Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz
History is much like an endless waltz. The three beats of war, peace, and revolution continue on forever. However, history will change upon the day of my coronation.
— Mariemaia Khushrenada
At first a 3-part OVA before receiving a full theatrical release, Endless Waltz
concluded the Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
storyline until the release of Frozen Teardrop
In the year After Colony 196, the "Eve Wars" (the conflict between Earth and the Colonies) have ended, and both Treize Khushrenada and OZ have passed from existence. The Earth Sphere Unified Nation (ESUN), and a special peacekeeping police force known as the Preventers, rose from the ashes of OZ. Since they figure they will no longer have a role in the post-war era, four of the five Gundam pilots (with Wufei as the lone holdout) put their Gundams on a giant disposal satellite headed for the sun. Peace reigns supreme on Earth and in space.
This peace would not last, though: on the anniversary of the Eve Wars' end, a rebellion occurs on newly-completed colony L3 X-18999. The rebellion, led by seven-year-old Mariemaia Khushrenada (who reveals herself to be Treize's daughter), kidnaps Relena Darlian (now the Vice Foreign Minister of the ESUN) during a diplomatic visit to the colony. As the Gundam pilots investigate further, they discover that Mariemaia's grandfather — Dekim Barton, a former adviser to martyred colony leader Heero Yuy — really controls the rebellion. Dekim plans to use X-18999 to go through with the "original" Operation Meteor note
if the ESUN doesn't comply with his demands.
The Gundam pilots must prevent Dekim from seizing power over the ESUN, but two things complicate matters: the pilots don't have their Gundams, and the only one that does — Wufei — has defected to Dekim's side
Endless Waltz exclusively contains the following tropes:
- Anime Theme Song: "Last Impression" (used in the movie) as well as "White Reflection" (used in the OAV), both by Two-Mix.
- Animation Bump: The animation quality of the Endless Waltz OVA series/movie is far and away much better than that of the series.
- An Asskicking Christmas: The Battle of Brussels - most of the Gundam pilots plus Noin and Zechs fighting off hundreds of Serpent Mobile Suits. Plus, Heero and Wufei duking it out in orbit.
- Armor-Piercing Question:
- "How many more people must we kill? How many more times must I kill that girl and her dog?"
- After Heero fires his buster rifle at Mariemaia's supposedly secure shelter, she declares "What a miserable person! He-he's not gonna be able to achieve anything!" In response, Relena asks her "are you afraid, Mariemaia?" She has no answer for that.
- Back from the Dead: Zechs
- Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: As Dekim was about to shoot Relena, Lady Une quickly draws her own pistol at Dekim. A gunshot is heard, and Dekim falls over dead, shot by one of his own men.
- The Atoner: It is revealed that Heero became The Atoner after killing a little girl he had befriended, to the point where he believed Redemption Equals Death.
- Because I'm Jonesy: Averted, the novelization explains that Trowa DIDN'T use the name "Trowa Barton" when infiltrating the Mariemaia Army at all. Doubles as Continuity Nod, since the pseudonym he chose was "Ralph Kurt", a character from the side story manga "Blind Target".
- Belated Backstory: The background of the Gundam pilots, via flashbacks.
- Broad Strokes: infamously, this movie featured completely redesigned Gundams even in flashbacks. There have been some manga and novels that attempted to explain the change, usually just settling for an upgrade that happened after the end of the series even if the flashbacks say otherwise. In any case all of the major story events of the series are events of the past.
- Though given the popularity of the new designs, some (but not all!) fans are okay with it being a simple Retcon.
- The redesigns are now canonical. To address this, Hajime Katoki also redesigned the 'first stage' Gundams featured in the show. The manga Glory of the Defeated is a basic retelling of the series with Katoki's designs substituting for Okawara's.
- Butt Monkey: Duo, in a rare Gundam moment that's actually Played for Laughs.
- Christmas Episode: The whole OVA take place on Christmas Eve.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Compared to the Mariemaia Army, the Preventers in general don darker uniforms and outfits. But they're otherwise the good guys.
- Dead Person Impersonation: As it turns out, Trowa isn't really Trowa.
- Demoted to Extra: Hilde only appeared (alongside Duo) in the closing credits of the final OAV and the movie, presumably done to show that she survived the Eve Wars.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Relena gets drugged, falling asleep while several older men watch her, all with evil smiles on their faces. Anyone else getting bad vibes in that scene?
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: Done twice; first by Mariemaia, and later, by Relena.
- Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: Trowa. See Reverse Mole.
- Empathy Doll Shot: In Heero's flashback, after he destroyed an Alliance base, a teddy bear is shown being burned inside one of the buildings. It turns out that the teddy bear belong to a little girl (and her dog) he met before his mission.
- Expy: In addition to Mariemaia being one of Mineva Zabi, the Preventers are reminiscent of Londo Bell.
- Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: Eh, you said that Trowa Barton is not Trowa Barton? Eh, nevermind.* Fighting Fingerprint: Duo recognizes he's fighting Trowa when he recognizes his tactic of excessively firing all of his weapons at him.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: casual viewers can be forgiven for not noticing that the Heavyarms was wearing Trowa's clown half-mask, since most shots of the Gundam are from a long distance and the Heavyarms' face is only closely seen for a half-second.
- George Lucas Altered Version: The movie version actually adds about 20 minutes of additional footage compared to the three episodes of the original. This generally fleshes out the story and characters, adds more action (especially in the climax) and makes the pacing more appropriate for a feature length movie rather than a three episode compilation.
- Grand Theft Prototype:
- The modified Operation Meteor became this once the true nature of the original Operation Meteor was revealed.
- More specifically, Duo and Trowa replaced the original pilots for Death Scythe and Heavy Arms. Heero and Quetra were instructed by their scientists to disobey the original Operation on purpose. Only Wufei chose to go against the plan on his own.
- Also, in Endless Waltz, after arriving on Colony X-18999, Heero and Duo stole two Leos and engaged in battle with Wufei (piloting Altron) and Trowa (piloting Serpent), respectively.
- Heroic Bystander: The nameless soldier who shoots Dekim Barton. The novelization does at least give him a name.
- The people who stand up to the Mariemaia Army.
- I Have Your Wife: A variant. Once Dekim realizes Heero will be able to destroy the Brussels presidential bunker, he tries to get Heero to stop by shouting that Relena is in the bunker with them. It didn't work.
- Improbable Age: Mariemaia. If Episode Zero is to be taken as canon, she's 8 years old. Her voice actor sounds a little too old, but the complexity of her lines, and the rather haughty delivery in the dub, feels way beyond her years. (Even if she is the child of Magnificent Bastard Treize Khushrenada. Then again, Mariemeia was very much manipulated by her grandfather, Smug Snake Dekim Barton.
She's an expy of Mineva Zabi from Zeta and Double Zeta Gundam. The difference is that Haman Khan was using borderline mind control on Mineva to make her give her complex speeches, while, Newtype powers not existing in Wing, Mariemaia just has to be a "really" fast learner.
- Merchandise-Driven: See Broad Strokes. All of the Gundams were redesigned obviously with the intent that they could be sold as new models. This is because most of the revenue for Gundam related content comes from model kit sales.
- Milestone Celebration: the theatrical release was in celebration of Gundam's 20th anniversary. Funnily enough, in the manga, Duo sports a baseball cap for the very same reason.
- Mook-Face Turn: A Mariemeia soldier shoots Dekim Barton after Dekim says that he can find a replacement for Mariemaia after he shot her. He then apologizes that Dekim had made them betray Treize's ideals.
- My Fist Forgives You: An inversion. When Heero, Duo and Trowa are in the colony control room with Mariemaia soldiers, Heero asks Duo to hit him...then returns with a punch to the gut that knocks the wind out of him so Trowa can pretend to take him prisoner and preserve his cover. In effect, Heero explains, he let Duo get in his revenge shot first.
- Necessary Evil: Relena seems to view the existence and necessity of the Preventers as this. Even in a world without conflict, there would still be battles, with the Preventers stepping in to keep the peace.
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Relena, when held hostage by the Barton clan.
- Non-Lethal K.O.: during the final battle, Zechs, Noin, Duo, Trowa and Quatre take on Mariemaia's Serpent army, incapacitating the suits but not killing the pilots.
- Oh Crap!: Mariemaia is the poster child for this at the end of Endless Waltz:
Heero: Your shelter is secure, is it?
Mariemaia: Of course it is! See for yourself just how powerless you are!
Heero: Roger that.
- Protected by a Child: Poor, poor Meriemeia. Well, at least she survived.
- Putting on the Reich: The Mariemaia Army uniforms are very reminiscent of Nazi era uniforms. The pilots wear a get-up modeled on the Hitler Youth uniforms. Regular Mariemaia grunts get bright pink Reich uniforms. Even the Preventers' dark uniforms on the ESUN side bear some stylings reminiscent of the Reich.
- Reverse Mole: Trowa joins the Mariemaia Army undercover. It was short-lived, however; as soon as he tries to assassinate Dekim, Wufei shows up holding a sword to his neck. He then joined the Maiemeia army for real, only to defect when Duo appears. He just wants information, after all.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: It turns out the Gundam pilots were this to the Barton Foundation. Operation Meteor was originally meant to be the first steps for Barton's conquest of Earth. Uneasy with the potential two billion causalities, the Scientists and pilots decide to ignore their orders, and focus their attacks on OZ.
- Rule of Three: It takes 3 shots from the Wing Zero's buster rifle to breach the Brussels presidential bunker.
- Smug Snake: Dekim Barton.
- Symbolic Wings: Wing Zero's upgraded wings are birdlike, whereas Deathscythe Hell's cloak reveals batlike wings, furthering their respective themes.
- Technical Pacifist/Martial Pacifist: The Preventers, or at least that's the idea behind their existence. Relena and her ESUN supporters knew that even in a world without conflict, an armed presence would still have to step in to prevent potential trouble from boiling into another war.
- Super Robot Wars: Used quite often since Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden, to the point that if a SRW game needs a Gundam representative, this is a go to representative to pad out the cast.
- Tempting Fate: "See for yourself just how powerless you are!" Really, Meriemeia? You're telling that to a pilot of the mecha which, because of its presence in the battlefield, changed the tide of Eve Wars, and that's your response? You're just lucky that he No-Selled your shelter defense. No, wait. You're lucky because Relena is there.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: The Gundam Pilots decide to spare the Serpents' pilots and not kill anyone if they can help it, so as a result they aim to disable and not destroy them.
- Title Drop: See above quote.
- What the Hell, Hero?: The battle between Wufei and Heero seems to be also an argument of who deserves this trope more. Wufei for betraying the Gundam Pilots and keeping war going or Heero for living in a peaceful world at the cost of both the soldier's lives and their now perceived uselessness.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Invoked, Defied, and Conversed with Wufei, who joins up with Dekim because he believes the current worldwide peace is a lie built on the deaths of soldiers, whom he feels were discarded like tools. Deconstructed and Reconstructed in his conflict with Heero.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue:
- Duo, together with Hilde, is now running a junkshop.
- Trowa returns to Catherine Bloom and the circus troupe.
- Quatre, reunited with the Maganac Corps, helps in the restoration of the colonies.
- Wufei joins the Preventers as Sally's partner.
- Zechs and Noin take off to Mars for a terraformation project.
- Lady Une takes Mariemaia to visit the grave of Treize Khrushinada.
- Heero and Relena's ending is different from the OVA and the film (the others have at least consistency): the OVA shows Relena at a press conference as Heero watches over her from the shadows, while the film shows the two of them in different places at once. The Manga adaptation shows a THIRD ending where Heero became Relena's bodyguard. The Novelization tried to bridge the gap between OVA and Movie by saying that Heero watches over Relena, and then leaves.