Mania Grade: A
0 Comments | Add
Rate & Share:
- 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
- MSRP: 29.95
- Running time: 180
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Special Edition
By Brian Chen
February 16, 2002
Release Date: February 26, 2001
"History is like an endless waltz. The three beats of war, peace, and revolution continue on forever..."
I'll assume that if you're interested in purchasing Endless Waltz, you've already watched the television series that was shown on Cartoon Network. As most were, I was wowed by the high action and the almost soap-opera drama. Endless Waltz continues the tradition with more intense action and some extremely cool looking robots.
You are almost required to watch the television series to actually understand the story. What is the story, anyways? Peace has returned to the Earth and the colonies after the Gundam's victory one year ago, under the rule of the "Earth Sphere Unified Nation" government. It is Christmas Eve, AC 196. Heero, Duo, Quatre, and Trowa have decided to destroy their Gundams; Wufei has chosen not to for unknown reasons. Relena Peacecraft has been kidnapped by Mariemaia Khushrenada (Treize's daughter). Now they have to retrieve their Gundams back and be able to stop Mariemaia's conquest of the Earth. Interesting, to say the least.
The animation is marvelous, as with all OVAs (in general). However, the DVD's video transfer wasn't so amazing. The video looks more like a VHS rather than DVD. There are a few parts where CG effects were added in (most notably is the asteroid). They come off awkward and seem ahead of their time, but they are briefly done, and doesn't hamper the overall presentation.
The movie version of Endless Waltz is much more enjoyable than the OVA, in my opinion. Instead of the hip J-Pop music "White Reflection," there is a slower song called "Last Impression" which I think covers the drama much more effectively. The ending scene has a complete new look, and the relation with Duo, the shop owner, and Hilde is absolutely hilarious. ^_-
Good god, the actors are unbelievably talented. The dub actors are some of the best out there, though cannot match the emotion conveyed by the Japanese ones. Mark Hildereth, the English voice of Heero Yuy, seems to pace himself and peruse the cue card rather slowly. Yet his voice matches rather nicely, if not a bit colder.
The DVD somewhat has one and a half movies for the price of one. You get the OVA version and the theatrical release, which has five-speaker surround sound and three minutes of deleted footage. This is a BIG step, because the Cartoon Network dub was shown in monaural.
Sigh... the subtitles are the ordinary yellow subtitles. When will all companies learn? The new, bold white ones with black borders are much easier to read than these. However, Endless Waltz mainly takes place in space and dark places, so it's not that it's _too_ hard to read.
The menus are definitely some of the best I've ever seen. The main start-up screen is Wing Zero with snowflakes falling down around it. You get an extremely nice piece of OVA music in the background, as well. When you select a destination, an animation plays (like Wing Zero blasting off or Deathscythe creating some random mecha violence ^^;).
Wow, the extras are actually good for a change! You get trailers, the textless OVA ending, and a Mobile Suit Encyclopedia that ranges from Serpents to the Tallgeese III. Within the biographies of the Mobile Suits, you get all the modifications, statistics, and some pictures. Nifty, indeed.
This is nothing that changes the score, but I'll add it nonetheless; the package absolutely rocks. The Special Edition cover received a very cool foil look, in addition to the beautiful picture of Wing Zero in space. The insert is nothing special by itself, but is still a nice gesture by the companies.
The OVA successfully ends the Gundam Wing saga and is a requirement for any Gundam fan. With great extras, good video, stellar music, and excellent extras, it's an extremely nice package!
Panasonic DVD-RV65, JBL speakers, Sony 52" projection TV