Between news about tent poles like Umbrella academy and Strange things, Netflix took the opportunity of its five-day “Geek Week” to make an even more important announcement: The company had the streaming rights to Gundam Hathaway mobile suit, the newest full-length anime in the long-running Mobile Suit Gundam franchise and the first of a planned trilogy of films by Shūkō Murase (Witch hunter Robin, Gangsta). And in addition to the new film, the streamer also brought the first three Gundam compilation films from the 1980s – Mobile suit Gundam I, Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow, Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space – for the first time in the service.
Mobile Suit Gundam is widely credited with maturing the vast robot anime genre and weaving an intricate and purposefully human story about love, war, and the hope for peace under the stars. And for over 40 years, the franchise has represented a cultural phenomenon on a par with Star Wars in Japan, a ubiquitous touchstone of science fiction that can be found in films and TV series, characters and postage stamps life-size statues that can move and perform by themselves.
It includes over 30 different anime series broken down into 10 separate continuities, and getting into Gundam as a newbie can feel like a confusing and impenetrable experience for newbies. While the most recommended entry point for viewers new to the series is a frequently discussed topic, most longtime fans would recommend newbies to start with the original 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam anime, which is in the continuity of the “Universal Century “plays. The “Universal Century” universe refers to all anime, films, manga and other various media that were played before, during or after the “One Year War” between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon. This includes titles like the 1979 original mentioned above, films like 1988 Char’s counterattack
These beautiful posters not only burned themselves into my brain forever – but for those who didn’t start with the brilliance of what Gundam started 42 years ago … you will soon have no excuse to get into the beginning of this infinitely iconic and influential world to immerse.
Char & Amuro expect … https://t.co/31Di2Q9CNC
– (((Jordan Vogt-Roberts))) (@VogtRoberts) June 12, 2021
Played around 79 after the mass colonization of the inner solar system by humanity on board artificial habitats known as “Sides”. Gundam mobile suit follows the story of a galactic war between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon, a militaristic consortium of colonists fighting for independence. The original anime is about Amuro Ray, a teenager who accidentally becomes a pilot of the Gundam, the Earth Federation’s experimental weapon known when Zeon forces attack his home colony, Side 7. On the run from destruction aboard a Federation starship, Amuro and Co. are involuntarily accepted as soldiers in the Earth Federation in order to survive the fight against Zeon’s armed forces.
The core of the appeal of the original Mobile Suit Gundam – aside from the obvious appeal of just watching cool giant robots challenge it – is the human drama that anchors it. Don’t get me wrong: Kunio Okawara’s mecha designs are iconic and gave birth to virtually the entire “mechanical design” profession in anime, but the series’ most enduring strength is its characters. Amuro Ray was the template for in many ways Neon Genesis Evangelionby Shinji Ikari; a teenager caught in extraordinary circumstances and forced to pilot an extraordinary weapon at the behest of those who see him only as a pawn in their own sophisticated game. The audience witnesses the gradual unwinding of Amuro’s psyche, while the deadly toll of being repeatedly thrown to the death in encounters both hardens his worldview and weakens his resolve.
Char Aznable, the antagonist of the series, is also a fascinating cipher of a character. The masked military prodigy’s impressive skills as a mobile suit pilot and commander in the service of the Principality of Zeon hide a seething and ominous vengeance against the ruling nobles of the government. He’s without question one of the, if not the most popular characters in the entire franchise; to the point where he’s essentially in. has transformed a recurring archetype that is repeated across the other series in the franchise
For years, the original Mobile Suit Gundam series existed as an indispensable but frustratingly inaccessible entry point for would-be fans in the West. The English adaptation of the series originally aired on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block in 2001, but was withdrawn before it reached full running time due to a similarity between events in later episodes and the attacks on the World Trade Center. Aside from home video releases, there were no other ways for Western Gundam fans or Gundam intrigues to watch the anime that started it all.
That ch anged last November when anime publisher and streaming service Funimation announced the original series available to stream through their website
While some die-hard Gundam fans may scoff at the idea of suggesting that first-time viewers experience the epic story of Amuro Ray through compilation films when the original anime series (with both subtitles) and an English dub!) is already on not one, but two major anime streaming platforms, but there are actually several good reasons to watch the movie versions on Netflix. For starters, the Gundam film trilogy tells a more succinct story, while scenes rushed during the show’s initial production are reworked and new animations added for a more dramatic effect in the latter films. And there’s a historical meaning: the Mobile Suit Gundam films effectively revived the franchise after the original anime was prematurely canceled.
According to Yoshiyuki Tomino in a 2019 Japanese television documentary Making Gundam: The Inside Story, Gundam mobile suit was always intended as a television series that could later be turned into a feature film – a plan that would replicate the success of the 1977s Space Battleship Yamato: The Movie, itself a compilation film made from edited footage from the original 1974 anime. Despite the series’ grandiose ambitions to weave a moving human war survival drama spanning multiple arcs, the show’s initial reviews neither recognized nor rewarded such ambitions. Halfway through the series Gundam mobile suit was canceled and reduced from the original number of 52 episodes to 39. With the anime now practically endless, Tomino and the show’s staff were finally able to negotiate a final 43 episodes to complete the story. Then something wonderful happened.
The rating success of Gundam mobile suits latter episodes, combined with the commercial success of the show’s merchandise and a growing teen following, convinced the show’s creators that a feature film of the show was still doable. The success of the theater trilogy published between 1981 and 1982 eventually led to the production of Zeta Gundam mobile suit, a sequel eight years after the original.
From then on, the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise has grown and expanded continuously. A new trilogy is on the way. And in addition to letting go Gundam Hathaway mobile suit In July, Netflix will produce a live-action film, Mobile Suit Gundam directed by Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The last man) and directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island).
In addition to being a sloppy round-up of the original series, the Mobile Suit Gundam films are essential entries in the history of the franchise and a sufficiently worthy introduction for the first-time audience to experience Gundam.