Nightmare Fuel: Gundam
Long Runner of a meta-series, the Gundam franchise has loads of really scary moments.
- Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (1993-1994)
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam (1994-1995)
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (2002-2003)
- Colony drops are bad enough when it's just one at a time; the opening scene of Gundam X shows the sight of DOZENS of colonies crashing to Earth, causing pretty much The End of the World as We Know It.
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam is not short of this, either! Just think of the DG cells and the Devil Gundam. The Gundam Fight itself is one that comes even before DG cells; while the Neo colony nations fight each other using Mobile Fighters for the control of Earth, the Earth has to suffer in silence the property damage and the loss of lives. The message implying the upcoming 14th Gundam Fight at the end foreshadows more catastrophes to come right after the destruction of Devil Gundam.
- The "Gundam rapeface◊". Seriously, take a good, hard look at the classic Gundam faceplate. Pitiless, merciless, glowing eyes, that V-fin making it look angry... seeing that staring you down in the middle of a fight would not be pleasant, and has utterly terrified more than one enemy pilot in the series.
Universal Century/Regild Century - Mobile Suit Gundam
- Just think of the colony drops - utterly evil and terrifying. Imagine having one colony flattening you right from above your head.
- Most of the time, colony drops are glossed over to some extent: we only see the aftermath and hear about how terrible it was. However, the Dublin Drop in Gundam ZZ is the one time we see a colony drop up close and personal, from beginning to end. There's sheer panic in the streets as civilians desperately try to evacuate, the Federation is denying anything is wrong and refusing to send rescue, and the Neo-Zeon forces are deliberately shooting down evacuees and cutting off exit routes to ensure that as many people as possible would be killed. Then the colony hits, and the shockwave is so severe it knocks warships out of the sky and the debris cloud is visible from over the horizon. Judau nearly has a nervous breakdown after regaining consciousness, because as a pretty powerful Newtype he can sense all the pain, terror, and grief of the millions of recently dead. Wile Ple and Kamille go utterly batshit; the split-second image of Ple, who was not in the best mental health to begin with, spasming in terror is one of the most unnerving images in the entire franchise. At least for some people. The landscape is not just littered with but made out of flattened debris of the city, the sky is blotted out from the dust and smoke, and there is bits of falling metal raining down from the still-mostly-intact colony now sticking out of the ground, which collapses minutes later. The worst part is the Federation leaders' reaction to this: "Oh, well. At least it means fewer mouths to feed."
- Also from Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, what happens when Haman shoots Leina. Judau, normally a Hot-Blooded kid, completely snaps in the mom and grandmom of all tranquil furies, with anger and power strong enough to cause Haman to Freak Out and literally cry in fear and be felt by Newtypes who were far away from the place. (The visualization was a demonic phantom emerging out of him. The last time this happened, it was Dozle Zabi doing it.) That is how 'massively pissed off he was, and it's scary to see. This scene is probably why some consider Judau to be the Newtype with the strongest raw power.
- The Mobile Suits in general, all of them are powered by nuclear reactors. It's never stated explicitly where the reactors are but they're pretty damn close to the cockpit where the pilot sits. Any pilot who operates a Mobile Suit either in combat or for general construction work far away from the conflict has to deal with the knowledge that they're sitting next to something that has the potential to go critical if damaged and kill not only them but potentially everyone in the surrounding area. Think about that the next time you see a Zaku going up in a cloud of pink smoke.
- By extension, all weapons in the franchise, including warships and even the heroic Gundams themselves, are Nightmare Fuel. One professor even states to Alfred in Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket that they are Necessarily Evil, and are never meant to bring people happiness. Mobile Suit Gundam MS Igloo even shows us in one episode what it feels like to die at the hands of the White Devil and by extension how terrified Zeon soldiers are when hearing this infamous name.
- No matter what the intention Tomino might have, the monotone "La" during Lalah Sune's attack on the Federation fleet in Solomon is absolutely terrifying, echoing an unspeakable horror Zeon's Newtype soldiers unleash. If one doesn't feel it, one has quite a numb nerve.
- In addition to the monotone, we're given another two bottles of nightmare fuel in the Battle of Solomon. First, the Earth Federation's solar reflector array, Solar System, fires a giant beam that decimates the main gate of the fortress as well as all the Zeon units that attempt to sortie there, burning them to ashes. Then, Dozle Zabi's Big Zam retaliates, frying the Federation fleet in the same way.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, an image of bleeding Riddhe in an angry expression could count too.◊
- This goes back to Riddhe's ancestor, Ricardo Marcenas' death at the very beginning of the Universal Century, being sucked out into space mid-speech as the Laplace station is destroyed. It definitely does a good job foreshadowing what humanity was to expect from the UC Calendar.
- The Angel Halo from Mobile Suit Victory Gundam is for all intents and purposes weaponized Nightmare Fuel. Instead of nukes, killer death lasers or nuke-loaded asteroids like in most other UC works, this one uses the power of several Newtypes (who think they're all channeling their abilities for peace) to broadcast a wave that can mentally warp people into infantile toddlers. And the Zanscare Empire intends to use this on everyone on Earth. Compared to that, even Char's Axis drop is far more preferable.
- While the backstory of Gundam Reconguista In G is described as being rather dark, especially given that it's set over a millenium after the UC Calendar was abolished, at one point institutionalized cannibalism was considered a thing. Let that sink in for a second.
- There's also the fact that, in addition to leading up to the Correct Century according to Word of God thus, ultimately leading to the Moonlight Butterfly the state of affairs by the time the anime takes place is a validation of Full Frontal's vision for Spacenoids and Neo Zeon's survival. It took several generations, but he won.
- This is the setting that gave us Yazan Gable, a Sociopathic Soldier who is little more than a bloodthirsty feral beast that's capable of piloting a mobile suit. He's totally obsessed with killing and slaughter, considering his whole purpose in life to be the death of anyone and everyone who catches his eye. And he is good at it; he's not only one of the series' worst villains, but also the resident Hero Killer. The man's one battlecry is "I'm gonna violate you!"
Correct Century - Turn A Gundam
- The initial invasion of Earth by the Moonrace's Dianna Counter forces counts as this. Which wouldn't be unusual for a Gundam show...except that Earth people are no more advanced than in World War I. From the perspective of someone on Earth, the realization that all your guns and biplanes do close to nothing against an entire army of mobile suits even after the titular Turn-A shows up and they find their own caches of Lost Technology weapons is downright terrifying.
- The Turn-A and Turn-X themselves are essentially walking Nightmare Fuel, much like the Ideon. In addition to outclassing just about every mobile suit ever made in the Dark History (while using only a small fraction of their full power), there's also the "Moonlight Butterfly" a nanomachine system that can destroy any technology, which was also responsible for ending said Dark History by destroying civilization on Earth thousands of years before the series takes place. There's a good reason why they're so feared.
- There's also the fact that the nanomachines used are capable of regenerating the mobile suit's pilot indefinitely. Given that Gym Giningham is trapped in the cocoon generated by the Moonlight Butterfly after the last battle, this also means that he'll be kept alive and conscious for all time.
- The implications of the Dark History are this and a tearjerker. No matter what the protagonists achieved in the other Gundam shows, it ultimately leads to the Moonlight Butterfly.