Discs Are Rated
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: DVD Operation 2
review by Wayne A.
Running Time: 125 Minutes
Starring Hikaru Midorikawa, Toshihiko Seki, Shigeru
Nakahara, Ai Orikasa, Ryuzo Ishino, Akiko Ajima, Takehito
Koyasu (Japanese), Lisa Ann Beley, Ted Cole, Michael Dobson,
Paul Dobson, Brian Drummond, Saffron Henderson, Mark
Studio: Sunrise (released through Bandai
Written by Katsuyuki Sumizawa
Directed by Masashi Ikeda
Retail Price: $24.98
Features: Scene access, character/mecha information,
Specs: Standard 1.33:1, 2.0 Dolby Digital English, 2.0
Dolby DigitalJapanese, English subtitles
Bad things happen to good people.
While we all know this is true, this is something you
rarely see in mainstream American cartoons. Gundam Wing,
however, is not an American cartoon, and the second volume
finds the five gundam pilots fighting back enemies and
finding themselves used by those enemies.
The Gundams, originally sent to earth to strike back at
the tyrannical rule of the United Earth Sphere Alliance
military, find themselves in the middle of a civil war. Oz,
a secret organization hidden within the military, and its
leader, Treize Khushrenada, begins a successful coup to
overthrow the Alliance. The gundam pilots are lured to a
base where they think Oz's commanders will be meeting.
Instead, they play into the hands of Oz, and secure the
overthrow of the Alliance through their attack. The
deception leaves the pilots in disarray, and Oz pushes the
offensive against them. On this disc, we also learn more
about Zechs Merquis and his past, as he attempts to master
the Tallgeese. The disc concludes with an offensive by Oz,
ending with a duel between Heero and Zechs.
The five episodes included on this disc ("Party Night,"
"Scenario for Bloodshed," "The Treize Assassination,"
Portrait of a Ruined Country," and "Heero, Distracted by
Defeat") begin fleshing out most, thought not all, of the
various factions that fight for control of the earth, and
ultimately, the colonies. The characters also act on their
own motivations to these changes, and you begin to see
conflicting emotions arise that will be important in later
episodes. The duel between Heero and Zechs, in "Heero,
Distracted by Defeat," is memorable in its ending. See it
and you'll understand.
Like the first disc, the video transfer is very good. As
I mentioned in the first review, most readers are probably
aware Gundam Wing has been showing on the Cartoon Network.
The video transfer, however, is much better than the quality
shown on TV -- we're talking night-and-day different. The
video is clean and crisp. In a lot of occasions, it's almost
amazing how much the transfer on the DVD differs from the
Cartoon Network's broadcasts. If you're a fan of the show,
buy the DVD, and you'll never want to watch Gundam Wing on
Cartoon Network again.
The audio is just as clear, though the background music
on "The Treize Assassination" during Wu Fei's attack on
Treize's ships is slightly distorted, as if the master tape
was warped. This problem can be heard on both English and
Japanese audio tracks.
As I have said before, the sub and the dub are thin and
not very well done at times. The extra information on Duo,
Zechs and the Deathsythe are as thin on this disc as the
The distorted audio, though a minor problem, still is
enough to bring the audio rating down. I've never heard the
problem I've heard then, and I hope I don't again. Gundam
Wing is an enjoyable piece of anime, though, and I still
(4/5, NOT included in
NOT an average)