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Media Review : Comics

Gundam Wing: Lady Une/Saint Une

Series Spoilers.

It's hard not to know about Lady Une--she's the dignified and often mocked woman in a high ranking of OZ, working with the admiration of Trieze. She often will turn to mass murderings of colonies, or at least threats of, in order to get what she wants.

It's hard not to know about Saint Une--she's the sweet, passive worker for humanity who believes that space should be only for peace and not for war. She seems innocent of the various darker doings of the OZ corporation, and the idea that such could exist shocks her.

The Une pair is a rather interesting one, although they are usually overlooked or considered villains. Lady Une wears her hair distinctively up and her glasses on with a severely cut military outfit, while the Saint has her hair down and no glasses. Lady Une is thought to be aware of her kinder counterpart, while the reverse is assumed to be untrue.

No one really bats an eye to the Unes, as most of the attention of the world is spent on war. Indeed, some of her guards actively protect Saint Une when they start to consider her as a more vulnerable state of the pair, and do not strip of her military command or throw accusations of insanity. As one soldier says, and I misquote terribly here, 'The Lady is strong when she has her glasses on.' And so that is the matter in a nutshell.

We respected as well the character of Lady Une herself, particularly for the theory that Saint Une was born to obey Trieze's wish that she be more tactful and charismatic towards the colonies. Multiples who use themselves mercilessly to serve what they love--I think we all can sense a little bit of resonance in that.

The man whom both the Unes adore--Trieze Kushrenada--also does not reject them for their nature. He even recognizes it, mourning the two different photographs of each when the world has assumed them dead. He acknowledges to Zechs that it was for him that Lady Une and Saint Une work so openly and he even takes the blame for it--although he says it in a manner that implies depending on the viewer that he was the sole cause of it and so they should be integrated. Perhaps he too respects it. It's something to hope for. He does seem to have a certain understanding that the more militant he became, the more cold Lady Une was towards humanity, and that he could and did speak a single line about subtler actions and had her immediately discard all reputation to allow Saint Une out. Ourselves, we'd like to think that he was regretful that he caused both Lady and Saint Une to streamline their own natures down, with no care for their own selves, into the ruthless Colonel and the peaceful Saint who lived only for him.

Une, delightfully, does not degrade into screen-wide fits of angst and drama that one would usually expect from seeing a multiple as a character in a series. Rather, her greatest difficulty is that of her soldiers; they are often confused as they watch her behavior swing from demanding executions to peaceful treaties and back again, but many of them still retain their loyalties and see both the Saint and the Lady's dedications to service for Trieze. Needless to say, we had sympathy for Une's situation in attempting to patch up explanations that would repair people's doubts about how consistent their behaviors were.

Having a multiple who does not break down into fits for the viewers' amusement is very, very satisfying to us.

During the movie, Endless Waltz, Une reappears but in a rather minor series of shots. What with her prominent position as head of the Preventers, one might think that she'd be under lock and key by the invading force of Mariemaia. Yet she disappears rather casually without a sign until rather brief and ominous moments later on, such as the time when the screen shows her in a room of dead or unconscious enemy soldiers--and Une but standing mildly in the middle of them and commenting about Mariemaia, visibly weaponless and without a speck of blood on her.

Did the Unes let various people reemerge fully while no one was paying attention to them? Was that why they had been able to vanish and then go about getting what they needed to done, fading in and out of the scenery and generally blending in until the climax where Une literally leaps out of nowhere in the heart of the enemy headquarters to protect the lives of two others under gunpoint?

You know we'd like to think so. If it were our hope alone, Une would have done what a plural group does best in a mob squad of pressure--become anything and everything and make it out alive while no one thought to watch.

I disliked the assumption that the Unes integrated permanently under the fierce unified wish to protect Trieze at the last, mostly because it was done with the idea that that was the end of that for the pair. It's true that the Lady stopped wearing glasses and that there were no /visible/ signs of different people up front--but again, as many of us know, that means absolutely nothing.

Une is, overall, nicely understated for the duration of the series and the movie both. This gives them the space to, if it had turned out that way, still remain plural and simply be less obvious about it.

Lady Une and Saint Une made the group in general so happy that the traditional 'mean side/good side' stereotype could be ignored, particularly when it was so apparent that both of the Unes were impassioned about their causes and dedicated in that service. Overall, we do recommend the Unes, very much so.

Check out the Anipike for plenty of Une information.

There's also, in particular:

Two-Fold, a nicely clean and elegant site.

aaaand, All that Glitters, for general Trieze/Mariemaia/Une information and links.