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Anime / Gundam Evolve

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Gundam Evolve is a series of short (usually CGI) films set in various Gundam universes. The episodes range from recaps of series; side-stories starring major, minor, or new characters; even alternate endings to canon works. The shorts take place all across the Gundam multiverse, originating in the Universal Century setting before branching out into the alternate universes. 15 episodes have been released (later compiled in three volumes of five episodes apiece), with no intention to produce more.

This series of animated shorts contains the following tropes:

  • Ace Custom: All three Karaba pilots in episode 9 ("MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam") have individually tweaked versions of the venerable Zeta Gundam:
    • White Unicorn (likely Amuro Ray) pilots a MSZ-006-3A Zeta Gundam III A Type. Its only visible differences between it and Kamille's Zeta are Amuro's personal emblem and a color scheme associated with him.
    • Grey Wolf's MSZ-006-3B Zeta Gundam III B Type is in a yellow color (much to the pilot's chagrin), has additional airfoils, and a giant beam gun.
    • Red Snake's MSZ-006-P2/3C Zeta Gundam III P2 Type is easily the most unique. It has completely redesigned armor with a spikey motif, a bright red color scheme, and a custom cockpit making it a Mo Cap Mecha.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the Mobile Fighter G Gundam episode, Rain (and the Rising Gundam) go from being "not really an action girl in a copy of the hero's obsolete first mecha" to "able to beat the hero in his Mid-Season Upgrade." Notably, she gets a Rising Finger attack to counter Domon's God Finger.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: Other than the first episode, which is made from clips from the original Mobile Suit Gundam movies, everything is made with computer graphics.
    • Episodes 5 and 14 subvert this, with 2D elements utilized for characters and effects while the Gundams are all CGI.
  • Call-Back: Episode 12 has the basic format of "Zeta character in a training exercise with their starter MS, screws something up, and angrily writes a formal apology afterwards", which is the exact same format as Episode 2. The main difference is the details:
    • Episode 2 has Kamille piloting the Gundam Mk-II, accidentally shooting an observer camera, and writing a whiny screed afterwards (in which he makes an Insult to Rocks dig at Quattro).
    • Episode 12 has Quattro piloting the Rick Dias, deliberately shooting at the technicians as "payback" for a prank (see Disproportionate Retribution below), and the paper for his apology was clearly crumpled into a Wastebasket Ball at some point.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Episode 3 ("GF13 017NJII G Gundam") has Rain use the Rising Finger, which was originally only mentioned in the technical design document and never featured in any canon material until this short.
    • Episode 8 ("GAT-105 Strike Gundam") has the XT404 "Grand Slam" greatsword, a weapon previously included with the Perfect Grade kit but not seen in any fiction.
  • Clip Show: The very first episode is basically a very short retelling of the original Mobile Suit Gundam condensed into about five minutes, concluding before the series' climactic battle a A Baoa Qu.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first episode is a retelling of another series done using clips. Every other episode is an original story done in CGI.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • In Episode 3, Rain attacks Domon while he practices Tai Chi. He has been gone for two days, but she claims that he's been cheating on her without really having any reason to even assume that. She ends up beating him and vandalizing his Gundam's face by writing insults and accusations on it.
    • In Episode 12 ("RMS-099 Rick Dias"), the AEUG engineers prank Quattro during a training simulation by making him fight a copy of his old MS-06S Zaku II. He responds by shooting at them; needless to say, the episode ends with him being forced to apologize.
  • Fix Fic: As mentioned under Spared by the Adaptation, both Quess and Chan survive the events of Mobile Suit Gundam Chars Counter Attack. Supposedly, this change was brought on by Yoshiyuki Tomino (better known as "Kill 'Em All Tomino") being in a better place mentally.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: Most of the episodes are based off of different Gundam works, and as such focus on a different mech (Or, in the fifteenth episode's case, character) from their respective series. Episode 14 however is the only one based off of an SD Gundam work, SD Gundam Force Emaki Musharetsuden, and as such focuses on Rekka Musha Gundam.
  • Insult to Rocks: Episode 2 ends with Kamille writing an apology for destroying an observer camera, in which he calls Quattro incompetent by saying (paraphrased) "Letting him lead a mission is like trusting a monkey to disarm a bomb. On second thought, that's an insult to the monkey."
  • Lower-Deck Episode:
    • Episode 11 ("RB-79 Ball") is about a team of Red Shirts mopping up A Baoa Qu after the One Year War has ended. Well, trying, at least.
    • On the villainous side of things, episode 13 ("RMS-108 Marasai") is about a young Titans pilot named Jonathan, one of the nameless, faceless mooks probably in the background of an early Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam episode.
  • Mo Cap Mecha: Along with the Mobile Fighters from the Mobile Fighter G Gundam episode, Red Snake's custom Zeta Gundam's cockpit can be switched to a special mode that makes the suit copy her movements.
  • Never My Fault: Kamille is very upset at having to write a formal apology in episode 2 ("RX-178 Gundam Mk. II") for damaging equipment, since he insists he didn't do anything wrong.
  • Rule of Funny: Rain, in the Rising Gundam, manages to defeat (the considerably stronger) Domon in the (considerably more powerful) God Gundam. Why? So that she can draw humorous messages on his defeated mobile fighter.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The QRX-006 Geminus from the Zeta Gundam episode is a walking (well, floating) shout out to the Fifth Angel, Ramiel, sharing an almost identical design and similar armaments.
    • The action in Episode 8 ("GAT-105 Strike Gundam") features acrobatics and Bullet Time action in a sequence inspired by contemporary action movies, particularly The Matrix.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Episode 5 (RX-93 Nu Gundam) features an alternate version of Mobile Suit Gundam Chars Counter Attack where rather than Chan shooting down Quess (and being murdered by Hathaway as revenge), Amuro arrives and traps Quess in his funnel barrier and defuses the situation, sparing both ladies.