Those of you who follow our Twitter, our Patreon or just listen to my occasional rants in Discord may already know quite a bit about this topic, but I haven’t actually outlined the reasons in a central location for anyone to read before now. So while some points might be obvious, I thought I’d lay it all out to give a better idea of what happened in those missing two (2!!!) years.
So why did Episode 10 take so freaking long to make?
Let’s start with the most obvious without going into too much detail, because we’re all VERY aware of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Back in early 2020, we’d just released our first episode of Goku Time and our Toonami Special episode for Wing’s 20th anniversary. Ep.9 of MSAGW was then coming in April, with Ep.10 already partially written and recorded. We were on a roll.
But then the city shut down.
Many of our actors were no longer comfortable, or no longer capable of, recording in a crowded booth with other people. Even after the city started up again and we started going back to work, some of our actors had jobs that required them to socially distance for the safety of their workplace, and others had at-risk loved ones at home. Recording for Ep.10 just kind of… didn’t happen for a long while. Because of that, progress stopped, and with the world kind of in a constant state of unknown, let me tell you: it was really hard to stay motivated and finish that script.
Fast forward to June 2021, after we’d finally begun recording again. We released Heero’s Effin’ Playlist in April as a way of testing the waters with how to record safely in separate rooms, and most of our actors were eager to get back in the booth. Ep.10’s script, unfortunately, wasn’t totally finished, but it had been so long by now that we started recording finished segments so I would be able to work on those scenes at least. Then we’d write to fill the gaps later.
But then Bandai Namco took down our channel.
20,000+ subscribers, five years of videos and comments and likes and everything else… it was all suddenly gone. And I’m not sure I can properly convey just how much of a gut punch that is. We’d need to start a new channel, find a new way to host our videos, and get back to work. But… man was that hard.
But with those reasons out of the way, why did this episode take more than another year to release after we started our new channel?
Remember just a few paragraphs ago when I said we started recording finished segments of Ep.10 to make up for lost time, despite the fact that the Ep.10 script wasn’t actually finished and finalized yet? This… created issues. And I’m never doing that again.
See, remember how Ep.10 had no Quatre or Duo in it? Well, that wasn’t originally the case. Quatre’s entire arc of “argue with Trowa, get called out, attack a spaceport, blow up Sandrock” was actually the B-plot of this episode. And by summer 2021, the scenes in which Quatre & Duo sit by the pool talking long distance with Trowa were completely finished. Recorded, edited, lip flaps, sound effects, everything. What’s more, the Ep.11 scene in which Treize interrupts the Mobile Doll demonstration to undermine Dermail and Tuberov? That was also meant to be in Ep.10, and was mostly finished.
This caused unforeseen headaches because we really didn’t want to rewrite or alter these scenes in any way. They were done. But the meat of the episode– Heero fighting Zechs– had been in constant flux trying to fit it around Quatre’s B-plot. It wasn’t working. Yet I was too stubborn to admit that, and we continued to have scripting nights that went nowhere and ended in frustration.
In July 2022, on the year anniversary of our channel takedown, we made the painful decision to remove the Quatre B-plot, the Treize scene, and the two next-time-on bits about Mobile Dolls and navy blues, and move them to Ep.11. This meant that the fight in Antarctica had no “B-plot” to cut away to, and would have to hold the episode entirely on its own. Which normally wouldn’t be a problem… but we hadn’t been writing it that way until just now.
Aside from the opening bit of Heero, Trowa, Noin and Zechs walking down a hallway, basically everything was rewritten using chunks of what we had before. Scenes that had been finished, partially finished, partially started or just left in concept floating around were all Frankensteined together. Scenes we’d cut down for time were now fleshed back out. Scenes that were structured to transition smoothly from Antarctica to elsewhere in the world were instead structured to stay in Antarctica. It was a lot.
Now, the narrative through-line began and ended with Heero versus Zechs. Zechs got a new scene blowing up a bunch of Ozzies to finish his arc as a member of Oz, Sylvia got to end the episode with a dramatic twist, and Heero & Zechs had more time to talk while fighting. Relena also got a new scene to explain how she learned of Antarctica at all (something we were going to handwave away with “Sylvia told her” after hinting at it in Sowing Discord v.3).
In the end, I’m happy with what we made and think it was the best way to go. But the journey to get there nearly sapped me of any creative juice or motivation I had. And it was really only our Cool Capers, our fans on Discord, and our friends and cast members rooting me on that kept me going when I wanted to quit.
So to every single one of you:
Thank you. No episode will ever take that long again.
That’s it for this post. Thanks for reading! If you have anything from the show you’d like to see dissected, let me know in the comments and I might just do so.
See you next Wing Wednesday, on June 7th!