|RX-178 Gundam Mk. II|
|The modular Gundam Mk. II (in RX-78-esque AEUG colors) is a conservative, no-frills design in Zeta Gundam.|
|Appears in||Zeta Gundam; Double Zeta Gundam|
|First Appearance||Zeta Gundam episode 1,
"The Black Gundam"
|Designed by||Kunio Okawara, Mamoru Nagano, Kazumi Fujita|
|Faction||Titans; Anti Earth Union Group .28AEUG.29|
|Pilot||Kamille Bidan; Char Aznable (alias Quattro Bajeena); Emma Sheen; Jerid Messa and others|
|Class||prototype Mobile suit|
|RX-178+FXA-05D "Super Gundam"|
|The FXA-05D G-Defenser provides the Super Gundam with much needed upgrades to offense and defense.|
The RX-178 Gundam Mark-II is a fictional mobile suit from the Universal Century Gundam anime series. A collaborative design created by Kunio Okawara, Mamoru Nagano, and Kazumi Fujita, it is featured prominently as protagonist Kamille Bidan's mobile suit in the first half of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, and used by various secondary characters throughout the rest of that series and its sequel, Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ. It has appeared in a number of other media, including the PlayStation 2 title Mobile Suit Gundam: AEUG Vs Titans, the multi-platform title Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, the Super Robot Wars series, and PSP title Gundam Battle Royale, among many others.
In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
The RX-178 Gundam Mk-II are three prototype mobile suits developed by the Titans, an elite special unit of the Earth Federation forces, in UC 0087 - the first Gundam units seen in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. Aside from a new paint job of dark blue and black with red and yellow highlights, the Gundam Mk. II bears great aesthetic similarities to its One Year War-era predecessor, the original RX-78-2 Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam. The Mk. II represented a small increase in mobility compared to the original, and with the deletion of the cumbersome and expensive core block system, room was freed upon for a more modern panoramic cockpit setup (a more or less standard accoutrement for mobile suits in the same series and time period), which is designed to offer increased situational awareness to the pilot. Armaments are fairly standard Gundam fare, including a beam rifle (chronologically speaking, the Mk. II's beam rifle was the first of such weapons to be powered by a replaceable e-pac device; this was later retconned with Gundam 0083) and twin beam sabers. Vulcan guns are not installed in the Mk. II by default, unlike previous models; however, an optional set can be added as an ejectable pod. The Mk. II may also arm a "clay bazooka" weapon, which is capable of disabling a mobile suit's mobility via an adhesive warhead (though it can equip normal explosive shells if desired). Aside from the aforementioned mundane enhancements, the Mk. II's most substantial contribution to mobile suit technology and largest upgrade over its predecessor is the then-revolutionary movable frame construction, which later inspired the designs in the novel Gundam Sentinel. Paradoxically, the Gundam Mk. II is not armored with the wonderfully durable Gundarium alloy material, first introduced in the series on the original RX-78 Gundam, making it no more or less physically durable than mass-production mobile suits of the era (the term Gundarium is a creation of the Zeta Gundam series; formerly, the same material was known as "Lunar Titanium" in Mobile Suit Gundam, and was renamed (or retconned from a meta standpoint) in honor of the original Gundam).
Further development by the Titans was delayed indefinitely following a raid by the Anti Earth Union Group operatives (led by the incognito Zeon One Year War ace Char Aznable, alias Quattro Bajeena) where all three units were stolen from the Titans' headquarters at Green Noa II (effectively kicking off the Gryps Conflict that forms the background plot of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam). Launched from the carrier warship Argama, this "Gundam Heist" also netted the AEUG the powerful Newtype Kamille Bidan, who would become the Mk. II's chief operator, as well as initiating the series-long conflict between Kamille and Titans pilot Jerid Messa. Of note, this act marked the first "Stolen Gundam" plot event in the franchise, which has become more common in recent years (e.g. the RX-78GP-02A in Gundam 0083 or nearly the entire starting Gundam cast in Gundam SEED series).
Though an initial boon against Titans mobile suits (as well as even more outdated Earth Federation designs, some of which were One Year War-era Zeon models confiscated after the war), the Mk. II's limited capabilities become quite apparent by the time the plot develops to the Jaburo drop operation (starting in episode 11, Entering the Atmosphere), where even the Titans' new mass-produced RMS-108 Marasai mobile suits featured Gundarium alloy armoring. The Mk. II's shortcomings are mitigated, to an extent, by the attachment of the G-Defenser armor booster, constructed by Anaheim Electronics. When combined with the G-Defenser, the Mk. II's mobility is increased via numerous additional thrusters, its vulnerabilities are somewhat reduced with additional armor plating, and its offensive capabilities are boosted significantly – new weapons include a heavy beam rifle and a battery of missile launchers, among others. Additionally, the G-Defenser itself is constructed with Gundarium alloy armor, boosting the protective value of the areas covered on the Mk. II's body. This configuration, known as the "Super Gundam", enables the Mk. II to remain relatively competitive against all but the highest-performing Titans mobile suits, such as the RX-193 Hambrabi.
Kamille would eventually abandon the Mk. II (episode 21, A Sign of Zeta) when the titular MSZ-006 Z Gundam, which Kamille helped design, is completed and delivered to the Argama (this also marks the first "mid-season upgrade" in the protagonist's mobile suit selection, which has since become a staple of the Gundam franchise). The Mk. II is then used by former Titans pilot Emma Sheen, who defected episodes earlier, before the Jaburo drop operation. Katz Kobayashi takes up operating the G-Defenser, and the two form a competent and effective team in utilizing the "Super Gundam".
In the movie trilogy's trailer, it shows the Gundam Mk. II launched with a Long Beam Rifle, but flies separately with G-Defenser, which shows Gundam Mk. II has an ability to use Long Beam Rifle on its own, though Emma did not fire a single shot in Mk. II mode.
Other appearances and beyond
The concept of Isuzu VX 2 official link is inspired by RX-178 Gundam Mk-II as concept design arts released in the Jan/Feb 1998, as seen in issue no. 71 of the magazine Axis published in Japan.
The Mk. II appeared years before the official North American release of Z Gundam on the talk show Late Night with Conan O'Brien in a commercial bumper. Featured on an episode originally aired on September 30, 1998, the "Conan Mk. II" was formed from a Mk. II model kit altered with O'Brien's face, and a cartoon-like head on the shield, as typical of Late Night bumpers of the period. Zeta Gundam was not officially released in the North American market by Bandai until 2004. Late Night graphical designer Pierre Bernard is a self-stated anime enthusiast, though if he specifically created the "Conan Mk. II" bumper has not been confirmed by any official source.
As with most mobile suits from Zeta Gundam, the Gundam Mk. II (and its Super form) received 1:144th and 1/100th scale model kits in 1987, along with a 1:220th scale "pocket model" (scaled to match large Z Gundam mobile suit kits, such as the MRX-009 Psyco Gundam. In 1994, the Mk. II was featured in the limited-run 1:144th High Grade series (not to be confused with the later HGUC, or High Grade Universal Century, series), along with the original RX-78 Gundam and the Mk-II's successor MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam. With the 1:144th-scale HGUC lineup, launched in 2000, the Mk. II has seen very heavy coverage. The Mk. II was released as a stand-alone model in May 2002 (in AEUG and Titans colors), with the G-Defenser in "Super Gundam" configuration in November 2002, a limited production (now discontinued) collector's "extra finish" version in May 2005, with the Flying Armor re-entry vehicle later that month, and as part of the "Gryphios War" 3-pack with the Zeta Gundam and MSN-00100 Hyaku Shiki in March 2006. The Mk. II joined the 1/100th-scale Master Grade lineup in August 1998, in both AEUG and Titans colors. A Master Grade "Super Gundam" kit with the G-Defenser was issued in January 1999, Totally re-designed versions of the Master Grade Mk. IIs were released in October 2005 (AEUG version) and March 2006 (Titans version), concurrent with the releases of the second and third Zeta Gundam movie compilations respectively. Finally, the Gundam Mk. II was inducted into the enormous 1:60th-scale Perfect Grade line in November 2001, and again in Titans colors in July 2002. On May 2012, Gundam Mk. II (AEUG)  & Gundam Mk. II (TITANS) was introduced into the new 1/144 scale Real Grade model kit series.
- These figures have been synthesized from a variety of licensed and unofficial sources, and condensed for space purposes and easy reading: GundamOfficial.com, Mecha and Anime Headquarters, Gundam: The Official Guide and (Japanese) Mobile Suit Illustrated 2003.
- "Mobile Suit Gundam: AEUG versus Titans". IGN.com. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
- "Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Official Game Site". Namco Bandai Games. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
- "Super Robot Wars Robot Series Guide". GameFaqs.com. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
- Entertainment Bible II, Bandai, 1989
- (2002-5-6) Gundam: The Official Guide. Mark Simmons. ISBN 1-56931-739-9
- Episode 11: Paptimus Scirocco specifically refers to the Earth Federation cruiser fleet in pursuit of the Argama as being equipped with "outdated mobile suits", such as the One Year War-era Zaku Cannon.
- "Z Gundam: Entering the Atmosphere". MAHQ.net. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
- "Z Gundam: A Sign of Zeta". MAHQ.net. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
- "Late Night With Conan O'Brien Picture Archive". Centerclick.org / National Broadcasting Company. Retrieved December 9, 2007.
- Bernard has commented at length about the superiority of Japanese animation as opposed to that which is produced in the United States, including Recliner of Rage segments about the Anime Network (YouTube Video) and Harmony Gold's releases of Robotech DVDs (Robotech.com Video), the latter of which garnered a news article response, complete with chart.
- "1/144th Gundam Mk. II". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/100th Gundam Mk. II". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/220th Gundam Mk. II". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/144th Gundam Mk. II (HG)". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/144th HGUC Gundam Mk. II (Titans Version)". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/144th HGUC Super Gundam". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/144th HGUC Gundam Mk. II Extra Finish". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/144th HGUC Gundam Mk. II + Flying Armor". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/144th HGUC Gryphios War Set". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/100 Gundam Mk. II (MG) AEUG Version". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/100 Gundam Mk. II (MG) Titans Version". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/100 Super Gundam (MG)". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/100 MG Gundam Mk. II Ver.2.0 AEUG". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/100 MG Gundam Mk. II Ver.2.0 Titans". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/60 Perfect Grade Gundam Mk. II "AEUG"". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- "1/60 Perfect Grade Gundam Mk. II "Titans"". HobbyLink Japan. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
- SD Gundam G Generation F's database entry on Gundam Mk-II, Super Gundam and Full Armor Gundam Mk-II.
- Super Robot Taisen Alpha 3's database entry on Gundam Mk-II and Super Gundam.
- Gundam Mk. II at GundamOfficial.com
- Super Gundam at GundamOfficial.com
- Gundam Mk. II at MAHQ
- Super Gundam at MAHQ
- Zeta Gundam plot synopsis at GundamOfficial.com
- Zeta Gundam at the Gundam Project (archive courtesy of the Wayback Machine).
- (2002-5-6) Gundam: The Official Guide. Mark Simmons. ISBN 1-56931-739-9
- (2002-5-10) Gundam Technical Manual #3: Stardust Memories. Yoshiyuki Tomino. ISBN 1-931514-06-2