TITLE: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers vol. 1
YEAR: September 2017
COMPANY: Vertical Comics
Writer: Katsuyuki Sumizawa
Artist: Tomofumi Ogasawara
It was back in 1995 when an anime series titled “Shin Kido Senki Gundam Wing” aired in Japan. The sixth installment in the “Gundam” franchise, it was a series that took place in the “After Colony” timeline.
A different setting and an alternate universe than the well-known Universal Century (UC), the AC deals with events primarily “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing” and its sequel “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz”.
The series is set in After Colony 195 and humans have colonized space and developed space colonies at each of the five Earth-Moon Lagrange points. On Earth, the nations formed the United Earth Sphere Alliance and this alliance has oppressed the colonies with their powerful military.
The colonies want to be free and scientists have developed a plan for revenge against the alliance with “Operation Meteor” and five teenage boys have been chosen and trained by five scientists and then sent to Earth with advanced mobile suits known as “Gundams” made from Gundanium alloy designed by each scientist.
The manga introduces us to these five teenage boys with the protagonist being Heero Yuy, Duo Maxwell, Trowa Barton, Quatre Raberba Winner and Chang Wufei.
As the United Earth Sphere Alliance are aware of the attacks on Alliance soldiers, the Organization of the Zodiac (OZ) has their ace mobile suit pilot, Zechs Merquise to find the enemy.
We are also introduced to Relena Darlian, daughter of the Alliance’s Vice Foreign Minister. We learn how she found Heero Yuy, who had washed ashore on the beach neaer the spaceport and she had always wanted to learn more about him, despite him always threatening to kill her. But for Heero, he is more intent to destroy his Gundam before anyone in OZ can get to it and learn the technology.
As Heero points a gun at Relena, she is saved by Duo Maxwell and as for Heero, he is held captive by the Alliance military.
But before they could get any answers from Heero, Duo breaks Heero out and the two escape.
Meanwhile, OZ is planning to unleash their mobile suit, the Epyon.
With the release of “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers”, readers who are not familiar with the storyline, may find it a different situation from the UC “Mobile Suit Gundam” storylines, especially if they have only read “Gundam Origin”.
The role has been reversed in the AC universe as Earth’s alliance are the aggressors and the colony who want to be free are the ones with specialized Gundam mecha suits.
The first volume primarily focuses on Heero Yuy, while the other characters are featured are in the manga series but will no doubt be focused on in the next issues.
While I enjoy many Gundam manga adaptations that are derived from anime series, it’s important to note that Katsuyuki Sumizawa remains on-point with what happened in the anime series, while Tomofumi Ogasawara does well of capturing the characters but it seems more emphasis are put in the action sequences and Ogasawara blowing things up.
For those jumping in, with no familiarity with the series, may be confused right off the bat. Wondering who these characters are and what Operation Meteor is all about.
The characters may confuse people but fortunately the book brings everything back to Heero Yuy and allows for character development with him, his belligerent attitude towards Relena Darlian but also bringing in Duo Maxwell.
But it’ll be interesting how the other manga will be and if they manage to give more character building stories with the other characters and showcase their origin, because the introduction to the manga literally throws everyone in battle and unlike the anime series which is colored, some characters may look similar as the manga is of course, black and white.
But for the most part, for those who haven’t watched the anime series will find “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers” to be a deep, complex but also action-packed mecha manga series worth reading.