Title: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz aka Shin Kidou Senki Gundam W: EW
Company: Sunrise/Sotsu Agency
Format: 3 OVA
Dates: 25 Jan 1997 – 1 Aug 1998
Synopsis: After Colony 196, December 24th. Exactly one year since the end of the Eve Wars, and peace has prevailed. However, one thing remains unsettled, the mysteries behind Operation Meteor. In the midst of demilitarization, the mastermind behind the Gundams Dekim Barton plans on an all out assault on the Earth Sphere, with the help of pilot Wu Fei, a brand new Mobile Suit, and the enigmatic girl Mariemaia Kushrinada. Now, the Gundam Pilots and Oz, now called the Preventers, must unite in order to secure peace and freedom for all people, one last time.
Production values: High and higher.
Background: Much needed, but not enough.
Story: Nothing special though entertaining.
Length: Conveniently short, but too short.
The best part: It’s finally over.
To say the least, I brutally disliked Gundam Wing. In all honesty, it was boring, static, and pretentious. It’s fame in America, let alone in general is beyond me. However, I can understand their love for its OVA sequel. Endless Waltz is good fun, granted not as much Gundam 0083 or Gundam F91, but it’s entertaining none-the-less. Being limited to three episodes, there is no time to repeat boring stories over again, not to mention that it actually looks good. Unfortunately there is much that it emulates from the series that were just unnecessary.
On the plus side, the shoddy, uninspired animation of the series has been replaced for a bolder and more detailed style. The Gundams have also received a major facelift. While I didn’t necessary dislike Okawara Kunio’s designs, save for the Altron. Katoki Hajime does the Gundams justice. Fantastic and fanciful upgrades like the Wing Zero Custom and the Deathscythe Hell Custom have notoriety for their epic stature, even among non-Gundam fans. Though the biggest improvement in the production market has to be action that I could get exited about. Unique cels is something I could live with unlike other methods, *cough* stock footage *cough* excuse me. Though the best part has got to be more Two Mix music, including my personal favorite, “Last Impression”.
What I loathed from Gundam Wing more than anything had to be its god-awful plot, one that got less interesting with each passing episode. After 47 episodes, I got the picture: war, bad; pacifism, good; Pilots, gods; Relena, a saint. However, being giving me no good reason to trust the story on any of that, the story was a big pile of who cares. To be honest, Endless Waltz’s plot is very much bare bones. Despite this, a shallow story that’s entertaining is far superior to a deep one that make me want to cry bloody murder. Essentially, the story is about the intentions of those behind Operation Meteor, which luckily has nothing to do with total pacifism. This simple premise allows a bit of time to be devoted to explaining the Gundam Pilots and their mission deeper. While some questions are answered, it’s not even close enough to making Wing make sense.
This is where this sequel screws itself over, there is so much to explain and only three episodes to tell it in. There is not nearly enough time to transform the Gundam Pilots from heartless bishounens to human beings who happen to be bishounen. While the pilots decisions to take the burden of Operation Meteor on their own shoulders does show some empathy, it only perpetuates the fact that they are perfect in every way. That just makes me sick. In the end, Heero is still a psychopath, Duo is every girls fantasy man, Trowa is making less sense than normal, Quatre is well Quatre, Wu Fei is perpetually a dumbass, and Zechs still has never stuck to the same character type for longer than a ten episode arc. The only character who’s status improved was Relena, who went from absolute moron to just a regular moron when she finally accepted that peace is something that cannot just be wished up. I still want her dead though.
Irregardless to what someone thought about Wing, Endless Waltz is some good mindless entertainment that will keep you’re typical fanboy/girl occupied for the afternoon. Good for the action, bad for the characters, especially since I get Wu Fei and Zechs less now more than ever. Though this does not matter as when I hear Takayama Minami’s beautiful voice as the credits role, one thing is certain: It’s finally over.
The Rating: 7
Reviewed By: Kavik Ryx