Once again we come to another design from the Cosmic Era, and again, it’s one I’m rather mixed on. I know I seem to say that with a lot of suits from SEED but honestly it’s true. They might have elements that I find really awesome or really appealing but in the end there’s always a silly detail that just keeps it from being a suit I can really attach to. It could be anything from a rehashed design, a stupid weapon, or the common problem everyone loves to make fun of SEED suits for: The gigantic backpacks.
The Justice Gundam is probably one of the WORST offenders of that last problem. It doesn’t COMPLETELY kill the design but it really keeps me from taking it seriously. This thing is a major hindrance and it doesn’t properly translate all of the gimmicks, which really hurts its functionality.
The biggest issue with the backpack is how it relates to the head. As you can see, this thing’s head is pretty distinct, and one of my favorite parts of the suit. I love the lack of the “face lines” and the giant main camera and V-fin are both really cool, even if they are just lifted from its predecessor Aegis Gundam’s design. However, the giant V-fin is one of the main sources of the problem-you can’t swing the backpack down without taking the head off first! Really, I’m not sure who to blame here, but I think this is the designer’s fault-why make something as simple as a weapons platform that swings down so silly? Worst of all, the 1/100 scale kit seems to suffer from the same problem.
The backpack itself is detachable via a polycap joint, and if you wanted to be more “realistic” and take it off and rearrange it with the head still on, it just won’t work. When the backpack is detached, it works as a weapon platform. I say “works” in one of the loosest contexts possible. As you can see, it’s… way too small, but it was clearly designed for such a purpose. The holes that the feet are supposed to plug into are way too small. But wait, that can’t be right… it clearly matches the lineart! BUT WAIT! It was even seen flying on this in the animation! That can only mean one thing-they used this gimmick just to cheat us. Big surprise there.
It’s a shame, really, because it almost had a cool G-Fighter gimmick, like the original Gundam. It’s a gimmick I really like, but really, what’s the point of having a gimmick like this, if it won’t even be utilized properly?
All ranting about the backpack aside, it’s actually a cool design and a decent kit. I might kitbash it with a different backpack and color scheme to make it a bit more unique. It makes several improvements over the SEED kits released at the time, specifically with the beam sabers-unlike its partner the Freedom Gundam, it has “traditional” sabers (hilt plus translucent blade) instead of the stupid hand/sword combo.
It has a sword connection port similar to most modern HGUC kits, but doesn’t use a polycap. This actually allows it to be used on either arm, but it would probably scratch any paint off the surface if done repeatedly. However, it only includes one set of hands which is actually a really good thing, you can put the gun in either hand, and it won’t look awkward because the sight is located at the top instead of the side. This way you can make the suit go left-handed! The gun even stores on the kit’s rear.
Overall, Justice Gundam is, for the most part, your average SEED kit. Its major issue stems from the ridiculous backpack/weapons platform that doesn’t do its job. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone that wasn’t a diehard SEED fan or a completist. If you are either one of those people, drop in and look for one, or better yet, get something awesome, like a crazy three-headed BuCUE!