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Gundam Wing: Operation 1

Track List:
  1. The Wings of a Boy Who Killed Aldolescence
  2. The Black Wind Invites Death
  3. Back in the Smell of Blood and Gunpowder
  4. Looking for Peace Hiding in the Corps
  5. When the Dragons Swims, it all Ends
  6. Just Communication
  7. The Curtain of the Next Chapter Lifts Now
  8. Eternity and Infinity are in these Hands
  9. Treize Khushrenada - Man Who Makes History
  10. Use the Cloak of Darkness
  11. You Can Hear the Voice Calling the Soul
  12. Gundam Wing Bridge Collection 1
  13. Soft Hair and see-through Eyes
  14. Inside the Girl's Heart...
  15. Hearing the Whispers of Stars at Night Under the Smiling Moon
  16. To Beauty, to Elegance, and to Noble-Mindedness
  17. I Feel Like Crossing Over that Rainbow Bridge
  18. Peace is Broken and Time is Running Out
  19. Plot "String and Marionette"
  20. Cold Bloodthirstiness
  21. As Relena Peacecraft
  22. From Uncertainty to Impatientce
  23. Heero's Time of Desicion
  24. Gundam Wing Bridge Collection 2
  25. Long Time Ago, Pain already Thrown
  26. The Clown that Doesn't Neep Make-Up of Tears
  27. Sandy Clock of Sad Color
  28. Sparkling Harmony
  29. Peaceful Moment With You
  30. Mission: Accomplished
  31. Gundam Attack
  32. Important Battlefield
  33. OZ Mobile Suit Getting Close
  34. Enforcement Breakthrough
  35. Swinging Target
  36. Unknown Pressure
  37. Zechs Comes
  38. Just Communication (Inst. Version)
  39. Code Name is Heero Yuy
  40. It's Just Love

Total Time: (76:32)

Composed by:
Koh Otani,
TWO-MIX (6, 38)

Arranged by:
Koh Otani,

Conducted by:
Hiroshi Kumagai

Performed by:
King Philharmonic Orchestra,
TWO-MIX (6),
Rumi Ohishi (40)

I don't generally appreciate the synth soundtracks of anime. Quite often I find that the harsh sounds detract from the overall enjoyment of the experience. This means that every once in a while a good orchestral score might just be the right thing to liven things up, and a good orchestral score is what composer Koh Otani has delivered, for the most part, for the 1995 Gundam Wing universe. The first CD in a series of four, Gundam Wing Operation 1 contains a great deal of musical materiel from random sections of the show.

The score itself is an ingenious meld of orchestra and electronics with some rocking electric guitar as well. The first five tracks are the great musical representations of the Gundam pilots, with the initial "The Wings of a Boy that Killed Adolescence" as my personal favorite. These character themes are the best example of the rocking orchestral style containing the guitar. Some of the tracks later in the score place much more emphasis on the grating synths, while many of the tracks midway lean more towards pure orchestra. Each of these tracks is entertaining and many contain some marvelous highlights, such as "The Curtain of the Next Chapter Lifts Now" which sounds like a great entr'acte from a first-class theatrical production. Oddly, the grouping of tracks of a similar style seems to be the entire soundtrack's only notable weakness. All five tracks containing the theme for the heroine Relena Peacecraft are stuffed back to back! This makes it difficult to listen to the CD straight through. It would have made more sense to spread things out a bit.

The two songs are great highlights of the album as well. The techno song "Just Communication" written and performed by TWO-MIX is wonderful and is reprised in an arrangement by Otani in track 38. The song "Its Just Love" at the end of the CD is more like typical anime pop, which isn't to say that it's bad, just not quite as interesting. Perhaps the song's most endearing trait is the outstanding vocal performance by Rumi Ohishi.

All in all, Gundam Wing Operation 1 is a great musical experience worthy of any anime fan's attention. It has a great deal of high quality score with a couple of fun songs. The orchestral performance under the baton of Hiroshi Kumagai is excellent and the orchestra sounds quite large. There are three other CDs in the Gundam Wing series, but none of them match the strength of the original. I recommend it with few reservations.

Gundam Wing Operation 1 is Copyright 1995 King Records. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.