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Volume 3

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: May 7, 2001

New Review: August 4, 2021

 

Summary

 

Dermail is informed that a plane carrying Relena has arrived, and he muses that she’s an important part of Romefeller’s future and will soon be a homeless former princess. Relena dispenses with pleasantries and directly asks Dermail what Romefeller wants with the Sanc Kingdom. She comments that it seems like Romefeller is repeating the mistakes of the previous government, but he thinks that’s harsh and claims that Romefeller only wants to create order out of chaos. Relena asks Dermail if he expects every nation to obey Romefeller, and he answers that he does and that the space colonies are just a source of free labor and cheap resources. Relena points out that such oppression and the desire for freedom is what led to the rise of the Gundam pilots. Dermail responds that Romefeller is about to crush all the Gundam pilots as an operation is already underway to attack the Sanc Kingdom. As hordes of Virgos march on the Sanc Kingdom, and Noin tells the Gundam pilots that any hope of taking down Romefeller is gone if the kingdom falls. Duo and Wufei immediately launch and engage the Virgos while Noin asks Quatre to help her with civilian evacuations. Quatre notes that Trowa still doesn’t have his memories back, but Trowa vows not to push himself and serve merely as backup. Quatre asks Heero what he’s going to pilot, and Heero explains that the Gundam Epyon is much more powerful than the Wing Gundam, and he thinks he can be careful and control the Epyon System. Quatre launches with a special beam proof cloak, while Trowa launches with a cannon pack. Heero joins the group and engages the mobile dolls while Noin uses a Taurus for her mission. In space, Zechs scrambles to launch from the Peacemillion in Wing Zero and enter Earth’s atmosphere. Noin tells the Gundam pilots that they can cut loose now that all the civilians have been evacuated. Dorothy watches the battle with delight and dismisses pacifism as a mere ideal. Heero struggles against the Zero System and vows that he won’t let it control him. As the battle continues, Quatre notes to Noin that the situation isn’t good because mobile dolls never get tired and can just keep coming. Dermail tells Relena that he’ll spare what’s left of her kingdom if she agrees to work for Romefeller, and she reluctantly accepts. Relena then appears in a global broadcast and announces that if force is needed to defend the Sanc Kingdom, she will resign and dissolve the country. She addresses the Gundam pilots directly and tells them that the battle is meaningless and if they need to keep fighting, they should leave. Noin tells the Gundam pilots that they need to retreat to a nearby shuttle. Duo complains that now Relena has abandoned them too, but Quatre counters that she’s giving them a chance to escape. Heero takes off on his own to investigate if Relena is just a Romefeller pawn now. Treize gets the news of the kingdom’s fall and tells wheelchair using Lady Une that Romefeller underestimates the Gundams and won’t have a complete victory. Heero and Zechs cross paths and immediately engage in combat. The two Gundams crash near Dermail’s castle, and both pilots leave their cockpit. With a gun drawn, Heero demands to know if Relena works for Romefeller now. When she answers that she is, Heero points a gun at her and Zechs points a gun at him. Relena tells Heero that he should tie up this loose end one day, and he vows to kill her. As Virgos approach, Heero takes Wing Zero and tells Zechs that the Gundam Epyon might suit him better. Heero and Zechs fight off the mobile dolls while Relena and Dermail are evacuated in a shuttle.

 

After eliminating the mobile dolls, Heero and Zechs go back to fighting each other. Heero states that the Zero System has declared Zechs as his enemy, and Zechs asks Heero if he’s no better than the mobile dolls while under the sway of the Zero System. Heero pauses, and Zechs says they’ll settle things when Heero can master the Zero System. Zechs escapes and is contacted by Treize, who comments that Relena is much smarter than Zechs gives her credit for. He adds that Dermail has underestimated Relena and will lose control. Zechs thinks the space colonists will rise up again, and Treize answers that if the changing times demand it, he’ll come back and play his part. Treize thinks that Zechs’ part will be coming up sooner, but Zechs counters that he’s rejected his mask. Treize responds that OZ officer Zechs died a long time ago, and he says goodbye as an aircraft approaches Zechs. A man named Quinze identifies himself as the leader of the space revolutionary group White Fang and says he has a proposition for Zechs. At Romefeller headquarters, Relena appears before an audience and declares that she will be the queen of the World Nation - one unified government that erases all national boundaries. Relena states that war plagues humanity, but if everyone unites as one, there is hope for the future. Dermail boasts that anyone who opposes Romefeller will face the wrath of mobile dolls, but Relena counters that Dermail is mistaken. She states that Romefeller should set an example for the world by disarming its military to achieve peace. Dermail says that their enemies will destroy the peace, but Relena shouts back that the only threat to the world right now is Romefeller. She says they can’t form a government desired by all the people unless they set the right example. Relena states that this will be the first of many changes that Romefeller is making, and Dermail angrily shouts that they’ll do no such thing. Duke Weridge tells Dermail that Relena’s words are rational, and the audience declares their support for her statement. Relena hopes that the colonists will understand her intentions, and she spots Heero in a balcony dressed as an OZ soldier and aiming a gun at her. Relena reiterates her call for OZ and Romefeller to disarm and is greeted by cheers and applause from the audience. She then looks up and notices that Heero is gone, and he decides that he’ll head to space to fight the enemies of her peace. Dermail is filled with rage that Relena didn’t play the role of puppet as he wanted, and Dorothy points out that he gave her that power and it’s not likely anyone will listen to him anymore. Dermail wants to kill Relena, but Dorothy points out that he’d be the prime suspect if she died. Dorothy mentions that Dermail should head to space and use the OZ forces there. Dermail agrees and asks Dorothy if she’s coming with him, but she decides to stay behind. In space, White Fang seizes control of OZ’s new space fortress Libra, and the news gets to the Gundam pilots on the Peacemillion. Howard tells Noin that Libra’s main cannon is powerful enough to destroy their ship in one shot. Howard wonders how White Fang gained so much power and where Zechs is. White Fang then makes a broadcast to the Earth Sphere, with Zechs declaring himself as White Fang’s leader under the name Milliardo Peacecraft. Zechs states that Earth has done nothing but oppress the space colonies, and even though Earth is disarming itself, the same is not happening in space. Zechs declares that he will destroy the source of war and all suffering: Earth. The Gundam pilots are informed that Barge is moving to attack Libra, so Duo and Wufei launch in their Gundams to join the battle. Quatre wants to protect colonies that might get caught in the fighting, and Howard comments that Zechs must’ve had a reason to join White Fang, which Noin agrees with. Noin thinks to herself about how events have cast Zechs and Relena on opposite sides. Dorothy brings Treize in to meet with Relena, and he tells her that Earth can’t go to war without her in charge. He wants her to resign so she doesn’t have to fight Zechs, and when she asks why he wants to fight Zechs, he answers that it’s what Zechs wants. Treize intends to finish things and tells Relena she can go anywhere she wants, to which she answers that she wants to meet someone in space. As OZ and White Fang fight, Duo, Wufei and Trowa destroy mobile dolls targeting the colonies. Trowa is surrounded by Virgos and saved by Quatre, which causes him to regain his memory. Heero then arrives and uses Wing Zero’s twin buster rifle to clear away the attacking Virgos. He tells Quatre and Trowa that they have to evacuate because Zechs intends to fire Libra’s main cannon. The cannon fires and destroys Barge, killing Dermail and Tubarov. Treize declares himself the new leader of the World Nation and states that they won’t surrender to White Fang.

 

Dorothy pilots a shuttle to transport Relena to Libra so that she can speak to Zechs. Relena tells herself that he’s wrong and that this war will only end with both sides losing. Zechs reiterates to Relena that he plans to eliminate Earth as the source of all wars, and she pleads with him to call a truce. She tells him that he’s wrong, and he asks how she’s certain of that. She responds that they’re both Peacecrafts and that war is never the answer. Zechs hugs her and tells her that she’s grown up strong, but he also wants her to stay kind. He tells her to go wherever she wants because his heart tells him to fight Treize, but she insists that she won’t leave until Zechs changes his mind. Dorothy suggests that Relena rest for a bit and offers to stay with him. Elsewhere, Heero and Sally rendezvous with the Peacemillion and meet with the rest of the team. The Gundam pilots intend to take Libra down, and Heero notes that Zechs wants to fight them. Noin wonders if they should team up with Treize, but Wufei refuses and says he’ll deal with Treize. As he prepares for the final battle, Treize marshals his forces at the asteroid MO-II and heads to the field in the new Tallgeese II. Zechs meets with the Gundam engineers and tells them that he needs a favor with the identification system on the mobile dolls, and Doctor J says they can handle it. As the World Nation’s army approaches Libra, Quinze orders the launch of the new Virgo II mobile dolls. Treize addresses his army and tells them that this is the time to prove that humanity is not useless in war, and that they’ll prove how mobile dolls fare against the power of the human soul. The Gundam team launches from Peacemillion and joins the battle. Quatre notices that the World Nation’s Leos are easily taking down the Virgos, and Trowa sees that the Virgos aren’t even noticing the Leos. Quinze sees that something is wrong, and Zechs comments that at this rate all the mobile dolls will be destroyed. Quinze orders a lackey to check the programming of the mobile dolls, but Doctor J says that won’t be so easy to do. Treize sees that Zechs has figured out his intentions and that they’ll have a final battle between men and not soulless machines. Zechs tells Quinze that he’s going to launch because the battle is too important to leave to mobile dolls. Quinze wonders what Zechs is up to and if he intends to defect. Zechs launches in the Gundam Epyon and asks the Epyon System what’s the best way to end the battle, and then he picks up Wing Zero on his sensors. Zechs and Heero attack each other, and Zechs notes that Heero seems to have mastered the Zero System. Heero asks how an Earth-born soldier like Zechs can now represent the will of the colonies and says he’s the enemy that Zechs should focus on. Zechs counters that this battle has to involve the entire Earth Sphere if humanity is ever to learn and break the cycle of war. Zechs thinks that they should both be on the same side rather than fighting each other. Zechs notes that his father and the original Heero Yuy both called for absolute pacifism, so they should honor that. Heero realizes that Zechs and Treize are trying to bring about pacifism by using this battle to destroy most weapons of war. Heero then notes that Relena would probably say peace shouldn’t be achieved through war, and Zechs responds that the next era of humanity needs her, which is why the burden of this battle falls to him and Treize. Zechs tells Heero that he wants him to protect Relena and informs Heero that she’s in Libra’s central block. Heero agrees but says they’ll still have to settle their duel later. As Heero flies away, he thinks to himself that he’s sorry for doubting Zechs’ intentions. Noin approaches Zechs in a Taurus and says she knew he wasn’t the enemy of all mankind. Noin wants to fight by Zechs’ side, and he asks her to ensure that Relena is safe. Zechs comments that he owes Heero and Noin for restoring the kindness in his soul, but he’d gladly sell his soul to the devil to show people that war is wrong. Zechs decides that his new mission is to use the Gundam Epyon to destroy as many weapons of war as possible. As the Gundam team destroys more mobile dolls, Quinze decides to fire Libra’s main cannon at Earth. Lady Une is informed that Libra’s firing path will also take out a lot of their forces. She asks about the captured Wing Gundam and is informed that it’s been repaired and equipped with boosters. Treize sees that the cannon is about to fire and decides that if Earth is to be scarred by the cannon’s blast, he’ll bear the same blow alongside the planet. Just as the cannon fires, the Peacemillion slams into Libra and knocks it off course, causing the blast to miss Earth. Treize is still in the cannon’s firing path, but Lady Une suddenly arrives in the Wing Gundam and pushes the Tallgeese II out of the way. Although the Wing Gundam is mostly destroyed, Lady Une survives and explains to Treize that he told her battles are beautiful when humans fight them. Treize thanks her for keeping him on track, and he remembers that he has to settle things with Wufei. At that moment, Wufei shows up in the Altron Gundam to fight Treize, and Treize tells Lady Une to take command if he doesn’t return. Quinze is informed that the main cannon has been destroyed, but he notes that they still have the final plan. Howard and the Gundam engineers tell Sally to evacuate the Peacemillion because it’s not safe anymore. Duo tells Quatre to help evacuate the ship and asks Trowa to make sure Libra doesn’t move. While they do that, he faces down mobile doll versions of the Vayeate and Mercurius. Relena yells at Quinze to stop threatening innocent lives on Earth, and he pulls out a gun and says she can’t understand how colonists feel. Heero shoots the gun out of Quinze’s hand and says he won’t let Relena die because he doesn’t want to owe Zechs anything. Relena is surprised that Heero has come to save her, and he comments that she’s the only thing standing in his way of being able to fight Zechs.

 

Quinze presses a button that sets Libra on a collision course with Earth, which he claims will cause far more damage than the main cannon would’ve. Heero and Relena escape, and he immediately hands her off to Noin so he can get back to the battle. Noin asks if he’s still going to fight Zechs, and he answers that he can’t end the war unless he beats Zechs or the fight within himself. He says goodbye to Relena, and she tells him that he’d better not die. Quatre shows up and tells Relena not to worry because Heero knows what to fight for and protect now. He says that Heero is fighting to survive now rather than trying to find a place to die. Relena tells Quatre that she trusts Heero and says they should help evacuate the Peace million. Wufei doesn’t buy Treize’s explanation and asks how many people have died for his ideals. Treize asks Wufei if he really wants to know and says that so far it’s 99,822 people, but he remembers all of their names and says their deaths will not be in vain. Wufei asks Treize if he thinks he’s God, and Treize answers that he’s just a man trying to improve the world before he leaves it. Treize then allows Wufei to land a mortal blow and tells him he fought well. Wufei can’t accept it ending this way, and the Tallgeese II then explodes. Upon Treize’s death, Lady Une issues orders that the World Nation is surrendering immediately. Duo hears the news and destroys the Vayeate and Mercurius mobile dolls. Heero finds Zechs and says Treize is dead and the World Nation has surrendered, but even though White Fang can declare victory, they’re still targeting Earth. Zechs responds that humans still can’t see how foolish they are, so his mission isn’t complete yet. Heero vows that he’ll kill Zechs and stop Libra from crashing into Earth. Zechs swats away the twin buster rifle, forcing Heero to fight with a beam saber. Trowa records the battle and relays it to the World Nation so that everyone can see the battle unfold. Lady Une orders that the battle be broadcast to the entire Earth Sphere. She announces that even as AC 195 is about to end, humanity still doesn’t know peace. She tells everyone to watch the battle and ask themselves why humanity fights. The fight reaches a stalemate, and Heero speculates that their combat system must’ve judged the battle to be worthless. Zechs comments that he doesn’t need the Epyon System for the two of them to fight. Heero tells Zechs that he’s wrong to claim he’s fighting for the weak, and Zechs responds that he must fight for the colonies that can’t defend themselves. Heero counters that all of humanity is weak, including the two of them. Zechs asks how Heero can be so optimistic, and he answers that he trusts his friends and wants to live in this world. Heero lands a blow on the Gundam Epyon, and Zechs tells him that he’s improved his skills and grown up. A colonial representative announces that while they appreciate the efforts of White Fang and the Gundam team, they want to create a world government with the people of Earth that is united by peace. Zechs comments that his role has come to a close, but Heero tells him they still have to deal with Libra. Zechs wonders how they’d do that without the twin buster rifle and suggests the self-detonation system. Relena calls Heero and tells him that the Gundams were the hope of the colonies, so he can’t give up. Doctor J tells Heero that all six Gundams can channel their power systems into the twin buster rifle. He tells Heero to live on just before the Peacemillion explodes. The rest of the Gundam pilots rally around Heero and bring the twin buster rifle with them. They follow Doctor J’s suggestion and unleash a blast powerful enough to obliterate Libra and save Earth. As Christmas Day dawns, Earth and the space colonies achieve peace. Both sides disarm and join to create the Earth Sphere United Nation. Afterwards, Zechs visits Treize’s grave and runs into Dorothy, Noin and Lady Une, who have all come to visit the grave and leave flowers. Lady Une comments that the war seems like a dream from long ago, and Zechs answers that maybe it was, since he can’t even remember the Gundam pilots very well. Dorothy responds that she remembers them clearly because it’s thanks to their efforts that the world has peace now. Former military installations in space are repurposed for space development, with one station leading an effort to colonize Mars. Relena tells Heero goodbye and comments that they won’t see each other for a long time. She tells Heero she’ll be waiting for him since she’s a loose end he still has to deal with. Heero accepts the mission and joins the four other Gundam pilots to start their journey to Mars.

 

Commentary

 

The third and final volume of Tokita's Gundam Wing TV adaptation ends by focusing on just two arcs: the fall of the Sanc Kingdom and the final battle. Compared to earlier volumes, this narrative choice does make for some streamlined storytelling that doesn't feel quite as rushed. I prefer the approach of taking more time to explore fewer events than trying to cram too many events into a volume. As with the other volumes, there are some notable differences from the TV series. Dorothy's role is much smaller and less antagonistic here, particularly since she doesn't join up with Zechs to control his mobile dolls. Perhaps the biggest change is showing much more explicitly that Zechs is conning White Fang and using them for his goal of eradicating war. He takes a much more direct step here in asking the Gundam engineers to sabotage the targeting system in the mobile dolls. However, even after doing this, he still insists on having a final battle with Heero, even though they both want the same thing. Libra is destroyed when all six Gundams channel their power into the twin buster rifle, but how this actually works is never explained. The end is mostly the same, with Earth and the colonies forming a new government and disarming their militaries, but with the added twist that the Gundam pilots are leaving to help colonize Mars. As usual, the volume concludes with multiple Go For it, Domon W strips. Overall, while this volume was a little stronger than the others for the reasons stated above, I would reiterate that I wouldn't recommend reading this adaptation of the TV series when Glory of the Losers does such a better job of it.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3 out of 5 stars
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