Thoughts on the Series: Gundam Wing happened to be the first series I completed in my DVD collection. It was such a simple thing back then. I was in high school. Had disposable income. Thought that buying the DVDs of a show I really only watched late at night would make sense. Discovered a few years later I was mistaken thanks to an outside voice. Proceeded to slowly (and I mean this was periodic over 4 months) rewatch this to confirm.
So what happened? Like the colonies in the series, it was a very uncomfortable place to be. The criticisms leveled against this series can seem infinite, just to list a few that stood out immediately for me:
- Animation production clearly done on the cheap at times (repeated clips being used in action sequences)
- Ridiculous character designs (Dorothy Catalonia in particular)
- The attempt to cram as many changes in the series’ political landscape in one year as all other previous entries in the franchise combined.
- The Gundams all seem far too good for proper suspense of disbelief despite previous points (Epyon taking out a space fortress with one attack)
- Relena’s comically absurd promotion in the space of one year from spoiled ambassador’s daughter to sovereign of a tiny pacifist nation to Queen of the Earth
- The 2-episode long recap in the middle. I can understand one, but two?
This rewatch really became more about discovering why I liked the series in the first place more than how flawed it is, however. I first came across the series when I heard it was airing on the same Toonami block as Dragon Ball Z. I think it was advertised as a part of the “legendary Gundam franchise”, but I digress. Watching something that involved space and something like a philosophical edge was a welcome break from episode after episode of a single battle.
But even ten years later I can still see some of the reason why I still like the series. I still rank episode 24 as one of my favorite episodes in all of anime despite the fact that it merely consists of Quatre in Wing Zero blowing stuff up. The BGM in the episode makes use of the soundtrack very well, and because it was Quatre in Wing Zero it provides a level of surprise.
And finally the question I continued to ask myself throughout: Has it really been 10 years since I first saw this?
Next in the Collection: More mecha, complicated family situations, a Renault Alpine A310 driven to within an inch of its life, and a conclusion that still has people furious today.