reference to one of the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan which is frequently attributed various supernatural abilities. Further the suit's name means "Dawn" and according to legend the mirror was used to lure Amaterasu (aka the Goddess of the SUN) out of a cave. Explains the appearance of the suit as well.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Every named pilot that's not dead by mid-season gets a new machine.
  • Modesty Towel: Invoked by Meyrin to ensure that the ZAFT soldiers looking for a runaway Athrun are Distracted by the Sexy. She wasn't even naked under the towel!
  • Music for Courage: Lacus sings for the children she takes care of during the Break The World catastrophe. This is also part of the point behind Durandal's plan to have Meer impersonate Lacus.
  • Mythology Gag: Numerous!
    • Many of the mecha designs are based on mobile suits from earlier Gundam shows. The Impulse has quite a few similarities to the RX-78-2 Gundam, what with being a Combining Mecha consisting of legs as one section, upper body as another, and Space Fighter/Meta Mecha cockpit as the torso, and a very similar red-with-gold-cross design for its shield. The ZAKU, GOUF, and DOM aren't even subtle about it, using the same names as their Mobile Suit Gundam counterparts (with added acronyms). The Akatsuki, Destroy Gundam, and BABI are also very similar to Zeta Gundam's Hyaku-Shiki, Psyco Gundam, and Hambrabi, respectively.
    • Athrun's first mobile suit after rejoining ZAFT is the Saviour. In a bit of Discontinuity Nod and Take That, the way Athrun was defeated by Kira (piloting the Freedom) led to the fan-made term "Savioured".
    • The Destroy Gundam is basically a combination of the Psycho Gundam and the Big Zam.
    • The Strike Freedom's design is reminiscent of the Hi-Nu Gundam (which appeared in the novel version of Char's Counterattack).
    • Since they were already reusing GOUF and ZAKU, they couldn't resist having Heine (in a GOUF) use Ramba Ral's classic "This is no Zaku, boy! No Zaku!" line from Mobile Suit Gundam. The battle between Heine and Stella in general is very similar, down to camera angles in some instances.
    • In reference to Mobile Suit Gundam's Kai Shiden making a cameo appearance in Zeta Gundam as an investigative reporter, Miriallia (a character from Gundam SEED) first shows up in Destiny as a photojournalist. The two characters are otherwise completely dissimilar.
    • At one point, they used a piece of stock footage from Gundam SEED's Strike Gundam in place of the Impulse. Since it was nearly a Freeze-Frame Bonus, it's generally assumed to be an in-joke by the staff rather than a genuine mistake.
    • Kira disabling 25 ZAKUs and GOUFs in under three minutes were a deliberate nod to Amuro destroying nine Rick Doms in under three minutes.
    • Neo Roanoke's mask was designed after Zechs Merquise's mask. Interestingly, they were both voiced by Takehito Koyasu.
    • Copernicus City (in episode 46) is designed after the city Gaingnham, which appeared in Turn A Gundam.
    • There's a trio of ZAFT pilots who use black DOM suits, just like the Black Tri-Stars unit from Mobile Suit Gundam. They even do the Jet Stream Attack.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Nice job getting Kira to come out of retirement after a failed assassination attempt on his girlfriend, Durandal.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: Despite getting it's butt kicked in the previous series, Blue Cosmos remains a dangerous and influential threat. LOGOS is also this considering that Blue Cosmos was merely a catspaw for them. And of course, the Clyne Faction/Three Ships Alliance. from the previous series.
  • No-One Could Survive That: Kira and the Freedom's explosion and Athrun and Meyrin when their GOUF was totaled by Shinn.
  • Nuke 'em: The Earth Forces' try to do this to ZAFT again.
  • Number of the Beast: Rey's Gundam, the ZGMF-X666S Legend.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: It seems the quickest way for someone to get back on board the Archangel is to get in a mobile suit and let Shinn impale it with his BFS. By the looks of it, you only run a one-in-three chance of getting any injuries.
  • Older and Wiser: The original SEED cast. The "wiser" part is disputed between the fandom and hatedom.
  • Once an Episode: If a battle spans more than 1 episode, all Mobile Suits will return to their ship by the end of one episode, only to launch again in the next. Also, every episode has at least one Gundam sortie. Except when they forget it in one, and make up for it by having 4 or 5 sortie in the next episode.
  • One-Man Army: Kira, Athrun, Shinn, Stella in the Destroy, and Neo in the Akatsuki.
  • Only Six Faces
  • Organ Dodge: Andrew Waltfeld does the prosthetic limb version, blocking a knife with his arm and then revealing the gun hidden underneath to finish off the attacker. The damage from the knife doesn't appear to do more than cosmetic damage to the prosthetic either.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Athrun's "Alex Dino" identity at the beginning of SEED: Destiny.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Athrun carrying Meer, and Shinn carrying Stella.
  • Posthumous Character: A few of the deceased SEED cast serve this role, including Rau Le Creuset, who may or may not be a hallucination.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The view many fans (and Shinn's voice actor) take to its handling in the Super Robot Wars games. Super Robot Wars Z in particular is seen as one of the best versions of the story, although Fukuda himself was less than happy.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the English dub, Lunamaria says "Oh fuck" upon being told that they're going to have to fight underwater, where her Weapon of Choice beam cannon is no good.
    • Also, in Phase 12, as well as the first TV Movie, Shinn says, "Aww, shit!" when a Zamza-Zah grabs Impulse's leg. You can see it here.
  • Praetorian Guard: FAITH (Fast Acting Integrated Tactical Headquarters), a ZAFT elite force that only answers to Durandal, and which many of the protagonists are members. While they're not the Chairman's bodyguards full-time, they do end up protecting him during the Armory One attack, and serving him during the Battle of Messiah.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Phantom Pain.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Shinn.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Lord Djibril is an in-universe example, lacking the charisma and intelligence of his predecessor, Muruta Azrael.
  • Retcon: A Flash Back at the beginning of the 1st episode implies that Kira may have accidentally killed the Asuka family. Later on, another Flash Back clearly shows that Kira was not at fault. However, they are inconsistent with one another.
    • Actually, the official cause of death of Shinn's family was that they were caught in a crossfire between the Freedom and Calamity, which was restored in TV Movie 1.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Djibril is occasionally seen stroking a cat while contemplating acts of villainy that have been set into motion.
  • Take a Third Option: The leftover members of the Three Ship Alliance take this route when they determine that both ZAFT and ORB are heading towards less than ideal futures.
  • Say My Name: Athrun's agonized cry when Kira is apparently killed in his climactic duel with Shinn. The English version is especially gut-wrenching.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: In one battle, Shinn breaks off combat in order to free civilian prisoners of the Alliance; when Athrun administers Corporal Punishment afterwards, Shinn responds with this trope.
  • Ship Sinking:
    • Athrun/Cagalli, much to the rage of many a rabid shipper (with the rage being greatly enhanced by unconfirmed rumors that it happened due to the writers not getting along with Cagalli's voice actress, Naomi Shindo).
      • Much of the debate caused by this is over confusion on whether or not they really were subjected to Ship Sinking, given that rumors and alleged interviews have given off widely different opinions on it, with one interview by Morosawa being confirmed as fake. There's also the fact that the two are always depicted together, along with Kira/Lacus and Shinn/Lunamaria in the opening and ending animations.
    • The Special Editions try to stress that Shinn viewed Stella entirely as a surrogate sister and nothing more, which some fans consider Blatant Lies given their first and second encounters.
    • After Miriallia rejoins the crew of the Archangel, someone asks her what happened to Dearka. Her response is that she dumped him. Shippers everywhere were outraged.
  • Shout-Out: There are numerous references to Future GPX Cyber Formula, the series that put director Mitsuo Fukuda on the map; this includes shots in the opening lifted frame-for-frame from Future GPX Cyber Formula SAGA and SIN, as well as several SEED characters driving the same cars and motorcycles featured in the earlier show. At one point, a leaked sketch of the Strike Freedom lead fans to believe that the Mid-Season Upgrade Gundams would have Theme Naming shout outs (IE "Knight Justice", "Sin Providence"). Here are some of the comparison shots between the two series.
    • Take a good look at Durandal's chair and the window behind it on the Messiah space station. They are very similar to the ones in the Emperor's throne room on the second Death Star.
    • In episode #9, there's a brief mention of the EAF ship "Netanyahu", named most likely after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: Athrun's Mid-Season Upgrade, Infinite Justice, is named after "Operation Infinite Justice", the original name for "Operation Enduring Freedom". Likewise, Kira's Freedom is likely named after "Operation Enduring Freedom". Finally, Kira's Strike Freedom is named after his two previous mobile suits, the Strike and the Freedom.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The nightmarish images of the Junius Seven Colony Drop set against Lacus's "Fields of Hope".
    • Also the triumphant baroque symphony that plays as the Alliance is launching nukes at the PLANTS.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Kira objects!
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Not as bad as many Gundam series, but the fansubs had fun with Gilbert Durandal/Durandel/Dullindel/etc, apparently not getting the reference.
  • Spoiler Opening: The second opening shows us that Mu La Flaga survived before it was even close to being revealed.
  • State Sec: Downplayed with Phantom Pain. Though having personnel of the Earth Alliance military, the special ops group was controlled by Blue Cosmos and LOGOS .
  • Stock Footage: There is so much reused footage in this series, especially towards the end, that it actually earned the director the derogatory nickname of Mitsuo "Flashback 'Em All" Fukuda. To make matters worse, some of footage came from its prequel.
  • Strange Salute: ZAFT military.
  • Stripperiffic: Meer's outfits.
  • Super Mode: SEED Mode, the ill-explained phenomenon that turns random people's piloting abilities Up to Eleven via a psychedelic vision of a seed exploding and Mind-Control Eyes.
  • Taking the Bullet: Poor Meer dies as she takes a bullet meant for Lacus.
  • The Abridged Series: One on Youtube, plus The Typical Gundam SEED Destiny.
  • The Reveal: A rather understated (and generally unsurprising) one concerning Rey's origins. Another regarding the true purpose of the Destiny Plan.
  • Theme Naming: Most of the Minerva's weapons are named after Wagner operas.
  • Transformation Sequence: Impulse Gundam's launch sequence, debuting with a music track lasting well over a minute.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Savior, Chaos, Gaia, and Abyss Gundams all transform into various Mobile Armor forms (ironically, the Impulse is more of a Combining Mecha), as do several other ZAFT designs.
  • Trigger Phrase: The Phantom Pain pilots have at least two; one that acts as a Berserk Button and one that calms them back down again. They're seen using them on each other occasionally. Shinn accidentally uses both on Stella when they first meet.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Shinn, Rey, and Lunamaria and Sting, Auel, and Stella. Meyrin and Those Two Guys from the Minerva may also count.
  • Tyke Bomb: All three Extendeds.
  • The Unreveal: We never learn whether the Asuka family was killed by a stray shot from Kira, the Druggies, or something else entirely.
  • Unwanted Harem: At its peak point in the series, there are no less than four hot young women who are vying for Athrun's attention.
  • UST: in the last episodes, Cagalli has removed Athrun's ring, while she still wore it when they fought on opposing sides.
  • Villainous Legacy: The damage that Rau Le Creuset and his Unwitting Pawns Patrick Zala and Muruta Azrael did in the original series, has yet to be undone by this point. Azrael's successor, Djibril, has picked up where he left off, Zala faction loyalists continue to launch terrorist strikes against ZAFT and the EA alike, and the current Big Bad and his Dragon (both of whom were left philosophically shattered by Le Creuset) are motivated solely by the desire to make sure that nobody like Le Creuset can ever succeed again.
  • Villains Never Lie: Gilbert Durandal pulls this off with his speeches of good doing in the beginning.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Tannhauser and Lohengrin positron cannons affixed to the Minerva and Archangel, respectively. The Destroy has one that it combines with Beam Spam. The Requiem is another example, albeit turned Up to Eleven. Messiah Base also features Neo-Genesis, a scaled down version of the Genesis from the first series as part of its defences.
  • Weapons Of Mass Destruction: The nukes, the Requiem, Neo-Genesis, and the Destroy all count.
  • Wedding Smashers: Kira crashes Cagalli and Yuna's wedding to kidnap/rescue her. Cagalli is not amused, at least initially.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Dearka and Athrun returned to ZAFT despite defecting in the last war. Dearka at least gets busted down from Rednote  to Greennote  and apparently isn't allowed Ace Custom colors for his ZAKU until the very end of the series.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Shinn pretty much blames all that happened at Orb on Cagalli, and he isn't exactly subtle about revealing his opinions. In fact, Shinn calls out Cagalli so much it's nearly a Once per Episode deal.
    • Kira also gets called out twice by Athrun for trying to communicate with Orb stating he is just making the battlefield worse. Although even Kira thinks he is wrong in the Special Edition he notes that this is the only thing he can do whereas in the TV series Murrue supports him.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Stella once she's forced into the Destroy Gundam. She starts tearing up the countryside, blowing up cities and killing scores of people... because they scare her. Rau Le Creuset's status as such is also brought up again in the flashback episodes.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: A very unusual version. The rights to the Gundam anime and the MSVnote  design series are separate from one another; to get around this, Destiny introduces the Forbidden Vortex and Geo-GooHn, based off of two MSV machinesnote  but changed just enough so they don't have to pay extra for the use.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess / Gambit Roulette: Whether you think Durandal is behind everything (including the Colony Drop, the attack on Lacus et al) that happens in the series or is just very good at altering his plans to take advantage of events as they occur has a lot to do with whether you think he's a villain or not.
  • Zen Survivor: The original characters from SEED, especially Athrun to the Minerva's pilots.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Lunamaria, thanks to her custom miniskirt. Meer Campbell, though just once.

Alternative Title(s): Gundam Seed Destiny

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/MobileSUitGundamSeedDestiny