Howdy ladies and gents, and after AGES I’ve decided to resurrect What I’m Currently Watching, a blog series where I give you an update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. It is week 40, and like I said before, it has been AGES since the last time I talked about any TV-related material on here. I have watched a handful of shows here and there over the course of 2018, but recently I’ve been revisiting Mobile Suit Gundam Wing and I’ve been enjoying it so much that I just had to write about it. Be careful of mild spoilers! With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀
Ah, Gundam Wing, I have fond memories of this show and yet, upon rewatching the show recently I realised how little of it I actually saw. Before getting into this review let me give you a little history, Gundam Wing was the first mecha anime I’d ever seen back on Toonami in 2000 or 2001 and while I didn’t really understand what was going on and it was a lot slower in pace to the anime I’d seen before that Pokemon, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z, but I was enamoured by it because of the difference in serious tone, art style and of course the awesome robot suits and music. I had at least 2 episodes recorded on VHS which I watched many times as a teenager and over the years since becoming a big film fan and becoming well-versed in anime in many genres, I had been meaning to go back to this and watch it properly ,but because I was binging so much live-action TV at uni from late 2011 onwards I just never got around to it until now.
So with that mini history lesson out of the way, what do I think of Gundam Wing? Honestly? I love it. No word of a lie, this show had me intrigued from the beginning from a nostalgic point of view but as the episodes progressed I found myself being more and more captivated by the story and characters. And let me just say this, the first 8 episodes are some of the most engaging TV I have seen in years, for real. This may seem like a bit of an exaggerated statement, but I’m serious, this show has a great sense of intrigue, mystery and style that just gets better as it progresses.
So whats the show about? Well, I’m going to borrow a wonderfully written summary from redcommander27 on IMDB: “In the future, humanity has constructed several space colonies. But the corrupt Treize and his organization Oz have manipulated the United Earth Sphere Alliance into controlling earth and its colonies with an iron fist. To counteract this extreme measure, rebel colonies launch Operation: Meteor; an attempt to smuggle Mobile Suits made of Gundanium alloy to earth to combat the corruption and free earth and the colonies from Oz’s control. One of these “Gundams” is piloted by Heero Yuy, who is shot down and is forced to blend into enemy society. Now up against social issues with a girl named Relena and Oz and its puppets, Heero must unite with other rebels and save his people.“
What I love about this show is the way it drops you into the middle of the action and keeps things moving, and while you don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle, as the show goes on, it fills in the blanks about how we got the present point of the show, why there is so much conflict and the motivations of all the main characters involved. The show also throws a fair amount of information at you when it comes to organisations, certain notable characters and key past events, and while it can be a little hard to follow (especially if you’re not a fast reader of subtitles like me), it can still be understood as some of it gets repeated in the following episodes allowing to connect the dots. I loved learning about the motivations behind those who were for and against war, seeing those in power trying to keep hold of it while others lurked in the shadows waiting for their moment to rise up and seeing people who are committed to their cause and those who have doubt or may wish to defect to the other side. And as I mentioned before I love how engaging the show is, each episode brings up new and interesting scenarios involving the heroes and villains that have short-term and long-term ramifications, and the amount of showing twists and turns that happened in the first 10 episodes was just crazy to me.
And when it comes to the characters I love them all… For the most part. Firstly there are Heero, Duo, Trowa, Quatre, and Wufei; the 5 Gundam pilots who are part of the space colonies plan to take down Oz. Each of them has different personalities, talents and means of accomplishing their missions, and seeing how they operate individually and then eventually come together in pairs and then as a group is fascinating and fun. Quatre is a calm and interesting pacifist, Wufei is very honourable and values strength, Duo is crafty and hilarious, and Trowa is fairly quiet and emotionally closed off. But it is Heero who is the most notable character, he has the most amount of screen time and he’s quite incredible, he’s very smart, strategic, efficient and committed to his mission. And then there are the bad guys, firstly there’s Zechs, he is OZ’s ace mobile suit pilot, and while he’s bad, he has an interesting backstory, a cool presence and a moral code that makes him someone to root for. Treize is the main villain of the show and is the leader of the OZ, he’s calculated, always calm and plots ahead so when he makes a move it has a massive impact. I also really like Noin, another character who is part of OZ but has her own interesting part to play and Lady Une, Treize’s right-hand woman… Man I hate her, she is such a mean, self-righteous bitch who causes so much trouble for the heroes and you just want to see her get her comeuppance. And finally, there’s Relena Darlian, she happens to be the daughter of someone quite important and because of her unexpected interactions with Heero, she becomes quite important as the story goes on.
And then there’s the presentation. Visually the show is very nice, I enjoy the various designs of the mobile suits from the Gundams to the OZ suits like Leo, Cancer, Pieces and Taurus and how they transform and fight. For a show in the 90’s I think it still holds up pretty well, the action is dynamic, explosive and well-done for the most part, sure there is a fair amount of reused animation for fight scenes, transformations and explosions but I can look past it because it never feels too offensive to my eyes. But what is even better than the visuals is the music, the soundtrack from Kow Otani is frigging fantastic! The music really helps elevate what’s happening on-screen, it covers an emotional spectrum whether it is soft and uplifting or cold and ominous or bombastic and intense. I absolutely love the music during the action scenes whether it is scenes of chaos, heroism or terror, there are some absolutely killer tracks that have a jazzy kind of sound that sounds so gorgeous to the hear that it makes you want to go and buy the soundtrack. Yeah, it is that good.
So yeah if it wasn’t clear already I really have enjoyed my time with Gundam Wing over the last few days, it has been far more enjoyable than I could have imagined and though I am far from the end I am very hyped to see where the story and character go. I would recommend this if you’re interested in some classic mecha anime. 🙂
Well, that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen Gundam Wing? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching too. Until next time, laters! 😀