It was a long awaited date.
After having waited a long time Zechs finally gets his wish and gets to duke it out with Heero, unfortunately for Heero it’s not just a flesh wound and Zechs beats him pretty hard. Granted that Heero was using Heavy Arms in a sword fight I can’t fault him too badly for losing. While once I found Releena’s antics to be annoying her actually doing something in contrast to her successor makes her kill denial much less aggravating, her demand that Heero kill Zech’s was mildly yandere-ish and her intervention seems to be making Heero tsundere for her. I find this quite amusing even if way back when I gnashed my teeth. If nothing else at least they had to create some new footage for this fight but the instances of recycled shots was noticeable once again.
Lady Une starts developing that split personality and starts showing some irritating newtype powers, while the newtype powers never really get out of hand I didn’t much like them even if they were a mild homage and free of unwanted nudity. Still I wonder if 00 Une counts as a two for one deal for Treize. Well it seems that 00 Une is up to no good and the colonies decide one after another to throw in their lot with OZ. I have to hand it to 00 Une for getting the quislings of the colonies to kowtow before her, it’s like they were all dateless losers who were overawed by the sight of a woman. I always liked that part about Wing Gundam they didn’t play politics is stupid like Gundam 00 did, but here they flipped the Clausewitz’s words and made “politics is the continuation of war through other means.” It works marvelously as it was a more mild form of Gunboat diplomacy and pretty much robbed the Gundams of any support they might get from the home front. It was pretty much the equivalent of turning the Vietnam War upside down by using soft words and media control to sap the abilities of the Gundam pilots to fight back. So despite their tactical victories OZ claims strategic and overall victory in Round 1, not only have they taken over most of the Earth, they are now taking over space more rapidly than they could have with military force and they captured, destroyed, and disabled 3/5s of the Gundam with acceptable losses.
The introduction of the mobile dolls brings up one of the major themes that Wing deals with, the ideal soldier. While on the surface a mobile doll is analogous to a predator drone, we are still a long way from AI controlled weapons. Nevertheless it’s an interesting theme and one that other Gundams don’t go into. These days they make a point to make the protagonist pilot in Gundam to not be a soldier whereas Wing they identify themselves as soldiers even when the five principle pilots have no uniforms. Tubarov squaring off against Treize proves the fundamental flaw of the Mobile Dolls, they have no loyalty. It comes up later but in Wing I like how the Gundams while seemingly all powerful are simply tools in the end, it’s the pilot that matters. A mobile doll is obedient and skilled, but lacks loyalty. OZ troops have divided loyalties to OZ, and to Treize. The Gundam pilots are still loyal to the colonies even in the face of betrayal. Even without their gundams the five pilots are still capable of fighting, but their fatal flaw is that they lack any personal goal, they relied on others to give them direction prior to they never set their own missions even when they had the latitude to complete them as they saw fit. Herein lies the reason why infantry are still the mainstay of any army, a machine can only fight if it has fuel and is good repair, but a person who is loyal can be inspired to fight even as conditions deteriorate. Soldiers can do with less, machines cannot.
It’s almost Shin Mazinger Z-ish with every one getting betrayed and with enemies changing. Zech’s is forced to fight in a battle he was expected to die, but Treize being Treize probably only meant metaphorically. As betrayals go friends backstabbing friends seems rather light fare given how the Gundam Pilots lost plenty more when the home-front turned on them. Zechs had already achieved his first goal and now had nothing to fight for but martial pride, quite why Romefeller Foundation is not wanting for subtlety now is beyond me. Maybe it was because Treize was a magnificent bastard, and the Duke Dermail is just a fat lumbering oaf in comparison. It’s almost a kind of Romance of the Three Kingdoms as allegiances shift at the drop of a hat as there are plenty of toadies from the Alliance who seek to join OZ while there are others that continue to fight against impossible odds. I am surprised to see so many guys emulating Schwartz’s help others to glory philosophy as another Alliance veteran uses his unit as a forlorn hope to get Quatre to safety.
Heero’s speech was fairly eloquent in defining the times of a shift in the political climate of the colonies, it wasn’t as stirring as General Revil’s ZEON IS EXHAUSTED speech but it does encapsulate the themes that Wing wants to deal with. Having been betrayed at home only Heero is playing it smart by ditching his Gundam on Earth since the strategic picture has changed in OZ’s favor with the League of Extraordinary Old Guys being captured and working for OZ it was pretty much a forgone conclusion that they were working on a new Mobile Suit that would be superior to the Gundams. Also his point about having to lug around a big robot would have burdened him instead of helped him made a lot of sense since it’s hard as hell to hide a Gundam in hostile territory with every colony looking for you and OZ still after you. While most Gundam protagonists rely on their Gundams for most of their combat power Heero bucks the trend and fights with what ever he has on hand. I like this aspect of Wing since it makes certain that none of the pilots are relying on a technological crutch but are basically highly skilled operatives. Dr. J even not so subtly points out that Heero was his weapon and not his mecha. Also I quite liked Heero’s scheme of using a massed Leo deployment to fool the mobile dolls, cause general havoc, take out a significant amount of military equipment in one go. Heero might have plot armor but at least he has cunning and intelligence to go with it. He’s pretty much the Sam Fisher/Solid Snake out of all the pilots in Gundam, certainly his tactical imagination has yet to be matched by any other pilot. Though these days it seems that piloting the unkillable Gundam is the only skill a pilot needs, tactical imagination, and being dangerous outside the cockpit seems to be held in a rather low regard these days.
While Heero is playing Sam Fisher/Solid Snake, Trowa infiltrates OZ instead and puts Nicol to shame though I guess Nicol is a cursed name considering what happened to that piano playing dumbass lacked mastery of his cloaking device in CE. I have to hand it to Trowa for being the only one to try and play it smart and humble himself to OZ with the expectation that he can get them back later. Certainly it helped him avoid being stuck in prison where as Heero gets busted despite his skills. One thing Wing had going for their pilots was that only one was a whiner, but at least that whiner was able to kill something every now and then. Otherwise I like how the pilot is elevated to being the principle weapon with the Gundam being a superior cudgel but not the only cudgel they can use to beat OZ to death with. I am still rather surprised at how much more I am liking it than I thought I would. Maybe it’s just that the aspects of Wing that seemed so hateful then have become so common place now that it’s not longer a real point of contention, certainly it was the first to really bring bishies into the franchise as Geroge de Sand from G was the only bishie in G Gundam. Heero may have been the ridiculously skilled one but at least he wasn’t making excuses for his actions and his cunning certainly makes him the more of a commando with piloting skills than just a pilot.
Noin was angry that Zechs read her dairy.
Heero felt that was only a flesh wound.
I am surprised he didn’t paint his Leo red.
Now this is just ridiculous.
Une is desperate for Trieze, Quisling is desperate for a date.
DOING IT WRONG.
If only a statement were made of his blades were glowing red and how they were telling him something.
Quisling wanted a press conference to boast about how he almost got a date.
Funny how it’s the Arab Gundam blowing using self destruct now.
The Ye Olde Order of Engineers.
Cranky old fucks.
Trieze liked to ruin doll parties.
Sorry dude but only sissies play with dolls.
I wonder if Trieze and Zechs were in the Leo Photo Op club.
I too was most disappointed that they were all bishies.
Another old guy with GUTS.
Tallegeese wanted a sub sandwich.
I bet that mask was Made in Zeon.
Not as good as ZEON IS EXHAUSTED but at least he isn’t mouthing off about justice and righteousness.
I am surprised that Zechs’ vomit also sparkled.
I liked him better with the mask.
It’s magical girl Une.
Losers booing Gundam?! Kill them all I say.
Worst second date EVER.
Ewwww… Newtype bullshit?!
Ah yes another PUNCH OUT!
It would have been awesome if Tallgeese just hugged a Rocket to get into space.
Clearly this is why all them dudes were single.
Sally Po is so awesome she’s dual wielding…with BAZOOKAS.
Oh GAWD student driving time….
Let it never be said that a Gundam in Wing couldn’t get a pain scratch.
LOL Nicol and his attempts to be like Patrick…
Zeus has had ENOUGH of your newtype BS.
Two long awaited guests…