While I understand that the point of a review is to inform, I am honestly disappointed in the ones posted by my peers. Most of the reviews are either blindly positive or blindly negative. I hope that this review proves to be informative and unbiased, so that it attracts the attention of interested parties.
The plot of Gundam Wing is standard fare for the epic Gundam saga: in the near future, orbiting space colonies are unfairly repressed by a greedy terrestrial government. On the anniversary of a great colonial leader's death, five young rebels go to Earth to wage guerilla warfare on the Earth Alliance. Their weapons: Gundams, giant humanoid battle machines of immense power. As the five boys fight for independence, the Alliance is overthrown by OZ, a secret society run by a powerful military-industrial complex that has been pulling the strings all along. Soon after, the Gundam pilots, their civilian allies, and like-minded members of OZ join forces to take down the warring factions and bring real peace.
With the characters, we have a group of young people who are highly misunderstood by the anime community. Heero Yuy, pilot of Wing Gundam, is a teenage soldier who's been trained to keep his emotions in check to the point where almost seems inhuman. On the civilian side is Relena Darlian, an introverted girl whose lonely upper-class childhood has left her seeking real friendship. The connection that begins with their chance encounter on a beach eventually leads to great emotional growth in them both, as Heero learns to live with his humanity - and his mistakes - and Relena becomes a more assertive, well-rounded person. Completing this classic triangle is ace pilot Zechs Marquise, Relena's long-lost brother, who entered the military so he could exact revenge for the slaying of their parents and the destruction of their homeland. Aiding Heero in his battles are the other four Gundam pilots: the cheerful Duo Maxwell, the somber Trowa Barton, the caring Quatre Winner, and the brash Zhang Wu Fei. On the side of OZ, we have the anachronistically noble Treize Khushrenada, his multi-faceted aide Lady Une, Zechs' old friend Lucrezia Noin, and Dorothy Catalonia, Relena's war-loving rival. Rounding out the main cast are the civilians: rebel soldier Sally Po, the Maganac Corps (a group of soldiers allied to Quatre, junk dealer Howard, and the "mad" scientists who built the Gundams.
The story is carried out pretty well. Most older Gundam series have the problem that they focus on the main character so much that it almost seems like the world revolves around him. With Wing, time is spent with a large number of varying characters, giving us a better picture of the After Colony world. The characters are well-written and exhibit a lot of growth, keeping with the central theme of communication between people. The mechanical designs are skillfully handled by three Gundam veterans: Kunio Okawara, Hajime Katoki, and Junya Ishigaki. The soundtrack features slick pop tunes by Two-Mix and a large number of well-orchestrated background tracks that underscore the action perfectly.
Admittedly, there are some pacing problems (such as two consecutive clip shows), but it all evens out in the end. A lot of people like to trash certain characters (Relena in particular), but as I've seen, most of this springs from their forming an opinion of the characters within their first five minutes on screen and never changing it. Some people complain that the Gundams are too powerful, ignoring the fact that they HAVE to be strong to fight entire armies by themselves. Also, while some say that Wing is "a complete rip-off of the original series", it's actually more original than Gundam Seed, a more recent addition to the family. And there is a bit much in the way of stock footage, but that can be expected with almost any anime.
There's another stumbling block, though: a disproportionate amount of people insist that the entire male cast is homosexual. Despite what the fangirls may say, this is not official. The actual series, and its sequels, show Heero and Relena as very close, with subtle hints at a deeper relationship than the princess and her knight in shining armor.
So, what's the final verdict? Personally, I love this series, so obviously I'm going to recommend it. But I will say this: if you decide to watch Gundam Wing based on my comments, ignore everything you read or hear about it. Watch the series with an open mind and no preconceptions. Don't listen to anyone else, because in the end, the opinion that matters the most is your own.