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A Deep View of the World and a Treasure Trove of Characters. Gundam maintaining its popularity over thirty years.

A Deep View of the World and a Treasure Trove of Characters
Gundam maintaining its popularity over thirty years

Mainstream Japanese Animation

Throughout the world, when you talk about Japanese subculture, anime is one factor that can’t be left out. And one of the main anime forming that part of the subculture has to be Mobile Suit Gundam.

The first Gundam

Let’s look back on Mobile Suit Gundam. It’s hard to believe today, but when it was first broadcast in 1979 the ratings were so low that it was canned. However, anime magazines wrote enthusiastically features on the show with its theme of “war” and the anti-hero characters. The increasing number anime fans inspired by Space Ship Yamato began to discover Gundam, and its popularity gradually grew. Eventually it was repeated, and re-repeated, attaining high ratings. Model figurines of the mobile suits that appeared in the anime began to sell thanks to the anime’s appeal and Gundam was on the road to immortality.

TV anime Mobile Suit Gundam 00 – What future will the 4 Gundams have in store for us?

The first series of “00” finished in March 2008. The second series, set 4 years after the end of the first, will start on October 5 this year. It is set on Earth in the year 2307. The Celestial Beings have arrived with 4 Gundams announcing they will finish the war. Four kids aged in their teens and twenties use the Gundams to take on the world led by three big nations. Because they are so young they have both strengths and weaknesses, their characters have had an impact on all generations. It is an anime that will bridge new Gundam fans with hard core fans.

※The second series of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 will be broadcast on the MBS/TBS network on Sundays from 5pm from October 5, 2008. The leading character is Setsuna F Seiei who struggles in the battlefield in the 00 Gundam suit.

Gundam’s 30th anniversary next year marked by two new works

Tomino Yoshiyuki was the first to direct Gundam, and since then a number of other directors have tried their hand inheriting the Gundam legacy, including 2 new works in 2007: the 12 part TV animation Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (Double 0) and the novel Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn). They are both important works in the 30 year history of Gundam.

The dense world of Novel version of Mobile Suit Gundam UC – Bokoku no Aegis written by Fukui Harutoshi

The other work is “UC”, which is set three years after Mobile Suit Gundam Char’s Counter Attack. The writer Fukui Harutoshi has won the 53rd Japan Mystery Writers Award for his work Bokoku no Aegis, and also wrote the book ∀ (Turn A) Gundam, which the movie Lorelei was based on. The novel fills in details bridging the gaps in the series. It’s the work respecting the original Gundam, appealing to old fans.

※Mobile Suit Gundam UC is a must read for Gundam fans. The detailed discriptions of each Gundam is really good for the uninitiated as well. Volumes 1-5 published by Kadokawa Shoten are on sale now.

It’s the depth that gets you in

Japanese anime is under the spotlight throughout the world, and the Gundam figurines are making inroads not only in Japan, but in Asia and Europe as well. The constant release of the high quality sequels including Mobile Suit Gundam Z, Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 Stardust Memory and ∀ Gundam may be the secret behind the continuing (or increasing) popularity of Gundam. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Gundam, why don’t you check out the whole series on a long autumn night?

gundamMG RX-78-2 GundamVer.2.0

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