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Gundam Wing

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Mobile Suit Gundam Wing

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Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Vol 1.jpg
North American DVD cover of Gundam Wing Volume 1, featuring the protagonist Heero Yuy and his original mobile suit, Wing Gundam
新機動戦記ガンダムW
(New Mobile Report Gundam Wing)
Genre Military science fiction, Mecha
Anime television series
Directed by Masashi Mukaeda
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by Bandai Entertainment (Canada and the US)
Network TV Asahi
English network Argentina Cartoon Network
Australia Cartoon Network
Canada YTV
United Kingdom Cartoon Network
United States Cartoon Network
Indonesia ANteve, Indosiar
Original run April 7, 1995 – March 29, 1996
Episodes 49 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
Operation Meteor
Directed by Masashi Ikeda
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by Canada United States Bandai Entertainment (Note: This OVA has not been officially released on DVD in North America)
Released April 25, 1996 – October 10, 1996
Episodes 3 (List of episodes)
Manga
Illustrated by Kōichi Tokita
Published by Kodansha
English publisher United States TokyoPop
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Comic Bom Bom
Original run April 1995 – April 1996
Volumes 3
Manga
Battlefield Of Pacifists
Illustrated by Kōichi Tokita
Published by Kodansha
English publisher United States TokyoPop
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Haoh Magazine, Comic Bom Bom
Published 1997
Volumes 1
Serial novel
Frozen Teardop
Written by Katsuyuki Sumizawa
Published by Kadokawa Shoten
Demographic Male
Magazine Gundam Ace
Original run August 2010 – ongoing
Volumes 6
Anime and Manga Portal

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, known in Japan as New Mobile Report Gundam Wing (新機動戦記ガンダムW(ウイング) Shin Kidō Senki Gandamu Uingu[1]?), is an anime series in the mecha genre, and is one of the alternate universe Gundam series, taking place in the After Colony timeline. It is the second alternate universe in the Gundam media franchise, following Mobile Fighter G Gundam. The plot centers around a war between Earth and its colonies in space; however, in contrast to the Universal Century continuity, the Gundam pilots of Gundam Wing are more closely allied to each other than they are to any particular side in the conflict unfolding around them.

The series aired across Japan on the terrestrial TV Asahi network. The series ran for forty-nine half-hour episodes, beginning on April 7, 1995 and ending on March 29, 1996. Masashi Ikeda was the overall director of the series. Katsuyuki Sumizawa (Yoroiden Samurai Troopers) wrote the scenario for the series and was one of three official script-writers, along with Akemi Omode and Katsuhiko Chiba. Ikeda wrote one script himself and one with Omode and one with Sumizawa. Toshifumi Kawase also wrote three scripts in the latter part of the first half of the series. Koh Otani composed the music. The series was loosely based on the original 1979 series, Mobile Suit Gundam, created by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Hajime Yatate. Gundam Wing was among the first series in the Gundam franchise (not including OVAs) to be dubbed in English and was aired on Cartoon Network‘s Toonami block in the U.S. and the U.K.[2] Since then, the series has also been dubbed into Tagalog, French, Italian, German, Arabic, Spanish, Indonesian, Malay and Portuguese.

Contents

Plot

This article’s plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. (September 2012)

In the distant future, Mankind has colonized space (with clusters of space colonies at each of the five Earth-Moon Lagrange points), and, down on the Earth, the nations have united as the United Earth Sphere Alliance. However, the Alliance oppresses the colonies with its military power. The colonies desire a peaceful resolution to the situation, joining together in a movement headed by the pacifist Heero Yuy. In the year After Colony 175, Yuy is shot dead by an assassin (believed to be Odin Lowe), forcing the colonies to search for other paths to peace. The assassination also prompts five disaffected scientists from the Organization of the Zodiac (more commonly referred to as OZ) to turn rogue after the completion of the mobile suit prototype Tallgeese.

The story of Gundam Wing begins in the year After Colony 195, with the start of “Operation Meteor”: the scientists’ plan for revenge against OZ. The operation involves five teenage boys, who have each been chosen and trained by each of the five scientists, then sent to Earth independently in extremely advanced mobile suits (one designed by each of the scientists) known as “Gundams” (called such because they are constructed from a rare and astonishingly durable material known as Gundanium alloy, which can only be created in outer space). Each Gundam is sent from a different colony, and the pilots are initially unaware of each other’s existence.[3]

The series focuses primarily on the Gundam pilots: Heero Yuy (an alias, not to be confused with the martyred pacifist), Duo Maxwell, Trowa Barton, Quatre Raberba Winner, and Chang Wufei. Their mission is to attack OZ directly, in order to rid the Alliance of its weapons and free the colonies from its oppressive rule. The Gundam pilots each start out on separate missions, but encounter each other and then join forces later while on Earth.

Along the way, Heero meets Relena Darlian, the seemingly ordinary daughter of Earth’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. However, after her father is assassinated by OZ’s ruthless second-in-command, Lady Une, it is revealed to Relena that she is really Relena Peacecraft, heir to the pacifistic Sanc Kingdom.[4]

Although the five Gundams succeed in destroying several of OZ’s supply bases and mobile suit factories, the sinister organization is still able to complete its ultimate goal of overturning the Alliance and becoming the new ruler of Earth and the colonies. Wufei attempts to kill OZ’s ambitious yet chivalrous leader, Treize Khushrenada, only to be defeated in a sword duel. Treize, however, admires Wufei’s fighting spirit, and allows Wufei to escape so they can fight again another day.

Throughout the series, Heero has several mobile suit battles with OZ’s “Lightning Count,” Zechs Merquise (whose true identity is Milliardo Peacecraft, Relena’s older brother). During their second encounter in Siberia, however, the colonies are held hostage by Lady Une, who tries to force the Gundam pilots to surrender their mobile suits to OZ; Heero, in response, self-destructs his Gundam, nearly killing himself in the process.[5]

Later on, the Gundam pilots return to outer space, only to find that the colonies they were sent from have now sided with OZ. Marked as rebels, they fall on hard times; Quatre witnesses his father’s murder, Heero, Duo and Wufei are captured by OZ, and Trowa enlists as a soldier of OZ (secretly as a double agent).

At this time, the Wing Gundam ZERO is introduced. This mobile suit was the original Gundam designed by the five scientists, but was never constructed due to its signature feature: the ZERO System, a combat system that directly interfaces with the pilot’s brain and feeds the pilot tactical data on the fly. The downside of this is that prolonged exposure causes hallucinations, and in some cases, insanity. Quatre, who has been driven mad with grief over his father’s death and the colonies’ betrayal, discovers the schematics for Wing ZERO and has it built. He then uses it to go on a rampage against OZ and avenge his father’s death, but he is eventually stopped by Heero and Trowa (although Trowa is nearly killed and suffers temporary amnesia).[6]

After returning to Earth, Heero and Quatre take refuge in the newly restored Sanc Kingdom, which is governed by none other than Relena. The kingdom, however, is being pressured by the Romefeller Foundation (the group that controls most other countries, as well as OZ) to dissolve. By this time, the Foundation has reformated OZ’s military force to consist primarily of mobile dolls.

Trieze has been confined to Romefeller’s headquarters due to his outspoken dislike of the use of unmanned suits in combat (which he feels negate the true spirit of battle). In his confinement, Treize builds the Gundam Epyon and later gives it to Heero. Much like Wing ZERO, Epyon is equipped with the ZERO System. After being affected by the System, Heero fights once more against a returning Zechs, who is piloting Wing ZERO. After the battle ends in another draw, they exchange Gundams and part ways.

At the same time, Relena formally dissolves the Sanc Kingdom due to the tremendous pressure from Romefeller. She then becomes the chief representative for the Foundation (at first as a figurehead, but gradually gaining more and more power) under the title “Queen of the World”.[7]

Eventually, Treize is released from confinement, and he relieves Relena of her crown, telling her that while she has successfully laid the foundation for true peace, he is the one with the strength to bring it to fruition. Treize then takes control of the Romefeller Foundation; at the same time, Zechs returns to space to become the leader of the White Fang organization under his true name: Milliardo Peacecraft. White Fang has seized control of a Peacemillion-class battleship OZ was building for Romefeller to show its military power, called Libra. Zechs fires Libra’s main cannon at the Earth, causing great damage to the planet. This prompts Treize to start gathering all of the military power he can muster from Earth’s forces to retaliate, while the Gundam pilots remain neutral.[8]

White Fang continues to battle the Earth forces by taking out the only remaining OZ base in space: Space Fortress Barge. Eventually, the Gundam pilots choose to fight against White Fang. During the epic final battle, Treize is killed (of his own volition) in a rematch against Wufei, while Heero fights against Zechs one last time. Their battle is broadcast to all of Earth and space by Lady Une. When the citizens see the meaningless battle, they put aside their differences, whether they are from the colonies or from Earth, and form what becomes the Earth Sphere Unified Nation. However, White Fang refuses to surrender, and sends Libra plunging on a collision course with Earth. After several attempts from the other four Gundams to prevent this, Heero intercepts the battle station’s remains as it enters Earth’s atmosphere and destroys it with Wing ZERO’s twin-barrel buster rifle, bringing an end to the war.[9]

Media

Anime

This section needs additional citations for verification. (December 2008)

After the series ended, two OVAs, compiling various scenes from the series along with a few minutes of new footage, were released in 1996 as Gundam Wing: Operation Meteor I, II and III. A three-volume OVA series, Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz, was produced in 1997 as a sequel to the TV series; plot-wise, it brought the After-Colony timeline to a close. In 1998, a movie version of Endless Waltz was made, with additional footage, alterations of the music scores, and a different ending theme song.

Gundam Wing was later licensed for release in North America by Bandai Entertainment and was dubbed into English by Ocean Productions. The series was broadcast in the U.S. on Cartoon Network’s action-oriented programing block Toonami, premiering on March 6, 2000 and ending on May 11, 2000. In the first extended promo leading up to the series’ premiere, voice actor Peter Cullen narrated the back story, evoking memories of Voltron‘s opening credits. The promo was said to be so riveting that Bandai decided to use it as the official promo for the series.

It was broadcast in two formats; an edited version shown in the daytime on Toonami and an uncut version shown past midnight as part of Toonami’s “Midnight Run.” Examples of the edits included the removal of blood, profanity, and the word “kill” being replaced with the word “destroy” (this was extended to Duo’s nickname, “The God of Death”, changed to “The Great Destroyer”, forcing the alteration of two episode titles), though the word “death” was mostly left intact. The uncut version shown was completely unedited. Reception for the uncut version was a factor in the eventual creation of the Adult Swim programing block, which premiered on September 2, 2001.[citation needed]

All Gundam Wing episodes have been released on VHS and DVD in the U.S. Differences between the two video systems is that the episodes on VHS contain the edited version while the episodes on DVD contain the uncut version. Endless Waltz was also dubbed by Ocean Productions and an edited version of it aired on Cartoon Network on November 10, 2000. It was later released on a DVD that contains both the OVA and movie versions.

Cast

Character Japanese Voice Cast English Voice Cast
Heero Yuy Hikaru Midorikawa Mark Hildreth
Relena Peacecraft Akiko Yajima Lisa Ann Beley
Duo Maxwell Toshihiko Seki Scott McNeil
Trowa Barton Shigeru Nakahara Kirby Morrow
Quatre Raberba Winner Ai Orikasa Brad Swaile
Chang Wufei Ryuuzou Ishino Ted Cole
Zechs Merquise Takehito Koyasu Brian Drummond
Treize Khushrenada Ryotaro Okiayu David Kaye
Lucrezia Noin Chisa Yokoyama Saffron Henderson
Lady Une Sayuri Yamauchi Enuka Okuma
Catherine Bloom Saori Suzuki Moneca Stori & Cathy Weseluck[10]
Sally Po Yumi Touma Moneca Stori & Samantha Ferris [11]
Hilde Schbeiker Kae Araki Marcy Goldberg
Dorothy Catalonia Naoko Matsui Cathy Weseluck
Duke Dermail Osamu Kato Jim Byrnes
Tubarov Yuji Mikimoto Richard Newman
Howard Hiroshi Ishida Ward Perry
Doctor J Minoru Inaba Don Brown
Quinze Osamu Ichikawa Ian James Corlett
Narrator Akio Ōtsuka Campbell Lane

Music

Openings
Ending
  • “It’s Just Love!” by Rumi Onishi (ep. 1–49)
  • “Just Communication” (Instrumental Version) by Kow Otani (Toonami Broadcast, ep. 1–49; the credits aired over an amended version of the show’s first opening)
Insert songs
  • “Just Communication” by Two-Mix (eps. 3 & 49)
  • “Rhythm Emotion” by Two-Mix (eps. 36, 38, 39, and 41)

Manga

In addition to manga adaptations of the series and Endless Waltz, several manga sidestories have also been produced. Episode Zero is a prequel, detailing the events leading up to series; the stories have been collected in a volume that also contains one brief open-ended interlude, Preventer 5, that details an operation that occurs after Endless Waltz. A coincident storyline to the series is presented in Last Outpost (G-Unit). Several sequel manga, occurring between Gundam Wing and Endless Waltz, have also been written: Blind Target, Ground Zero, and Battlefield of Pacifists.

The Gundam Wing, Battlefield of Pacifists, and Endless Waltz manga series were published in English by Tokyopop, while Blind Target, Ground Zero, and Episode Zero were published by Viz Communications. Another sequel manga detailing the future of the colonies entitled Tiel’s Impulse was printed in 1998 and has not been published in the United States.

In September 2010, Gundam Ace magazine began serializing a manga called New Mobile Report Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz: Glory of the Defeated that retells the events of the anime while incorporating facts from Episode Zero and the novel Frozen Teardrop. The manga also uses Hajime Katoki‘s Gundam redesigns instead of the original Kunio Okawara designs featured in the anime.

Novelization

In early 2010, Gundam Ace magazine announced they would serialize a “New Gundam Wing Project”.[12] The project was eventually revealed to be a novel, titled New Mobile Report Gundam Wing: Frozen Teardrop. Written by Katsuyuki Sumizawa, the novel begins a new timeline, following the “Mars Century” calendar (“MC”) which was the successor of the previous “AC” calendar.[13] According to an interview with the author, the novel will span backwards into the AC century and the Gundam pilots, Relena, and their children will make appearances.[14]

Other media

In 1996 a fighting video game called Gundam Wing: Endless Duel was released for the Super Famicom in Japan. It was the only Gundam video game to be based solely on Gundam Wing. The game was never released in the United States or Europe, but has gained some popularity through the emulation of older video games. Since then, Gundam Wing characters and mecha have appeared in several other video game series including Super Robot Wars, Gundam Battle Assault, Another Century’s Episode, and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam.

Upon the show’s popular debut in North America, Gundam Wing received a large roster of licensees for merchandise including wallscrolls, apparel, school supplies, skateboards, trading cards, and action figure models.[15]

Reception

Gundam Wing was only a modest success in Japan during its initial run; it, along with G Gundam, was the only Gundam series of the 1990s which managed an average television rating over four percent. It was ranked number two in Animage magazine’s Anime Grand Prix in 1996 and was also ranked number 76 in the publication’s list of the 100 most important anime of all time.[16][17]

Gundam Wing was a greater success in North America however, and is credited with single-handedly popularizing the Gundam franchise among Western audiences.[18] IGN ranked the series #73 on its ‘Best 100 Animated Series’ list. Just over a week after its premiere on Cartoon Network on March 6, 2000, the series was the top rated program in all age groups.[19] During the summer of 2000, it remained as the first or second top-rated show among kids and teens during its twelve airings per week on Toonami. The initial airing of the OVA Endless Waltz on November 10, 2000 was the channel’s second highest rated program ever at the time, only being topped by the premiere of Funimation‘s in-house dub of Dragon Ball Z.[20]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ The translation New Mobile Report Gundam Wing is used by the R2 DVD releases in Japan, and thus is used extensively by the English-language fanbase in order to differentiate it from the Universal Century Gundam series. While the use of the term “report” in the title is not necessarily incorrect, it does not convey the full meaning of the original-language terminology. The Japanese word senki (戦記) has a specific meaning of “military history.” Some official translations in the past have used the translation New Mobile War Chronicle Gundam Wing as well, and some of the official art uses The New Mobile History Gundam Wing, and at least one Japanese book has used Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.
  2. ^ “New Mobile Report Gundam W”. Mecha Anime HQ.com. Archived from the original on 2006-11-18. Retrieved 2007-02-14.
  3. ^ Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Episode Zero manga
  4. ^ Mobile Suit Gundam Wing anime; episodes 1–5
  5. ^ Mobile Suit Gundam Wing anime; episodes 6–10
  6. ^ Mobile Suit Gundam Wing anime; episodes 17–25
  7. ^ Mobile Suit Gundam Wing anime; episodes 30–38
  8. ^ Mobile Suit Gundam Wing anime; episodes 39–40
  9. ^ Mobile Suit Gundam Wing anime; episodes 41–49
  10. ^ Moneca Stori voices Catherine Bloom throughout the series. Cathy Weseluck voices the character in Endless Waltz.
  11. ^ Moneca Stori voiced Sally Po throughout episodes 3 to 12 of the English dub. Samantha Ferris, who had previously voiced minor characters in the anime, voiced the character from episode 20 until the end of the series, and in Endless Waltz.
  12. ^ 05:09 PM (2010-04-23). “New Gundam Wing Project To Be Serialized In Gundam Ace – Jinxworld Forums”. 606studios.com. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
  13. ^ Prologue Synopsis http://www.zeonic-republic.net/?page_id=151
  14. ^ http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/New_Mobile_Report_Gundam_Wing:_Frozen_Teardrop
  15. ^ “Gundam Wing Phenomenon Grows With Addition of New Licensees as Television Ratings and Toy Line Sales Surge.”. Business Wire. June 13, 2000. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
  16. ^ “月刊アニメージュ【公式サイト】”. Animage.jp. May 1996. Retrieved 2008-11-30.[dead link]
  17. ^ “Animage Top-100 Anime Listing”. AnimeNewsNetwork.com. January 15, 2001. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  18. ^ Oppliger, John (2007-10-12). “Ask John: Which Gundam Series Have Had the Most Impact on Anime?”. AnimeNation. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  19. ^ “Gundam Wing Ratings”. Anime News Network. March 15, 2000. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  20. ^ “Gundam Wing leaving Toonami?!”. Anime News Network. December 12, 2000. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
 
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