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Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: DVD Operation 2

review by Wayne A.

 

Not Rated

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 Hildreth (English)

Studio: Sunrise (released through Bandai Entertainment)

Written by Katsuyuki Sumizawa

Directed by Masashi Ikeda

Retail Price: $24.98

Features: Scene access, character/mecha information, previews

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 other.

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 recommend it.

(4/5, NOT included in final score)

(4/5)

(2.5/5)

(2/5)

(3/5, NOT an average)

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