Gundam SEED 24 did it much better between Cagalli and Athrun.
A recap of what happened in Gundam SEED 24: Cagalli the princess from the nation of Orb and Athrun the Gundam ace pilot from Z.A.F.T were both enemies and strangers. On a sortie over the sea, both Cagalli’s jet fighter and Athrun’s Gundam malfunctioned, resulting in both stranded on a small deserted island, unable to communicate for rescue, and wary of each other.
Their first contact was fierce, but Athrun easily overpowered Cagalli and pinned her down. As he was about to deliver the fatal blow, she let out a high pitch scream that triggered to him that his enemy was a girl instead. Athrun rescinded his offense but tied her up, and went to attend to his Gundam.
As evening came, so did the rain. And this was where the first fun moment began. Cagalli fell into a puddle of water becoming soaking wet. Athrun, having a soft heart for girls, extended his Gundam shield as cover and cut her loose. As they started talking on a more friendly terms, Athrun pointed out to Cagalli a small crab crawling underneath her vest. Without much of thought, she did this:
Later that night, they build a fire to cook food and keep warm, Cagalli now wrapped in a blanket with her wet cloths drying over the flame. With all that free time and nothing else to do, they started chatting again and learned that the other had lost people dear to them. However, when the conversation deteriorated into the blame game of who started the conflict first; Athrun decided to ignore Cagalli and get some rest, but Cagalli looked over to Athrun’s Gundam, pondering to either steal it or destroy it.
Now deep into the night, Athrun asleep. Cagalli became more resolved to do what she must. Then cued in what is still the best piece of music in all of Gundam universes: Akatsuki no Kuruma. She slowly crossed over to him, reaching for his gun. The camp fire beside them crackled. He awakened. In a panic, she threw her blanket over his head. When Athrun recovered, he saw a scared Cagalli with his gun in her hand.
Although admitting that her own government was equally to blame for the war, Cagalli told him that nevertheless she could not let him continue to pilot the Gundam, which would kill many more of her conrades. Athrun, admitting also that he would indeed kill many more of her conrades, pulled out his knife and challenged her to either pull the trigger or be killed under his knife.
Pushed to her limit of stress, Cagalli recalled a conversation she had had with another foe, who explained to her that on the battlefield one side must always die. Disgusted with these war “ethics,” she threw the loaded gun into air. The gun misfired, but Athrun jumped over her to cover her from the subsequent stray bullet, getting himself scratched by it in the process.
Still a bit shock, she realized she was being reckless and offered to attend to Athrun’s wound. He refused at first, but she insisted. After he conceded, the mood had became lightened once again. That was when Athrun came to his senses and realized that he was staring into this:
The next morning, both rescue teams came, at different times of course, to pick them up. As they departed, they asked for each other’s name for the first time.
Isn’t that so much better than what we saw in Gundam 00 7? There are tension and frictions throughout the entire episode between Athrun and Cagalli. No I’ve always loved you, you’re the reason for my living, or I knew you’re the one the first time I saw you. The discussions between Athrun and Cagalli are deep and relevant: who is at fault in a war, are wars always as clear cut as good versus evil or right versus wrong, what tough decisions soldiers at war constantly have to make? No if you must kill me then kill me but let her be free.
But my biggest complaint is that the writers have taken two of the most batshit insane characters, these super soldiers with homicidal split personalities, and turned them into a pair of sex-starved love bunnies. Oh wait, come to think of it, that wouldn’t be so bad, except that Soma was FRICKIN’ FULLY COVERED TO THE NECK! On the other hand, while there is zero hint of romance in Gundam SEED 24, the sexual overtone there is way more intense.
Gundam 00 7 is doing it all wrong.