The Gundam franchise has proven to be one of the most resilient properties in all of Japan. The Gundam series has been rejuvenating the face of mech series ever since it blasted off nearly 40 years ago.
The brand has led to the creation of so many manga, anime, toy lines, and other ancillary streams that it can often be difficult to stay on top of the growing franchise.
Many of the bigger Gundam hits, such as Gundam Wing or Iron-Blooded Orphans, can make a name for themselves and stand out amongst the crowd, but there are many other gems that have fallen to the wayside.
Mobile Fighter G Gundam is one of these titles that has seen a complicated relationship with its fanbase and never quite experienced the mainstream success of other series.
However, this is truly a shame in a lot of ways because G Gundam happens to be one of the more experimental, ambitious Gundam series out there. Those that do give the series their time are often surprised at its impressive draw.
So get ready, because whether you’re a Newtype or a complete newbie to the Gundam world, here are the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Mobile Fighter G Gundam.
15 It’s the First Gundam Series to Be Set Outside of the “Universal Century” Timeline
Mobile Suit Victory Gundam was the fourth official Gundam series and its conclusion marked the end of the franchise’s long-running “Universal Century” timeline.
Many changes behind the scenes would result in the next official Gundam series, Yasuhiro Imagawa’s Mobile Fighter G Gundam, being set in a new timeline, “Future Century.” The Future Century timeline offers up a vision of space that sees colonies settling their political disputes every four years in the gladiatorial “Gundam Fight.”
G Gundam opening the door to new timelines would allow the Gundam series to breathe a little more and not be so beholden to the previously established events in the Universal Century series.
G Gundam’s gambit would be so successful that setting Gundam series in alternate timelines has practically become the norm, so to speak. Now the franchise is full of new, parallel timelines like After Colony, After War, and Post Disaster.
In 2010, a concentrated effort was made to increase interest in Gundam’s expanded alternate timelines, with G Gundam being used as an example. The series experienced a detailed retelling in Choukyuu! G Gundam, yet the Future Century timeline has yet to be returned to since
14 It's Gundam’s First “Reboot” and Self-Contained Story
Now it might be fairly common practice for new Gundam series to tackle a fresh perspective and storyline rather than extending a previous one. Back in 1994, though, Mobile Fighter G Gundam’s radically different approach caught a lot of people off guard.
In fact, G Gundam would be seen as the Gundam franchise’s first official reboot, injecting a new premise and characters into this world of space mechas.
Furthermore, G Gundam would differentiate itself by telling a one-off, self-contained story. This might not seem like that crucial of a detail, but it would immensely change how Gundam series were viewed.
No longer would these need to be complicated, multi-series long sagas. It’s entirely possible to have a smaller, possibly more intimate take on Gundam, with Mobile Fighter G Gundam breaking those floodgates.
Anime journalist John Oppliger even goes as far as saying that Imagawa’s G Gundam marks a “catalyst” in Japan’s anime industry for showing what was possible with long-running franchises.
G Gundam continues to be seen as influential series today with the Japanese magazine Animage, who included it at #74 amongst its “Top 100 Most Important anime” back in 2001 (higher than Neon Genesis Evangelion).
13 There are a lot of cultural stereotypes
Mobile Fighter G Gundam is instrumental in achieving many firsts for the Gundam franchise, but at the end of the day it’s most commonly seen as “that crazy Gundam series with all of the stereotypes.”
G Gundam’s concept revolves around Gundam from all over the world competing, but the show really leans into stereotypes of each nation with the results often being hilariously tone-deaf.
For instance, Neo Mexico’s Gundam wears a machine gun sombrero and is named Tequila Gundam (in Japan). Neo Canada's Gundam is a lumberjack, Neo America’s wears a football helmet and has a surfboard, Neo Germany’s features Nazi regalia, and Neo Spain’s is a take on a matador.
Perhaps the most ridiculous example of all of this though is Neo Holland’s Gundam, which is pretty much just a windmill. In fact, the only reason that Neo Holland qualifies for the finals of the Gundam Fight is because their Gundam docked with a bunch of actual windmills and went unnoticed for 11 months.
12 The Devil Gundam Can Reanimate Corpses
Forget about huge blaster cannons or ultra cool beam swords. None of those fancy weapons make a difference when a Gundam can actually bring people back from the dead and turn them into its slaves.
The Devil Gundam is a super intimidating foe, but it’s an especially creative antagonist for the Gundam series because it adds some supernatural elements into the already science fiction series.
The Devil Gundam is able to use its nanomachines (referred to as Devil Gundam cells) to revive corpses, which in itself would be a tremendous power. Then these fresh zombies are turned into pilots for the Devil Gundam’s Death Army and made to fight against their friends and loved ones.
In one of the cooler moments of all of this, the Devil Gundam revives a mobile fighter who’s been dead for 40 years and returns as a mummy.
All of this makes for a remarkable strategy that turns the final onslaught against the Devil Gundam into quite the grueling, emotional battle. More Gundam series could benefit from throwing zombies into the mix.
11 There’s a Gundam That Looks Like Sailor Venus
Regardless of what any other Gundam series accomplishes, nothing will ever be as cool as a giant mecha version of one of the Sailor Scouts.
Mobile Fighter G Gundam is notorious for featuring a number of adventurous (ie. insane) mecha designs, but the series’ craziest Gundam is definitely the one from out of Neo Sweden. Neo Sweden’s Nobel Gundam is such a conversation starter because it’s essentially a mechanized version of Sailor Venus from Sailor Moon.
Allen Beardsley, one of the few female mobile fighter pilots from the series, pilots the Nobel Gundam and it’s really a sight to behold. The unit even features a beam ribbon rather than the typical beam saber, which offers a more impressive reach.
The Nobel Gundam’s ridiculous look actually happens to serve a practical purpose. Its bows act as thrusters and its “hair” is actually a set of cooling fins (which fan out accordingly in the mecha's Berserker Mode).
Furthermore, a whole bunch of other Nobel Gundam prototypes from Neo Sweden are modeled after the other Sailor Scouts, which is a pretty funny running joke that Neo Sweden has going. Besides, what other series features a Gundam in high heels?
10 It Was Meant to Rejuvenate the Struggling Gundam Franchise
It’s been spoken about how influential G Gundam was for ostensibly “rebooting” the franchise and telling a standalone story, but these were actually necessary changes due to the franchise losing favor with its audience.
Imagawa, a protégé of Gundam’s YoshiyukiTomino, was set to follow up Victory Gundam with the more militaristic Polcarino Gundam. However, after declining sales and 1994 marking the Gundam series’ 15th anniversary, it was deemed the right time to try going in a new direction with the material. Mobile Fighter G Gundam was born in the process.
Many of the aspects that G Gundam brought to the mech series for the first time, like an emphasis on martial arts and small scale personal battles as opposed to grand wars were curiously things that Imagawa and Sunrise were originally strongly against.
However, as time passed, Imagawa began to embrace these differences, even astutely stating, “If you continue to make a copy of a copy of a copy, eventually the image degrades to nothing."
To bring that message home, he reiterates, "This is my Gundam, and I've made a Gundam that I can be proud of."
9 Two of the Gundam in the Series Are Contest Winners’ Creations
The Gundam series has always shown an affinity for fans and made attempts to involve them in the series as much as possible.
One of the great joys of Gundam shows is that there are always grand lines of toys and models to accompany each new anime. G Gundam is a series that played into this aspect particularly hard, having all sorts of original, unusual models for fans to collect and play with.
G Gundam would go one step further with all of this by actually holding a contest where fans would be able to design Gundams that would appear in the series.
Mobile Fighter G Gundam teamed up with Comic BonBon of Kodansha publications and TV Magazine to hold this exciting contest that let fans go nuts with their ideas. In the end, the designs for Neo Singapore’s Ashura Gundam and Neo Malaysia’s Skull Gundam were the contest winners, and rightfully so, as they look all sorts of cool.
Sadly though, both the Ashura Gundam and the Skull Gundam are made into enemies in the show, which could have been a big bummer for these contest winners, since their humble creations are trying to kill the good guys.
8 It Was the Director's First Love Story
Yasuhiro Imagawa is a great storyteller, but he was the first to admit that G Gundam was not only his first attempt at a love story, but that he’s also outright uncomfortable writing female characters and romantic dialogue.
Granted, G Gundam’s romantic aspects are not overpowering through the bulk of the series, but beginning in episode 40, Domon and Rain’s love becomes a pretty powerful component.
The culmination of Imagawa’s awkwardness with writing love stories occurs during Domon and Rain’s final battle, leading to their infamous “Love-Love” line.
This “Love-Love” exchange is so perplexing and strange that Sunrise producer Masahiko Minami actually confronted Imagawa at his home to make sure that this dialogue wasn’t some sort of mistake.
Imagawa would reiterate that G Gundam was built upon defying conventions, so why not do the same thing here? In fact, Imagawa embraced “Love-Love” so much that he would even say he didn’t care if it cost him his reputation and his ability to work in the industry-- he just wanted it in the show.
7 It Marks the First Appearance of Gundam Wing’s Wing Gundam and Tallgeese
Mobile Fighter G Gundam’s big mechanized foe is the dastardly Devil Gundam (Dark Gundam outside of Japan, but Devil Gundam just sounds so much cooler).
He’s a colossal threat-- the sort of enemy that just screams “overpowered” and it seems like it’s going to be impossible to defeat. Accordingly, when G Gundam approaches its big final showdown with the Devil Gundam in its final two episodes, it pulls out all the stops.
All of the colonies pool their resources to take on the Devil Gundam, but a number of Gundam from outside series even appear to lend a hand against this ultimate evil. Forget about it not making any sense for the timelines, it’s just a severely cool visual.
While it’s great to see classic mechs like Mobile Suit Gundam’s RX-78-2, Victory Gundam’s V2 Gundam, or Gundam 0083’s GP-01 and GP-02, what’s even cooler is the debut of Gundam Wing’s Wing Gundam and Tallgeese.
Since Gundam Wing was in production while G Gundam was airing, they were able to borrow assets from the series and give a sneak peek of these new Gundam that they’d be passing the torch to next.
6 Its Characters and Setting Are Heavily Influenced By World Cinema
The initial plan for G Gundam’s scenic locations and battlegrounds was to use guidebooks and mimic the locations being seen in these guides. Imagawa would find that none of these seemed authentic enough for the level of detail that he wanted to put into G Gundam’s colonies.
What Imagawa would end up doing to remedy this was turning to a number of famous films and basing his environments off of those.
Imagawa was already a big lover of world cinema, with his passion seeing him turn to the works of Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Federico Fellini, and other curious sources (like Monty Python sketches or Genesis music videos) in order to craft his locales.
Beyond the locations, other aesthetics of G Gundam are clear nods to Imagawa’s love for other forms of international media.
The recurring narration that Stalker provides at the start of each episode is an intentional nod to The Twilight Zone and the villain Wong Yunfat pulls heavily from Chow Yun Fat’s God of Gamblers character.
5 There is a Horse Piloting a Gundam
Here’s some real madness that takes a little time to understand. In Mobile Fighter G Gundam, the character Master Asia has a horse by the name of Fuunsaiki. Nothing weird with that, right?
Well, Fuunsaiki also happens to have a Gundam of its own, and it’s a giant mecha horse. What’s even better is that the mobile horse’s name is also Fuunsaiki.
Unfortunately, Fuunsaiki doesn’t get nearly enough screen time, but its mere existence throws a lot of the Gundam world’s rules up into the air. How can a horse pilot a Gundam? Could a dog then pilot a Gundam? Would it also have to look like a giant mech dog? The mind reels.
Fuunsaiki’s fighting abilities never really get to be seen, since it's used more as an efficient means of transportation. Regardless, there are few things more intimidating than a horse riding an even bigger horse. Even if that thing isn’t attacking, it’s going to clear a crowd.
4 It Has a “Secret” Side Story Manga
For everyone out there that loved Split and the massive “twist” that it dropped at its end, Mobile Fighter Sidestory Gundam Fight 7th is going to be the same sort of wish fulfillment.
This manga disguises itself as some sort of one-off that’s centered around a giant Gundam tournament. The manga’s name makes it clear that this is a “side story” and it doesn’t advertise any sort of connection to the G Gundam universe.
In spite of all of that, though, Gundam Fight 7th ends up being a covert parallel story to the events of G Gundam and even acts as an origin story of sorts to Master Asia and how he becomes the “King of the Hearts.”
The coolest thing about all of this is that these connections to G Gundam aren’t pushed in the reader’s face, and it’s not even clear that the central character is Master Asia until the end of the manga.
Many Gundam series have suffered from being over expanded and having every detail become a part of a sequel or spin-off. G Gundam certainly doesn’t succumb to any of these tendencies, but Gundam Fight 7th works as a “soft prequel” in a non-distracting way.
3 The Director Confirms That a Sequel Series Would Be Impossible
There’s an increasing tendency for creators and studios to return to old properties and try to rejuvenate them in modern ways.
Mobile Fighter G Gundam’s director has, however, been quite adamant in his claims that G Gundam will never have an animated sequel. Now, admittedly, the G Gundam universe has seen a few expansions in the form of manga side stories, but Imagawa makes it clear that that is all there will ever be. The idea of another animated series, or even a limited OVA, just doesn’t appeal to the director at all.
The reason why Imagawa has such a strong feeling that G Gundam is over is due to the fact that he believes it succeeded because it knew exactly what it was— a kids’ show— and it never tried to be anything more than that.
To make another series would be antithetical to that and give the series more significance than was ever intended to have. So it’s probably time to cancel those Mobile Fighter G Gundam: Endless Waltz petitions…
2 There’s An Official G Gundam Clothing Line
It’s fairly natural for Gundam series to spawn a great deal of toys and merchandising, but some titles even have the rare distinction of fueling their own clothing line.
The Japanese clothing company Cospa is no stranger to producing anime-driven products, but it’s kind of crazy that die-hard G Gundam fans can go the extra mile here. Cospa’s line is actually surprisingly tactful, with the bulk of their designs revolving around the “King of Hearts” insignia, rather than just emblazoning “G Gundam” all over everything.
The only catch is that most of these items are currently out of production, so it might cost a mechanized arm or leg to actually acquire any of this swag.
With Cospa’s G Gundam line seeing enough success, the clothing company also went on to experiment with other Gundam series like Gundam Seed, Z Gundam, and Iron-Blooded Orphans, so thankfully some Gundam garb is still out there.
1 The SD Gundam G Generation Video Games Introduce a Devil Gundam Jr.
The popular SD Gundam G Generation series of video games have since expanded to include the whole scope of Gundam’s many timelines, but they began solely as a G Gundam venture.
One of the series’ most interesting deviations is its creation of the Devil Gundam Jr., a Gundam which formed from a collection of Devil Gundam cells left behind from its predecessor.
The Devil Gundam Jr. is essentially a smaller, more efficient version of the Devil Gundam. However, it also wields the ability to recreate weaker versions of the Devil Gundam’s Four Heavenly Kings, giving it even more power and versatility.
While the Devil Gundam Jr. has only been used in video games so far and mostly resembles its “father," there is still one meaningful distinction.
The Devil Gundam’s operative is to “Destroy humanity and make the Earth clean,” whereas Devil Gundam Jr.’s is to “Enslave humanity and dominate the Earth.” See, it's not exactly the same as his parents.
That’s enough Mobile Fighter G Gundam goodies to keep you busy until the next World Fight. If there are any mandatory mecha facts that have been overlooked, be sure to sound off in the comment section.