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Episode 1: Silent Orbit

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: February 23, 2001
New Review: September 22, 2010

 

Summary

 

On December 24, AC 195, a three-way battle is waged between the Gundam pilots, the World Nation and the colonial rebel group White Fang. A portion of White Fang's massive space battleship Libra falls into Earth's atmosphere, but it's destroyed by Wing Gundam Zero pilot Heero Yuy. The desire of Earth and the space colonies to coexist led to the creation of the Earth Sphere United Nation. In AC 196, Preventer Water (aka Sally Po) is surprised to find neo titanium in space. On a natural resource satellite, Duo Maxwell and Quatre Raberba Winner supervise the loading of Wing Zero, Gundam Deathscythe Hell, Gundam Sandrock Kai and Gundam Heavyarms Kai. After returning to their shuttle, Quatre activates the satellite's engines so that it can begin its long journey into the sun. Duo comments that Wufei Chang didn't bring his Altron Gundam, and Quatre says that Heero and Trowa Barton sent theirs right away when asked. On December 24, the ESUN holds a party at the MO-II asteroid to mark the one year anniversary of the war's end. Lady Une comments to Lucrezia Noin that during the same time last year, people weren't able to enjoy Christmas. The ESUN President gives a speech and states that everyone who died in the war didn't die in vain because the end result was peace. Noin thinks that it's harder to maintain peace than to attain it, and Une counters that's why the government backs the Preventers. Sally calls Noin and tells her that the neo titanium could relate to the 13th constellation: a new mobile suit model. Elsewhere, Vice Foreign Minister Relena Darlian visits Colony X18999, which has experienced stagnation ever since it first opened seven years earlier. Relena takes a sip from her tea and immediately passes out from the drug that has been slipped into it. A man named Dekim Barton tells a girl named Mariemaia that there's nothing wrong with wishing for peace, so long as humanity is ready for it. Trowa's circus performs on a colony, and Catherine Bloom comments on the crowd's disappointingly small size. Trowa spots a couple of suspicious men and beats them up outside. He looks at the ID of one of the men, which comes from the Barton Foundation. Trowa then recalls when he was referred to as "no name" and worked as a technician on the Gundam Heavyarms for the real Trowa Barton. The real Trowa showed him a picture of his sister Leia and her daughter Mariemaia, whom Barton claimed would rule the Earth once they conquered it. Heero works at a computer and looks up information on Leia and Mariemaia. He tells Duo that Relena has been kidnapped and leaves. Dekim addresses the soldiers of the Mariemaia Army and tells them that their time has come. Trowa is exposed as an infiltrator and tries to attack Dekim, but Wufei stops him. Sally calls Noin and reports that she's found the source of their trouble, which Noin correctly guesses is Lagrange 3. Sally reports that the source is Colony X18999, led by Mariemaia Barton. She expects that they'll declare independence or war against Earth, and she adds that Relena went missing after visiting the colony. Noin is surprised by the news and changes her ship's rendezvous course with Sally.

 

Relena wakes up on a bed and is greeted by Mariemaia, whom she initially assumes is a fellow hostage. The girl introduces herself as Mariemaia Khushrenada, daughter of deceased World Nation leader Treize Khushrenada. She says she wants to carry out her father's wishes, but when Relena protests, Mariemaia tells her to shut up. Several soldiers then rush into the room, but Mariemaia quickly dismisses them. She states that she's going to lead the ESUN and is having this meeting only out of respect for Relena since she was queen of the World Nation. Relena asks what Mariemaia is going to do with her now, and Mariemaia laughs and answers that she'll find out soon enough. Duo talks to Heero as their shuttle flies through space, until he notices that Heero has gone to sleep without saying anything. Heero recalls his days prior to being a Gundam pilot, when he met a young girl and her small dog Mary. Later, Heero set off explosives at an OZ base on the colony as part of his mission. One of the exploding Leos crashed into a nearby civilian building, and the next morning Heero found a damaged teddy bear and Mary's body. He picked up the dead dog and walked through the streets with it. At the time, Dekim ordered Doctor J to retrain Heero as a Gundam pilot. Duo wakes Heero up and tells him that the little girl is making an announcement. Mariemaia introduces herself as a Khushrenada, announces the independence of Colony X18999 and declares war on Earth. She claims that she's carrying out her father's will, and the ESUN President angrily asks Une how this could've happened. Une wonders if they can stop this without help, and she's surprised when Zechs Merquise walks in and asks for the codename Wind for someone who puts out fires. Noin calls Duo's shuttle as it enters Lagrange 3, and he says he's bringing a present for the Christmas party. Noin asks him and Heero to join forces with her again, and Duo offers to think about it. Sally then changes their ship's course to divert the attention of the Taurus mobile suits away from Duo and Heero. Several Tauruses open fire on the shuttle, but Sally's ship fires missiles at them. Duo crash lands inside one of the colony's open ports as Sally and Noin escape. Quatre is joined on a transport ship by Rashid Kurama and the rest of the Maganac Corps, and he wishes he had never suggested sending the Gundams into the sun. Rashid says no one could have anticipated this, so Quatre shouldn't worry too much. Quatre estimates that the satellite is 50 days away from orbit of Venus, so they should be able to barely catch up with it. Duo and Heero steal two Leos and fight against the Mariemaia Army's Leos. They split off, and Duo immediately encounters a new Serpent mobile suit piloted by Trowa. Heero destroys several Leos and is attacked by Wufei's Altron Gundam. Wufei says that he's always wanted to fight Heero like this and attacks with his glaive. Heero asks what's going on, and Wufei asks him if everyone else is doing the right thing.

 

Commentary

 

The first episode of Endless Waltz opens with the end of Gundam Wing as its prologue. Everything definitely looks nicer with the benefit of an OVA budget, especially the animation of mobile suits. The new designs by Hajime Katoki are quite a change from the TV originals and have been a point of contention for many fans over the years. We see that Earth has been at peace for a year, but that peace is shattered by the appearance of the Mariemaia Army and its leader, Mariemaia Khushrenada. She claims to be taking up her father's mantle, but it's clear that what she's doing is the opposite of what Treize wanted. As a young, red-haired child of a famous politician who's being used as a puppet, it's clear that she's a copy of Mineva Zabi from Zeta Gundam and Gundam ZZ. Aesthetically, her youth soldiers seem to be patterend almost exactly after the Hitler Youth, which is just a tad bit creepy. Everyone is up to something as this new crisis unfolds, and even Zechs returns to lend a hand. One of the good things this OVA does is start to shed some light on the background of the Gundam pilots prior to the start of the series. This episode shows us Heero and Trowa. We see that Trowa literally had no name and worked with the jerk who really was Trowa. We also finally see the significance of the damaged teddy bear from the TV series' opening sequence: it belonged to the girl killed as collateral damage in one of Heero's terrorist attacks.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Wing Endless Waltz Episode 1 Gundam Wing Endless Waltz Episode 1
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