Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway's Flash is a Gundam novel trilogy written by Yoshiyuki Tomino released from February 1989 to May 1990. They serve as a Sequel to Beltorchika's Children, the novelization of Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack.
Seven years after the end of the Second Neo Zeon War, the Republic of Zeon has folded back into the Earth Federation. Fast forward five years later, and the Federation has started searching for undesirable individuals, deporting them back to the space colonies. In Universal Century 0105, the terrorist group Mafty launches attacks on the Federation in an attempt to stop their abuse. Unbeknownst to most of the populace, their leader is none other than Hathaway Noa, son of well-known Earth Federation battleship captain Bright Noa, under the pseudonym Mafty Navue Erin, at the helm of the prototype RX-105 Ξ (Xi) Gundam. In response to Mafty, the Earth Federation Forces form the Circe Unit to fight them.
An anime film trilogy adaptation was first teased at the Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative announcement in 2018, and officially confirmed later that year during the Gundam 40th Anniversary Project presentation. The first film was originally set to release on July 23, 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No new release date has been announced.
Tropes included in Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway's Flash are:
- A Mech by Any Other Name: In the novels, the Penelope is not explicitly stated to be a Gundam, only that it had inherited the design philosophy of Gundam-type mobile suits. Video game adaptations gave the Penelope the ability to cast off its Flight Unit, revealing the Odysseus Gundam, a form exclusive to those games and the upcoming anime films.
- Call-Forward: The anime version of the Messer is said to share equipment with the Jegan A Type, which first appeared in Gundam F91, set 18 years after this story.
- Cyber Cyclops: The Messer, Maftys mass-production mobile suit, developed from the same line as Neo Zeon's Geara Doga and Sazabi. Notably, its one of the few protagonist faction grunts in any Universal Century anime to utilize a monoeye, and part of the Zaku family no less.
- Downer Ending: Hathaway is captured and executed by firing squad; in the afterlife, Quess Paraya, whom Hathaway believes he has been fighting for ever since her death, rejects his affections for her, claiming she has never loved him. Furthermore, the one who orders Hathaway's execution is none other than Bright himself - he discovers Mafty's identity before the order is carried out, but is too late to rescind it.
- Dramatic Irony: Used to show how the Federation is really no better then Mafty.
- Kenneth has Lane take Gawman as a hostage and shield to fight Hathaway. The irony and hypocrisy in using a hostage to fight a terrorist group (one that is never seen taking hostages, no less) seems completely lost on both of them.
- The Federation Cabinet has Hathaway executed without trial to make an example out of him to future anti-Federation groups. They either don't see the hypocrisy in using fear to fight terrorists or just flat-out don't care.
- Grand Theft Prototype: Invoked. To cover up the fact they actually bought it from Anaheim Electronics, Mafty stages stealing the prototype Minovsky Craft system equipped mobile suit, the Ξ Gundam, while it is being transported from AE's factory on the Moon to Earth.
- Grey-and-Gray Morality: Easily one of the greyest in the franchise, which is saying a lot. While Mafty is undoubtedly a terrorist group, the Federation is far from innocent. Most notably, using the Manhunters to forcibly deport completely legal citizens for the crime of speaking out against the Federation, even forcing them and illegal immigrants to perform slave labor in mining colonies.
- Heroic Spirit: Bright describes this as being what Gundam is.Kenneth: Captain, you probably dislike the use of the name Gundam for the machines of rebel elements, right?Bright: Not exactly. Previous generations of Gundams were always piloted by those with rebellious spirits. In their final moments, those Gundams always ended up getting decapitated, blown up, or engulfed in flames. However, even after the Gundam was gone, that rebellious spirit always stayed strong.Kenneth: So that's what Gundam is...
- Fittingly enough, this conversation is heavily implied to be one of the things that causes Kenneth to decide to create the next Mafty.
- The Hero Dies: Zigzagged; Hathaway is executed at the end of the story, though it's debatable whether he actually qualifies as a hero when the novels paint him as a Villain Protagonist.
- Humongous Mecha: Barring one-off mobile fortress-type weapons like the Psycho Gundam family, the mobile suits in this are the most humongous in all of the Universal Century, representing the absolute nadir of the trend of increasingly overbuilt, overpriced "dinosaurian" MS design that more or less began with the ZZ Gundam before it was finally reigned in during the Mobile Suit Gundam F91 era. Even the story's main Mecha-Mooks, the Gustav Karls, are enormously chunky, with a whooping head height of 22.0 meters.
- It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: The Xi Gundam is named after a Greek letter - "Ξ". As such, it's pronounced like "ksee Gundam".
- The Lost Lenore: Quess
- Moral Event Horizon: In-Universe example. Kenneth considers the Federation Cabinet to have crossed this when they sentence Hathaway to death without trial as revenge and to make an example out of him for future anti-Federation groups, even glorifying that Bright was the one who signed the order. This causes Kenneth to resign out of disgust and decide to up the next Mafty.
- Never Found the Body: Averted in the novels. Amuro Ray and Char Aznable are confirmed to be dead, precisely because they did find their bodies. This is unlike in the anime canon, which opted to leave their fates ambiguous.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: At the end, the Federation decides to have Hathaway executed without trial both as petty revenge and to serve as a warning to other dissidents. However, all this achieves is to turn Hathaway into a martyr and disillusioning key Federation officers to the point where they resign from service or decide to form their own resistance movement.
- Super Prototype: Xi Gundam, a prototype for a line of Minovsky Craft System equipped mobile suits that can take on dozens of mass produced mechs by itself.
- Written by the Winners: Notably averted. Hathaway's capture and subsequent execution without trial only causes distrust for the Federation to grow even further and for Hathaway to be remembered as a hero.Gigi: His... Hathaway's name will be Murrumbidgee, and will ascend into legend.Narration: "Murrumbidgee"... Exactly as Gigi's figurative expression meaning "water that never runs dry" described, Hathaway's name would continue to be passed down through the generations...