Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz, known in Japan as , is the sequel to Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, both of which are set in the After Colony timeline, an alternate universe to that of the original Gundam series .
Endless Waltz is both sequel and prequel to the Gundam Wing series. It is a sequel as it is a continuation of Gundam Wing, but is also a prequel as it reveals details regarding the past of the Gundam pilots and the true objective behind Operation Meteor.
Endless Waltz was first produced as a three part OVA and later in 1998 a compilation movie was released which also contained new scenes. It was broadcast in the US on Cartoon Network on November 10, 2000.
The Endless Waltz redesign
In Endless Waltz
, all of the major Gundams underwent a massive redesign by Katoki Hajime
. The Gundams are still the same ones that were used at the end of the TV series, although changed from the original TV versions. The Gundams have more stylized and somewhat ostentatious appearances, reflected in the "Angel Wings" on the Wing Gundam Zero
, the much more demonic appearance of the Gundam Deathscythe Hell
, and the more dragon-like appearance on the Altron Gundam
. Zechs Merquise
also appears in the series piloting the new Tallgeese III
, which has several similarities with the Tallgeese II and was most likely created to boost model kit sales. Despite the dramatically different designs of the Gundams, the story in the OVA retcons them
. It is noteworthy that most of these changes in design do not have an overly large impact on most of the Gundams. However, the angel wings redesign of Wing Zero makes its neo bird mode transformation impossible.
Furthermore, in order to maintain a sense of balance, Hajime Katoki also redesigned the original gundams. One of these, the Wing Gundam redesign, has become a very popular model kit. The redesigned version of Wing Zero is also very popular (considered by many to be the true canonical version even) and is known among fans as the Wing Zero Custom.
To date, Super Robot Wars Alpha, in which Endless Waltz debuted, is the only Super Robot Wars installment ever to include both the original series and Endless Waltz.
It is the year After Colony 196 and the battles between Earth and the colonies have ended. Treize Khushrenada
is dead and OZ has come to an end. This gives birth to the Earth Sphere Unified Nation and the Preventers. Seeing they won't be needed anymore, the Gundam pilots (except Wufei
) send their suits into the sun. However, this peace would not last, for a rebellion occurs on the newly completed colony, L3 X-18999. Led by seven year old Mariemaia Khushrenada, Treize's daughter, the rebellion kidnaps Relena
, now the Vice Foreign Minister of the Earth Sphere Unified Nation (ESUN), during a diplomatic mission to X-18999. As the Gundam pilots investigate further, they discover that Mariemaia is merely a puppet controlled by her grandfather Dekim Barton, a former advisor to martyred colony leader Heero Yuy, who is using X-18999 to go through with the original Operation: Meteor, as a contingency plan in case the ESUN doesn't comply. The Gundam pilots must prevent Dekim from seizing power over the ESUN. The Gundams are retrieved from their course to sun to Earth's orbit thanks to Quatre
and the Maganacs. While Heero
uses Wing Zero to battle Wufei, Duo
and Quatre fight against Dekim's forces. In the end, Dekim is killed by one of his own soldiers, Earth and its colonies are at peace once again and all mobile suits, including the Gundams, are forever destroyed.
Cast and characters
Theatrical Version Changes
When Endless Waltz was released in theaters in 1998 as a lead-in to Gundam's 20th anniversary, several new scenes were added, adding approximately ten minutes of new footage to the story. Most of this footage comes in the form of an extended battle scene between the Gundams, but there are a few noteworthy changes that were made between the two versions.
- The titlecards and transitions between episodes were removed, making the three episodes into a single movie.
- Many of the instrumental score cues have been shifted around from the OVA. Additionally, the OVA's ending theme, White Reflection, was replaced with a new theme, Last Impression, performed by TWO-MIX.
- Duo's flashback is moved up to the shuttle flight, just before Heero's; in the OVA, it takes place as Trowa's Serpent fires at Duo's damaged Leo.
- There is a new scene which shows Zechs reading his field manual inside the Tallgeese III and his eventual reunion with Lucrezia Noin. This takes place after he destroys the Mariemaia Army headquarters at MO-3.
- A new scene shows Sally Po, donning a stolen Mariemaia Army uniform, rescuing the hostages on X18999 (including Catherine Bloom and the circus manager).
- The Gundam pilots battle scene in Brussels is lengthened and much longer compared to the OVA.
- Another new scene, taking place after Relena's impromptu speech, has Dorothy Catalonia appear in Brussels, convincing the citizens to heed Relena's words and do things for themselves if they want true peace.
- Another new scene is when Heero and Wing Zero are shown lying underwater, following their battle with Wufei. Wing Zero then re-activates on its own and supposedly convinces Heero to complete his mission.
- The individual character endings are changed to be longer and more elaborate, but remain generally the same in tone.
Manga Version Changes
Published in 1997, the manga version of Endless Waltz was handled by Koichi Tokita, the man responsible for most of the Gundam Wing manga. While the manga cleaves most closely to the OVA, it has several additions and changes not present in either animated version. Please note that this list does not include minor dialogue changes.
- There are minor costume changes throughout the manga. For example, Heero wears a different outfit in his flashback dream, while in the anime, he wore his outfit from the TV series.
- The resource satellite that is launched into the sun is changed into Vulkanus, the mobile doll plant from Battlefield of Pacifists, another Gundam Wing sequel illustrated by Tokita. This fact is alluded to early on, but is more important just before the final battle when Lady Une suggests using the Virgos on Vulkanus to fight Dekim. Zechs flatly refuses the idea, going so far as to threaten Une's life if she makes the order, and insists that he'll handle things personally.
- When Trowa confronts Dekim (and is stopped by Wufei), he claims that he took on Dekim's son's name as a show of allegiance to the Mariemaia Army. Dekim then boasts to the soldiers that the presence of two Gundam Pilots proves that they are just. Interestingly, Dekim says that he harbors no ill will towards Trowa for his son's death.
- Zechs calls Lady Une from a city street to ask for enrollment into Preventer, instead of coming to her office. Unlike the anime, the manga shows his face. Additionally, he knows about the existence of the Tallgeese III, and specifically requests it.
- A brief scene shows a soldier telling Mariemaia about Heero and Duo's break-in, but she simply tells Relena that it's a minor disturbance; Relena, however, immediately knows that it's Heero.
- In the anime, Duo recognizes Trowa as the Serpent's pilot because it uses his preferred tactic of heavy suppression fire. In the manga, he recognizes it because Trowa uses an acrobatic maneuver to dodge one of Duo's attacks.
- Trowa's description of Operation Meteor is accompanied by a series of illustrations showing how the plan would work. Notably, the scene ends with the original five Gundams, but re-imagined in Tokita's style. Though Wing Gundam is identical to Okawara's version, the other four combine elements of Katoki's "Customs" with the originals, such as Gundam Heavyarms' beam gatling and Gundam Sandrock's shoulder missiles. However, just like the animated version, Tokita uses the Custom versions in all flashback sequences.
- Dorothy appears at the beginning of the fourth chapter, watching the Serpents descend from her mansion. Her hairstyle, as well as the mansion, are inspired by Battlefield of Pacifists, in which she played an important role.
- When Dekim, Mariemaia, and Relena arrive at the Presidential mansion, Relena has a brief flashback to a scene from Battlefield of Pacifists, in which Heero promised to be there whenever she needed him.
- Wufei's flashback includes minor elements of Episode Zero, with Master Long disagreeing with Operation Meteor and asking Wufei to fight according to his own sense of integrity.
- Wing Zero and Altron's duel is more equal than in the anime as Wing Zero doesn't receive any damage until the end when Altron stikes its chest, which only happens because Heero chooses not to defend himself.
- A new scene shows Zechs and Lady Une assessing the situation in Brussels before Zechs deploys. In addition to the event described earlier, this scene includes a cameo appearance by Dick Higasaki, the engineer from Tokita's popular spinoff G-Unit.
- Wufei gets a brief flashback to Treize's death; as with the rest of Endless Waltz, this scene replaces Okawara's Altron with Katoki's.
- Dorothy appears among the crowd of civilians near Altron, as do the President and his granddaughter.
- Some character endings are slightly different. Tokita's version features the strongest hints towards a relationship between Heero and Relena, as Heero stays on as her bodyguard, complete with a Secret Service-like suit. On a more humorous note, Duo's ending features him wearing a baseball cap with "Gundam 20th Anniversary" written on the front.
OVA Ending Theme
Movie Ending Theme