Do you want to get started with Gundam then you come to the right place, my friend?
The Gundam series is one of the longest running franchise in anime and it’s still going today.
The franchise started on April 7, 1979, as an anime TV series called Mobile Suit Gundam or Gundam 0079 which was revolutionary in that it defined the real robot genre of anime by featuring giant robots in a militaristic war setting.
The popularity of the first TV series and the merchandising that followed spawned a franchise that has come to include works released in numerous media. Titles have appeared in the form of multiple television series and OVAs, movies, manga, novels, and video games. The franchise has also led to the creation of one of the biggest toy and hobby franchises in the Japanese toy industry.
With that all that said and done Hello everyone this is Shawn aka KurataTrigger and welcome to my official Gundam guide.
Universal Century Timeline.
The Universal Century or U.C timeline for Gundam is honestly the best timeline for newcomers to get into Gundam itself. The Universal Century Timeline will give you a proper view of what Gundam is really all about and overall it’s the most professionally made Gundam Timeline out of everything that is Gundam. And when you eventually make your way into Alternate Universes of Gundam that are Outside the Universal Century, you will be able to spot key elements that were adapted *from* the Universal Century Timeline in Other Gundam Universes as well.
The Universal Century timeline of Gundam consists of multiple anime to watch.
You can watch the U.C Gundam in this order
Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin (Still airing)
Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 TV series or Movie Trilogy
Mobile Suit Gundam 08th M8 Team OVA
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080 War in The Pocket OVA
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 Stardust Memory OVA
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam TV
Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam (Skip episode 1 and go straight to episode 2 because episode 1 is just a recap of 0079 and Zeta Gundam)
Mobile Suit Gundam Char ‘Counterattack Movie
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn OVA or Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 TV series.
Mobile Suit Gundam F91 Movie
Mobile Suit Victory Gundam
Gundam Reconguista in G
Turn A Gundam
Out of all of the Gundam shows in the Universal Century timeline, there are some things to note with 3 Gundam anime from the U.C Timeline.
The first is being ZZ Gundam. Zeta Gundam is a very cruel and dark Gundam anime especially in the last quarter of the show. ZZ Gundam, however, takes the usual style of Gundam and does a complete 180 with it.the series became dark in the end.
However, the second half is much darker.
I personally found ZZ Gundam to quite decent.
The Next one is F91 which was meant to be a TV series due to Bandai saying no to Tomino he was forced to make it as a movie instead of a 50 episode TV series.
Sadly the movie was too short for its own good and they became a rushed mess. Go read the manga and don’t bother witha F91 movie at all.
The third one is Victory Gundam.
You thought Zeta Gundam was dark Victory Gundam is very dark and brutal from start to finish with characters dying left and right in almost every episode.
To be honest I consider Victory Gundam to be the weakest U.C show because while the first half was pretty entertaining and enjoyable the second half starting from episode 29 is awful. Bad looking visuals, characters die left or right no reason, most of the characters became annoying mainly the females and creepy and it has some of the worst written/direction I have ever seen in my life (*Cough end of Episode 38*) I highly recommend avoiding watching that show unless you want to get depressed or even offended.
Alternatively, once you finish watching Unicorn and Thunderbolt go watch Turn A and G Reco instead of F91 or Victory. You will thank me later.
Only watch Victory Gundam once you finish the rest of the U.C Gundam shows minus Turn A and G Reco.
One more thing Gundam Recongutsia in G has a large time skip from the end of Victory. Taking place over 800 Years past Victory, and way after the Universal Century Timeline itself came to an end. But it is still very much canon to the events of the Universal Century, and this is made very apparent with what happens in the series. But with this anime, in particular, you have to make sure to PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION to the dialogues and what is going on. If you miss even a single bit of dialogue, it is very easy to get lost in the story. But thankfully, the story does become easier to follow as the anime progresses. But I’m just warning you about it now, in advanced. I personally liked G Reco for what it is.
In short start off with Mobile Suit Gundam 0079, and make your way down the list as you finish that anime and move onto the next one, all the way to G Reco.
Now once you get through all of that, you may ask: “Wow! So….where do I go next?”
Once you finish up the Universal Century Timeline (and G-Reco), you are then able to check out all of the Alternate Universes (A.U) and Spin-Off Series that exist in the Gundam Metaverse as well. These Alternate Universes and Spin-Off Series have absolutely nothing to do with the Universal Century Timeline; story wise. But they are heavily inspired and derive a lot of their source material off of things from the Universal Century. To be honest, after you finish up the U.C. Timeline, you’re pretty much a free bird meaning you can watch any Alternative Universe Gundam show you want without any problems.
The best A.U show that I highly recommend checking out as your first A.U Gundam show is 00 it’s easily the best mainstream Gundam series out there.
The four mainstream Gundam shows out so far are its follows.
Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans.
Gundam 00 takes place in the Anno Domini Timeline; which is currently the timeline we live in right now, except way into the future. The interesting thing is, the Universal Century Timeline also at one point took place in Anno Domini before it became “Universal Century”. It’s said to be between 2055 and 2134 or something like that. Gundam 00, however, is in the year 2300’s. So, that’s Hundreds of Years past anything Universal Century had.
There are some things that you should consider while watching Gundam 00.
To start off-season 1 of 00 was just great from start to finish. It had great theme exploration of war and the characters, world building, and visuals were just amazing.
00 S2 is good for what it was but wasn’t at the same level as season 1 of 00. You will most likely notice this from your watch though since most 00 fans acknowledge this openly.
There is a Gundam 00 Movie Sequel “Awakening of the Trailblazer” which you should skip at all cost due to how lackluster it was. 00 fans really don’t like that movie.
Next, we have Gundam Wing which has a very interesting fanbase and to be honest.
Gundam Wing is kinda overrated in my opinion.
Gundam Wing is kinda of a decent Gundam by itself but it had problems such a bad pacing, in the beginning, the wing boys are barely 2 dimensional, has a lot of stock footage and it had that stupid overkill formula.
Even tho I give Gundam Wing a
4/10 in my review I still recommend this title for anyone who wants to a watch a Gundam show from the 90s. You might like it and enjoy it but as for me, I wasn’t a fan of Wing.
(Updated I give Gundam Wing a 6/10 despite its problems that I have with it).
It has a squeal called Gundam Wing Endless Waltz which improves a lot of things from the TV series but it still had its fair share of flaws.
Next, we have Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans which just finished airing in 2017 with 2 seasons.
Iron-Blooded Orphans has recently gained the love or hate reputation by many Gundam fans from the respective fan-bases. Some say it’s a great entry to the Gundam franchise other say it was a train-wreck.
For me, Iron-Blooded Orphans is a pretty good entry to the Gundam franchise. While I prefer 00 over it Iron-Blooded Orphans still a solid Gundam show in my opinion. It has its problems such as confusing world building in the earlier parts of S1, the second half of S2 was kinda rushed and not all of the characters were properly fleshed out.
Iron-Blooded Orphans in my opposition is a fun and an enjoyable Gundam show.
What about Gundam Seed. Is that show even worth watching at all? Yes and no.
Why do I say this?
Well, you see Gundam Seed as well as the cosmic timeline has a notorious reputation from many Gundam fans for being a mess that has many problems such as lots of stock footage, very hit or miss characters and meh mecha designs that sometimes can be unoriginal etc.
The first Gundam Seed is not a masterpiece or awful it’s just above average that has great moments every now and them but it has its issues. I personally give Seed S1 a 6/10 and as it’s my guilty pleasure Gundam show.
However, I cannot say the same thing about its squeal which is called the Forbidden Gundam show by many Gundam fans myself included and that show is Gundam Seed Destiny.
Am going to be straight honest with you know Gundam Seed Destiny is easily the worst Gundam show that has ever been released so far. It has a tonnes of problems such as meanless war, awkward tone shifts,, an unlikable MC who goes by the name of Shin Asuka who is always angry, has emotional problems and has idiotic ideas that make no sense at all, has more stock footage than freaking scooby doo and the show has the most unoriginal Gundam designs ever made. Looking at you Destiny Gundam.
You’re only going to a massive headache while watching it If you’re curious about it, you can check it out but watch it with friends with the HD remaster version or the Movies because watching this alone is a really painful experience that no one should suffer through by themselves.
Lucky There is One Gem out of the Cosmic Era that got itself a 3 Episode OVA called Gundam SEED Stargazer C.E.73. This is probably the Best Anime Adaptation so far that the Cosmic Era has ever received. When Gundam Seed & mainly Gundam Seed Destiny did so many things *wrong*, Stargazer did so many things *right* that it’s like you’re almost watching a completely different Gundam Series entirely! I seriously wish it was more than just 3 Episodes, I want to see MORE out of it! That’s how much I enjoyed it! And I’m willing to bet that you will too.
Gundam X is a good Gundam show that I highly recommend to anyone despite being cut down to 39 episodes due to poor ratings in Japan. Gundam X is basically a “What-If” Universal Century Timeline and takes a lot of elements from the U.C. Timeline and kinda changes them around in its own way. It’s not part of the official U.C. Timeline in any way, shape, or form. But it re-imagines it from a different perspective, and in a damn good way!
Mobile Fighter G Gundam, may be an Oddball of the Gundam Franchise as its more of a super robot shounen anime intend of a war but do you know what G Gundam is freaking amazing and epic from start to finish with great and lovable characters that will grow on you as the series progresses and the battles and soundtrack is great and exciting. As long as you don’t take it that seriously, you will probably end up Loving this one.
Like with Gundam Seed Gundam AGE is a controversial Gundam show. I wouldn’t recommend looking at that one until you’re more into Gundam. AGE being one of your 1st Gundam Animes is a very bad idea, cuz that will give you an even more False View on what Gundam is all about. Despite that Gundam AGE is a decent Gundam where it only becomes great in the AGE GEN 2 arc. However, Gundam AGE kinda falls apart in the last 10 episodes as it’s almost as bad as Seed Destiny. The first 2 arcs are good and very enjoyable to watch while Gen 3 arc is mediocre at best.
Lastly, we have the Gundam Build Fighters saga.
This one I would not recommend checking out until you’ve gotten very familiar with Gundam as a whole, and are well aware of Mobile Suits, references and Characters from all series beforehand. This whole saga is just nothing but a massive love-letter to the entirety of the Gundam Franchise.
In terms of quality, The first season of Build Fighters Absolutely FANTASTIC in almost every way possible has great characters, amazing visuals, great mecha battles that use a lot of strategy and tactics for Gunpla battles, racing etc.
Personally, this is my 2nd favorite non-U.C Gundam show as being in my 4th favorite Gundam show of all time.
Build Fighters Try not so much.
I don’t hate it on anything but compared to S1 it’s a massive step down in a lot of areas. It’s not Seed Destiny, the second half of Victory, F91 or 00 movie levels of bad but when compared to S1 it’s kinda disappointing. On its own it’s a decent Gundam show that it has great moments every now and then but it couldn’t keep up to the greatness that is from S1.
Just like G Gundam. Do not take them seriously. Hell, they don’t even take THEMSELVES seriously. So why should you? Just wanted to clarify that last thing there, because there actually are idiots out there who hated Build Fighters and Try because they made the stupid mistake of actually trying to take them seriously.
You can buy the Gundam Blu-Ray/DVDs on theses following websites.
Since Anime Limited is only releasing Gundam on Blu-Ray for the UK. This is the cheapest way you can buy all the newest Gundam shows on DVD. However, you will need a Region Free player as all of these shows are official US releases from right stuff.
AllTheAnime Store UK (Blu-Ray Only) They sell collector editions on many Gundam shows. Only buy them if you a fan of the those Gundam shows. They can be very pricey so watch out.
I hope this helps clarify your confusion you had with the Timelines of Gundam and helps you make the right choice on what to go with.
Welcome To Gundam.
I hope you will enjoy what this franchise has to offer.
Hopefully, I will review all the Gundams shows in the future.
This was Shawn aka KurataTrigger and I will see you guys next time.