Mobile Suit Gundam Wing volume 1
Tokyopop/Mixx Manga (May, 2000)
WRITERS: Hajime Yadate & Yoshiyuki Tomino
TRANSLATION: Yuki Ichimura
ARTIST: Koichi Tokita
RETOUCH: Romualdo Viray II & Bernard San Juan
COVER COLORIST: John Ott
GRAPHIC ASSISTANT: Steve Kindernay
GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Akemi Imafuku
ASSOSICATE EDITOR: Jake Forbes
EDITOR: Mary Coco
This is a condensed telling of the anime (and my apologies to anyone who hasn’t seen this show–I have so much ground to cover it’s easier to say “watch the anime because it’s awesome), which you would think means things move along faster, but the show already followed a good pace. Here things move too fast. For example, while I’ve never understood Relina’s attraction to Heero, it made a little more sense there, where things went from curiosity to affection but here just goes right to Relina coming off more unhealthy in her draw to Heero. (Although Relina telling Heero that he has to kill her just so she can see him again, as if the pronouncement to kill her because she saw his face when he’s supposed to be undercover will stop him from dying, is just as unintentionally funny as ever.) It also hurts Wufei’s character arc as he has to come to grips with his first loss. It feels like it ends too quick even though the same amount of “in-story” time passes.
One positive to the pace however (and I blame this show, or at least the English dub, for my overuse of “however” by the way) is that the Gundams join forces a lot sooner. I don’t know why, if the five scientists knew each other, that they didn’t collaborate and have their pilots do the same. It’s been years since I’ve seen it so maybe it was explained at some point but it still feels like a bad move, and it may be part of the reason Oz takes over by the part of the story this anime ends. There’s also this series of gag strips in which the Gundam Wing characters try to take over a Mobile Fighter G-Gundam parody comic and it’s cute but not all that funny. Maybe it’s my not-Japanese upbringing or something.
The battles are well-drawn but you won’t connect to the characters as much unless you’ re already familiar with the show. Zechs has his “Darth Vader reveal moment”, and it feels forced in. Still, if you have seen the show the manga is neat as a curiosity. The rest of you should hunt down the show, although I don’t think it’s in print any more. Next week: the second graphic novel.