a.k.a. Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz
a.k.a. Shin Kidou Senki Gundam W: Endless Waltz
Peace on Earth at last. A year after the war, things seem to be back to the way they should be. Marie Maia Krushneda, daughter of the late Treize Krushneda, sees it differently. To her, history is a cycle of war, peace and revolution repeating itself over and over again; in a way, history is like an endless waltz. She wants nothing more than to restore her father’s vision of total rule under one government, but the Gundam pilots don’t believe in her ideals. Having given up their warrior lives and parted separate ways, they now find themselves back in the cockpit once again.
summary by Kain
Highs: Beefed up animation; great soundtrack
Lows: As dull and overly philosophical as the series
Everyone’s favorite monotone bishounen (fans of Weiss Kreuz may disagree) are back in the saddle for an encore performance. Being a Macross man myself, the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise has never really appealed to me, in particular Gundam Wing. Something about seemingly emotionless main characters wrapped in an excessively dramatic story just doesn’t push my buttons.
Endless Waltz is easily the prettiest Gundam production I’ve ever come across. Each of the mecha, no matter how insignificant, are intricately detailed and fluid in motion. The soundtrack, like the series’, is fantastic, especially the Two-Mix songs White Reflection and Last Impression. I can never fault any Gundam anime with having less than stellar tunes.
Unlike its television counterpart (which I believe would have been best suited for a twenty-six-episode format rather than forty-nine), events fly by at breakneck speed; from beginning to end, there is hardly any letup. Most anime can’t pull off steady, constant pacing, and require occasional interludes to offer dramatic pause. This movie isn’t one of them.
If only the characters were given a personality makeover, as well. It’s the same ol’ “I will play the cool, tree-hugging, pokerfaced bishounen” attitude that I loathed in Gundam Wing. At least the Gundams seem a little more vulnerable this time around, adding a bit to the action scenes. Other than that, this anime is just an extension of the series, so if you are a fan of the latter, then watch the former.
Highs: Cuts to the chase; more great Two-Mix music
Lows: Cuts a little too much; carries over many flaws from the series
Although I suspect that it was created more in an effort to ride on Gundam Wing‘s popularity, Endless Waltz continues the After Colony timeline of the Gundam universe. Thankfully, this OVA series makes it a point to conclude this “saga”.
One of my complaints with the television series was that it went on much longer than was necessary, but Endless Waltz rushes into the middle of everything without delay. Instead of trying to put things off, it knows that it has a specific time limit and sets out to accomplish what it needs to. Before you know it, everyone is finished with their drab speeches, battles are flying by and Gundams are kicking butt. And without a doubt, what’s even better is Two-Mix’s music. Much like their performance from Gundam Wing, White Reflection and Last Impression are acoustical delicacies; no one should pass up listening to these great J-Pop songs.
Unfortunately, rushing everything doesn’t appeal to the story aspect of anime. A lot of times, the OVAs just jump right into a new scene without any explanation at all for how characters got where or why some events occur. The overwhelming focus seems like it wants to get to the action right away, but one too many corners are cut. And sorry, but I’ve already had my fill of battles brimming with hackneyed philosophy screamed by a few indestructible teenage bishounen who know the most appropriate times to defy basic physics. Inconsistencies aside (like how a Gundam pilot can miraculously make an enemy mobile suit more agile and powerful just by controlling it), this is all just about another revolution that pops up out of nowhere to spew out notifications of their coming to power only to get beaten down in no time. Except for the “in no time” part, these are all aspects used by the television series for worse.
Despite some obvious improvements, Endless Waltz does not manage to climb out of that hole known as mediocrity. However, I have no pity for it; Gundam Wing dug that hole and the OVA never attempted to rise above it. At least I killed some time before class and watched this Gundam timeline come to a feeble conclusion.
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (Movie Version) can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.