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Like most people in the west, I was introduced to the Gundam universe through New Mobile Report Gundam W, when it first aired here in our country back in 1998. It's the first Gundam Anime to be released in the Tagalog language. Back then, I was in my elementary school days and Anime was booming at the time thanks to GMA 7 airing a dubbed version of "Yu Yu Hakusho". Most of the Anime shows that I've watched back then are Shounen. Well, that's because most Anime shows that were airing at the time were Shounen Anime, like the legendary "Dragon Ball" and "Hunter × Hunter". Gundam Wing was massively popular and, of course, like everyone else, I was hooked! The robots were very realistic, especially when compared to the "Super Robot" genre of Anime that were released before it (like "Voltes V" and "Daimos", which are still very popular even today) and the characters and plot were very different from your typical Shounen Anime that it made the series more interesting to me.
When it was first released, I didn't really care about the plot of the show (since I was just a stupid kid back then). So I don't really remember the Tagalog dub that much. All I cared about were the awesome giant robots fighting other giant robots and the cool fighting animations. It's when the Anime was aired in Cartoon Network with the English dub version, actually, that I was able to absorb the story of Gundam Wing. I re-watched the TV series again last December, as well. Man, I have so much free time in the past few months...
Anyway, the story revolves around 5 teenagers that were sent from the Space Colonies to Earth, given a mission to eliminate the OZ organization which is a military division of the United Earth Sphere Alliance. It's basically a war between the people living in Space and Earth. Well, not really a war per se, since the United Earth Sphere Alliance, which is the governing body of Earth, is planning on taking control of the Space Colonies one by one. The people living in the Colonies are depicted here as defenseless and peace-loving. So, kinda like Earth is oppressing the Colonies? I don't know. The United Earth Sphere Alliance have powerful weapons called "Mobile Suits" or MS that were made by OZ to help them attain their goal. Thus, rebel citizens from the Colonies schemed to take down OZ and make Mobile Suits of their own.
The plan took several years in the making. The 5 teenagers were sent to Earth along with their prototype Mobile Suits disguised as shooting stars, hence the name of their mission: "Operation Meteor". These 5 mobile suits then moved independently to destroy OZ military bases on Earth. They were so powerful that it is said that once you see at least one of them, you won't live long enough to tell about it. These 5 overly powerful Mobile Suits were known as "Gundams".
I guess what got me hooked to the series so much was because it's different from all the other Anime shows that were popular at the time. The main character, Heero Yuy, was emo, kinda pessimistic, and a psycopath, compared to the likes of Son Goku of Dragon Ball, Gon of Hunter × Hunter, and Kenshin of Rurouni Kenshin. The "Gundam" Mobile Suits were super powerful too, to the point that they were nearly indestructible, compared to the "i'm-awesome-but-i'm-human-too" tendencies of Shounen characters, where they got their butts kicked by the villain but will eventually pull through in the end. No. Since these robots were way more advanced than OZ's mass-produced Mobile Suits, they annihilated everything that opposed them. Alliance and OZ soldiers tremble in fear in the mere sight of a Gundam. However, it's not just the Gundams that have extraordinary firepower. Their pilots have superhuman skills and abilities as well. They're labeled "Gundam pilots" not just because they obviously pilot Gundams, but also because of their god-like prowess in the art of Mobile Suit combat that were unmatched in the battlefield. I also find it awesome when the soldiers find out that the Gundam they were fighting with was piloted by a teenager. "What the? He's just a kid!" is what they'd usually blurt out.
This is still my favorite Gundam series among others in the Gundam universe. I do realize that the Anime is not as awesome as it was when I first saw it, as it also became apparent to me when I decided to watch the series again last December (lots of recycled animations, the story was not that good as I had remembered and was confusing at times). I also know that die-hard fans of the Gundam series of the Universal Century timeline will comment that the Anime was mediocre, especially when compared to the masterpiece that is "Mobile Suit Gundam". And fans of the newer Gundam series might not be able to bare with the animation (fans of Gundam SEED and Gundam 00, perhaps?), but Gundam Wing is still awesome. Plus, the music is epic as well. This Gundam series will have a special place in my heart. "Awww!" Oh, stop it. Here are some screenshots:
|XXXG-01W Wing Gundam|
Pilot: Heero Yuy
|XXXG-01D Gundam Deathscythe|
Pilot: Duo Maxwell
|XXXG-01H Gundam Heavyarms|
Pilot: Trowa Barton
|XXXG-01SR Gundam Sandrock|
Pilot: Quatre Raberba Winner
|XXXG-01S Shenlong Gundam|
Pilot: Wufei Chang
|Treize Khushrenada, leader of the OZ Organization and his masked right-hand man, Zechs Merquise.|
|Doctor J, creator of XXXG-01W Wing Gundam and Relena Darlian|
|"I'll kill you."|
New Mobile Report Gundam W (新機動戦記ガンダムW)
No. of Episodes: 49
"JUST COMMUNICATION" by TWO-MIX
"RHYTHM EMOTION" by TWO-MIX
"It's Just Love!" by 大石 ルミ (Rumi Onishi)
Let's look at other Gundam series again in the future. I'll see you in the next post!