This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2012)
Mobile Suit Gundam
, Title screen
機動戦士ガンダム, (Kidō Senshi Gandamu)
Military science fiction, Real Robot
Anime television series
Yoshiyuki Tomino, Hajime Yatate
Nagoya Broadcasting Network, Animax
Cartoon Network (Toonami)
April 7, 1979 - January 26, 1980
43 (42 in English) (List of episodes)
1979 - 1980
Yoshiyuki Tomino, Hajime Yatate
March 14, 1981
Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow
Yoshiyuki Tomino, Hajime Yatate
July 11, 1981
Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space
Yoshiyuki Tomino, Hajime Yatate
March 13, 1982
Anime and Manga portal
Mobile Suit Gundam (機動戦士ガンダム, Kidō Senshi Gandamu, also known as First Gundam, Gundam 0079 or simply Gundam '79) is a televised anime series, produced by Sunrise. Created and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, it premiered in Japan on Nagoya Broadcasting Network on April 7, 1979, and lasted until January 26, 1980, spanning 43 episodes. It was the very first Gundam series, which has subsequently been adapted into numerous sequels and spin-offs.
In 1981, the series was re-edited for theatrical release and split into three movies. The characters were designed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, and Kunio Okawara was responsible for the mechanical designs, including the eponymous giant robot, the RX-78-2 Gundam. The first movie was released on February 22, 1981.
2 Original concept and development,
6 Compilation movies,
8.1 Earth Federation,
8.2 Principality of Zeon,
9 Opening and ending songs,
11 Gundam-themed Rides
11.1 Gundam the Ride,
11.2 Gundam Crisis Attraction,
12 Video games,
14 Background Research,
15 See also,
17 External links,
See also: List of Mobile Suit Gundam episodes
Set in a fictional universe in the Universal Century year 0079, the Principality of Zeon has declared independence from the Earth Federation, and subsequently launched a war of independence. The conflict has directly affected every continent on earth, also nearly every space colony and lunar settlement. Zeon, though smaller, has the tactical upper hand through their use of a new type of humanoid weapons called mobile suits. After half of all humanity perishes in the conflict, the war settled into a bitter stalemate lasting over 8 months.
The story begins with a newly deployed Federation warship, the White Base, arriving at the secret research base located at the Side 7 colony to pick up the Federation's newest weapon. However, they are closely followed by Zeon forces. A Zeon reconnaissance team member disobeys mission orders and attacks the colony, killing most of the Federation crew and civilians in the process. Out of desperation, citizen boy Amuro Ray accidentally finds the Federation's new arsenal--the RX-78 Gundam, and neutralizes the situation. Scrambling everything they can, the White Base sets out with her newly formed crew of civilian recruits and refugees in her journey to survive, and unknowingly, change the course of the war.
Original concept and development:
The "Mobile Suits" of the show were inspired by the power armors from the American novel Starship Troopers from 1959. Yoshiyuki Tomino's original plot for the anime was considerably much more grim, with Amuro dying halfway through the series, and the crew of the White Base having to ally with Char (who is given a red Gundam), but finally having to battle him after he takes control of the Principality of Zeon. The original concept found expression in a series of novels written by Tomino soon after the show's conclusion, and elements of the storyline weaved themselves into Zeta Gundam and Char's Counterattack.
Tomino met mechanical designer Kunio Okawara when he first worked in two television series from Sunrise. Tomino liked Okawara's work and asked him to collaborate with him in his upcoming project. Originally, the anime would be called "Gunboy" but it was renamed to Mobile Suit Gundam.
The White Base, the mothership of the protagonist crew members, is designed with a 3 plane view method by Kunio Okawara, however, it is not specially designed for the anime series Gundam, it was actually a salvaged design from the anime Invincible Steel Man Daitarn 3. The idea of having a space carrier from the director Yoshiyuki Tomino is partly inspired by the earlier science fiction anime Space Battleship Yamato, in which he claimed to be a fan of. It was intended to be in a more realistic black colour, but was changed to white by the order of Sunrise, similar to the colour change of the main mecha Gundam was changed from a grayish white to white, red, blue and yellow. Director Tomino showed great disgust in the colour change, also noticing the unrealistic non-aerodynamic design of it after the show was on air, said in an interview that such design would never appeared in the real world, since it would be a sitting duck from fighter aircraft. Tomino still held a grudge 10 years after the show aired and stated in an interview in Newtype 1989 April issue that the imaginary enemies of Gundam are Sunrise, sponsors and television stations.
The final episodes (encompassing the battles of Solomon and A Baoa Q) were originally planned to be more elaborate, with exotic Zeon mecha defending the fortresses. Budget cuts scrapped the episodes (and the designs) although at least two (the Dom-like Dowadge and Gelgoog-Like Galbaldy) do become resurrected for Zeta Gundam and Gundam ZZ.
Gundam was not popular when it first aired, and in fact came close to being cancelled. The series was originally set to run for 52 episodes but was cut down to 39 by the show's sponsors, which included Clover (toy company) (the original toymakers for the series). However, the staff was able to negotiate a one month extension to end the series with 43 episodes.
When Bandai bought the copyrights to build plastic models for the show's mecha, which was a relatively new market compared to the old Chogokin series Clover was making, things changed completely. With the introduction of their line of Gundam models, the popularity of the show began to soar. The models sold very well, the show began to do very well in reruns and its theatrical compilation was a huge success. Audiences were expecting another Super Robot TV show, and instead found Gundam, the first work of anime in an entirely new genre: the Real Robot genre.
The series was the first winner of the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize, in 1979 and the first half of 1980. By the end of 2007, each episode of the original TV series averaged a sales figure of 80,928 copies, including all of the different formats it was published in (VHS, LD, DVD, etc.). The first DVD box set sold over 100,000 copies in the first month of release, from December 21, 2007 to January 21, 2008.
In February 1980, Mobile Suit Gundam was aired in Italy, the first country to broadcast the show outside of Japan. It's one of the most appreciated Anime in that country, even today, counting multiple fan clubs and a strong market for both home video and Gunpla.
Mobile Suit Gundam was also later aired by the anime satellite television network, Animax, across Japan, with the series continuing to be aired on the network currently, and later its respective networks worldwide, including Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and other regions.
Hoping to capitalize on the success of Gundam Wing from the previous year, Bandai Entertainment released a heavily edited and English-dubbed version of Mobile Suit Gundam, premiering on Toonami across the United States on Monday, July 23, 2001. The series did not do as well as Wing but the ratings were high enough for the whole series to be aired and to spawn an enormous toy line. Unfortunately, due the September 11th attacks, Cartoon Network, like many other TV stations, began pulling, and editing, war-themed content and violent programming, resulting in the cancellation of the series. However, the series finale was shown as part of Toonami's "New Year's Eve-il" special on December 31, 2001 and the unaired episodes were aired in reruns during 2002.
On Saturday, June 8, 2002, the series was given another chance by Cartoon Network on their late-night Adult Swim block, but it was again pulled before completing its run because of low ratings.
On May 30, 2006, Bandai Entertainment re-released the English dub of the TV series in a 10 volume DVD set. There was no Japanese audio track included, apparently because Yoshiyuki Tomino felt that the original mono mix was in too poor of a condition to use. However, in 2007 the original series was released on DVD in Japan, which sold over 100,000 copies within a month's time from December 21, 2007 to January 21, 2008.
At the 2010 New York Comic Con/New York Anime Festival, Bandai Entertainment announced that they would re-release Mobile Suit Gundam with both Japanese and English dubs. Only one episode out of the 43 episode will not be dubbed, at the request of Yoshiyuki Tomino. Bandai released Gundam in two sets in the summer of 2011. The first set was released on September 13, 2011.
In both American TV showings and on the American DVD release, episode 15 ("Kukurus Doan's Island") was cut out. According to Yoshiyuki Tomino, the animation was not up to his usual standards, the episode becoming a "lost episode" of sorts, never being dubbed. The episode remained on the Japanese DVD release.
In 1979, before the end of the anime, Yoshiyuki Tomino himself created the first novelizations of the original Gundam anime series. The novels, issued as a series of three books, allowed him to depict his story in a more sophisticated, adult, and detailed fashion. Along with this adaptation came several major changes to the story. For example, Amuro is already a member of the Federation military at the time of the initial Zeon attack on Side 7, and the main characters in the Federation serve on the White Base-class ships Pegasus and Pegasus II rather than the Pegasus-class White Base. Additionally, the war continues well into the year UC 0080 in the novels, whereas it concludes at the beginning of that year in the anime series.
Perhaps the most controversial difference between the anime series and the novels is that in the latter, Amuro Ray is killed in the final attack against the Zeonic stronghold of A Baoa Qu when his RX-78-3 is pierced through the torso by a Rick Dom's beam bazooka. This occurs as Char's unit attempts to warn him about Gihren's intention to destroy the fortress and take the Federation's offensive fleet along with it. Char Aznable and the crew of Pegasus II (White Base), along with handpicked men under Kycilia Zabi's command, make a deep penetrating attack against the Side 3 and together kill Gihren Zabi, after which Kycilia is killed by Char. Tomino later lamented that had he known that anime ending would be different and that another series would be made, he would not have killed off Amuro in the novels. Because of such significant deviations from the animated series, movies, and subsequent sequels the novels themselves are not considered canonical; however, the detailed account of past events leading up to the introduction of the mobile suit and early skirmishes of the OYW are more or less accepted in the continuity. Nonetheless, they are often enjoyed by fans because they provide a great deal of detail and help explain the philosophical underpinnings of the Gundam series.
The three novels were translated into English by Frederik Schodt and published by Del Rey Books in September 1990. At the time, there were no officially recognized romanizations of character and mecha names, and a variety of different spellings were being used in the English-language fan community. In the original three novels, therefore, Mr. Schodt wrote the name "Char" as "Sha." "Sha" is a transliteration of the Japanese pronunciation, although Mr. Tomino later publicly confirmed at Anime Expo New York 2002 that the name was originally based on the French name Charles Aznavour, a popular French-language singer. (Interestingly, the 2004 edition of the English translation revealed that Schodt felt that the "Char" rendering "seemed too close" to Aznavour's name.) He also rendered "Zaku" as "Zak," and (after consulting with Mr. Tomino) "Jion" as "Zeon," instead of "Zion," which was in use in some circles. Some North American fans, already attached to particular spellings, took great umbrage at Schodt's renditions, forgetting that in the original Japanese most character and mecha names are written in katakana, and that there were, therefore, no "official spellings." Many years later, when the Gundam series was finally licensed in North America, the rightsholders did come up with a unified list of "official spellings" for English-language material, and some of these spellings include Schodt's renditions, as well as the renditions to which certain North American fans were attached.
In 2004, Frederik Schodt revised his original translation of the books, which had been out of print for nearly a decade. What had been a three volume set in the 1990 Del Rey edition was re-released by Stone Bridge Press as one single volume of 476 pages (with a vastly improved cover design), titled Mobile Suit Gundam: Awakening, Escalation, Confrontation. Since the rights holders in Japan by this time had created a unified (although still evolving) list of romanized character and mecha names, Schodt was able to use it, and Amuro's rival in the novel thus became "Char" and not "Sha"; the popular Zeon Mobile Suit, similarly, became "Zaku," and not "Zak".
Following the success of the Mobile Suit Gundam TV series, Yoshiyuki Tomino returned in 1981 and reworked the footage into three separate compilation movies. The first two movies, Mobile Suit Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam: Soldiers of Sorrow, were released in 1981. The third movie, Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space, was released in 1982.
Each of the three movies is largely composed of old footage from the TV series, however Tomino felt that some things could be changed for the better. Tomino removed several aspects of the show which he felt were still too super robot-esque for the real robot series he intended Gundam to be, such as the Gundam Hammer weapon. The G-Armor upgrade parts were also completely removed and replaced in the narrative by the more realistic Core Booster support fighters, and Hayato receives a RX-77 Guncannon at Jaburo to replace the disadvantaged RX-75 Guntank. The third movie also includes a substantial amount of new footage expanding on the battles of Solomon and A Baoa Qu.
In 1998, the three compilation movies were first released for directly to VHS subtitled into English as part of Bandai's AnimeVillage releases, which makes them among the first Gundam works released in English. The movies were released again in North America on May 7, 2002 in DVD format, available separately or in a boxed set. These are also available only with re-done Japanese audio with English subtitles, the DVDs identical to the 20th anniversary release of the movie compilation in Japan. The original Japanese voice cast members rerecorded their lines with the exception of those who were deceased. The 20th anniversary release was digitally remastered and many of the sound effects were replaced, most notably the futuristic gun sounds being replaced by louder machine gun sound effects. Also, the music soundtrack, while not remixed was rearranged and in some cases removed from some scenes. The vocal songs are rearranged also, especially in the closing credits of the second and third movies.
Bandai Visual has announced the re-release of the Mobile Suit Gundam movies on DVD from new HD masters and with the original, theatrical, mono audio mix. This box set is scheduled for release in Japan on December 21, 2007.
On May 18, 2010 Bandai Entertainment re-released the movie trilogy under their Anime Legends label.
Mobile Suit Gundam manga, namely Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 and Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, are published in English by Vertical Inc.
Further information: see main article Earth Federation (Gundam)
Principality of Zeon:
Further information: see main article Zeon
Opening and ending songs:
"Tobe! Gundam" (翔べ! ガンダム, Tobe! Gandamu, Fly! Gundam)
Lyrics: Yoshiyuki Tomino (as the pseudonym "Rin Iogi"),
Composition: Takeo Watanabe,
Arrangement: Yuji Matsuyama,
Artist: Koh Ikeda,
"Eien ni Amuro" (永遠にアムロ, Forever Amuro) by Koh Ikeda (TV series),
"Suna no Jūjika" (砂の十字架, Cross of Sand) by Takajin Yashiki (Movie I),
"Ai Senshi" (哀 戦士, Soldiers of Sorrow) by Daisuke Inoue (Movie II),
"Meguriai" (めぐりあい, Encounters) by Daisuke Inoue (Movie III),
"Char ga Kuru" (シャアが来る, Shaa ga Kuru, Here Comes Char) by Hori Koichiro,
"Kirameki no Lalah" (きらめきのララァ, Kirameki no Raraa, Shining Lalah) by Keiko Toda,
"Ima wa Oyasumi" (いまはおやすみ, Now is Good Night) by Keiko Toda - Insert Song in Episode 36,
Wheat St. James
Richard Ian Cox
Gundam the Ride:
"Gundam the Ride: A Baoa Qu" was an amusement park attraction at the Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park located in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan. It was a dark ride for the park.
Gundam the Ride, which opened to the public on July 20, 2000, was based on Mobile Suit Gundam. Set during the final chaotic Battle of A Baoa Qu, Gundam the Ride places its riders in an Escape Launch Shuttle about to leave the battleship Suruga.
The animation of Gundam the Ride used mostly computer graphics, however, all human characters were hand-drawn cel animation, similar to the style current Gundam video games are done in. All of the character designs for Gundam the Ride were done by Haruhiko Mikimoto.
The ride's characters make a cameo appearance in the video game "Encounters in Space" while the player (playing as Amuro Ray in his Gundam) is making his way through the Dolos.
The ride closed on January 8, 2007.
Gundam Crisis Attraction:
Set to replace the original "Gundam the Ride", the main feature of this attraction is a full size 1:1 Gundam model, lying flat inside the venue. Instead of sitting in a movable cockpit and watching a CG movie, it requires participants to carry handheld devices throughout the attraction to find certain pieces of information, similar to a scavenger hunt, in order to activate the Gundam. The interior of the attraction is a mock-up of a Federation ship, and employees remain in-character inside of the ride.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Gundam_video_games
(For the list below, only video games featuring mobile suits appeared in One Year War, or related variations)
There have been many video games based on or with mobile suits from the original Gundam series. Of these, the following have crossed the border into North America:
Gundam Battle Assault, Gundam Battle Assault 2,
Gundam Side Story 0079: Rise From the Ashes,
Mobile Suit Gundam: Journey to Jaburo,
Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front,
Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space,
Mobile Suit Gundam VS Series,
Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire (Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight in Japan),
MS Saga: A New Dawn (Mobile Suit Gundam: True Odyssey in Japan),
Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: Never Ending Tomorrow,
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 (Gundam Musou in Japan),
Current generation games that have been unreleased in countries outside Japan include:
Mobile Suit Gundam (1993 arcade game),
Mobile Suit Gundam: Bonds of the Battlefield,
Mobile Suit Gundam: Spirits of Zeon ~Dual Stars of Carnage~,
Mobile Suit Gundam: Spirit of Zeon ~Memory of Soldier~,
Quiz Mobile Suit Gundam: Monsenshi,
Mobile Suit Gundam Giren's Greed: Blood of Zeon,
Mobile Suit Gundam: Lost War Chronicles,
Mobile Suit Gundam: Climax UC,
Mobile Suit Gundam: The One Year War,
Mobile Suit Gundam: Path of the Soldiers (also referred to as Ace Pilot),
Gundam Battle (series),
SD Gundam G-Generation (series),
SD Gundam SCAD Hammers,
Mobile Suit Gundam: Operation: Troy,
Kidō Senshi Gundam: Senjō no Kizuna,
Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam,
Kidō Senshi Gundam SEED Battle Destiny,
Despite being released in 1979, the original Gundam series is still remembered and recognized within the anime fan community. The series revolutionized mecha anime, introducing the new Real Robot genre, and over the years became synonymous with the entire genre for many. As a result, for example, parodies of mecha genre commonly feature homages to Mobile Suit Gundam, thanks to its immediate recognizability. As part of the 30th Anniversary of the Gundam series, the company officially announced a project on March 11, 2009 called Real-G, a plan to build a 1:1 real size scale Gundam in Japan. It was completed in July 2009 and taken down later. The 18 meter tall statue was reconstructed in Shizuoka Prefecture and was taken down in March 2011.
John Oppliger observes that the characters of Amuro Ray, to whom the young Japanese of that time could easily relate, and Char Aznable, who was "simply ... fascinating", made a major contribution to the series' popularity. He also concludes that "in many respects First Gundam stands for the nostalgic identifying values of everything that anime itself represents".
Mecha anime creator Shoji Kawamori attended Keio University in the same years as Macross screenwriter Hiroshi Ōnogi and character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto, where they had a Mobile Suit Gundam fan club called "Gunsight One", a name they would use years later as the call sign of the bridge of the SDF-1 spaceship from their first Macross anime TV series. In fact, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross mecha anime series was inspired by Gundam in several aspects during its early development.
American musician Richie Kotzen, former guitarist from Poison and Mr. Big, released an album called Ai Senshi ZxR in 2006 in Japan. The album consisted of covered music from the Gundam Series and original songs.
American musician Andrew W.K. also released an album called Gundam Rock on September 9, 2009, in Japan. The album consists of covered music from the Gundam series to celebrate its 30th Anniversary.
Guillermo Del Toro has cited the series as an influence on Pacific Rim.
The background research of Mobile Suit Gundam is well praised in its field, positions in which the colonies (sides) are located in orbit are lagrangian points are based on real scientific theory, while the colonies (sides) are based on the O'Neill cylinder theory. It even caused the fame of the O'Neil cylinder in Japan.