Wednesday, March 1, 2017

TV Show Review: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing

I could never get into anime during the Japanamation explosion of the 90s. Maybe I was too young. But when I got to college in the First Decade, there were a few shows from Japan that caught my interest. At the time I went to school at 8am, was on campus most of the day, then worked the afternoon and evening until around midnight. I'd come back to my apartment and watch Gundam Wing on the Midnight Run of Toonami, and I loved it!

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing is a 49-episode science fiction anime that debuted on the 90s, an alternative reality in the Gundam universe that began in 1979 with the TV series Mobile Suit Gundam. In Gundam Wing, a number of people from Earth have moved into space and live in space colonies, but there is a lot of animosity between the colonists and those still living on the planet. Five pilots and their giant robots called Gundams are sent to Earth as part of Project Meteor. War ensues as the concepts of war, peace, power, and loyalty are explored.

The Good

Story. This series has a lot of content, which a lot of twists and turns and changing allegiances. If you miss even a few episodes, you've missed a lot of story. There is real change and real consequences to actions that have serious effects on characters and the war itself. Most tv shows and most anime are much more simplistic.

Characters. I love the characters in this show, even though they are very Japanese. They are so different and so multi-layered. No one is truly good or evil with all the major characters showing great acts of heroism and making great mistakes and even betraying their friends.

Art Direction. This show is beautiful to look at. The character designs are gorgeous and unique. The Gundams all look awesome. The scenery is beautifully painted. This show was produced before computers played a major role, so the show is hand drawn and hand painted very skillfully.

Ideas. This series explores several themes from war to peace to loyalty to doing what's right to acting with regards to the consequences for the future, and with 49 episodes, each is explored in good detail.

Fight Scenes. This series has the best fight scenes I've ever seen. They are exciting, intense, and beautifully shot. You feel the intensity but are still able to see what's going on, something current movies and tv shows have yet to figure out.

The Bad

Pacing. This series is very slow with a lot of narration and a lot of recapping. It feels like they came up with 26 episodes of story but were forced to stretch it to 49 episodes. It does drag more often than I'd like

Limited Animation. Like most Japanese animation, there is limited animation during the majority of the show. The slow pacing and overabundance of narration makes it more noticeable than other shows. When the animation is good, it's incredible, so I guess they had to balance that out to stay within budget.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

I wish they would have either had fewer episodes or more story so the show didn't drag so much.


Overall, I loved Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. The characters were all interesting, unique, and fully fleshed out, the animation during the action scenes was incredible, the character designs, vehicle designs, and set designs were all gorgeous to behold, and there were several serious themes explored. I recommend this series to fans of science fiction, philosophy, social issues, and war and give it 4 out of 5 remotes.



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