Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Vol. #07 (of 10) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Monday, February 04, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2001



What They Say
While Heero and Quatre wage their battles on the ground, the other Gundam pilots remain in space. Duo must take the offensive while piloting an incomplete Gundam Deathscythe into battle. Back on Earth, Zechs continues his crusade to destroy the Romefeller's Mobile Dolls. The Treize Faction faces near destruction at the hands of the Romefeller Foundation, while Heero must head alone towards the battlefield and with him, the destructive power of a new Gundam, is leashed...Episodes 31-35

The Review!
The pawns continue to be moved around the board here, but positions are really starting to solidify. And the growing presence of two exceptionally powerful Gundam units are changing the stakes for a few of the key players.

Audio:
For our primary review, we listened to this in its original language of Japanese. Dialogue is clean and undistorted and no audio dropouts were detected on either track. There's some good directionality across the front soundstage during a couple of the more involved action sequences, but the majority of it does seem to come from the center channel with dialogue and ambient music. The opening song of course continues to be the highlight.

Video:
Things continue to look great here. The only noticeable problem within the episodes themselves is the occasional edge rainbow in some of the character animation, usually the hair. Black levels are solid and the few sequences with night time blues looked great. The ending sequence is again the only real culprit here with fairly noticeable rainbows throughout it. Other than that, Gundam Wing fans are getting yet another great disc for their collection.

Packaging:
The cover this time around brings the soft looking image of the Gundam Epyon unit, with no character shots on the cover at all, giving this particular Gundam a more noteworthy look. The back cover retains the same look as previous volumes, with the Epyon getting its technical information list here. The insert artwork is the same as the front cover, while opening it provides a larger shot of the technical schematic as well as giving a brief summary of each of the episodes with a piece of animation alongside it.

Menus:
The menus this time around have changed with the interior of the Epyon, giving a different and sleeker feel to things. Playing them in full anamorphic mode on the HDTV they look great. Access times between the menus are pretty good with only an occasional sluggish moment here and there..

Extras:
The Epyon continues to be the focus here with a couple of pages of information and pictures on the Epyon unit.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As with any five episode disc, content reviews get to be a bit more difficult as spoilers can be easily given, as minor arcs can be finished within that range. Gundam Wing is a bit easier in that the arcs are continued to be spread out fairly long, with the characters still off on their own for the most part.

One of the focuses of these episodes is on the growing tensions between the Sanc Kingdom and the Romefeller Foundation. Various Treize Faction groups are finding themselves herded into Sanc Kingdom territory, which gives clue to the Foundation trying to force an encounter, and give them an excuse to put their mobile dolls inside the territory. While Heero and Quatre do take up arms against them alongside Noin, Relena's finally convinced that more action is required to actually defend the kingdom and its principles.

Another main focus of the storyline takes place in the colonies, with the new Wing Zero Gundam being tested, but causing the main testing pilot to have hallucinations. He realizes that it takes a certain kind of personality to handle the mech, and makes plans without his superiors knowledge in capturing Duo and coercing him into testing the unit, so he can acquire new battle data on it and figure out a way to manipulate it better.

We also have more involvement from Zechs and his Tallgeese, wherein he decides to expand his campaign to take down the Foundation. His goal to start with is to take the wildest of the Gundam pilots, Wu Fei, and bring him to his side. Wu Fei has completed what he feels is his final training to bring him to optimum level, so when he comes across Zechs, words become meaningless and he views Zechs as the evil that is in space, and the pitched battle between the two follow.

There are a few minor arcs that are lightly touched upon as well. We see a bit with Treize and Hero discussing the Epyon and why it's being given to him, we do catch up for a few minutes with Trowa and see how his life has become since we last saw him. There's also some nice political playing going on among the Romefeller Foundation folks, which gets tweaked a bit when Relena pays them a visit.

There's a fair bit of interesting things going on here overall. A lot of these episodes do count as setup for the big final arc that's getting close, as there's only fourteen episodes left after this, which in Gundam Wing terms is definitely the final arc. The characters are definitely getting into place, and as the end gets close, I'm looking forward to seeing it all play out again.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Gundam Epyon Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
MSRP: 24.95
Running time: 125
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing