A well-made anime film even as a stand-alone, Endless Waltz concludes the epic Gundam Wing series (so preferably watch that before this). It has exceptional quality one would come to expect from the creators of Gundam Wing, with excellent voice acting and fluid animation. Without diving into spoiler territory, what I can say is tha this movie has everything that you would want in a Gundam movie. The story takes place a year after the great war between the colonies and Earth. Now, a new threat has come to Earth. Only the Gundams have the power to vanquish this new threat. Plus, they get some unexpected help from an unlikely source. The ending of the “Gundam Wing” television series wasn’t really that at all. Sure, the ‘bad guys’ were defeated, but anyone who thinks that’s all that matters isn’t a fan of good storytelling. “Endless Waltz” answers pretty much every question you might have about the fates of the characters, and I don’t mean just the Gundam pilots, either. Every important character of the series is brought into play, and even some not-so important ones.
It has been one year since the end of the war between the Earth and the Space Colonies. Everything is peaceful and the G pilots are sending their Gundams into the sun to destroy because they are not needed in this time of peace. But in a visit to one of the newest Space Colonies, Vice-Foreign Minister Relena Peacecraft is kidnapped by rebels. Heero sets out to get her back. the truth is that a new enemy has appeared. Her name is Mariemaia and she claims to be the daughter of Treize Kushrenada, leader of the defeated OZ. Past villians are now good guys, the characters are more emotional than ever, and the battle scenes are the best in the entire Gundam Wing series–in fact, I honestly felt this was the peak of everything to the series: the characters have more depth, the story is at its finest, and the battle scenes are beyond amazing. If you’ve seen any of the episodes, you already know about dubbing: it’s perfect.
The characters have matured as well. They remain true to their personalities from the series and yet, there is definite development. They are no longer lost and confused as they had been in the series… they are more resolute and determined. Heero’s human side has shown him to be a very virtous and honorable fighter. His own personal struggle has greatly been an intricate part of this movie. We get to see a forming romantic bond between Relena and Heero as well. Mariemaya Krushrenada was a victim of greed in this movie, and a pawn in a bigger scheme planned by her sick, sedistic, madman she calls Grandfather. That said, Endless Waltz is a very well done continuation of the series. Meaning it is much more than a sequel. In the movie we discover what happens to the Earth and the Colonies in AC196, after the events in Gundam Wing. Important backstory is also revealed in reference to each of the pilots and Operation Meteor. Because of this, the story line is very much weaved into the entire Gundam Wing universe.
Strange to say, it was the building of miniature Gundam figures that first got me interested in Anime. But I was never all that drawn to what I knew of the plot. I am not a battle freak, nor much of a ‘hard’ science fiction fan. And, if nothing else, this story of the titanic struggle between earth and the colonies is truly hard science fiction. I ended up loving the hell out of this anime. This message, with the important subtext about believing that life is something far more precious than any product of technology, makes this a strong film. Those who are new to Gundam Wing, I strongly suggest you watch the series first so that you aren’t confused by this movie. If you love Gundam wing you’ll love Endless waltz. Engaging story, complex but likable characters, thought provoking themes about war, and amazing animation that is years ahead of its time. This movie sets a whole new benchmark in the standard of animation that one would expect from anime movies. Gundam Wing has held me in its world for well over a year, and I never tire of what has become a part of me.