Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Vol. #08 (of 10) (

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Monday, February 04, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, July 17, 2001

What They Say
The battle for Space Fortress Barge begins, and the Gundam pilots are right in the middle of the fight. But WuFei continues his fight alone.

Zechs, the new leader of the White Fang, oversees the completion of the might battleship Libra. And, once it is ready for action, he orders it directed towards Earth. Duo learns of this, and attacks the gigantic ship. Relena arrives, but can she talk some sense into her brother before it’s too late?

The Review!
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.

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.

Getting away from the single character covers, this edition has a great looking colorful image of Zechs, Relena, Dorothy and Noin all in formal wear. It's very eye-catching, especially after past volumes. 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.

The menu system replicates what was seen in volume 7, with the look and feel of the interior of the Epyon. 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..

The only extra this time around is the background information and gallery on the Sanc Kingdom.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The movers and the shakers are hard at work here, bring about yet another complete change in the power schism. The Romefeller Foundation pulls its fast one and finagles a way to justify their attack of the Sanc Kingdom. This leads to widespread uncertainty among the general worldwide public about how the future of the world will be, once the Foundation takes out the last bastion of total pacifism.

Noin manages to get several people, Gundam pilots included, to try and take on the invading forces, which works good for awhile, until Heero begins to lose control of the Epyon unit, as it starts to show everyone as an enemy, and he's almost unable to resist its allure and kill them all. Relena on the other hand has plans to put a stop to all the fighting, and uses the willing and eager Dorothy. Relena dissolves the nation known as the Sanc Kingdom, and instructs everyone to stop fighting. She then takes a position of Chief Representative within the Romefeller Foundation.

This is where things get interesting, as the politics and the usual cat and mouse games begin. With Relena now in a full position of power, as the world becomes consolidated as a World Nation under the rule of the Foundation, she begins to try to work from the inside to change things. And for a time, things do seem as if they'll go her way, as many of the highest council find themselves swayed to her side, much to the chagrin of the man trying to hold onto his power.

The other new aspect to change the balance is the introduction of a new group, known as White Fang. It's made up in large part by members of the Treize Faction. This new power group stages a coup within the Libra construction base and in a roundabout way manages to eliminate Tubarov. The White Fang finds itself with most of the Lunar base and in control of the massive battle station that's in orbit. And who better to command such a unit? If those in charge of the White Fang have their way, they'll get Zechs to do it...

This batch of episodes, which brings us up to episode 40, provides a large shift in where the power is, who has it and whose going to lose it. The pilots are around in all the episodes, but mostly they're just regrouping as a cohesive unit again and figuring out what their best course of action is. And with the Wing Zero back in their possession, each of them is slowly getting their turn in it, and learning who their true enemy is.

This is a pretty solid release, much like the past ones, so there's little surprise there. If you've been enjoying the show, this one will start to heighten the tension of wondering where it's all going to go as it moves into the final arc.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Sanc Kingdom Background

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: A-
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