In part 2, we shared with you some UC Gundam titles that take place after the One Year War and how the Federation corrupted itself with the establishment of the Titans unit, and how they ultimately paid for it. For part 3, we wish to show the future in context to the UC universe. Do wars continue to escalate? How far can mechs advance? What are the political recognitions of Newtypes? Will we always have “a Char?” Can older anime and newer anime co-exist? Read our selections to find out!
1. Kidou Senshi Gundam Gyakushuu no Char(Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack)
- Episodes: 1 (feature film)
- Aired: March 12, 1988
Taking place in UC0093, 5 years after ZZ, Char and Amuro are back to settle their rivalry. Char has risen from exile with his own Neo Zeon movement and is using asteroids to destroy the Earth so he can force humanity into migrating to space thinking it will fulfill his father’s legacy. With the final phases of his plan in place, Amuro has to race against the clock in order to stop Char once and for all.
While Tomino in recent years has admitted he can’t remember, there were some reports in the late-80s that he was planning to bring back Char in ZZ if Char’s Counterattack wasn’t approved. However, the movie got the green light and the rest is history. Considering that this movie is mostly about Char and Amuro’s rivalry, it’s necessary that you see the original Gundam trilogy first to understand it. In addition, it’s also mandatory to see Zeta Gundam first to understand Char’s motivations. Other than that, the movie has amazing animation and a sweet soundtrack.
2. Kidou Senshi Gundam: Unicorn (Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn)
- Episodes: 7
- Aired: March 2010 – June 6, 2014
Unicorn takes place in UC0096, 3 years after Char’s Counterattack. Char may have perished but his legacy lives on through Full Frontal, Neo Zeon’s newest leader who is the spitting image of Char himself. Once again, the hero is another teenage academic overachiever, Banagher Links. However, Banagher’s origins in this series gives him a distinction in comparison to his predecessors since his ancestors played a role in forming the political landscape of the Universal Century dating back to its very beginning.
Character designs are once again provided by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, the designer of the original Gundam series. Thanks to his inclusion, the style of the series is appropriately applied to modern-day animation techniques and yet still feels in tone with the original Gundam. However, what makes Unicorn distinct is how it finally addresses the Newtype situation in how they’re recognized in a political sense. Unicorn internally acknowledges how Newtypes have always been seen as ace pilots, but the series explains they’re more than that. When you get to the ending, it finally addresses how mankind should include them in a society where people now live in space.
3. Kidou Senshi Gundam: F91 (Mobile Suit Gundam F91)
- Episodes: 1 (feature film)
- Aired: March 16, 1991
Set in UC0123, the universe is at peace and the remnants of Zeon have moved on to the history books. However, the Federation must fight a new threat, the Crossbone Vanguard, a band of space pirates. Frontier IV has been attacked by the Crossbone Vanguard and teenage mechanic Seabook Arno has been drafted to pilot the Federation's newest Gundam, the F91. Cecily, his best friend, is taken by the pirates and it turns out that she’s the daughter of their leader, Iron Mask, a mix of a Char and Darth Vader!
F91 is a movie that was intended to be a TV series, but staff disputes ended up turning it into a movie. The movie certainly shows it was rushed but when you watch it, you see how it truly had so much potential. While this movie can’t really add much to the mythos due to its unfortunate circumstances, you do see the potential it had as a series.
4. Kidou Senshi Victory Gundam (Mobile Suit Victory Gundam)
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: April 2, 1993 – March 25, 1994
Victory Gundam takes us another 30 years into the future in the year UC0153. The Federation’s power has lost much of its control and the Zanscare Empire is looking to conquer the solar system! So who is the only one that can stand up to this evil empire? 13-year-old Uso Ewin, son of two leading rebels against the Empire. Muller Miguel, Uso’s mother, entrusts her son with the titular Victory Gundam to end things with the Zanscare Empire once and for all!
Victory Gundam’s designs may come across as cute and it does have some WTF moments (girls in bikinis with jet packs and bazookas?), but it’s about as dark as Z Gundam. The series is full of a lot of tragedy and Uso goes through a lot at his vulnerable age. In addition, there are rumors that Uso may be a descendant of Char since Char had a relationship with a woman named Nanai Miguel in Char’s Counterattack. Considering that his mother’s last name is Miguel, some made that conclusion. Tomino has said it’s only coincidental that they share the same last name but he did initially consider it.
For other source materials, we also recommend the Crossbone Vanguard manga. It’s the true sequel to F-91 and lets say a certain main character from a previous installment shows up. In addition, an anime movie adaptation of Hathaway’s Flash is in the works upon the drafting of this article so we say that story takes place after the events of Unicorn. As for G-Saviour, even Tomino refuses to acknowledge it. Lastly, there’s also G-Reco, which Tomino has said is the far distant future of the UC universe, but we just want to concentrate on titles that take place in the UC timeline.