[The Great Gundam Wing Rewatch] Episodes 3 & 4 Meta
I’ve been meaning to–and trying, seriously trying to–write this since Monday, but work got in the way and other hobbies grabbed my attention (plus I discovered some awesome retro gaming YouTubers so there went my time as their videos sucked me in)… But no more! Otherwise it’ll end up being meta on episodes three through six -_-
So after the opening ends we’re greeted to a recap that we’ll hear for the next four or five episodes probably–I don’t know exactly, I always skip it in normal rewatches–about the Alliance and Gundams and Operation Meteor and yadda yadda. It’s nice the first couple of times, but if you’ve been watching this series for twelve years and you regularly (as of 2009) marathon the series, the recaps and openings and filler things become unnecessary. Anyway, in case you forgot, last episode, Duo shot Heero and Heero tried to blow up Wing, but was completely unsuccessful and he faceplanted in some polluted water, all the while leaving Relena and Duo probably in a state of confusion. Especially in Duo’s case. I covered this in my first Rewatch meta, and its addendum if you want to go back and read it.
Also the rules state that there is no character or ship bashing allowed, which is perfectly fine, but I do have a hatred for some of the clothing choices characters decide for themselves in this series, which I will express every so often. Such as my hate for Duo Maxwell’s pants. I loathe them. So much. Someone that good looking should not wear such hideous pants. Just. No. Unless you’re in some equestrian show, you have no excuse to wear them. None.
We have ourselves a nice little scene where Zechs talks to Treize via probably an ancient as hell laptop of some kind. Treize, meanwhile, is at a shooting range likely located in his backyard somewhere because he’s rich, but he’s not shooting at any targets. I mean I can understand that because he’s too busy talking to Zechs about Gundams and shit, and rifles are loud, even ones that look all antiquated and knowing these ~Old World aristocrats~ that’s probably a muzzleloader maybe. I’m sure this scene showcases how calculating and patient a man Treize is, always going over everything before making a move, but I didn’t feel like going too deep into it. Basically, he’d rather have a live target than not, which plays into how he feels about mobile dolls later.
Cut now to our rather large and imposing hospital that thankfully isn’t named something stupid like “Magicbus” because Gundam Wing is much more classier than Weiss Kreuz, where we find Heero in restraints and trying to rip free from them, and Relena trying to get in to see him, and neither of them are successful at what they want to do until there is intervention from an outside source of some kind. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself–how the hell did Heero end up here? The nurse/receptionist recognises Relena and remarks that she’s the one who brought “that boy” in, but how the hell did Relena drag Heero in there herself? Heero doesn’t weigh a whole lot (technical manual states he weighs around 90 pounds and probably barely reaches 100 soaking wet), but he’s unconscious so it’s nothing but 90 pounds of dead weight and I doubt Relena bench presses. I mean she very well could for all I know, but I doubt she has the upper body strength unless she literally dragged him, and that looks kind of suspicious. I’m sure she had some kind of help, either Duo got roped into it (and then decided to pay Heero a favour and bust him out later once figuring out that Heero probably wasn’t some kind of Alliance spy), or maybe Relena’s butler/limo driver/etc. helped her for all we know. It’s something I’ve always wanted to know and I believe I touched on it in my last Rewatch meta.
(tbh I like the idea of Relena telling Duo that it’s his fault that they’re in this mess, and that the least he could do is help her out.)
Which brings up the question… “Why is Heero restrained?” Well, knowing Heero, he probably woke up and tried to fight his way out of there once realising he was in hospital, and it was an Alliance run one at that. Maybe before punching people out, he was sneaking around for information, hence his knowledge of where he is in the hospital despite him being “off course” from where he was supposed to be, and probably got caught and then decided to go punch some more EMS people out because that’s a great and totally not conspicuous thing to do. Heero was probably injected with something to knock him out (or just knocked out outright) and then led off to be restrained in an observation room. Sally remarks that Heero is restrained because he’s “too strong” for them and mentions that Heero has this wild look about him, and I dunno, does this look “wild” to you?
He actually looks pretty innocent when he’s sleeping–who knew? (Also looks like he’s smirking, maybe even smiling!)
The only way Sally would know Heero was “wild” is if she saw him in action and…yeah I’m sure Heero knocked some people out before being “detained”. Are you surprised? I’m not surprised. It’s probably also why they just let his wounds bleed instead of bandaging them up; they likely said, “Screw this guy he can bleed to death for all I care.” They suspect from the fact that he carries a floppy diskette on him with some heavy duty encryption that he might be a spy of some kind from the Colonies, which makes me wonder how large the gap between Earth’s technology and the Colonies’ technology really is and what exactly is on that diskette that Heero feels the need to carry it on him. If he’s a spy, they might not give a damn if he dies since he’d be executed anyway. But what’s on that disk? Is that the key to his Gundam? Do Gundams even have keys? It could be the boot disk for Wing.
Yes. Boot disk. Does anyone remember needing those? Although I would imagine Gundams having at the very least a caddy CD-ROM drive…. Or maybe even a regular tray loading one. (For reference, Windows 95 wasn’t released yet when Gundam Wing’s first few episodes aired. In fact, Windows 95 didn’t come out until around episode 21.) But I don’t think boot disks could be encrypted. The only other thing that would make sense is maybe blueprints and mission objectives and maps and shit like that that he would need to reference and thus would be important to encrypt in case he ends up in the hands of his enemies.
Anyway. Am I surprised that Earth’s tech is lagging behind the Colonies? No. That’s what happens when you stick to Old World Ideals and Traditions, you cling too much to the past and its aesthetics, you’re not going to advance very far. Whereas the Colonies is all about looking towards the future, so they’re making more advancements in the name of science and don’t give a shit about ~aesthetics~.
Heero’s stats being TWAIN instructions tickles me every time. Probably at a lower resolution and a smaller screen (as you would have back then) you wouldn’t notice it as much. But I have the remastered version and a much bigger screen, so it’s more noticeable. It’s even more noticeable in the blurays which are not only beautifully remastered, but they’re in HD so you notice everything including shadows from the cels overlapping. The TWAIN text is just because they needed something that looked English and important and was long enough to scroll across the screen.
I must mention that we’re told Heero’s broken over 200 bones in his body. The average adult has 206 bones in their skeletal system (providing something didn’t go Horribly Wrong at some point). Heero’s broken almost everything in his body at some point. Ouch.
Now why the hell does Duo even bother helping Heero? Probably because Duo is also really intrigued about Heero, just like Relena. This kid also pilots a mobile suit eerily similar to his and him not giving a shit about death or dying because let’s face it, Heero kind of bungled his entire mission up, makes them even more similar. Up until this point none of the pilots were aware of each other, they all thought they were going at this whole Operation M bullshit by their lonesome. To find another potentially kindred soul is a nice thing. It means Duo has a potential ally. He’s just gotta figure this guy out.
Good luck with that, babycakes.
Actually, Heero isn’t really that complicated. Heero is complex but at the same time isn’t. And Duo probably knows this to some extent since he’s really good at reading people. There is also the fact that Duo found Wing and likely feels obligated to reunite suit with pilot, so in order to do that he’s gotta bust him out.
Can I just point out that any time a Gundam is causing explosions and setting everything ablaze it’s probably Shenlong? Because nine times out of ten, it is. Are you a pyromaniac, Wufei? Or do you just like setting off your own fireworks show?
Here’s something else I find interesting–and I’m sorry if I’m jumping around all over the place. When Relena asks the receptionist to let her go and see Heero and she is denied, she doesn’t pull the whole, “Do you know who I am?!” schtick that most spoiled people pull. The whole “do you know who my dad is” card. She could have said, “Hello, I’m Relena Darlian, the Vice Foreign Minister’s daughter, let me see that boy I dragged in yesterday evening.” Would she have gotten access? I don’t know, it’s entirely possible. It doesn’t even occur to Relena to do that, which means that she’s a lot more humbler than early 2000s fandom made her out to be.
She does, of course, tell Sally who she is, but only because Sally asks her, and Relena doesn’t make a big deal out of her connections, introducing herself instead as “the Vice Foreign Minister’s disobedient daughter”. (I guess Father Dearest wouldn’t approve of her throwing it all away for a boy she’s only known for a whole day–or maybe it’s because she’s at an Alliance run hospital and her dad isn’t too fond of them…)
And when I first watched this scene and Sally asks, “Do you know anything about that cute young man you brought in?” I was kind of…creeped out I guess? because Sally just seems so much older than I thought. She’s only around Zechs’ age, and he’s 19/20. She’s only about four years older than Heero.
This show teaches you repeatedly to not judge people based on appearance. Really the only ones who look their age are Duo and Quatre, but I’ll cover that in a separate meta.
But then Relena’s just like “cute man pffft,” because Heero isn’t just cute he’s pretty hot if you want to be honest with yourself, Sally. It’s okay. Heero has a lot of fangirls.
Attempting for some kind of order here, but back to Heero’s smirking face when he sleeps… Ugh. Precious baby. You forget he’s a terrorist. I just want to hug him. Maybe pinch his cheeks. Ugh. UGH. You think all of that, and then he wakes up without alerting anyone because he can control his brain waves and that’s a cool superpower isn’t it? And he turns his nose at Duo just like “I don’t need your help, I’ll figure this out on my own.” Oh Heero. How’s that working out for you? I’m sure Heero was trying to think of a way to not alert anyone, but Duo kind of ruined that so Heero ended up busting out of his restraints.
That Duo couldn’t figure out. The straps look like your common leather restraints commonly found in hospitals, especially mental health wards, to keep unruly patients from hurting themselves and/or other people. You can rip through leather, but it takes a LOT of strength and you’ll end up hurting yourself and it’s just not worth the effort. But leather is also pretty easy to cut through if you have a sharp and pointy object like a knife…which Duo apparently carries because Heero asks him for one and Duo produces one.
After Heero rips through one of the restraints. “Why didn’t he just have Duo cut him free?” Because Heero doesn’t trust Duo, he finds him to be a nuisance and Duo keeps getting in his way. How does he know Duo won’t shank him in the throat? If Heero has at least one hand free, he can throat punch Duo if he tries anything weird.
Also we have the scene Relena got shat on back in the day because of how the dub translated it. In the dub, Relena says that her and Heero are childhood sweethearts and classmates. She refers to Heero as her “nakama” and her “kurasumeeto” in the Japanese version. “Nakama” is Japanese for “close friend”, not sweetheart. She could use any number of words for sweetheart, such as koibito or kareshi or hell, even “boifurendo”. She will also say whatever the hell she needs to say in order to get into his room to see him, and usually only significant others and immediate family are let in.
I don’t get why Relena is so surprised that Heero is restrained in the first place. She’s seen him in action before, what with the EMS responders he knocked out, the fact that he tried to self-destruct in front of her on the beach (which backfired), the fact that he’s repeatedly pointed a gun in her face and he tried to, you know, shoot at Duo and then blow up his Gundam and shit. Like. Relena. Do you really need to wonder this?
So Heero and Duo escape and Duo does this cool little backflip. What a show off 😛 Heero meanwhile is determined to land on his head and be splattered all over those sharp, not comfortable to land on rocks and Duo remarks he’s gonna have nightmares. Duo Maxwell, the kid who calls himself the God of Death and has seen many people die in his fifteen years of existence, is going to have nightmares because of some idiot cliff diving sans parachute deployment. And Heero does deploy his parachute, which does slow his descent down a little bit. The important thing is that Heero doesn’t suddenly stop, because the G forces from the impact would kill him otherwise. Instead he attempts to surf down the cliff face…which isn’t successful and he ends up rolling down instead. Which is fine, because as long as he lets that kinetic energy and the momentum do their thing and dissipate, he’ll be somewhat okay. For his efforts, he has a broken leg, which he probably got when he first landed on the cliff face. Probably did not land correctly on it.
And Duo goes from “save yourself!” to “man you suck at killing yourself.” From sounding like he cared to…sounding like he doesn’t. Aha.
Can I just state that Tallgeese is a really dumb name for a mobile suit, like who named it? Was it Howard? That sounds like something Howard would pull out of his chill-as-fuck-but-heavily-stoned ass. (Howard is basically a high, but chill as hell grandpa type.)
Tallgeese also has fat legs. The whole thing looks really bulky and unwieldy. Like an old as hell computer from like, the early 90s compared to the ones now.
HI TROWA they reuse this footage of Heavyarms a lot, just with different backgrounds and sometimes slightly different enemies.
The Japanese version has Bonaparte’s name said two different ways. His soldiers say “boh-na-par-sheh” but Zechs says “boh-nah-pah-toh”. Why you gotta be that guy, Zechs? This is why we can’t have nice things.
I could always relate to Trowa’s fighting style of “waste everything with bullets” because that’s what I do in shooter games and why I’m always that asshole who is stuck with the stupid knife because I ran out of ammo and there’s none around until the next save point. (In other words, I’m Gavin Free playing GTA.) Time for the combat knife, because you always have to have one of those if you’re prone to laying waste to everything. And just when Trowa was gonna shank some assholes, there’s a hail of bullets from what appear to be rock golems of some kind.
Followed by a guy being heat shoteled to death. 😀 And then Quatre apologises to the guy he just killed. Classic Quatre. I have a feeling he would be the type who would apologise to a pole after bumping into one. But now Trowa’s gonna fight Quatre and then bad things will happen and what is this, some kind of boxing match? You have two fifteen year olds piloting 50-something foot tall death machines with all sorts of weapons and shit and they’re having a bout of fisticuffs. And then Quatre realises that this is pointless and that hey, this other guy has a similar machine, maybe he’s not a bad guy. So he comes out and says that they’re not enemies and Trowa comes out in a pose of surrender.
“I’m the one who came out first, remember?”
Heh. Considering 3×4 is canon in the Latin American dub…
BACK WITH MY FAVOURITE PILOTS EVER, Duo talks about him “pull[ing] yours up too!” and wow, brain in the gutter, heh, what are you pulling up of Heero’s? His pants? Something…in his pants? Or it could just be Wing. You know. And he’s just in time to watch Heero put his broken leg back together and splint it with a grease rag and two wrenches. MacGuyver would be so proud, though I’m sure Duo is thinking more, “The fuck is wrong with this boy?” like everyone else is. (A lot of things are wrong with him, Duo. A lot.)
Episode four, finally! I don’t really have much to talk about with this since it’s…mostly about introducing Noin to us and why coddling people instead of preparing them for their deaths is a Bad Thing. Also Wufei.
In this episode we are introduced to Lieutenant Lucrezia Noin, who is just called “Noin” for the most part because the last time someone called her “Lucrezia”, she remarked that soldiers do not have a specific gender on the battlefield and to call her “Noin” instead, because it’s more neutral. First impression of Noin to me was “wow she’s pretty maternal” and that…doesn’t necessarily change any. The funny part is Noin is Zechs’ age. Also she’s kind of in love with him, which also calms down a little bit later on, because Noin is a fucking badass even with love being her motivation for a lot of her military career decisions.
The training for these OZ cadets is akin to bumper cars made from mobile suit cockpit chairs. Hmm. Interesting. Meanwhile Wufei is speeding down a cliff on a motorbike, probably to show that he’s really confident in himself since he’s pretty damn sure he won’t flip over and end up dead whilst sliding down that very uncomfortable looking cliffside.
Noin tells Zechs in the saddest rave ever that none of her soldiers will ever die and that soldiers who do die should be pitied because the person leading them made some severe miscalculations… Noin is a bit too cocky and this bites her in the ass later on when Wufei shits on her ideals and kills pretty much all of her trainees.
Noin also establishes a running theme here–underestimating the Gundam pilots. She is not the first–rather, won’t be the first–to remark that the Gundam pilots look too young to be fighting, which I find interesting since most of these fresh-out-of-training cadets are barely eighteen. That’s three years older than the pilots. Noin herself is 19/20. She is barely old enough to be in the army. She underestimates Wufei, thinking he can’t be that great of a fighter because of his age, and that really bites her in the ass.
Do not ever judge a person by appearances, especially if they are your enemy. That is how you end up dead.
Back with Heero and Duo… I didn’t notice this before, but I’m watching this with my best friend and he was the one who brought it up… Heero remarks that he doesn’t want anyone touching his suit, right? So what does Duo do? Hop right on Wing and uses it as a seat. And then walks on over to the cockpit when Heero gets a new assignment. The banter between Heero and Duo is something I love and really, Duo is one of the few people Heero actually has conversations with. I mean yeah Heero is just telling Duo to shut up and that he’s not as awesome and badass as he is, but still. Up to this point, Heero’s been a boy of not too many words. Here he is with Duo and he’s being all cocky.
Not to mention that after Heero does complete repairs by himself in one night, Duo is pretty fucking impressed…until he finds out Heero pilfered the parts from his own suit. Then he’s not very impressed with Heero.
Oh and episode four has another scene fandom shit on Relena for. She only does the “Heero! Come kill me, Heero!” shouting off of a cliff thing once. And fandom made it out like she did it every other scene.
And then there’s Wufei, who decides to vent his frustration by screaming at…what are those, hyenas? Yep. Screaming, “GTFO YOU WEAKLINGS!” at wildlife is…pretty effective. I would not recommend trying that at home, folks.
And then we close everything with Quatre playing his violin and Trowa joining in with a flute. Now back when I was new to this fandom, I heard people saying that this scene was basically euphemism for Quatre and Trowa fucking. Are they actually? You be the judge. I guess it depends on whether or not you ship 3×4. Really the question we should be asking is where the hell did Trowa learn to play the flute in the first place?
Thank you so much for reading this! I know it’s kind of…on the long side but I had a lot of feels okay. This show. Feels everywhere.
Also I’m sorry this is kind of…on the late side >_>