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Mobile Suit Gundam

I wrote a while back about watching the original 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam series with my wife, and how, despite the poor animation, I was enjoying it. It did take us a while to get to the end, because in the middle of the series (comprised of 43 episodes) you hit a long stretch that I found to be pretty uneventful, but yesterday we hit the homestretch, and watched the final 14 episodes in one go. I think I would recommend you instead watch the 3 compendium films that were made out of the series (using footage from the series), as they cut out a lot of the fat, which for me was really the close to 20 episodes in the middle (the essential bits I’d say are the first 10 or so and then from around episode 30, when they return to space). Also, the idea of “Newtype” gets introduced ridiculously late in the series, and has a lot more focus in the compendium films, and in fact, Gundam creator Tomino is said to have used these compendium films to fix a few things he saw with the series. That being said, I’m still happy that I watched the entire series, to see where it all came from, and I’m hopelessly addicted to exploring the rest of the “Universal Century” shows (this refers to shows that take place in the same timeline as the original series, whereas a lot of Gundam shows over the decades take place in different timelines that have nothing to do with the original series, and are simply inspired by similar motifs). I’ve been using this guide to help me plan my journey, as I continue to watch shows in order that they take place in the timeline, and not based on date of release – immediately after finishing the original series, I watched Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt, which I loved to bits. 

By Jean Snow

Senior Manager, Esports at Ubisoft. Before that, half a life spent in Tokyo.