Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 40 – “A New Leader” – The Fall of Dermail

Gw-ep40-a-new-leader       This episode is things coming full circle. What once began with the Earth wanting to conquer space and conquer or destroy the Colonies,  now has the militarized Colonies doing the same thing under the leadership of the White Fang. It’s a powerful message showing how militarization and conquest lead to the oppressed doing the same. This is ironic too since Romafeller is becoming like the Colonies used to be making the Colonies the new future oppressor.

“A New Leader” was directed by Nobuyoshi Nishimura and Yasunao Aoki and written by Katsuhiko Chiba.

The story begins with Dermail doing a power play after Dorothy says he should consolidate his power in space and prepare for war as war is coming and that is how he could lead. Relena also calls for a disarming of Romafeller forces which leads to Heero not assassinating her. This leads to him heading to Fortress Barge. Around the same time the new Cruiser that the White Fang is constructing is attacked by Wufei, after he is fought back they believe the Gundams are fighting for Earth and think destroying Earth is the only way to safeguard the Colonies.

The Pros: Zechs – Zechs is the new leader of the White Fang under the guise of Miliardo Peacecraft. The irony is powerful but I get why he is driven this way. He lost his home and now all he can see is that the Colonies must be protected at all costs since he could not protect the Sanc Kingdom.

Wufei – Wufei realizes he can’t do it alone but he’s right in his fight in space as White Fang has become OZ and just as bad and brutal with just as much disregard for life. He’s in the place now where he can join up with Noin, Quatre, Trowa and Duo.

Team Relena – Team Relena is coming together, as in those fighting to protect the innocents and promote a peace where there is freedom in identity. Those people who support Relena’s cause are Noin, Trowa, Quatre, Duo and the scientist Howard. Heero also is as well after Zechs declares war on the Earth.

Heero – Heero does have a good heart in the end and is ready to risk his life now that he knows Relena does support peace and isn’t a hypocrite or tool of the Romafeller Foundation. He lets her live and chooses to end Zechs since Zechs is living how Romafeller once was.

Dermail’s Fall – Dermail goes to space to consilidate power after Dorothy advises him (she’s a great X Factor as what she wants is unknown beyond love of battle). He make it space but doesn’t bring enough forces as Zechs and a militarized White Fang are now the most powerful force besides the Gundams.

This was a perfect Gundam Wing episode that really illustrated everything I like about this series. Characters and organizations grow and change, loss actually happens and we see the sign of the battle to come now that things have come full circle with the Colonies as the new enemy, when before the enemy was Earth under the Alliance, OZ and the Romafeller Foundation.

Final Score: 10 / 10

 

 

 

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 39 – “Trowa’s Return to the Battlefield” – Power Plays

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The stakes are raising and bad is becoming good. When Relena was made Queen of the World and leader of the Romafeller Foundation Dermail didn’t realize what he stepped in and how much it would change things within his own foundation. The thing is, most of the others don’t realize that change either as both Zechs and Heero take action against Relena in different ways in their fight against the Romafeller Foundation. But more on that in the assessment.

The episode was directed by Shinichi Sakuma, Hitoshi Waraya and Kunihiro Mori and written by Katsuyuki Sumizawa.

The story begins with politics in the Romafeller Foundation as half the Foundation forms together in backing Relena while Dermail has the other half. Zechs is approached by the Leader of the White Fang named Quinze and Noin, Trowa and Quatre face off against a squadron of OZ troops who believe them to be White Fang forces.

The Pros: The Romafeller Foundation – Part of what makes this show so great is how it subverts expectations. You think things are one way, and after they change. We see this in Romafeller aligning with Relena’s dreams of Democracy peace against Dermail and how they plan to stop him.

The White Fang – Their leader Quinze is a pretty cool guy. He looks like one of the scientists and is driven in his desire for a the Colonies to be one free nation and to use any means necessary to protect them. This is why Zechs joins them I think as he points out that Miliardo was once fighting for peace on the Colonies.

Zechs – Conflicted soldier who finds a reason to fight again through the White Fang. He worries about his Gundam though as he realizes how it changes the mind to make all enemies.

Noin, Trowa, Quatre and Duo – Duo saves the day after Noin, Trowa and Quatre expend all their resources in the fight against the OZ forces who attack them. They are united now and their own faction who want to help make Relena’s dream a reality.

Heero – Is off to kill Relena again as he sees her as Romafeller and Romafeller is his enemy.

The Cons: Feels Unfinished – This episode feels like part of a whole and doesn’t stand as strongly on it’s own because of it. This was my only issue with the episode though.

This was a great episode and well worth checking out! Our players are getting aligned on the board and the nature of the factions is changing due to power plays by Zechs, Relena, Heero and the slow uniting of the Gundam Pilots together to protect civilians and the people. This episode truly is a great look at what is to come.

Final Score: 9 / 10.

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 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 33 – “The Lonely Battlefield…” – Identity of a Man, Identity of a Nation

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“The Lonely Battlefield…” Continues with what’s been going on with Zechs, Heero, Quatre and Relena as well as the agenda of the Romafeller Foundation and their continuing conquest and attempt to stop the Sanc Kingdom’s resistance against them.  It’s a great episode too, but I’m also a little biased as Zechs is my favorite character on the show so his appearance again, is always a plus.

“The Lonely Battlefield…” was directed by Tetsuya Watanabe, Shinichi Sakuma and Hitoshi Waraya and written by Akemi Omode.

The episode begins with Zechs working with one of the scientists who invented Tallgeese and stopping the Mobile Dolls from being sent down to Earth. He’s rejected his Miliardo identity and lives only to protect the Earth through violence against the Romafeller Foundation. On Earth Romafeller plots and invites Relena to a conference which is a cover for another plot that is revealed at the end of the episode.

The Pros: Zechs’s fight – Zechs has changed his name back to Zechs and abandoned his ties to the Peacecraft family again to protect Relena as he knows the Romafeller Foundation will use his fighting against them to invade her. He is right as they do just that. Most interesting thing is he has faster reflexes than the Tallgeese now, I think Zechs needs to get his hands on Gundam Wing now.

Noin and Quatre – Noin is the support role again and talks to Quatre about the Pilot’s role in protecting the Sanc Kingdom and that they are needed, even as Quatre expresses that the Pilots can never have peace because of the blood on their hands. It’s a telling scene and you can tell how much his destroying a Colony and Trowa has hurt him.

Heero – Heero is looking for death and goes to fight Romafeller at Luxemborg to finish the battle that Zechs started in space when the Romafeller’s began their attack of the location. It ends with him still fighting and Treize telling him to fight on. The pilots still have a role to play for him now, against the Romafeller Foundation and a new future.

Dorothy – Dorothy is similar to old Treize where she lives for battle and dislikes the use of Mobile Dolls. Her goal seems to be to bring honorable fighting again and to turn the Sanc Kingdom into a soldier kingdom as well. She has her own agenda clearly, that doesn’t line up with the Romafeller Foundation that just wants control, largely through the Mobile Dolls.

Relena – Relena gets attacked after expressing that Zechs is not her brother and that no Peacecraft would attack and that she stands by her pacifist ideals. The attack when she is heading back is done by Mobile Dolls sent by Romafeller to assassinate her (like what happened to Heero of old) and she almost abandons her ideals until Quatre and Noin remind her that it is her reason that will create peace. Noin and Quatre only have other’s ideals to follow as they only know how to fight and can’t live any differently…but they want to create a world of peace. Relena once more stands by her ideals.

Okay: The Romafeller Foundation – These guys still make less sense than the Zion fascists. I really want to know why they want to control everything, they must have a purpose or point beyond that? They are just corrupt nobles at this point…

This episode continues the quality of the last episode and is only bad in that Heero’s future at the end is unknown. His Gundam is injured so we’re left wondering how he will survive the battle against the overwhelming force. At least we here from Treize again though, so that’s good and most of the other character moments are fantastic!

Final Score: 9.5 / 10

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 31 – “The Glass Kingdom” – The Vulnerable Sanc Kingdom

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Politics are in play and the Romafeller Foundation is trying to stop the Sanc Kingdom so that there will be no resistance to their exploitation of conflict and profit from it as they gain total dominance. This episode was also Relena’s seeking of balance, and learning that it is right to defend yourself when you are attacked.

The episode was directed by Nana Harada, Shinichi Sakuma and Hitoshi Waraya and written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa.

The episode picks up where we left off with the Pilots going undercover in the Sanc Kingdom, with Quatre wanting to protect, while Heero wants revenge. It is here he meets Dorothy who has figured out his identity and spies on them when Romafeller attacks the Treize Faction group that retreats into Sanc Kingdom territory which provides a dilemma for the Treize Faction squad leader, Relena and Noin.

The Pros: Treize Faction Squad – These guys were great, the commander was willing to sacrifice himself and his troops so that Relena and Sanc would not be targeted. He was a good man and it was great seeing him fight, even as he was injured.

Noin – Noin is the practical side of Relena’s idealism, as she knows they need to defend themselves from the Romafeller Foundation as they are a threat to them. This is her reason for keeping Gundam Wing, which she uses in the battle with Heero as the pilot to stop the Romafeller attackers.

Dorothy – She is the mysterious spy at this point, what she wants remains to be seen as she makes Heero angry enough to stab through her helmet when they are dueling at school. She also watches how the battle goes so she can give the go ahead for the Romafeller Foundation to invade as the Gundam Pilots are wanted dead.

Relena – Relena is idealism but listens to Heero and Noin and puts them in charge of protecting the Sanc Kingdom. She realizes in this episode she needs to understand why people want to fight if she is ever going to help people find peace.

Quatre – Quatre is the compassionate side of the conflict and brings Heero back from hate to seeing duty and ideals beyond just fighting. He is a great character and others recognize his compassion too.

Heero – Heero is bent on revenge but is willing to find some form of balance when Quatre and Relena give him a cause beyond revenge against Romafeller. In this way he is striving to become like the original Heero who was an advocate for peace who died for it.

Okay: The Romafeller Foundation – I still don’t quite understand what these guys want beyond control of everything. What is their end goal? What happens if they win? This has not been answered yet.

This was a great character episode and well worth checking out. It is an episode of contrasts, from the Sanc Kingdom to Romafeller, the Gundam Pilots Quatre and Heero and Relena, Noin and Dorothy. This episode is well worth your time.

Final Score: 9.6 / 10

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 29 – “The Heroine of the Battlefield” – Relena’s Mission

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Relena’s passiveness is finally at an end, and we also get to see a return from some of the other characters that I really like on this show. This episode shows how different nations are dealing with the threat from the Romafeller Foundation, as well as how the Gundam Pilots are dealing with the loss of their mission. Right now, the one with the mission is Relena who is now leader of the Sanc Kingdom.

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

The episode begins with soldiers from one nation looking for Quatre and Heero under orders from the Romafeller Foundation that they are to be killed if found. Relena is holding a peace conference and forming a beadrock of passive resistance to Romafeller Power as Sally and Noin seek Gundam Zero. The character of Dorothy also arrives in the Sanc Kingdom and wants war to arrive behind her.

The Pros: Sally – Sally is watching over Gundam Zero and trying to find a pilot to deliver too but ends up changing her mind after Noin saves her life and says her nation needs it for protection against the Romafeller Foundation. By the end she respects and trusts Noin and gives her the Gundam as they fight off Romafeller from taking it.

Noin – Noin is wonderful in this! She is driven in her guidance and safeguarding of Relena and the Sanc Kingdom and truly gets Zechs’s point of view on why he was doing what she was doing. She’s tough as usual and does the most damage to the Romafellers before Sally gives her Gundam Zero.

Quatre and Heero – Quatre and Heero are grateful that they aren’t killed but realize they are putting the nation that has found them under risk by being there so they attack the Romafellers, take one of their ships and make their escape, believing that the most they can do is wander as they will put any nation at risk.

Relena – Relena is super active and the leader of the peace movement that is also against Romafeller power. She organizes the peace conference, gets the nations on board and all the while seeking the Gundam Pilots as a bulwark against the Romafellers. She sees the bigger picture and knows that some conflict is inevitable but that people should still come from a place of respect and find other ways to resolve differences besides war. I have a lot of respect for her character now.

Okay: Dorothy – Dorthy isn’t bad but I don’t know why she is so obsessed with war beyond being related to one of the leaders of the Romafeller Foundation. She is a good manipulator though, but given she was manipulating Relena, maybe I’m overstating that ability.

The Soldiers Who Find the Gundam Pilots – The folks who find Quatre and Heero are respectful and don’t kill them even though they know that doesn’t make them look good to the Romafellers. They even mourn the pilots after they recieve a letter on why the Pilots left to protect them.

This episode is a favorite, largely because Noin and Sally are always awesome and due to Relena’s actions of resistance against the Romafellers. This would have been a perfect episode if we just had that. The pilots were also great too, it was just a few of the minor characters who are pretty flat at this point who brought it down in quality.

Final Score: 9.4 / 10. A favorite.