Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Vol. #04 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • 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

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Vol. #04

By Chris Beveridge     February 04, 2002
Release Date: November 14, 2000


Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Vol. #04
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
Oz moves to destroy the remnants of the alliance military, and makes plans to reconcile with the colonies. Quatre and Duo decide to head for outer space to warn the colonies of Oz's conspiracy, but the colonies that had once been their homes declare the Gundams their enemies. After an intense battle in space, Duo is defeated and taken prisoner by Oz. Heero searches for Duo to silence him; however, with the development of Oz's newest mobile suits, Heero must confront Trowa in order to stop the production of these new weapons of war. Episodes 16-20, uncut.

The Review!
Another block of five episodes has hit the shiny disc format and brings the first arc to a close and kicks off the next segment. We're also one disc short of the halfway mark of the series. As such, things are now really starting to take shape for the series.

Audio:
The Japanese and English tracks both sound pretty good. Dialogue is clean and undistorted and no audio dropouts were detected on either track. There's a bit of directionality across the front soundstage during a few segments, but the majority of it does seem to come from the center channel. As always, the opening song simply sounds excellent. We listen to it each and every time!

Video:
Yet another bang up job here. Colors look great and have no visible bleeding, backgrounds generally look solid, though there are a few times it looks a little shaky. Rainbows are thankfully minimal throughout with the majority of them being visible during the ending sequence in Relena's outfits. Having seen an episode on Cartoon Network again recently, it definitely reminded me of just how great these discs do look.

Packaging:
Disc four's cover highlights WuFei and his Gundam. It's a bit of a darker cover with the setting sun behind them and of course the ever so serious look on WuFei. It serves up an interesting contrast to the previous two covers with the smirking Duo and the smiling Quatre. The back cover along with the insert provides a schematic of the Shenlong Gundam and gives a very brief summary of the episode. The insert is done up nicely with one side listing the episode titles and summaries and the other being the aforementioned schematic.

Menus:
The menus are the same as past ones, so apply those here. The menus do continue to look cramped, but playing them in full anamorphic mode on the HDTV they look great. And yes, I take the extra time to put it in anamorphic mode to just use the menus.

Extras:
The extras basically consist of just the two characters and the one gundam profiles, all text based with a few pictures placed underneath them. Not bad, but not all that much.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the mainly Earthbound arc now just about down, the Gundam Pilots are still wandering about, trying to find out exactly what they should do next. The threat of the colonies being attacked should they act is still in the air, but these kids aren't the calm and idle types.

Trowa and Heero are still in the icy cold pole and finally meet up with Zechs in person. The three all have very similar manners, though it's readily apparent that Zechs is still amazed at how focused and committed they are. Heero and Trowa spend the night rebuilding Heero's Gundam to be ready for the dual between it and Zech's Tallgeese the next day.

The end battle between them is pretty well done, with some decent fighting and tactics. The amusing part is in it lasting for over three hours with neither being able to really claim any kind of victory.

Elsewhere in the world, Duo and Quatre realize that they can't sit idly anymore and that with the moves currently being made by Romefeller and OZ, they need to get back into space. Knowing that they can't really contact any of the other pilots, they decide to make their escape out of the gravity well by using one of the bigger OZ bases to make a flashy and showy escape, hoping that the others will catch on.

Things in space aren't going well either, with the aforementioned OZ making inroads with the colonies. Lady Une in her more relaxed form has a variety of talks with the colony leaders, swaying many to OZ's side to bring peace between them and the Earth. Things also take a turn for the worse when the five Alphabet Doctors behind the Gundams are all captured and become a part of Lady Une's overall schemes.

There's quite a few good bits throughout these episodes. The greater introduction of the mobile dolls is a definite highlight and the added depths to Lady Une and her displays of simple cruelty are well done. After the batch of episodes that had the kids all pretty much confused and unsure of how to proceed, it's great to see them taking steps to do what they see as the right thing to be done.

Chalk up another excellent disc from Bandai.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Pilot Data,Gundam Specifications,Character Bio

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster gold plated component cables and Sony speakers.

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