Here's a list of our top 10 best Gundam Anime Series of all time!
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#10- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (1995-1996)
In the distant future, Mankind has colonized space, with clusters of space colonies at each of the five Earth-Moon Lagrange points. Down on the Earth, the nations have come together to form the United Earth Sphere Alliance. This Alliance oppresses the colonies with its vast military might. The colonies wishing to be free, join together in a movement headed by the pacifist Heero Yuy. In the year After Colony 175, Yuy is shot dead by an assassin, forcing the colonies to search for other paths to peace. The assassination prompts five disaffected scientists from the Organization of the Zodiac, more commonly referred to as OZ, to turn rogue upon the completion of the mobile suit prototype Tallgeese.
The story of Gundam Wing begins in the year After Colony 195, with the start of "Operation Meteor": the scientists' plan for revenge against OZ. The operation involves five teenage boys, who have each been chosen and trained by each of the five scientists, then sent to Earth independently in extremely advanced mobile suits (one designed by each of the scientists) known as "Gundams" (called such because they are constructed from a rare and astonishingly durable material called Gundanium alloy, which can only be created in outer space). Each Gundam is sent from a different colony, and the pilots are initially unaware of each other's existence.
The series focuses primarily on the five Gundam pilots: Heero Yuy (an alias, not to be confused with the martyred pacifist), Duo Maxwell, Trowa Barton, Quatre Raberba Winner and Chang Wufei. Their mission is to use their Gundams to attack OZ directly, in order to rid the Alliance of its weapons and free the colonies from its oppressive rule. The series also focuses on Relena Peacecraft, heir to the pacifist Sanc Kingdom, who starts off as a seemingly ordinary girl until she gets caught up in the conflict between OZ and the Gundams; becoming an important political ally to the Gundam pilots (particularly Heero) in the process.
#9- Mobile Fighter G Gundam (1994-1995)
Unlike previous series in the Gundam franchise which are set in the "Universal Century" timeline, Mobile Fighter G Gundam takes place in an alternate "Future Century" universe.Within this timeline, much of mankind has abandoned a ruined Earth to live in space colonies. The countries on Earth have corresponding colonies just outside the planet's atmosphere. Rather than fight wars for political and social dominance, the colonies agree to hold a "Gundam Fight" tournament every four years. Each country sends to Earth a representative piloting a highly-advanced, humanoid mobile fightercalled a Gundam. The Gundams compete with one another in one-on-one battles, under a strict set of rules, until only one fighter remains; the nation represented by the winner earns the right to rule all of space for that period.Each Gundam is controlled directly by the user within the cockpit using the "Mobile Trace System", a gesture recognition and feedback mechanism whereby the Gundam mimics the pilot's own body motion, combat skills, and weapon-wielding capabilities. G Gundam opens at the start of the 13th Gundam Fight in Future Century year 60 and follows Neo Japan's Domon Kasshu, fighter of his nation's Shining Gundam and bearer of the coveted "King of Hearts" martial arts crest. Aside from winning the tournament, Domon's mission is to track down his fugitive, older brother Kyoji, who allegedly stole the experimental Dark Gundam from Neo Japan's government, leaving their mother dead and their father (Dr. Raizo Kasshu) to be arrested and placed in a cryogenic state.
Under orders from Major Ullube Ishikawa, Domon and his childhood friend and mechanic Rain Mikamura travel from country to country, challenging each one's Gundam while searching for clues to the whereabouts of Kyoji and the Dark Gundam. Domon's initial matches with Neo America's Chibodee Crocket, Neo France's George DeSand, Neo China's Sai Sai Ci, and Neo Russia's Argo Gulskii end in draws, gaining mutual respect among the fighters.As they encounter Gundam pilots who had come in contact with the Dark Gundam, Domon and Rain learn of its unique cellular properties to regenerate, multiply, and evolve by infecting organic matter and causing violent behavior in living things.The duo then journey to Neo Tokyo, a city decimated by the Dark Gundam's army of mobile weapons. Domon reunites with his esteemed martial arts instructor Master Asia, who is also the champion of the last Gundam Fight, the former King of Hearts, and one-time leader of an elite group of Gundam fighters called the Shuffle Alliance. After Domon and Rain help the city's survivors defend their last outpost in Shinjuku, Master Asia reveals himself as a servant of the Dark Gundam, having also gained control over Chibodee, George, Sai Sai Ci, and Argo using Dark Gundam (DG) cells.The four remaining members of the Shuffle Alliance intervene and vow to destroy their previous leader for his crimes. Ultimately, the Alliance members offer their lives in purging the DG cells from Domon's four comrades and bestow each of them with a Shuffle Alliance crest as their successors. Kyoji and the enormous Dark Gundam eventually appear from beneath the ground of Shinjuku, but shortly thereafter vanish alongside Master Asia. As the Shuffle Alliance trains in the Guiana Highlandsfor the Gundam Fight finals, Master Asia and the Dark Gundam reappear. With the help of his friends and a new ally in Neo Germany's masked warrior Schwarz Bruder, Domon defeats the Dark Gundam. When the Shining Gundam becomes incapacitated during the battle, Domon desperately manages to activate a newly acquired Burning Gundam, escape Master Asia, and make his way to the finals set in Neo Hong Kong.
The Gundam Fight finals are presided over by Wong Yunfat, Neo Hong Kong's prime minister and the current ruler of the space colonies and Earth. Wong chooses to have the qualifying nations battle in one-on-one and tag team preliminary matches to reach a battle royale on Lantau Island, where the tournament is to end with the winner facing the defending champion Master Asia.Having gained possession of the Dark Gundam, Wong secretly plots to revive and control it as his trump card to inevitably maintain his own power over space. Domon and his companions make their way to the battle royale while several truths concerning the Dark Gundam are unveiled. Rain's father, eventually explains that the Dark Gundam (originally called the Ultimate Gundam) was constructed by Dr. Kasshu to rejuvenate the dying Earth. Jealous of his genius colleague, Dr. Mikamura had Neo Japan's officials attempt to confiscate Kasshu's creation. To prevent the military from using his father's invention for its own agenda, Kyoji fled with and crash landed the Gundam on Earth, where its computer malfunctioned, triggering its malevolent activity. Ullube subsequently had Dr. Kasshu arrested, framed Kyoji as a criminal, and used Domon and Rain as pawns in recovering the Gundam.In a separate confession, Master Asia discloses to Domon that, having been distressed by the utter destruction wrought by the Gundam Fights, he planned to use the Dark Gundam to wipe out humanity and allow Earth to heal naturally. The battle on Lantau Island culminates with Domon fatally besting Master Asia in a final confrontation, while Kyoji and Schwarz sacrifice themselves so that Domon can attack the Dark Gundam's cockpit and disable it once again. Though the schemes of both Wong and Master Asia are foiled, Ullube quietly claims the Dark Gundam and transports it to Neo Japan's space colony for his own purpose. Having been corrupted by DG cells with ambitions of supreme power, Ullube kidnaps Rain and places her into the Dark Gundam's core to act as its energy source. The hulking monstrosity then merges with the colony and begins absorbing Earth itself.As the entire world's Gundams unite to assault the Dark Gundam from the outside, the Shuffle Alliance breaks inside the colony and destroys Ullube. Finally, Domon professes his love for Rain and releases her from the core. Invoking the power of the King of Hearts, the couple vanquishes the Dark Gundam once and for all
#8 Turn A Gundam
Turn A Gundam follows the character Loran Cehack, a young member of the Moonrace. Selected as part of a reconnaissance mission to determine whether or not the Earth was fit for resettlement, Loran lands on the continent of North America, spends one year living on Earth as the chauffeur to the Heim family, and grows attached to its people. With the expectation of a peaceful resettlement operation from his people, he and a pair of his close friends sent down with him confirm that the Earth is now fit for the Moonrace to make their return. He's taken by surprise when the Moonrace intends to return to Earth via an offensive with mobile suits, and their first attack sparks a violent conflict between Earth and moon.
The night of the first attack, Loran is at the White Doll, an enormous humanoid statue, for a coming-of-age ceremony. When the Moonrace attacks and the battle in town can be seen from a distance the children panic. In the midst of this panic, the White Doll shatters, revealing a metallic figure within, and the shrine collapses around it. During the panic, Loran recognizes the White Doll as a mobile suit, and succeeds in applying his knowledge of the Moonrace's mobile suits to pilot it. The death of the Heim patriarch in the attack pulls the family and Loran into the budding war; Loran becomes the designated pilot of the White Doll, and its discovery prompts the excavation of further mobile suits in the various "mountain cycles" covering the Earth. As the Moonrace's invasion rapidly turns into a full-fledged war against the increasingly armed Earthrace, it becomes clear that this state of affairs is divisive among both groups; while the Moonrace's queen Dianna Soriel attempts to negotiate with the local leaders for a peaceful solution by which the Moonrace can come to reside on the Earth, the militaristic among both populations interfere with the negotiations again and again, forcing the war to continue as opposed to accepting a compromise.
#7- Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn (2010-2014)
The series begins in U.C. 0001, at the very beginning of human space colonization, when Laplace, the space station of the Federation's Prime Minister, is destroyed by an anti-federation group during a ceremony hosted by the Prime Minister ushering in the Universal Century Calendar. The main story takes place in UC 0096, sixteen years after the end of the One Year War, three years after the events of Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, and 27 years before Mobile Suit Gundam F91.
The story revolves around Banagher Links, a seemingly normal boy living and going to school in the space colonies. His life changes one day when he meets a girl named Audrey Burne, as it results in his becoming the pilot of a new Gundam that has connections to an item that is a potential threat to the Federation's existence called "Laplace's Box."
#6- Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (1989)
In Universal Century 0079, Zeon intelligence has identified a prototype Federation Gundam under development in a Federation base in the Arctic. Elite Zeon MS commandos are dispatched to destroy the prototype, but before they can accomplish their mission the Gundam is launched into space. When the Gundam turns up in a Federation R&D base inside the neutral space colony Side 6, the Principality launches a covert operation to destroy the Gundam utilizing the commando team originally dispatched to assault the Arctic base, including young rookie Bernard "Bernie" Wiseman (バーナード・ワイズマン Bānādo Waizuman; バーニィ Bāni). However, the raid fails and the entire team is killed except for Bernie.
After crashing his mobile suit, Bernie manages to befriend Alfred "Al" Izuruha (アルフレッド・イズルハ Arufureddo Izuruha, アル Aru), an elementary school boy enamored with a romantic vision of warfare and excited by Bernie's status as a mobile suit pilot regardless of his allegiance, and Al's neighbor Christina "Chris" Mackenzie (クリスチーナ・マッケンジー Kurisuchīna Makkenjī, クリス Kurisu), secretly the Gundam test pilot. As Bernie tries to repair his damaged mobile suit while hiding out within the station, he develops a close friendship with Al and slowly becomes infatuated with Chris, both pilots remaining unaware of each other's true natures.
As time passes, Bernie discovers that Zeon will destroy Side 6 with a nuclear weapon if he cannot destroy the prototype Gundam. Feeling that he has no choice if the station is to be saved, Bernie takes his mobile suit and goes to engage the Gundam. Believing Side 6 to be under Zeon attack, Chris is ordered to pilot the Gundam in the station's defense, and she and Bernie engage in a destructive battle within the station. Al discovers that the Zeon ship carrying the nuclear weapons was captured, meaning Bernie has no more reason to fight. Alfred goes to try and stop Bernard, only to see Bernie's mobile suit destroyed and an injured Christina pulled from the heavily damaged Gundam, which leaves Al horrified.
Afterwards, Chris tells Al that she will be leaving Side 6, and asks Alfred to say goodbye to Bernard for her, still unaware that she had actually killed him. Al does not have the heart to tell her the truth and agrees to her request. The series closes with Al's school holding an assembly in which the principal talks about the effects of war. Al, remembering his time with Bernie, begins to weep uncontrollably during the speech. Al's friends, misunderstanding his grief, try to reassure him that another "cool" war is bound to happen soon.
#5- Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (1988)
Set in March UC 0093, the film features the return of main antagonist Char Aznable, who has emerged after five years in hiding to lead the Neo-Zeon once more in the fight for supremacy over the Earth Federation. Still determined to make humankind fully colonize in space, he mobilizes the Neo-Zeon to drop the asteroid 5th Luna on the Federation headquarters in Lhasa, Tibet. Under the guise of surrendering all Neo-Zeon military forces, he plans to drop the Axis asteroid base on Earth as well.
However, the Federation has assigned its own anti-insurgent task force, the Londo Bell, to take him down. Among the Londo Bell's members are One Year War veterans Bright Noa and Amuro Ray, whom Char wants to kill in revenge for the death of Lalah Sune. A major battle around Axis breaks out as the Londo Bell struggle to stop Char before the asteroid enters Earth's atmosphere. A Londo Bell demolitions team blows up Axis from the inside but one half is still on course to strike Earth, In the midst of the battle, Amuro catches Char and tries to push Axis from reentry, with Federation and Neo Zeon mobile suits coming to help. As the group tries to carry out the impossible, Amuro's RX-93 Nu Gundam resonates and creates a psyco-wave around the asteroid, pushing it away from Earth while shoving all the other mobile suits from the area. Both Federation and Neo-Zeon forces look on as Axis veers off from reentry. Both Amuro and Char are presumed dead by their respective factions.
#4- Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (1996-1999)
Kou Uraki is an Earth Federation pilot staioned at the Torrington base in Australia. The Federation space carrier, Albion, arrives in the base with 2 prototype Gundams, the Zephyrantes Gundam and the Physalis Gundam. Anavel Gato, an ace pilot of Zeon, covertly infiltrates the base and steals the Physalis Gundam which is armed with a nuclear warhead. Kou pilots the Zephyrantes Gundam and a race against time ensues before Anavel could use the nuclear warhead with the Physalis Gundam.
Admittedly, this is my personal favorite in the Gundam franchise. It's the most action-packed installment in the Universal Century timeline! There are no Newtypes (Force-sensitive pilots similar to the Jedi) involved hence we only see ace pilots duke it out with their highly advanced mobile suits.
The climatic space battles here are non-stop and one of the best ever portrayed on the screen! It probably has the most kick-ass soundtrack (Men of Destiny comes to mind) and top-notch animation from the 90's!
Even if you are not familiar with the Universal Century timeline, this is still accessible for the uninitiated. The story may have a plot hole or two but it doesn't entirely affect the outcome of the series. Again as mentioned, this is my personal favorite and I would highly recommend this series to anyone.
#2- Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985-1986)
Set in the year Universal Century (UC) 0087, eight years after the events of Mobile Suit Gundam (0079), and four years after the events of "Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory" (0083 to 0084) the series follows a rebel group called the Anti-Earth Union Group (AEUG) as they try to defeat the Titans, an elite task force of the Earth Federation designed to hunt down Zeon remnants but which ruthlessly kills anyone demanding equal rights for the space citizens in cold blood.
The story of Zeta Gundam is told through the viewpoint of Kamille Bidan, a civilian teenager and amateur mobile suit pilot whose parents are engineers working for the Earth Federation and the Titans. While traveling to the Green Noa colony to meet his parents, Kamille is insulted by and strikes a Titans officer named Jerid Messa. Following an AEUG attack led by Quattro Bajeerna on the colony to capture a trio of Gundam Mk-II mobile suits undergoing field tests, Kamille takes the opportunity to steal Messa's Mk-II to repel the attack and follows Quattro back to the AEUG mothership Argama. The Titans, under the order of Bask Om, take Kamille's parents in an attempt to force the return of the stolen Gundam Mk-II's. Jerid, unaware of the hostage plot, mistakenly kills Kamille's mother. Because of this, and many other reasons, Kamille eventually joins the AEUG.
As the war escalates, Kamille encounters people from all sides of the conflict, including brainwashed Titans, artificial Newtypes and the leaders of Anaheim Electronics, who are secretly funding the AEUG. The AEUG eventually launch a full-scale attack on the Earth Federation's assembly at Dakar, leading to an Earth Sphere civil war. Quattro reveals himself to be Char Aznable and presents evidence of the Titans' tyranny including using G3 nerve gas on a defenseless colony. The Earth Federation court soon rules the Titans' actions to be illegal and backs the AEUG in hunting down Titans leader Jamitov Hymem.
After losing the support of the Earth Federation, the Titans turn to their original enemy, remnants of the Principality of Zeon now known as Axis Zeon, to form an alliance to regain control of the Earth Sphere. Axis Zeon's leader Haman Karn contacts the AEUG, using the civil war of the Earth Federation at hand to politically ask for the control of Side 3, the former Zeon colony.
Axis involvement and Jamitov's assassination by Jupiter Fleet commander Paptimus Scirocco soon leads to a battle over the colony headquarters of the Titans, Gryps, which has been modified to be a colony laser. The war ends when Kamille, piloting the titular mobile suit Z Gundam, kills Scirocco in battle and the AEUG sinks Scirocco's flagship and most of the Titans' fleet. However, Kamille himself is psychologically broken and although survives without any physical harm to him or the Zeta Gundam, becomes mentally unstable with signs of memory lapse and/or insanity.
The series concludes with both the AEUG and Earth Federation, after suffering considerable losses over the course of the war, facing the full force of Axis Zeon, leading into Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ.
#1- Mobile Suit Gundam (1979-1980)
Set in a fictional universe in the year 2179 (Universal Century year 0079 according to the Gundam Calendar), the Principality of Zeon has declared independence from the Earth Federation, and subsequently launched a war of independence called the One Year War. The conflict has directly affected every continent on Earth, also nearly every space colony and lunar settlement. Zeon, though smaller, has the tactical upper hand through their use of a new type of humanoid weapons called mobile suits. After half of all humanity perishes in the conflict, the war settled into a bitter stalemate lasting over 8 months.
The story begins with a newly deployed Federation warship, the White Base, arriving at the secret research base located at the Side 7 colony to pick up the Federation's newest weapon. However, they are closely followed by Zeon forces. A Zeon reconnaissance team member disobeys mission orders and attacks the colony, killing most of the Federation crew and civilians in the process. Out of desperation, citizen boy Amuro Ray accidentally finds the Federation's new prototype arsenal—the RX-78 Gundam, and neutralizes the situation. Scrambling everything they can, the White Base sets out with her newly formed crew of civilian recruits and refugees in her journey to survive.
On their journey, the White Base members often encounter the Zeon Lieutenant Commander Char Aznable. Although Char antagonizes Amuro in battle, he takes advantage of their position as Federation members to have them kill members from Zeon's Zabi family as part of his revenge scheme. Amuro also meets ensign Lalah Sune with whom he falls in love, but accidentally kills when facing Char. When the Federation Forces invade the Fortress of A Baoa Qu to defeat the Zeon forces, Amuro engages on a final one-on-one duel against Char due to their shared hatred for Lalah's death. Having realized he forgot his true enemy, Char stops fighting to kill the last surviving Zabi member, Kycilia Zabi. Amuro then reunites with his comrades as the war reaches its end.
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