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Trivia / Gundam

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  • Anime First: Most Gundam animated work has been anime first, with the exceptions of Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack and Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, which were based on novels; and Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt, which was based on a manga. The success of the latter two has lead to Bandai considering animating other popular manga/novel works in the franchise.
  • Big Name Fan:
    • Mark Simmons is undoubtedly the most knowledgeable member of the English-speaking Gundam fandom, having been into it since the 80s (he even submitted an original MS design for Gundam Sentinel!) and founded the well-regarded Gundam Project website. This earned him the notice of Sunrise, and he was hired on to help with the translation and localization of several series. He regularly takes part in the fandom, especially in technical discussions, and his current website Ultimate Mark is probably the single greatest source for Gundam info in English, including the official English Gundam site.
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    • He's even gotten some nods within the franchise: Mark Simmons is the default name for one of the Create-A-Characters in the video game Encounters in Space, Gundam SEED has a minor character (a mobile suit engineer) named Erica Simmons, and G-Saviour's main character, Mark Curran, has a sidekick named Simmons.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: Ever notice all those model kits? There's a reason for that.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Part of the reason the franchise failed overseas. Sunrise chose to follow the successes of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing with Mobile Suit Gundam, whose dated animation and vastly different premise manage to kill the hype. Then they follow it with Mobile Fighter G Gundam, which was better received, but Bandai lost favor from toy stores as they forced them to stock merchandise that nobody wanted. By the time Mobile Suit Gundam SEED rolled around, it has neither hype or driving force from merchandise to back it up, so it was shoved into a Friday Night Death Slot. Many fans hold the opinion that, had Sunrise exported Gundam X rather than the One Year War series, Gundam might have actually hung on longer.
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  • Fountain of Expies: Char Aznable has been so oft-imitated, both in the Gundam franchise itself and in other shows, as to warrant its own trope.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Since most of the franchise was distributed in the U.S. by Bandai Entertainment, it and a whole other plethora of shows fell into this when Bandai ceased production. Fortunately, Sunrise has offered to sell their Bandai-licensed shows (including Gundam) to other distributers, starting with Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and continuing to the others in 2015. (Most of the franchise is now being distributed by Nozomi Entertainment).
  • Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.": Given how many series have not been released outside of Japan, most western audiences were introduced to Gundam ZZ, Victory Gundam, Gundam X, ∀ Gundam, and anything featuring UC-based Musha Gundams through Dynasty Warriors: Gundam.
    • Likewise, many fans introduced to the series by the newer entries met the resident Char Clone before learning of the original character. For instance, as Mobile Suit Gundam Wing was the first series exported to the West, many American fans were more familiar with Zechs Marquise. This was so prevalent that the best way to identify "newcomers" is whether they mistake Char cosplayers for Zechs.
  • Milestone Celebration:
    • In 1999, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the franchise, Sunrise both brought Yoshiyuki Tomino back to direct a Gundam series (∀ Gundam) and commissioned a live-action Gundam movie (G-Saviour). One of those was very well-received by the fans... the other not so much.
    • In 2009, in recognition of the 30th anniversary, Sunrise released a short video called "Gundam Perfect Mission", showcasing many of the franchise's most famous Gundams working together to get the original Gundam's core fighter into orbit. A 1:1 scale Gundam model was also built in Japan, and remained on display outside the Gundam Museum in Odaiba until 2017 (when it was replaced by a 1:1 scale of the Unicorn Gundam).
    • In a gaming example specifically, 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of Gundam video games, the first being Zeta Gundam: Hot Scramble for the Famicon. To celebrate this, Bandai created the Hot Scramble Gundam (based off of the Zeta-inspired Scramble Gundam from Gundam Build Fighters Try Island Wars and piloted by Meijin Kawaguchi III) and included it in several Gundam games released in 2017, including SD Gundam G Generation Genesis and Gundam Versus.
  • No Export for You:
    • For a long time, Bandai showed no interest in exporting several major Gundam productions to America. In 2015, however, Nozomi Entertainment and distributor Rightstuf worked out an arrangement and have since released every animated Gundam production up to Build Fighters Try (Iron Blooded Orphans is licensed by Funimation, who are taking care of the US release of that series themselves).
    • Gundam games, on the other hand, are very rarely available in North America. Dynasty Warriors: Gundam is about the only major series that is available in English. However, Gundam Breaker 3 is available subtitled in English (from Singapore), and the 2017 Gundam Versus game was released in Western markets.
  • Recycled Script: Quick, which Gundam show is being described: the main character is a youngster who gets embroiled in the war when it shows up on his doorstep, leading to him Falling into the Cockpit of a Gundam. He ends up reluctantly becoming an Ace Pilot, gaining both a personal enemy and a love interest among the enemy, the latter of which dies tragically. Eventually the hero participates in the war's Final Battle, helping defeat the enemy before retiring to a less martial life. Give up? It's MSG, Z, ZZ, Unicorn, V, Seed and Destiny to a lesser extent, and arguably X and Turn A as well. Whew!
  • Screwed by the Network: Numerous examples, both in Japan and abroad. Mobile Suit Gundam was cut from a planned 52 episodes to only 39, and the staff had to beg to get an extention up to 43 in order to wrap up the series; Gundam X was left to rot in a Friday Night Death Slot and eventually cut from 49 to 39 episodes.
  • The Wiki Rule: Right this way...
  • What Could Have Been: As noted under Executive Meddling, Sunrise chose to follow Gundam Wing with the original 0079. Toonami, who aired Wing, had approached them for another Gundam series after Wing finished it's run, and had their eyes on the aforementioned X and ∀ Gundam - had Sunrise said yes, not only would those series have gotten dubs, but it's likely that the Gundam Boom would have stayed on longer. What makes this example particularly weird is that later, Sunrise let Toonami air the aforementioned G Gundam - one can't help but wonder why Sunrise didn't just let them air G first.
    • The original name for the robots was "Gundom," a portmanteau of the words "gun" and "freedom." However, Yoshiyuki Tomino changed the name to "Gundam" to evoke the idea of the robots being used like a dam to hold back enemies.

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