|Created by||Hajime Yatate|
|Original work||Mobile Suit Gundam|
|Owner||Bandai Namco Filmworks (directly and through Sotsu)|
|Films and television|
|Television series||See below|
|Traditional||Gundam War Collectible Card Game|
|Video game(s)||See list|
|Toy(s)||Gunpla (plastic Gundam models)|
The Robot Spirits
S. H. Figuarts
Military science fiction
Gundam (Japanese: ガンダムシリーズ, Hepburn: Gandamu Shirīzu, lit. Gundam Series) is a Japanese military science fiction media franchise. Created by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Sunrise (now Bandai Namco Filmworks), the franchise features giant robots, or mecha, with the name "Gundam". The franchise began on April 7, 1979, with Mobile Suit Gundam, a TV series that defined the "real robot" mecha anime genre by featuring giant robots called mobile suits (including the original titular mecha) in a militaristic setting. The popularity of the series and its merchandise spawned a franchise that includes 50 TV series, films and OVAs as well as manga, novels and video games, along with a whole industry of plastic model kits known as Gunpla which makes up 90 percent of the Japanese character plastic-model market.
As of March 2020, the franchise is fully owned by Bandai Namco Holdings through subsidiaries Sotsu and Sunrise. The Gundam franchise had grossed over $5 billion in retail sales by 2000. By 2022, the annual revenue of the Gundam franchise reached ¥101.7 billion per year, ¥44.2 billion of which was retail sales of toys and hobby items.
Mobile Suit Gundam was developed by animator Yoshiyuki Tomino and a changing group of Sunrise creators with the collective pseudonym of Hajime Yatate. The series was originally entitled Freedom Fighter Gunboy (or Gunboy) for the robot's gun, with teen boys the primary target demographic. Early production had a number of references to freedom: the White Base was originally "Freedom's Fortress", the Core Fighter was the "Freedom Wing" and the Gunperry was the "Freedom Cruiser". The Yatate team combined the English word "gun" with the last syllable of the word "freedom" to form the portmanteau Gundom. Tomino changed it to Gundam, suggesting a unit wielding a gun powerful enough to hold back enemies like a hydroelectric dam holding back water. In keeping with the concept, Gundams are depicted as prototypes or limited-production, with higher capabilities than mass-produced units.
Most Gundams are large, bipedal, humanoid vehicles controlled from a cockpit by a human pilot. The cockpit is located in the torso, while the head serves as a camera to transmit images back to the cockpit. Most of the series protagonists are Newtypes, genetically advanced humans adapted for space. Newtypes have psychic abilities that enable them to sense each other across space and to utilize special mobile suits.
Mobile Suit Gundam reportedly pioneered the real robot subgenre of mecha anime. In contrast to its super robot cousins, Mobile Suit Gundam attempted realism in its robot design and weaponry by running out of energy and ammunition or malfunctioning. Its technology is derived from actual science (such as Lagrange points and the O'Neill cylinder in space, and the use of Helium-3 as an energy source) or feasible technology requiring only a few fictional elements to function (such as Minovsky Physics).
Most of the Gundam animation (including the earliest series) is set in what is known as the Universal Century (UC) calendar era, with later series set in alternate calendars or timelines. Although many new Gundam stories are told in their parallel universe with independent timelines (giving them greater creative freedom), the original UC storyline continues to be popular, with new installments frequently produced ever since. It established the series, setting the standard for hard science fiction in anime; the original Gundam marked the maturing of the giant-robot genre. Nostalgia for the oldest Gundam shows (and its status as a pop-culture icon in Japan) is a factor in its continuing success.
SD Gundam, a spinoff of Gundam which began during the mid-1980s, features super deformed designs and emphasizes comedy and adventure. Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G, Gundam Build Fighters, and Gundam Build Divers feature contemporary settings and use Gunpla as plot elements.
TV series, films, and video
Except for Mobile Suit Gundam 00, which follows the current calendar era, all Gundam series are set in a fictional era, with a new calendar adopted after a drastic event or chain of events and typically involve a major conflict involving Earth and space colonies (and in some cases the Moon and terraformed planets). An exception is the Gundam Build timeline, which is set in an alternate present time where all other Gundam installments are fictional.
|Name||Media||Release date||Timeline and year|
|Mobile Suit Gundam||TV series: 43 episodes||1979–1980||Universal Century (UC) 0079|
|Compilation movies: 3||1981–1982|
|Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam||TV series: 50 episodes||1985–1986||Universal Century (UC) 0087|
|Compilation movies: 3||2005–2006|
|Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ||TV series: 47 episodes||1986–1987||Universal Century (UC) 0088|
|OVA: 2 episodes||2009|
|Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack||Movie||1988||Universal Century (UC) 0093|
|Mobile Suit SD Gundam||Movies: 5||1988, 1989, 1991, 1993|
|OVA: 9 episodes||1989–1991|
|Compilation TV series: 8 episodes||1993|
|Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket||OVA: 6 episodes||1989||Universal Century (UC) 0079–80|
|Mobile Suit Gundam F91||Movie||1991||Universal Century (UC) 0123|
|Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory||OVA: 13 episodes||1991–1992||Universal Century (UC) 0083|
|Mobile Suit Victory Gundam||TV series: 51 episodes||1993–1994||Universal Century (UC) 0153|
|Mobile Fighter G Gundam||TV series: 49 episodes||1994–1995||Future Century (FC) 60|
|Mobile Suit Gundam Wing||TV series: 49 episodes||1995–1996||After Colony (AC) 195|
|Compilation specials: 4 episodes||1996|
|Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team||OVA: 12 episodes||1996–1999||Universal Century (UC) 0079|
|After War Gundam X||TV series: 39 episodes||1996||After War (AW) 15|
|Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz||OVA: 3 episodes||1997||After Colony (AC) 196|
|Gundam: Mission to the Rise||Short film||1998|
|Turn A Gundam||TV series: 50 episodes||1999–2000||Correct Century (CC) 2343-5|
|Compilation movies: 2||2002|
|G-Saviour||Live-action TV movie||2000||Universal Century (UC) 0223|
|Gundam Neo Experience 0087: Green Diver||Specialty format movie||2001||Universal Century (UC) 0087|
|Gundam Evolve||OVA: 15 episodes||2001–2007|
|Mobile Suit Gundam SEED||TV series: 50 episodes||2002–2003||Cosmic Era (CE) 71|
|OVA: 2 episodes||2004|
|Compilation specials: 3 episodes||2004|
|Superior Defender Gundam Force||TV series: 52 episodes||2003–2004|
|Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War||OVA: 3 episodes||2004||Universal Century (UC) 0079|
|Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny||TV series: 50 episodes||2004–2005||Cosmic Era (CE) 73–74|
|OVA: 1 episode||2004|
|Compilation specials: 4 episodes||2006|
|Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: Apocalypse 0079||OVA: 3 episodes||2006||Universal Century (UC) 0079|
|Mobile Suit Gundam SEED C.E. 73: Stargazer||ONA: 1 episode||2006||Cosmic Era (CE) 73|
|Mobile Suit Gundam 00||TV series: 50 episodes||2007–2009||Anno Domini (AD) 2307–2308, 2312|
|Compilation OVA: 3 episodes||2009|
|Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO 2: Gravity Front||OVA: 3 episodes||2008||Universal Century (UC) 0079|
|Ring of Gundam||Short film||2009|
|Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn||OVA: 7 episodes, 1 special episode||2010–2014||Universal Century (UC) 0096|
|Compilation TV series: 22 episodes||2016|
|SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors||Movie||2010|
|TV series: 51 episodes|
|Mobile Suit Gundam 00 the Movie: A Wakening of the Trailblazer||Movie||2010||Anno Domini (AD) 2314|
|Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G||Specials: 3 episodes||2010||Our Century|
|Mobile Suit Gundam AGE||TV series: 49 episodes||2011–2012||Advanced Generation (AG) 115–164|
|Compilation OVA: 2 episodes||2013|
|Gundam Build Fighters||TV series: 25 episodes||2013–2014||Our Century|
|Specials: 3 episodes||2014|
|Mobile Suit Gundam-san||TV series: 13 episodes||2014|
|Gundam Reconguista in G||TV series: 26 episodes||2014–2015||Regild Century (RG) 1014|
|Compilation movies: 5||2019–2022|
|Gundam Build Fighters Try||TV series: 25 episodes||2014–2015||Our Century|
|OVA: 1 episode||2016|
|Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin||OVA: 6 episodes||2015–2018||Universal Century (UC) 0068, 0071, 0074, 0077, 0078, 0079|
|Compilation TV series: 13 episodes||2019|
|Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans||TV series: 50 episodes||2015–2017||Post Disaster (PD) 323, 325|
|Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt||ONA: 8 episodes||2015–2017||Universal Century (UC) 0079|
|Compilation movies: 2||2016–2017|
|Mobile Suit Gundam: Twilight AXIS||ONA: 6 episodes||2017||Universal Century (UC) 0096|
|Gundam Build Fighters Battlogue||ONA: 5 episodes||2017||Our Century|
|Gundam Build Fighters: GM's Counterattack||ONA: 1 episode||2017||Our Century|
|Gundam Build Divers||Prologue ONA: 1 episode||2018||Our Century|
|TV series: 25 episodes|
|Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative||Movie||2018||Universal Century (UC) 0097|
|SD Gundam World Sangoku Soketsuden||ONA: 10 episodes||2019–2021|
|Gundam Build Divers Re:Rise||ONA: 26 episodes||2019–2020||Our Century|
|Gundam Build Divers: Battlogue||ONA: 1 episode||2020||Our Century|
|Mobile Suit Gundam G40||ONA||2020||Universal Century (UC) 0079|
|Gundam Build Real||Live-action Net Drama: 6 episodes||2021||Our Century|
|SD Gundam World Heroes||ONA: 24 episodes||2021|
|Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway||Movies: 3||2021–TBA||Universal Century (UC) 0105|
|Gundam Breaker Battlogue||ONA: 6 episodes||2021||Our Century|
|Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan's Island||Movie||2022||Universal Century (UC) 0079|
|Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury||Prologue ONA: 1 episode||2022||Ad Stella (AS) 101|
|TV series: 24 episodes||2022–2023||Ad Stella (AS) 122|
|Gundam Build Metaverse||ONA: 3 episodes||2023||Our Century|
|Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Freedom||Movie||2024||Cosmic Era (CE) 75|
|Gundam: Requiem for Vengeance||ONA: 6 episodes||TBA||Universal Century (UC) 0079|
|Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: Urðr-Hunt||TBA||TBA||Post Disaster (PD) 323|
At the 2018 Anime Expo, Legendary Pictures and Sunrise announced a collaboration to develop a live-action Gundam film. Brian K. Vaughan was brought in to write and serve as an executive producer for the film. In April 2021, it was reported that the project had landed at Netflix and that Jordan Vogt-Roberts had been hired to direct.
Manga and novels
Gundam has spawned over 80 video games for arcade, computer and console platforms, some with characters not found in other Gundam media. Some of the games, in turn inspired spinoff novels and manga.
Primarily made of plastic, but sometimes paired with resin and metal detail parts, hundreds of Gundam scale plastic models, aka Gunpla, have been released. They range in quality from tooless-build children's toy kits (Entry Grades) to hobbyist and museum-grade models, and most are in common scales such as 1:35, 1:48, 1:60, 1:100 or 1:144 scale. Various Grades exist to target hobbyists, ranging from smaller sized kits such as High Grade and Real Grade, to larger Master Grade and finally Perfect Grade model kits. The Real Grade (RG) Gundam series combined the Master Grade's detailed inner structure with additional colour separation, making the 1:144-scale series complex in design and compact in size, with the final goal of retooling a Gundam to what they might would look like in real life, similar to the real-life Gundam Front Tokyo RX-78-02.
Promotional 1:6 or 1:12 scale models are supplied to retailers and are not commercially available. For Gundam's 30th anniversary, a full-size RX-78-2 Gundam model was constructed and displayed at Gundam Front Tokyo, in the Odaiba district; it was taken down on March 5, 2017. A new statue of the Unicorn Gundam was erected at the same location, now renamed The Gundam Base Tokyo.
Bandai, Gundam's primary licensee, produces a variety of products. Other companies produce unofficial merchandise, such as toys, models and T-shirts. Products include Mobile Suit In Action (MSiA) action figures and Gundam model kits in several scales and design complexities. Each series generally has its own set of products, MSiA and model lines such as Master Grade and High Grade Universal Century may extend across series. The most popular action-figure line has been the Gundam Fix series, which includes the mecha in the animated series, manga and novels and accessories to create an updated version. In addition to Master Grade and High Grade Gundams, Bandai released a 30th-anniversary series of Gundam models in 2010. After the introduction of the RG Gunpla line, Bandai released the Metal Build series in March 2011 (beginning with the 00 Gundam).
Bandai maintains several websites to promote Gundam projects; Gundam Perfect Web is the official Japanese site. Its English-language counterpart is the US-maintained Gundam Official. In 2005, the website hosted the Gundam Official User Forum. The forum was based on the existing fan forum, Gundam Watch, using many of its staff. When the project was retired, Gundam Watch was reborn and became Gundam Evolution.
A number of series-specific websites have been created, often available for a limited time (usually to promote a DVD release). Common content includes character and mecha listings, lists of related merchandise and pay-for-download content. Special pages are frequent, often presenting downloadable wallpaper or a small game. The Superior Defender Gundam Force website has a game in which players take the role of villain Commander Sazabi, attempting to blast his subordinate with weapons.
Since 1980, Gundam has also appeared in the following countries and regions:
Rest of Europe outside Italy
Gundam is a Japanese cultural icon; it is a ¥50-billion-annual business of Bandai Namco, reaching ¥54.5 billion annual revenue by 2006, and ¥80.2 billion annual revenue by 2014. Stamps have been issued, an Agriculture Ministry employee was reprimanded for contributing to the Japanese Wikipedia Gundam-related pages, and the Japan Self-Defense Forces has code-named its developing advance personal-combat system Gundam.
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- Flow of the Japan toy industry (日本の玩具産業の動向), Japan Economics Department, Information section (日本経済情報課)
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- "Unique toy line encourages creative play". The Expositor. December 13, 2000. p. 38. Retrieved December 3, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
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- Bandai Namco Fiscal Year 2022 Financial Statement
- Gundam Archives, production notes
- Chris Stuckmann (May 15, 2018). Anime Impact: The Movies and Shows that Changed the World of Japanese Animation. Mango Media Inc. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-63353-733-0.
- Oppliger, John (October 12, 2007). "Ask John: Which Gundam Series Have Had the Most Impact on Anime?". AnimeNation. Archived from the original on June 16, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2009.
- Gundam Science, The High Frontier - G.K. O'neil's Space colonization plan, Gundam Century, Out Magazine special edition, Renewal Version
-  機動戦士ガンダムは、同じくバンダイグループの（株）サンライズが制作し、1979年4月～1980年1月にテレビシリーズ第１作が放映されて以来、テレビシリーズ8作品、劇場用映画9作品などが公開され、20年以上にわたり人気を保っています。米国をはじめ、ヨーロッパ、アジアでも作品が放映され、各地で高い人気を得ています。
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