Ten years ago today, the Gundam Wing movie Endless Waltz made its shocking debut on YTV, forever altering fan expectations for anime exhibition on the station.
On 11 September 2000, YTV made the puzzling decision of airing Endless Waltz before officially starting the 49 episode television series from which it was spun off of. The station had a lot of trouble marketing the series, apparently not at first realizing how heavy a contrast this grim, humourless cartoon bore in relation to the rest of the channel. This was evidenced by the agonizing marketing campaign used for both the series and film. Although they had licensed a version of the TV series that had been censored by Cartoon Network, audiences were shocked to see that the version of Endless Waltz they received was completely uncensored. And they aired it that way. This was an especially ballsy move, given a particularly graphic scene of violence near the end involving the character Mariemaia Khushrenada.
The fact that the film was shown without issue on multiple occasions instilled a great deal of hope for the future of the medium on YTV. Unfortunately, it would be four years before the station actually made good on this potential. Of course, one can only imagine what the implications for this would have been had the debut happened exactly one year later.