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 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 10 – “Heero, Distracted by Defeat” – Victorious OZ

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“Gundam Wing” has a lot more complexity in factions and characters than the original “Mobile Suit Gundam,” and we see some of this of the factions arising within OZ in regards to the different mentalities of combat and what entails victory. This made the episode intriguing, as well as us experiencing a loss very early on…We are only on Episode 10 after all.

“Heero, Distracted by Defeat,” was directed by Nana Harada, Shinichi Sakuma and Hitoshi Waraya and written by Katsuhiko Chiba.

The episode begins with a meeting of the OZ leaders (Lady Une, Noin, Treize and Zechs), from here Treize meets them all individually and puts Lady Une in charge of dealing with the rebels and the transfer of the Taurus Mobile Suits to a secure location and dividing the Colony Gundams by having a decoy band traveling by land while the read transport travels by air. From here the story unfolds as the Gundams fall into the trap.

The Pros: Zechs – Zechs shows once again why he is one of my favorite characters in this episode as he rejects his birth name and being named a Count choosing only to remain a soldier, knowing that he will have to do much more things that will make him unworthy to lead if there is ever to be peace. It is fascinating and he lets Heavyarms take Heero to safety after Heero sacrifices his Gundam to protect the colonies. He also matches Heero in the fight as he fights in Tallgeese against Gundam Wing.

Noin – Resists Lady Une throughout the episode in small ways, such as not letting her talk to Treize and shutting her down with Treize’s words as Treize disproves of her brutal and harsh methods. She also is supportive of Zechs and what he is going through during the mission.

Treize – Treize speaks Zechs true name and wants him to lead, but respects Zechs’s choice not to lead. He also puts Lady Une in charge, though why remains to be seen as she is brutal and gets the job done, but everytime it comes at a cost. The reasons he wants people to hate OZ right now has yet to be explained.

The Gundam Pilots – The Gundam pilots lose this one and Wufei doesn’t join the battle, which costs them victory. He feels unworthy after losing to Treize and the only reason they weren’t annihilated was because of Heero’s sacrifice.

Dr J. – Reveals he is behind the fight against OZ and surrenders. Whether he is telling the truth or not remains to be seen, but it shows he puts the Colonies first, and it was great seeing him again.

Okay/Con: Lady Une – Is jealous and small thinking, which is a shame because her methods of blackmailing the Colonies could be critiqued for other reasons rather than her character. She was called out afterall. Right now there isn’t anything to like about this character now, she isn’t even good to her allies. She’s a bit crazy at this point as she was ready to destroy Colonies to get them to surrender.

This episode was really good, but not a favorite. Treize and Lady Une are still vague in their motivations and the Gundam Pilots didn’t get enough exploration in this one. They have brotherhood but they didn’t get an individual chance to shine this episode. These issues brought the episode down.

Final Score: 8.5 Was really good.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 9 – “Portrait of a Ruined Country” – The Liberation of Sanc and the Cost of a Gundam

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     Zechs like Char is one of my favorite characters. There is something to be said for the Undercover Exiled Prince trope, especially when they end up abandoning their ideals for the sake of the country and become fallen in the process. Zechs represents this in so many ways and this episodes truly realizes what is at stake for him and the cost it will take.

     “Portrait of a Ruined Country” was directed by Tetsuya Watanabe and Nobuyoshi Nishimura and written by Akemi Omode.

      The main plot of the episode is OZ’s liberation of the Sanc Kingdom. When OZ arrives they find Alliance forces entrenched, forcing Zechs to use Tallgeese, over the course of the battle he soon realizes that the Gundam is destroying him and he’s holding himself back. He retreats and the story unfolds from there. Elsewhere the Colony Pilots recover from how they were used.

The Pros: The Pilots Healing – Trowa and Wufei talk and Trowa helps Wufei realize he isn’t a failure. Duo and Heero slowly build the friendship and Relena finds Heero again…and Quatre apologizes to the soldiers who came with him and promises not to leave them behind again. All of them are given the chance to grow in different ways.

Noin – Noin is almost more Alliance than OZ still at times as she questions Zechs’s liberation of the Sanc Kingdom, even though she cares about him and knows it is his home. She is one person I could see changing sides later in the conflict.

Auto – Auto liberates Sanc as he realizes the Gundams exist to kill the pilots and were made for suicide missions. This leads to him risking his life to liberate the country and to honor Zechs, his mentor and friend. It’s a great minor scene and that really defines the character.

Zechs – Zechs is full of regret for abandoning the Peacecraft ideals and knows he is unfit to rule the Kingdom, so his plan is to find Relena and make the world a safe enough place for her to rule. He also is living with the regret that Auto died for him and that his body can’t take the Tallgeese. He takes off his mask when he is looking at pictures of family, but puts the mask back on when he knows he cannot rule.

The Cons: The Alliance Commander of Sanc – The leader of Sanc is just a loud military guy. There isn’t any character, which makes him a bit of a waste. He is there to be beaten and that’s it.

Final Score: 9.2 / 10. Really great and a favorite.