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Manga / Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin

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Hey, was it good to be born into this world?

The Earth Sphere had begun a headlong race into chaos and darkness...

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin is a manga adaptation of the original Mobile Suit Gundam, written and illustrated by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, character designer and animation director of the original series as well as character designer for Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam F91 and Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn (which he also illustrated the first three volumes of original novels).

The series is the third of its kind and follows many of its plot elements while expanding on those elements and adding unique elements of its own. The plot is the same as the original series and is as follows:

The series follows Ordinary High-School Student Amuro Ray, opening in the midst of a stalemate in the war between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon. Though the Earth Federation has (or, rather, had) superior numbers and resources, the Zeon military has annihilated much of the Federation's population with chemical weapons, decimated their fleet with their new mobile suit technology, nearly ended the war in a stroke with a Colony Drop, and follow up by invading Earth.


While fighting a losing battle on Earth, the Federation stepped up its R&D program to develop its own mobile suits, resulting in the Super Prototype "Gundam". While doing final tests on the Gundam in a remote space colony, they are attacked by a small Zeon force led by Char Aznable. Amuro ends up Falling into the Cockpit in order to save the colony, and from there is pulled into the war between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon. But, of course, things aren't as simple as they appear to be...

The manga itself was adapted into a series for theatrical release. It is a prequel covering the manga's flashbacks to Char and Sayla's childhood and the rise of Zeon. It premiered in March 2015. As part of a deal between Sunrise and Right Stuf, it was given an American release by the latter with an English dub recorded by NYAV Post. As part of the Gundam franchise's 40th anniversary, the OVA series was recut into a television series entitled Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin - Advent of the Red Comet, similar to how Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn was recut into Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn - Re:0096. This was given a North American television airing on Toonami's lineup starting July 6, 2019.


In addition, it spawned at least three spin-off side stories set both before and after the main storyline:

  • "Casval 0057" (or "Birth"), about Zeon Zum Daikun hiding from Federation authorities while his son was born.
  • "Artesia 0083'', which concerns Sayla's coming to terms with her Zeon heritage after the war, as well as Kai Shiden finding a direction in life.
  • "Amuro 0082" Amuro reunites with Fraw, Hayato, and the kids in Japan while Zeon assassins try to avenge M'Quve.

In the United States, the manga was previously available from Viz, who released part of it in twelve collections in the American comic book format, following the Japanese tankobon editions (small size, few color pages, and printed on newsprint). Unfortunately, these editions cost double the standard price for about half the content and are now out-of-print. More fortunately, Vertical Inc have picked it up and released the entire series, retranslated, in a Limited Edition hardback format based on the Japanese aizoban editions (which are over-sized, have more color pages and are printed on high-quality gloss paper). All twelve volumes have been released, with the three side stories included in the final volume.

Now includes its own character page.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin provides examples of:

  • Ace Custom: Char's Zaku II, which had its thruster limiters removed, giving it 30% higher output than the normal Zaku II. When paired with Char's piloting skills, it has three times the speed of a regular Zaku II.
    • The Black Tri-Stars and Ramba Ral also have their own personal colors for their mobile suits, though the Tri-Stars use a deep blue color scheme at first and only adopt their iconic black, purple, and gray color scheme after switching to Zaku II High Mobility Type, a reference to Mobile Suit Variations.
    • Char's Musai-class light cruiser, the Falmer, has a slightly different bridge design compared to the regular Musai. No reason was given for this in the original series, but in Origin, it's revealed that it was an improved ship designed for special operations, given to Char by Dozle for his mission to investigate Operation V.
    • Dozle gets a unique flagship type Musai called Valkyrie, which is bigger than the standard version and has the firepower to match.
    • Sleggar pilots a GM with a paint scheme that resembles the Gundam.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • The role of Sayla Mass is expanded from supporting character to that of main heroine, on an equal paring with Amuro. As a result of the events in the Prequel Volumes (5, 6, and 7), Sayla was forced to grow up fast and fend for herself, and as a result is more active, aggressive, and adept in combat by the time the beginning events of Side 7 occurs. During the events of The Origin, Sayla headshots bad guys, heel kicks Cozun Graham in the jaw, mows down Zeon infantry fighting vehicles with a car mounted machine gun, shoots down countless Zeon mobile suits including killing Newtype Corps pilot Simus Al Bakharov, pilots her own customized GM Mobile Suit, and using her real name Artesia Som Deikun, rallies Zeon soldiers and leads them in a mutiny against Kycilia Zabi during the Battle of A Boa Qu.
    • Mayor Eschoenbach goes from an impotently resentful paper tiger whom Garma keeps around because he can keep the civilians in line to the leader of an underground guerrilla resistance that actually gets into a shooting war with Garma's forces.
    • Zenna goes from being just Dozle Zabi's wife and mother of Mineva to being a cadet officer who participates in Garma's uprising who becomes Dozle's wife.
    • The GM's are quite a lot more powerful this time around. The Jaburo defense is successful in both the original and The Origin but in the original, in spite of it being the GM's debut, they contribute very little onscreen save for one being killed by Char. The Origin has their presence be a grand unveiling and they're the primary reason for the Federations victory as they outmaneuver and outperform the attacking Zeon. Even the GM killed by Char has an additional scene where it confronts and destroys an Acguy on its own. Slegger, Sayla, and even Amuro briefly, all pilot the suit, allowing it to see more action.
    • Side 7's defenders are also much more skilled in this version. In the original Denham and Gene just wiped them out before getting to Amuro and the Gundam. Here not only are there more Zaku soldiers attacking, but they come up against Lieutenant Wertz, and his Prototype Gundam who starts kicking their asses. This also answers the question of just what was the Gundam's original test pilot doing during the Zeon attack.
  • Adaptational Context Change: Kai and Hayato's reasoning for abandoning White Base are altered both to make them more sympathetic and to incorporate the changed plot. In the original series, they were angry that Amuro wasn't being punished for betraying everyone and opted to defect. Here it's only part of the reason and the catalyst for their defection is actually the suspicion that Sayla was a Zeon spy. Kai feels that the revelation means that they've been compromised causing Ryu to counter that Kai's just using this as an excuse to act on his cowardice. Hayato in turn brings up that he and Kai were just civilians pressed into service, and the danger mixed in with their distrust for the higher-ups is justification enough to leave.
    • The circumstances of several character deaths have been altered to make them seem less like Stupid Sacrifice. Ryu crashing into Hamon's Magella Top was an accident caused by low visibility. In the original series, it was a purposeful Suicide Attack to save Amuro, even though he could have just shot a missile at the Magella Top.
    • The circumstances of Woody's death was radically changed. In the original series, he ignores Amuro's warning, charges Char's Z'Gok in a hovercraft, and gets killed in a single hit. In Origin, Amuro was forced to pilot a GM due to the Gundam not being available, causing him to lose to Char, who was moments away from finishing him off. Woody's sacrifice brought Amuro the time he needed to turn the tide of the battle.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • M'Quve, while still a Smug Snake who violates the Nuclear Weapons Taboo at the Battle of Odessa, subsequently refuses Ghiren's orders to launch even more nukes when it becomes clear Zeon is losing and instead of dying in a glory-seeking duel with Amuro makes a Heroic Sacrifice, personally leading an MS squad in his Gyan to clear a path for his forces to retreat and then self-destructing in the middle of a flotilla of Federation gunboats to keep them from shooting his men down as they fly back into space.
    • Likewise, Dozle Zabi's reputation as A Father to His Men is further emphasized, showing how sympathetic he was even before the One Year War.
    • Degwin is shown to be a much more caring father figure, at least to Garma. When Gihren arranges for mass riots against the Federation forces occupying Zeon, Degwin warns him that if any harm comes to Garma, then Gihren would regret if very badly.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Many characters are far nastier in this version of the Universal Century.
    • Kycilia goes from a cold, calculating commander who nonetheless wants what's best for her nation and loves her father to a Manipulative Bitch who'll do anything to get on top, including manipulating Gihren into killing Degwin for her and then killing him to "avenge" their father. She is also responsible for the assassination of her own brother Saslo, the assassination of Jimba Ral and the attempted assassinations of Char and Sayla. In her second attempt on Char's life, Kycilia arranges to to have an entire passenger ship Char is supposedly riding in destroyed. She also helps break Revil out of prison knowing that he will torpedo the Federation and Zeon peace talks and prolong the One Year War.
    • Char also gets it bad. Not only is his smugness cranked way up, but he also has far more morally questionable deeds under his belt than just trying to kill our heroes and betraying his leaders due to a family vendetta. Among other things, he sends the real Char Aznable to his death and steals his identity, manipulates a bunch of poor Amazon natives into helping him with promises that Zeon won't infringe on their tribal ways like the Federation even as his fellow Zeon soldiers try to mold them into guerrillas and may have ultimately caused the One Year War. And he smokes! But then, we are talking about a guy who eventually tried to blow up the Earth, here. The OVA adds setting up his former roommate (and original Char's friend) to die in a captured tank during the Dawn Uprising after the roommate figured out his true identity.
    • Char's adoptive father figure, Jimba Ral, is also a much nastier character than he was in the original. In the TV series what little information we get on him comes from Sayla's memories of a kindly old man who looked after her family in its hour of need. In Origin, he was a borderline-abusive Conspiracy Theorist who wouldn't stop ranting about the Zabi family's complicity in Zeon Deikun's death and deliberately molds Char into a Tyke Bomb to use against them, whom Sayla resents for stealing her and her brother's childhoods by pushing his vendetta on them when she just wanted to get on with her life. On the other hand, this version of him never actually kills anybody. In the original timeline he may or may not have been responsible for the car bomb that killed Saslo Zabi, whereas in Origin it's another of Kycilia's schemes.
    • The flashback arc has Zeon Deikun himself going from the Timothy Leary-inspired New-Age Retro Hippie he was described as in the original's background materials to an unstable, raving lunatic who wanted to wage war against Earth (though he most likely meant "war" in an ideological sense, since Degwin explicitly said that Deikun would never wish for a war with the Federation). It's also suggested that he married his first invalid wife for her financial and political connections only to abandon her the moment a pretty face came along.
    • Even Garma and Dozle, the two most sympathetic Zabis in canon are given a few additional Kick the Dog moments. Though they're still more heroic than either Kycilia or Gihren.
    • The Federation gets a turn in the third OVA episode during the lead-up to the Dawn Uprising. The Uprising was triggered by unrest after severe damage to a Zeon agricultural block led to food shortages. In the OVA, a Federation cruiser's arrogant refusal to yield the right-of-way to an outgoing freighter caused a collision that sent the cruiser careening into the block instead of negligence at a meteor monitoring station allowing a stray meteor to hit it. Federation troops are also shown violently putting down protests calling for independence, which they never did in the manga.
    • The real Char Aznable is at first present as a decent enough guy. However, he quickly becomes a firm and fanatical believer in Zeon and the Zabi family. He eventually volunteers to join the Zeon military, and even openly wishes to fight in a war against the Federation in a few years, causing his pacifist parents to disown him. Char's rabid Zeon patriotism is also probably what helps motivate Casval/Edouard to arrange the real Char's death and steal his identity.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: Saslo Zabi never appeared in the series proper, but some supplementary materials have him looking like an older Garma. In this he looks like a younger Degwin.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Played With. In the original series, the Guntank and Guncannon are cutting edge mecha that are part of Project V, same as the Gundam. In The Origin The Guncannon and Guntank are just grunt suits with the Gundams being the main secret weapon of the Federation. This is made especially obvious in the beginning where the one Gundam brought aboard the White Base is treated as the central important unit, while the 3 Guntanks and Guncannons are largely support (and were previously to be used as target practice by the Gundams). That said, the Guntank and Guncannon performances aren't too bad compared to the main series and they gain a greater role and get a few extra victories under their belts than they did in the original series.
    • In the original series, Garma's a competent commander whose plans almost resulted in the destruction of the Gundam and the White Base, but failed due to Char's sabotage. Here, all of his tactical brilliance is cut, and he's depicted as a bitter, spoiled brat who can't accomplish anything without Char's help. Even his post as the supreme commander of the Earth attack force was given to M'Quve instead.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The manga has a more focused story, cutting out many trivial episodes from the original series. This is especially obvious during White Base's time on Earth. In the anime, the ship basically hops from place to place on a rather vague course, whereas in the manga the White Base makes a clear journey from Los Angeles (where they land and where Garma Zabi is based) to Brazil (where Jaburo is located). Yasuhiko also switches certain events around to fit the new story, such as Operation Odessa taking place after the White Base reaches Jaburo, and Amuro encountering his mother before the White Base crew defeat Garma Zabi in battle.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Many events are shown in more detail than the original series, such as Amuro's life at Side 7 and the last moments of the colony that got dropped. The manga also goes into greater detail about Char and Sayla's backstory and Zeon Deikun.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Since the manga distills both the series and movies, it follows through on a few of the movies cuts. While the Adzam and Gyan are kept in the series, the beam lance, the Gundam Hammer, and the G-Armor parts are all cut out. The latter is replaced with the core booster from the movies.
    • During the initial Mobile Worker test, the Zeon Scientists put together an Evil Knockoff of the Guntank with a similar design sans the head. This Zeon built Guntank is removed from the OVA and replaced with a conventional one who's animation model is the same as the standard build.
    • Garma's customized, head-vulcan equipped Zaku II from the MSV series is nowhere in sight when he participates in the partisan mop-up operations in the early days of the war. Instead, he commands a squad of normal Zakus from a Gallop class landship.
  • Age Lift: Mirai is aged up by four years to facilitate a scene where she gets to briefly see young Char and Sayla while working as an intern under her father, who's the owner of the Texas colony and a friend of Don Massnote . Interestingly, this would make her two or three years older than Captain Bright, assuming everybody else's ages remain consistent, which puts a slightly different spin on their relationship.
    • Weirdly happens to Crowley Hamon within the manga itself. In a flashback to Zeon Deikun and Astraia's first meeting she appears to be in her early teens but looks much younger in the prequel chapter depicting Char's birth.
  • All for Nothing: This is what several characters view Operation British as. The plan for it was to drop the colony on top of Jaburo, the Earth Federation's main HQ, to end the war early by destroying the heart of the Federation. Though the base was built far under ground and with enough shielding in the event of such an attack, Dozle and Gihren were confident that it would work. Others like Kycilia and Kai believe that the base would have withstood the Colony Drop and that even if the operation went according to plan it would never have achieved its goal to end the war before it began.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Invoked by the special guest commentary in volume two by CLAMP, who spend a goodly portion of the interview gushing about how cool and attractive Origin's more visibly sociopathic version of Char is.
  • All There in the Manual: A few details are revealed in author notes but for the most part this is inverted. A lot of the information about the series and the OYW in general that were revealed in secondary sources or Word of God are explicitly spelled out in series. Several MSV designs are canonized, names given only in the manual are stated in-universe, events only alluded to or shown in side materials are depicted (most notably Zeon's rise to power and much of what happened in the flashbacks), etc.
  • Alternate Continuity: While the series follows the anime's plot and is set in the Universal Century, there are enough changes and unique differences to the original canon that it could be considered an alternate continuity. However, due to its Non-Indicative Name, and the fact that the OVA adaptation only covers the backstory portion of the manga, it is often mistaken for a prequel to the original Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • Anachronic Order: The multi-book flashback arc starts immediately after the Jaburo invasion ends and then snaps back to the White Base leaving South America. Interestingly, this strongly parallels the oft-recommended "Machete" viewing order for the pre-Disney Star Wars filmsnote , the end of the Jaburo arc being where the second Compilation Movie ended. It's not a perfect fit though, since the Europe arc, which while heavily truncated in the movies still contains a few pivotal moments such as Miharu's infiltration of the White Base, was shuffled to after Jaburo in Origin.
    • Amuro's spinoff episode is the last featured in the final volume despite the fact that it takes place a year before Sayla's.
  • An Axe to Grind: Ortega's High Mobility Zaku II foregoes any guns whatsoever for a scaled up poleaxe version of the Zaku's standard Heat Hawk, which he uses as an anti-shipping weapon.
  • Arm Cannon: Both the GM series and some of the Zakus mount a double-barreled machine gun on their left arms.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. Char can't hurt an assassin clad in a full suit of plate armor until he stabs a sword through the face slit.
  • The Artifact: The small fighter jets on White Base are still called Core Fighters, despite the fact that they don't form the core of the RX-series mobile suits' torsos in this version. The one that the Gundam gets in its Midseason Upgrade is completely different.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • The Zaku I, while a fairly important suit on account of it being one of Zeon's first, only has one named pilot in the original series (the one-off villain Gadem) and some assorted cameos. Since the Origin depicts events leading up to the One Year War, it gets a lot more screentime with Char, the Black Tri-Stars, Denim, and Slender all getting models for themselves. It's easily one of the most released kits in the Origin's High Grade line.
    • Yasuhiko's notes on the flashback arc go into length about how he developed the Zeon Lt. JG Tachi, a minor character who assisted Hamon's Roaring Rampage of Revenge, into a full-fledged Dogged Nice Guy with a crush on her that lasted for years.
    • The female cadet officer who attempts to stall Dozle Zabi during Garma's raid is revealed to be Zenna Zabi, who's generally been given a larger role compared to the original series.
    • Char's original roommate at the Zeon Military Academy goes from a random schmuck killed by a stray bullet during the Dawn Uprising to one of the original Char Aznable's friends with a small arc of his own. He figures out Casval's identity after seeing his eyes, so Casval sends him to capture a Federation tank without telling the rest of the squad, leading to his death.
    • In the manga, the RX-78-02's intended pilot, Lt. Willie Kemp, is unceremoniously killed by an explosion on his way to the hangar without uttering a single line. In the sixth movie, Amuro gets to briefly meet him while investigating his father's work at the military base.
  • Authority in Name Only: While Degwin Zabi is the official head of state of Zeon, his unwillingness to do more than give a brief, private, and easily brushed off reprimand to his children when their actions go against his plans mean that they (usually Ghiren and Kycilia) are the ones who set actual policy rather than him.
  • The Bartender: The series establishes that Clamp, the main lieutenant under Ramba Ral, was the bartender at Hamon's club before the war. When Ral needs to show a group of drunk soldiers the business, Clamp wraps his hands for the upcoming fight and reassures him that he'll clean up the mess that will probably be made.
  • Batman Gambit: Kycilia secretly arranges for Revil to be broken out of prison and returned to Earth so that he can convince the Federation not to make peace with Zeon, thus giving Zeon the pretext it needs to directly invade Earth.
  • Been There, Shaped History: The flashback arc sees Char participating in, and occasionally instigating many pivotal events leading up to the war.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Earth Federation texts tend to be shown in the official languages of the United Nations. Meanwhile, anything involving Zeon or Side 3 feature a substantial presence of German and Japanese text, driving home the parallels to the Axis Powers.
  • Big Fun: Don Mass, Char and Sayla's jolly and rotund adoptive father, and one of the few Federation elites who actually cares about the plight of the poor, bankrolling a refugee center for people fleeing the spreading desertification in North Africa. Sadly, Reality Ensues after a Zabi family assassin throws him out of a window. He suffers a leg injury that doesn't heal properly because of his weight, spends the rest of his life wheelchair-bound and is dead of heart disease within a few years.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Goes into some detail about how messed up both the Zabis and the Deikuns were.
  • Black Shirt: Real Char's entire vocabulary seems to be made up of Gihren Zabi's talking points.
  • Book Dumb: Amuro is at least competent at robotics and computer hacking, but he still gets the last leader of the Soviet Union mixed up with a type of Korean rib dish in History class.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Subverted. As the series goes on, Char takes Zeon Deikun's teachings to heart and preaches Newtypes as the superior beings that will replace humanity. Amuro points out that for all of his Newtype rhetoric Char himself isn't one though Char disagrees. Late in the series Char does indeed unlock his Newtype powers.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Char gets an epic one on Kycilia, shooting her with a bazooka round that goes through her head before detonating, destroying the bridge of the ship she's on and causing it to crash into its mothership, destroying them both.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: The flashback arc makes it clear that while Ghiren's twisting of Deikun's ideology from Spacenoid Independence to Spacenoid Supremacy caused Zeon to commit a great many atrocities (most notably Operation British), the Federation had given the people of Side 3 plenty of reason to hate them and want independence without Zabi extremism getting involved.
  • Call-Forward:
    • Ramba Ral's cockpit gets torn open during a mock battle with the future Black Trinary while testing the MW-01, in a manner similar to his final battle with Amuro.
    • In the films, Char kills Lino Fernandez in a very similar manner to how he eventually disposes of Garma.
    • Garma's urban warfare campaign in Side 5 in the sixth movie features a scene of a woman holding a baby being killed by a falling shell casing. The exact same thing happens early on in both Mobile Suit Gundam F91 and Mobile Suit Victory Gundam.
    • The sixth Origin OVA ends with Revil giving the "Zeon Is Exhausted" speech to the Earth Sphere and the Antarctic Treaty conference over a montage of the other characters, including the future White Base crew — in a manner similar to how the first Compilation Movie for 0079 ended with Gihren's famous funeral speech. Both speeches are used the same way, to show that the One Year War hasn't ended, and that it will go From Bad to Worse.
  • Canon Foreigner: The White Base has a much larger crew than in the original version, necessitating Yasuhiko to invent a large cast of Mauve Shirt characters from whole cloth, most of whom end up dead by the end.
    • There are also many on the Zeon side (as to be expected, given the greater focus on them), including Sgt. Ash and his squad, who join Denham and Gene in the initial raid on Side 7 and General Garcia who leads the attack on Jaburo and replaces Kycilia and M'Quve as the pilot of the Adzam.
  • Canon Immigrant: Many of the mecha designs from the original design series MSV-R were introduced to the Origin continuity through the Mobile Suit Discovery series, which included plastic models and the side story manga Cucuruz Doan's Island.
  • Cassandra Truth: Two examples:
    • It's implied in the flashbacks that General Revil and a number of other Federation officials saw the impending war coming as well as the potential of mobile suit technology but were ignored until it was too late.
    • When he took on the job to develop Federation mobile suits Tem Rey wanted to develop a multi-purpose mobile suit made to fight other mobile suits first while still being capable of carrying out other missions, but was forced to develop the Guncannon, suited for attacking warships and supporting infantry but rather poor at fighting other mobile suits. It's only after twelve Guncannons get wiped out by four Zaku I and a MS-04 Prototype Zaku designed to take on other mobile suits (and, admittedly, piloted by the future Black Trinary, Char and Ramba Ral) that the Federation agrees to develop what will become the Gundam.
  • Chest Blaster: Some of the Zakus in this version have chest-mounted machine guns.
  • Colony Drop: Operation British was intended to drop a colony on the Federation's headquarters at Jaburo in the Amazon. The colony was partially destroyed by a Federation fleet that just happened to be at the right place in the right time to intercept it, and tried to destroy it. The destruction was still enough for the colony to break up into three sections, which fell onto southeast Australia, southwest Canada, the western portion of the Pacific ocean. The resulting impacts, ensuing natural disasters, famines, and lack of medical care against diseases killed just over 50% of the population of Earth.
  • Composite Character:
    • The manga version of the GM has the red and white paint job and weapons loadout of the original series but the head shape, "goatee"-style chin and leaner body proportions of the Ground GM from Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team.
    • The Z'Gok blends a number of elements of the classic Z'Gok with the Z'Gok-E from Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket. It has the color schemes and claw layout of the original series design, but it's torso, raised head, and having 4 claws all make it more similar to the 0080 design.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Char's mentor and Ramba Ral's father Jimba is shown as one. When sheltering Char and his family, Jimba constantly rants about how the Zabi family are responsible for killing Char's father Zeon Deikun and are planning to take over Side 3 to form their evil empire. Whether he's right about them poisoning Zeon is up in the air (there's no hard evidence proving that Deikun's death even was a murder, as he was showing signs of health problems in private well before his public collapse), and Degwin may just have been an opportunist, but Gihren and Kycilia are definitely power-hungry and willing to sink to low depths to do it.
  • Cool Mask: Char's, which was presented to him by his former Zeon Academy roommate Murata (or Real Char's old friend Lino in the movie version) on the eve of the Dawn Uprising as a token of respect. Before that, Char had been wearing Cool Shades, which he justified by claiming he had a medical condition (they were actually to keep people from realizing that he didn't have the same eye color as the now deceased original Char Aznable). Murata made him a mask fitted with the same type of lenses that couldn't get knocked off in a fight, after a Federation officer slapped his glasses off during a heated argument.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Garma in the flashbacks is shown undergoing this, all in an attempt to make himself a "true" Zabi man. Which is lampshaded by Degwin, Dozle and Kycilia (to their concern). Though compared to most of the other Zabis, Garma is still the more innocent one.
  • Crapsaccharine World: During the flashbacks set on Earth, we take a glimpse of the stately Spanish estate Young Char and Sayla spent part of their exile in. This is in sharp contrast to a large, nearby refugee camp populated by those from North Africa fleeing the expanding Sahara Desert, a Call-Forward to the sands reaching Dakar's outskirts in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.
  • Creepy Child: Young Char takes to violence a little too readily, much to his sister's horror. Also, at one point during their years in New Texas, his teachers wanted to expel him because he freaked them out.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Invoked in-verse by Zeon Deikun himself, his ramblings betraying how he sees himself as a new Jesus for his ideology.
  • Curbstomp Battle:
    • Ramba Ral's battle with the White Base's MS team after Amuro has deserted. He takes on five Mobile Suits alone (telling his companion Stetch to focus on the White Base) and easily cuts through most of them. After the fight only one Guntank is operational and they could salvage enough parts to get one Guncannon back online.
    • The Battle for Jaburo. While the Zeon managed to breach Jaburo's defenses rather effectively, they were totally unprepared to run into large numbers of the new mass produced GM's (as opposed to the obsolete pre-war Gun Cannons), whose heavy shields and beam weapons allow them to destroy Zaku's with near impunity in the tight corridors of the base. The Zeon pilots mistaking the GM's for actual Gundams turns it into a full blown rout and massacre when they become cornered.
    • In the flashback arc, there's a battle on the Moon when Professor Minovsky tries to defect and is pursued by five Zaku I's (piloted by Char, Ramba Ral, and the Black Tristars). The Federation scrambles a dozen Guncannon to protect him, but the Zakus destroy them all without a single casualty on their side.
    • The opening of the OVA series shows Dozle's Zeon fleet getting completely annihilated by the Federation fleet. However, the tables are quickly turned when Char and a squadron of Zakus arrive and begin annihilating the Federation fleet.
  • Custom Uniform: Naturally, important soldiers and characters get special uniforms to stick out.
    • Char wears his iconic read uniform in this series like he always does.
    • The Black Tri-Stars all have their black and gold uniforms here.
    • It's notable that when the Zabi's have a war meeting, all of their important Generals, Coscon, M'Quve, and Garcia, wear distinctive uniforms whilst all their other Generals are dressed in standard green officer clothing.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the 1979 series was by no means a light-hearted romp through space, the manga's tone isn't too far off from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam or Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.
  • Deadly Gas: The first step in Zeon's infamous "Operation British" entailed wiping out the entire population of a space colony with toxic gas.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Mayor Eschoenbach is one of the only characters (minor or major) that explicitly survived the original series to die in this adaptation.
    • M'Quve dies much earlier in this manga than in the series, even with the events shifted around. In the original they die during the arc in space post-Solomon, when he engages Amuro at Texas colony. Here, they die while on Earth during the battle of Odessa.
      • His assistant, Ouragan, meanwhile, dies of a heart attack after being haunted by his ghost in 0082.
    • Char's famed Red Zaku II is scrapped at the end of the arc on Earth. In the original Char ultimately traded it up for the Z'Gok when he returned to the show; and never bothered to take it out again while here the Z'Gok was only temporary and he returned to the Zaku, only for Amuro to destroy it in their fourth confrontation.
  • Decompressed Comic: To the point that almost 160 pages are used to tell the events of the first episode alone.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Manga expands considerably on numerous minor characters or plot points but a couple are cut down in this adaptation.
    • M'Quve is the most notable major character to end up in a reduced role. While he was a major antagonist on Earth, here he's in the background for the most part and does not engage the Gundam in the Adzam. It's not until Volume 7 that he has significant character focus and Volume 8 when he actually steps up as a major threat. The author even remarks on this when discussing the covers admitting to really wanting his send-off in Volume 8 to make up for his reduced role.
    • Of the Zeon grunt suits, the Gogg ends up in a much smaller role. It was a semi-common grunt in the original whereas here only one Gogg appears (doing so in Ireland) and they don't join in on the attack of Jaburo.
    • The Bigro Mobile Armor is reduced to a cameo at the evacuation of A Baoa Qu. The Bigro's original pilot, Tokwan, instead pilots the Grabro (the Bigro's aquatic counterpart). The dialogue even cracks a joke about it when Sakioka tries to drag it with him when the Base is evacuated.
    Zeon CO: "Dammit Ensign Sakioka!! Leave that thing Behind!"
    Sakioka: "Aww, but he's- The poor kid!! The only prototype that never got a turn!"
    Zeon CO: "Do I look like I give a shit?!"
  • Dirty Coward: Jimba Ral can swing from arrogant bravado to outright groveling at the drop of a hat, and seems to feel no shame about it.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Big brother flies off the handle and hits you in the middle of an argument? Give his car a Youngstown tuneup ("Youngstown tuneup" is a slang expression for an assassination using a car bomb)! Kycilia Zabi is not to be messed with.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: A few mech designs have been differentiated.
    • The High-Mobility Zaku II's that the Black Tristars used were just carbon copies of each other in their Mobile Suit Variations design (and in the flashback Job narrates); each was armed with the standard Zaku armament (machine gun, heat hawk, and bazooka). When they see action they're all given individual design cues: Ortega's wields a giant heat hawk, Mash's wields an anti-ship rifle, and Gaia's Zaku wields a Bazooka and has twin shoulder shields rather than the standard shoulder and spike combo.
    • The Guncannon's that Hayato and Kai use in the final part of the compilation movies were functionally identical save for the number printed on them. In The Origin Kai's has standard cannons and Hayato's is outfitted with missile pods.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The cadets wearing flecktarn camo in the 3rd OAV is a reminder on how the Zeon military was created based on the influences of the German military, though most of it is from the Wehrmacht.
  • Domed Hometown: The signing of the Antarctic Treaty took place at Scott City, a domed city in Antarctica.
  • Eagleland: The Texas colony was originally an unfinished Wild West-themed resort complex that was converted into a working settlement that tries to live up to the old American image.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • While the White Base is dealing with Ramba Ral, there is a brief non-sequiter scene which shows a Zeon patrol in South America getting wiped out by a GM prototype. In the original Anime, the GMs don't appear until the White Base docks at Jaburo.
    • White Base's arrival at Jaburo happens chronologically much earlier than in the original and Sleggar Law shows up during the fight for the base, piloting a GM, whereas in the original he only appears when they're about to depart.
  • Evil Knockoff: Zeon engineers build their own Guntank to compete against the prototype Zaku MW-01. It mostly looks the same apart from its "face", which, interestingly, has the vent slits placed differently in such a way that it has a menacing, skull-like look. However, in the OVA, it is changed to them acquiring an actual Guntank on the black market.
  • Exact Words:
    • When Sayla confronts Char over his deeds since leaving the Texas colony, particularly stealing the real Char Aznable's identity, he replies "Artesia, I swear to you, I was not the one who killed him. That was Kycilia's people." Sayla doesn't buy it: even if his hand wasn't on the trigger, he knowingly left the real Char in a position to die.
    • Char claims he wears his sunglasses or mask due to a "pigmentation issues" that leaves his eyes very sensitive to UV rays. In fact, it's to hide the fact that his eyes are blue while original Char's are brown. That certainly could be considered a problem of pigmentation.
    • During the preparatory stages of the One Year War, Kycilia assures the Mayor of Granada (who doesn't want to be involved in a war) that Zeon won't seek to have his city used as a forward base so long as he's mayor. The Mayor dies in a "car accident" later that night.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Not only does Amuro do this, as per the original series (at least this time his ability to make it move is Justified by him having hacked his father's files and read the user's manual), but in the flashback arc this turns out to be how Char got his start, too. Taking over the controls of a Guntank he was being given a ride in, he destroys 4 more of the same model through a brilliant combination of Beginner's Luck, Newtype hax, the enemy being too shocked by the attack to retaliate and him having command of the main cannons only.
  • False Flag Operation: The Zabi family plays ping pong with this trope in the aftermath of Deikun's death. Either poisoning him or simply taking advantage when he died of a heart condition, Sasro Zabi uses his contacts in the media to stir up conspiracy theories blaming the Federation government to get people's support for the independence movement. Then, Kycilia blows up Sasro in retaliation for him hitting her when they had a disagreement and blames Jimba Ral as a pretext to conduct The Purge against his remaining loyal followers.
  • Flawed Prototype: The Zaku prototypes:
    • MS-01 did its job well enough... But said job was that of a mobile worker, a humanoid bulldozer. When fitted with a nuclear reactor and used for combat or space-based operations the MS-01 was slow, and underpowered and had poor range due the high propellant consumption from moving the arms and legs. It also had a completely exposed and open cockpit, leaving the pilot vulnerable to enemy fire.
    • MS-02 was somewhat better than MS-01, but remained inefficient enough that Gihren, after visiting the research centre, shut down the development program, at least until Minovsky showed him the design of the next prototype and convinced him to give them a last chance. Ramba Ral also complained that the cockpit was a "deathtrap", as the cramped confines would have the pilot slamming into the walls during extreme maneuvers and collisions.
    • MS-03, being the first one with the AMBAC system, solved the propellant consumption problem and managed to secure funding for further development, but its reactor gave it poor mobility.
    • MS-04 worked well enough it could actually fight, but was still expensive, complex and short-ranged while the Zaku I had similar performance and superior range and simplicity while costing less, resulting in the latter being mass-produced and the MS-04 remaining a small number of prototypes. It still saw combat piloted by Ramba Ral in a skirmish before the war and during the One Week War, before being retired when Ramba Ral resigned in protest against Operation British.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Dozle clearly sees Mineva as this, seeing her as the Zabi family's redemption and to a degree, all Spacenoids. Given what becomes of her by the time Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn takes place, his hopes were well-founded.
  • Gentle Giant: Strangely enough, Dozle. Sure he had his gentle side during the original series, but he had a passion and an anger that radiated off him when he wasn't keeping himself in check. In Origin, he seems practically docile by comparison until his brother is assassinated right in front of his eyes and who's last words were essentially that being soft would get him killed. Suddenly it puts a lot of his anger in the original series into perspective.
  • Gilligan Cut: During the lead-up to the Jaburo invasion, Char tries to assuage the Amazonian chieftain's fears about trading one oppressor for another by saying Zeon won't interfere in the affairs of tribal peoples who live in harmony with nature like the Federation has done. The very next panel shows his subordinates teaching the tribe's young braves how to use a rocket propelled grenade launcher.
  • Glamorous Wartime Singer: It's not open war yet, but Hamon has this vibe in the flashback arc, with soldiers crowding around her and occasionally getting pulled into her schemes with Ramba Ral.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Professor Minovsky realizes at one point that not only is his research being taken seriously, but that Zeon has gone even further than even he expected, to his mounting horror. Which motivates his attempt to defect to the Federation, and die in the process.
  • Grand Theft Prototype: Discussed; When Char infiltrates Luna 2 to gather intel and data on the Gundam, he admits that he's tempted to just steal it. Fortunately for the plot, Sayla's first confrontation with Char was moved to this scene, and he decides to withdraw instead.
  • Gratuitous German: Zeon in general makes frequent use of this alongside Japanese. Which both highlights Side 3's predominant ancestries and the parallels to the Axis Powers of the Second World War.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: While Zeon remains a major antagonistic force in this series, the Federation is not depicted in all that great a light either. Both sides do a number of morally questionable things (if not outright war crimes) before and during the One Year War, from the Federation cracking down on Spacenoid protests not unlike Tiananmen Square, to Zeon's "Operation British".
  • Heel Realization:
    • Dozle Zabi knows perfectly well that he has the blood of multitudes on his hands and it deeply pains him as much as he tries to hide it; indeed, he even warns the rest of Zeon's commanders prior to the Battle of Loum that they would be tried and hung as war criminals if they lose. Still, he nonetheless continues commanding Zeon's forces with gusto, if only so he could save his family and homeland as well as help redeem the Zabi name through Zenna and Mineva.
    • Professor Minovsky gets one upon realizing that not only has Zeon succeeded in making mobile suits viable beyond his own expectations (to his growing horror). But that Zeon's engineers could improve on his designs without his guidance. Which spur him to defect to the Federation, and die in the process.
  • He Knows Too Much: Lino figured out that Char Aznable is actually Casval Rem Deiku. Lino wanted to become a Secret Keeper and fully supported Char's plans for revenge against the Zabi family. Unfortunately for Lino, Char doesn't trust anyone and had Lino killed.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The assassin who kills Jimba Ral hides in Don Mass' mansion by dressing up in a suit of armor used for decoration.
  • Hippie Teacher: Zeon Deikun used to be one before becoming a politician, albeit the angry, Weather Underground style of hippie.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: Zeon Deikun gets a very theatrical one, clutching his chest and collapsing on the podium in the middle of a dramatic speech.
  • Incest Subtext: The way Char is struggling with Sayla during their meeting at Luna II looks uncomfortably like Attempted Rape. To his (very small) credit, he apparently doesn't realize who she is at first and has a bit of an Oh, Crap! moment when it finally dawns on him.
  • Interservice Rivalry:
    • As in the original, Zeon's infighting is one of its biggest issues. Aside from the private corporations butting heads to produce better mobile suits for the military, there's a clear factional split between Gihren loyalists and Kycilia loyalists. Dozle's loyalists don't try to rock the boat as much, but it's clear that they receive pushback from some of the others. Char racks up a number of enemies like Ortega, Garcia, and M'Quve who are either jealous or distrustful of him whilst Garcia imagines a rivalry between himself and M'Quve. Lt. Tachi opines that this will be Zeon's downfall as they focus on petty squabbles instead of the real enemy in the Federation.
    • Back when the Principality of Zeon was the Autonomous Republic of Munzo, Zeon Deikun's two serving families: the Ral's and the Zabi's, had a very clear distrust of one another. After his death it turns very ugly very quickly. This extends to the present where Ramba Ral believes that his group are distrusted by the greater military on account of their support of the Deikun family.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: An in-universe gaffe used to illustrate how distant the colonies have become from Earth. In a particularly heartbreaking scene in the flashback arc, a boy named Yuuki talks with his girlfriend as he's about to go off to war that he's been reading up on his family's ancestral home of Japan and wonders wistfully if he'll live long enough to visit there (spoiler:He won't). His girlfriend notes they share some similar racial traits and wonders if she has any Japanese ancestry as well. Her name is Li Fang.
  • Karmic Death: Kycilia's death is caused precisely by her manipulations to kill Degwin and Gihren to take over Zeon: her manipulating Degwin in putting himself on the Solar Ray's firing line and Gihren into pulling the trigger starts the Battle of A Baoa Qu that gets Artesia back among Zeonian people, and her killing Gihren for Patricide prevents the information of Artesia's return to be known until the officer that was about to warn Gihren starts a mutiny against her, starting the chain of events that led to Char's legendary Boom, Headshot!.
  • Knee-capping: Ramba Ral's disabling of the Gundam (piloted by the inexperienced Sayla) by slicing its foot in half is changed to this trope. This time Ral fights the much more experienced Amuro and focuses several of his blows on the Gundam's knee before unveiling the claw attachment of his Heat-rod and using it to completely shatter the Gundam's knee. Amuro is taken out of the fight and only saved when the cannon squad forces Ral to retreat by axing his support.
  • La Résistance: The citizens of LA are much more active in resisting the Zeon occupation than any of the civilians in the original series were. But then, it is LA.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • While Lalah was a child prostitute before being rescued by Char in the original series, in this version she was simply being used for her Psychic Powers by a gang of petty crooks to cheat at casinos.
    • The three sidestories all qualify. "Casval 0057" has the Zabi family and Ranba Ral working together to protect Zeon Zum Daikun from the Federation while Casval is being born. In "Artesia 0083", Kai plays the Butt-Monkey, and Cowardly Lion, again while helping to defuse a half-thought out attempt to repatriate Sayla to Zeon. "Amuro 0082" has Amuro, Fraw, and Hayato all tour Japan, and a group of Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains does slapstick battle with Amuro's bodyguards in the background. All three stories have a remarkably low body count compared to the main story.
  • Made of Iron: Dozle Zabi was sitting next to his brother Sasro when the car they were in is destroyed by a car bomb. Sasro is killed, of course, but Dozle is able to walk out of the wreckage with little more than some facial scarring.
  • Meaningful Name: Char and Sayla's mom, Astraia, is named after a Greek goddess who supposedly inhabits the constellation Virgo and will one day return to Earth to usher in a new age of peace. Astraia was forced to stay behind when her children fled to Earth but promises she'll come to join them some day. Her death before she can fulfill that promise heralds the beginning of the Universal Century as an era of endless warfare.
  • Messianic Archetype: Not only does Deikun look like jesus, but before his death we hear him talking with a LOT of religious imagery, including disciples, crosses, sinners, and hellfire; if you follow the Zabi assassination theory, he was also betrayed by a very close friend. He basically sounds like a Jesus expy, but crazier and less forgiving.
  • Midseason Upgrade: Unlike the original series, both the Gundam and White Base get one at Jaburo, with White base getting beefed up armor and guns, while the Gundam finally gets the Core Block system.
    • Then the Gundam gets another one in the final arc, gaining the magnetic coating and having its shoulder guns replaced with more thrusters.
  • Mighty Whitey: Char ropes a group of South American natives into helping him invade Jaburo. Most of them are eager to assist him in fighting their Federation oppressors, but their tribal chief can tell he's full of it.
  • Military Academy: The flashback arc shows Char and Garma's years together at the Zeon military academy, along with the Dawn Uprising of cadets and graduates. The original Char Aznable's acceptance into the Academy is the catalyst for Casval's return to Side 3 and the Zabi attempt on his life that resulted in Casval taking up Char's identity.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Played for Laughs in the Flashback arc. Ramba Ral goes to retrieve Lucifer, Sayla's cat, and it ends up scratching him a ton. Hamon jokingly accuses him of seeing someone and his disheveled appearence as part of an affair; in spite of his sour mood, Ral plays along.
  • More Dakka: Yasuhiko certainly gives his mobile suits more mounted machine guns than the original series. Then there's the new Zaku machine guns, which in this version trade in the original's iconic pan magazines for a higher capacity belt feed from the backpack. Strangely, you can see the end of the retracted ammo belt sticking out of the back even on Zakus equipped with the bazooka instead.
  • Multiethnic Name: General Revil's middle name (usually rendered as Abraham) is given the Arabic spelling, Ibrahim, in the Vertical Inc. translation, possibly to highlight the multicultural nature of the Earth Federation.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • During the Ramba Ral saga, Kai's Guncannon gets destroyed and replaced with the "Cannon Zaku", a captured Zaku with its head replaced with the Guncannon's. This not only references the "Zeta Zaku" from Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, but also bears an uncanny resemblance to the Zanny, a mobile suit from the SD Gundam G Generation series and debuting in the obscure late '90s PC game Gundam Tactics: Mobility Fleet. It was an early prototype of the GM cobbled together by the Federation from Guncannon and Zaku parts, also known as Dahle in Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt.
    • The computer interfaces used by the Federation in the OVA series are based on the ones seen in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.
    • The Gundam's new optional cannon is based on one of the spring-loaded missile launchers that came with the original 1979 die-cast action figure.
    • The third opening to the TV adaptation of the OVA uses Beyond The Time as its song and drops several call forwards to the original 1979 series and Char's Counterattack, especially at its chorus. Furthermore, one segment of the animation sees footage of Char's Zaku II in one of the 3D battles rotoscoped to mimic the old artstyle of the original show.
  • Nepotism: Played with.
    • A major part of Garma's character is a need to prove that he earned his rank and perks, rather than just getting them because he's a Zabi (Whether he actually has is up for debate). Char uses this to maneuver him into the battle where he dies.
    • In comparison, Dozle is painfully aware of how his position is thanks to this. Nonetheless, he succeeds in more than earning his rank and credentials, though not simply because he's a Zabi.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • From Side 3's perspective, at least. If the Zabi family really did assassinate Zeon Deikun, it was probably the best thing they could have done for the nation, even with all the political instability it brought on. Deikun wanted to declare war on the Federation, a war the colony defense force as it existed at the time, when proper mobile suits had yet to be invented, was in no way prepared to fight. By postponing the war, Deikun's death saved Side 3 from a massive Curb-Stomp Battle, while the One Year War as it actually played out, though hideously destructive to almost everybody else, ended with surprisingly little damage to the Zeon home colonies.
    • Kycilia's plot to break Revil out of prison and return him to the Federation in order to prolong the war. While this does allow Zeon to invade Earth, their gains are ultimately short lived when the numerically, logisitically, and (eventually) technologically superior Federation decimates Zeon's forces. Had Kycilia been a little less amibitious, Zeon would have gained the independence from the Federation that it originally aimed for.
  • No Social Skills: In the flashback arc, it's shown that it took time for Amuro to be more than a total recluse with next to no social skills.
  • Not So Different:
    • In addition to comparing Gihren to Hitler and other dictators from generations past, Degwin dreads how much he's taken quite a bit from Deikun. To the point of calling Gihren a fiend possessed by Deikun's grudges. This could explain how he not only succeeds in winning over Deikun loyalists over time, but also Char's allegiance.
    • Char and Amuro have this dynamic as well, unsurprisingly. The finale puts a different spin on it where when Char tries to cut Amuro down in a sword fight. Char can't help but see Amuro as a younger version of himself; defending Artesia against Kycilia's assassin dressed as a knight. It's Char, not Amuro, who's shaken by this revelation.
  • Occam's Razor: While Char probably ''does'' find it more physically comfortable to cover his eyes since they're so light and sun-sensitive and he is lacking in pigment... yeah, that's not why he's doing it. (How would you have to worry about UV radiation inside or at night??)
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Notably, we actually get to see Amuro, Frau, Kai and Hayato attending high school on Side 7 towards the end of the flashback arc's second act.
  • Pædo Hunt: Kycilia behaves in an extremely creepy manner towards an 11 year old Char. She later claims to have been testing him to see how he'd react, but it still makes one wonder.
  • Parental Abandonment: Lalah's parents in India all but sold her to petty crooks for cash. (Despite that, she clings to the only photo she has of her family.)
  • Parental Neglect: Amuro's mother rejects him for fighting in the war, and his father is more concerned about the Gundam he built than the son who pilots it (or his wife).
    • Averted however by both Degwin and Dozle Zabi, who still try their best to be good parents to Garma and Mineva respectively. Even Zeon Deikun himself ironically enough averts this, given how for all his bouts of craziness, he still cared dearly for his children.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Hayato is extremely proud of his Japanese heritage in this version, as he demonstrates while judo-flipping an entire squad of Zeon soldiers in a neutral village who had insulted him and his friends while declaring his Japanese Spirit won't allow such a slight to go unpunished. Amusingly, he's lived his whole life prior to landing in the Americas in a space colony, making him a sort of Asian, sci-fi counterpart to a stereotypical Boston Irish.
  • Pet the Dog: The first time that Char and Amuro meet in person, rather than on opposite sides of a mobile suit battle, Amuro is in civilian clothes and is trying to get his car out of a rut in the road when Char (in full uniform) was driving by. Thinking that Amuro was just a stranded motorist, Char stopped and towed Amuro's car back onto the road.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Degwin is portrayed to be much more levelheaded. Even though he seized power from the Deikun and Ral families, he continues to keep relations with the Federation because he's perfectly aware that Zeon doesn't have the capability of fighting them in open battle. Even during the early stages of the Dawn Uprising, he urges Gihren to rein in the Zeon rebels battling the Federation troops, pointing how they're not prepared for war.
  • Praetorian Guard: Kycilia's forces are an elite group of Zeon soldiers each with customized suits. Her Zaku I and II's (and non-canon Act Zakus) all bear a head crest unique to their design.
  • Race Lift: Amuro still speaks Japanese and so presumably retains his Japanese descent and even birthplace of the original canon, but his hair's now a brighter red and his eyes are teal in the OVA (as opposed to their original black). He's quite the Mukokuseki.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: In addition to being a brutal dictator, Gihren Zabi is also an avid gardener. There's something almost surreal about a man who'll go on to order the deaths of billions dressed in gardening gloves and an apron holding a pair of pruning shears.
  • The Real Remington Steele: During the flashback to Char and Sayla's childhood, Sayla meets Char Aznable — an almost Identical Stranger for her brother, "Edouard Mass" — at the Texas colony, their latest refuge. Char and Edouard become friends, but Edouard arranged for the pair to pull a Twin Switch to get past spaceport security — just in time for the young Texan to be assassinated, and for Edouard (now the Char everyone knows) to enter the Zeon military. When Sayla called him on this years later, Char insisted that he didn't kill the original Char, he just chose not to warn him of the dangers of associating with him (Which isn't much better, as Sayla immediately points out).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The successors to Zeon Deikun; Jimba Ral and Degwin Zabi, have this dynamic. Jimba Ral is fanatical, utterly devoted to Zeon's memory, and fully prepared to bring war to any of his enemies. Degwin is far more reserved, manipulates behind the scenes, and tries everything in his power to avoid a war. They both take the teachings of Zeon Deikun into account for their ideologies, but Jimba Ral is far more devoted to them whilst Degwin holds them to be true, but fallible.
  • Red Ones Go Faster: Char is one of the iconic examples of this trope, though the films explain this as not being due to Chromatic Superiority, but the fact that his Newtype physiology allows him to turn off all his suit's safeties, redline the engines, and still be able to pilot effectively despite the high speeds and g-forces.
  • Red Shirt Army: The Federation garrison stationed in Zeon is quickly overwhelmed and forced to surrender to a small contingent of Zeon military cadets despite having a massive numerical and technological advantage. Justified in that the Federation occupation forces are generally portrayed as having a dangerous combination of incompetence and overconfidence, and the cadets were being led by Char himself and caught them by surprise.
  • Retcon: When the Battle of Loum is first shown, in Volume 4 during Job John's flashback, the Black Tri-Stars fought in Zaku I's. When the fight is finally elaborated on, in Volume 7, they were changed to High-Mobility Zaku II's. While out of universe it was likely the creators deciding to change plans for the conflict when it came around to showing it, in universe it could simply just be chalked up to Job John simply misremembering or not physically being present for the conflict.
  • Retraux: Part of the third opening for Rise of the Red Comet includes a segment that is animated in a style reminiscent of classic cell animation from the 80's and 90's, complete with 4:3 aspect ratio to complete the look.
  • Riddle for the Ages: For all the exposition we get in the flashback arc, the manga never comes out and says explicitly that Zeon Deikun was actually poisoned or if his death was simply a heart attack. There's plenty of evidence for either theory. On the one hand, Deikun was behaving erratically before he died, which Jimba Ral described as a symptom of the poison he believes the Zabis used. On the other hand, Astraia says he was always high strung since she met him.
  • Rings of Death: While working in South America, Char encounters a thug named Agha, who's able to decapitate a man with a chakram and even make it return like a boomerang. Char only survives because of his awakening Newtype powers and possibly some psychic assistance from Lalah.
  • Safety Gear Is Cowardly: Several Zeon officers believe that donning normal suits (Vacuum protection gear) when they're going into battle to be a sign of cowardice. This invariably means that if the hull gets breached (Which often happens in space battles, especially if there's a Gundam around), their chances of survival go from slim to none. Char justifies it in his own case by arguing that if a mobile suit blows up, the pilot is doomed whether he's wearing vacuum gear or not, so he might as well not bother.
  • Scenery Porn: Yasuhiko puts his skills as an illustrator to work and as a result the series far exceeds the original anime in artistic quality.
  • Scenery Gorn: Operation British and the ensuing aftermath are covered in graphic, brutal detail. The Battle of Loum is likewise shown in all its gruesome splendor.
  • Shoot the Dog: The reasoning for White Base's appearance in Los Angeles is to back up a local insurrection. The crew all have their reservations as they will be revealing themselves in deep Zeon territory to assist a fairly small guerrilla group. Bright has the White Base take cover in the destroyed stadium, and when the flare goes up to signal them to attack, he ignores the call for help and orders them to stay put. The rebels are outgunned and slaughtered whilst the White Base lives to see another day.
  • Sleeping Their Way to the Top:
    • Mash accuses Char of doing this to gain his LT. JG. rank and brings up rumors of Zeon higher-ups having "a thing for pretty boys."
    • Dozle says something similar to Char about M'Quve gaining command of the Earth based forces and accuses him of kissing up to Kycilia quite literally.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Char is seen smoking and drinking in a bar during Gihren Zabi's speech. Notable because in the original series, Char was only drinking.
    • The flashback arc contains an amusing scene of a teenage Crowley Hamon trying to invoke this trope only to start coughing up a lung.
  • Soap Opera Disease: Astraia's illness and eventual death isn't elaborated on much. Like her husband, she may or may not have been poisoned.
  • Space Is Noisy: As usual for Gundam. Special mention goes to Sayla's arrival at A Baoa Qu where she states that she can hear their Mobile Suits making landfall.
  • Spanner in the Works: Kikka, Katz and Letz. While the White Base crew is in Jaburo's base, they accidentally discover a Zeon's unit infiltrated that has planned to destroy the new mobile suit GM with some bombs. They remove the bombs and this leads to Zeon's failed attempt to conquer Jaburo because Garcia Romeo (Rear-Admiral assigned to a Zeon base overseeing the Jaburo Invasion operation) army is defeated thanks to GM.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • At the end of the original MSG all three main Mobile Suits; Amuro's Gundam, Kai's Guncannon, and either Hayato's Guntank (series) or Guncannon (compilation movies), are destroyed in the finale. While the Gundam still meets its end fighting the Zeong, the Guncannons make it out of the final battle and are used to help evacuate the main characters.
    • In Artesia: 0083, Sayla has tracked down Gil and Milly Ratokie and set them up with a decent foster home. In the original continuity (at least according to some obscure novels and sourcebooks) they were used as test subjects by the Murasame Newtype Lab, where Gil (rechristened Three Murasame) died while testing a prototype Psycho Gundam and Milly didn't even survive the grueling process of being converted into an Artificial Newtype.
  • Super Prototype: Downplayed compared to the original — only the Gundam itself is a prototype in this version, while the Guncannon is a previous Federation attempt at fielding mobile suits (failed because, while excellent at attacking ships and supporting infantry, it is pathetic at fighting other mobile suits, while even the Zaku I can both outfight it and perform reasonably well in other missions) and the Guntank is a tank (or possibly a self-propelled artillery vehicle) with a humanoid torso, and both were already mass-produced and used in the field (with the Guntank's deployment preceding the development of mobile suits by years).
    • Inverted by the Guncannon, in fact. In the Jaburo arc, the Federation rolls out an entirely new line of Guncannons, the RX-77-02, which are much sleeker and more humanoid than the unwieldy, hunchbacked RX-77-01 version we've seen up to this point. Specifically, they're the version from the original series.
  • Tanks for Nothing: Downplayed with the Guntank. It still sees a few victories but it was the first of the mobile suits to be mass produced and its flaws really show when MS development moves into full swing. The Guntank is more similar to a vehicle rather than a conventional mobile suit which is fitting because it's essentially just an upgraded Federation Tank. Though it's got heavy armor, heavy fire-power, and all terrain treads; all of these get surpassed. Conventional Mobile Suits can move and fly far more easily than the Guntank, it's armor cannot protect it from the developing beam weaponry, and it has no opposable manipulators or means to defend itself in close quarters combat. Its main positive, firepower, is best for long range fighting and even then has to compete with mega-particle cannons and other heavier guns.
  • Technically a Transport: Turns out Zeon's iconic Musai-class light cruiser is this: it was originally built and mass-produced as the Arcana-class transport ship, and in the build-up to the war they were modified, including the installation of weapons and armor. In a twist, it's implied it was an intended feature, as the bow was built from the start to be able to deflect and absorb beam weapon shots, thus allowing Zeon to build up a powerful fleet under the Federation's nose and then convert them in a proper battlefleet capable of challenging them in less than a year.
  • Teen Genius: Mirai Yashima is mentioned to have already started taking university courses and is working as an assistant to her father in a major interplanetary business concern at the age of 15 in the flashback arc, which does take some of the ridiculousness out of the idea of her piloting an entirely new class of warship with no training but a commercial spaceplane license.
  • Tempting Fate: The beginning of the OVA, during the Battle of Loum has a Federation captain smugly proclaiming how it would be easy pickings to wipe out Zeon as Dozle's fleet is pushed back...only to be interrupted mid-speech as an anti-ship round from Char's Zaku II strikes the cockpit before exploding.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: To a degree, Garma. His own desire to be seen as a "true" Zabi worthy of his station as well as Char's influence leads to him down a darker path, though he never goes as far as either Kycilia or Gihren.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Char to Garma, pushing him into starting an insurrection against the Federation and a later obsession with White Base. Every time Garma takes a foolhardy risk, Char's right there behind him pushing the buttons.
  • Tranquil Fury: Degwin thinks General Revil's calm demeanor while being held as a POW means he'll be willing to encourage the Federation to negotiate peace if he's allowed to escape. He gets a nasty surprise when the General returns to friendly territory.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Volume 5 is one long one for Sayla, starting with her father Zeon Deikun's death. Separation from her mother, flight to Earth, an attack on her home, escape to the Texas colony, her mother's death, her cat's death, and her brother's (faked) death follow over the next six years (the last three taking place in rapid succession over the course of a single week).
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: As a child Casval was fairly reserved and unemotional and eventually takes his first life while at the controls of a Guntank. As a teenager he unnerved many of his classmates and teachers with his intense and threatening air. While he wasn't known to cause trouble and only fought to defend himself, everyone was afraid of him.
  • Twin Switch: When a gun is found in the original Char's luggage before his flight to enter the Zeon military academy, Casval offers to switch places with him and take a later flight. And then Zabi agents blew up the flight to prevent Deikun's heir from entering Zeon, leaving "Edouard Mass" dead while Casval continues on as "Char Aznable" with stolen documentation.
  • Tyke Bomb: Jimba Ral raised Char to be a weapon in his war against the Zabi family.
  • Unusual Weapon Mounting: In addition to the classic forehead machine guns, this incarnation of the Gundam also gains a pop-up gatling gun in its right shoulder and two missile launchers recessed into its left (later replaced with a second gatling, although its final space-type form eschews them for additional vernier mounts), as well as an optional backpack that replaces one of the iconic beam sabers with an artillery piece.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Poor Garma. He's used by Char to rise in the ranks and get close enough to the Zabi's to plot his revenge. He's used by Kycilia as a bargaining chip to assure M'Quve that he wouldn't be abandoned on Earth. After his death, he's used by Gihren to rally support and further ramp up Zeon's nationalism.
  • The Uriah Gambit: In order to eliminate a fellow Zeon cadet who has figured out his true identity, Char orders the cadet to commandeer a Federation tank. Then he orders another squad of cadets to destroy the tank by leading them to believe that it's still being operated by a Federation crew.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Shuichi Ikeda and Toru Furuya reprise their roles as Casval/Char and Amuro respectively, even as teens (Casval's case) and even younger than that (Amuro), albeit this is averted as Casval as a kid, since he's voiced by a woman instead. This is possibly one of the reasons why Casval doesn't speak, so far at least, too much in the animated adaptation compared with his adult self.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Degwin Zabi of all people comes across as this in contrast to Deikun, who's depicted as crazier and more rabid.
  • Walking Tank: The Adzam, originally a strangely un-aerodynamic flying machine whose "legs" were immovable housings for VTOL rotor fans, is re-imagined as one.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Sasro died early in the story and very little was revealed about him.
  • Wham Shot: Tem Ray gets one upon seeing the experimental Guncannons destroyed by Zeon's Zaku I's first hand.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • All the really horrible things that happen on Side-7 during the first few installments only happen because the Federation decided to develop the Gundam in secret on a neutral colony.
    • When Sayla is interrogated by the White Base's upper staff because of a suspicious conversation with Cozun everyone is surprised when Omur of all people snaps at them. Omur argues that Sayla did all she could in trying to stop the prisoner from escaping and to have turned on her after all she'd done was a damning lack of faith on their part.
  • Your Head Asplode: Kai engages Tachi's Zaku I in a Cannon Zaku (a Zaku II with the Guncannon's head attached). Tachi buries a heat hawk through the Cannon Zaku's head and turns the heat up until it explodes.

Alternative Title(s): Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin


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