The Mangaka's Desk is a missionary kid's blog from Thailand. Thailand's Piracy level makes genuine products hard to come across, and constant writer's block makes my updates slow. Bear with me, and I hope you enjoy my Blog!
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Impressions: Gundam Wing

With my computer out of commission, I decided to get some of my more professional posts out of the way. Since I just finished the show, I decided to give you my impressions on Gundam Wing.
While only a modest success in Japan, Gundam Wing was the first Gundam Show introduced to America, and was a smash hit. In fact, Wing and Dragon Ball Z were responsible for the Anime Craze of the early 2000s. Both were the staple shows of Cartoon Network's Toonami during its first run.

Despite the battles its won, Wing has become rather infamous. In part due to the just below average translation efforts done by the team for the english dub, and some blaming it for introducing Mechas to the Female audience. Why? You'll probably figure it out in a bit...

The show is known for the Political twists the plot takes. It begins with the space colonies rebelling against the Earth's government and sending the Gundams as liberators, but then the enemy appeals to the colonies and the Gundams are betrayed, but then the enemy splits in two after the original leader leaves, and then a rebellion breaks out in the colonies. All of these parties are enemies, giving the show a bit of a case of Grey and Grey. Somewhat justified by the fact that the pilots  are trying to find which side they should be fighting for (most of them anyway, yes I'm looking at you, Wufei).
The moral scale is just a bit off seeing how far the pilots are willing to go in their mission (primarily Heero and Trowa), and how their original mission was an act of terrorism to begin with (as revealed in the sequel OVA). Some of the pilots lose it when they use the Zero-System (a cockpit-program made to enhance battle performance) later in the show, primary example turning Quatre into something of a killer until he snapped out of it.
A fair bit of the Bad Guys have ideals that make their actions seem reasonable, primary example being Treize, head of OZ (the primary enemy), who intended to create a war so magnificent that people would open their eyes and try harder to prevent wars in the first place, not to say this is reasonable, but the way he acts and behaves makes it very hard to understand that he's the bad guy. Zechs, the primary anti-hero/villain, changed sides almost six times in the course of the story, most of them being in the show (most of them being a case of losing his faith in his comrades, and finally losing faith in mankind itself).
So yeah, Grey much? There are a few people who repent and turn to good however, but still.
==My Opinion==
I loved the show and though I wasn't enticed to quickly go to the next episode, the story still had me gripped. I really liked how the characters developed. Heero started off quiet, serious and monotone, but towards the end he had grown much more compassionate. Quatre used to be the simple kind person, but after the incident with Zero he had become more of an atoner, giving his motives a bit more reason, if my thoughts are conveyed properly. Duo, Trowa, and Wufei however didn't change much from what I could tell. The most of it being them getting humbled after their Gundams are destroyed midway through the show.
The show could've stood to show who has right and who was wrong earlier, but that's Japan for you. The Dub wasn't bad at all really, and it stayed true to the Japanese script... a little too much. Some phrases were spoken literally, and some just plain didn't fit the situation. I understand a popular meme originating from the show is 'No Machinegun for him!' as spoken by Zechs from the first episode.
A bit of a gag among the fanbase is that there is a girl cast for each of the five pilots. Heero and Relena; the hero and heroine for example (and I might add that those two are the accepted couple by the story team). Though some relationships between the characters are obvious, the situation falls under the trope 'Designated Love Interest,' in which it is obvious and heavily implied that the two are in a relationship, but next to nothing at all is shown in the story. The best you'll get with this trope is an embrace of the two (which doesn't happen btw). Though, relatively speaking, this is rather realistic, as when there are giant robots blowing each other up in every episode, there is little room for major romance.
Long story short, though the two are shown to like each other, and the creators approve of the couple, there will be nothing serious on-screen to appease shippers, does that make sense?
For me, Action, story, character development, and shipping at its subtlest all together is pretty welcome indeed. It would've helped me if they actually told us who was bad and good halfway through, but that's Japan for you, whose sense of right and wrong lies on their idealistic culture, which Gundam wing truly is; a battle of Ideals. Peace vs. Control, Soldiers vs. Machines, Faith vs. Condemnation, the list goes on. You'll have to endure the 49 (52 counting the ova) episodes to fully understand the story. For

The Gundams and their Pilots. From left to right; Gundams Shenlong, Sandrock, Wing, Deathscythe, and Heavyarms

The Gundam Pilots. From left to right; Quatre Winner, Trowa Barton, Heero Yuy,
 Duo Maxwell, and Chang Wufei
The supporting cast. From left to right; Lady Une, Treize, Dorothy, Zechs/Milliardo,
Relena, Sally, Noin, and Dorothy.
==Final Thoughts?==
An overall good show. The action is just as action-packed as it should be, granted it was made in the nineties , however on the scale of realism, there is a bit of a case of Stormtrooper firing for enemy troops. And on the case of violence, most of it is avoided by putting mobile suits in their place, however most of the suits are piloted, so there's something (though halfway through the show, most enemy suits are replaced by unmanned automatic units, further avoiding it), and for those sensitive on the matter, there is a fair bit of guns, but as I said before; Stormtrooper firing. The dub may seem a bit narmy (I think the word is) because of the scripting, but the Character's voices are done quite nicely. If you're fond of Mechas then why not start with the show that America started with?

I'm going to try and do more of these now that I got a lot of free time on my hands. Let's hope I can pick another good topic next time!

1 comment:

  1. Woah!! What a long post!!

    See, it frustrates me when the "DLI"s don't actually do anything romantic.... I'm a HUGE shipper in that way... :)


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