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Franchise / Gundam

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The face that launched a thousand spin-offs.

"It's a Gundam!!"
— The Last Words of many a Mook in the franchise, as demonstrated here.

Gundam is a long running series of Humongous Mecha Anime shows started by Yoshiyuki Tomino in 1979, Trope Maker for the Real Robot genre, and basically the Japanese equivalent of Star Trek. Gundam is a Cash Cow Franchise and a veritable merchandising empire, encompassing not just televised anime, but also manga, OVAs, video games, plastic models, toys, theme park rides and a racing team sponsorship.


The Gundam anime franchise is split amongst many different continuities and timelines. The oldest and largest timeline is the Universal Century, of which there are still animated works being made to this day.

Alternate timelines (referred to by Japanese fans as "Another Gundam") have their own distinct settings and histories. As the popularity of Gundam declined in the 1990's, these standalone settings were first conceived as a way to draw new viewers to the franchise without the need of navigating an already long and dense storyline. Although the majority of these timelines follow the Universal Century's Military Science-Fiction roots, they are also a way for Sunrise to be more creative with their stories, at times delving into genres such as Super Robot fighting tournaments, To Be a Master modeling competitions, and Saving the World Heroic Fantasy.


Related Works

Gundam works are generally stories about how War Is Hell, covering conflicts between different groups of people fighting World War Whatever over ideology, resources, and other familiar real world issues — as opposed to fighting an Alien Invasion, Robot War, or other external threat. This conflict usually takes the form of the established Earth government fighting against people living in the enormous space colonies in Earth orbit in a downplayed form of The War of Earthly Aggression (though it's a toss up whether Earth or the colonies are actually the aggressors in any given series).

The plot of a Gundam series usually falls into one of two archetypes. The original version was an Ordinary High-School Student getting drawn into the ongoing war against his will when The Empire attacks their Doomed Hometown; they end up Falling into the Cockpit of the latest Super Prototype Gundam in order to save themselves and/or their friends, and gradually grow into an Ace Pilot in their own right. A variation of this arose as the franchise expanded, where the protagonist is a Child Soldier and already an Ace Pilot at the beginning of the story, sent on an important mission to use their powerful Gundam to strike a devastating blow against their enemy. Either way, the series is usually a Coming of Age story, where the protagonist suffers trauma and loss during the course of the conflict, but grows as a person in the process of examining their motivations and their place in the world and eventually deciding how to best live up to their ideals and fight for what they believe in.

Lore-wise, the Gundam series (particularly the original Universal Century timeline) are notable for the remarkably consistent fictional technology; in UC, this is based on the original Minovsky Particle. Also notable is the presence of Newtypes, who are essentially psychics akin to "Jedi in giant robots". Newtypes, or some Suspiciously Similar Substitute, appear in most Gundam shows.

Kunio Okawara created many of the iconic Humongous Mecha designs, including the RX-78 Gundam. However, the franchise has also had mecha designs by Hajime Katoki, Kazumi Fujita, Junya Ishigaki, Mamoru Nagano, Syd Mead and several others.

The Gundam franchise is the Trope Namer for:

The Gundam franchise provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Federation: The Earth government is usually one. No less than four separate timelines (UC, AW, AD, AGE) feature a government known as the "Earth Federation". Though they all use the same name in Japanese (地球連邦/Chikyu Renpo), the localizations of Gundam X and Gundam 00 attempt to differentiate by calling it the 'United Nations Earth' and the 'Earth Sphere Federation', respectively.
  • Fighter-Launching Sequence: Pretty much everyone announces their name and which mecha they're using before launching from the Cool Ship.
  • The Force Is Strong with This One: Newtypes and such can often sense each other.
  • Frozen Face: Mobile suits, being mecha, don't really have any means for showing expressions. That said, the shows usually manages to convey emotions through them regardless, with visual tricks like camera angles and lighting, plus creative use of the one feature that does change: their Glowing Mechanical Eyes.
  • Fricking Laser Beams: A staple of the franchise, though the specifics of how they work varies from series to series.
  • Gatling Good: The head gatlings, another iconic weapon for Gundam-type suits. Mostly used for dealing with small, fast threats like planes and missiles.
  • Get Ahold Of Yourself Man: Bright Noa, the Team Dad of the UC timeline, is the king of this trope. So much so that it was originally called the Bright Slap. Used in several other timelines as well.
  • Glowing Mechanical Eyes: Mobile suit cameras (positioned in their heads like eyes, naturally) always glow when activated.
  • Grand Theft Prototype: Previous Trope Namer. Highly advanced Gundams featuring experimental technology and extremely high combat performance get stolen with alarming regularity in the franchise.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Gundam is notable for rarely portraying either side of a conflict as faceless, mindless evildoers — there are good people and bad people on all sides of a conflict. That said, the protagonists' faction will usually be A Lighter Shade of Grey.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Whilst their enemies often get more exotic melee weapons, the hero's suit will have a beam sabre or two.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: From both throwaway and major characters; a side effect of Anyone Can Die.
  • Hover Skates: Mecha can often move this way, even if they can't out-and-out fly with their thrusters. Some mecha are explicitly designed for it, most notably the Dom from various Universal Century works.
  • Humongous Mecha: Obviously.
    • A Mech by Any Other Name: They're called "mobile suits" in general, though different timelines have variations like "mobile fighters", "mobile dolls", and "mobile bits". Non-humanoid versions are usually called "mobile armors".
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Not individual episodes, but almost all of the Gundam TV series (as well as Mobile Suit Gundam F91, which was intended as a TV series) are named after one of the protagonist's mobile suits. The only exceptions so far are Gundam SEED (named for the series Super Mode), Gundam: Reconguista in G (named for the Towasanga faction's plan to conquer Earth by forcenote ), and Iron-Blooded Orphans (named for the protagonists, rather than any of their mecha).
  • Idiosyncratic Mecha Storage: Because they generally operate in 0-G, the Zeon space colonists do not store their mobile suits standing upright on racks like their Earth-based Federation rivals and instead have them lying down, back-to-back, or strewn about all over the hanger because there is less of a concept of "up" without gravity.
  • Info Dump: Happens in some spots, e.g. the introduction of the Specials in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.
  • Latex Space Suit: For use by both males and females, though only pilots; other crew get bulkier, more conventional space suits.
  • A Lighter Shade of Gray: While Gundam usually goes out of its way to show that both sides of the conflict have good and bad people, it's generally still the case that one side has the moral high ground.
    • On occasion it's not the ostensible protagonists. There are moments early in 00 where the protagonists (who are committing terrorist acts against military targets to bring about world peace) occupy a sort of middle ground between antagonists who are actually pretty evil (but psychologically conflicted) and antagonists who are nice, morally sound people who happen to be fighting against the mysterious pseudo-terrorist group that just showed up. Later on, many of this latter group end up on the same side as or working with the protagonists, and then it becomes more clear-cut.
  • Long Runner: The first series premiered in 1979 and the franchise has been going strong since. Big Name Fan Burke Rukes once pointed out on his old website that if one were to watch all of Gundam from MSG to Turn A, it would take about a week, and that was without counting work, sleep, and bathroom/meal breaks. And mind you, this was after the Gundam's 20th anniversary in 1999 — the franchise has expanded considerably since then.
  • Love Across Battlelines: A staple of the series, as part of the standard Love Hurts Aesop.
  • Love Hurts: Very, very rarely does a romance with a Gundam pilot work out for anyone.
  • Love Triangle: Almost all series have this.
  • Made of Indestructium:
    • Gundams are typically made of this; in UC it's named "Gundarium" in honor of the Gundam which was the first to use itnote ; in AC it's called "Gundanium" and the Gundams are named after it; and in AD the Gundams use "GN Composite Armor", which is just normal armor reinforced with Applied Phlebotinum.
    • The CE series put their own spin on the trope by introducing Phase-Shift Armor, which requires a constant supply of electrical power to function, placing it halfway between this and Deflector Shields. This is significant since the CE suits initially run on batteries with a very limited capacity.
  • Made of Explodium: Frequently what mook mecha are made out of. Given an actual explanation in the UC works (a Minovsky reactor breached by beam weaponry will likely go nuclear), but other series use it as well. Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (and it's classic Mecha-Mook the Leo) are most infamous for it.
  • Magitek: Newtype technology, designed to augment and be augmented by a pilot's Psychic Powers.
  • Mask Power: The Rival and/or Char Clone usually wear one.
  • Mega-Corp: Anaheim Electronics from the UC Timeline is a quintessential example.
  • Mega Crossover: The Gundam Fighter Flash game, with over 80 Gundam characters from various shows.
  • Mêlée à Trois: First introduced in Zeta Gundam and used repeatedly since. It usually takes the form of two major players each battling it out for their own interests, with the smaller protagonist faction fighting in support of loftier ideals.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Much, much more money is made on Gundam modeling kits than the anime itself.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Nearly every Gundam show actually features two Gundams piloted by the main character — the one they start with, and the one they use after their original is destroyed and/or their piloting abilities have increased to the point where their older ride is holding them back. Sometimes this is a literal upgrade to the existing mecha, but just as often they switch to an entirely new model.
  • Militaries Are Useless: In numerous Gundam series, the military units are composed of weaker "grunt" mobile suits that are largely ineffective and are destroyed in large numbers by the much more powerful Gundams and other "hero mechs", which are always piloted by the main characters (protagonists and antagonists) of the narrative. The "grunt" mobile suits are always piloted by characters who don't have major narrative roles, assuming they are ever seen at all.
  • Military Brat: Numerous series have characters that are children of military personnel, though usually in a non-combat capability, like researchers or engineers.
  • Mindlink Mates: In the UC continuity, powerful Newtypes of the opposite sex, particularly teenagers, tend to instinctively gravitate toward each other and form psychic and romantic bonds. Unlike most portrayals of lovers with psychic bonds, however, it often ends badly.
  • Mini-Mecha: While Humongous Mecha take all spotlight, several series do include small mecha, usually doing labor work in the background. The first that appear in anime is Junior Mobile Suit from Zeta Gundam, unless you count Ball from first series as one.
  • Minovsky Physics: Yet another Trope Namer, in the UC timeline, but implemented in every timeline to a greater or lesser extent.
  • Moe Anthropomorphism: MS Girl is originator of the Mecha Musume.
  • Moral Myopia: Common among the both heroic and villainous factions, though the protagonists will usually at least try to overcome this sort of thinking.
  • Mook Mobile: Dozens of variants in the franchise, usually limited to two or three examples per series. The bad guys usually have one that's influenced by the original Zaku II from Mobile Suit Gundam, with the "gas mask" face and its iconic mono-eye. In fact, the word "Zaku" is even derived from "zako" which means "mook" in Japanese.
  • Mythology Gag: While there are often indirect references to the original series in any given show, they often take this a step further by using the sound effects of the original series; this can range from the White Base's alert klaxon, to various booster/vernier sounds, to the classic "Pfeeew!" of the original Gundam's beam rifle.
  • Novelization: All of the anime series except Gundam X has at least one. Beltochika's Children is rather amusing case; it was originally Tomino's rejected plot of Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack which, in turn, is adapted from Tomino's novel Hi-Streamer. In other word, it's novelization of The Film of the Book, with all three by same author!
  • Nuclear Option: Notable for averting the Nuclear Weapons Taboo. The UC and CE timelines, in particular, are fond of throwing nukes around. UC generally treats them as dangerous and powerful weapons but not necessarily evil incarnate (the good guys use illegally obtained nuclear missiles on at least one occasion), while CE is rather less forgiving.
  • Officially Shortened Title: Works within the Gundam universe are typically given a long-form title Mobile Suit Gundam [Title], which is shortened to simply, Gundam [Title] in most usage; eg, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam is called Zeta Gundam, and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED is called Gundam Seed. They occasionally mix things up a bit (eg, G Gundam's full title is Mobile Fighter G Gundam, since the Motion Capture Mecha used by the heroes in that series are called mobile fighters as opposed to conventionally-piloted mobile suits), and works with especially long titles may have more than just "Mobile Suit" cut from the short version (eg, Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack is usually rendered as just Char's Counterattack).
  • Phlebotinum Girl: Ubiquitous. In fact, the proposed name for the trope was "Newtype Girl".
  • Phlebotinum-Handling Requirements: Various types of Mobile Suits can only be piloted by Newtypes.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Oftentimes The Federation has uniforms for each gender with these matching colors.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Which is why so many female pilots, from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam all the way through to Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, have pink mobile suits (or, at least, suits with pink highlights).
  • Point Defenseless: Is it a hero ship? If not, a whole armada's flak screen might as well be made of fireworks.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Both used straight and subverted. Characters frequently end up fighting and killing each other unnecessarily because they aren't able to communicate well enough to realize neither side actually wants to fight. But just as often, they will establish that communication (thanks to handy Psychic Powers) and end up fighting and killing each other anyway because even though they don't want to fight, they still have incompatible ideals and neither side is willing to back down.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: In many video game crossovers, established mobile suit performance is pretty much thrown out the window. In fact, the RX-78 from the original series is usually not just keeping up with other units, but a powerful one due to Popularity Power.
  • Powers Do the Fighting: A minor staple in the franchise. If a mobile suit has Attack Drones, expect them to do this once in a while.
  • Protagonist Title: Mostly it's the main protagonist who pilots the eponymous mecha. The few exceptions are Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (referring to the Big Bad's Evil Plan) and the Cosmic Era shows (SEED refers to a Super Mode possessed not only by the main protagonist. And while Destiny also refers to the Villain Protagonist's Mid-Season Upgrade, it also refers to the Evil Plan of the Final Boss).
  • Psychic Children: About half the Gundam universes prominently feature youngsters with psychic powers of one kind or another, most of whom end up getting turned into as Child Soldiers because of them.
  • Psychic Powers: Newtypes and their various Expies from most of the franchise's timelines.
  • Real Robot: It invented the genre, though it's always been stuck somewhere between the Real Robot and Super Robot styles.
  • Recurring Element: The visual style of the Gundam — especially the iconic "face" — is pretty consistent throughout the franchise. The setting in each AU also includes an "Earth vs space" aspect in almost every case. A recurring theme includes the question of when — and if — violence is an acceptable way to resolve your differences. Haro, the cute ball-shaped Robot Buddy, is a partial example, having shown up in UC, CE, and 00, but none of the other settings.
  • Red Baron: It's usually the enemy Ace Pilots that get awesome nicknames (starting with Char as the Red Comet), but occasionally allies do as well (such as Mu la Flaga from Gundam Seed, known as both "the Hawk of Endymion" and more informally as "the man who makes the impossible possible"). Oddly, the main character rarely gets this treatment.
  • The Remnant: Exaggerated in the Universal Century continuity. The Principality of Zeon is defeated in the One Year War, but the various Neo Zeon factions continue to be the standard villain for most of the later UC series, with their last holdouts only falling in 0123; Unicorn's adversaries get bonus points for being The Remnant of another Remnant.
  • Retcon: Between all the Alternate Continuity versions and OVAs, they're inevitable. They're usually not too bad, but exceptions (such as Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory's Colony Drop) do occur.
  • Ringworld Planet: Helped popularize the "O'Neill cylinder" design. Ring-world shaped colonies exists in Gundam Wing and in the in the case of Universal Century, in the beginning of Gundam Unicorn.
  • Sensor Suspense: Tends to do this by having stuff suddenly appear immediately before they come under attack. The Bridge Bunnies suddenly yelling "Heat source detected!" out of the blue usually means bad things are about to happen.
  • Series Franchise
  • Series Mascot: Aside from the Gundams themselves, there are the Haros.
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Most tend to hover between "Know Your Place, Woman!" and "Men are More Equal". Female combatants are usually around, but they're less common than male ones, and tend to be less skilled and/or stuck with less powerful mecha than their male counterparts. And pretty much the only woman capable of keeping up with the (invariably male) series protagonist in terms of both piloting ability and mecha strength — Haman Karn of Zeta and ZZ — is a villain.
  • So Last Season: The Mid-Season Upgrade has been a staple since Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, and even Mobile Suit Gundam had a limited version of it.
  • Space Opera: A Downplayed example, with the action usually restricting itself to Earth and Earth orbit, and never expanding past the solar system. With the single exception of Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer, it sticks to Absent Aliens, as well.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Whoo boy. Too many examples to list, but common to a greater or lesser extent in basically every series. The most infamous examples are probably the Principality (Duchy/Archduchy/Grand Duchy) of Zeon (Zion/Jion) and Mu (Muu/Mwu — though thankfully no Moo) la (ra) Flaga (Fllaga/Fraga). And then there is Quattro Bajeena, whose name has on at least one occasion been translated as "Quattro Vagina", due to the katakana used in his name. (And given Jamitov "Hyman"note , it's very possible it is... uh, meant to, be spelled with a "V"...)
  • Spiritual Antithesis: The entire franchise in general (even the Lighter and Softer entries to a degree) is arguably an antithesis of what Gene Roddenberry's work in Star Trek represented. If there are strange new worlds to see in the Universal Century for instance, expect them to have a lot of the same problems we deal with on Earth. And expect humanity to bring its conflicts, bloodshed and hubris to the stars, as well as with all that's good in mankind.
  • Spiritual Successor: Happens fairly often with AU series. To wit:
    • Wing to G (Multinational Team in five garish, Super Robot-style Gundams), and the last story arc to Char's Counterattack (Char Clone tries to blow up the Earth).
    • X to the original series, sort of, being an alternate Bad Future to the One Year War.
    • Turn A to X (post-apocalyptic stories set mostly in America and on the Moon whose title Gundams are equippedd with terrifyingly powerful and exotic weapons).
    • SEED to the original Gundam (first major Earth/Colonies war) and Destiny to Zeta (a follow up series featuring a new cast, but where characters for the original show are still around and active).
    • 00 Season 1 to Wing and Season 2 to Zeta.
    • AGE to the entire Universal Century from the original through to Crossbone.
    • Gundam Build Fighters to early G (Gundam vs Gundam Fighting Series), and to the Gunpla Builders OVA series, which itself is to an obscure manga called Plamo Kyo Shiro.
    • Reconguista in G is this to Turn-A due to the setting, the director, being set after the Universal Century, and the Gundams being non-standard in design (the Turn-A's V-fin serves as a mustache, those of the G-Self are swept forward).
    • Iron Blooded Orphans is a send-up to X, Wing, and 00, with the violence and deconstruction of the genre taken Up to Eleven.
  • Standard Sci-Fi History:
    • Many series features Stage 1: Exploration and Colonization of Space. And then jump right into Stage 2: World War changing the world.
    • The Universal Century subverts the standard progression. The rather idealistic founders of The Federation definitely thought they would bypass Stage 2 into something akin to Star Trek. Instead, the timeline is marked by multiple Stage 2 scenarios that by the time Victory takes place, it's just barely functional.
  • State Sec: The franchise seems to have something of a love affair with this trope. Some notable examples include:
    • The Titans, the main antagonists of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. They eventually take over the regular Federation Forces and become a de facto military dictatorship. They manage to be even more Nazi-like then their predecessors, the Principality of Zeon from Mobile Suit Gundam (ironically, their original stated purpose was to eliminate Zeon remnant groups).
      • The Titans are replaced following the First Neo-Zeon War with Londo Bell, which, since it is run by Bright Noa, is a far more moral example that doesn't abuse its authority. That said, it is still an autonomous military force outside the regular chain of command, with its official mission statement being to hunt down Zeon upstarts. The fact a Second Neo-Zeon War starts invites accusations of them not doing their job.
      • This also explains why by the time Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn takes place, the Feddies are revealed to have established another Titans replacement called the ECOAS "Manhunter" unit. But while its job more or less is to do the sort of wetworks that Londo Bell would never do, a sense of duty, professionalism and a grounded awareness of being a Necessary Evil keep it from becoming just like the Titans.
    • The A-Laws (Autonomous Peace-Keeping Force) from Mobile Suit Gundam 00, who are obvious expies of the Titans. They're autonomous from the regular military, with access to secret police, and under the direct command of Ribbons. Interestingly enough, the organization had different levels of trust: Those who have no idea what the A-Laws are really doing, the ruthless top brass who knew what the A-laws were doing but remained mere pawns, and the Innovades who really knew really what was going on.
    • The Organization of the Zodiac in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing is an interesting case, zig-zagging as the series went on. While officially part of the Alliance military as a elite force, it was secretly the Romefeller Foundation's military wing. After eliminating the Alliance, OZ becomes the regular army for the Romefeller government.
    • Phantom Pain in Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny is a downplayed version - it's a special forces group used to support the radical Blue Cosmos faction. They get to use advanced (but illegal) technology, has skilled personnel, and are autonomous from the regular chain of command. But despite being used to expand Blue Cosmos' and LOGOS's agendas, the group mostly uses standard Alliance uniforms and don't seem to be ideologically charged as other examples.
  • Stealth Pun: Big Name Fan Mark Simmons observed that SNRI, the rival to Anaheim Electronics, was created shortly after Sunrise bought the rights to Gundam.
  • Stock Footage: And plenty of it. More of a problem for some series than others (the CE timeline was particularly infamous for indulging in it), and generally less of an issues in the movies and OVAs. Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, ∀ Gundam, and Gundam 00 are also notable for largely avoiding it. There are some scenes reused (as in, you could count them on one hand), but much of the time it's a two-second clip that's only reused once, or it's just a split-second explosion to change scenes.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Downplayed. Every series has female pilots, but they're almost always outnumbered by male ones, and (with the exception of the manga Tiel's Impulse and Ecole Du Ciel), they're never the main character. Well, it is Shōnen, after all...
  • Super Prototype: Just about anything with the word "Gundam" in its name, and a lot without it.
  • Superweapon Surprise: In the UC timeline, and the CE that mirrors it, mobile suits are these, with the subversion that they're used to attack instead of defend. The first Gundams in both universes are this again, in that they're Bigger Stick mobile suits that catch the other side by surprise too! More typical examples also appear in most timelines, as well.
  • Sword Fight: Only with Humongous Mecha and Laser Blades!
  • Tank-Tread Mecha: The franchise have provided many examples of tank tread mechas.
    • In the Universal Century timeline we have the RX-75-4 Guntank from Mobile Suit Gundam, one of the earliest examples within the franchise. It proved to be an effective artillery platform that subsequent successor models and variants were developed ever since. Most notably the RTX-440 Ground Assault Type Guntank, the RMV-1 Guntank II, the D-50C Loto and the F-50D Guntank R-44
    • During the One Year War the Principality of Zeon recycled their growing number of wrecked Zaku mobile suits and Magella main battle tanks to build the MS-06V Zaku Tank. They proved to be useful in construction work as well as fighting vehicles.
    • Aside from the Zaku Tanks there's the YMT-05 Hildolfr "mobile tank" from Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO. It's a Transforming Mecha that can switch between tank mode and tank tread mecha modes. Despite its size it proved to be quite maneuverable in combat at close range (though it might be because of the pilot's skills) and managed to take on a squad of Federation piloted Zakus on its own despite the fact that its loadout's geared towards long range artillery support.
    • In alternate timelines we have the DT-6800 Daughtress Tank, ZuOOT and GaZuOOT.
  • Telepathic Spacemen: Newtypes from the Universal Century and their various equivalents.
  • Transforming Mecha: Varies between series, with some series chock-full of such mecha, and others devoid of them. Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam springs to mind as the Gundam series with the most Transforming Mecha, which includes the title mech.
  • Translation Convention: In Japan, the Army and Navy use the exact same ranking system, which has caused a good deal of confusion over what to use in the US dubs — for example, is Kou Uraki an Ensign or 2nd Lieutenant? Typically, this is handled by treating the Space Forces as a Navy, and the rare few series that focus on ground combat forces (like Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team) use Army ranks.
  • Vehicle Title: The eponymous Gundam is a Humongous Mecha, after all. The only exceptions are Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (Colony Drop) and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (Super Mode).
  • Villainous Valour: It's not uncommon to see highly courageous behaviour from Gundam adversaries, whether ordinary mooks or major villains.
  • War Is Hell: A recurring theme.
  • The War of Earthly Aggression: The most recurring theme in the series, and the one that generates most conflict overall.
  • Warrior Therapist: The Rival tends to be one, resulting in philosophical debates during running mecha battles.
  • Wave Motion Gun: There's always at least one, whether mounted on a suit, a ship, or a space station.
  • Weapon Title: The eponymous Gundams are Humongous Mechas designed for warfare. Some works not named after the eponymous Gundams also count, such as Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (Colony Drop), Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (the characters' Super Mode), Gundam: Reconguista in G and Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Most cyber newtypes and their alternate universe expies are not known for rationality or mental stability.
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: Happens repeatedly, where despite the antagonists being defeated, war erupts again in a few years anyway — usually to justify a sequel. The Universal Century, with the most sequels, suffers this the worst, amounting to about 20 years of more-or-less constant fighting spread out over five or six distinct conflicts (depending on how you count them). However, it also happens with Gundam Wing (and its sequel Endless Waltz), Gundam Seed (and its sequel Gundam Seed Destiny), Gundam 00 (and its sequel A Wakening of the Trailblazer) and Iron-Blooded Orphans (where the season one finale leads to a brief period of peace and a mid-series Time Skip, both of which end with the beginning of season two).
  • World Half Full: Virtually all Gundam shows take this attitude — thought the world may be in serious trouble, the protagonists can and will fight to make it a better place than it was when they started.