After reviewing the series in Issue 18, it only seems natural to cover the movie here. Endless Waltz was released as a three-part OVA (Original Video Animation) to tell one final story in that timeline. The show had been popular enough to warrant such and the writers managed to come up with something that both tells a new story but also ties back to the beginning of the series.
Taking place a year after the series ended, the Earth Sphere Unified Nation (the name given to the Earth and colonies) is at peace and the gundam pilots have (for the most part) concluded that they don’t need their gundams any more so they send them toward the sun to be destroyed. Why they need to do so when they can trigger their self-destruct is beyond me but I suppose it makes for a useful get-out clause later.
However, the moment they do so something happens and war begins once again. It turns out the original Operation Meteor was something entirely more drastic and deadly than what happened in the series and the originators of that plan decide to try once again to claim the world as their own...
The movie is good, not perfect, with a few issues that I find do take away from the enjoyment in my mind. First off is how the repeated flashbacks really slow down the story, at points appearing mid-combat sequence. They are good flashbacks, telling a lot more about the pasts of the main characters and showing how they became the pilots, however I feel that could have been a different movie altogether instead of flipping between past and present so often.
Second of all is the redesigned mobile suits. Now don’t get me wrong I LOVE the new suits, with the redesigns of Heavyarms and Altron being some of my favourite mobile suit designs ever, but my major gripe is that certain flashback footage from during the series features these designs as if they had always been this way. We are expected to act like they had always looked like this, when we know full well they didn’t and I don’t like that. Especially in 2017, 21 years after the movie came out and we are likely to be watching this directly after finishing the series.
But that aside, I do enjoy this film. I grew up with Gundam Wing and as a younger man I think it was a lot easier to let those things lie, especially when the fight scenes are so good.
The feature length movie version of this story (essentially the three parts sewn together) also features one of my favourite anime songs ever. Two-Mix returned to provide two more tracks for this movie, White Reflection for the OVA and Last Impression for the movie, and it is the latter that remains to this day one of my favourites.
If you enjoyed the series, you will likely enjoy this too, especially if you are able to get past the constant time-jumping.