What is GUNDAM?: An Anime Abstract

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What is Gundam and why is it so popular? After you have enjoyed enough Manga and Anime you are able to read between the lines and can see a detail or two another may have missed. Through this and other detailed evidence you are able to piece together what really happened in a particular series. This results in an abstract idea, a thought which doesn’t have a physical existence but can be speculated. Welcome to Anime Abstract.

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After checking out Ready Player One, there are no doubt quite a few of you out there who are wondering who some of these characters are. Not everyone took the the time to read the book or research every single one of the individual pop culture references which appeared in either piece of media. This means there is probably a few of you wanting to know more about some of these characters and why they were so important to be used in them.

One of the most memorable scenes comes from the main villain summoning MechaGodzilla in an effort to destroy the heroes. In response one character uses a mythical item to turn into a giant robot to fight back. This is the RX-78 mobile suit. Also known as the Gundam. Considering how much information there is behind the Gundam Franchise, consider this a bite size way of looking into what many call the Star Trek of Japan.

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The first series, Mobile Suit Gundam began in 1979 and found a way to distinguish itself from the other giant robot series already in existence. Gundam didn’t employ the usual “Monster-of-the-week for the robot to defeat” formula. It didn’t involve forming blazing swords or a special attack to destroy the opponent in one fell swoop. Instead the series focused on a war in the distant future between the Earth and Space Colonies and offered much more real cause and effect relationships. People died, plans failed, and the fight was not simply a cut and dry good vs. evil scenario. Despite the series being cancelled early, it still resonated with enough fans sequels followed and the franchise is still just as popular today as it ever was.

Each series which followed would carry on with some of the themes and details which were presented in the original series. They would feature a Gundam, a giant robot which was a top of the line fighting machine and a pilot who seemed irrelevant but would eventually display intense combat prowess. Other stables would include the message of “War is hell,” people with extraordinary abilities appearing, and a mysterious ace pilot who wore a mask.

Gundam

There are many Gundam series, each with there own appealing aspect to different individuals. Watching the franchise does not necessarily mean having to watch every Gundam series which has ever came out. For those who are looking for a good starting point, check out Gundam Build Fighters. It is a series where people build Gundam models and use them in combat thanks to fantasy technology. The series makes references to other Gundam shows and helps to showcase the fun which can come from enjoying the series. Many of these series are available to watch on YouTube. There you have it. A short and sweet introduction to the Gundam.


Are you new to Gundam or a massive fan? Leave a comment below and let us know.