Anime Anniversary: The 5 Most Impactful Gundam Series

You might not realize it but Tuesday this week (April 7th) was a very special day for fans of Gundam or mecha in general. It was on that day in 1979 that the very first Gundam series premiered on Japanese television! Now, I openly admit that I’m not a Gundam fan but I do know that this is a franchise that has had a major impact on anime history, which is why I decided to pick out a few Gundam series which (for better or worse) have lasted within the minds and hearts of fans over the years.

 

Mobile Suit Gundam

(1979-1980)

This is the anime series that started it all for Gundam fans… the big bang as it were. Starting in 1979 and lasting for 43 episodes, this is the series that would introduce fans to the Universal Century calendar, characters like Char Aznable and many more features that made fans fall in love with the franchise, and turn it into the phenomenon that it is today.

 

Mobile Fighter G Gundam

(1994-1995)

Taking place in the Future Century timeline, this is a series that will forever live on as an infamous chapter in Gundam history due to some of the craziest robot designs to ever be created. In this series, mankind is largely living on space colonies but agree to hold Gundam Fight tournaments once every four years to determine who is control. Each country sends a Gundam back to Earth to fight in a winner take all, one on one tournament until only one Gundam is left standing.

If I were to watch a Gundam series, this is one that I think I would want to check out because of how goofy the designs are. I’m told that this isn’t the best representation of a Gundam series but it’s still one of the most interesting and I knew that it had to be included on this list.

 

Dat cake. Via cake wizard Ms Bossy.
Dat cake. Via cake wizard Ms Bossy.

 

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing

(1995-1996)

For many fans in the United States, this was their gateway into the Gundam franchise thanks to a run on the afternoon television block Toonami. When I was in high school, this series would air every afternoon and you could find at least half a dozen anime fans sitting in the common area of the school watching it on one of the televisions. This is a pivotal series for many fans in the west and will forever live on in their hearts as a treasured chapter of the franchise.

 

Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz

(1998)

I remember about a decade ago (maybe a little more than that) everyone I knew who was even vaguely a Gundam fan had a copy of Endless Waltz on their DVD shelf. It was considered required watching by so many people that it was almost impossible to walk into someone’s house and NOT see a copy of this laying around somewhere. This story takes place in the After Colony timeline and features a story where Gundams are no longer needed. Unfortunately things don’t go as planned and the Gundam pilots must retrieve their Gundam and go into battle once again.

From our trip to Tokyo last month. More on our Instagram.
From our trip to Tokyo last month. More on our Instagram.

 

Gundam Build Fighters

(2013-2014)

One of the more recent and popular entries into the Gundam franchise isn’t really about Gundam at all, but more about Gundam building. This series takes place in the modern era where clubs build Gundam models and put them against each other in competition. This is a series that fans have been raving about ever since the first season premiered a couple of years ago. Gundam fans and non-Gundam fans alike have been able to bond over the heart that this series displayed on a weekly basis, and was even popular enough to spawn a direct sequel: Gundam Build Fighters Try.

These are just a handful of the many, many Gundam series that have been made over the decades but now we want to pose the question to you:

What’s your favorite Gundam series of all time?

Sound off in the comments and let us know!

 

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7 Comments

  • First one is obvious, 2nd can be argued, but it’s minimal. 3rd one not at all, but I can get what they mean since it was the first to come over the states, but they should remember that just because it was the one that came to the states first, doesn’t mean that it’s a top impact series. 4th was stupid, putting in Wing twice wasn’t a good move, 5th was even more stupid, like how, it’s a spin off.

    You need to realize that just because you like something, doesn’t mean it’s impactful, at least try.

    Next up is your wording, you’re looking for “influential” not impactful, using that word in this kind of list made no sense.

    If you want Impact, it’s:
    -First (Changed the anime industry and created a whole new Mecha Genre, real robot.
    -Zeta (where Tomino became Kill em all Tomino),
    -Unicorn (very well done and if you pay attention to things, like an example I have is a Sunrise panel I was attended recently, the voice actors would talk about their own experiences with Unicorn and how amazing it was for the 5 years they worked on it.)

    -Others would depend, Seed for it being the first gundam show done digitally, 00 for being the first show to introduce a foreign alien concept, Turn A because of the Dark History.

    I guess you wanted to make something since Gundam is popular and all, but at least knkow your stuff.

  • Was this article created by a Millennial? I respect your opinion but you really should start from the original series and go forward.

  • Not to pile on, but besides Mobile Suit Gundam and Gundam Wing, I think you’re missing some amazing shows. Unicorn, 00, and so on. I agree with another post, using Wing twice was silly and Build Fighters?? Impactful?

    It may be UC, but 00 had a very topical element as well as an amazing story arc.

  • Yeah, you have to understand that this is written from the perspective of someone who has never really been a Gundam fan but still wanted to pay homage to the franchise. I tried to include a variety of series from multiple decades. Obviously some of my choices were off the mark and I’m willing to take heat for that. I would argue that years from now Gundam Build Fighters is going to be a series that stays relevant within the Gundam universe though so that one I’m willing to stick with. The rest could be seen as debatable which is the whole point of every blog post I write for Viewster; to spark debate and discussion. I will apologize if I offended fans of the franchise though, that wasn’t my intention.

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