Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gundam is a 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. It is one of the longest running series of anime that feature giant robots in Japan. Mobile Suit Gundam was develop principally by Yoshiyuki Tomino along with a changing group of Sunrise creators who went under the collective psuedonym "Hajime Yadate."
Gundam is important in the development 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 attemts 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.
Gundam manga 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.
The name does not come from Japanese, but was constructed from English roots: gun + dam. It signifies a power wielding a gun that is strong enough to hold back enemies like a dam holds back floods.
Apart from being animated, the series features 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.
The Science in this long running series, at least those of the Universal Century, are practical and make use of true sciences, including the Lagrangian points in space, the O'Neill cylinder as a living enviorment, and energy production from Helium 3 renamed to Minovsky Physics.
The animated/live-action Gundam series are (in order of release):
- Mobile Suit Gundam - a.k.a. "First Gundam" (the nickname applied by Japanese fans once sequels appeared which used the whole phrase in their titles) a.k.a. "Gundam 0079" (a nickname derived from spinoff games and manga and primarily used by English-speaking fans) (TV: 1979; compilation movies: 1981–1982)
- Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (TV: 1985; compilation movies: 2005)
- Mobile Suit Gundam Double Zeta (TV: 1986)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (movie: 1988)
- Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (OVAs: 1989)
- Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (movie: 1991)
- Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (OVAs: 1991; compilation movie: 1992)
- Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (TV: 1993)
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam (TV: 1994)
- New Mobile Report Gundam Wing (TV: 1995, compilation OVAs: 1996)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (OVAs: 1996)
- After War Gundam X (TV: 1996)
- New Mobile Report Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (OVAs: 1997, compilation movie: 1998)
- ∀ Gundam: Called Turn 'A' Gundam (TV: 1999, compilation movies: 2002)
- G-Saviour (live action TV movie: 2000)
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (TV: 2002, compilation specials - 2004)
- Superior Defender Gundam Force (TV: 2003-2004)
- Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War (movies: 2004)
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny (TV: 2004)
Gundam Worlds and Calendars
Most early Gundam works take place in the Universal Century world, which is considered the most developed Gundam world. Later some series take place in alternate worlds:
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam takes place in the Future Century calendar system
- New Mobile Report Gundam Wing takes place in the After Colony calendar system. "After Colony" refers to any year after the creation of the first space colony. Thus, a date might be A.C. 193.
- After War Gundam X takes place in the After War calendar system. "After War" refers to the years after the conclusion of the 7th Space War, in which the Earth was devastated by massive colony drops.
- ∀ Gundam takes place in the CC or Seireki calendar system (which director Yoshiyuki Tomino intended as the distant future of the previous calendar systems)
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED takes place in the Cosmic Era.
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.
Super Deformed Gundam
Main article: Super Deformed Gundam
Super Deformed Gundam is a super deformed Gundam parody series. These are wild comedic stories that feature characters, machines, and setting from the "real" series. SD Gundam consists of, in order of release:
- Mobile Suit SD Gundam Mk I (1989)
- Mobile Suit SD Gundam Mk II (1989)
- SD Gundam's Counterattack (1989)
- Mobile Suit SD Gundam Mk III (1990)
- Mobile Suit SD Gundam Mk IV (1990)
- Mobile Suit SD Gundam Mk V (1990)
- SD Gundam Side Story (1990)
- SD Gundam Scramble (1991)
- SD Gundam: Dawn Of Paparu (1991)
- SD Gundam Festival (1993)
- SD Gundam Force (2003)
Manga and Book Expansion
There have been expansions to the Gundam universes in the form of novels and manga. One of the most popular ones is , prequelling Gundam Wing. GW also has a sequel manga, preceding Endless Waltz, , and a coincident storyline, . The Universal Century timeline features several novels, for instance: . Gundam SEED also features a coincident storyline told in manga form, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray R, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray B, and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED X Astray. The completed list is as follows: Side Story of Gundam Z (1986) , New MS Senki (1988) , , Mobile Suit Gundam F90 (1990) , , Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 (1994) , Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam (1994), Mobile Fighter G Gundam (1994) , New Mobile Report Gundam W (1995) , (1996), After War Gundam X (1996) , , , , , , ∀ Gundam (1999) , , Char's Deleted Affair (2001) , Ecole du Ciel (2002), Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (2002) , Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray (2002), Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray R (2002), , and . In recent times, a new addition to the Gundam SEED ASTRAY series has been added, called Gundam SEED DESTINY ASTRAY (2004).
- Earth Federation
- Mobile Suits
- One-Year War
- Principality of Zeon
- Space Colony (Gundam)
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.
- Gundam Official - Official website for Gundam in the United States
- Mecha Anime HQ - Contains a vast encyclopedia of Mobile Suits used in all the Gundam series, plus mecha from other anime series.
- The Gundam Encyclopedia - Has archives of characters, mobile suits, and different terms for different series.
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