Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

5 August 2006: Gundam SEED Destiny Special Edition II

Alas, the "Meyrin thinks she's fat," the Hawke shower gossip-o-rama, the "waking up with Meer," and the Meer concert scenes were all cut from the second Gundam SEED Destiny compilation movie. Well, parts of the Meer concert made it into the high-speed Meer montage and Athrun voiceover segment. On the one hand, it's kind of a pity because those bits were TOP FUEL HILARITY.

The Woe of Meyrin
Meyrin misses her chance.

On the other hand, it makes sense that those cut scenes were omitted because nearly everything that could be construed as filler (and there was a damn lot of filler mid-season) was dropped from the second compilation movie. The second "Special Edition" movie is mostly aggression and fighting (the final 30 minutes consist almost entirely of fight scenes), and briskly moves through the most laggard part of Gundam SEED Destiny.

If the term "Special Edition" evokes images of Lucas-esque revisionist filmmaking, it should. There is some hard core retconning in the second movie—substantially more than there was in the first one. For example, as expected, the wedding/kidnapping bit was edited to make it look like the whole mess was Cagalli's fault. (Well, it really was, but the series at least tried not to make it appear that way.) You almost feel sorry for Jona, who doesn't even look like a douchebag or a coward.

Anger leads to hate.

The most substantive changes were clearly orchestrated to hilight the Shinn + Lunamaria and Athrun + Meyrin end games. The scene where Lunamaria creams her panties over Athrun's new Gundam is gone, naturally. (Athrun just blows by Lunamaria, ignoring her completely, and she gives a small frown.) But most significantly, Shinn's wild night with Stellar was largely redone to remove Athrun from their rescue entirely. Now, it is Lunamaria that comes to retrieve them from the cave. Stellar's reunion with Sting and Auel is much the same, except Athrun has been replaced with Lunamaria. There's even a bit where Lunamaria displays jealousy over Shinn's attention to Stellar.

Athrun is surprised by Shinn's predicament.

Lunamaria is surprised by Shinn's sexy predicament.

Athrun checks on the rescued couple.

Lunamaria checks on the rescued couple with suspicion.

Stellar, Athrun, and Shinn
Stellar, Athrun, and Shinn.

Stellar, Lunamaria, and Shinn
Stellar, Lunamaria, and Shinn.

Athrun, Stellar, and Shinn
Athrun waits for Shinn to say his goodbyes to Stellar.

Sting, Lunamaria, Stellar, and Shinn
Lunamaria waits for Shinn to say his goodbyes to Stellar...

Sting, Lunamaria, and Stellar

The few Athrun-mentoring-Shinn scenes are also gone. Their relationship is almost entirely adversarial, now, although Athrun is shown protecting Impulse in a number of fight scenes.

Most welcome are the changes that make Kira appear less heroic. Freedom's intro music in the Big Meddlin' Battle sounds much less heroic, and the editing makes Kira and Cagalli look like jackasses—Cagalli particularly, since the cuts give the impression that Kira's intervention came at her direction instead of the Archangel crew's mutual agreement. It was tough to pull off, but Jona even manages to retain most of his dignity in the sequence.

Oh, and there are new bits showing Kira working on a Haro, and a shot of Lacus' bare ass. And new dogfighting scenes for Saviour. (Thank God it's not all just stock footage anymore.)

Meyrin, Athrun, and Lunamaria
Meyrin's shameless flirting...gone.

There aren't any new Athrun + Meyrin bonding scenes, but the second movie does retain some of Meyrin's shy stalking scenes—they weren't all cut. It's a pity her playacting from the Meer concert is gone, though.

Overall, there is not enough to fully establish an Athrun + Meyrin romance, but the retconning sets a better foundation for potential exploration (and exploitation) in a possible sequel.

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