Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 44 – “Go Forth, Gundam Team” – Dorothy’s Insanity and Quatre Rises

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This was an episode with a lot of great character moments (largely for Zechs, Quatre and Relena) but was a really solid episode too with so much great action. We see what happens when characters are pushed to their limits and that the coming war is still in flux. The Gundams stand strong as their own faction and we haven’t seen what Treize has in plan yet or what Relena will do.

“Go Forth, Gundam Team” was directed by Nobuyoshi Nishimura and Kunihiro Mori and written by Katsuhiko Chiba.

The premise of the episode is that Zechs is trying to wear out the Gundam Pilots in order to destroy them by using the Epyon system on the Mobile Dolls. Heero counters by installing the Zero system onto Quatre’s Gundam Sandrock as he knows that he’ll be facing Epyon while the rest of the team faces the Dolls. Relena is taken on board (she was purposely missed by the cannon) and she once more confronts Zechs as Dorothy is put in charge of the Dolls to take on the Pilots in the battle.

The Pros: Heero – Heero is the one behind the scenes aware of everyone’s abilities, he even cares about Zechs as when Zechs retreats from the battle after Dorothy fails in the fight and hurts the Libra he asks Zechs if he sees a future, as Heero has seen no future for him. They are connected and have a great respect for each other at this point.

Dorothy – She’s insane and it is awesome. After Quatre defeats her using the Zero system to guide the Gundams in battle she fires the cannon to try and destroy them and it fries Libra’s systems making her feel broken…this is of course after she gives Relena a gun to kill Zechs and puts the suggestion in her head of doing just that and after locking her in her room.

Quatre and Team Gundam – Quatre is afraid when he is given Zero system in Sandrock until Heero convinces him it is his way to atone for destroying a Colony…after watching the other Gundams failing in the battle against the Dolls he takes control and manages to beat Dorothy in strategy, proving that he is not just the glue emotionally, he is also the leader as he is the least bound by emotion and fighting unlike the other three pilots. They do a great job in the battle too and manage to escape in time.

Zechs – Zechs protects Relena and Quinze mentions that he wouldn’t have been chosen to lead White Fang if he hadn’t had someone he protected and cared about. It’s a good moment that humanizes both Zechs and Quinze. Relena rejects Zechs though as she doesn’t know if the man holding her is the blood stained Zechs or Miliardo her compassionate brother. This hurts him a lot and we see how powerless he feels when Dorothy fails him showing that he is in over his head.

Relena – Dorothy offers Relena a choice, end the war and kill your brother…or let your brother make peace through this war. She rejects the offers and is locked in her room…this is after she calls out Zechs on his hypocrisy in a Shakespearian ways of mentioning that she does not know which person is holding her…Zechs or Miliardo and at the end it looks like she might be decidiing to kill Zechs.

This was a perfect episode, great action, character development and answering the “So what?” of “Gundam Wing.” We get to see the characters rise to challenges and make tough choices. This episode also makes Quatre one of my favorite characters, he is shown to have the clearest head and to have grown a lot since Wing Zero was controlling him. Proud of him in this episode.

Final Score: 10 / 10. Perfect “Gundam Wing.”

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 35 – “The Return of Wufei” – Factions of Resistance

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This was another episode with a lot of potential, that was better than the last episode but still fell short. There was a lot of setup in this episode without as much payoff, especially in regards to Zechs’s attempts to get more Pilots as allies to take on the Romafellers. We do get to know Wufei a bit more at least, though he’s still the least compelling of the Gundam Pilots.

“The Return of Wufei” was directed by Kunihiro Mori, Shinichi Sakuma and Hitoshi Waraya and written by Katsuyuki Sumizawa.

The episode begins with Wufei on Colony L5 where he is from doing martial arts with his Clan. It is than Master Long tells him that his true strength comes from within and that is how he will know he is ready. Romafeller also knows he’s on the Colony attacks. After the attack and actions taken by the Colony Zechs makes his way over to try and recruit Wufei to team up with him against the Romafeller Foundation. On Earth Noin trains the former Treize Faction and Alliance soldiers for the coming attack by the Romafeller Foundation on the Sanc Kingdom as Heero is back to not caring.

The Pros: Zechs – Zechs can see the bigger picture as seen by his attempt to recruit Wufei. He isn’t successful as Wufei doesn’t trust him since he used to be OZ. They fight and Zechs experiences the loss of control Quatre and Heero felt in Wing and even attacks Peacemillion. After he calms down he is able to relate to what drives the Gundam Pilots more as the scientist tells him what the Wing does to it’s pilots in trying to make them the perfect killing machines.

Wufei – We see Wufei’s clan and he’s actually given a bit of personality. From honoring his Master Long and continuing to train at his old home. He sadly loses it though when his Clan destroys their Colony to resist Romafeller control, this loss of control makes it so he cannot talk with Zechs and sees him as one of his enemies in space. This loss of control and loss is a major theme among the Gundam Pilots.

Noin – Noin sees the big picture and cares about Relena’s vision. She’s also calm and collected throughout it all, it’s a shame Heero can’t see past himself and see that she sees the bigger picture towards a path to peace. Heero is as blind as Wufei.

Quatre – Quatre is seeking Sandrock and his allies in the Middle East. We see him escape a Romafeller ship and escape into the desert after he talks to Noin. He is the only pilot who sees the big picture so far.

Romafeller Foundation – They are constructing a giant cruiser to enforce their will in space. I got a feeling it’s going to be in the final battle and that all the Gundams will be needed to defeat it. At this point the Romafeller Foundation is triumphant.

Okay: Trowa – He is back with the circus and has amnesia. Not much more to say there. We still don’t know who saved him in space.

This episode was good overall, though I felt Wufei could have been explored more and that Zechs should be collecting more allies besides Gundam Pilots the way Relena is in the Sanc Kingdom. It was great seeing the Romafellers raising the stakes with a super weapon (par for the course in Space Operas) and I want Zechs’s plan to work. The Pilots should work together as it is the only way to stop the Romafeller Foundation.

Final Score: 8.8 / 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 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 16 – “The Sorrowful Battle” – A Reason to Live

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“The Sorrowful Battle” is a tale of broken soldiers. It is here we learn more of Zechs’s motivation and what drives him and that he is just as invested in any cause he takes up as the Gundam pilots. It is for this reason his fight with Heero is so illuminating for him. For many facing Heero is how they discover their own reasons for living or fighting.

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

The episode begins with Zechs meeting Noin, Trowa and Heero and treating them kindly before it all agreed upon that they need to fight. They can only see that they are on opposing sides and the fight is all they have to live for. What changes things though is the arrival of Relena who is connected to them both and when Noin reveals the truth of Zechs’s relationship to her the story unfolds.

The Pros: Relena – She takes action and prevents Zechs and Heero from destroying each other. Relena sees the big picture and that OZ and the Romafeller Organization are the true enemies of peace and that the pilots are just tools but moral tools. It is the willingness to end Zechs to do so that leads to Noin confessing her love for Zechs to Relena and to Zechs switching sides and fighting OZ for all the colonies. Relena points out to Noin that she is on the wrong side too and makes Noin realize that she is following Zechs truly, not OZ. Best Relena episode so far.

Noin – Respects Zechs’s choice to fight and defend them all and helps him find his reason to fight again. She is great too and helps make peace between Relena and Zechs as well as giving the information of them being siblings and the pain behind Zechs’s backstory and why he felt lost after the horrors that OZ began committing that were counter to his Sanc ideals.

Trowa and Heero – Trowa upgrades Heavyarms for Heero and helps him fight against Zechs making them evenly matched. You can tell how much their friendship has grown at this point and there are a lot of subtle moments of affection between them. They also make the escape with Noin when Zechs promises to fight Heero later and goes to face the army of OZ for the colonies.

Zechs and Heero – Zechs and Heero are two soldiers so filled with guilt from the blood on their hands they just want to die. It takes Relena’s arrival and the letter for Heero to change his mind and to gives Zechs reason to fight for Relena as she fights for the colonies and peace. It’s a powerful scene as he leaves in Tallgeese to take on the OZ invasion force.

To Defend Another – Zechs’s character arc in this episode is his becoming a knight. Before he was nothing more than an OZ mercenary he realizes, especially as the Romafeller ideals run counter to Sanc ideals. This leads to his changing sides at the end and defending the Gundam Pilots, his lover Noin and his sister Relena. Zechs becomes the Knight and finds his purpose again.

This was a great action episode and had some of the best Gundam action in the series. It also had a great character arc for Zechs and Heero and gave them a chance to grow beyond their brokenness as others had forgiven them and wanted to give them a reason to fight for peace. In that way the episode is akin to a beautiful and sad waltz between Zechs and Heero as they learn the greater purpose of the dance they have all been apart of.

Final Score: 10 / 10. The Perfect Gundam Wing episode.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 11 – “The Whereabouts of Happiness” – The Face of Resistance

GundamWep11d       “The Whereabouts of Happiness” is a good episode. It shows the different faces of resistance and the shape of things to come as we get to know our heroes better and who they have as allies.

        The episode was directed by Kunihiro Mori and Nobuyoshi Nishimura and written by Akemi Omode.

        The episode begins with Relena on the colonies finding that they care for her and her legacy as a Peacecraft as Treize sends Lady Une to represent him to the colonies. This leads to Relena trying to kill Lady Une and the story unfolding from there. On the Earth side of things the Pilots go there separate ways with Duo joining Quatre and learning about his family, people and legacy.

The Pros: Quatre and the Maganacs – Quatre is Middle Eastern royalty and his people live underneath the ground and great companionship. It’s very similar to the Fremen from “Dune,” from having hidden traps to fight Alliance and OZ forces, to the underground living and loyalty to nobility and Quatre. I like them and am curious to see how they continue to fight. We also learn he grew up on the Colonies, is from a noble family from the Middle Eastern nation and his family was a family of pacifists, making his role as a pilot all the more interesting.

Duo – Duo is supportive of Quatre and likes the community that exists among the Maganacs. His being an isolated colonist being sent for revenge against OZ gets discussed with Quatre and they both realize how important the mission is before the fight against OZ and going their separate ways.

Rashid – Rashid is Quatre’s mentor and a really good guy. He is calm and professional and reminds Quatre of the Maganacs and that they choose to fight for him. He doesn’t pull any punches either and expresses his anger at Quatre for not letting them fight.

Weridge – Is one of the colony leaders we meet who is supportive of Relena and the Peacecrafts and when she attempts to kill Lady Une stops Une and OZ troops from following her, even saying he wishes he had the courage to do the same thing. He really shows just how much the Colonies hate OZ and what it has done under the Alliance and on it’s own.

Relena – Tries to kill Lady Une and we learn that she does have the strength to stand for something. It’s a small scene but speaks volumes in regards to her character, as well as showing how similar she is to Zechs and Heero. The episode ends with Noin joining her to support her as that is what Zechs wants so that the Peacecraft family can be restored.

 The Cons: Lady Une – So far no reason to like her, she is still cold and cruel and has no regard for the colonies and life that doesn’t suit her purposes. I really hope she changes.

     This was a great episode that I would highly recommend. Getting to see the life of hte Maganacs and get Quatre’s backstory of him being a child of the noble from their nation, but only seeing them from the outside, since he grew up on the Colonies is powerful and shows why he is so naive and idealistic. Seeing Relena take action and be supported by the Colonists was powerful, and having Noin join her too.

Final Score: 9.4 / 10. Really great and a favorite.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 7 – “Scenario for Bloodshed” – Treize’s Gambit

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      This is the episode that shows just how powerful OZ is, and how complicated things were within the Alliance. I’ll get into more of what I mean later but for now, this is an episode of consequences that pulls a lot of unexpected turns that show just how brutal war is.

     “Scenario for Bloodshed” was directed by Kunihiro Mori and Nobuyoshi Nishimura and written by Katsuhiko Chiba.

      The story begins with some Alliance generals holding a meeting to talk peace with the colonies. Leading this is endeavor is Noventa, the Chief Commander of Alliance Forces who holds the meeting at New Edwards. The Gundam Pilots recieve word of the meeting and begin attacking around the same time that Treize reveals his hand and begins the revolution against the Alliance. From here the story unfolds as characters realize how they were played.

The Pros: Treize – This guy is the glorious bastard…he takes advantage of the Colonies in rebellion and the fact that they are using child soldiers to lure them into a trap where they take out their best bet for peace leaving him and OZ in charge and further militarization of Earth. I’m curious what his reasons are for doing this but he has people who are good (Noin and Zechs) who believe in him so at least some of it is not all it appears to be.

The Alliance – The Alliance leaders are finally complicated, and now they are dead. Noventa is an interesting guy as he knows that the Gundams on Earth are only going to reek more havoc unless peace can be found with the colonies. Septum is the annoying military man who wants war and declares war on the Colonies before Lady Une disposes of him now that he has served his purpose.

The Gundam Pilots – Wufei makes has them stop fighting each other as he points out how OZ used them all to get rid of the best chance for peace. This breaks them all in different ways but especially Heero who was beginning to make peace with the good in himself again. What this entails later remains to be seen with all the pilots, they are scarred even more now though.

Noin – Follows orders but questions if it is worth it with all the blood being shed. She shows just how deadly she is this time though as she kills multiple Alliance Gundams in the rebellion.

The Cons: Too Much Too Fast – So much happens that it is hard to gather what is going on fully a lot of the time. We still don’t know why Treize took over and the reasons the leader of the Alliance wanted peace wasn’t fully explored either. This episode really could have been a two parter.

     This was a really good episode. Not my favorite as it should have been two episodes, a lot happens here and the revolution almost happens too quickly. If they slowed it down we could have got more glimpses into the Pilots, the leadership of the Alliance, Noin and Treize. It still is a good episode, but doing so much hurt the story a little.

Final Score: 9.3 / 10.