Mobile Suit Gundam cover
Mobile Suit Gundam poster

Mobile Suit Gundam

It is year 0079 of the Universal Century. Mankind has moved to space, living in colony clusters known as "Sides." One of these Sides declares itself the "Principality of Zeon" and declares war on the Earth Federation, the governmental body currently ruling Earth. Using powerful humanoid robots known as "mobile suits," Zeon quickly gains the upper hand.Nine months into the conflict, the Earth Federation has developed its own powerful mobile suit called the Gundam. When Zeon launches an attack on the colony holding the Gundam, a 15-year-old civilian named Amuro Ray suddenly finds himself thrown into a conflict that will take him all across Earth and space, pitting him against the enemy's ace pilot, Char Aznable.[Written by MAL Rewrite]

Ranking 1265

User Count9144
Favorites Count166
Start Date7th Apr 1979
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank1265
Rating Rank1414
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older
SubtypeTV
Statusfinished

Episodes

All Mobile Suit Gundam released episodes

More Episodes

Trailer

Reviews

Ah yes... 1st Gundam (as I will call it). A mecha that which bred so many clones (or variations for you diehards) and quickly made Sunrise a top contender for the current king, TMS Entertainment.Sadly, all 1st Gundam is, when stripped away from its legacy, a half-germinated seed. It hasn't even bloomed, it hasn't even stemmed, hell it hadn't even broke ground!In today's world, had we no Real Robot mecha, we would simply call 1st Gundam a very good idea.(forgive me if I include the words "seem" and "seemingly" a lot)So, fittingly, it's idealism that sets the show into fruition but that's about it. Like most classic sci-fi, they tend to rip history out context for context, and paste it .30 years ago was communism vs. democracy, so it doesn't take a historian to draw this conclusion: Earth Forces for order, Zeon Federation for "colonial"-states. So I naturally have common questions: How did it start? I'm not sure... Why should we care? After 5 eps I answered myself: Because of the Gundam! Earth Forces, despite having... (seemingly) the entire Earth at the beginning of the war, happened to lose so much of their land because of clumsy looking tin cans? So JUST ONE MECH tides the war? Look, I'm all for cool mecha designs, but this disregard for logic already had me scratching my head.I mean, just 2 years later we get 1st Macross rationally explaining where they got their ideas for their mecha at (in less than an episode...) and also portrayed the complexity of it far minutely and tensely than in the 1st ep of Gundam.I know, I know... it was uncommon for robots to make sense.Well, there's a saying "he who aims for two hares gets one". Meaning Tomino hindered the development of a now diverse subgenre by nothing more than haphazard planning (Anno with Gunbuster?)Being the first of something can only excuse so much. Even the two most memorable characters (when compared to the rest) Amuro and Char limit us from caring.Amuro's introduction, a closet nerd (it seems) who likes machines (but seemingly small ones), really gets the hang of piloting a Gundam... with nothing more than a manual and "the Gundam's abilities"??? That's an awful lot to digest...But with Char, who is he? Well, even if we won't find out for a good while, why should we care anyway? He's as talented as the Gundam so I guess THAT is why? Wha-?But I digress, I'm talking about the show from different standards. Standards that many older movies and TV shows still abide by. So the show wasn't ahead of its time is all I'm really saying. But for all its political layering, focus on amateur infrastructure, and constant bouts with the enemy... one wonders if Gundam is just a bridging from Super to Real Robot more than anything.If seen in that regard, then it is indeed a pass.The OP and END seem to go hand in hand with that idea too; the OP a pleasant tune praising the Gundam a la to Super Robot, and the END being a quiet eulogy of Amuro's struggle.The rest of the music isn't bad but typical of the era: overused songs for the battles, dramatic courses when things simmer, and the like. The art isn't here but in the presence.Which is what 1st Gundam probably invoked more so than anything: that mecha fights can be intricate, thorough, and tactfully engaging. Sure, "tactics make the weapons", but at least Tomino painted many classic battles with concise and grounded physics, weaponry fatal to all mecha, lead character model or not, and even successfully uses the battles to excuse plot contingencies. Even the animation is studious; vacuum leakages are cool, metal denting is clear regardless of speed or magnitude, and explosions and laser rupturing are the cherry toppers.Tomino is a technical director so here's where his heart and soul really lie. An auteur he is, but not a poet.And opposite of that passion would be characters, motives, and scenarios. I'm not sure if it's ethical to compare to later incarnations but most first episodes in subsequent series usually explain the cause(s) of war, if not something to go on. Examples include:Gundam SEED - Discrimination for each other leading to a nukingGundam Wing - Growing civilizations on numerous colonies lead to Earth monarchies focus on controlGundam 00 - ......to fight war w/war?Turn A Gundam - One civilization imposes on a lesser civilization a la pioneers unto the Indians.Well, we don't ever completely understand how things started, only on what effects they caused throughout. Plotting things with this handling is what I'd call excusing.What about Amuro and his family being briefly mentioned? Heck, Char gets more downtime simply because his lot goes higher than Zeon's. Or what about the cast on White Base and beyond? Only a few get such involvement and it's mostly to glaze where the Gundam needs to be next anyway.1st Gundam's characters = the shows weaknessI must again digress that what saves Gundam from being unwatchable is how dutiful Tomino exercises direction. The show's honest intent with mecha slug-outs remedies the logical fallacies that plague the show. When the animation quality goes slightly higher during a fight, I didn't mind and I doubt others will. As for pacing... well, due to Tomino planning, the show just breaks into tolerable.Rough rubric:5 eps of important, 10-15 of monster-of-the-week, rinse repeat.If you're gonna bother watching an dated model, at least you know what you're gonna look for...So, a staple of anime? Yeah, I guess. Deservedly? No way. The show is the pioneer of Real Robot potential in name only and probably excused other notable directors such as, Takahashi, Ishiguro, Kawamori, and do I need to mention Anno again?Since people tend to look ahead, 1st Gundam is hardly an excuse to look back and see how far things have come... but it is if you care about the meta-series, Gundam overall, Real Robots, or just for the sake of knowing yer history.Letter Grading Time(LGT)Story: C (what is this all about? what was it all for?)Art: A- (classic mecha designs that are used in many ways still to this day)Sound: C+ (\*listens to the themes\* not bad... \*watches and listens\* ....... \*mutes\*)Animation: B (70's or 80's? I dunno!)Characters: D+ (what characters? oh yeah, the people that are in this show...)Enjoyment: B- (wow... didn't think Gundam 00 and Code Geass derived from this!)Overall: B- (focus on what you're watching it for and grit your teeth)

The start of a phenomenon. The show that changed the anime landscape, for better or for worse. If you have any interest in the history of the development of the medium, or even if you just like giant robots beating the hell out of each other over a space opera backdrop, watch MSG 0079!

72/100 Look, it's influential. It started one of the most successful and popular anime franchises in history. But at the same time, it's outdated. I'm not one of those people who won't watch something "because it's old", but the original Mobile Suit Gundam REALLY looks old, with the bad animation (which still looks bad with the blu ray transfer), and the bad audio. The pacing is uneven, which is a common complaint I have with Tomino's stuff, and a lot of the characters are uninteresting. But then there's also Char - one of the greatest anime characters of all time. And there's Amuro - a timeless hero. And most important of all, it 'begins' the Universal Century story, which as a whole is a magnificent and epic space opera, on the same level as something like Legend of Galactic Heroes. And that's why Mobile Suit Gundam still deserves all the respect it gets. I certainly don't love this anime, but boy do I respect and admire it.

Mobile Suit Gundam is a quandary. There’s a giant, two-sided war filled with politics, back-stabbing, and advanced weaponry. Science fiction is key, with giant space colonies, evolved beings called newtypes, and giant mechs. Then, there’s also this ship called the White Base with its crew of civilian turned soldiers. If it isn’t obvious yet, I will make it clear, this show bites off way more than it can chew with all of these elements. There’s too much so that it can’t seem to make up its mind on what it wants to flesh out. Should it work on the relationships within the crew of the White Base, newtypes, the war itself, Char’s revenge on the Zabis, Amuro’s emo attitude, Amuro and Char’s vendetta, or should it concern itself with the next hurdle the White Base faces? It’s fast paced to boot, and there’s so much here. It’s both awesome and terrible, because there is so much cool stuff, but never enough detail. This show was released in the 70’s, so the animation is unsurprisingly hand-drawn, cheap, and very comic. However, it boasts the stereotypical anime style character designs that we take for granted nowadays. Back then, Star Blazers and Captain Harlock had very different animation styles, not to say anything against Leiji Matsumoto. Even Fist of the North Star, which came out a few years later, still looked more like a western comic than anime appears today. So, Gundam was influential in that regard. In addition, the show boasted a happy color scheme and fantastic costume design. The Earth Federation and Zeon forces each have unique costumes that fits each side with world war two meets navy uniforms. Char’s costume and mask are still stunning. The music is unlike any anime I’ve seen. It’s funky and has upbeat songs. The fight scene music will make you want to dance. What’s amazing, watching the show forty years in the future, the music still manages to fit well, though it has aged. Gundam is far from perfect, but the extensive world-building behind everything in the universe is a feat. The political system is rich, the futuristic elements well-planned, and the history juicy with detail. There was a lot of work here and it totally pays off. The political system in Gundam spans the Federation and the Zeon. The Federation is filled with a bunch of jerks that use the White Base as a distraction and the Zeon are inner mixed with power hungry leaders, extreme loyalists, and the Zabi family members. The Zabi family is dope, too, with a dictatorship monarchy thing going on, the likes of which shows up in Code Geass, where the heirs are military leaders. Then there is the Zeon family, which is briefly glimpsed. The space colonies look legit. Rotation to create artificial gravity and using solar panel energy, as well as just how they look, it makes sense and works great! Lots of other science stuff goes boink, like how the certain people punctured holes spacecraft, which probably would have instantly killed anyone in reality. Amuro’s father, ahem. There’s plenty of laughable quandaries like this, such as the time bomb episode. That was super unrealistic and ridiculous. These kind of goofy episodes and elements undermined the serious tone of the show. Then there is the feasibility of giant mechs, but they look cool and are fairly lanky, while not practical at all. The ships look amazing, and yeah, the designs of all the spacecraft and the like is superb. Then, to top off the world-building, everything is given history and context. The abandoned space colony of Texas, side six, and the state of Earth’s terrain. The history of the Zeon and how that relates to the characters. Switching gears to characters, there are plenty of stereotypes where Gundam is involved, but the show kills it with certain memorable characters. Amuro becomes the stereotypical Gundam protagonist, but in the first iteration he can’t be a stereotype yet. Char is a boss, a total boss. He’s probably my favorite villain ever. I’m sorry Darth Vader and Boba Fett, you’re still pretty high on that list, but you don’t get the screen time and respect from your soldiers that he does. He’s cool, collected, and calm. He’s also slaughtering the Zabis and doing some rather unkind things that end up in plenty of collateral damage. So, he is not the best person and his morals are messed up, but I can’t help but root for him. Sorry Amuro, you should show his level of initiative. Bright is a fantastic, self-conscious commander stuck into the mess and struggling to become a leader. Seyla is interesting and cool-headed. Kai’s pretty annoying but becomes very likable. Hayato is around. The goofy kids are, well, goofy, whether that’s bad or good I’m not sure. On the other side of the coin, there are people like Zeon commanders of the day, incompetent and power hungry, getting their men and themselves killed. These are used sparingly. Take for instance, the spoiled Garma, Ramba Ral, who totally rivals Char in awesomeness, and more. One of Char’s underlings at the beginning of the show even finds a higher rank and comes back later to confront the White Base. Small continuities such as this make the show real. Character development happens with all of these characters, too. It’s surprising how much development they put into this show, especially with the episodic nature forcing the crew to fix one problem after another. Amura grows up a lot, going through some really annoying phases on the way. Bright becomes a commendable captain, Char changes his motivations from revenge to his own dream, and Kai, as previously mentioned, manages to become likable. There are more instances of other characters developing, but I think this captures the spirit. This story needs all the help it can get with such a fast-paced, jam-packed plot and world. There’s way too much here to flesh everything out. I wanted to know more about the characters on White Base and Char was conniving. Many character interactions on the White Base were limited as well, such as certain characters had very little interaction, like Frau and Seyla. The newtype concept is not developed smoothly, lacking time for the audience to understand the concept. This is, of course, due in part to the show being cut down by eight episodes. With all of this, what was the meaning of Gundam? Was it about characters, such as Amuro’s struggle as a young soldier? The war between the Earth Federation and Zeon? The horrors of war? Partly, but primarily, it was dedicated to an ideological concept of the future and possibilities of the world in the context of a cool story following one ship. I think Gundam is primarily an entertainment product, that needed more depth to really flesh out the concepts and struggles of the characters, which would have made this more of an anime about war. It doesn’t come off as a serious war story because of all the goofy parts that find their way in and the jumping around to follow all of the mini stories. Gundam’s ability to create its own universe is astounding and a hallmark that is enlivened by the stylized costumes, good characters, and technological designs. It’s hard to beat world-building to this degree, however the story lacked focus because of its ambition. All-in-all, the storytelling isn’t the best and can be hard to follow, but it is honestly very unique and worth the watch because there isn’t anything really like Gundam out there.

Characters

main

main

supporting

supporting

supporting

supporting

supporting

supporting

supporting

supporting

Staff

Producer

Director

Director, Script, Original Creator

Sound Director

Episode Director

Script

Theme Song Arrangement, Music

Key Animation, In-Between Animation

Key Animation

Art Director

Community Discussion

Start a new discussion for Mobile Suit Gundam anime. Please be fair to others, for the full rules do refer to the Discussion Rules page.