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Nightmare Fuel / Gundam

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With Gundam giving us 40 years and counting of action, drama, and insane merchandising, you would think that the grandfather of all Humongous Mecha Anime franchises would be not capable of having its own page of horrors, right? Well, you're wrong. You will never look at sleeping normally the same way again.


  • Colony drops are bad enough when it's just one at a time; the opening scene of Gundam X shows the sight of DOZENS of colonies crashing to Earth, causing pretty much The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam is not short of this, either! Just think of the DG cells and the Devil Gundam. The Gundam Fight itself is one that comes even before DG cells; while the Neo colony nations fight each other using Mobile Fighters for the control of Earth, the Earth has to suffer in silence the property damage and the loss of lives. The message implying the upcoming 14th Gundam Fight at the end foreshadows more catastrophes to come right after the destruction of Devil Gundam.
  • The "Gundam rapeface". Seriously, take a good, hard look at the classic Gundam faceplate. Pitiless, merciless, glowing eyes, that V-fin making it look angry... seeing that staring you down in the middle of a fight would not be pleasant, and has utterly terrified more than one enemy pilot in the series.
  • This is Knight V2 Gundam after a Face–Heel Turn turns him into the Big Bad of Shin SD Gundam Gaiden: Knight Gundam Monogatari. Too many eyeballs in all the wrong places.

Universal Century/Regild Century - Mobile Suit Gundam

  • Just think of the colony drops - utterly evil and terrifying. Imagine having one colony flattening you right from above your head.
    • Most of the time, colony drops are glossed over to some extent: we only see the aftermath and hear about how terrible it was. However, the Dublin Drop in Gundam ZZ is the one time we see a colony drop up close and personal, from beginning to end. There's sheer panic in the streets as civilians desperately try to evacuate, the Federation is denying anything is wrong and refusing to send rescue, and the Neo-Zeon forces are deliberately shooting down evacuees and cutting off exit routes to ensure that as many people as possible would be killed. Then the colony hits, and the shockwave is so severe it knocks warships out of the sky and the debris cloud is visible from over the horizon. Judau nearly has a nervous breakdown after regaining consciousness, because as a pretty powerful Newtype he can sense all the pain, terror, and grief of the millions of recently dead. While Ple and Kamille go utterly batshit; the split-second image of Ple, who was not in the best mental health to begin with, spasming in terror is one of the most unnerving images in the entire franchise. At least for some people. The landscape is not just littered with but made out of flattened debris of the city, the sky is blotted out from the dust and smoke, and there is bits of falling metal raining down from the still-mostly-intact colony now sticking out of the ground, which collapses minutes later. The worst part is the Federation leaders' reaction to this: "Oh, well. At least it means fewer mouths to feed."
    • The Origin: Advent of the Red Comet actually takes the opportunity to show the whole of the infamous "Operation British" colony drop on Earth, which was catastrophic enough to rupture Earth's ecosystem. The resulting widespread natural disasters and famines within the following months wiped out half of the planet's population, more than any single conflict in human history (and likely more than all of them combined). All in a narrow-minded, murderously inefficient attempt to wipe out the Federation capital, which didn't work as planned. And this isn't even scratching the operation itself, where we see the civilian perspective of everyone being pre-emptively gassed to cut off all potential resistance before they get vaporized in the impact.
  • Just about every Gundam series has The Ace. Only the Universal Century, and not even half of it, has Amuro Ray - who emerges over psychological trauma as a One-Man Army that utterly terrifies the Zeon forces. To say that the late-series skills he shows are absolutely absurd, especially once he awakens his Newtype abilities, is a massive understatement. While not as grandiose as Judau or Banagher, the sheer precision Amuro can use in evasion and accuracy can wipe out entire enemy forces in a matter of minutes. And when he does manage to suppress his combat instincts to live more "regularly" by Zeta, his inevitable involvement results in him still wrecking his enemies without a Mobile Suit.
    • Zeonic Front actually has the player try to gather data on the White Base - which means confronting and trying to survive the Gundam, Guntank and Guncannon with the equivalent of Mook units of basic Zakus. They can not only slaughter you, but Amuro himself outright one-shots every one of your units in a direct confrontation, complete with hearing him mark his kill count over your radio and even the occasional signature Newtype sound. You're an elite special forces unit, and you're still absolute fodder to a kid who isn't even at The Ace status yet!
  • Also from Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, what happens when Haman shoots Leina. Judau, normally a Hot-Blooded kid, completely snaps in the mom and grandmom of all tranquil furies, with anger and power strong enough to cause Haman to Freak Out and literally cry in fear and be felt by Newtypes who were far away from the place. (The visualization was a demonic phantom emerging out of him. The last time this happened, it was Dozle Zabi doing it.) That is how massively pissed off he was, and it's scary to see. This scene is probably why some consider Judau to be the Newtype with the strongest raw power.
  • The Mobile Suits in general, all of them are powered by nuclear reactors. It's never stated explicitly where the reactors are but they're pretty damn close to the cockpit where the pilot sits. Any pilot who operates a Mobile Suit either in combat or for general construction work far away from the conflict has to deal with the knowledge that they're sitting next to something that has the potential to go critical if damaged and kill not only them but potentially everyone in the surrounding area. Think about that the next time you see a Zaku going up in a cloud of pink smoke.
    • Some of the more detailed model kits clear this up, in really worrying ways. Picture it: you're building a Zaku II, Gundam's equivalent to a biplane and a beloved suit with a history of very human, well-loved characters using it. You finish the internal frame for the torso, and there's a rounded component that fits right below where the cockpit is...and the manual calls for a nuclear symbol on top. Although from a design perspective this might be as much to help keep the pilot warm in space as anything else, it's still scary to imagine being sent into combat literally sitting on top of one of these things.
    • By extension, nearly all weapons in the franchise, including warships and even the heroic Gundams themselves, are Nightmare Fuel. One professor even states to Alfred in Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket that they are Necessarily Evil, and are never meant to bring people happiness. Mobile Suit Gundam MS Igloo even shows us in one episode what it feels like to die at the hands of the White Devil and by extension how terrified Zeon soldiers are when hearing this infamous name. Exceptions that defy this trope include Nu Gundam and 00 series (most notably, Quanta), which are created to help people communicate their feelings and find their lost love and selves rather than just kill and destroy.
  • No matter what the intention Tomino might have, the monotone "La" during Lalah Sune's attack on the Federation fleet in Solomon is absolutely terrifying, echoing an unspeakable horror Zeon's Newtype soldiers unleash. If one doesn't feel it, one has quite a numb nerve.
    • In addition to the monotone, we're given another two bottles of nightmare fuel in the Battle of Solomon. First, the Earth Federation's solar reflector array, Solar System, fires a giant beam that decimates the main gate of the fortress as well as all the Zeon units that attempt to sortie there, burning them to ashes. Then, Dozle Zabi's Big Zam retaliates, frying the Federation fleet in the same way.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, an image of bleeding Riddhe in an angry expression could count too.
    • This goes back to Riddhe's ancestor, Ricardo Marcenas' death at the very beginning of the Universal Century, being sucked out into space mid-speech as the Laplace station is destroyed. It definitely does a good job foreshadowing what humanity was to expect from the UC Calendar.
    • The manner of which Full Frontal's mobile armor takes over mobile suits is quite creepy to see, especially when one of the Londo Bell mobile suits writhed and twisted its neck not unlike the mechs from Evangelion. The fact that the pilots can still very well see what's happening and communicate while losing all control of their suit (effectively turning them into armored coffins that attack their comrades) makes it all the more disturbing.
    • When Daguza performs his Heroic Sacrifice and manages to land a direct hit on the Sinanju with a hand-held bazooka, the damage to its head causes the red paint to blow off and breaks the monoeye, revealing the Sinanju Stein underneath's glowing red eye in terrifying fashion.
  • The Angel Halo from Mobile Suit Victory Gundam is for all intents and purposes weaponized Nightmare Fuel. Instead of nukes, killer death lasers or nuke-loaded asteroids like in most other UC works, this one uses the power of several Newtypes (who think they're all channeling their abilities for peace) to broadcast a wave that can mentally warp people into infantile toddlers. And the Zanscare Empire intends to use this on everyone on Earth. Compared to that, even Char's Axis drop is far more preferable.
  • While the backstory of Gundam: Reconguista in G is described as being rather dark, especially given that it's set over a millenium after the UC Calendar was abolished, at one point institutionalized cannibalism was considered a thing. Let that sink in for a second.
    • There's also the fact that, in addition to leading up to the Correct Century according to Word of God thus, ultimately leading to the Moonlight Butterfly the state of affairs by the time the anime takes place is a validation of Full Frontal's vision for Spacenoids and Neo Zeon's survival. It took several generations, but he won.
  • This is the setting that gave us Yazan Gable, a Sociopathic Soldier who is little more than a bloodthirsty feral beast that's capable of piloting a mobile suit. He's totally obsessed with killing and slaughter, considering his whole purpose in life to be the death of anyone and everyone who catches his eye. And he is good at it; he's not only one of the series' worst villains, but also the resident Hero Killer. The man's one battlecry is "I'm gonna violate you!"
  • Also from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, there's a scene early on wherein Emma Sheen goes with Quattro and Reccoa to a space colony gassed by the Titans for protesting. Emma doesn't believe that the Titans could do something as heinous as that until she sees the dried husks of said colony's former populace, complete with a dead woman's head falling off. It's no surprise that this was what drove her firmly into defecting to the AEUG.
    • The Titans in general are a nightmare. The Earth Federation wasn't exactly competent in the One Year War, but Gato and the Delaz fleet unwittingly gave birth to a new paramilitary unit that essentially has no boundaries and extreme racism for all Spacenoids. Gassing Colony 30 over a riot was an off-screen backstory event, but we get to actively see them take hostages, wreck entire cities just to kill a handful of rebels, and straight up execute groups of innocents just to make sure there's not even so much as a sliver of anti-Federation sentiment. And some of the people in charge are partly instigating worse things just to get the excuse to kill more and consolidate their power. The Titans are so bad that the Axis, effectively a neo-Zeon movement intent on carrying out a new dictatorship, are seen as the lesser of two evils.
  • Episode 41 of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam makes it worse as we see an colony gassing in progress as Reccoa is forced to lead one on an side 2 colony and secedes. the procedure is basically flying an G3 Gas tank over to the colony and connecting it to the life support system basically turning the entire colony interior to one large gas chamber with no escape. The worst part is this is just Bask's idea of an loyalty test and she reluctantly goes along with this and allows eight million innocent civilians to die.

Correct Century - ∀ Gundam

Cosmic Era - Gundam SEED, Gundam SEED Destiny and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED CE.73: Stargazer

Anno Domini - Gundam 00

Advanced Generation - Gundam AGE

Gundam Build Fighters