The United Earth Sphere Alliance is a powerful military organization that has ruled over Earth and space colonies with an iron fist for several decades. When the colonies proclaimed their opposition to this, their leader was assassinated. Now, in the year After Colony 195, bitter colonial rebels have launched "Operation Meteor," sending five powerful mobile suits to Earth for vengeance. Built out of virtually indestructible material called Gundanium Alloy, these "Gundams" begin an assault against the Alliance and its sub organization OZ.
One Gundam, whose pilot has taken the name of the slain colony leader Heero Yuy, is forced to make a crash landing into the ocean after an atmospheric battle against OZ's ace pilot Zechs Marquise. Upon coming ashore, he is found by Relena Peacecraft, daughter of a peace-seeking politician, who witnesses Heero's descent to Earth. Although neither of them realize it yet, this encounter will have a profound impact on both their lives, as well as those on Earth and in space colonies.
Gundam Wing enjoys a hefty helping of popularity in the eyes of western otaku alongside with its brother, Gundam SEED (whether this is a pro or not, is up to the viewer). Wing can owe its success to one of many things. It began its American broadcast just as anime was starting to peak to the next generation, a large and somewhat epic plot contrasting many simple episodic American cartoons or, Wing could simply owe its success to the bad assery of Wing Zero (say what you will - those wings trounce 90% of the Gundams made).
The story, like all Gundam plots revolve around
war, two opposing factions of space and the earth, a boy and his chance encounter with a Gundam. At first, GW bombards you with the names of many factions and organizations that play a key role in making the world of GW what it is. When you truly begin to grasp what a certain organization is and what it stands for, it has just been defeated and wiped from the show. Although, quite annoying, GW exemplifies the concept that, those who don\'t evolve, won\'t survive. Throughout the first half of the series (before the emergence of Mobile Dolls), GW centralizes around world events caused in response to the happenings of the main characters and their actions. As the plot moves along, we take a more personal look at the main (~8) characters - why they fight, what their objectives are and who their allies/enemies are. In the final curtain, both these plots come together for the inevitable \"Gundam Final Showdown.\" Action is spread out enough to keep the viewer entertained but remember; GW is not a shounen anime. The plot encompasses the soldiers of war and their actions for their respective sides.
Animation and Sound
This is no KyoAni work, but it\'s also nothing close to the bottom of the barrel. GW\'s animation is mid to high quality (even for 2007) thanks to Sunrise. Most scenes take place in the dark of a room or space so remember to turn up the brightness. Animation quality drops at points (a given) but even then, it\'s appealing enough to keep the screen on. GW isn\'t as clean as SEED nor do the mobile suits have the same shiny effect as G.U.N.D.A.M\'s but given the time difference, it\'s understandable. Most of the OST in GW consists of great battle music to fit the occasion. Battle armament sounds are top notch, especially Heavyarm\'s guns and Wing Zero\'s shoulder vulcans. The largest ball drop is the lack of music during most anti-climactic scenes - making them quite dull. As well as random sound effects when character comes to realization about something.
Ah, therein lies the success to any Gundam. As said before, those that don\'t evolve, won\'t survive. As such, each and every main character (8 by my count) goes through a change or situation where they must make a choice. This pseudo character development grants us a clearer view on each character\'s motives and reasoning behind their actions. GW sports a large cast where each main character is paired with another of the opposite sex for contrast/similarities. Not including the immense support cast, GW already has lots of names to remember. But don\'t be intimidated! Most non-essential characters die within a few episodes anyways. Jokes aside, it\'s very easy to remember all the important characters and the support character or the day.
Although I wasn\'t pumped for this review, GW is still a great watch. It\'s one of those anime\'s that suffers a lot of disdain for the popularity it gets. It\'s in the eye of the beholder whether you\'ll like it or not. The first 20 or so episodes is great - political manipulation and backstabbing at its finniest. Then the centrality shifts and once more towards the end - essentially, you may not like what you see at first but remember, there\'s about 3 \"arcs\" in which the genre wavers to appeal to more audiences.
Even though the characters tend to have more one-dimensional personalities, it’s used effectively in a way where they can be distinctive and stand out, and serves as a motivation to develop the characters in their own way. All sides of the conflict have characters that have beliefs in why they do what they do, and you can sympathize with them. Certain characters will consistently change because a new revelation or turn of events will unveil that will impact them, and you can say it’s a reality of politics and war which I think is presented in a less complex manner in comparison to Tomino’s Gundams.
With the previous Gundam series, G Gundam being more hand to hand oriented, this series goes back to the traditional space battlefield with guns, lasers, and missiles, and are taken to a whole new extreme. The fights are fast paced and diverse with the many mobile suits that are present ,and the environments they all take place in such as land, sea, air, and space, are always exciting and you’re getting something different. With the use of coloring and resolution, it is easy to follow the fast paced action this series has to offer.
Like the characters, the mobile suits themselves that contain singular but yet distinguishing traits all have their uses and are given equal time to stand out. Like the Wing Gundam is the all rounder, the deathsytche being close range, and Heavyarms being long range, etc. And also, the skills of the pilot will also effect the outcome of how the mobile suit can be used. Such as when Heero had to pilot Heavyarms for example. And you also have the Mercurus and the Vayeate which represented offense and defense and I feel that the staff read the art of war first to apply some of the principles you see in this series.
The character design also brought in a traditional “bishounen” design to the franchise. Nothing wrong with that. They are also very diverse and distinctive in which once again their features are distinguished. I love how the expressions come across and the use of costumes. I also found it unique that this series plays homage to Char Aznable through Zechs Merquise with his get up so you’re basically getting Gundam, Zeta Gundam, and Char’s Counterattack all rolled into one with this series.
I’ll have to say that both the English and Japanese voice cast is probably the best I’ve heard in any anime in both name recognition and performance. On the Japanese side, you have big names like the multi-talented Midorikawa Hikaru playing Heero Yuy, and there’s also Mark Hildreth, the voice of Terry from Fatal Fury playing him in English. They both do a convincing job of making Heero coming across as something of an emotionless being who exclusively cares about what he’s doing. And the charismatic Koyasu Takehito is very menacing as Zechs, but I really like how Brian Drummond, the English actor does a much better job of bringing out his compassionate side. I also really enjoyed Brad Swale’s portrayal of Quatre, I thought it was far superior to Orikasa Ai’s performance. Granted Quatre is the most human, I just thought that even though he is played by a woman in the Japanese version, he sounded too feminine, but the English version was just perfect.
The music itself is classic and one of the most addicting soundtracks you’ll ever hear that also defines Jpop in the mid 90s. When it was on Toonami, I thought it was cool that whenever they played the opening themes, Just Communication and Rhythm Emotion as a background song, I thought it was awesome they retained it in American TV. If it were 4Kids, they change it to some lame rap. But I thought the music also defined the intense and adrenaline rush nature of the show.
Granted I do believe this series is a great gateway to the Gundam universe, I personally don’t believe it should be used as a barometer to what defines a great Gundam series. Each Gundam is different. You can’t compare this series to 08th MS Team, or Zeta Gundam. But this series does have its significant flaws like all other series have, and which is why I have never given any anime so far an overall perfect 10/10. But if anything annoyed me about this series, it is most certainly Relena. I remember after Gundam Wing aired, there were websites in dedication to her death. I’ll admit I was and still am one of those fan boys who wish Relena died. She’s like the Hillary Clinton of the anime universe. And I don’t mean that as a compliment. I find her to be annoying, and a hypocrite. If you have seen the series, you know what I’m talking about, and if you want to know, check this series out.
Gundam Wing can be credited with garnering new fans to anime during the 90s boom, where a great deal of titles were imported to the west. It was also responsible for popularizing the Gundam franchise to western audiences as well. With that being said a great deal of nostalgic value can be associated with the title which can often lead to many praising it without proper pretext. While Gundam Wing's production values have certainly stand the test of time the script on the other hand was not so fortunate. Overwrought with needless plot manipulation, contrived idealistic monologues and 1 dimensional archetypes, the way everything is
played out feels like a teen trying their hardest to angst and writers trying desperately to grasp depth. While it was certainly entertaining to watch that doesn't excuse the numerous hiccups it made for the sake of capturing the attentiveness of the viewers.
The story starts out like any other Gundam title with a conflict brewing between two separate factions, ones found on earth and the other in the colonies in space. This is how we're introduced to our core cast and their position in the conflict. While the setup alluded to a grandiose battle to determine supremacy, and we do certainly get that, the plot points used to get to that end goal was laughable for the lack of a better word. While coup d'etats are certainly common placed in war and politics, the amount of times it happened it GW was unrealistic. Alliances among factions were so flimsily handled that the idea of such groups existing in the 1st place became implausible. While some may argue it was trying to paint the conflict as a grey one it just ended up back firing. The constant betrayals meant that there were no real solutions and it also made our Gundam pilots to be seen like God sent messiahs. This forcefully marginalizes the human race as a bunch of incompetent people that depend on the actions of a handful of prepubescent teens. The Gundam franchise have always had youths be the poster child for justice but they never made them the sole proprietor to end the human race's problems. They were always accompanied by many that helped play an integral role in ending the war but GW took that element away and made it seem juvenile in presentation. But the constant betrayals also led to an even bigger problem. Because of it there was no solid conviction for the numerous groups that sprung up and as a result no conviction in the characters involved a well. It just became a muddled mess of Heel-Face Turn organizations and characters than can easily switch sides at the whim of the script writers.
The characters also suffered the same issue found in the storytelling. Because they were all 1 note for the most part, they were easily re-written to serve whatever role the plot demanded at the time. This turned megalomaniacs into spokespeople of peace and vice versa. This was made even worse with constant bombardment of contrived idealistic monologues delivered by the characters. A notable example being Zechs Marquise, the show's watered down version of Char Aznable, where he makes a 180 in character portrayal while still delivering his idealistic speeches that conflicted with his actions. But it wasn't limited to him alone as most of the characters delivered these long winded ass backwards speeches that were negated by their actions. This failed attempt at adding depth to the cast did nothing but further expose their lack of dimension and characterization.
While the show fell short in the story and character department where it did excel was with it's production values. The attention to detail and shading found in the art department held up nicely even after 20 years. This title was a return to Gundam's high production values that wasn't seen since Zeta Gundam in 85. While there were noticeable jump cuts and extended screen shots it was never anything significant enough to discredit the title. Especially when considering the quality of shows made around the same time period. The animation fluidity was also notable as it helped with the engagement of the viewers. If there was ever anything praise worthy about the title it would be that it was certainly entertaining when the time called for it. The soundtrack also helped heightened the mood and added alot to the overall impression the title gave off. The J-pop opening was catchy and one I rarely skipped and the blazing trumpets and other instrumentals played throughout scenes helped give everything a larger than life feel. The dub was also solid given the time period. It could of easily taken the schmaltzy overacting route of Fighter G Gundam but it managed to stay restraint enough to correlate with the proper mood a war drama is meant to display.
As far as enjoyment is concerned I did have fun watching Wing. Of course it got a little tedious at times with needless monologues and aimless conflicts but it still held my engagement despite that, which I think is noteworthy given the title's length.
Although Gundam Wing didn't quite live up to the ambitious heights it was aiming for it's still something I suggest giving a try. The story may not be as potent as Zeta or the characters as endearing as the 1st Mobile Suit, but it still was a title that was easily watched. Where it lapsed in it's writing it made up for with it's presentation. Although it's not something that I feel demands your attention it's alteast one you should keep on your radar whenever you have the time to invest.
If you are a fan of Gundam Wing you may not like this review.
Am going too, go ahead and judge Gundam Wing for what it is and not the base of nostalgia love that I use too, have.
Also, keeps this in mind I was one of those kids whom grew up with Wing and loved it. Also, I didn’t complete the series when I was a kid because at the time period Gundam Wing was slowly disappearing out of Cartoon Network along with Outlaw Star and Cowboy Bebop so I never finished the show back then but for what I saw in Gundam Wing
I love it.
Many years later many people that I know recommended me too, watch this show again because I didn’t finish it back then. Then I decided to, watch it from start to, finish and well am going too, be real honest with you all.
I don’t think Gundam Wing is as awesome as I thought it was. Infect I actually think it’s one of the worst Gundam shows. Why do I think are one of the worst Gundam shows you will find out this review?
Hello, everyone, this is Shawn aka KurataTrigger and welcome too, my review of Gundam Wing and with out of the way let’s gets started.
It is the year after colony 195. The earth alliance along with OZ and the Romefeller Foundation is in total control of the five colonies and space too, fight back against them the colony scientist commences operation meter and sends five young mobile suits pilots too, fight for independence. The five young pilots being Heero Yuy, Duo Maxwell, Trowa Barton, Quatre Raberba Winner and Chang Wufei. Throughout the series the five must battle the best that OZ has too, offer including the leader Trace Khushrenada and the right-hand man Zechs Marquise.
Now I have some good things too, say about Gundam Wing story but at the same time a lot of bad things.
The story of Gundam Wing is what you expect from a Gundam show. The colonies are being oppressed by a powerful faction and are now declaring independence. However as the series progresses we are introduced too, new elements and plot twists too, make the story feel fresh. I thought some story elements were kinda enjoyable too, watch. The themes and messages in Gundam Wing are much-simplified compare too, other Gundam shows including the universal century timeline which I personally didn’t mind the themes and messages being more simple but what really irritated me about its the messages and themes presented in wing are rather preachy with certain characters in the show spouting pacifistic nonsense with no substance whatsoever.
The pacing in Gundam Wing are horrendously bad where the first half has the pacing of a generic slice of life anime while the pacing in the second half has improved a bit I already feel tired of the show mainly due how slow going it was the majority of the series. Turn A Gundam may have slow pacing at the beginning but least with Turn An actually builds up its themes, has great world building, character building and has great story setup. Gundam Wing doesn’t have any of that. In fact, the worldbuilding and story setup are pretty pathetic.
Gundam Wing story also has a tedious political battle and the stupid and annoying narrator always dumping heavy political information on our heads expecting us too, take it all in. IT’S NOT GOOD STORYTELLING. It’s just painfully tedious too, listen and its puts the viewer too, sleep myself included.
Overall the story of Gundam Wing had the potential to be good but it failed in almost every way possible.
The characters in Gundam wing range from decent too, awful.
The wing boys all one directional personalities. Hereo and Trowa are your generic silent but deadly guys, Duo is the happy go, lucky buffoon, Quatre is a kind pacifistic pretty boy and Wufei is a hot-headed warrior. Now besides from Duo which I personally liked and I thought he was a fun and entertaining character to watch no to mention he a favorite Gundam Win character. The Wing boys are poorly written and unlikable from start to, finish. Heero and Trowa are some of the blandest characters I have ever seen in any anime. They are boring, static, they hardly developed as characters and most importantly they are pretentious as hell too, the point where I started too, cringe of how edgy they are.
I personally like Quatre in the beginning but as the series progresses he became kinda of a pretentious character in themes of his pacifism ideas not too, mention he became really unlikable in the second half.
Wufei is easily my least favorite of the wing boys. He is whiny, pretentious, poorly written too, the core and not too, mention he’s personally and ideals honestly made me sick. He’s the most forgettable character in the show because he barely does anything in the show apart from being a pretentious brat.
Now if you thought Wufei was an annoying pretentious brat Relena takes the cake for being one of the worst characters in Gundam. She always preaches about peace and pacifism and failing to realize that war cannot end by preaching about peace all the time not too, mention her motivations are downright stupid and annoying. Relena is easily the worst thing about Gundam Wing.
Also Relena obsession and romance with Heero are one of the stupidest love stories I have seen in any anime mostly because it isn’t clear how Heero feels and the romance itself was completely pointless in a long while
Zechs are easily my second favorite character in the show because unlike 4/5 of the Wing boys he’s actually a good and entertaining character too, watch.
Lastly we have Treize. Like with Zechs he’s a good character in own right and have more substance than any of the wing boys and Relena not too, mention he a good villain for a Gundam show.
As for the side characters were okay at best.
Overall besides from Zecha, Treize and Duo all of the characters range from average too, downright awful.
The visuals of Gundam Wing are outdated and have aged poorly. They're a lot of choppy animation and inconstant art and the anime that came out in 90s this are honestly unacceptable because I have seen better looking 90s anime like Escaflowne, Outlaw Star, After War Gundam, Cowboy Bebop and even G Gundam too, a certain degree.
Also, many of the characters designs look outdated and lack any detail.
Also, most of the battles of Gundam Wing lack impact and substance because of two major flaws that am going mention now.
First up the overkill formula.
Gundam Wing was the first Gundam title too, introduce the overkill formula where all the Gundams are all invincible throughout most of the battles with the grunt suits and it’s the challenges feel pointless until they go against mobile suits counted by main characters in the story.
The one thing that I pissed me off too, no end are the portrayal of the Gundams. A great Gundam battle for me is where it’s balanced with both sides struggling too, come out to the top. Not a mindless one-sided beatdown with the Gundams simply crushing down grunts suits like ants and flies.
Secondly the stock footage.
Oh, my god, there are tons and tons of stock footage used for the battles in the series. It honestly makes the battles really repetitive and downright boring too, watch. It’s almost as bad as Gundam Seed and Gundam Stock Footage Destiny (Gundam Seed Density) am not kidding when I say that
If there was a good thing I can say about Wing visuals is its variety of combat setting and the wing boy’s mecha designs.
The combat setting in Wing is unique as some of the battles will take place in the desert, forest, and a city.
As for the Gundam themselves, I really liked the designs as well the unique weapons that they have.
I really can’t say the same about the OZ grunts suits because they designs are horrendously bad. I honestly can’t blame them.
The Gundams are portrayed really poorly here. However, the Tallgeese design is good for what it is but I have seen much better Gundam designs from other Gundam series.
Overall the visuals in Gundam Wing are lackluster.
The soundtrack is good but it’s mostly stranded and kinda forgettable most of the time.
The first opening Just Communication is a good opening but there are better Gundam openings out there. The same can be said for Rhythm Emotion aka opening two.
The ending theme It’s Just Love is a mediocre and forgettable ending song.
Now for dub or sub.
Now I only watched Gundam Wing in dubbed but I have seen bits of the sub
This is going too, be an unpopular opinion but the dub in Gundam Wing are outdated and terrible.
A bunch of miscasts, bad audio quality and not too, mention they're are too, many bad performances especially from the side characters.
Lastly the whole IT’S A GUNDAM thing in the dub is honestly one of the stupidest things I ever heard. It’s so cheesy, overdramatic and not too, mention it’s downright annoying when the grunts usually say that just before they are killed.
The dub of G Gundam may be cheesy but least it had its charm. The dub for Gundam Wing has no charm and it’s stiff as hell.
Honestly, if you want too, watch Gundam Wing stick with the sub because the dub has aged poorly.
Here we have it Gundam Wing is not the best Gundam series out there. I really want like Gundam Wing more than I did because I liked it when I was a kid but now I simply cannot ignore its flaws.
The story is a poorly written mess, the pacing and world building are terrible, the characters range from decent too, downright awful, visuals have aged poorly, the stock footage is out of control, the Gundams are portrayed really badly, and the soundtrack is not that memorable in the slightest.
It’s not the worst thing in the world but I still think it’s one of the worst Gundam series that I saw. They're are far better Gundam shows than Gundam Wing like G Gundam, After War Gundam X, any of the U.C Gundam shows, Turn A Gundam, Gundam Build Fighters S1 and its squeal Gundam Build Fighters Try.
As much I wasn’t a fan of Gundam Build Fighters Try in the terms of story and characterisation it was an enjoyable Gundam title for the most part.
Gundam Wing has none of that.
Outside of Nostalgia Gundam Wing has aged terribly.
If you want too, watch Gundam Wing then more power too, you. If you liked the series then good for you but overall Gundam Wing are an overhyped 90s series that tries too, tell its own war story but fails in almost every way possible.
I give Gundam Wing a 4/10
Anyway, this has been Shawn aka KurataTrigger and I will see you guys next time were I review Turn A Gundam.