Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Episodes 14 – 28 Review

Gundam Wing begins to properly kick into full gear as we look at the second chunk of episodes (though for the record, Episodes 27 and 28 are recap episodes, so really this is Episodes 14 to 26…) While the core quintet of Gundam Pilots are fleshed out a bit more I have to say that once again Zechs Merquise / Milliardo Peacecraft and his boss Trieze have the most interesting moments in the narrative. Want to find out more? Let’s dig a little deeper…

Synopsis:

After the Colonies betrayed them and sided with OZ, the five Gundam pilots are at a loss as to what to do, eventually coming to the conclusion that their fate is to once again return to space…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

It’s the Wing Gundam! Admittedly it’s sometimes hard to tell between it and Wing Zero, but the blue shoulders are a give away…

The first episode of this bunch opens with Heero tracking down the family of the high-ranking diplomat he was manipulated into killing and giving them a chance to get revenge, which was … an odd decision. They all turn him down, and soon Heero and Trowa are taken to an Antarctica base where Zechs has rebuilt Heero’s Gundam in hopes to having a proper uninterrupted duel, but the Gundam pilot refuses to use a hand-out and takes Trowa’s Heavyarms Gundam instead. The two have their duel but it is once again interrupted, this time by OZ who wish to arrest Zechs for going against the order to destroy the Gundam rather than repair it. Trowa and Heero head off while Zechs is captured and eventually told by Trieze that the only way OZ and the Romefeller Foundation that financially supports them are going to be appeased is if he falls in battle and becomes a martyr to the cause that Trieze and his troops stand for.

Trieze arranges Zechs to go down in a blaze of glory, but as the latter’s helmet cracks and breaks open in his cockpit Zechs declares that identity officially dead (along with his loyalty to Trieze…), and the man once again takes the name Millardo Peacecraft. Millardo soon meets some outcasts and leaves for space, meanwhile the five Gundam pilots also head into space in pairs or individually, with Quatre having to self-destruct his Gundam during the escape.  This is where the rest of these episodes take place, with Trowa going undercover as an OZ trainee pilot (and having to destroy Duo’s Deathscythe Gundam as a show of support…) while slowly but surely Duo, Wufei and Heero are captured and imprisoned in the same Moon facility. Quatre on the hand reunites with his father and sister just in time to see his father betrayed by the now OZ-loyal colony he used to be the head of and killed, sending the young pilot off the deep end…

The moment Zechs becomes Milliardo… for a bit, then switches back. That’s for next time though!

Shortly afterwards Quatre finds a prototype Gundam known as “Wing Zero” and begins using its over-powered beam rifles to take out colonies, leading to Trowa and Heero piloting the new OZ prototypes the Mercurius and Vayeate to try and stop him. It’s a great moment, with Quatre losing his grip on reality, Trowa trying to reason with him and Heero trying to kill him. It ends with Quatre seemingly killing his friend Trowa before Heero and himself wreck their mobile suits in a battle and get captured. During this Duo and Wufei escape their captivity in newly built mobile suits created by the five scientists that had originally sent them on their missions, themselves captives of OZ. Eventually Heero, Quatre and the five scientists are saved by a OZ splinter group loyal to Trieze (more on that in a minute) and manage to escape and head for Earth. The scientists notice that they left Wing Zero behind…

I will also mention that a few other things. Firstly Lady Une, who I strongly disliked for her one-dimensional-ness in the last review, now has a split personality disorder where one half is extremely nice and peace-focused, while the other is still ruthless and cold. It’s not the most unique storyline in the world, but it did make her far more interesting than the flat one-note character she was previously. That being said, I’m not exactly crying over her apparent death at the hands of Romefeller Foundation member Tubarov (though I’m pretty sure I remember her surviving…) Speaking of Romefeller, their plans to use A.I. controller mobile suits named “Mobile Dolls” greatly frustrates traditionalist Trieze, but instead of attacking them in some silly fit of rage, he turns up at a conference, says his piece, and then willingly accepts being put under house arrest. This had led to the weird plot that OZ, who themselves over-threw the UESA in the previous chunk of episodes, are now being controlled by Romefeller, which has led to a faction loyal to Trieze to rise up and try to fight them, breaking OZ in two. A lot of political shenanigans and side-switching, which is one of the things I remember most clearly about Wing…

Millardo on the other hand arrives at the colonies and talks to Lady Une about his Sanc Kingdom, despite having not officially reclaimed any titles and eventually leaves without incident, making everyone suspicious. It’s interesting, and I always preferred his maskless look, especially now I know how much of a Gundam cliché it is. Trieze, who probably knew full well what his house arrest would do, is building a special mobile suit himself behind closed doors…

The Bad:

Quatre during one of his more sane moments.

The most obvious one is the double recap episodes, back-to-back no less. Done to save money and all that, but extremely annoying, especially as one is focused on Relena…

Ah yes, I guess that’s still the main “bad”. I don’t know how I put up with Relena in the previous watch-throughs because I’m still finding her stuck-up and completely unsympathetic. She pops over to Antarctica not to do anything other than stop Heero from fighting and help him. Even finding out about the brother she never knew she had doesn’t phase her one-track mind. The saving grace of these episodes were the fact that they were mostly in space, meaning she didn’t appear for several episodes on end. *sigh* I swear she becomes interesting at some point…

Overall Thoughts:

Thought I’d better throw in a picture of Trieze at some point in these reviews. Retroactively I can’t help comparing him to Sosuke Aizen from Bleach, even though he came first. It’s the hairline that does it…

This is more the Gundam Wing I remember! A bit of character development, twists, a couple more military coos and some great mech battles. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it’s damn enjoyable, with the majority of the villains having far more interesting and layered personalities than even the five main protagonists, which is still an fun oddity in the series. Let’s hope the next half of the series continues to actually do my memory justice…

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