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This Week in Anime - There's Gundam on the Wing!


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tintor2



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:30 pm Reply with quote
Talk about nostalgic. I never found some quotes so funny in retrospective.
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Beatdigga



Joined: 26 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:39 pm Reply with quote
I think you can say “a lot of these shows became big because they were so radically different from the norm of SWAT Katz and Captain Planet reruns” and “this is still a fun watch even if flawed” without contradicting each other. Wing isn’t my favorite Gundam, but it was the first I watched so I always will probably have a place for it.
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Heishi



Joined: 06 Mar 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:05 pm Reply with quote
I could never get into Gundam much when I was younger.

Was more into DBZ, Tenchi, Outlaw Star, and Sailor Moon.

So, other than that awesome instrumental rendition of the OP song, I don’t have much nostalgia for it, but my brother has recently been binge watching it and seeing clips of that final battle and even watching Endless Waltz.
I guess he has more fond memories of it than I did.

The only thing that I can remember are the scenes where one of the characters cut an apple and Heero blowing up his Gundam which led him to fall down and have that creepy shocked face. Thought that dude was legit dead.
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Transformers03



Joined: 04 Nov 2015
Posts: 40
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:10 pm Reply with quote
So I never watched Gundam Wing when it initially aired on Toonami, I was too young to understand and seemed too "adult". But I remember the ads for Endless Waltz vividly, so I do have second-hand nostalgia for the show.

With that said, when I did finally watch the show last year, I was incredibly mixed. I ended up watching the whole thing, which says a lot, and I was never bored or angry with the show. But it was really dumb and unnecessarily complicated.

With that said, the Endless Waltz I thought was really awesome. I loved it, it may be my favorite Gundam thing ever, and it makes it worth going through the show.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:56 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Gundam has positively loomed over Toonami's reputation in its early years. Dragon Ball Z was the mission statement, but Gundam Wing was the hype-man.


Which is intresting being that Gundam Wing came a bit later on. And I think but not sure aired after Z.

Quote:
together, as with Trowa and Quatre, or exchanging bullets, as with Heero and Duo


Maybe I’m misremembering this too but there was no exchanging of bullets with Heero & Duo......we did get Heero sinking the Deathscythe, Duo Rescuing him, then stealing parts from the Deathscythe to fix Wingzero.

It's kind of easy to see why shippers would like the idea of Heero & Duo with all the abuse, & violence involved.

Transformers03 wrote:
With that said, when I did finally watch the show last year, I was incredibly mixed. I ended up watching the whole thing, which says a lot, and I was never bored or angry with the show. But it was really dumb and unnecessarily complicated.


That's pretty much Gundam in general.


Last edited by BadNewsBlues on Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:39 pm; edited 3 times in total
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:01 pm Reply with quote
Wing is the best example that nostalgia can only elevate a show so far. As much as I liked it as a teenager (introduction to anime and mech) and its not a very good show, veering on straight up bad if you ignore the great mech design and the few good animation cut most episodes would have.

But the story is over complicated non sense, the characters constantly change personality the overdrama is off the chart and it would have really benefited from being cut down to maybe 30 episodes with a couple of arc just removed.
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:12 pm Reply with quote
There's a certain, 90s nostalgic charm to it, but on rewatch, I find Gundam Wing to be one of the weaker entries in the franchise. The pretentious, and often incomprehensible speeches are ubiquitous, even more so than other Gundam entries (at one point, even Wufei complains about this, though he's guilty of this himself). The Gundam Boys are kind of bland, outside Heero and Duo, and just kind of run together most of the time. The Gundam Boys are also severely incompetent, always getting captured to serve somebody else's ends. The plotlines either given too much or not enough time to develop and nothing in between. Often the antagonists' motivations and plans are too esoteric and overcomplicated.

But there's a certain spy movie/political thriller kind of quality to it that makes at least some of it worth watching, even if it's not great overall. And I like a lot of the mobile suit designs. It was my introduction to Gundam, on top of everything, so there's a sort of wistfulness thinking about watching it on Toonami.
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Generations



Joined: 21 Jul 2016
Posts: 170
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:19 pm Reply with quote
I would happily welcome you guys talking about G Gundam. You mentioned it, don't hold out on me now!

Wing is stupid. Like, undeniably objectively stupid. But unlike how I find a lot of the other Gundam series (like SEED, SEED Destiny, and 00), it's mostly enjoyably stupid. I feel like because it started from stupid from Episode 1, I got into the tone of the entire show and was just in it for the ride. It mucks up the war metaphors pretty bad with spectacles of violence and rule of cool, but it's Gundam -- they ALL do that.

Not to say there weren't any long-winded and terrible parts to it, even when it was entertaining. The second half dragged on for a bit until near the ending, even when the characters were being entertaining. And I just hate Wufei, he was a terrible character from the beginning.

It's definitely not the best of the series though. Because that spot belongs to G Gundam.
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franco.ferrer.923



Joined: 14 Sep 2021
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:31 pm Reply with quote
Two bits of corrections:
1. Wing wasn't part of the "original" '97 lineup; I remember the promo airing on 1999, during the 20th Anniversary of Gundam, as such its airing was done after the celebrations, some time after 0080 and 0083 were released. The VHS I still have of the 1st video proves it; and the original promo has the tentative "Spring 2000" added, so couldn't have been in '97, as, further, the line up was Voltron, the remake of Johnny Quest, Thundercats, and a Cartoon Roulette. Evidence for Wing being shown in 2000 is here:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/opccgI-ATBA
2. A bit minor: guy getting thrown out of the plane wasn't Goldfinger but A View To A Kill.


Last edited by franco.ferrer.923 on Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BioHazard1405



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 1
Location: Florida
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:38 pm Reply with quote
This really took me back to the days of getting off the school bus and running home to watch Toonami... I really miss those days and being almost 40 years old it's a harsh reminder of how long ago that was for me.
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Fluwm



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 477
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:21 pm Reply with quote
I genuinely think Gundam Wing is the best of the AU series to date (not counting Turn A, because it's not really AU or UC). I find the comparisons to 00 interesting because I found 00 seemed to just crib elements from Gundam Wing, Zeta Gundam and Full Metal Panic and smash them together, failing to execute those ideas better than Wing, Zeta or FMP did. making the series feel kinda lifeless.

The main thing that makes Wing interesting to me is that it's the only AU series to really get what Tomino was going for with the original 1979 series back in the day. What sort of made the "real robot" genre a thing was this notion that no weapon, no matter how powerful, can determine the course of the war. This is especially evident in the novelisation, where Amuro & co. are essentially powerless the meaningfully affect the course of the war, but it's apparent in the series, too. IE the Federation won because Zeon never had the resources for a protracted conflict, and their defeat was inevitable. And Wing took that idea to the absolute bonkers extreme.

So in Gundam Wing, the Gundams are more powerful than they'd ever been before. Literally nigh-indestructible one-mech armies. And what do these ultimate weapons do? Not... not a whole lot, as it turns out. The story of Gundam Wing is the story of failure after failure after failure, with the Gundam pilots consistently coming out the losers in ever battle that matters. They're very good at blowing up random bases, but anything more than that? They don't manage to secure a significant victory until the very last episode--and even then, that's arguable. Gundam 00 is a lot of fun, but it takes the exact opposite approach--that superweapons absolutely CAN dramatically alter the course of history, which to me is a fundamentally less interesting angle.

And there are two other small but critical aspects where I think Wing exceeds its peers:

First--the Narration. Like, we really can't overstate just how crucial Wing's narration was. It allowed the story to deal with complex plot lines, politics and world building while staying completely coherent. It allowed the story to move at a very brisk pace, especially compared the shows that followed.

For example, back to 00, in both series we have Gundams pop up out of nowhere and start doing some terrorism, only for the powers that be to plan up some countermeasures and lay a trap to take care of the Gundams once and for all. In Gundam 00, this took 15 episodes; in Gundam Wing, the same point took only 10 episodes. And where the Gundam Pilots in Wing always lost their battles, those in 00 always won....

Second--the animation. Gundam Wing was really the last Tv anime to really try and capture the "weight" and "size" of mobile suits. Their movements tended to convey a great deal of inertia, and they moved slowly as you might expect from a giant robot. They also often used low camera angles to really emphasize the size of these machines. Starting with Gundam Seed and the increased reliance on CG animation, most Gundam TV shows just... stopped doing that. We get get mobile suits animated just like people, from very level perspectives, and animation that rarely conveys much sense of size or mass. They're action figures.

Granted, like every other Gundam animation (Turn A excepted once again) Wing has it faults... especially with the much more hamfisted Endless Waltz OVA... but I definitely think much of the fandom fails to fully appreciate its qualities due to the reputation it's accrued over the years. It's definitely due a re-appraisal, especially in light of where the franchise has gone over the last three decades.


Last edited by Fluwm on Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 932
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:55 pm Reply with quote
franco.ferrer.923 wrote:
The VHS I still have of the 1st video proves it; and the original promo has the tentative "Spring 2000" added, so couldn't have been in '97, as, further, the line up was Voltron, the remake of Johnny Quest, Thundercats, and a Cartoon Roulette. Evidence for Wingbeing shown in 2000 is here:

It first aired March 6th 2000.

I think that was the golden age of Toonami. I was one of the people who started watching for Voltron, Sailor Moon and then Dragon Ball Z during the Moltar era, and then they added all this amazing stuff I'd only ever hear about and thought I'd never get to see unless I somehow got the tapes: Gundam Wing, Tenchi Muyo, Outlaw Star, Blue Submarine No. 6...mind blowing, turn-you-into-an-anime-fan-for-life stuff at the time, and at the right time.

I went from loving Gundam Wing to being a bit down on Gundam Wing to realizing no wait I actually always loved Gundam Wing. I think it's good at "getting away with it": just serious enough, but not TOO serious - just silly enough, but not TOO silly. For comparison, I think Code Geass is a big mess because of how seriously it takes itself when it can't quite get away with that (entertaining enough, but I think Wing handles the line better).
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Fluwm



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 477
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:32 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, definitely. Gundam Wing really walks a tonal tightrope between absurdity and seriousness really well. In retrospect, the failure to retain that balance may be why Endless Waltz didn't work as well--it takes itself much more seriously while simultaneously exploring its themes with much less subtlety, nuance or understanding.
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Beatdigga



Joined: 26 Oct 2003
Posts: 3400
Location: New York
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:51 pm Reply with quote
I still think 00 is what Wing wanted to be, but that’s 10+ years of hindsight working for you.

The irony is that 00 aired on SyFy and not Toonami like it would have back in the day. Gundam placement on TV or streaming is sort of a time capsule of where the industry was at, come to think of it.
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SrkSano



Joined: 05 Oct 2008
Posts: 141
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:53 pm Reply with quote
My first exposure to Gundam was watching the original trilogy films in straight Japanese on VHS. Couldn't understand them, just enjoyed all of the fighting. Gundam Wing I watched next, before it aired on Toonami. Via fan subs on VHS. So it was the first Gundam series I actually understood and it will always have a special place in my heart.

I highly recommend checking out the Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Glory of the Losers manga for anyone who hasn't. The entire series is available in English. It retells the TV anime and incorporates both the mecha designs from the TV series and Endless Waltz into one narrative. There's also some cool stuff like Tahlgeese with angel wings and things like that. It fixes some of the silliness in the anime here and there as well.
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