Mobile Suit Gundam Wing/YMMV

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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  • Adaptation Displacement: There are people who aren't aware there were Gundam series before this one, though this attitude was mostly prevalent when Gundam Wing was new to foreign shores and mostly justified as it was the first official widespread North American release of any Gundam show.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Fan opinion of Relena is split in America, while in Japan, she would often appear on the Gundam Ace "Top 30 Females" monthly ranking, and she is the only female Gundam Wing character (so far) to appear on the list, not to mention ranking #21 on Newtype's list of Top 30 Female Characters of the 1990s. Notably, she's not hated for anything she actually is or does, but rather she has a vagina, is unapologetically feminine, and is romantically associated with a boy who Americans like to ship with other boys.
  • Awesome Music: The soundtrack contains quite a few, and even those who don't like the rest of the series will concede that it has an awesome soundtrack. It helps that the whole thing, minus openings and endings, was done by Kow Ohtani, the award-winning composer for Shadow of the Colossus.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Relena is THE poster child for Broken Bases in Gundam Wing (if not the entire franchise itself), though the majority of it is caused by Shipping. And if it's not because of the shipping, it's because some fans ignore (or at least refuse to acknowledge) her Character Development throughout the series. Again, this mainly applies to American audiences, though her character has been considerably Vindicated by History for much of them over the years, especially when compared to even less well received Gundam franchise heroines.
    • Wufei has two camps: one that seems him as a Jerk Ass and being seen as a Hypocrite who killed sleeping soldiers despite his honour/justice proclaimations and refusal to beat up weaker opponents. The other camp respect him more for it, for sacrificing his own personal honor for the greater good.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The first ending is a song about a Type A Tsundere, as Relena glares at the camera and annoys various animals on safari. Relena's presence is basically the most this sequence has to do with the events of the actual show.
  • Broken Base: There are essentially three bases involved: the old guard mecha fans who think the show schlocky bullshit starring invincible pretty boys, the Yaoi Fangirl crowd who only cares about the cute guys and nothing else from the show, and the actual Gundam Wing fans who are tired of both of the above and just want to enjoy their show in peace.
  • Complete Monster: Alex and Muller, two OZ operatives who slaughter surrendered soldiers and then laugh about it. One could make a solid case for Chief Engineer Tsubarov too.
  • Crossover Ship: Heero gets paired with Kawarou Nagisa in a Super Robot Wars 4koma.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Gundam Wing is a pretty serious show to begin with, and it gets even darker as the series progresses, with very little comedy or lightheartedness. Quatre and Duo of the main cast manage to balance things out a little since they're not as dark as the rest of their comrades, but even they can only do so much in a war story filled with death and destruction. Admittedly, the show can be quite difficult to sit through if you're expecting an anime where there are plenty of humorous or lighthearted moments to balance out the more serious elements.
  • Die for Our Ship: Relena is the most infamous case of character bashing ever in anime fandoms, and a strong contender for all fandoms. This also happens to her rival Dorothy, Duo's best friend Hilde and Chang Wufei, but it is much rarer.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: While by no means a bad person, Treize has gone far beyond Memetic Badass and is treated by many as if he walks on water. Rose-scented water. This is arguably canonised in the Super Robot Wars games, as Treize usually has amazing stats and is often one of the best pilots in the game. Unfortunately, he's also always a Guest Star Party Member.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Duo is one of the most popular characters in the series, especially in the West. In the semi-official Gundam Ace "Top 30 Male Characters" poll in Japan, as well as the "Top 30 Male Characters of the 90s" poll in the March 2010 issue of Newtype magazine, he is the second most popular male Gundam Wing character (#21 in the Newtype poll), after Heero Yuy. Also, he was voted the Best Male Character in Animage's 1995 Anime Grand Prix Awards, and was voted the 3rd Best Male Character the following year.
    • The Leo, much like the Zaku II, is the initial grunt suit the heroes go up against. And also much like the Zaku II it's one of the more popular suits (and easily the most popular grunt) from the series. Even people who otherwise don't care for, if not outright hate, Wing tend to love the Leo.
  • Epileptic Trees: Is Mariemaia really Treize's daughter, or did Dekim lie to her? The question is never given a definitive answer, though the novel and manga hint that she's not, since Dekim's Famous Last Words are "I can make another Mariemaia if need be! After all, I found her on the stree-".
    • The English dub makes this somewhat more ambiguous, with Dekim saying "We can always create another Mariemaia! I made her, after all!". This could possibly be interpreted as Dekim staking his claim as The Man Behind the Man. Dekim might have used Mariemaia's parentage as a pretext for turning her into a figurehead, but claims that if she were gone, he could do the same thing to any other girl he finds. A bit of a stretch, true, but that's why we have this trope.
    • Episode Zero features a young girl roughly Trowa's age named Midii Une. Fanon often tries to draw a connection between her and Lady, despite the fact that Word of God says there is none (Midii references a father and brothers, but no female relatives). Rather, Word of God says that the connection 'will remain a secret forever'. In other words, there is one, but they'll never tell.
  • Fashion Victim Villain: Colonel Tsubarov's blue jacket...
  • Foe Yay: Dorothy's obsessive passes with Heero and Quatre on occasion (not even counting her snarky interactions with Relena) remain rife with suspicion to this day.
  • Gateway Series: While not the first Gundam series released in America, Gundam Wing was the first to gain a large audience, and is the main reason more of the franchise made its way over to the West in the early/mid-2000's.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: For being the Gateway Series for the Gundam franchise in the United States, and being considered less popular then the likes of Seed and the UC in Japan... by a considerable margin. It isn't Gundam Wing is disliked, but rather that the Universal Century and Cosmic Era timelines have much stronger and more fanatical fanbases.
    • At least initially, the Japanese fans (especially the women) despised Quatre, while he's one of the more popular characters in the West.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Many a fanfic has had Relena go evil, usually to facilitate killing her off and setting Heero with Duo. In Frozen Teardrop, she actually is brainwashed into evil... and it's implied that she caused her own brother's her brother's stand-in's death thanks to it.
  • He's Just Hiding:
    • Zechs after the series, Noin's trust in him wasn't helping. Indeed, he was back from the grave in the movie. He even claims he was dead when asked.
    • Also applies to his Mobile Suit: the novelization ends by stating the whereabouts of the Gundams and mentions Epyon is at the bottom of the ocean. Frozen Teardrop follows up on this by having Zechs recover it and upgrade it into Epyon II.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • There's an uncanny resemblance between the Leo mobile suit and Halo's Master Chief, with their yellow visors, green color scheme, and the boxy armor.
    • Duo in the dub yelling "NOOOOOOOOOO!" and "...it's a fake!" comes off as this now, thanks to Darth Vader, a Romulan Senator and the Internet.
    • The dub voice for General Septum sounds uncannily like abridged!Jack. You are now imagining Septum yelling "CARD GAMES ON MOTORCYCLES!?".
  • Ho Yay: Dear God, where do we begin?
    • Les Yay: Relena and Dorothy. Actually, Relena has some form of Yay with pretty much everyone. So much the worse for her...
    • In the Blind Target manga, between Relena and her female assistant Chris. The way they keep holding hands...
  • Magnificent Bastard: Treize Khushrenada.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: The American pilot Duo is particularly popular with the American fanbase.
  • Misblamed: For years, actor Mark Hildreth was blasted by fans for making Heero sound stiff and emotionless in the dub. Then, at a convention, he said he was told to act that way. Possibly because of the backlash, he has never been called back to play Heero in other media (though he has said he'd be happy to if given the chance).
  • Moral Event Horizon: Frozen Teardrop: Cinquante's kidnapping Angelina and getting Ein killed.
  • Narm:
    • The dub, being your typical cheezy 90's dub, has it's fair share of moments, including General Septum's downright cartoonishly angry voice.
    • Zechs riding the Tallgeese into battle while saying "But I can't falter with the Sanc Kingdom right in front of my eyeeees!" in his best Jack Nicholson voice. Ditto for infamous yell of fooooolllls while destroying a cancer mobile suit.
  • Never Live It Down: Heero to kill himself only twice.
    • Twice is kind of a lot, when it's suicide. Still fits the profile of the trope, though.
    • The amount of undisguised suicide attempts may be only two, but he also tended to use relatively minor setbacks to inflict unnecessary damage to himself. There was absolutely no reason for him to stay on top of the hatch when he blew up Wing. Just saying. People do seem awfully quick to forget his big "I WILL SURVIVE!" during the finale though.
    • There's only two true suicide attempts in the series, maybe, but in Episode Zero, he attempts to shoot himself in the head to atone for the deaths of the little girl and puppy he killed, only to be interrupted by Doctor J.
    • Guess that makes him an Heero.
    • It really depends on which times you count. For the unarguable ones, the time in Episode Zero is clearly one, hitting the kill switch on his suit when Relena finds him on the beach is two, and standing on the Wing's hatch when it self destructs is three. But his reputation also comes from the more ambiguous events, such as allowing himself to pass out when he lands face down in the water after firing the torpedoes at his Gundam, waiting much too long to deploy his parachute when he jumps out the window of a hospital, and going around to all the relatives of one of his victims asking them to kill him. Counting them all brings it up to a total of five, plus an indeterminate number more.
    • The way some fans act, you'd think Wufei's entire vocabulary consisted of four words: "justice", "evil", "woman" and "Nataku".
    • A non-character example would be the Leo suit. The Leo suit will always be remembered by fans as a crappy piece of junk that would be destroyed if so much as sneezed on.
      • Much of the Leo's poor reputation stems from it's lack of real accomplishments. It is always on the receiving end of a Curb Stomp Battle and hasn't been successfully used by the main characters, unlike the Taurus or Aries. While the Gundam series has plenty of lowly grunt suits that serve as Cannon Fodder, many like the Zaku and Tieren models were at least upgraded into Ace Custom variants piloted by an Ace Pilot Ensemble Darkhorse.
  • Poor Man's Substitute: Heero's dubbing voice actor Mark Hildreth apparantly did not share the same love for the role the other Gundam pilot's voice actors did for their characters. Heero is the only one of the five to constantly be recast in productions following the end of the TV series. Initially, Hildreth was replaced by Louis Chirillo whenever Heero returned with voice acting. Chirillo eventually retired from voice acting, after which Heero's role was given to Brian Drummond, ironically the longtime voice of his rival Zechs Merquise. With each new voice actor change, Heero's voice changes just enough to be noticeable.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: One of the more famous examples in anime fandom, Gundam Wing combines this with the Numerical Theme Naming, hence, 1x2 means Heero/Duo; since most of the show's women don't fall under the theme, they're identified by initial (1xR = Heero/Relena).
    • The order in which the names are listed is important too. Whoever is listed first is the initiator or "aggressor" of the relationship, while the listing of XxYxX (as in 1xRx1) means both partners are equally interested. Certain listings indicate shifts in personalities; for example, 2x1 means a moody Duo with a happy Heero. Don't think about it too hard, or you'll go cross-eyed.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Quatre gets this a lot in fanfiction.
    • Saying that Relena gets this is like saying "The sun is bright"; the bare statement of fact simply doesn't do it justice.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Head writer Sumizawa revealed in an interview that Quatre, of all people, was rather unpopular during the show's run, with Japanese girls nicknaming him "The Space Heart Jerk".
    • Wufei cops a fair bit of flack, mostly for being a Jerkass and being seen as a Hypocrite due to the time he killed sleeping soldiers. Which completely contradicts his honour/justice proclaimations. Or his outright declaration that he hates beating up on weaker opponents because it makes him feel like a bully.
    • Relena is this for many, many people.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Yaoi and Het fans can get very... touchy about their pairings of choice. The main war is over Heero x Duo vs. Heero x Relena fans.
    • You don't even need to bring up Heero/Relena in front of Heero/Duo fans. if you ask "Hey, who tops? Heero or Duo?" you can have a really "nice" flame war.
  • Squick: The first time Heero uses the ZERO System on the Epyon, it causes him to throw up. Inside his pilot helmet. Twice!
  • Uncanny Valley: Mariemaia during all but the last act of Endless Waltz speaks in a far too even a tone regardless of what she's actually saying, and emotes pretty much once... at entirely the wrong moment to be doing the kind of emoting she does. The result is rather creepy and can fall squarely into this trope.
  • Values Resonance: A huge part of the show is the philosophical debate over whether or not Mobile Dolls—automated mobile suits—are ethical. It makes for interesting watching in the era of remote drone strikes.
  • Woolseyism: In an early episode, Duo refers to Relena as "Ojou-san", which is the proper way to address a young woman of high social status (though he may have just been flirting). In the US dub, he instead calls her "Good-Looking", which is more obvious flirting and gets around the fact that there's no English term that quite matches the original. They could have used the term "Princess", but that may have sounded mocking instead of being flirty.