Reviewby Chris Shepard, Feb 22nd 2002
Gundam Wing (TV)
DVD - Operation 10
Relena and Heero have come aboard the Libra in a last-ditch hope to talk some sense into Zechs, but he will not listen. Treize and his forces arrive, and Treize challenges Zechs to a one-on-one duel to decide the fate of the war, but Zechs refuses, having cast aside such notions as “honor” and “chivalry.” Now the immense ships Libra and Peacemillion are on a collision course with one another, and the resulting collision could destroy all life on Earth. It's up to the Gundam pilots to put an end to the fighting in this, the final volume of Gundam Wing.
Gundam Wing was the first Gundam TV series to hit American shores, creating a gigantic following on Cartoon Network. And finally, the series that started it all in America is comes to an end in this DVD containing the last four episodes. One thing is for sure; it definitely doesn't skimp out, as it is indeed interesting.
Though containing only four episodes as opposed to the usual five, this disc does makes up for it in the form of extras. Included is a Mobile Suit Encyclopedia, with detailed information on each suit used during the series, as well as a textless version of the closing theme song. Also, as usual, Bandai has done a fine job with both the packaging and the menu system.
For most people, Gundam Wing was either hit or a miss. Fans of the series usually often say that Wing does a fine job blending philosophical elements along with the occasional thrilling mobile suit battle. Then there are people who believe completely otherwise; that it's directed sloppily, everyone's filled with too much teenage angst, they rant about nonsense, and the series too often runs dry of fighting. Many who have seen this series believe either one or the other
It cannot be argued that the characters do unnaturally rant on and on about philosophy, as they constantly recycle speeches and mix in their own self-angst. Throughout the entire series each character in Gundam Wing's large cast goes through many monologues and conversations about fighting, why they're fighting, who they're fighting, what good will the fighting do, and how can they achieve what they're fighting for. This takes up a much larger portion of screen time than the actual fighting itself, making this series not everyone's piece of cake.
This final set of episodes brings an end to these speeches and the final conclusions of many of the series' cast. Those who found the philosophical side of Gundam Wing interesting and looked forward to seeing out how the cast would fare in the end will definitely want to see this. Also, quite a bit of tension has been building up between the Gundam Wing cast throughout these 49 episodes and several battles viewers have been looking forward to finally do take place. Volume 10 is a climatic volume and exciting as well.
Unlike many other Gundam Wing volumes, the battles are more prominent here. Although as mentioned above, the characters do have their final speeches, there's also a lot more fighting packed in as well. Accordingly, the animation level is also at its highest, definitely above that of the beginning of the series. The smoothness in the quality and complexity of the animation boosts the overall excitement level of these final battles making them all the more entertaining.
As Gundam Wing came to an end, I was once again reminded of how the show is definitely not for everyone. It came flying in from a different ballpark than all the other Gundam series available on the market. Wing's detractors have referred to it as “Backstreet Boys in Space” for a reason. With all of the talking and arguing and complaining about emotions, it will not hit home with everyone. It became more extreme as the series moved on and even my own patience became tested at times. Of course if you've been buying the series thus far you'll want to get this volume as well, but for those thinking about trying the series out, just be careful. If you're looking for a more current action based Gundam/mecha fighting anime, it would be a whole lot safer to just go with 08th Ms Team.
Overall (dub) : B-
Overall (sub) : B-
Animation : A-
Art : A-
Music : B+
+ Exciting and climatic battles bring the series to an end.
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