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I liked Shinn well enough but yes, his development was almost entirely negative and possibly was an instance of Mitsuo Fukuda and Chiaki Morosawa deciding to change the script, once they realized that Kira was still incredibly popular.
Really, Kira and Lacus are the only characters who come out of SEED Destiny without looking worse than they did in their debut and/or at the end of SEED. Athrun comes off as a womanizer--seeing as he basically dumps Cagalli with no fanfare for a younger girl, Meilin--and a wishy-washy, ineffective leader and mentor, for example. Cagalli, speaking of, goes from a stalwart fighter for her homeland to a crying load, and by the time she gets her resolve back she... gives up her personal Mobile Suit to Neo Roanoke, because reasons...????
It isn't very clear but i thought Athrun ended up with Cagalli since he decided to join Orb that's the way i see it anyways because the Hawk sisters are up at Plant with Kira and Lacus.
Oh gawd, I completely forgot that part. It's been a very long while since I watched Zeta, but not sure if Kamille knew that the guy constantly coming for him was the one who pressed the trigger and killed his mom though. Chances are he would have killed him much earlier if he knew...
And yeah, Shinn is a case of character development gone horribly wrong. He was annoying from the start but *could* have turned into a decent human being at some point, except the script was rewritten to put Kira back in the spotlight, and Shin stayed a misguided dumbass until the end.
Pretty much all characters suffered from it though. Kira and Lacus become so "perfect" that they're kinda boring, Athrun becomes so indecisive that he can't choose a side or girlfriend, and then there's poor Cagalli...
Cagalli, speaking of, goes from a stalwart fighter for her homeland to a crying load, and by the time she gets her resolve back she... gives up her personal Mobile Suit to Neo Roanoke, because reasons...????
IIRC the main reason was that she figured she should focus on what only she can do (being her nation's leader) rather than fighting on the front line, and Neo being a better pilot than she could ever dream to be, so he'd make a much better use of the Akatsuki. But yes, going from strong-willed fighter to near-useless crybaby was painful to see. Though it did allow to get one of the "best" lines of the show from Kira. "I'm gonna barge in your war and single-handedly destroy two armies because YOU MADE CAGALLI CRY"