Are you new to the world of Mobile Suit Gundam? With over 40 years of history, it can be overwhelming to dive into this iconic mecha anime franchise. But fear not! In this beginner’s Guide to know Mobile Suit Gundam, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive overview of Mobile Suit Gundam, its various series, timelines, and where to start. Whether you’re a fan of giant robots, intense battles, or captivating storytelling, Gundam has something for everyone. Let’s embark on this exciting journey and discover the rich universe of Mobile Suit Gundam together!
What is Mobile Suit Gundam?
Mobile Suit Gundam, often referred to as Gundam, is a long-running Japanese mecha anime franchise created by Yoshiyuki Tomino. It first premiered in 1979 and has since become one of the most influential and popular series in the genre. Gundam is set in a future where humanity has expanded into space colonies and is embroiled in conflicts involving giant humanoid robots called Mobile Suits. These Mobile Suits are piloted by skilled individuals and play a crucial role in the ongoing wars and political struggles.
The Origins: Mobile Suit Gundam 0079
The One Year War
The original Mobile Suit Gundam series, also known as Mobile Suit Gundam 0079, is set during the “One Year War.” It follows the story of Amuro Ray, a young civilian who becomes the pilot of the powerful RX-78-2 Gundam. As Amuro fights alongside the Earth Federation against the Principality of Zeon, he discovers the harsh realities of war and the complexities of human nature. Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 serves as the foundation of the franchise and introduces key themes and iconic Mobile Suits that have become synonymous with Gundam.
The Universal Century Timeline
The Universal Century (UC) timeline is the primary setting for the Gundam franchise. It encompasses various series, movies, and OVAs that are interconnected and form a cohesive narrative. Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 is the starting point of the UC timeline, followed by sequels, prequels, and side stories that further explore different eras and conflicts within this universe. Understanding the Universal Century timeline is essential for fully appreciating the depth and continuity of the Gundam franchise.
Further Readings: Gunpla Grades for Beginner
Expanding the Universe: Alternate Universes and Spin-offs
In addition to the Universal Century timeline, Gundam has also expanded into alternate universes and spin-off series. These stories offer fresh perspectives, unique settings, and different thematic elements while still maintaining the core essence of Gundam. Here are some notable examples:
1. Gundam Wing
2. Gundam Seed
Gundam Seed takes place in the “Cosmic Era” timeline and revolves around the conflict between genetically enhanced humans known as Coordinators and normal humans known as Naturals. The story follows Kira Yamato, who becomes the pilot of the Gundam Strike and finds himself caught in the middle of a war that could determine the fate of humanity.
3. Gundam Build Fighters
Gundam Build Fighters introduces a unique concept in which characters build and customize their own Gundam models to compete in virtual battles. It offers a lighter tone and focuses on the passion and creativity of Gundam fans. While not directly connected to the main Gundam timeline, it celebrates the franchise’s rich history and serves as a love letter to fans.
Standalone Stories: Gundam 00 and Iron-Blooded Orphans
Gundam 00 and Iron-Blooded Orphans are standalone series that have gained significant popularity in their own right. These series, while not directly tied to the Universal Century or alternate universes, present compelling narratives that explore into social, political, and moral issues.
1. Gundam 00
Gundam 00 is set in the “Anno Domini” timeline and presents a world divided by three major superpowers and the conflict surrounding the use of solar energy. The story follows the paramilitary organization Celestial Being and their Gundam Meisters, who aim to eradicate war and bring about peaceful coexistence. Gundam 00 is known for its complex characters, intricate plotlines, and thought-provoking themes.
2. Iron-Blooded Orphans
Iron-Blooded Orphans takes place in the “Post-Disaster” timeline and centers around a group of child soldiers known as Tekkadan. They pilot ancient Mobile Suits called Gundam Frames and navigate a world plagued by corruption, power struggles, and the exploitation of Mars’ resources. Iron-Blooded Orphans delves into themes of family, loyalty, and the consequences of war.
Guide to Mobile Suit Gundam Where to Start Watching
With so many different Gundam series and timelines, it can be challenging to know where to begin. Here are some recommended guide starting points to Mobile Suit Gundam:
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin is a prequel series that explores the events leading up to the original Mobile Suit Gundam. It provides essential context and backstory, making it an excellent starting point for newcomers. It also offers updated animation and a fresh take on the early days of the Universal Century timeline.
Mobile Suit Gundam 0079
For those who prefer to start with the original series, Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 is the way to go. It introduces the iconic RX-78-2 Gundam and establishes the core themes and conflicts of the franchise. While the animation may feel dated compared to newer entries, its impact and significance cannot be overstated.
1. Gundam Wing
Gundam Wing offers a self-contained story set in an alternate universe. It provides a different entry point for newcomers and is known for its ensemble cast, political intrigue, and stylish mecha designs. Gundam Wing captures the essence of Gundam while offering a unique narrative experience.
2. Gundam Seed
Gundam Seed is another standalone series set in an alternate universe. It presents a modern retelling of the original Mobile Suit Gundam story with updated animation and a fresh perspective. Gundam Seed is a great starting point for those who prefer a more contemporary art style and storytelling approach.
3. Gundam 00
Gundam 00 is set in its own timeline and offers a compelling narrative with complex characters and thought-provoking themes. Its modern animation and high-quality production make it an excellent entry point for newcomers looking for a visually stunning and intellectually engaging Gundam experience.
4. Iron-Blooded Orphans
Iron-Blooded Orphans provides a standalone story that can be enjoyed independently. Its focus on character development, gritty atmosphere, and morally gray conflicts make it an appealing starting point for those who prefer a darker and more mature Gundam narrative.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Q: Will I miss out on important details if I skip the Universal Century timeline?
A: While the Universal Century timeline is the foundation of Gundam, each series can be enjoyed on its own. However, exploring the Universal Century can provide a deeper appreciation for the franchise’s overarching narrative and historical context.
- Q: Are there any connections between the different Gundam timelines?
A: The alternate universes and spin-offs are typically not connected to the Universal Century timeline. However, they may share thematic elements, mecha designs, or philosophical ideas, showcasing the versatility and creativity of the Gundam franchise.
- Q: Which Gundam series has the best animation?
A: Each Gundam series has its own unique animation style and quality. The newer entries, such as Gundam 00 and Iron-Blooded Orphans, benefit from modern animation techniques and high production values.
- Q: Can I watch Gundam series out of order?
A: While it’s generally recommended to watch Gundam series in their intended order, many can be enjoyed independently. Starting with standalone series or alternate universes is a valid approach if you prefer a specific storyline or aesthetic.
- Q: Is Mobile Suit Gundam suitable for younger audiences?
A: Gundam series vary in terms of content and target demographic. Some series, like Gundam Wing and Gundam Build Fighters, have a more youth-oriented tone, while others, like Iron-Blooded Orphans, tackle mature themes and may not be suitable for younger viewers.
Mobile Suit Gundam has captivated audiences for over 40 years with its epic battles, nuanced characters, and thought-provoking themes. With this guide whether you’re a newcomer or a long-time fan to Mobile Suit Gundam, there’s always something new to discover in the vast Gundam universe. Equip yourself with a thorough understanding of the different timelines, explore alternate universes, and immerse yourself in the compelling narratives to embark on your own Gundam journey. So grab your Mobile Suit and get ready to experience the thrilling