Best Gundam Anime Series?

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liquiddragon

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#1  Edited By liquiddragon  Online

Is anybody out there a Gundam expert?

Kinda embarrassed to say, even tho I like mechas and have had Gunplas in the past, I've never seen more than a handful of Gundam Wing episodes.

Which series is a good in for the franchise? Which ones do you like the most? Thanks!

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Humanity

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#2 Humanity  Online

I don’t think it’s a good “in” but in terms of quality Gundam Thunderbolt is spectacular and I highly recommend not only as a good Gundam show, but just good anime overall.

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Rigas

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#3  Edited By Rigas

There are no bad Gundams really. If you liked Wing you will like Gundam 00. that might be a place to start. but really if any suit design or era catches your eye you can just jump and not be disapoointed.

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Gooddoggy

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I really like 08th MS Team. It's a self-contained story in the original Universal Century timeline/continuity, and only about 12 episodes, so pretty easy to digest. Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin is also pretty good - it's a series of movie prequels to the original series, so if you end up liking that you're well-positioned to jump into the first series.

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reap3r160

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#5  Edited By reap3r160

+1 for 08th MS Team. Maybe I just haven't seen enough Gundam, but it felt like the most grounded(as much as a show about giant piloted robots can be).

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MrGreenMan

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I loved the original Gundam 0079 series but it is very dated and the animation is probably not the best to jump right into. Personally I loved Iron Blooded Orphans. It's a rather non traditional gundam series and rather stand alone series that you can easily jump into without really knowing anything about Gundam or the series itself really. Gundam Unicorn is also good. It's sort of a retelling of the original series and is beautiful looking series, though personally I find it boring.

The thing is when it comes to Gundam, everyone claims they know what the best and worst series are but really there is a Gundam series, OVA, or movie for everyone, it's just a matter of finding what appeals to you.

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FinalDasa

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#7 FinalDasa  Moderator

08th MS Team is generally my recommendation because it captures a lot of what most Gundam series go for and is pretty short. It's a good intro into the franchise without having to commit to several seasons of a show.

War in the Pocket is also a shorter series (6 episodes?) and is often recommended but I've always been an MS Team person.

Gundam Unicorn is a more modern Gundam show with some great production values. So if some of the older 90s/2000s era stuff is too old for you, try this one out.

G-Gundam. Okay, listen, Gundam isn't maybe for everyone. A lot of the shows have intense war themes and the realities of the ongoing big mech conflict. G-Gundam asks the question no one thought to ask: "Yo what if these Gundams were in a fighting tournament?" Obviously there's more to G-Gundam than that, but it has its own take on the Gundam universe and it's a fun aside from the normal Gundam animes.

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Efesell

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#8  Edited By Efesell

The Best is probably something like 08th.

The "Best" however is resoundingly G Gundam. Everyone in it is a character from Punch Out participating in a Gundam Martial Arts movie.

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CageySquid

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Iron Blooded Orphans. This is where I started with the franchise and it remains my favorite.

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hmoney001

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Gundam SEED *runs

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Acura_Max

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@efesell said:

The Best is probably something like 08th.

The "Best" however is resoundingly G Gundam. Everyone in it is a character from Punch Out participating in a Gundam Martial Arts movie.

This. The cheese in G Gundam is great and I love it.

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Gundam SEED *runs

You didn't say Gundam Seed Destiny so you are still a friend in my book.

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Humanity

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#12 Humanity  Online

@efesell said:

The Best is probably something like 08th.

The "Best" however is resoundingly G Gundam. Everyone in it is a character from Punch Out participating in a Gundam Martial Arts movie.

After Thunderbolt, yes G Gundam is amazing. His signature shining fingers never gets old. The weirdly sexual spandex control suits. The countries being very loose amalgamations of culture and media. It's great.

I see some people recommend Iron Blooded Orphans but man I found that story so trite I had to stop watching halfway through. The rich girl not understanding war and poverty trope is something I couldn't cope with. The action was pretty good.

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Rejizzle

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Had to quote an expert for this one. Austin has a lot of good opinions, but his best opinions are about Gundam.

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Panfoot

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For main line Gundam stuff the short series are all good entry points, 8th MS Team, War in the Pocket, and the often overlooked but still pretty good 0083: Stardust Memory(which is essentially Top Gun, but Gundam). Zeta is my favorite of the longer main series, and they do have a movie compilation version, same with the original series, but I haven't watched it so I couldn't really say much about it(besides I know though the movie version has less of a downer ending than the original). Outside of the main timeline, G Gundam is just dumb fun from start to finish. I watched the first half of 00 and thought it wasn't bad, from what little i've seen of the original it seemed to be in the same vein as Wing. Avoid SEED like the plague, it's just...a bummer.

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Gundato

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#15  Edited By Gundato

Going to echo the sentiments of 08th MS Team being the best from a "that is actually pretty good and interesting" standpoint (ignoring the random nude scene from the teenage-ish girl) and G Gundam being the best from a "I am not sure if this is racist, but it is amazing" standpoint

Tangential, but: Been rewatching Wing on and off over the past few months to see if it holds up. I think the fact that it is taking me a few months to get through about 50-ish episodes (could have sworn it was 30) says about how well that aged.

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Efesell

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Gundam Wing should be treasured for it's role in introducing a lot of people to a good franchise but it's not a very good show and if you only remember it being good then keep those memories safe.

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MeMonk

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#17  Edited By MeMonk

The best is probably Zeta Gundam but I would recommend starting with the original 0079 tv show it is great and if you like it then there is a lot of stuff to watch. Plus it has Char in it.

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soimadeanaccount

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#18  Edited By soimadeanaccount

I was quite a "fan" of Gundam and pretty much consider Gundam to be my version of childhood cartoon, but in hindsight I really haven't watched a lot of its series.

The one that stick out is probably 0080 War in a Pocket...I say probably because I had to look up what's it is call and identified it base on its synopsis. I usually associate Gundam with flashy robots and explosions this series however has a somewhat different tone.

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jiggajoe14

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#19  Edited By jiggajoe14

The original Mobile Suit Gundam has a ton of charm even if it doesn't fully stick the ending. I love the original series warts and all. I wasn't overly in love with Zeta as the attempts to be more "mature" fell flat on its face for me. And then ZZ just stunk.

If I had to go best I would say Turn A but that is like a summation of all Gundam shows really. It's premise is quite genius and the combination of charm, music (Yoko god damn Kanno), and mech designs are all top notch to me. As far as entry point I'd say 08th and 0080 are both great entry points and up there as far as best gundams are concerned. Especially the former as the jungle warfare and detail in animation is fucking stellar. Oh and Unicorn is really good.

Outside of main stuff I really dig G Gundam. It's directed by a great director of super robot stuff like Giant Robo the Day the Earth Stood Still. It really plays up the absurdity and continues to top itself.

Plenty of bad gundam shows as well. Reconguista is nonsensical. Victory becomes an absurd, hateful, mean-spirited mess of a show. 00 is a bore and then the movie is just fucking dreadful. AGE does nothing to stand out. And SEED.....hooooo boy flashback city baby. SEED and SEED Destiny are probably the worst Gundam things produced.

Edit: Forgot about Thunderbolt. Only seen the first season but it is slick as all hell.

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#20  Edited By Kyahmete

@liquiddragon said:

Is anybody out there a Gundam expert?

Kinda embarrassed to say, even tho I like mechas and have had Gunplas in the past, I've never seen more than a handful of Gundam Wing episodes.

Which series is a good in for the franchise? Which ones do you like the most? Thanks!

I have not watched the old gundam series like the notable Chars Counter attack or the 8th MS team etc.. My gundam watching started with Gundam Wing, then G-Gundam, Gundam X, Gundam Seed and so on.. But of all the Gundam series I have watched, my personal recommendation would be watching Gundam 00.

Gundam 00 is a stand alone Gundam story. So it doesn't require you to watch previous series just to understand it.

And like I have said, I have watched previous Gundam series prior to Gundam 00, but when I watched the first episode, the series made me feel as if I am watching a Gundam series for the first time.

The series is gentle and thorough enough to guide you into the current state of the world. And their world is not so distant from the current one we are in. The main objective of our protagonists is very relatable to a person wanting to drastically change the world. Their motives and agendas are very much likely to be taken up by a well funded private arms group if it were to happen. The political world issues in the series is very timely you will share the same sentiments and you would want to be in the team!

All Gundam series is all about war. But here, in Gundam 00, they will make you see the war through three different perspective. The Protagonists, the antagonists, and the civilians eyes. You will see how everyone affects the lives of the others, how they are being connected through this war and it will pin you down to your seat for hours.

The characters and character development in this series is also very well written. You will also get to see how the war develops and how it will take its toll in all of the characters and how it changes them throughout the series.

The Gundams and the pilots are very much more of a functioning team rather than Gundam Wing's. Where one pilot is enough to wipe everyone out and the others can just warm the bench. Gundam 00 pilots and their Gundams are not overly powerful. As a matter of fact, you will feel how hard the battle is becoming if one of the member is disabled. And most often times, you will see them in a very unfortunate state. It will be because of their wit and teamwork that they overcome those tight fitting situations and not because they are piloting a gundam.

The Gundam franchise trademark showcases superior mechas and space warfare tech to thier enemis. But in this series, you will see that as the story develops, it is the Gundam's crew who is getting the beating or getting pushed back to a corner because their enemies kept on getting smarter.

I highly recommend Gundam 00 to you. Just don't watch the movie.

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Gundato

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Since this got bumped:

I would need to do a lot more googling than I am willing to do right now, but I think in the past year or two a few Gundam miniserieses were added to either Netflix or Amazon (I want to say it is Iron Blood Orphans or something Unicorn based?). Last time I checked I got really confused as to whether it was a remake or an adaptation and which was the first installment (and if the first installment was even on the same streaming service)

Can anyone translate that incoherent bit of stream of consciousness and further help me translate the marketing and continuity?

As for my Gundam Wing rewatch: Stalled out around the time they all decided to return to space and Relena started carrying a gat. Will eventually resume watching and see the hilarity of how they handled the Zero System/Newtypes in Wing.

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someoneproud

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I've only watched 0079, watched it recently and it's great so long as you can look past the incredibly dated aesthetics. Really good story and setting though, well worth a watch imo.

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deactivated-5d5f33a6b34f9

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Nothing compares to Gundam 79

EDIT: Actually, nothing really compares to late 70’s/80’s mecha anime in general.

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Dizzyhippos

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Personally for me it will always be 08th MS team if I want something slightly dark and G-Gundam if I want something dumb.

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Stardust Memory's my favorite, I think War in the Pocket and ZZ tie for second. (I've only really watched UC Gundam)

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#27  Edited By krelmoon

For whatever reason zeta Gundam is my favorite. It’s depressing, the good guys from the first series see everything they fought for go to waste and ultimately have to rise up against the federation they fought for in the first series. Ultimately redeems the anti war sentiment of the first series and spares no characters from death and consequences. Much better animation than 079 but definitely long 50 episode arc.

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I started a UC watch early last year having never seen any UC before. I'd seen Wing and Seed before years ago, theyre alright. I started at the beginning, kept to the series wherever possible and ended up seeing a lot of Gundam over the last few months. I watched some of the side stories too and am currently making my way through Iron Blooded Orphans which I'm enjoying.

Each series had had their high and low points, but the ones that were fairly solid throughout were:

The original series

Zeta

08th MS

War in the Pocket

0083 Stardust Memories

Thunderbolt

The others I saw had good moments, but were either boring at times, very silly or occasionally bad were:

Double Zeta

Chars Counterattack

The Origin

Unicorn

That's not to say I didn't have fun with those ones, but man, the first half of Double Zeta was tough to get through.

Find yourself a guide and start with the original series or the compilation movies, I hear they're good. Apparently the Zeta compilation movies aren't as good and mess with the canon. But Zeta is probably the best long series so I'd watch that after you've finished the original.

Enjoy!

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Amingo

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Original Trilogy movie + Zeta TV series for the definitive Gundam experience.

Whatever you do, don't watch AGE.

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Gundato

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Just because this keeps getting bumped and I keep rewatching some series and watching ones I missed:

Gundam 0079 (original series) + Zeta + The Second Half of ZZ is probably the absolute best "series". We have the full transition of "fun robot anime" to bleak commentary on war where things become more about protecting the pilot next to you than anything else all while your government is almost indistinguishable from your enemy.

And almost all of the Char love is a result of 79+Zeta with SOME Char's Counterattack. Because 79 or Zeta on their own are both kind of weak. A lot of that is a function of age and also them NOT being standalone. Char and Amuro in 79 are both pretty one dimensional and the crux of their (anime) rivalry is only in the back quarter of 79. Zeta fleshes things out a lot more but also depends on the context of 79 (and, on its own, is just kind of a weird borderline proto-incel ride).

What Wing does is it basically compacts all three of those series into a single (poorly paced) anime. Almost from the start it is clear that the gundam pilots are fucked up in the head and Zechs is playing OZ. And, ironically, the weird rivalry between Heero and Zechs suffers (it is basically "So, we are both good pilots who don't want that blonde idiot to get herself killed. You're in the way of my objective so we are going to have to fight but you wanna grab a drink after? Maybe milk since one of us is like 12?") but also avoids a lot of the Char/Amuro aspects that, in my opinion, detract from the overall message.

Wing and Char's Counterattack spoilers: Heero and Zechs feel very little animosity toward one another and it makes their final conflict all the better for it. They aren't fighting over their mutual love for some kid who PROBABLY screwed with their heads. They are fighting for the fate of humanity. Zechs (going by Miliardo, but still the mask of Zechs) was a construct of Miliardo and Treize to represent the horrors of OZ/Romefeller/Barton/whatever and he is fighting as a literal devil against an angel. Even the Gundam pilots acknowledge that one orbital strike was PROBABLY needed to wake Earth up by that point. One of the best fights in the franchise is very explicitly just a meaningless fight being used to show humanity how close to annihilation it is. Whereas Char's Counterattack throws away a lot of the character development with Amuro back with the Earth Federation (who are STILL trying to wipe out Earth's population to save money in the annual budget...) and Char more or less horny for underage women. The side content contextualizes it but mostly it is two dumbasses who have been butting heads for decades having one last brawl while opportunistic assholes profit from it and humanity suffers.

That isn't to say that 08th MS Team and War in the Pocket (and I hear Iron Blooded Orphans. Next on the list) aren't probably still better. They are much more self contained stories that have a much more direct message (and the final minute of War in the Pocket is haunting). But I would also very much argue that they aren't Gundam shows in the same sense that something like Rogue One (or even The Mandalorian) isn't REALLY a Star War. They are side stories that take advantage of the world building to tell a VERY different story.