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Gundam (ガンダム, Gandamu) is a Japanese sci-fi mecha franchise created by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Hajime Yatate. It began in 1979 with Yoshiyuki Tomino's Mobile Suit Gundam (機動戦士ガンダム, Kidō Senshi Gandamu), the first ever Real Robot anime, that premiered in Japan on Nagoya Broadcasting Network on April 7, 1979, and lasted until January 26, 1980, spanning 43 episodes. Since then, there have been many subsequent anime, games, manga, novel etc. entries in the franchise as well as successful plastic model kit line, Gunpla.
Mobile Suit Gundam
Set in a fictional universe in the Universal Century year 0079, the Principality of Zeon has declared independence from the Earth Federation, and subsequently launched a war of independence. 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 civilian in the process. Out of desperation, citizen boy Amuro Ray accidentally finds the Federation's new 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, and unknowingly, change the course of the war.
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
In the distant future, Mankind has colonized space (with clusters of space colonies at each of the five Earth-Moon Lagrange points), and, down on the Earth, the nations have united as the United Earth Sphere Alliance. However, the Alliance oppresses the colonies with its military power. The colonies desire a peaceful resolution to the situation, joining together in a movement headed by the pacifist Heero Yuy. In the year After Colony 175, Yuy is shot dead by an assassin (believed to be Odin Lowe), forcing the colonies to search for other paths to peace. The assassination also prompts five disaffected scientists from the Organization of the Zodiac (more commonly referred to as OZ) to turn rogue after 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 known as 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 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 attack OZ directly, in order to rid the Alliance of its weapons and free the colonies from its oppressive rule. The Gundam pilots each start out on separate missions, but encounter each other and then join forces later while on Earth.
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
The series is the first of the Gundam franchise set in the "Cosmic Era" in which mankind is divided between normal Earth-dwelling humans, known as "Naturals", and the genetically altered humans known as "Coordinators", who live in space colonies.
The story, set during the Bloody Valentine War, begins in the neutral space colony Heliopolis, where secret development of advanced mobile suits for the Naturals' war effort is being conducted. The colony is attacked by ZAFT forces, the military of the Coordinators, with the objective of stealing the new units. During the incursion a teenager Coordinator named Kira Yamato, upon seeing his friends in danger, pilots the GAT-X105 Strike mobile suit to fend off the invaders but the colony is critically damaged in the ensuing fight. As Heliopolis disintegrates, the survivors board an Archangel class assault ship belonging to the Earth Alliance, the Natural's military, and begin their journey to the Alliance base in Alaska. During the journey to Earth, Kira pilots the Strike to counter a series of attacks by ZAFT but is seemingly killed by his childhood friend, ZAFT soldier Athrun Zala, during one of their battles in which the Strike is destroyed.
Kira survives the Strike's destruction and is treated in one of the PLANT space colonies, home to the Coordinators. The Archangel arrives in Alaska but ZAFT launches a full scale attack on the base overpowering their enemies. Kira goes to Alaska with the ZGMF-X10A Freedom, a highly advanced ZAFT mobile suit stolen by the Coordinator Lacus Clyne daughter of Siegel Clyne, President of the Supreme Council of PLANT. Using Freedom, Kira ends the battle between the two armies, but the base is subsequently destroyed. The Archangel flees to the neutral country of the Orb Union. They subsequently join Lacus Clyne's faction to form the Three Ships Alliance, with the common goal of ending the war between the Naturals and Coordinators. In the midst of the conflict, Athrun learns that Kira survived and searches for him under orders to recover Freedom.
Mobile Suit Gundam 00
The series is set in 2307 AD. As a result of the depletion of fossil fuels, humanity had to search for a new source of power. The power was found in the form of massive arrays of solar power collectors orbiting the Earth, and supported by three orbital elevators, each one serving one of the three "power blocs" on the planet, namely Union, controlling the region surrounding North America; Human Reform League (人類革新連盟, Jinrui kakushin renmei; Pinyin: rénlèi géxīn liánméng), consisting of China, Russia and India; and AEU, which controls mainland Europe.
With this nearly inexhaustible source of energy benefiting only the major powers and their allies, constant warfare erupts around the globe among minor countries for fuels and energy. Countries that once economically relied on the sale of fossil fuels have plunged into poverty. Some even believe that solar energy threatened the "promised land of God", resulting in the 20-year Solar Wars. This chaos led to the formation of a private military organization, called Celestial Being (ソレスタルビーイング, Soresutaru Bīingu), dedicated to eradicating war and uniting humanity through the use of four humanoid machines called Gundams. Mobile Suit Gundam 00 follows four mobile suit pilots termed Gundam Meisters (ガンダムマイスター, Gandamu Maisutā), sided with Celestial Being. The main protagonist is 16-year old Setsuna F Seiei (刹那・Ｆ・セイエイ), a taciturn young man who grew up in the war-torn Kurdistan Republic. He pilots the GN-001 Gundam Exia, a high mobility mobile suit effective in melee combat.
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE
In A.G. 101 (the 101st year of the Advanced Generation calendar) a mysterious entity known only as "UE", or "unknown enemy", attacks and destroys the space colony Angel. This brutal attack becomes infamous as the "The Day the Angel Fell", and marks the beginning of humanity's war for survival. The series begins in A.G. 108 when the UE attack the space colony Ovan, where Flit Asuno lives with his mother. Flit's mother is killed by the UE, and in her belongings (in an object called the "AGE Device") he discovers the blueprints for a powerful weapon from the past--the ancient messiah named "Gundam." From these blueprints, Flit spends the next several years studying engineering at an Earth Federation base on the Nora space colony and designing the AGE-1 Gundam AGE-1 Normal. Seven years later, in A.G. 115, Flit completes the Gundam AGE-1 Normal, just as the UE attack Nora. In the 14 years of war with the UE, the Earth Federation has been only to win a few victories against the strange marauders. Flit and his lineage's battle piloting the AGE-1 to protect mankind is about to begin.