Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Vol 9 & Vol 10 : 4 of 5
The last two volumes of this awesome anime series contain the final 10 episodes (which brings the total episode count to 50), but the time absolutely flew by while watching them since I was glued to the TV! The plot completes the move from Earth back to space, which means lots of zero gravity tears and blood (as well as cool character floating that I enjoyed in the early episodes). The war is fought between three sides at this point: the Earth forces (the Naturals), ZAFT (the Coordinators), and the rebels, now lead by Lacus Cline who has transformed into an incredibly strong person, inspiring her soldiers to fight for true peace. Athrun decides he has to talk to his father (who happens to lead the ZAFT army) about his new understanding of the war (not a pleasant conversation), and at the same time Mu La Flaga discovers some devastating news about his relationship to Le Creuset, who totally becomes the ultimate villain with the one goal of wiping out humanity (he even uses poor Flay to deliver data that causes the war to escalate to horrific lengths)! These episodes are jam-packed with huge battles between giant fleets, thousands of mobile suits (including the reckless Calamity, Forbidden, and Raider), as well as monster-sized weapons, but the series still manages to keep the intimate emotions of the main characters in the forefront. Unfortunately, there's quite a bit of animation recycling going on in these battles - normally this doesn't bother me, but there was one particular sequence of a mobile suit pilot that kept showing up over and over! But that's only a minor complaint - Mobile Suit Gundam SEED is so much more than animation alone. It tells an incredible tale of how love can survive in the midst of war, eventually making a way for peace to reign. This anime was so cool that as soon as the last episode was over I had to order my first Gundam model kit (a new level of geekdom for me), and I can't wait to move on to the next Gundam series!