Gundam is one of the most iconic anime franchises, and I think every otaku should watch at least one Gundam series – but there are so many and it can be difficult to know where to start. You might be wondering whether they’re all connected, or whether they hold up as standalone entries, but fear not – all will be explained in this post.
While some Gundam series are connected to each other, there are several different timelines and most of them hold up as standalone watches. Don’t worry, there’s no need to watch all 900+ episodes that have aired since the 1970’s!
That said, the original Mobile Suit Gundam series from 1979 isn’t a bad place to start. Its 43 episodes long, the budget was clearly low and the pacing can be a little slow, but you’ll learn the basics and get to see what Gundam is all about. If you don’t want to commit to watching too many episodes, there are three movies that cut out all the filler.
All The Anime / Anime Limited is releasing three popular anime series on DVD and Blu-Ray today, including everybody’s favourite sweet shop comedy Dagashi Kashi. The other series being released are Divine Gate and Haruchika.
All have been rated ’15’ by the British Board of Film Classification and come with a variety of bonus features including textless songs and trailers.
Today I would like to write about the anime series I’ve been watching over the past few months, some quick thoughts on them and whether or not I recommend them! This list will be a mix of classics as well as currently airing shows. So, without further ado, lets get started!
Back in September I picked up The Vision of Escaflowne on DVD from the Anime Limited stall at MCM Comic Con Scotland. This is a massively popular mecha/fantasy series that first aired in 1996, but I hadn’t seen it until recently. The pacing is slow at times but its a fun watch that does romance well and has a beautiful soundtrack. 7/10.
Another old anime I got round to watching is Full Metal Panic!, seasons 1-3. I bought the Blu-Ray releases and watched the English dub. I love it when anime gets political, and this series provides the perfect mix of epic fights, high school comedy, military madness and governmental woes. It sounds like a weird mix, and the story is nothing spectacular, but it made me laugh and it would make a solid introduction to anime. 8/10.
The most common starting points that longtime Gundam fans recommend to newbies are the original Mobile Suit Gundam series from 1979, the resulting movie trilogy, or 2007’s spectacular hit Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
All of those are great, but if you’re not entirely sold on the franchise and want a quick taste of what it has to offer, you might prefer Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky, which is a film released in 2016 with a fairly short running length of 1 hour and 10 minutes.
The film does not require any prior knowledge of the Gundam franchise so new viewers should have very little difficulty following the story and understanding what’s going on.
I ordered the UK Blu-Ray release last week and received it today, and have been taking a look at the extras that Anime Limited / All The Anime have included.
Between 1969 and 1973, a series of three adult anime films conceived by Osamu Tezuka (best known for Astro Boy) were released. These were known as the Animerama triology and consisted of 1001 Nights, Cleopatra and Belladonna of Sadness.
All three films are considered hentai, but I don’t think anyone watches them for arousement. In fact, the first two only received a ’15’ rating from the British Board of Film Classification and the pornographic scenes would be very difficult for most people to enjoy.
Belladonna of Sadness is the only one of the three Animerama films that Tezuka was not directly involved in, so we have director Eeichi Yamamoto to thank for this, and I have to say its the most extreme, weirdest and best of the lot.