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Created byHajime Yatate
Yoshiyuki Tomino
Original workMobile Suit Gundam
OwnerBandai Namco Filmworks (directly and through Sotsu)
Print publications
Novel(s)See list
ComicsSee list
Films and television
Film(s)See below
Television seriesSee below
TraditionalGundam War Collectible Card Game
Video game(s)See list
Toy(s)Gunpla (plastic Gundam models)
The Robot Spirits
S. H. Figuarts
GenreScience fiction
Military science fiction
Real robot

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.[1][2][3]

Academics in Japan have viewed the series as inspiration; in 2008, the virtual Gundam Academy was planned as the first academic institution based on an animated TV series.[4]

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.[5][6][7] By 2022, the annual revenue of the Gundam franchise reached ¥101.7 billion per year,[8] ¥44.2 billion of which was retail sales of toys and hobby items.[8]



RX-78-2 Gundam by Hajime Katoki

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.[9] 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.

The series itself has been described as a space opera.[10]


Mobile Suit Gundam reportedly pioneered the real robot subgenre of mecha anime.[11] 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).[12]


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.[13]


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[edit]

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).[citation needed] 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
Compilation movie 1992
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
Compilation movie 1998
Special 2013
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
Compilation movie 1998
Gundam: Mission to the Rise[14] Short film 1998
Turn A Gundam TV series: 50 episodes 1999–2000 Correct Century (CC) 2343–45
Compilation movies: 2 2002
G-Saviour Live-action TV movie 2000 Universal Century (UC) 0223
Gundam Neo Experience 0087: Green Diver[15] 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) 2307–08, 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[16] 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
Compilation movie 2017
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[17] ONA 2020 Universal Century (UC) 0079
Gundam Build Real[18] 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[19] 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 2024 Universal Century (UC) 0079
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: Urðr-Hunt TBA TBA Post Disaster (PD) 323

Live-action film[edit]

At the 2018 Anime Expo, Legendary Pictures and Sunrise announced a collaboration to develop a live-action Gundam film.[20] Brian K. Vaughan was brought in to write and serve as an executive producer for the film.[21] In April 2021, it was reported that the project had landed at Netflix and that Jordan Vogt-Roberts had been hired to direct.[22]

Manga and novels[edit]

Manga adaptations of the Gundam series have been published in English in North America by a number of companies, such as Viz Media, Del Rey Manga and Tokyopop, and in Singapore by Chuang Yi.

Video games[edit]

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.[23]


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 toolless-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;[24] it was taken down on March 5, 2017.[25] A new statue of the Unicorn Gundam was erected at the same location, now renamed The Gundam Base Tokyo.

Other merchandise[edit]

Bandai, Gundam's primary licensee, produces a variety of products.[26] 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.[27] After the introduction of the RG Gunpla line, Bandai released the Metal Build series in March 2011 (beginning with the 00 Gundam).[28]


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.

Global spread[edit]

Since 1980, Gundam has also appeared in the following countries and regions:

Region Debut year
Hong Kong
South Korea
Philippines 1983
Indonesia 1987
United States
New Zealand
Rest of Europe outside Italy
Rest of Latin America outside Brazil


Gundam is a Japanese cultural icon; it is a ¥50-billion-annual business of Bandai Namco, reaching ¥54.5 billion annual revenue by 2006,[29] and ¥80.2 billion annual revenue by 2014.[8] Stamps have been issued, an Agriculture Ministry employee was reprimanded for contributing to the Japanese Wikipedia Gundam-related pages,[30] and the Japan Self-Defense Forces has code-named its developing advance personal-combat system Gundam. Based on a December 16, 2023 survey conducted by Nikkei Entertainment, the fanbase of Gundam within Japan has an average age of 42 years, and a male-to-female ratio that skews 90:10.[31]

The impact of Gundam in Japan has been compared to the impact of Star Wars in the United States.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Linder, Courtney (July 21, 2020). "Watch Engineers Take Their 60-Foot-Tall Gundam for a Walk". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  2. ^ "Gundam Releases First-Ever English Guide to Gunpla". Anime. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Lewis, Leo (November 1, 2008). "Gundam cartoon academy to turn science fiction into reality in Japan". The Times. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  5. ^ "Unique toy line encourages creative play". The Expositor. December 13, 2000. p. 38. Retrieved December 3, 2022 – via
  6. ^ "Gundam Wing Phenomenon Grows With Addition of New Licensees as Television Ratings and Toy Line Sales Surge". Business Wire. Berkshire Hathaway. June 13, 2000. Archived from the original on August 21, 2000. Retrieved January 8, 2017 – via
  7. ^ "Gundam Wing Phenomenon Grows With Addition of New Licensees as Television Ratings and Toy Line Sales Surge". Business Wire. Berkshire Hathaway. June 13, 2000. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2019 – via The Free Dictionary.
  8. ^ a b c Bandai Namco Fiscal Year 2022 Financial Statement
  9. ^ Gundam Archives, production notes
  10. ^ a b 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Gundam Science, The High Frontier - G.K. O'neil's Space colonization plan, Gundam Century, Out Magazine special edition, Renewal Version
  13. ^ [1] 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。
  14. ^ "Gundam 40th Anniversary Promotional Anime Teased for This Winter". Anime News Network. September 26, 2019. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  15. ^ "E-field". Archived from the original on May 12, 2008.
  16. ^ "Part of Yoshiyuki Tomino's 'Ring of Gundam' Previewed (Updated)". Anime News Network. August 21, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2023.
  17. ^ "'Mobile Suit Gundam' Releases 40th Anniversary "G40 Project" Special Movie". Hypebeast. January 21, 2020. Retrieved September 29, 2023.
  18. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (March 18, 2021). "Live-Action Video Project 'Gundam Build Real' Debuts on March 29". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  19. ^ Mateo, Alex (September 24, 2020). "Gundam Breaker Battlogue Anime Theme Song, October 19 Premiere". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  20. ^ Fuster, Jeremy (July 5, 2018). "'Gundam' Film: Legendary Pictures to Make Live-Action Anime Adaptation". The Wrap. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  21. ^ N'Duka, Amanda; Boucher, Geoff (March 6, 2019). "Brian K. Vaughan To Pen 'Gundam' Live-Action Adaptation For Legendary". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  22. ^ Peters, Megan (April 12, 2021). "Gundam Live-Action Movie Heads to Netflix with Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts". Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  23. ^ "MobyGames: Game Browser". MobyGames. Archived from the original on February 12, 2022. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  24. ^ appetiteforjapan (December 2, 2015). "Diver City Tokyo: the ultimate Gundam experience". Appetite For Japan. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  25. ^ 「実物大ガンダム立像」5年の歴史に幕。そして新たなプロジェクトへ!. 公式ガンダム情報ポータルサイト「GUNDAM.INFO」 (in Japanese). Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  26. ^ "GUNDAM.INFO | The official Gundam news and video portal". (in Japanese). Archived from the original on October 26, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  27. ^ Suzuki, Toshiyuki. "RX-78-2 Gundam (RG) (Gundam Model Kits)". Hobby Search Co., Ltd. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  28. ^ "METAL BUILD FREEDOM GUNDAM". Archived from the original on August 2, 2013. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  29. ^ Nekkei BP mook, Otona no Gundamu Perfect (Gundam for Adult's Perfect), Business & History+Character+Mechanic, Nekkei Entertainment, ISBN 978-4-8222-6317-1
  30. ^ "Japanese workers in Wikipedia row". BBC News. October 5, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2009.
  31. ^ Ayase Hirashima; Eri Hatano (February 2, 2024). "今、本当に推されている「人」「作品」が分かる 最旬"推し"新潮流". Nikkei Cross Trend (in Japanese). Archived from the original on February 22, 2024.

External links[edit]