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Dimmie's Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Tv Review

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing tv Review

The year is After Colony (AC) 195. The world as we know it is in turmoil, and in space, amidst the vast Colony clusters, the Earth Alliance Military is acting as an occupation force. In the deepest of secrets, 5 outlaw scientists complete 5 special weapons, mobile suits called 'Gundams' and send them to earth. Piloted by five youngsters, unaware of each other's existence, their mission is to halt the Alliance and free the colonies, especially dealing with the elite forces of Oz.

However, as the battle continues, this single mission turns into a struggle for survival, and, in the end, a desperate attempt to maintain peace. The five pilots-- Heero Yuy, Quatre Raberba Winner, Chang Wu Fei, Duo Maxwell and Trowa Barton-- join their forces, as all of them want to end the needles fighting and the pointless battles. For Heero, it also means to give a token of his love towards Relena Peacecraft who, in her own way, fights for that same peace...

Written by DarthViking.

Story & Characters

In spite of having been created primarily as an anniversary gimmick for fans of the numerous old Gundam series, Gundam Wing surprises for actually having a good and well-knit plot, instead of being simply another mecha/giant robot story. Forget the mecha for a second, and you have a great picture of the horrors and stupidities of war, presented in a complex narrative that shows each side's point of view - power-crazed warlords, pacifists without a clear aim, confused guerrilers who don't know what they're doing, manipulative commanders who know exactly what they're making others do, and even the common civilians who have no idea what's happening and what is all that fighting for.

The fact that so many points of view are showed, some characters do not have their motivations clearly pointed out in bright letters, and some of the subtleties in the story depend highly on your understanding of the dynamics of politics and war to be noticed has lead people to say Gundam Wing doesn't make much sense. Fact is, it's not supposed to make a lot sense, it's supposed to show that war is not simple - different characters have different opinions about the war(s) in question, and by the end you conclude that, ultimately, all and none of them was right.

It's not a simplistic story by any means, and the many sudden plot twists and (apparently, at first) unexplained changes in a character's position/beliefs/motivations may turn some of the audience off, but if you like complicated plots with multi-dimensional characters and unexpected out-turns, that's Gundam Wing for you.

And well, ok, also if you like giant robots making things go boom with shiny laser beams.

Rating: 9

Art

The anime art has a distinct shonen feel: clear and sharp traces, hard colours with practically no soft layering effect (also known as shoujo sparkles - you only get those a few couple of times with the main female character, only to be quickly replaced with machinery explosions or the eventual blood spatter). While the art on the human characters is decent, if irregular, varying from <i>very</i> nice in some episodes to <i>very</i> ugly in others (depending on the cell artist of the day) the mecha art is fantastic. The mecha battles scenes are amazing, with the robots always looking perfect from every angle (even if their pilots may appear completely distorted by the angle). It's a great treat for fans of the genre.

Likewise, the art of the mechas in the manga version is very good, although you unfortunately lose the colour and lightning effects only the anime can give. Like the shorter condensed story presented in the manga, you get a "condensed" version of the mecha. The art for human characters, on the contrary, is a leap of quality from the anime, being less angular and sharp, and more anatomically correct.

The big leap in quality, though, is from the TV series to the OVAs. The OVA art is a lot better, and consistently good through all three chapters. Had the TV series been like this, I'd rate the art a lot higher, but in the overall pack of anime+manga+movie, I'd say is pretty shonen series average, with a bonus point for the gorgeous machinery/weaponry.

Rating: 7

Sound

Being (as mentioned in the Story part) a fan gimmick gave Gundam Wing an advantage over other Gundam series, at least for <i>seiyuu</i> (voice actors) fans like myself: we get none other than the omnipresent Hikaru Midorikawa, Seki Toshihiko, Koyasu Takehito and Ryotaro Okiayu together in voicing the, if not main, at least most prominent characters. That in itself would be enough to make seiyuu fans happy, but added to the exquisite job the rest of the cast does, delivering lines with the right tone, matching each character with the perfect voice (ranging from Sexy & Broody to Extremely Annoying to Gentle & Sweet to Major Bitch) the dubbing alone already makes the anime series worth watching and re-watching.

( I have not watched this series with dubbings other than the original Japanese one and the so-so Portuguese one, so I can not speak for the infamous and much criticized American dub. I'll leave that for American fans. )

Where Gundam Wing loses points in the Sound presentation is on its opening/closing themes. All of them could have been better chosen to represent the kind of anime this one is, but if you judge from the loud and boppy techno songs alone without any prior knowledge of the story, you will <i>never</i> guess the depth of seriousness of the plot. I know friends who happened to love those songs, but to me they're just irrititating.

The same can't be said for the character image songs released in the OSTs. Although they don't exactly count as canon source, the lyrics of those songs are very interesting to understand some of the characters a little better, as is the case of Treize Khushrenada and Trowa Barton. Their songs reveal a lot more than is said through all the series. Another plus is that a lot of the seiyuu are actually good singers, which makes some of the character songs nice enough to keep listening beyond the point of satisfying curiosity (and then again, some other aren't, and you're probably never going to listen to some songs again if you can help it).

Rating: 7

Presentation

As much as I defend Gundam Wing's <i>slight</i> superiority over other mecha series in terms of storytelling, the initial plot is not original in the least - you've seen "<i>teenage boys save the world with giant robots</i>" a hundred times before. The difference is mostly in the charisma of the characters, and the smart plot twists that never fail to make you go "WHAT?" every odd number of episodes.

There is no fanservice of the panty-shot kind, nor easy cheeky humour through the series. For some younger audience this may be boring, but for older viewers it's a relief (you can focuse on the misadventures of the pilots without having to suffer Relena's panties/breasts), and the hints of humour are of the witty, subtle kind (you snicker madly at some points, but never crack up with laughter). None of this should make the series less enjoyable, though, even for the audience not interested in the plot and exposition - there's always the mecha battles to keep one at the edge of his seat.

Rating: 6

Final Verdict

7.33 (above average)

Reviewed by Dimmie, May 12, 2005

Comments

  1. Zeliard May 15, 2005

    In my opinion, Gundam Wing is the best amongst the alternate universe gundam series. G Gundam though being the first, is more of a giant robot genre. Gundam X is just plain boring with a typical storyline. Turn A on the other hand, presented a very awesome plot with superb BGM, but it lacks in the design of the mech. SEED is just nothing more than the original UC Gundam made anew.

    Being a 95' production, the art is good. I don't think it's a fair trade to compare the OVA to the TV series, since Endless Waltz is only a 3-parter produced 2 years later. As for the opening theme, Just Communication by Two Mix is suitable. There is a track in the OST where the opening was of the TV-size version, boosted with the background effect of the beam sabres and guns.

    The one that made Gundam Wing my favourite is neither the art nor the OST, but rather the plot and twist of the story. I don't think I can put into words how beautiful the story is, but you have to watch it for yourself to believe it.

    Personally I would have given an overall rating of 9-10, but then again, it wasn't me who wanted to write a review. A 7.33333333333 is definitely more than enough reason to watch this series.

  2. flyindreams May 28, 2005

    Nicely written review! I've read the Gundam Wing novels but never got into the anime (apart from the movie.) In a way I thought novels usually do a better job developing characters and plot details, but from your review it seems like the anime does a decent job of the above as well. Songs-wise... I used to like one of the theme songs a lot, but I haven't listened to them in a while. I'm surprised though that you didn't rate the presentation higher because you reviewed that part rather favorably. But still, this was a really nice review for one of my favorite series because it really raises some interesting issues and thoughts about the future of mankind and war vs. peace. Good job!

  3. Diabound00 May 30, 2005

    Good and long Review (longer than mine). I agree with what your wrote in your Review. Also Gundam Wing is the Gundam series which started my interrest in Gundam.

  4. phantazm Aug 09, 2005

    Good review. The biggest flaw i could find in the series, however, is character depth. I found it difficult understanding every character's philosophy and perspectives. If not for the powerhouse battle scenes with TolGese and Gundam Zero in it, i would've stopped watching the show indefinitely. Maybe its just me... Still, Gundam Wing is the best in the Gundam Series until now.

  5. marauder09 Aug 12, 2005

    Gundam Wing is the best. Gundam SEED is okay but not it isn't worth watching. Gundam Wing made me watch G Gundam and 8th MS Team. Gundam 0083 Stardust Memories is also a good show to watch.

  6. vmerquise Aug 16, 2005

    I love this show, and I'm happy with your review and agree with most of it. I probably would have given it a 7.5 or an 8 if only the quality could have been mantained thorugh out.
    As you said the story and presentation are excellent, to or three cuts above almost everything else I've ever seen out of Japan.
    What else is there to say, great story, great characters, and great action. See it if you haven't already.

  7. niina02 Nov 10, 2005

    great review... i think that gw is the best saga of all gundam series.... even the art was very bad, the series is intresting, and keep you watching it until this end... thats the reason why i still watching it as i see on tv.... i've seen this series more that 5 times, and i mean ALL the series... the only thing i haven't watched are the OVAs, i don't have any money now for that OVAs... T-T
    anyway, is a good series, even if you like mecha series...

  8. KNNTHHNTR Nov 11, 2005

    Very nice review. I believe Gundam Wing is the best series so far. If the quality in the anime and presentation was more like Gundam Seed it would have a higher score. The reason why
    I enjoyed Gundam Wing more than Gundam Seed is because of the characters. I agree the main characters are hard understand but their still great and so the gundams.

  9. vatican92 Dec 27, 2005

    Awesome review. I couldn't have done it better myself

  10. nightfire Apr 05, 2006

    I liked Gundam Wing a lot, some of the scores were fair, I think some should've been a little higher.

  11. Kukuru Dec 09, 2007

    I agree with most of what you said however I think I would have brought the story rating a little down because this anime did contain some annoying filler episodes which got on my nerves at times.

    Otherwise nice review :)

  12. GEE Dec 24, 2007

    Very nice review! You have worked out the points very good.
    I missed the music rating, in my opinion this series has a very large and well selected sound track.
    It might be worth mentioning that the story line has some cuts due to a tight budget. The missing information can be read in Operation Zero, which was planned to be part of the anime.
    The American version had a different ending than the Japanese, I was lucky to find some subtiteled tv captures. The Japanese version shows the main characters reflecting their role in the war. I have no idea why this was changed.

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