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.
A common misconception among anime fans in the west is that merchandise for their favourite shows is difficult to come across on the average high street. That would have been true about five years ago, but otaku culture has recently reached new heights and its now easier than ever to find DVDs, Blu-Rays, manga, figures, plushies and other anime merch on the streets of Britain. I’ve travelled the UK extensively and have managed to find some kind of anime-related merch everywhere from Penzance to Inverness!
Nearly all Waterstones locations now have a selection of manga, the quality of which often depends on the size of the store. Larger cities such as Sheffield and Glasgow tend to stock plenty whereas smaller towns like Barrow-in-Furness and Middlesbrough will have smaller collections, usually only offering the most popular manga, which at the moment tends to be shounen series like Naruto, Bleach and My Hero Academia. If you’re looking for manga and haven’t yet checked your nearest Waterstones branch, give them a look!