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 2 – “The Gundam Deathscythe” – Conflict Among Pilots

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“Deatscythe” is one of my favorite looking Gundams, and his pilot Duo is actually a pretty good guy or at least isn’t as sociopathic as Heero. This episode gave him a bit of exploration when we see him out of his Gundam, though the focus at this point is still Heero and how much he doesn’t care about anything but the mission. I’ll get into more details in the assessment.

“The Gundam Deathscythe” was directed by Nana Harada and written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa. The animated directors were Shinichi Sakuma and Hitoshi Waraya.

This episode picks up where the last one left off with Zechs seeking Heero’s Gundam and manipulating Earth forces to help find it, the Gundams settling down undercover or on mission and Relena’s party and her relationship to Heero. From here the episode unfolds.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Duo/Deathscythe – This is the Gundam that functions as an assassin. With it’s giant scythe and weapons that make it unseen we see just how deadly it is when it takes out an entire group of submarines and ships when Zechs is searching for Gundam Wing. Duo is a pretty great character too as he sticks up for Relena and is a kind guy which is contrasted with how he is in his Gundam where he sees himself as a living incarnation of Death. I am looking forward to his backstory.

Zechs – Zechs is fulfilling the Char role really well, as he is doesn’t take a risk unless he knows he can win and learns from the losses of his allies. He even takes his own mortality into account as he speaks of a rumor that whomever sees a Gundam will soon die. I can’t wait to see where this character goes.

The Other Pilots – Trowa joins a circus and tames a lion, Wufei gets explosives, and Quatre admires the Earth’s beauty. The other pilots are fascinating and I want to know them more.

Okay: Heero – Heero is great when he’s in action on the mission, but I can’t make him a pro because he isn’t attached to anyone and doesn’t care about anything. I want to know the reason why this is, or else I won’t be able to sympathize with him.

The Cons: Relena – Why does she like Heero? She sees that he’s a threat to her people but is drawn to him even though he’s attempted to kill her once now and has threatened to kill her prior. No person has that much disregard for their life…I do hope she grows as a character.

I enjoyed this episode but wish we’d gotten more time with Duo. We see his Gundam Deathscythe in action but don’t really get to know his character beyond his sticking up for Relena. It is only twenty minutes long so there is only so much that can be accomplished, though I’d choose time with Duo over time with Heero anyday. Heero is just dark, cruel and broken. Duo is a bit more complicated.

Final Score: 8.5 / 10. It was really good but not great.