Gundam Wing Review

In the future, mankind has finally begun to colonize space. However, the Earth Sphere Alliance ignores the colonies’ ability to be self-sufficient and instead controls them brutally, transporting all profits back to the earth. Unable to silently endure this treatment any longer, the colonies send five special mobile suits to earth. Unlike the mobile suits of the Alliance military, these suits can withstand massive amounts of damage thanks to the space material that gives them their tough exterior and their name: Gundam. Unfortunately for the young pilots, the Alliance is the least of their worries. Their real enemy is Oz and this enemy is far more prepared than the pilots are for a world changing revolution.

This show is centered around a war, so violence is to be expected. However, blood is usually in small amounts or only shown briefly. While characters do get shot, punched and thrown from high places, it’s by no means graphic. Even so, this isn’t Disney fare here.

The cursing in this show is pretty average. D-mn, the “illegitimate-son” word, and cr-p occur every now and again. It’s not a frequent occurrence. And a few episodes won’t even have any, but they are there.
Note: If you manage to get your hands on some old VHS tapes of the “edited” version, you’ll find most of the curse words removed, aside from a random da-n. However, these edits come at a price. Cartoon Network also decided the word “kill” was dirty, so instead they replaced it with “destroy.” The result is pretty hilarious as Heero uses the word frequently with Relena. For some reason, “I’ll destroy you,” just isn’t very convincing…

This series contains no hot spring episode! This really cuts down this section. There really isn’t any nudity here…. aside from an awkward scene at the beginning of the series where we briefly see a man in a bath. No details show up (thank goodness), but it really let’s you know how… “off” that character is. Sane men don’t take bubble baths in a gazebo. Just sayin’.

There isn’t much of this going on, but there are a handful of comments on God. Many seem to be characters using God in a speech or claiming they can not commit a crime because “God would never forgive them.” One character even flat out says he doesn’t believe in God. However, these comments are made in passing and are never fully discussed.
Also, evolution is talked about in two separate speeches. Again, no discussion, only passing comments. And these elements really don’t affect the overall story in any way.

Personal Impression:
Made during the same era of anime as Noir, Gundam Wing was the anime that got me back into anime. Because after getting bored with endless transformations (Sailor Moon) and endless screaming (Dragon Ball Z), I largely gave up on anime. This show brought me back with a vengeance. The main characters are competent fighters, none of that whinny hero business that’s become so common now-a-days. The world is fully and complexly built with various parties getting entangled, allying, betraying and switching sides throughout the show. Not to mention the personal conflicts the heroes have. Be it losing sight of what they are fighting for, not knowing who to protect, being overcome with the need for revenge or simply going insane, each pilot (and many other characters) has an issue they must face. Some have more than one. All of this with constant war on earth and space going on at the same time. Suffice to say, story-wise, this is a great show.
Before you ask though, yes the animation is old by today’s standards. Yet it was pretty good for its day. And the music is fitting as well. A bit corny in places, but this is a giant robot fighting show after all (though a surprising amount of it is political). Also, since this was dubbed over a decade ago, the dubbing isn’t as high-in as ours are now. So a few syncing issues can be spotted. And characters do have a strange obsession with waxing philosophical at very odd, and often dangerous, times. Still, this is a very solid show and it was a hit here in America for good reason. If classic anime is a bit too old school for you, this might not be the best choice. But if you can get past that element for a moment, this anime has a complex and exciting story with solid characters one can’t help but cheer for. Oh and the awesome robots fight. A lot. And it’s awesome.
Note: Bandai used to distribute this title before closing its US doors. But you should still be able to find copies of the DVDs floating around. And free legal streaming is also available. See links below.

Personal Rating: Young adult

Episodes: 49
Languages: Sub and Dub
Official rating: PG13
Genre(s): Science fiction, action, fighting
Website: n/a
Legal streaming: Crunchyroll
Screen shots:

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