To 30 Years Of Gundam And To 30 More

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30 More Years! 30 More Years! 30 More Years!

It was April 7th, 1979……1 score and 10 years ago, one man brought forth a vision, a new kind of robot anime, conceived in depression, and dedicated to the proposition that all robots are created with some form of approachable scientific consistency. 

And so it was that this man, one Yoshiyuki Tomino gave birth to what would eventually become my favourite anime franchise.  A franchise that still resonates with the public 30 years after it’s inception, thus proving it’s staying power for the years to come.  Some may even go so far as to call it the most important anime ever made, for it ushered in what would become a golden age of anime and brought a hint of maturity to what was once seen as kid’s fare.

I got my start with Gundam Wing like most people and it was like nothing I had ever seen before when it came ot anime in my humble country of Canada.  The standard was to hack and butcher anime to pieces and water it down to get an E for Everyone rating, but Bandai would say to hell with this in bringing the work over to Canada.  To me at the time the dialogue and events unfolding before my eyes were absolutely breathtaking and kept me their at the screen religiously every night.  I would not could not miss the next episode of Gundam Wing, and not only was it my baptism as far as mecha anime went, but it was also the first time I ever heard and understood the word coup d’etat.  I might even go so far as to credit my transfixiation on Gundam Wings politcal wheeling with bringing about my near obsessive interest in real world politics today.

Others got their mecha baptism much earlier with shows like Robotech (Macross/Southern Cross/Mospeada hacked into one), Voltest V (For my Filipino friends out there this was the epochal anime that changed the playing field forever in their country), or even Starvengers (Getter Robo G), but for it was Gundam Wing.  After that you can imagine my excitement upon learning that the Gundam franchise was not just one 50 episode series, but in fact had a history as large as anything I had ever seen at the time.  This was the summer of 1999, which I spent researching the history of the Gundam franchise on a now dead website called Gundam Project.  I just had to know everything about this “mecha” franchise that had come out of nowhere to touch me in such away and yet leave me thirsting for more.

It wouldn’t be until 2002 that I would have a chance to actually watch another Gundam series in Turn A, and from there in 2003 I would move on to other Gundam series once I had discovered the beauty of torrents.  Those were the years, and now I have watched every piece of Gundam media to every grace (and in Destiny’s case tarnish) a monitor, TV or Movie screen.  My thirst hasn’t been quenched yet though, and in someway’s and can’t help but feel Tomino’s bizarre message at the end of Gundam F91, “This is just the beginning”, holds true to the Gundam franchise as well.

Today the franchise and it’s creative studio Sunrise are heavily criticized for a variety of reasons, but I still cannot see any way in which to hate either for bringing me something that I am certain I will never stop being fascinated by.  Gundam as a franchise has had it’s ups and downs, but even during it’s most unfortunate moments I have never stopped loving this franchise for even a second.  I have been called many names as a result which I actually take no real offense to from “The Meister” to “Setsuna F. Seiei, The Gundam”, but I actually dig it.  I know if there is one thing in this world that I am a fanboy for then it is Gundam.  That aside, for now I would like to propose a toast.

To the staff of MAHQ who are dedicated to keeping the mecha faith, to my friend ghostlightning who is dedicated to remembering love and who is currently undergoing his own Gundam baptism, to The Animanachronism who is dedicated to bringing forth in-depth and analytical discussion on all things mecha, to the fine folks at GundamNews.net and Zeonic Corps for consistantly bringing us the latest Gundam News and manga, to my friends on the animesuki forums, mechatalk forums and to all the other Gundam fans and fanboys, to all the mechaheads out there and yes even to the gentle/m/en (not the trolls though I’m afraid) out there :

gundam-toast

Here Is To 30 Years Of Gundam And To 30 More!

28 Responses to “To 30 Years Of Gundam And To 30 More”


  1. 1 sadakups April 7, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    There are three things that amaze me with this article, KS:

    1. That today is the exact day of the 30th anniversary.

    2. That just like me, you started with Gundam Wing as entry to the Gundam fandom.

    3. And that you know about Voltes V’s massive popularity in the Philippines. I know that there are a lot of Filipinos in Canada so it comes as no surprise that you know some of them. And yes, I’m a Filipino.

    Lastly, cheers to Tomino, Sunrise and 30 years of Gundam! Looking forward to the next Gundam project.

  2. 2 ghostlightning April 7, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Alas our Gundam 30th Anniversary Project couldn’t make it in time, but mechafetish assures us it’ll be worth the wait ^_^

    The really awesome part of the franchise is the sheer volume of shows available. This is a great thing once one is past the ‘gateway‘ stage, but the same stupendous volume has been a barrier to entry for some.

    This is why shows like 00 and SEED are important. More than just a retelling, and a shows that stand alone, they serve as ways to ease new generations of viewers into the Gundam fandom. 00 certainly did it for me.

    Here’s to more Stardust Memories!

    @ sadakups

    Oist! Nasa Canada ka na rin ba? Ang dami ko nang kamag-anak doon (Edmonton). Ingats. ^_^/

  3. 3 Zack April 7, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Well said! It looks like a lot of us were brought into the Gundam universe and with some mecha in general by Gundam Wing. Here’s to hoping there’s a lot more series to come. I will never tire of Gundam or mecha. I patiently and eagerly await the next series.

    Have to say, thanks to Tomino (and the others) and Sunrise for making something this incredible that has lasted so long. I can’t imagine a world without it.

  4. 4 Myssa Rei April 8, 2009 at 6:11 am

    Unlike the two Filipino expats above, I didn’t start at Gundam Wing, but… Victory Gundam. Ye Gods, was that depressing. Still, it gave me enough impetus to backtrack my way through the Gundam mega-Franchise, much like Daimos did for me with SR series. Despite the ups (I still firmly believe that Turn A was the best of the Tomino era) and downs (SEED Destiny, by Haruhi), I can’t say that it was time wasted.

    Here’s to the future!

  5. 5 ghostlightning April 8, 2009 at 6:44 am

    @ Myssa

    I’m still here in Pasig City, Philippines though . Your entry to Gundam is quite unlikely. V was also one of many shows my friend threw at me back when he was trying to convert me (it’s his favorite). It didn’t quite work, but I’ll definitely be watching it later on.

    Glad to know you liked Daimos. I don’t think any robot delivers a physical beatdown better than good old Daimos.

  6. 6 sadakups April 8, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    In 30 years of Gundam, I’ve only seen 11 Gundam series. I guess I’ll try Turn A or Victory sometime in the future.

    Speaking of Victory, I remember my friend calling me in the dead of the night just because he was so depressed after doing a marathon of the said series.

    And for me, SEED Destiny NEVER happened. I could not stomach doing a rerun of that series after I literally got sick of it.

    @ghostlightning: Wow, Pasig. Lapit mo sa Antipolo, p’re.🙂

  7. 7 Myssa Rei April 8, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Turn A and Victory are like Day and Night; the former ended up an incredibly high, upbeat, and I dare say, HAPPY note, while the latter had an incredibly high death count at the end of the series, AND was kind of depressing with how the aftermath turned out.

  8. 8 Turambar April 8, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Wait, I was always under the impression from the dialogue around the two shows that V was one with a “Kill ’em all” attitude while Turn A had a rather hopeful theme? Ah well, Turn A should have it’s turn on the queue right after I’m done with Zeta.

  9. 9 Myssa Rei April 9, 2009 at 12:47 am

    That’s what I said. Turn A = Upbeat and Optimistic, given the fact that it was made after Tomino had worked his way out of depression. Victory = utterly depressing, not surprising since it was done DURING Tomino’s said depression.

  10. 10 Turambar April 9, 2009 at 3:20 am

    Oh, I completely misread that somehow I guess. Whoops.

  11. 11 gribb85 April 16, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Amazing article, absolutely fitting on such a day. I really need to see Turn A and Victory Gundam.

  12. 12 vazhavandan May 23, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Unlike you people i got baptized by the original series,there was no looking back after that.

    The following i saw on TV:-

    Mobile Suit Gundam
    Zeta Gundam
    Gundam ZZ

    The following through online video ,torrent in general through net:-

    Gundam: Char’s Counterattack
    Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
    Mobile Suit Gundam F91
    Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory
    Mobile Suit Victory Gundam
    Mobile Fighter G Gundam
    New Mobile Report Gundam Wing
    Gundam: The 08th MS Team
    After War Gundam X
    Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz
    08th MS Team: Miller’s Report
    Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz
    ∀ Gundam
    G-Saviour
    Gundam Evolve
    Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
    Gundam SEED Special Edition
    MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War
    Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY
    MS IGLOO: Apocalypse 0079
    Gundam SEED C.E. 73 STARGAZER
    Mobile Suit Gundam 00

    Let me tell you guys “East Or West Gundam is The Best”

    No anime was close,is close and never will be close to Gundam in terms of glory

    All must take a bow before it,as they say “Sugoi”

  13. 13 Kaioshin Sama May 23, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    @vazhavandan: It always makes me day when I see such heartfelt appreciation for my favourite anime franchise. Thanks.

  14. 14 vazhavandan May 24, 2009 at 4:49 am

    I think Gundam series is really great because lot of homework is done by the creators of the series in bringing these series much closer to reality,especially the first one was a master piece,the technology involved was explained and stuff whereas in others like voltron,force 5 was left to viewer’s imagination.That’s what makes Gundam so special.Also Gundam 00 story was so original with all those civil wars and stuff(mention about Ceylon/Struggle in srilanka “I mention this because i like in India, and i know about this bitter struggle” moving into future in the form of mecha battles,man was so exhilarating, i could feel this series essence)

  15. 15 DemetriusWar July 27, 2009 at 1:53 am

    The 30 foot Gundum erected in Japan is a testiment to how much fun even adults can have .. I read at firste Tomino thought a Giant Gundum Figure would be a bad idea, Saying he didn’t want it to look like a toy, until the unvailing.. I am a big fan of the Gundum Wing Francise and understand why bandi has made the decision it has.. I can only hope that we as humans take heed of The message in gundum and that is one of hope. Now matter what happens in this life if we think together we can make a difference. I understand how thirty years can seem like a long time. I myslef have only been alive 25 year, but to see a milestone like this in my life time is a grand thing, and I am anxious to see what the company will do for a 50 year anniversay. granted I will be 45 years old, but i will still be a loyal Fanboy until the End

  16. 16 katie5000 October 21, 2009 at 1:58 am

    Huh…hope it’s not too late to comment😄;

    I, too was introduced to the Gundam franchise via Gundam Wing (on Toonami), but wasn’t real taken with it. This, unfortunately, caused me to write the franchise off for a long, long time. D:

    Over the last few years, however, a series of events led me to give the franchise another try – the primary one being a friend of my ex-roommate’s, who was over at my place working on a Gundam costume that he was planning to wear to Fanime ’09. He suggested that I try watching some of the shows that came before Wing, since they would be less like it. I found out at Fanime that this year – 2009 – was the 30th anniversary for the franchise, so I decided that if I was going to watch it I ought to start from the beginning with the first series and work my way up. The hammer of fate was falling.

    It was during the long, hot summer of 2009 that I re-discovered the “Gundam” franchise by watching the first Gundam series. Let me tell you, I had no idea what I was missing in my exile. I mean, wow. When I returned to school at the end of August, I promptly sat my friend down and showed the series to her, because she just had to see it – and I got her hooked on it as well.😄

    In conclusion, whoo, Gundam!😄 I couldn’t really do anything this time around for the 30th, but you can bet I’ll try for 35 or 40.🙂

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