If you are into Mecha anime, then you have heard about the Gundam series. For me, Gundam Wing is still the most successful Gundam series. Not only did it gain its popularity locally but also attained an impressive number of American fans. Gundam Wing is the embodiment of everything Gundam, the defining series of all that has preceded, all that came since, and is on the way.
Without further ado, let’s break down and see if Gundam Wing is worth watching…
We all know that technology is constantly changing, and this is also true in the animation world. The distinction in the costs of ensuring something looks cool has dramatically changed over the past decades. Personally, the workmanship style itself is extremely great, yet there are a couple of embarrassingly terrible shots in several scenes where the actual movement self-destructs. Although it’s not as amazing as the current animation it still holds the nostalgia. Gundam Wing gives you a sense of appreciation for the old generation of animators for introducing Gundam to the world.
For the individuals who are new to the Gundam World, each Gundam show includes a discord between the Earth Alliance and the alliance of colonies revolving around Earth that were made centuries ago.
Fun Fact: Gundam Wing is set in an alternate universe from the first Mobile Suit Gundam series. Consequently, although it has comparative components recognizable to other Gundam shows, the timetables and characters are unique. It helps if you reset your mind all that you’ve known or seen about Gundam because it will likely confuse
In the first five episodes, we meet five youngsters from different colonies who have covertly steered Gundams to Earth, planning to cripple the Alliance, specifically an organization in the Alliance considered as the elite, known as OZ. Initially, the Alliance began as a venture to bring together Earth’s political structure but eventually tried to take over the outer space colonies. Greed, human greed is always the cause of downfall which has been portrayed here in the Gundam Wing series. In the beginning, the show spins around Heero Yuy, a reckless young fellow whose main objective is to finish his mission of obliterating OZ. Since we are now talking about our male lead, let’s go ahead and tackle a bit on our main characters of this universe.
The main protagonist and pilot of the XXXG-01W Wing Gundam (better known as Gundam Zero-One) and its predecessor, the XXXG-00WO Wing Gundam Zero (also called Wing Zero). Assuming you have seen the Gundam Wing, you would agree that behind Heero’s apathetic and cold demeanor is a kind young lad who holds his feelings under wraps. Heero is the most gifted and focused in combat out of the five pilots, which makes him an incredible resource and a lethal powerhouse.
Relena Darlian (aka Relena Peacecraft)
The female rich protagonist and the last surviving lady successor to the throne of Sanc Kingdom. After meeting Heero Yuy, she becomes entwined within the conflict between the colonies and Earth. Right off the bat, she seems to become hopelessly enamored with Heero as she takes extraordinary measures just to be close to him all through the occasions. Personality-wise, she is mature for her age, warm-hearted, and a peacemaker.
One of the main protagonists who pilots the XXXG-01D Gundam Deathscythe. Despite his merry and carefree attitude, he shows interest in violence and death hence later became known as the ‘Shinigami’ (God of Death). Though this doesn’t stop him from protecting and caring for his friends. Duo was a part of the Sweeper and loves to work on scraps and junks of the old computer during his free time.
Trowa Barton (aka Triton Bloom)
The pilot of the Gundam Heavyarms and a ‘No-name’ who later called himself ‘Trowa Barton’. He was separated from his sister during his early childhood and lost his memory after his parents were killed. He joined the Barton Foundation and disguised himself as a civilian working at a circus. Skilled in acrobats, weapons, tactics, and piloting, he shows great strength and determination in battling his enemies. As the most experienced professional soldier in his gang, Trowa appears calm and stoic in any situation despite his young age.
Quatre Raberba Winner
A close friend of Trowa Barton and the pilot of Gundam Sandrock. Quatre displays a friendly, modest, and kind-hearted personality to those around him. He tries to avoid conflicts and is a pacifist just like his father. Nevertheless, he is the leader of the G Team and demonstrates great tolerance during difficult circumstances. He also provides a great number of loyal troops, the Maganac Corps, being the sole heir of the wealthy Winner family of space colony builders.
A proud and wild warrior from the legendary Chinese group, the ‘Long Clan’. He is the pilot of Shenlong and Altron Gundam and specializes in hand-to-hand combat. Wufei tends to fight and work alone, sticking to his ideals of justice and protecting the weak himself. His strong sense of pride and honor becomes a weakness during his decisions and battles with his rival, Treize Khushrenada. He also refuses to fight those he considered as weak.
The beginning of Gundam Wing is great, yet not exactly as noteworthy as I’d trusted. There is a lot of action here and there, however, things are unquestionably puzzling at the beginning. Especially for those who are new to the Gundam universe. At first, it is unclear why the Gundam pilots don’t have the slightest idea about one another and even begin battling. Fortunately, on the off chance that you can endure the first five episodes, things become clearer. The Gundam Wing series brought a new height of quality in the form of a complex storyline to intense character build-up. It also includes a different take on war due to political struggles. But the best of all of this is the cool war machines that are piloted by teenagers. What can outdo that?
The opening song of Gundam Wing captivated the mass that it has become iconic. The electric poppy vibe surprisingly fits well on a mechanical apocalyptic opening video of the series. Each time the tune is played, it is like walking down memory lane. Two of their music “Just Communication” and “Rhythm Emotion” still hit a spot on my playlist up till now.
The Mobile Suit Designs
The mobile suit designs are fascinating, yet they still hold that look from the 70s in comparison to the latest mobile suits which are more detailed and edgier in looks. Though they have classic visuals, they manage to successfully put distinctions on each Gundam. Although Gundam in itself was targeted for a male audience, the Wing Gundam, Deathscythe, Heavyarms, Sandrock, and Shenlong have even garnered popularity to young girls and that itself is impressive, Kudos to the animators of Gundam Wing!
Fun Fact: Gundam is made of using Gundanium Alloy which is a unique compound found in space. Due to its material being expensive and difficult to obtain, it is highly unlikely it can be mass produced.
To properly guide you to the world of the Gundam series, sometimes it’s overwhelming to watch all Gundam series in a different universe and different eras. For beginners, here’s what I recommend:
- Gundam Seed – if you want good animation and an easily obtainable plot.
- Mobile Suit Gundam – if you want to start at the beginning, this opens pathways to better quality.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans – this can be watched without any knowledge of other Gundam series, also has better animation and more direct moments.
Our Final Thoughts:
I loved what I saw of Gundam Wing and is beautiful to watch. With every scene, I felt like I was getting increasingly more attracted to this alternate world. On one hand, I wind up wishing that there was a more grounded hero figure. Though this is a classic anime the themes/topics presented in this series are more common to the present viewers. If you are into political struggles, mechanical robots, and science fiction, then this is for you.
Thank You for reading!
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