Mania Grade: B+
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- 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
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Vol. #09
By Chris Beveridge
July 17, 2001
Release Date: July 17, 2001
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Vol. #09
What They Say
© Bandai Entertainment
The Gundam pilots face their toughest challenge ever as they battle OZ forces equipped with a battle program based on the Epyon’s operating system!
Heero leaves Quatre to take command while he goes off on a separate mission—to sneak onto the Libra. He and Relena face Milliardo. But Milliardo has other callers as well. His old friend Treize has arrived and challenges him to a duel to decide the outcome of the war! The Review!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:
Now this is a nice ensemble shot of the boy pilots and their Gundams. Lots of various colors, with Wing Zero getting the larger head shot and Heero of course getting the close up picture at the bottom. It's definitely a good way to almost close out the series for cover art. 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 menu system replicates what was seen in volume 7 and 8, 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..Extras:
The only extra this time around is similar to the last volume, where it goes into several pages of story about the White Fang group as well as some pictures.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
War! That's the overriding theme of this disc. War, carnage, destruction. Bad juju all around here folks. The White Fang group makes threatening gestures with the Libra battle station while an group of ex-Treize Faction soldiers take up residence in a colony and take it over, keeping the meager population hostage. And the verbal grandstanding between Earth and the White Fang grows to quick high.
While on Earth, things within the Romefeller Foundation continue to become intense, as the two internal groups vying for control rub up against each other. When it becomes public knowledge that Zechs has taken over the White Fang group, we see Treize begin to make his moves back into power. Is there something the two worked out ages ago that's now coming into action? Is all of this really something that they planned?
The first thing that Treize has to do is give Relena the boot. She's not the one that's ready to lead a massive war against the space colonies. She's not the one who can raise the rhetoric and rouse the troops to a rage and go after the enemy. Treize uses his takeover of the Foundation to force her to resign as Queen. This makes it what, the millionth job that Relena's lost? Treize's reasoning, though unmentioned, is sound and compassionate. Relena must build upon the future that he is going to leave them by his confrontation with Zechs and the White Fang.
In space, things only continue to heat up, with the Gundam pilots getting their act together and working together again, as they are all aboard the big honking space battleship Peacemillion. Along with Noin and a large host of mechanics, the crew of the ship takes the pilots to where the action is and helps defend the colonies as both the White Fang and the ex Treize Faction folks start causing havoc everywhere.
One of the nice things about this disc is that starting with episode 41 we get the new opening sequence and song, which just looks even better than the original, with slicker animation and more tie-ins to the current way of the world and the colonies. The previous one had a shot of Heero standing amid the colony in its glory, while this one has him sitting on a crumbling wall in it, with debris spread all around. And the song is quite good as well, but still not as good as the original in my opinion.
With this being the penultimate volume in the series, things are certainly well set up for the finale to come. The pawns have finally moved to their proper places, and those in charge of the opposing sides have clearly stated their intentions, which is a definite change from early on when there was almost nothing but betrayal after betrayal. Only four more episodes to go, and this ride is finally over...
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,White Fang Information
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.