Gundam

From Academic Kids

Gundam is a popular Japanese anime involving giant robots.

Gundam is the collective term for the Universal Century (UC) series like Mobile Suit Gundam and series in alternative timelines, such as Gundam Wing, made by Sunrise Inc. Gundam is one of the longest running meta-series of anime featuring giant robots in Japan.

Contents

Overview

Concept

Mobile Suit Gundam was developed principally by Yoshiyuki Tomino, along with a changing group of Sunrise creators who went under the collective psuedonym "Hajime Yadate".

The series was originally titled Freedom Fighter Gunboy or simply Gunboy, because the title robot was armed with a gun and the target demographic was young boys. In the early stages of production, there were numerous references to the word freedom, such as the White Base being originally named Freedom's Fortress, the Core Fighter as the Freedom Wing, and the Gunperry named the Freedom Cruiser. The collective Yadate team combined the English word "Gun" with last syllable of the word "Freedom", "Dom", to form the word "Gundom". Tomino then changed the name to the current title "Gundam", suggesting that the name Gundam signifies a power wielding a gun that is strong enough to hold back enemies like a dam holds back floods.

Innovation

Gundam is a turning point in the history of anime and manga, as it is credited for inspiring the Real Robot genre. Real Robots (popularly known in English as mecha, a re-borrowing of the Japanese abbreviation for the English word "mechanical") differ from their Super Robot forebearers on a few stylistic and thematic points such as attempts at realism in robot design and the thematic and ethical role of the robots. Zambot-3 was an earlier program by Tomino which helped develop these ideas.

The main theme of all the various Gundam series is always the harsh depiction of the atrocities of war. All the machines, including the Gundams, are always depicted realistically as machines, they run out of energy and ammunition, they break and malfunction like all machines eventually do. The technology, at least that of the Universal Century, is practical and derived from true science, including Lagrange points in space, the O'Neill cylinder as a living environment, and energy production from helium-3 (Minovsky Physics).

The narration is always revolving around the emotions of the characters, usually thrown into conflict without much choice and faced with death, destruction and dehumanization. With few exceptions, there is no absolute good guys and bad guys, all have their motives. Politics of war are always lurking in the background, as it is in real wars. Gundam features also true to life issues and clear political ideas. Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam can even be seen as a futuristic Gundam-style interpretation of George Orwell's classic 1984, with the Titans standing as the Party.

Gundam timelines

Most early Gundam works take place in the Universal Century timeline, which is considered the most developed. Later series take place in alternate calendard or timelines, which are mostly completely unrelated to the original Universal Century timeline.

English-speaking fans have interpreted "Seireki" (a wordplay homonym of the Japanese term for the A.D. Western calendar) to mean "Correct Century," but Sunrise itself has not established an English translation for "Seireki" or the English abbreviation expansion for "CC". Bandai and Japanese-speaking fans unofficially refer to projects not directly related to the first Gundam series or its staffers (such as Gundam Sentinel and G Gundam) as "Another Gundam" stories, and to projects made after 1989 as "Heisei Gundam" stories. English-speaking fans have used "Alternative Universe" or "AU" as a nickname for the stories that do not take place in the Universal Century, but this unofficial nickname is not used in Japan.

Distinctive characteristics

Gundam is the name or nickname of several mobile suits or mobile fighters, although some works such as G-Saviour and Mobile Suit Gundam: MS IGLOO do not have units named Gundams.

In the Cosmic Era works, all the units have official designations without the word 'Gundam'; the name Gundam is used sparingly only as a nickname from their operating system's acronym. The name is used widely outside the animation in the merchandising of Cosmic Era toys and models.

The different series have had different ways of maintaining the tradition, and the only unique feature that all Gundams have in common is the name. The following characteristics are distinctive (but not unique) to many Gundams:

  • Humanoid form
Exceptions: MSA-0011[Bst] S Gundam Booster Unit Type, GF13-044NNP Mandala Gundam
  • Face with two human-like eyes
  • V-fin on the head
Exceptions: LM312V06 Victory Gundam Hexa, RX-79[G]Ez-8 Gundam Ez8, Turn A Gundam's fin is placed on the chin
  • Superior performance, in comparison to other mobile suits/fighters
Exceptions: RX-178 Gundam Mk-II, the Gundams in Mobile Fighter G Gundam

The Gundam franchise

Animated/live-action series and movies (in order of release)

For the listing of the series on chronological order of the depicted events, see the individual timelines' pages.

Original Design series/Variations

Due to the sheer popularity of the Gundam franchise, especially the Mobile Suit design, several Original Design series were published. These series are drawings and precise specifications for additional Mobile suit units not found in the original animated material.

  • Mobile Suit Variations (1983) - a.k.a. MSV, the variations from the One-Year War, considered to be official and canonical
  • Mobile Suit X (1984) - a.ka. MSX, new models for a proposed but never produced new animation series, considered to be official and canonical
  • Z-MSV - variations from the Zeta Gundam series
  • ZZ-MSV - variations from the Double Zeta Gundam series
  • CCA-MSV - variations from the Char's Counterattack movie
  • Kunio Okawara's MS Collection (M-MSV) - Kunio Okawara's personal reinterpretations
  • F91-MSV - variations from the F-91 movie
  • V-MSV - variations from the Victory series
  • SEED-MSV - variations from the SEED series
  • SEED Destiny MSV - variations from the SEED Destiny series

Manga and novels

See main article Gundam Manga and Novels.

The manga narration of the original series is published in English in North America by a variety of companies, such as Viz Communications, Del Rey Manga, and TokyoPop, among others. Gundam manga is also published in English in Singapore by Chuang Yi.

Video games

Following the popularity of Gundam, various video games feature original characters previously not found in other media. Some video games have been converted into comics or novels.

GamesBook titlebook type
Mobile Suit Gundam Side StoryGundam Blue Destiny (http://www.tokyopop.com/dbpage.php?page=product&productid=1116)comic
Gundam Side Story: Rise from the Ashes機動戦士ガンダム外伝―コロニーの落ちた地で…〈上〉角川スニーカー文庫 (http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4044232016/qid=1114479244/sr=1-4/ref=sr_1_2_4/249-0406390-7061933)
機動戦士ガンダム外伝―コロニーの落ちた地で…〈下〉角川スニーカー文庫 (http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4044232016/qid=1114479244/sr=1-4/ref=sr_1_2_4/249-0406390-7061933)
Novel
Mobile Suit Gundam Lost War Chronicles機動戦士ガンダム戦記―Lost War Chronicles〈1〉角川スニーカー文庫 (http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4044232059/qid=1114479320/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_10_1/249-0406390-7061933)
機動戦士ガンダム戦記―Lost War Chronicles〈2〉角川スニーカー文庫 (http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4044232067/qid=1114479702/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_10_2/249-0406390-7061933)
Novel
Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic FrontZEONIC FRONT―機動戦士ガンダム0079〈1〉角川スニーカー文庫 (http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4044232032/qid=1114479702/sr=1-6/ref=sr_1_10_6/249-0406390-7061933)
ZEONIC FRONT―機動戦士ガンダム0079〈2〉角川スニーカー文庫 (http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4044232040/qid=1114479702/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_10_3/249-0406390-7061933)
Novel

Series based on Gundam models

Although not directly related to Gundam, these series incorporate Gundam models as part of the stories:

Merchandise

Bandai, the primary licensee of the Gundam trademark, makes a variety of products for the Gundam fan. Other companies produce unofficial toys, models, t-shirts, etc.

Categories of products include the Mobile Suit In Action or MSiA action figures, and Gundam Models in several scales and complexity levels. Generally, each series listed above will have its own set of products, although the MSiA and Gundam Models lines, such as High Grade Universal Century may extend across series.


External links

  • Gundam Official (http://www.gundamofficial.com/) - Official website for Gundam in the United States
  • Mecha Anime HQ (http://www.mahq.net/) - Contains a vast encyclopedia of Mobile Suits used in all the Gundam series, plus mecha from other anime series.
  • The Gundam Encyclopedia (http://www.escaflowneonline.com/gundam/) - Has archives of characters, mobile suits, and different terms for different series.
  • Gundam Comics catalog (http://rightman.net/comics_gundam.html) (Chinese) - Contains a long list of published Gundam books.


Template:Universal Century

de:Gundam es:Gundam it:Kidoo Senshi Gandamu ja:ガンダムシリーズ th:กันดั้ม zh:機動戰士Gundam

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