In the war between the Naturals (OMNI) and the Coordinators (ZAFT), a unit of ZAFT is dispatched to hijack some newly developed mobile suits from a Natural colony on Earth. It is there that young Kira Yamato attends technical college and during the chaos of the attack, happens across the last mobile suit, Strike, that ZAFT hasn’t gotten to yet. In order to protect his friends, he pilots it. During the fight, he also happens across his childhood friend, Athrun, who is now part of ZAFT. Despairing over the prospect of fighting his Athrun, but also wanting to protect his new friends, Kira is thrown into the intergalactic war.
As the first taste of the Gundam universe for many anime fans, Gundam SEED often has a fond place in their hearts. Whether you are a long-time mecha fan or just need something else to watch, try out these anime recommendations.
For Fans of Friends Turned Enemies
The Holy Empire of Britannia has established itself as the dominant military nation, starting after their conquest of Japan, now named Area 11. Under Britannia’s tyranny, a number of resistance groups rose up to fight for their freedom. Enter Lelouch Lamerouge, the exiled prince of Britannia who has been sent to live in Japan. One day, after finding himself caught in the crossfire in a battle between Britannia and insurgents, Lelouch is able to escape with his life after meeting C.C., a mysterious girl who grants him the power of absolute obedience.
Both Code Geass and Gundam SEED focus on the continued conflict between different nations with two childhood friends ending up on different sides. Combat is often less “pew pew pew” and more about tactics, but both feature some excellently done fast-paced scenes. If you enjoyed the nice mix of character relations, drama, and mech fights in Gundam SEED, it is natural you would enjoy Code Geass as all.
There is an impending war between the Kingdom of Krisna and the nation of Athens. Both nations are able to use quartz for whatever purpose they desire. However, Rygart Arrow is one of the rare few unable to use it. Yet, by not being able to use the magic of quartz, it does enable him to pilot an ancient golem, one strong enough to stand against invading armies.
Although Break Blade is a series of movies and it has some more fantasy elements, there are moments when watching that its combat clearly mirrors Gundam SEED, right down to the trope of two friends fighting for the opposite side.
In the distant future, Kouji Aiba and Aoi Housen are training to be astronauts in the Liebe Delta. However, when saboteurs strike the station while the kids are on a dive procedure, the space station plummets into a plasma field linking the planets. With all the adults on board killed, it is up to the young astronauts-in-training to make the journey home and deal with the growing tension between them.
Although Infinite Ryvius takes place inside a space ship for the most part, if you enjoyed Gundam SEED for the copious amount of drama that takes place throughout the series, Ryvius has it in spades. It doesn’t take long for unsupervised young people to start getting a little warped.
For Fans of Space Politics
Upon the discovery of a hypergate on the moon that could teleport humans to Mars, humanity became split. After years of warfare, an uneasy peace was forged between Martians and Terrans until the Martian princess was assassinated on Earth. Inaho Kaizuka, a high schooler who witnessed the assassination, suddenly finds himself pulled into this interplanetary conflict.
Aldnoah and Gundam SEED have more in common than just mechs. Throughout the series, both tend to get a bit convoluted, but SEED at least finishes strong while Aldnoah squanders its great potential for political intrigue. Despite the shortcomings, if you like Gundam SEED for its politics, there is still something to enjoy in this series.
Valvrave the Liberator
Humanity has expanded their reach far into the stars, with three primary nations vying for ultimate control. Valvrave follows Haruto Tokishima after his life is turned upside down by an invasion by a rival nation. To liberate his home, Haruto and his classmates are willing to sacrifice everything to protect their home.
Despite the fact that they are both made by Sunrise, both Gundam SEED and Valvrave focus on the war between two sides to gain dominance over the other. They even start off in almost the exact same way with a young man in education stumbling on to a powerful machine.
Metal Armor Dragonar
In 2087, the United Lunar Empire Giganos wages war one the Earth Federation to take control of the planet and commence the rebirth of the human race. During one such invasion, three men stumble onto a top-secret Metal Armor units called Dragonars and take it upon themselves to pilot them for the sake of their people.
As Gundam SEED is seen as a re-imagining for the first Gundam, Dragnoar has that same sort of inspiration it seems. While its plot is simpler, it has a strong focus on politics, combat, and drama that make it a great watch if you are an old school Gundam fan. However, while SEED is more angsty, Dragonar often takes a more silly approach to its non-combat scenes.
For Fans of Humans Versus Genetically Different Somewhat Humans
Crest of the Stars
The story follows Jinto, whose world was taken over by the largest empire in the galaxy: the Abh. Jinto’s father, the planet’s prime minister, handed their world over to the Abh in exchange for a standing in the Abh Empire. As a result, Jinto became a prince and was shipped off for an Abh Education. There he meets a princess of the Abh Empire, Lafiel, whom he quickly befriends despite her cold exterior.
Like Gundam SEED, Crest of the Stars starts off with a young man in education until events happen that send him traveling across the galaxy often in fear for his life. However, the difference here is that this show is less about mech combat and more about intergalactic politics.
Martian Successor Nadesico
Despite growing up on a healthy diet of Mecha anime and living on Mars, Akito doesn’t want to fight. He wants to cook. However, when Jovian Lizards come to attack his colony, he finds himself mysteriously transported back to Earth. There he meets Yurika, the captain of the space battleship Nadesico. She takes him on as a cook and backup pilot. While the ship is filled with seemly misfits and weirdoes, they are all hand-picked, highly qualified experts, Akito included.
Both series star a guy who dislikes battle. However, Akito isn’t even remotely as annoyingly despairing about it a Kira, so that is a plus right there. While both shows feature some pretty awesome combat, obviously Nadesico keeps things on the lighter side.
Cross Ange: Rondo of Angel and Dragons
For Princess Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi, her kingdom knew unprecedented prosperity thanks to the use of an element called mana. However, her royal life is shattered when it is found out that Angelise is a norma, those resistant to mana’s effects. She is arrested and removed from society, whisked away to a prison camp with the rest of the norma. Using a giant robotic vehicle to work, this fallen princess must not only learn how to survive her new life, but fight off the dragons that threaten her new peers.
Both series place heavy focus on humans discriminating against a slightly different group of humans that they feel are inferior. However, while Cross Ange isn’t taking place on an intergalactic scale, it does feature some great mech combat that is made even more entertaining with its slight fantasy touches.
Did we skip any better or equally good anime recommendations for Gundam SEED? Let us know in the comments section below.