Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Vol. #03 (of 10) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2000
Release Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2000
What They Say
The battle raged on as the conflict escalated, but when the colonies were held hostage, the Gundam pilots had no choice but to surrender!
The Gundam pilots face hard times as they are unable to fight, but worse than that, no one knows if Hero is dead or alive. And now, Oz turns its attention towards space and begins to advance on the colonies again. What can be done to stop the war machine?
Containing episodes 11 through 15, another big dose of Gundam hits the DVD scene here. Disc 3 is presented in a dual layered format, so there's no real space crunch here trying to squeeze in five episodes.
Both language tracks here are pretty well done. Audio sounded very good throughout on both tracks. The English language version is the uncut version, so you're not getting what you saw during the daytime broadcast version. There was some decent yet infrequent directionality across the front soundstage on several of the scenes, but the majority of it comes through the center channel. As with the first two volumes in this ten disc release, the music sounds the best. The opening song is one of my favorite ones to have playing through our setup.
Video wise we have another solid release. On the downside, there are a few scattered rainbows that are really small and minor on our main setup. We also noticed some slight artifacting in a few scenes (oddly enough, it was more noticeable on bald characters). On the plus side, the vast majority of this disc looks great. Color saturation is spot on, there's very minimal line noise and the really fluid animated sequences look wonderful.
This disc will go over quite well with Quatre fans with a good picture of him and his Gundam on the cover. And rather than give him a combat style pose, he's got his musical instrument but you can still see the confidence in his eyes of a Gundam pilot. The back cover has the Sandrock Gundam specifications and a brief on Quatre. There's the usual summary and the rest of the standard technical information. The insert has another copy of the front cover while the interior has the episode listings and a larger version of the Sandrock schematic.
A couple of other things were included in the package. The second proof to get your own Gundam Wing figure (you also need the one from the 2nd DVD) is included. There's also a foldout full color catalog of various Gundam Wing toys and models coming out this fall, which is absolutely evil. Now I see more things I want. Grr. The final extra inclusion in the keepcase is a card from Upper Deck with Wing Gundam Zero. It's naturally included to induce you to pick up the card series that's being released, but I'm glad they included it. It looks really good.
The menus are still a bit of a mixed bag. Their access times are pretty decent, though a little slow in a few places. The only real problem with them is how they look on a 4:3 display in that they feel so cramped. Since this is the first Gundam disc I've popped in since getting the HDTV, I was real pleased to see that the menus appear to be anamorphic and fill out the full 1.78:1 screen beautifully. They look much better in this format.
With this batch of episodes, there's definitely some changes and growing on with many of the characters. You got it, character development time. That's not to say there isn't a fair amount of action though.
Just about everyone makes an appearance during these episodes, though most are now questioning their actions to some extent after the death of Noventa and the rise of OZ forces throughout the world. Even within OZ, some people are questioning their own roles. The rash and belligerent youths who are growing in power within OZ are causing trouble as well, which in turn begins to push both Zechs and Noin to begin rethinking where their lives are taking them.
For the Gundam boys, they're all over the map. Heero and Trowa, quite an interesting pair to watch, both try to find their own ways of dealing with their inner turmoil. Heero starts off with trying to meet with the families of those who he killed accidentally while Trowa tries to mirror Heero's original action of self-detonation to bring his inner peace.
Duo doesn't make much onscreen time as he's hanging out with Quatre who is keeping things fairly low in their underground base, at least until OZ shows up and decides to plant bombs throughout the city.
The more interesting parts to the unfolding stories here was with Relena as she makes her way through Moscow to try and face her fathers killer, the Lady Une. This provided a rather interesting turn of events with the old aristocracy there as they helped to defend her and set the stage for her own growing power. We end up with her later on after Noin has spirited her away and I must say that they gave her quite a good outfit. As with earlier episodes, I still find the various military and showy outfits to be very well done and this was no exception.
The completely earthbound phase to Gundam Wing is slowly starting to come to an end, which means my more favored part of it is starting to get ready. If you've been picking up the first two volumes, you'll have no disappointments here.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Pilot Data,Gundam Specifications,Character Bio
Toshiba TW40X81 40" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster gold plated component cables and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: 3 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Running time: 125
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing