Gundam Wing – episodes 1 to 9

April 13, 2004 on 9:27 pm | In Gundam Wing | Comments Off on Gundam Wing – episodes 1 to 9

This is coloured because I could not finish it until after I had seen later episodes.

Gundam Wing is the Gundam that, if you listen to what “they” say, you aren’t supposed to like. It’s the Gundam that brought the franchise as a whole to the US, despite being one of the series least representative of Gundam as a whole.
It’s not as bad as people make it out to be, and it’s certainly not the dreary anime purgatory that has been suggested in the past.
This is a 49 episode series with a three OVA follow up, so it might take a while.

The story goes something like this: people left the Earth in order to live freely in colonies in space. The Earth government then tried to impose themselves on the colonies, and so the colonies retaliated by dispatching bishounen in mecha to sort out all of their difficulties. At the same time, the Alliance that runs the Earth is undergoing major shifts to repair relations, and the evil OZ organisation is attempting to overrun the whole damned system.
The idea of ‘Pretty Boys from Outerspace’ might seem laughable, but there’s a bit more to the series than this. There are several political factions, and each has several splinter factions. There’s enough to keep interest piqued beyond the simple brooding teens also on offer.
Zechs is the most interesting of all the characters, and it’s clear that he will be a splinter of OZ. The mixed morality of all of the “villains” is a good source of intrigue, although it’s clear that not all of them are quite so ambiguous, to the benefit of some characters and the detriment of others.
In these episodes Noin seems to be a very strong, moral character, but Lady Une seems to be nothing more than a vicious woman without reason.

The mechanical encounters are very basic affairs at first, posing no threat to the Gundam pilots at all. Only in episode nine, when Zechs takes on Heero, does there seem to be any tension at all.
There’s more than enough “action” in Wing, but the motivations and manipulations are far more interesting. The Gundam pilots are always getting themselves lured into traps – they fight, in the end, for the benefit of their opponents. Luckily enough, they eventually catch on. Plot devices eventually fade away as, of all people, Wu Fei tells the others what fools they’ve been.

The music, from favourites like Two-Mix, is a definite highlight. It gives a romantic, electric feel – like most other things in these early episodes, it hints at a greater promise.

These episodes should be compelling enough to convince people to continue watching Gundam Wing; it gets much better.

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