Rating: (hey, it's my favourite series, bite me.)
It's the year AC (After Colony) 195. Over the past century, humanity has established a number of space colonies, giant wheel-shaped constructs that are home to millions of people. These colonies are grouped in clusters at the five Lagrange points, areas of relative stability in Earth orbit. For decades, while the Earth's surface was wracked by war and civil strife, the peace and quiet of the space colonies presented an attractive alternative for war-weary settlers. When the terrestrial wars ended, a new world government was established, a "United Earth Sphere Alliance" committed to bringing about peace through force of arms. In the name of peace and justice, the Alliance seized control of the colonies. To lobby the Earth's nations for autonomy, the space colonists chose a man named Heero Yuy as their representative. The charismatic Yuy united the colonies, and his message of demilitarization and non-violence was well-received by the people of Earth. But when Yuy was assassinated in the year AC 175, the colonists' hopes were crushed and the colonies thrown into turmoil.
Under the pretext of restoring order to the colonies, the Alliance staged a second military intervention, using humanoid fighting machines called mobile suits to crush all opposition. The colonies were placed under martial law, and all communication and cooperation between colonies was prohibited. Even terrestrial nations sympathetic to Heero Yuy's philosophies, like Europe's pacifist Sanc Kingdom, were crushed by the Alliance's overwhelming force.
Behind the scenes, the Alliance is being manipulated by the Romefeller Foundation, the powerful industrial combine that develops and manufactures its mobile suits. The Alliance's elite mobile suit corps, the "Specials," is trained and staffed by the Romefeller Foundation. In fact, the Specials are nothing but a front for OZ, a Romefeller subsidiary which has been recast as a secret society. Answerable only to the Romefeller Foundation, OZ has infiltrated the highest levels of the Alliance military. After two decades of oppression, a network of rebels based in the space colonies decides to strike back at OZ and its puppet Alliance. Resistance groups at each of the five colony clusters work independently on their part of Operation Meteor, each retaining the services of one of the scientists who helped create the first mobile suits. Using the super-strong armor material Gundanium, the scientists construct advanced mobile suits called "Gundams," entrust them to five highly-trained, resourceful young pilots, and dispatch them to Earth to wage guerilla war against the Alliance.
Right from the pulse pounding opening song, "Just Communication" you know to be impressed with this wonderful series. Kick ass music, a wonderfully complex and intricate story, dark and intriguing (and bishonen =) characters (even if they ARE prone to the occasional proverbial pissing contest), and some of the most impressive Mecha designs we've seen yet combine to make a wonderful and intense series. Unarguably the most popular of the alternate universe stories, this is a Gundam for a broader audience. I mean, come on, what MORE could you want? Very highly recommended.
Available dubbed or subbed from AnimeVillage.com; currently playing on the Cartoon Network's Toonami segment.
At the climax of the Eve Wars, on December 24 of the year AC 195, the armies of the World Nation and White Fang met in a ferocious battle. World Nation leader Treize Khushrenada was slain, White Fang leader Zechs Merquise disappeared, and Earth was saved from destruction by the intervention of the five Gundam pilots. Having witnessed the consequences of war and hatred, the people of Earth and the space colonies put aside their differences and together founded a new world government. Under this newly-formed Earth Sphere Unified Nation, a year has passed in peace. The government and the populace have disarmed themselves, and almost every remaining mobile suit has been destroyed. Deciding to follow suit, Gundam pilots Heero Yuy, Duo Maxwell, Trowa Barton, and Quatre Raberba Winner place their mighty mobile suits inside an asteroid and send them on a one-way voyage into the sun. But even as they bid their Gundams farewell, a new conflict is drawing near.
The three part OVA series continuing the Gundam Wing saga, this is basically more of the same; which, in the case of Gundam Wing, means it kicks major ass. The music is still great, the story is still great, the characters are still great, and the Mecha are cooler than ever (just wait till you see them, you'll know what I mean). But forget all that, it's more Gundam Wing! What more really needs to be said? Though the ending ties up pretty much every loose end in the story, I wouldn't put it past bandai to manage to do something else with this wonderful story. Like I even need to recommend this one to you...watch it or else a giant H will fall on your head.
Currently only available Fansubbed.