juushika: Screen capture of the Farplane from Final Fantasy X: a surreal landscape of waterfalls and flowers. (Anime/Game)
I recently completed a Gundam Wing rewatch (my, uh, fourth? maybe?). Liveblogging/overlong essays about each piece are here on my Tumblr. tl;dr: I'd forgotten that the politics get quite so muddled in the second half of the show, and I have an increasing appreciation for the exaggerated scale and tone of franchise; female characters are great and I'm so sad that adolescent Juu encountering this story for the first time didn't appreciate that; why was Heero/Trowa not the cornerstone of fandom?; I care about these interpersonal dynamics in all their wealth and variety so much you guys; wait what, they're making more GW??

This time, revisiting GW meant reading the manga that happened to be on hand, which are as follows:


Title: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Episode Zero
Author: Katsuyuki Sumisawa
Illustrator: Akira Kanbe
Published: San Francisco: Viz, 2002
Rating: 2 of 5
Page Count: 255
Total Page Count: 189,705
Text Number: 556
Read Because: revisiting Gundam Wing, borrowed from Dee
Review: A manga miniseries that explores the early lives of the five Gundam pilots, as well as the events that directly precede Operation Meteor. Written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa, the writer of the series, this is the most "official" of the Gundam Wing manga; it's still not great. Some of the backstories work, but they as often undermine or merely reiterate aspects of the show. Condensing angsty backstories into 30 pages makes them both rushed and heavyhanded. But the Operation Meteor chapter is fantastic, well-cut and less redundant, not as far reaching but filling in some interesting missing details.


Title: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Blind Target
Author: Akemi Omode
Illustrator: Sakura Asagi
Rating: 5 of 5
Page Count: 140
Total Page Count: 189,860
Text Number: 558
Read Because: revisiting Gundam Wing, borrowed from Dee
Review: A manga oneshot that occurs between the series and Endless Waltz, Blind Target is a pleasant surprise. The basic premise of reuniting the core cast is repetitive, given the show and movie, but the rest is fantastic. Sakura Asagi's art is faithful and gorgeous; characterization is on point. What benefits this most is its small scale, which constrains the plot to a reasonable interim size and allows for an intimate focus on the relationships between the pilots and how they continue in a time of apparent but imperfect peace. It's interpersonal, thoughtful, and thematically apt—especially the epilogue, which leads directly into Endless Waltz. I loved it.


Title: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Ground Zero
Author and Illustrator: Reku Fuyunagi
Rating: 1 of 5
Page Count: 125
Total Page Count: 189,985
Text Number: 559
Read Because: revisiting Gundam Wing, borrowed from Dee
Review: A(nother) manga oneshot that occurs between the series and Endless Waltz; this time, Heero receives a message from someone who has stolen Wing Zero. This is frankly awful. The plot is a contrived mess that defies suspension of disbelief; the tone is comic, caricatured, and ridiculous. Bobblehead art makes everyone look like children. Under that, the themes (what is a soldier in peacetime?) are apt, and the Relena chapter is less awful. But nothing excuses this; give it a miss.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
Title: The Night Before
Fandom: Gundam Wing
Pairing: Alex/Mueller from episode 13, Catherine’s Tears. So canon.
Rating: Hard R/possible NC-17 for descriptions of sex and some language.
Word Count: 1000
Summary: Alex and Mueller celebrate their victory over Zechs Marquise by having sex the night before they die. Tense, angsty, and a bit dark.
Note: This fic hasn't been beta'd, so I would appreciate any spelling/etc corrections. Feedback and constructive criticism are appreciated. Post is unlocked. Enjoy!

Read on. )

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juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
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