Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
Gundam Wing is the story of five fourteen-year-old pilots sent to Earth from their respective space colonies in order to help free their homes from Earth's control. At their disposal are five massive, unique and very powerful Gundam mechs that they must use to fight back against Zechs Merquise and the forces of OZ. How will they fare with the world against them?
This is by far the most successful Gundam series to date. Just look on the web: just about every Gundam site is devoted to this one series alone. To the majority of American anime fans, Gundam Wing is the epitome of all things Gundam, the defining series of all that has come before, all that came since, and is yet to come...
It's time to put that godawful assumption to rest. Right now!
Simply put, Gundam Wing is downright SILLY!!!! It doesn't even have anything at all to do with the regular continuity of the Gundam saga. If anything, Gundam Wing is the Weiss Kreuz of Gundam. It's not a dramatic space/war opera as the original series was. It hardly has anything to do with war or even the mecha. Gundam Wing is Gundam in name only. Otherwise, it's just another run-of-the-mill pretty boy show.
Not to say I didn't like Gundam Wing. On the contrary, I found it to be extremely hilarious, but for reasons I don't think the directors quite had in mind, as Gundam Wing was not meant to be a comedy (I think). I don't know if the people who made this series meant for it to be taken seriously or not, but the actions of the characters in this series at times are so outrageous it's hard to believe they set out to make a 'serious' epic. I mean come on, the lead character's name alone is borderline parody as it is!
Oh, speaking of which, Heero Yuy has got to be one of the most deranged psychopaths ever to star in any anime series. The only one more deranged than him is his so called "love interest" Relena Peacecraft. I can see these two starring in a remake of War of the Roses; these sadomasochists belong together in a sick, twisted sort of way. And they're the supposedly *likable* characters!
The other pilots aren't much better. Quatre Raberba Winner is a total milquetoast. He really doesn't do much, and even then can't go anywhere or do anything without his entourage. Trowa Barton brings new meaning to the phrase 'strong, silent type'. I think he utters five lines total throughout the entire series. And then there's Chang Wufei, the most annoying of the five. He's an egotistical, bigoted, sexist snot who I so wish was killed during the series, but alas, he lives, darn it all. It's so hard to get behind any of these characters. Even on the majority of fan sites, nine times out of ten the only thing positive anyone can say about these characters is "hey, at least they're cute!"
The so called villains are much better. I -like- Lady Une. The woman is 'cool' defined. With her glasses off, she is a mild, meek sweetheart of a lady, but once she puts her glasses on, look out!! She can kick some serious butt, and can shoot a man between the eyes while standing at the open door of an airplane, as the man is already plummeting down to his impending doom anyway! Now THAT's impressive! And Treize does a real dead-on Ikari Gendou impersonation. I think this says something about a series when you find yourself *rooting for the villains!*
Well, okay. I have to admit there is one really truly good character in this chaotic series, and that is Duo Maxwell. He is the lone sane person to be found, and more than once can be heard muttering "Just what on earth is going on here?" He's the only one I could really identify with. He stops Heero from murdering Relena, and what thanks does he get? A major scolding by Relena, who rushes to her 'darling' Heero's side. "Hello, I just saved your life..doesn't that make me the GOOD guy?!" he replies, confused. Poor Duo. He really is too good of a character for this series.
Gundam Wing is a series best seen with a group of friends who love to heckle bad anime. True, Gundam Wing is far from bad. It does have excellent animation, a good soundtrack and overall a decent plotline ... but good lord, the characters! Overacting and overreacting is the norm in this series, which makes for great fun one moment, but downright painful scenes the next.
Gundam Wing is fine and good, but for a more true sense of what Gundam is all about, rent Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team or, better yet, Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket or Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. These series are much more in the spirit of the original series. At best, Gundam Wing is a fun, silly diversion, and probably would have been better off had it been called anything else except Gundam.
Overly hyped, but basically a decent series. Take away one star if you are a fan of the original Gundam series. Add one star if you love to MST3K anime ... or would rather concentrate on the pretty boys. — Christi
Recommended Audience: 12 and up. Lots of violence, but more of the blow up robot suits type. A lot of the characters do beat up/try to kill each other throughout the series, but it's not very graphic and usually nothing comes of it. No nudity, but some characters, especially Wufei, can be a bit of a pottymouth at times. Standard afterschool TV fare.
Version(s) Viewed: digital source; Cable broadcast, English dub; R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (49/49)
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing © 1999 Sunrise / SOTSU Agency / ANB
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