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YMMV / Gundam

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The Entire Franchise:

  • Accidental Aesop: One could interpret the message of the Universal Century shows to be "don't follow leaders who are clearly crazy." Most of the conflicts in the era are the result of someone who's either a complete sociopath (Gihren Zabi, Bask Om) or has serious mental health issues (Haman Karn, Char Aznable) coming into absolute power.
  • Broken Base:
    • The fandom is generally grouped roughly based on which series brought you into the fandom, though this has died way down since Gundam's heyday in the early 2000s. The original split was between UC purists and Wingers, with a smaller faction of Seedlings arising later. Gundam 00 was divisive due to its much more Super Robot-styled Gundams and the First Contact plot of the movie given that Absent Aliens has long been a hallmark of the franchise. A later series, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, has caused some disagreements over its "kiddie" styling (to say nothing of the writing gaffes it suffered in its last two arcs).
    • The presence of Technical Pacifist characters has generated this. Some fans find it groan-worthy on the grounds that it takes the War Is Hell message to Anvilicious levels and that it is grating to watch characters participating in a war have qualms about killing people. Other fans feel that adding extra content to the anti-war message isn't a bad thing and that it is reasonable for a character to have qualms about killing people instead of showing no remorse about killing others.
    • "Space magic" elements not grounded in Minovsky Physics such as Newtypes and Psychoframes. Some fans accept them for being around as early as the first installment and find them to be part of the enjoyment of the franchise. Other fans feel that a Real Robot show should not have such elements and instead focus on grounded realism (at least as much realism as a Humongous Mecha show can have). Some have come to view it as something of a Franchise Original Sin due to its presence leading to similar things being implemented in other series.
    • Which Mobile Suit in the series is the most powerful? There is a lot to argue over and it is perhaps one of the most common arguments in the fandom. And while a lot of people have their own take, most of the time it becomes a battle between Dark History Turn A, Crystallized Unicorn and ELS Quanta.
  • Complete Monster: Has its own page.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: The main reason for the shift from the UC timeline to alternate universes.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Most of the series have a strong anti-war theme, while simultaneously making sure every episode has awesome giant robot battles in it.
  • Epileptic Trees: A common joke among fans is for everyone to guess if potential model kits will be released for general retail or as webshop exclusives (specifically Premium Bandai).
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception:
    • Go ahead and call the Mobile Suits "Transformers", we dare you. note 
    • Be sure to learn that not all Mobile Suits are Gundams before getting into a discussion with fans, or risk ticking them off by calling suits like Zakus or BuCUEs Gundams.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Even the original Mobile Suit Gundam made it clear that what was shown on screen was simply one small part of a large war. The UC timeline spans over two centuries, and then there are the Alternate Universe series, and that's not even considering fans making their own Gundam AU. There's also less of an aversion to fans making up all-new casts due to the practice of introducing a new lead character for every anime, manga and video game.
  • Fanon: The fandom is quite good at creating it, given how many Alternate Continuity versions and contradictory source materials there are.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Contrary to popular belief, there is no official words removing G-Saviour from Universal Century. However, its existence is generally ignored by both the fans and the creators.
    • Some fans really want to believe that the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam remake movies have shunted the less-popular Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ out of canon, but that's not the case (see Canon and Continuity Snarl on the main page).
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • The shift from a Grey-and-Grey Morality in the original work to a Black-and-White Morality in the sequel complete with the antagonist faction that is Love to Hate, which often leans to Too Bleak, Stopped Caring. Now, this is often considered the moment the work in question will go downhill, as evidenced with Gundam Seed Destiny and the second season of Gundam 00 being Contested Sequels. This trend started when Mobile Suit Gundam transitioned to Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, the latter being generally considered an Even Better Sequel. The reason Zeta (mostly) got away with the morality shift was because its overall improvements with better writing, action and animation compared to the original overshadowed any complaints about the villains being Love to Hate. Meanwhile, later entries usually didn't improve their other aspects when shifting the morality or have a similar reception due to a more perceptive and hard to please audience thanks to the internet.
    • The "Space Magic" element is often a contentious topic with some feeling like it takes away from the Real Robot feel in many series. This is something that was first introduced in the very first show and subsequently escalated in the following series. The idea of Newtypes were considered groundbreaking at that time and the powers provided usually don't result in fantastical elements and/or Deus Ex Machinas that would make the audience feel like that they are watching a different show altogether, which allowed Newtypes to be mostly immune to the criticism later versions would suffer from. Not to mention, "Space Magic" was also used more often as time went on to justify plot holes and physics-defying feats, turning it into a writing crutch.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Proportionally speaking, the Master Grade line of model kits sells incredibly well in most foreign countries like Australia and the US. This was very likely due to the line's plethora of gimmicks, which consists of of inner frames (If you don't count even older ones), poseable fingers, excellent color separation (current kits), the usage of clear parts etc.
    • As a mecha franchise, Gundam was definitely a top show in Japan. However, it is basically the quintessential Japanese mecha anime in the eyes of the Western world. Think of 'Japanese mecha anime' and most English-speaking fandom would default to 'Gundam', whereas while respected in Japan, there is another anime that didn't fly that well in the Western market, but the Japanese still considered it more influential than Gundam when it comes to mecha anime: Mazinger Z.
  • I Am Not Shazam: At least you can find one of the franchise's (inexperienced) fandom referring the other non-Gundam-type Mobile Suits as the said titular name.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Why some fans enjoy the franchise despite finding the plots boring and the characters irritating. It's still got giant robots blowing each other up!
  • Magnificent Bastard: See here.
  • Memetic Mutation: Enough to have its own page, as well.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Yes, the Federation has corrupt leaders. Yes, Zeon has many good, moral people who serve it. Yes, the Titans are bad. That being said, it's a little scary how many fans will knee-jerk a SIEG ZEON for a regime that murdered billions of people and continued to wipe out metropolitan centers every few years "for freedom".
    • There is a portion of the fanbase that misses the point of the War Is Hell message and complain about the characters discussing morals instead of focusing on the giant robot battles. Given the sheer spectacle the shows tend to have, it's hard to blame them for missing the message, but it's still odd to see fans wish for the characters to stop angsting about the deaths and destruction they've witnessed when the deaths and destruction are supposed to be hammered in as bad.
  • Moment of Awesome: The 30th anniversary short "Gundam Perfect Mission", where the protagonist Gundams from every anime up through Unicorn work together to get the Core Fighter into space, where it forms into the original Gundam, the whole thing ending with a "YEAH!" Shot.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The Newtype flash.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Some fans dismiss any Gundam series not set in the UC continuity or made by Tomino regardless of their actual quality.
  • Pop Culture Holiday: There are three main holidays for the franchise: Gundam Day (7/8), chosen to mimic the model number of Mobile Suit Gundam's RX-78-2, Zaku Day (3/9), chosen as a Goroawase Number pun, and Nu Gundam Day (9/3), chosen to mimic the model number (RX-93) of its namesake Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack.
  • Rooting for the Empire: By the truckloads. For UC, Zeon has far more vocal fans than the Earth Federation. In CE, just mentioning it in reference to the Earth Alliance or ZAFT is likely to cause a Flame War over who was really the bad guy. Ditto, though to a lesser extent, for Mobile Suit Gundam 00. The same debate over whether Vagan or the Earth Federal Forces is worse in Gundam AGE is getting ugly as well. The same goes through Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans where you got Tekkadan vs. Gjallarhorn (particularly in Season 2) debate.
  • Star Trek Movie Curse: For Gundam, it's the "sequel series curse", where sequels to a series other than the original MSG tend to be poorly received in comparison: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny, and to an extent the second seasons of Gundam 00 and Iron-Blooded Orphans.
  • The Woobie: Has its own page.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks! / It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: The series often gets complaints that the Gundams all look way too similar to each other. Yet when they went with going with a very different design approach in ∀ Gundam by bringing in American Syd Mead, it was met with heavy derision from the community.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Many fans view Tomino's work as this, with anything set in an Alternate Universe very rarely holding up to Tomino's standard. Shows set in Tomino's Universal Century have fared much better, with all of the OVAs (none of which had any input or involvement from Tomino) being highly rated by both fans and Tomino himself.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Zeta Gundam, while having one of the bleakest endings in all Gundam, is generally considered to be one of the best of them all. Gundam 0080 is similarly dark, and similarly exalted. On the other hand, ∀ Gundam is also considered to be among the best, and it's arguably the happiest Gundam series. Ditto for Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam another series that avoids the number of deaths Tomino is infamous for. Incidentally, Tomino wrote Zeta, Turn A, and Crossbones. Gundam Build Fighters, which is orders of magnitude more lighthearted than anything else in the franchise, also got a very positive response.
  • Wangst: Happens when the protagonist takes True Art Is Angsty too far, which is depressingly frequent for people who just want to watch giant robots fighting.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After numerous failings, Gundam was completely pulled from US markets. However, the success of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin and Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn overseas, combined with high ratings on official Gundam Build Fighters streams led to the franchise being picked up by Nozomi Entertainment, with a dub of the anime version of The Origin on the way. Gunpla has also been showing up at select Barnes and Noble retailers, and Bluefin opened up a Tamashii Web Shop in the US, with hopes for a Gunpla Shop. And as if to say "sorry" for leaving before ∀ Gundam could be released during Bandai Entertainment's run, it will be one of the first series to be released by Nozomi. Things are looking for a grand return...