Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 42 – “Battleship Libra” – Know Your Enemy

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This is the episode that Wufei finally finds purpose and gets outside of himself, as well as us also learning what finally happened to Lady Une and what Treize’s motivation is, to a degree. I’m curious how things are going to unfold from here as Zechs is an enemy, an interesting enemy, but an enemy nonetheless, and this is something that all the Gundam Pilots learn.

“Battleship Libra” was directed by Nobuyoshi Nishimura and Nana Harada and written by Katsuyuki Sumizawa.

The story begins with Wufei being picked up by Noin, Quatre and Heero and when a White Fang force arrives Heero lets him use Wing Zero so he can learn who his enemy is. Lady Une arrives on Earth as well, having been saved from the destruction of Barge and Dorothy arrives at Battleship Libra as Relena makes her way there too.

The Pros: Wufei – Wufei is finally likable! The guy realizes that the Gundams are his allies and that all of them are needed to defeat Treize and Zechs who are his true enemies. It’s a powerful scene as he realizes that he’ll die fighting alone (having lost the last two battles he fought alone). He’s likable when he actually works with people.

Heero – Heero shows why he’s the leader when he gives Wufei Wing Zero to use for the battle and it then we see that Heero cares about the other pilots and has the moment he got to know them and realized they weren’t enemies. He’s growing and Relena is rubbing off on him.

Team Gundam – Sally, Wufei and Heero are on their way to the Peacemillion to finish upgrading Heavyarms and Shenlong Gundam. Their faction is getting ready for the final fight.

Dorothy – Dorothy grew up with Treize and Zechs and convinces him to let her on the Battleship Libra as she wants to be a part of the battle to come. It’s a good conversation as she is able to reach Zechs who has become lost in his role as leader of the White Fang.

Relena – Is wondering why Zechs has become so lost and thinks about her Father who reminded her of the importance of pacifism. She still holds onto it, even as the world crumbles around her.

Treize – Is motivated to bring about Peace in the same way Zechs is, by ending it in the final war now that the Earth is united (as are the Colonies). Both see things as a means to an end and in their own ways are trying to look after Relena, though completely missing the point in their means to an end approach.

Nichol – Takes Lady Une to Earth, finally stops fighting like an OZ soldier and sacrifices himself in the fight to help Wufei. Good moment of awesome for a minor character.

Zechs – Is a villain now, but an interesting one.  I get why he believes what he does, though it has consumed him to the point where he nearly destroys Dorothy until she sells him on the fact that she wants to be a part of the Great War and be by his side when it ends.

Battleship Libra – Has an awesome design, and is super deadly. Can’t wait to see it in action. Libra and Epyon are going to be the main threat since I don’t know what Treize has to fight with at this point.

This was another perfect episode. I didn’t mind Zechs being the villain again even, it was so wonderful. I am looking forward to the final fight and how it will play out among all the factions. It has been great so far as usually character development is part of the action, it isn’t simply action for action’s sake, which I appreciate.

Final Score: 10 / 10.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 41 – “Crossfire at Barge” – Zechs, Guardian of the Colonies

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Well, we know Zechs’s motivation now for wanting to destroy the Earth, and he isn’t wrong…especially with a militarized Romafeller Foundation again now that Treize that has taken charge…and between the two of them, I’d choose Zechs over Treize. Zechs is a real, Treize is manipulative. More on my thoughts on the episode though further down.

The episode was directed by Shinichi Sakuma, Hitoshi Waraya and Tetsuya Watanabe and written by Akemi Omode.

The story begins with OZ’s forces using the Barge to destroy the incoming White Fang forces. A great battle ensues with Zechs leading the charge in Epyon. Around this time Noin, Quatre and Duo arrive to confront Zechs to join them but it doesn’t go well as they witness the destruction of a Colony by the Barge. This leads to an all out assault by the Gundams against it. On Earth Treize overthrows the Relena faction and puts himself once more in charge of the Romafeller Foundation for the coming war with the Colonies.

The Pros: Zechs – Zechs is truly motivated in saving the Colonies. This leads to him destroying Fortress Barge single handily and ignoring Noin when she pleads for him to stop the fight now that Relena is in charge of Romafeller. Zechs truly believes Earth is the problem, which given what happened to the Sanc Kingdom, he has every reason to believe it.

Team Gundam – Quatre, Duo, Trowa and Noin – These are the Pacifist Faction now and are a bit lost since Epyon is much stronger than they are and Noin is not able to get through to Zechs. He’s a true believer and has lost his humanity in the process. Trowa also goes to protect the Colonies from the battle.

Major Sally – She’s back! She also delivers Heavyarms to Heero so that Trowa can get his Gundam back. It is great to see her again and that she is there fighting just like Noin.

Okay: Relena – She wants to try and stop Zechs, but she didn’t fight her position at all. That was a disappointment as she has no reason to trust Treize, since he killed her adoptive Father.

Treize – Why did he want to take control of Romafeller again? He seemed to believe in the Gundams, does he anymore? His reasons for coming out of the shadows are still a mystery.

Dorothy – Dorothy if following Relena to space, her ends are still an unknown.

This episode was great but could have been better. It was a good exploration of Zechs but we got almost no exploration of Treize, Relena or Dorothy. I hope we see that change in the coming episodes as they are all still major players in this.

Final Score: 8,7 / 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 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 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.

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 26 – “The Eternal Flame of the Shooting Stars” – Romafeller’s Revealed

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This is the episode that shows that OZ is truly one of the better factions and that the true villains are the Romafeller Foundation and their plan for domination of the Colonies and Earth via the Mobile Dolls. We also see how broken the pilots are and are given questions in regards to the deaths of some characters (Trowa and Une maybe alive?) We shall see though as we finish up the last half of the series.

The episode was directed by Yasunao Aoki and Nobuyoshi Nishimura and written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa.

The episode begins with Heero and Quatre ordered to be killed by Tsuberov. The troops disagree and we are introduced to the Treize faction who are also fighting the Romafeller Foundation and their invasion of Earth, though the Romafeller Foundation is winning the war by sheer numbers. From here the episode unfolds with Quatre and Heero in roles traded as Heero becomes the new insane soldier.

The Pros: The Treize Faction – The Treize faction is fantastic and the only ones fighting the Romafeller Foundation besides the Gundam Pilots. These guys are great and their gundams have shields too. They also rescue Quatre and Heero for the Colony Scientists who are working with them against the Romafeller Foundation.

Heero – Heero loses it this episode when he is hooked up to Gundam Wing and targets those who he sees as his enemies (mirroring what happened to Quatre when he was in Wing). From here it unfolds with him planning to kill the scientists until he has a vision of Quatre and one of Relena before he leaves the Gundams behind and escapes with Quatre to get to Earth.

Quatre – Heero brought Quatre back and this episode Quatre brings Heero back. He has finally learned from his father and found himself again. He only fights to defend and realizes the Gundams are a major problem as they are the greatest weapon of war and keep the cycle of violence going. He is a wise character in this episode and feels what he did to the Colony he destroyed.

The Message – The Message is that the cycle of war will always continue as long people build weapons and become weapons. It’s a great message and it shows how the use of weapons and war can break people as it broke the Gundam Pilots.

Okay: The Scientists – These guys are neutral again. They discover that the Pilots are faster than the Mobile Dolls and the computer system in the Gundams. They are special and that when the system makes their abilities sharpened. They make a great comment too on how they will not let Gundam Wing defeat them…as it survived the explosion and may serve a purpose later.

This was a great episode and a must see! We get to see Heero and Quatre grow as characters, see how Gundam Wing is out of everyone’s control…and the Romafeller Foundation’s conquest. This is the episode that establishes the factions for later and shows that some of our heroes may still be alive. It is a lot of fun and full of shades of grey.

Final Score: 9.6 / 10.