So, the other day I was thinking about rewatching Gundam SEED. Before I pulled my Gundam SEED DVDs out, I did a quick search online about it and seen a new version, Gundam Seed Remastered, is now out. Now, for those who remember, Gundam SEED was released in 2002 when all anime wasn’t widescreen and not in high def, even though it was one of the most breathtakingly beautiful animes of the time. So, having it remastered into widescreen would make it a lot more tolerable to watch on my big TV, right?
Nope. I viewed a few episodes and I almost got sick from how they stretched it out. It was almost if you forced an aspect ratio change. Let me tell you, I love Gundam SEED, but I don’t love seeing Mwu’s face stretched across the entire screen. There are some really good remasters that either redraw the entire anime or remaster it properly (Dragonball Z Kai) while others that just totally destroy it. In this case, they did a horrible job. Now, when I say horrible, I mean it’s still okay, but there are times you’ll have a double take when someone’s face is too long or too big.
Now, aspect ratio aside, they have been doing a fantastic job of touching up the quality. The original was, of course, produced in 2002 when post processing was limited to maybe clearing it up a bit. In this case, the colors are a lot more vibrant and the overall anime is clean. That doesn’t help, of course, when someone’s face is distorted from the horrible stretching.
Let’s best honest though, this is Gundam and the point of Gundam is to, of course, sell toys. They’ve got the molds and the toys, so reairing the series and touching it up a bit drums up interest in Strike Freedom kits and action figures. That’s the point of Gundam and will always be the point, and Gundam SEED as as series suffered horribly from it. Considering that the original X105 Strike unit had AILE STRIKE, SWORD STRIKE, LAUNCHER STRIKE, and a few others is just proof positive that they were going for the toys hard and fast. I don’t remember if Gundam 00 suffered from such obvious toy marketing, but yeah.
That’s pretty much it. If you’ve got the old Gundam SEED DVDs then don’t bother with the remastered version. Whenever they launch it here in the states and, if you’re a hardcore fan, consider picking it up on BLU-Ray, but otherwise don’t bother. The quality is much better and cleaner, but the aspect ratio switch is dizzying and off-putting.