When people ask me about anime, I always think about Gundam Wing. It wasn’t my first anime, that was Dragon Ball, but there was something amazing about GW. The show had more grown themes with a strong anti-war message; this was a whole new world of entertainment for me.
I can remember quite easily the day that I first watch GW. I came home from school and quickly flipped my television to YTV for their afterschool programming block “the Zone.” The Hosts (I can’t remember who they were) talked about a new show that was debuting that night. To tease the audience they played a clip.
The next thirty seconds opened up the world of anime to me. Seeing these characters fighting in these giant robots really clicked for me (for obvious reasons).
So I stayed near the television for the next three hours and watched the first episode. I can’t honestly say that from the opening theme, I was hooked.
The Opening of the show gave the background of the world. While I look back at it now, it wasn’t the West Wing, but it was deeper than anything that I had seen before. The show featured politics, something that for a ten year old was new. It wasn’t a happy world filled with joy and wonder like Dragon Ball or even the Star Wars films. Characters had deep motivations for the actions that they did, and they also felt remorse for the lives that they took.
The main characters were five young pilots of giant robots called “Mobile Suits” (I prefer a casual suit myself) send out to kill the same target.
The first pilot, Heero Yuy, was a cold withdrawn killing machine that was very similar to Jason Bourne. The next pilot, Duo Maxwell was the comedic counter part to the dark story. We’re then introduced to Trowa Barton, the silent circus performer with dual identity. His counter part throughout the series was the outspoken and misguided Chang Wufei who feels that he has to take on the world on his own. The last pilot, Quatre Raberba Winner, was the moral center of the group, while he is the most open minded of the group; the actions of the group and the people around him weigh heavily on his shoulders. While the five pilots are the main characters the final major character was Relena Peacecraft. Her importance isn’t shown at first but becomes clear near the end of the series.
During the course of it’s 49 episode store arc, we saw the characters turn from simple children soldiers trying to kill the political leader of the Group OZ, Treize Khushrenada, to complex characters that saw war as a terrible side effect of differing political agendas.
The series also featured an interesting OVA that rapped up all of the remaining stories from the show. Endless Waltz, while a bit on the preachy side (like many other parts of the show) continued the show’s strong anti-war theme with a miss guided girl who claimed to be the daughter of Khushrenada who is tricked into started and war between the colonies and earth.
Throughout the OVA the main characters refuse to kill the enemy forces. They try and hold off the enemy while Heero tries to kill Treeize’s daughter only to be beaten by here insane handler.
The Show ended with peace with all of the Gundams being destroyed and the main characters living out their lives in different ways.
If it weren’t for Gundam Wing I wouldn’t be an anime fan and might not have the same political ideals that I currently hold. It is truly a classic and deserves to be watched.
For fans of the show he’s a little video from another fan, Richie Branson (not Richard Branson, the Virgin Group founder) look for his mix-tape later this month.