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I finally found time to watch it. I mean it was not easy. The first part of the first ep of the Special Edition was out on torrent only a few days after it aired, but it took me significantly longer to get my hands on the second part. And after I finally downloaded it about two weeks back, I suffered lack of free time to sit down and watch it.

I normally don't blog anime that has not been subbed, not because I don't watch raws, but rather because I am aware that my Japanese leaves to desire better. But I think that there's not much left that I'll find hard to understand considering that I've seen the series (three times).

And one can say that I am still blogging a subbed version of the GSD SE 01, since the version of ep 01 part 02 I found was subbed in Chinese. But enough about that and let me say something about the compilation of the first part of the series, which covers eps 01 through 13.

I am not going to retell the story, I don't expect that someone who has not seen the series would care for the SE. So instead I'll just mention some differences and what I think of the result of Fukuda & team's work.

Some random comments in no particular order follow:

I really wondered whether I have to start with the most stunning change or save it for dessert, but eventually I decided on the former. So brase for the shock to come!…

Ok, are you ready?

The most shocking, stunning, panties-twisting change is that Kira I-have-only-one-facial-expression-in-GSD Yamato, shows some emotions and on a few occasions. Yes, I was impressed just as much as probly you are right now. 🙂 Ok, joking aside. This was necessary. If they needed Kira as a main character (we'll see whether he knocks off Shinn from the leading male spot later on or they worked on that too) they should at least make him more like the Gundam SEED Kira we all loved.

But that is of course if I am not seeing thinds that are not there, just I wish they were. 

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We have less of Shinn's hysterics against Cagalli which I regard as a plus in terms of what is to happen to him in the future. This will help him save some face. Not that I won't welcome any change in his portrayl that will show him mature and grow and not remain the same annoying anger-driven "Die already!"-shouting brat.

But no one thought to edit the scene where Shinn in Core Splendor flies right around Sting. Duh, Do I need to say more?

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The voice acting was distressing. Everyone sounded different and unfortunately the change was not for the better. I suppose it could very well be me, but let's face it. Most of us who saw the show to the ridiculous and rushed end have grown used to hearing the voices of the charaters sound in a particular way, so this is just a no-no. Ok, there was some bad voice-acting in the Final Plus too (imho), but it is by far worse now.

The animation seemed bad to me, but this could be due to the rather pathetic quality of the version I got, so this is arguable, I guess. That would also explain the bad screenshots.

Something that pierced me right through the heart is the change in the Athrun x Cagalli scene just before he leaves for PLANT. While in the original series he gave her a ring blushing cutely and later they parted with a kiss on the lips, this time there was no blush and the kiss was on the cheek. I wonder what has now popped in the absolutely unfathomable brains of the screenwrites. Do they really need to make the AsuCaga love story, which had its fair share of supporters (me included), into a complete laughingstock? And does this mean they'll promote the AsuMeyrin relationship later on (I hope not)?

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Other changes include the lack of the block-words for the EAF Extended pilots. I would gladly welcome a less air-headed Stellar. I would actually welcome no Stellar at all, since I still have nightmares of her repeating "Ashita, ne? Ashita!", but that is hardly possible. Just make her less significant and if the beach fanservice scene between her and Shinn is cut out I'll only be glad.

Also for some reason there was a change in the Rey x Neo Newtype reaction to each other. While in the original series when those two first met on the battlefield, we got a Newtype reaction from each of them to the presence of the other, this time only Rey was shown with the small white lightening. I wonder if this has some meaning for the further development of the SE version, or was it one of those completely random changes that serve nothing more than make the fans look for a deeper meaning that's not there at all. I guess that we will find out in the future eps of the SE.

There's also the (rumored) promised in advance change in the first meeting between Kira and Shinn, which is not that big of a change really but whatever. The only change I saw was in the background, but it can again be due to the bad video quality. No change in the lines though. Anyway, I am putting the screenshots and anyone can judge for themselves.

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During the first battle between the Minerva and the EAF forces that got later supported by the ORB fleet, and ultimately Shinn's first SEED-braking there was a song. I guess they are trying to give this so-called-main-character a theme song (wow, you really remembered to do it). It's not something new – it's T.M. Revolution's Zips, bit for me it somehow suits Shinn and I liked the sequence between the song rhythm and the animation. So this was a good idea in my oppinion. And the battle itself looked very well – fast-paced, dynamic and thrilling.

The attempted murder of the pink-haired Hime-sama was also slightly changed. The greatest hero of all is still Pink-chan (Athrun must get a Nobel prize for inventing the best security alarm ever), who first notices that someone is trying to shoot Lacus and warns everone, so Kira jumps and takes his beloved songstress out of the way of the bullet (how melodramatic, ne?).

And while on the topic of music, I have to mention the complete lack of OP and the relative lack of ED. When I say no OP, I mean no OP single and no OP sequence. I suppose that for the sake of saving precious minutes this makes perfect sense, but I still prefer having an OP.

And on the matter of the ED, I mean that we get the titles on the background of Shinn's glorious return to the battle-tired Minerva to be greated and flatered (and have his ego as the best pilot boosted to hights never seen prior to that).

I am not a great fan of Tamaki Nami's Result. I didn't really like the song when I first heard it even before the SE aired, but I though that it might grow on me or just suit the ED sequence (which as I said does not exist) well , but none of this happened. Sad really. One of the best points about GSD in general was the superb music it had/has – I refer to both OP's/ED's and BGM. But this is not that much of a let-down for me.

Any way in conclusion, I'd say that the SE is not bad, considering it has to compress 13 eps into 90 minutes. Still I'd rather watch the series.

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