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 *
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.
- An Asskicking Christmas
- Armor-Piercing Question: "How many more people must we kill? How many more times must I kill that girl and her dog?"
- Back from the Dead: Zechs
- 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.
- 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.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: Done twice; first by Mariemaia, and later, by Relena.
- 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.
- Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: Eh, you said that Trowa Barton is not Trowa Barton? Eh, nevermind.
- 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, in a fit of rage, shoots Mariemeia who protecting Relena and saying that he can find another replacement for her. He then apologizes that Dekim had made them betray Treize's ideals.
- 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.
- Protected by a Child: Poor, poor Meriemeia. Well, at least she survived.
- 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 defected when Duo appears. He just wants information, after all.
- Smug Snake: Dekim Barton
- 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.
- Title Drop: See above quote.
- "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.