“Gundam SEED MSV Astray” is a two-episode anime short set in the Gundam SEED Universe’s Cosmic Era. It seems that this adventure takes place during either “Gundam SSED” or “Gundam SEED Destiny.” It focuses on three characters: Lowe Gear, Gai Murakamo, and Edward Harrelson. The three characters are very much present in the Gundam SEED mangas but are not present in the anime series. These two shorts were created to introduce new types of Gundam model kits for sale.
The first episode is a bit comical while the second episode is a bit more serious. First episode focuses on Lowe Gear as he’s a member of a neutral group known as the “Junk Guild” that has relationships with the Earth Alliance, Orb Kingdom, and PLANT as long as they follow their rules and regulations. This episode seems to be comical as Lowe resembles Bitt Cloud from “Zoids” personality wise as he along with other Junk Guild members search for valuable parts from mobile suits and armors. The episodes are titled “Red” and “Blue” respectively.
Lowe is an original concept in the SEED universe as he is a natural who is a computer genius. His skills are on par with that of a Coordinator’s. Lowe is also assisted by a highly advanced computer AI found on an abandoned ship called “Sasshi” or “Eight.” He pilots the Red Frame called the Red Astray Frame which is a Gundam. However, this one doesn’t have phase shifting ability like the ones in SEED and SEED Destiny. As a result, Lowe’s Gundam is lighter and faster.
His Gundam is equipped with a samurai katana with an anti-beam coat. This is the one episode where we can see some serious samurai sword action. But this is the only anime that we can see Lowe Gear in action. This is also the only anime series where we are introduced to the Junk Guild. It makes an excellent side-story to Gundam SEED.
The second episode revolves around Gai Murakamo and Edward Harrelson. This episode introduces another new group called the Scorpion Tail Mercenary Company. They are very much hired guns. The group is very much brought into the conflict between the three main groups in Gundam SEED. This episode also introduces the Astray Blue Frame piloted by Gai.
The episode also puts focus on Edward Harrelson and his Sword Calamity Gundam. It would be better if they had actual full series. Still, these shorts do a good job of expanding on the SEED universe.