Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Special Edition (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, February 16, 2002
Release Date: Monday, February 26, 2001
Endless Waltz is the tie-up-the-loose-ends OVA/movie release that followed up Gundam Wing's finale. Bandai, a bit strangely, released it halfway through their Gundam Wing release cycle (around the same time that Gundam Wing Operation 5 came out)...which seems a bit odd to me. Ah well.
I won't complain, because Endless Waltz is very cool for people who enjoyed Gundam Wing. That is to say, if you're a diehard Gundam fanatic and hated Gundam Wing because it's got pretty boys and Relena and a Char-ripoff, then don't buy it. Nuff said. Don't buy it, and don't complain about it. :P
Still with me? Good. The video quality on Endless Waltz is very good and sharp, as with many Bandai releases lately. The fact that there's BOTH the OVA and movie version on here adds to the value, because both of them look VERY nice. For people worried about compression, this obviously is a dual-layered disc, so it's not as bad as you might think. Though then again, I'm not particularly EVER worried about those things, so take that as you will.
The sound is very nice. I do prefer the movie version simply because the remixed English 5.1 soundtrack sounds great. The 2.0 audio for the OVAs is fine, though, so fret not while watching. The fact that either of the two versions contain my favorite and second favorite Two-Mix song, depending, only adds to my enjoyment of the audio. :)
The first thing you notice when you see the Endless Waltz keepcase is the shiny foil-like cover. The image of the re-design of Wing Zero adorns the cover, wings spread, feathers flying (why a machine would lose feathers--ah, nevermind). It's a nice cover, overall, and the back is set up like a Hollywood release, which is an interesting choice, but works well.
The disc also has some nice extras. People actually reading this (both of you) might have even noticed the A+ in the Extras grade. So, how does a disc get an A+ for extras from me, exactly? Apart from the obvious route of transferring a sum of cash into my bank account (which still wasn't enough for Virgin Fleet), you go and stick textless animations with my absolute favorite anime song of all time, White Reflection by Two-Mix. White Reflection was played as the closing song for two of the OVA episodes, and the animation to go with it was pretty cool, one during the story, and one at the end, concluding things. Put them both together, in a nice, one-run-through extra, and you get a very good extras grade.
That ALONE would have gotten an A (yes, I'm shameless) but you also get a Mobile Suit Encyclopedia, with some cool info on the Gundams (and a couple designs I don't think were in Wing, but maybe I missed them), and as if that weren't enough, there is even a small Mixx comic included. Yes, it's all of like 5 pages, but it's neatanyways.
The one thing that would have made me completely ecstatic with the extras would have been a textless version of the movie's ending theme, Last Impression. Too bad Last Impression's last 5 minutes (of like 8) are the rolling credits, with no animation...so a textless version would have been 5/8 boring. :) Oh well, this is forgiveable since it'd be mostly silly...but since Last Impression is my second favorite song...well...:)
Anyways, the story in Endless Waltz has been talked about all over, and Gundam Wing is, for good or bad, very popular and thus has all sorts of reviews all over. So to keep myself spoiler free, I'll just say that I rather enjoyed the story in Endless Waltz. I found it to be a good ending to the TV series, with some good explanation of Operation Meteor, what it was, why it happened, what the heck that teddy bear in the first season's opening scene was for, and also providing some closure to some of the other plots, such as what happened to Zechs, what happened to the Gundams, and so on.
Discount the content review if you didn't like Gundam Wing, because I enjoyed Wing, and Endless Waltz was another few hours of enjoyment. I'm eagerly looking forward to all of Bandai's Gundam releases now, and am counting the days till they arrive.
Pioneer Elite 610 HDTV, Pioneer Elite DV-C36 DVD Changer, Pioneer Elite VSX-35TX Receiver, Pioneer ISO-drive speaker setup, Monster component cables and digital coax cable
Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: A+
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Running time: 180
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing