Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Vol 3 & Vol 4 : 4 of 5
After enjoying the first two volumes of this series so much, I had intended to continue watching it right away, but for some reason Volume 3 was delayed on Netflix for a long time! Finally it became available, and I immediately watched the whole thing, as well as Volume 4, and this series just keeps getting better (no wonder it has so many fans.). Of course, there are tons of amazing Mobile Suit battles to enjoy, both in space as well as on Earth, since the plot takes the Archangel back home. The huge confrontation during the reentry into Earth's atmosphere is unbelievably exciting (some of the best battle anime, which can sometimes get boring and predictable, that I've ever seen!), and the tragic destruction of the civilian shuttle was totally shocking. That brings me to Gundam SEED's next strength, which is the intense emotions and character development! Kira begins to be consumed by his obligation to protect everyone, fueled by the bizarre manipulations of Flay, who I'm beginning to trust less with each moment. Even the rest of the child crew of the Archangel really begin to grow when they decide to officially join the military because they feel the need to help end the war. This excellent characterization also carries over to the ZAFT side of the conflict, as we begin to understand Le Creuset a little more, as well as the new enemy on Earth, the Desert Tiger (who seems to have a conscience, plus an obsession with coffee!). I'm really enjoying the music, too - a second opening theme is introduced in these episodes, and I like how the closing theme begins before the last scene ends. So far Gundam SEED has succeeded in being thrilling yet "serious" at the same time, so I can't wait to see what happens next!