Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 38 – “The Birth of Queen Relena” – Game Changing Move

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Making Relena Queen of the World was a smart move on the part of the Romafellers, but I think they underestimate her new power and idealism. They are giving reigns to the person who was ready to kill Lady Une for killing her father, this was back when Une served the Romafeller Foundation since she was serving Treize who was completely loyal at the time. Suffice to say, this is a game changing move, though how it will change the game remains to be seen.

“The Birth of Queen Relena” was directed by Nobuyoshi Nishimura and Takeshi Yoshimoto and written by Akemi Omode.

The story begins with Duo moving on his with his life on the Colony but going to meet Quatre when his family is active again. They talk and Quatre hears that Trowa is still alive so visits the Circus to see him. Events unfold to where the Colony is attacked leading Quatre to defend it and this gets Trowa out of his amnesia as he rediscovers his purpose again. Shortly after the Romafeller Foundation crowns Relena Queen of the World.

The Pros: Duo – Duo has stopped being the God of Death it looks like, at least for now. Seeing a broken Trowa reminded him of building a life outside of fighting, which he is doing with Hilde. I’m wondering if he is still fighting Romafeller now or if he’s just moved on. It was still great to see him, though Quatre was not able to remind him of his purpose.

Noin and Wufei – Noin forgives Wufei and is the much stronger character. Wufei still can’t see past himself and refuses to join them in the fight against Romafeller and uniting all the pilots together.

Quatre and Trowa – Quatre saves Trowa’s soul and Trowa had saved Quatre’s soul. The moment he sees that Trowa is alive so touching. He cries and reminds him that he will defend him and of the cost he lives with everyday (being the reason for the amnesia and destruction of a colony). These two are great characters.

Treize – Treize is still the planner in the shadows. I’m curious what he is going to do now that Relena has changed the game.

Relena – Relena becomes Queen for the greater good, though I could see her subverting the role since she wants peace through freedom and not tyranny. Can’t wait to see what Queen Relena does.

Okay: Wufei – Still sexist, still stubborn and not able to listen to everyone. At least he has character traits, but still. He was the weakest part of the episode.

This was a great episode and I really like how they are setting things up! Will people listen to Relena’s abolishing of borders and will abolishing borders really do any good? How will the Romafellers seek to control her? What is Dorothy’s agenda? What will Heero do now? What role will the pilots play now? Very curious to see how things unfold from here.

Final Score: 9.5 / 10.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 36 – “Sanc Kingdom’s Collapse” – Relena’s Lost Dream

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The Romafeller Foundation has complete control as of the end of this episode. Their enemies are fractured, they are building a super weapon, the symbol of resistance has been caught and the Pilots are fractured. Where we go from here makes me excited to watch on.

The episode was directed by Nobuyoshi Nishimura and Yasunao Aoki and written by Katsuhiko Chiba.

The episode begins with production of the Cruiser by Romafeller alienating their allies in space as on the ground the Romafeller Foundation prepares to invade the Sanc Kingdom for taking in refugees from the kingdoms they have conquered. Around the same time Duo discovers Trowa after he leaves the revolutionaries telling them they need to plan for what they’ll do after Romafeller’s defeated. These are the main stories that unfold with the main focus on Relena and how to save her people.

The Pros: Romafeller Strength – The Romafellers actually feel like a threat and have done a good job taking advantage of everyone to the point that no one can do anything to stop them anymore. They have overwhelming numbers and their enemies aren’t’ united so that now they can walk over a peaceful country (The Sanc Kingdom) and face no consequences.

The Broken Pilots – Duo is smart and sees the bigger picture, he is also worried about Trowa as he has discovered a Trowa who is broken and afraid. Quatre meets up with his allies in the Middle East but lets Relena go when she surrenders and joins Noin in space, Heero has lost in Epyon and is the lone soldier still fighting and Zechs is going to arrive to find his kingdom destroyed once again and his sister captured by his enemies. We also see a depressed Treize and Noin who feel like any hope has been crushed in that moment of surrender.

Dorothy – Dorothy respects Relena for her integrity in surrendering and promises to protect her. Could she be the one good Romafeller? That remains to be seen.

Relena – Relena makes the hard choice of surrendering in order to protect her people and the soldiers still fighting as the Romafeller Foundation has such larger numbers. She fears for her people and regrets having to make the decision in the first place, but knows she must to keep integrity.

This was a great episode and at least for the moment, the loss of Relena’s and Zechs’s dream of a nation living through pacifism as a counter to militarism. It does establish the Romafellers to be no better than the Zeons though, so at least when the final battle comes they won’t be missed. Definitly feeling for Relena and all the Pilots after this episode.

Final Score: 10 / 10.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 32 – “The God of Death Meets Zero” – The Gundam that Breaks You

GundamWep32f This was a good episode. I’m a fan of Duo so any episode where we spend more time with him usually makes a good episode to me, but we also get to learn why Quatre went insane beyond his already unstable mental state at the time and why the same thing happened to Heero…Gundam Zero is the Broken Gundam that will break you. This episode is at it’s core, an exploration of that.

The episode was directed by Yasunao Aoki and Nobuyoshi Nishimura and written by Katsuhiko Chiba.

The episode begins with Duo attacking the New OZ (run by the Romafeller Foundation) to get supplies to continue to upgrade his Gundam Deathscythe. Around the same time an OZ soldier named Trent is trying to gain control of Wing Zero, as he loses control in all the simulations. He goes to Hilde’s colony who is helping Duo and captures Duo so that he can use Duo to learn how to control Gundam Zero, from here the story unfolds.

The Pros: Duo – Duo is awesome in this! It is great seeing him use Deathscythe Hell some more and see his vulnerability as well when he hallucinates Deathscyhe and destroying Hilde’s colony in the simulation where he realizes that Zero cannot be controlled, which leads to him facing Trent and defeating him. He worries on who will use Zero as a weapon next as they’d have to greater than human.

Deathscythe Hell and Gundam Zero Battle – This is a pretty amazing fight, as Zero has close range and ranged attacks, where Deathscythe is primarily all close range attacks. In this way the most that Duo is able to do is neutralize Zero which is enough to kill Trent.

Hilde – She has a small role, but is awesome as she’s Duo’s partner in the revolt against the Romafeller Foundation.

Okay: The Romafeller Foundation – They are their via Tsuberov acting all powerless but still as a threat in the background. They function better as a threat in that way and I’m suprised they haven’t destroyed Gundam Zero yet or tried to make it a Mobile Doll.

This was a great episode, we see that Zero overwhelms who ever controls it and that Duo is working on building up Deathscythe himself, and working with Hilde on her colony. The Pilots are getting in place for the coming battle against Romafeller and preparing.

Final Score: 9.5 / 10.

 

 

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 28 – “Passing Destinies” – Treize’s Motivation

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This episode is also a clip show but the focus is Treize and we get a lot more information and an important reveal at the end. Treize is a fascinating character, he glorifies battle the way Klingon does and isn’t concerned about outcomes. To him it is all about belief in a cause and how fighting for a just cause can shape you to grow. This makes him fascinating, if not all that bright since he seems to have no conception of peace.

The episode was directed by Nobuyoshi Nishimura and Kunihiro Mori and written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa.

The episode picks up where we last saw Treize with him being removed to the Romafeller Foundation headquaters to be under house arrest. It is here we learn their original ideals were the protection of nature, which is why Treize joined them and started the Special Soldiers units within OZ. We see that his focus was protection and the love of battle which is where everything unfolds from.

The Pros: Treize – Treize changed because of pilots and because of Zechs. Zechs found truth beyond battle and found himself as Miliardo again, Une found balance between fighting and peace and stood against the automated soldiers of the Romafeller foundation and the Gundam Pilots’ pure hearts inspired Treize to leave the Romafeller Foundation and begin to help them too. It turns out this is all part of his plan with the Gundam Epyon being a major part. What his endgame is (giving his love for battle) still remains to be seen.

The Cons: Lady Une Alive? – She is mourned in one scene as having been shot but after we see her at the end with the reveal of the new Gundam Epyon. I hope this doesn’t become a plot hole. Also, does any of the main cast die? I’m expecting Trowa back now.

This was another clip show that you don’t need to see. You just see Epyon  and Une and learn some more of Treize’s motivations. I liked it and thought it was better than the last one but that is largely because Treize is so much more interesting than Heero and Relena as are those in his faction like Zechs and Une.

Final Score: 8.3 / 10.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 27 – “The Locus of Victory and Defeat” – Relena and Heero’s Clip Show

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This episode was a clip show, and there is only so much you can do with a clip show, but we at least get what is going on in Heero’s mind and we get an update on how Relena has changed and grown and how the events have changed them all. That I did appreciate.

The directors were Kunihiro Mori, Shinichi Sakuma and Hitoshi Waraya and written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa.

As stated above, this episode is recounting the last 26 episodes from the point of view of Relena and Heero and their views of those around them and the events that unfolded.

The Pros: Relena – I finally liked her character after this episode. We see that she was once selfish and now she is selfless as she is fighting for the greater good. She has compassion that Heero finally values.

Heero – For Heero it is learning that he has allies and that the mission is not everything. We see this when he first protects Relena and when he is able to get beyond the programming of Wing and surrenders himself to Quatre as they escape to Earth.

Okay: The Clips – They did a good job of summing everything up but we didn’t get much new information so that is my biggest issue.

This is an unnessasry episode, but I appreciated it since the show is good quality and we get to see some of the great events that have unfolded and made this show unforgettable. Check it out if you like the show.

Final Score: 7 / 10.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 25 – “Quatre VS. Heero” – Sacrifice and the Automation of War

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Where the last episode felt unfinished, this one feels complete and is actually a great place for a mid-season finale. This episode reveals the Romafeller Foundation’s plot, shows the character of Treize and Une and shows how our pilots have changed and their lack of place in this new world. It is definitely a favorite, and has some pretty amazing fights too.

“Quatre VS. Heero” was directed  by Tetsuya Watanabe, Shinichi Sakuma and Hitoshi Waraya and written by Masashi Ikeda.

The episode picks up where we left off with Trowa incapacitated while Heero and Quatre fight while Wufei, Duo and the scientists are losing air. What also happens, besides the fight continuing is Treize resigning from control of OZ and Lady Une mounting a rescue attempt to save the Pilots. Around this time is when Quatre realizes Trowa is in danger and stops fighting.

The Pros: The Battles – There are a lot of great battles in the episode. From the reveal of the new Mobile Dolls called Virgos and them fighting Une and her troops, to Heero and Quatre’s battle to Duo and Wufei’s escape in their upgraded Gundams. There is some pretty amazing action this episode.

Treize – Treize resigns as he against the use of soulless weapons that do not value human life. This puts him at odds with the Romafeller Foundation who arrest him as he realizes the value of the zen state and how powerful the Pilots are and that they are the examples in their perfect feeling of their feelings. Great seeing Treize make a stand and to be shown as noble.

Tsuberov – This guy is a boss for sure. He shoots (and most likely kills) Lady Une! He is willing to die and kill for his ideas of power and control. The guy is like a minor Sith Lord as he is the face of the Romafeller’s in space.

Trowa – Trowa convinces Quatre to stop fighting and let go of his hate and in the process dies? He loses his Gundam but his body is still around. I’m hoping him or Lady Une die though as it shows actual cost this episode beyond nameless troops.

Quatre – Quatre finally stops fighting and defeats Heero (which is suprising, given Heero is supposed to be the best of the pilots) and he has finally began to heal as we see him caring for an injured Heero and realizing that his actions and hate led to the loss of his friend Trowa.

Duo and Wufei – They have their upgraded Gundams! Deathsyche Hell and Altron and they rock! The Gundams aren’t fully upgraded but they are more than a match for the automated Virgos. Can’t wait to see Duo and Wufei in action again, especially since they have grown so much.

The Message – The use of robotic and automated soldiers is bad as machines do not value human life and there should be the human idea of fighting for justice and freedom that is lost when there are only tools on the battlefield and not soldiers aware of things changing or making things change by their choices. It’s a powerful message and a good one too.

This is another one of those perfect “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing” episodes and one I highly recommend. It doesn’t even need the setup as  you see it in the lead up to the episode by the narrator. Great character growth and loss if Lady Une is actually dead (which given she was shot and this is a Gundam series, is probably the case). RIP Lady Une, you had a great character arc and were an awesome character!

Final Score: 10 / 10.

 

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 24 – “The Gundam They Called Zero” – Quatre’s War

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Quatre is back and he is broken. This episode answers the question of what happened to Quatre and shows how the Romafeller Foundation will do whatever it wants regardless of the people it has put in command. This was a good episode that went into different characters’ psychologies.

“The Gundam They Called Zero” was directed by Nobuyoshi Nishimura and Kunihiro Mori and written by Toshifumi Kawase.

The episode begins with Quatre in his new Gundam Zero destroying a resource sattelite and heading towards the Colonies after sending out a threat to destroy them if they don’t disarm. This calls into conflict the Romafeller Foundation versus Une. Tsuberov of the Romafeller Foundation wants to use Mobile Dolls to defeat Quatre while she decides to send out Trowa and Heero. He protests and decides to take things into his own hands after the Pilots head to face Quatre.

The Pros: Lady Une – Lady Une trusts the pilots and this may be coming back to bite her later as we learn Trowa is not loyal and still plans to destroy OZ. She “controls” the pilots right now, but for how long?

Tsuberov’s Plot – Tsuberov takes control with some OZ soldiers (not all are loyal to Une) and takes away the air in the prisons so that Wufei, Duo and the Scientists will die. He’s afraid since he knows how powerful they will be if they turn against them.

Wufei and Duo – Wufei and Duo are given the specs for the Gundams the scientists are upgrading which Wufei continues to study even after the air is taken away. Duo wishes he could join the fight but in the end gives in to despair as he feels powerless in the situation unless someone can rescue them. They have a great dynamic. Duo is the jokester while Wufie is his usual serious self always questioning versus Duo’s idealism.

Quatre and Gundam Zero – Gundam Zero is a beautiful Gundam and is quite deadly as it has a gun that completely destroys a Colony. Quatre has become a fanatic and the loss of his father has broken him. This is his personal vendetta against the Colonies now unless they disarm. He is so lost that even Trowa’s attempts to reason with him fail.

Trowa – Trowa is calm and collected but gets injured in the process when he attempts to reason with Quatre. He is undercover and waiting for the right chance to strike OZ, which he believes will be the right time when Quatre joins them. Quatre is his own faction now though…as Trowa learns when his OZ Gundam loses it’s arm.

Heero – Heero lives for the mission and says they may have to kill Quatre. He decides he will do just that after Quatre nearly destroy Trowa as Heero nows realizes he truly can’t be reasoned with.

The Cons: Unfinished – This episode feels unfinished as we are left with Heero facing Quatre…this fight could have been over with, which makes me wonder what they’re going to do next episode.

This episode feels unfinished so that is the biggest thing against it. The best parts of this episode where the character moments between pilots. Duo knowing that Trowa was still loyal to the cause, Duo’s idealism versus Wufei’s questioning. These are the moments that show this show’s strength. The Romafeller Foundation isn’t the strongest of enemies and I still think in the Gundam Universes the Zeon’s take the cake still.

Final Score: 8 / 10. It was good.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 23 – “Duo, the God of Death Once Again” – Duo’s Influence

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One thing the Gundam Franchise has always been good at is giving minor characters their due. They may only appear in one or two episodes, but whichever Gundam series they appear in will usually give them justice. In this episode Hilde is a great example of that for “Gundam Wing.”

“Duo, the God of Death Once Again” was directed by Shinichi Sakuma, Hitoshi Waraya and Takeshi Yoshimoto and written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa.

The episode picks up where we left off with Duo planning to destroy the Lunar Base where the Romafeller Foundation is constructing more Mobile Dolls and upgrading them. He meets Hilde who says he should volunteer which he sees as his opportunity to attack the base. Their story soon as they face off against each other in Gundams. Around this time Zechs/Miliardo is seeking a peaceful solution with Colony leaders and the demilitarization of the Colonies.

The Pros: Zechs/Miliardo – Zechs has an awesome arc! He has become balance because hew as once OZ and is now full Peacecraft, it gives him a great perspective as he is a soldier fighting for peace which gives power to his words if the Colonies would listen. Fear is a powerful tool though as Zechs is realizing. I’m looking for to him meeting his sister again as I think the fact he is going alone is limiting his influence. Which is a theme, the pilots fail because they aren’t standing as one.

Hilde – Hilde is an OZ soldier who cares for the Colonies and joined OZ to protect them. It is her fighting with Duo, especially after he saves her life from soldiers who care nothing about the soldiers fighting and only following orders. This leads to her becoming a free agent and protecting Duo so he can enter the Lunar Base. She is really awesome.

Duo – Duo is one of my favorite pilots. He becomes friends with Hilde through their adversarial relationships and reminds her to die for something worth dying for and not to in vain. He manages to infiltrate the Lunar Base even with a broken gundam and discovers the Colony Scientists are upgrading Deathscythe and Shenlong leading him to let them capture him until the Gundams are fully upgraded. For once he has hope and is once again in the zone and the God of Death again.

The Colony Scientists – These guys are brilliant. They have a secret base on the Lunar Base and are upgrading the Colony Gundams. They haven’t given up the fight.

Okay: Trowa – Trowa is listening to Lady Une and I wonder if he’s a full believer now or just udnercover.

Lady Une – Lady Une is seeking balance between her two identities and wants to create Treize’s world where soldiers have a place.

This episode was a shaping of things to come, got the pilots together and showed their influence on minor characters. What will come out of this remains to be seen but so far OZ and Romafeller Foundation are the primary enemies, though OZ could soon break from their influence via Treize and Lady Une. This was a great episode well worth checking out.

Final Score: 9 / 10.

 

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 20 – “The Lunar Base Infiltration” – What is Done for the Mission

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This was a great episode at showing just how costly sticking to a mission can be and not allowing oneself to change. We see this in the actions of Lady Une, in Trowa and in Heero as they are the main characters who we really get glimpses into this episode. I’ll get into more of what I mean later in the review.

The episode was directed by Kunihiro Mori and Nobuyoshi Nishimura and written by Katsuhiko Chiba.

“The Lunar Base Infiltration,” begins with Trowa as one of Lady Une’s test pilots who is chosen to be the pilot for the Gundams the captured Colony Scientists are building. Lady Une speaks to him privately which gives him the chance to critique OZ which begins to break the illusion she’s been embracing as the diplomat and around the time Heero does his attack attempting to destroy the nearly finished Gundam.

The Pros: OZ’s Gundams – OZ has two new Gundams and they are awesome! There is the red Mercurius with an unstoppable shield and Vayaete a blue gundam with the largest beam cannon. Can’t wait to see these two in action against the 6 pilots.

Sally Po and the Magunacs – Both of them are trying to get to the Gundams, Sally to destroy it because she knows it is what Wufei would want and the Magunacs to repair since it is what Quatre would want. After a heated battle they reach an understanding and go their separate ways with respect for each other and the pilot’s whose ideologies they follow.

Trowa – Trowa is a great character in this as we see him subverting Lady Une by revealing OZ for what it is…an organization that values craftyness and guile over morality and because of this he would make a good pilot. He also does what he needs to do to remain undercover, from capturing Heero to destroying Deathscythe.

Deathscythe’s Destruction – Poor Duo screams when he sees it live. He just lost a huge part of his identity this episode.

Lady Une – Lady Une is torn with OZ’s military holding her to that role where she has no empathy, and the role Treize has put her in as the diplomat. She is torn because of this and it nearly breaks her when Trowa speaks truth about OZ.

Okay: The scientists – Again, they don’t have distinct identities, and it’s unknown how they are going to use the new Gundams against OZ.

Heero – He only appears at the end and attempts to destroy Mercurius and fails before Trowa captures him.

This was a good character episode and is beginning to show the tole of the war on a lot of the characters…from Trowa joining OZ, Heero willing to go to any lengths to succeed in the mission and Lady Une’s split personality…and we’re only 20 episodes in. Things are just going to keep unfolding.

Final Score: 8.6 / 10.

 

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 19 – “Assault on Barge” – The Torn

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“Assault on Barge” was a fantastic exploration of how torn most of our characters are, which actually picks up the theme from last episode too. So much of the fighting is useless in a way because it just feeds the conflict (something “Mobile Suit Gundam” has always been good at exploring) and in this we see how the driven soldier can commit wrongs for the cause.

The episode was directed by Takeshi Yoshimoto, Shinichi Sakuma and Hitoshi Waraya.

The story continues with Lady Une playing the part of the diplomat and winning through soft power while Zechs is taken in by Tallgeese’s designer on Earth who gives him a way to space where ‘Things are changing,” and Lady Une tries to stop the fighting between Wufei and the Dolls after Duo has been taken in. Heero also mounts a rescue mission for Duo.

The Pros: Duo – We see that Duo gives his all but just isn’t fast enough to defeat the Mobile Dolls, leading to his capture as well as the capture of his Gundam. When Heero rescues him he asks if hew wants to die, but since he doesn’t he isn’t killed and they make their escape together. Duo is still whole or at least more whole than Heero since Heero says he will kill the scientists since they know how to defeat the Gundams and the mission must not be forgotten. When Heero tells him this you hear the pity in his voice.

Heero – Heero shows he is torn since he was supposed to kill Duo to protect the mission but saves him instead, and later plans to kill the scientists to complete the mission. The mission is still all he’s living for and he hasn’t realized how much things have changed. This is mirrored in Wufei too.

Wufei – Wufei is fighting the Mobile Dolls and gets injured when the cannon destroys some of them showing that OZ cares nothing for their own troops. We learn Lady Une didn’t do it though as she speaks to Wufei from her shuttle and asks for the fighting to stop. The fanatic has even become changed by playing the role of the diplomat.

Lady Une – Lady Une is the harsh soldier and the understanding diplomat and now it is like they are two separate identities that have been integrated together since she’s been cold to the pilots yet wanted to save Wufei. Where this will go remains to be seen.

Zechs – Zechs was the best part of this episode as he is taken in by one of Tallgeese’s designers who helps him get Tallgeese into space and asks that he be a part of the change since he is an enemy of OZ. This was great to see and Zechs is embracing his new purpose as a shaper of things to come. He also no longer has a mask to wear and no longer considers himself Zechs because of that.

Okay: Tallgeese’s Designer – We don’t get a name and he mostly functions as plot. He wasn’t bad but I wanted his motivations.

OZ Soldiers – One of them acts because he isn’t’ getting orders from Lady Une in the fight against Wufei. We don’t have a name so it’s hard to care about him. This was part of what this episode tonally confusing.

This was a great episode and shows just how torn most of our character are now. There are so many factions and no one knows who to follow as each is finding people they connect too. War is chaos and in the chaos the factions are no longer clear and with that so many don’t have clarity of purpose. Everyone is torn.

Final Score: 9.4 / 10.