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Gundam Wing
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David Seid 10.0


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Gundam Wing Review

I have seen a whole lot of anime, some good and some bad, but no anime series or movie I have seen has equaled Gundam Wing's greatness. As far as I am concerned, this is the best anime series out there.

DESCRIPTION

Gundam Wing is an alternative Gundam Storyline, set in the "after colony" timeline. It focuses on 5 boys who have been charged with defending the survival of the colonies (which are like tiny planets inhabited by settlers from Earth and their descendants). Each boy has his own Gundam, and is from an entirely different colony.

One of the weird aspects of the series is that while each boy was sent from an underground organization in his colony (none of the actions of the Gundam pilots are sanctioned by the their respective colonies), they all have the same basic mission --"Get even with OZ."

Who is OZ you say? Well OZ is a secret group led by Tereize Kushirinada. Tereize is a young colonel in the Federation army. The Federation, for those of you that are not familiar with the Gundam series, is essentially Earth's defense force. Within the Federation, the Specials has been formed with Tereize at the head. The Specials are sort of an independent army that does not need special permission to follow its own strategies in a battle. This essentially gives Tereize carte blanche to do as he pleases (just the way he likes it).

Getting back to OZ, -- it was formed by Tereize as a secret group made up of members of the Specials. Tereize has a hidden agenda that he has been planning for some time now, and we get the sense that it is only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose (hint, hint...).

There are a couple of notable characters in OZ that should be mentioned in addition to Tereize. The first is Zechs Marquis. Zecks is a very mysterious person who does not want anyone to know his true identity. In fact, only two people know who he really is -- Tereize, and Lt. Noin, who was in school with him and is a close friend and confidant. Zechs is a very complex character, and can't be truly described in a review such as this, but it should be said that he is like a knight--he has honor and plays by the rules.

The other person to be mentioned is Lady Une. She absolutely does not play by the rules, and is a thorn in the Gundam Team's side (OZ's sometimes as well, when she constantly develops a liberal "interpretation" of what OZ stands for, and acts on it without Tereize's authority). She is an evil character to the bone, and Gundam Team fans will learn to hate her instantly (that face is SCARY). The only redeeming quality about Lady Une is her unquestioned loyalty to Tereize (even if she does break the rules from time to time).

Enough about OZ--I am sure you are asking "who are these 5 pilots for the Gundam Team anyhow?" Well their names are Hiro Yui, Duo Maxwell, Torowa Barton, Chang Wu-Fe, and Quattre Rebarrba Winner. I can't possibly give you info on all of them, or I would be writing a Novella as opposed to a review, but the story focuses mainly on Hiro--so I will give a description of my favorite Gundam Character. I will say that all of the Gundam team characters are integral to the storyline, and each character has his own distinct personality. These personality conflicts, coupled with the fact that each pilot is not aware of the other pilots' existance makes for some very interesting and intense scenarios early on in the series.

Hiro Yui is a fifteen year old boy sent (like the other Gundam pilots) by a colony to get even with OZ. He has been brought up from a very young age, to be the perfect human weapon. His body looks normal, but due to his rigorous training, can withstand an abnormal amount of damage before giving out. He has been trained to have and show no emotions. Essentially he is the perfect assassin, and he lets nothing get in the way of his completing his mission. The interesting thing about Hiro, that makes him such an interesting and likable character is his hidden emotional side. There is a part of Hiro that really does care about what he does and who he does it to. This aspect of his personality, he would dismiss as not being there, but as the series goes on, it becomes all to clear.

This brings us to the final character in the mix --Relena Dorian. Relena (the same ageas Hiro) is the daughter of Vice-Minister Dorian, an important liaison between the Earth and the colonies. In the first episode she meets the mysterious Hiro, and determines she wants to be his friend and get as close to him as she can. But Hiro has other ideas for Relena; you see, she has seen Hiro land on Earth with his Gundam. This means that she could tell someone and compromise "Operation Meteor" as it is called in the series. When Hiro enrolls in Relena's school, she thinks she can get to know him better, but when Hiro refuses an invitation to her birthday party, he whispers probably the best line of the series "I will kill you." This makes for great drama in the rest of the series, with Relena still trying to know and understand Hiro, and Hiro still determined to kill her.

This strange relationship between Hiro and Relena lets the viewer examine the hidden side of Hiro. Can he actually kill an innocent girl, just because she knows too much? Does he have any emotions whatsoever? Stay tuned.....

The previous description cannot possibly do the series any justice, there is just too much going on to reveal (and I don't want to spoil anything for the viewer either). I will say that Gundam Wing has a scope that has been rarely seen in an anime series or movie. It can range from one planets battle for survival, to the colonies vs. Earth, to inner conflict within a single person's mind. Needless to say, Gundam Wing is an original series that transcends all genre comparisons, it is just so great that all can enjoy!

EVALUATION

ART/ANIMATION

For TV animation, save Escaflowne, there is no better. The art is AMAZING and if you get the OVA series Endless Waltz that picks up right where the TV series leaves off, you will find the art/animation to be unequaled.

CHARACTER DESIGN

With the exception of a handful of titles, you cannot do much better than these! There are so many books or Gundam Wing's character design that you would be reading for months if you wanted to track it all down. Needless to say, these are incredible designs!

MUSIC

Well, I was hooked after hearing the opening song "Communication" and the ending song "Just Love" only strengthened my appreciation of Gundam Wing's soundtrack. The orchestral score in the series is not quite up to Escaflowne's brilliance, but it is one of the best I have heard to date. I enjoyed it so much that I bought the first Gundam Wing OST CD.

STORY

This is unquestionably THE BEST ANIME STORYLINE THERE IS! I cannot recommend this story enough. It is extremely complex, but very understandable if the viewer gives it the time and effort it deserves. I suggest watching each episode at least three times in order to get all the subtleties of the storyline. The reason why this is important is because the story moves at a rapid pace throughout the 49 episodes and 3 OVAs in the series. The story is bursting at the seams with dialog, and it is all very important. I can safely say that you will not mind re-watching Gundam Wing over and over again, because it is just that good.

OVERALL

You don't get any better than this, or even as good! GET COPIES OF THIS SERIES RIGHT AWAY, OR YOU WILL BE SORRY!!!

Review By: David Seid

Art/Animation: TV/OVAStoryline: TV/OVACharacter Design: TV/OVAMusic:TV/OVA
9.5/10.0
10.0/10.0
9.9/9.9
9.5/9.5