The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing

Title: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing aka Shin Kidou Senki Gundam W
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Sunrise/Sotsu Agency
Format: 49 episodes
Dates: 7 Apr 1995 – 29 Mar 1996

Synopsis: The year is After Colony 195. After the assassination of a well known colonial pacifist, Heero Yuy, the Space Colonies and the United Earth Sphere Alliance are engaged in war. In order to change the tide of the conflict, the Colonies have sent five teenagers armed with Gundams down to Earth.

The Highlights
Music: Energetic and catchy.
Characters: Stoic pretty-boys.
Animation: Redundant.
Story: Incessantly redundant.

Take Tomino Yoshiyuki’s masterpiece and mix it in with a gang of stoic bishounen and what do you get? You get a cliché ridden adventure spawning merchandise galore, along with numerous yaoi fan fics that more than raises an eyebrow for a typical anime fan. The irony of the situation is that the show found a good fan base in Japan and essentially established the Gundam franchise in the West. In the end, Gundam Wing epitomizes the fact that popularity is a poor barometer for quality.

Besides the invulnerable bishounen element, virtually everything in Gundam Wing has been done before, making Gundam Wing another addition to a long line of anti-war shows. Despite being “anti-war,” the show hypocritically and incessantly preaches peace while resolving everything with explosions. The characters spew out various ideologies in mid-battle, creating philosophy undermined by eye candy. It doesn’t help that the entire cast is flat and static, but at least the viewer never has to worry about character development taking time away from fight scenes.

The visuals make one wonder if Tomino gets a larger budget whenever he creates a Gundam series. The art may be shinier, but the animation is comparable to the likes of Zeta Gundam, and, at times, possibly inferior. The sheer lack of detail and the vast amount of reused cels are painfully noticeable. The only thing that sets Gundam Wing apart from its predecessors is its modern character designs and beautiful J-pop pieces. Being bishounen, the characters look quite suave, and the incredible music artificially induces excitement making the long-winded fight scenes a lot more bearable to watch.

Gundam Wing is very much like a mediocre fan fic: while some elements are cool the overall product is trash. The OST is more than worth buying, but the same cannot be said about the anime. Go watch any other old school Gundam series instead. Unlike Gundam Wing, they pack flair with substance.

The Rating: 3

Reviewed By: Shadowmage

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