James's Pick:

Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz
I was unsure as to how they could possibly do a three volume OAV series to follow up this show and do it justice, but I was rather impressed with the results. The animation is top notch and the story and action are paced wonderfully. Fans of the television series should all be pleased with the background material that this new story provides as well as a certain sense of closure. The only potential problem, for those who just can't get enough of GUNDAM WING, is the feeling of finality that it impresses upon the viewer. While it is good to see something reach completion, it can also feel like saying goodbye.

The story takes place about a year after the conclusion of the television series where the viewer gets to see what everyone has been doing to occupy their time since the last world-threatening military conflict. With no need for giant anthropomorphic war machines, the boys agreed to send their Gundams on a one way trip to the sun. But how long can peace really last? Naturally a new unforeseen political faction ascends to a position where it can threaten enough to obligate the heroes to do something about it. However not everyone does what might be normally expected. They just have to keep things interesting.

Mecha fans rejoice! The design revisions of the Gundams by Hajime Katoki are awesome! It is not too often that you get the chance to see different designer's takes on the same units, but getting the opportunity to actually see them animated as well is a real treat, especially when they are done this well. Five new Gundams, the Tallgeese III and the mysterious new Serpent make their appearance in this story. It is a shame that kits haven't been released for them all.

Ah, but mecha aside... this is a story about the characters. More is learned about their pasts and motivations. Many of the questions that die-hard fans had at the end of the television series are answered. For further information, there is the GUNDAM WING Episode Zero story line appearing in Anime V and the ENDLESS WALTZ novel which overlaps the video series and the Episode Zero events. This is fine for the hard-core fans that need to know absolutely everything, but if you have seen the GUNDAM WING television series, you must check out ENDLESS WALTZ.

James Teal

Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz ©Sunrise/Bandai/Sotsu Agency
©1997 Viz Communications, Inc.