MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM UC (UNICORN)
New 6 Part Original Video Animation Released Worldwide this Month
Author: Andrew Nguyen
Official Site: gundam-unicorn.net (Japanese), gundam-unicorn.net/en (English)
Special Thanks to Erik Jansen (MediaLab) and Evelyn Dubocq (VIZ Media)
MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM UC (UNICORN ) (Kidoo Senshi Gandamu Yunikon, 2010) is the latest chapter in the long-running MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM metaseries.
Created by Yoshiyuki Tomino and produced by the Japanese animation studio Sunrise, GUNDAM, which began in April 1979, is one of the premier mecha anime shows in Japan. GUNDAM was one of the first shows that used giant robots (called mobile suits) as actual military weapons. It has spawned numerous sequels and merchandise, particularly in the form of plastic model kits from Bandai of the numerous mobile suits that appear in the metaseries. Furthermore, as the launch pad for the Real Robot genre boom of the 1980s it served as the influence for following shows such as SUPER DIMENSIONAL FORTRESS MACROSS (better known as the first 3rd of ROBOTECH in the US) and PATLABOR. Throughout the production history of the metaseries, many of Japan’s well known figures in animation have participated in the production of one or more of the different Gundam series.
In Gundam’s first decade (the 1980s) all of the shows took place in what is known as the Universal Century (UC) timeline. While Sunrise continued to produce Gundam shows that took place in the UC timeline during the 1990s, it also produced shows that took place in completely alternate settings, known as alternate universes (AU). This included TURN A GUNDAM (Tān Ē Gandamu, 1999) which Sunrise made on the 20th anniversary of the first series. Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, TURN A GUNDAM tried to unify all of the Gundam shows up to that point. The most recent Gundam TV series is MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 00 (Kidō Senshi Gandamu 00, 2007), which takes place in the future of the Anno Domini timeline.
Many people often refer to it as Japan’s version of STAR TREK, particularly as the first Gundam series, titled MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM, underwent the same process that the first STAR TREK did in becoming popular. Both shows did not do well in their initial broadcasts and therefore suffered cancellation, became very popular in reruns and then earned glory with the release of movies related to the two different shows.
In the midst of the 30th anniversary of Mobile Suit Gundam, Sunrise began several projects to celebrate the occasion. In June 2009, Sunrise announced that it would produce a six-episode original video animation (OVA) of the novel series Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. Written by Harutoshi Fukui, the author of books such as Aegis (Bokoku no Aegis) and Lorelei: The Witch of the Pacific Ocean (Shusen no Lorelei), the novel series consisted of ten novels which the Japanese publishing company Kadokawa Shoten released over a three year period from December, 2006 to June, 2009.
The story of MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM UC (UNICORN) begins at the introduction of the Universal Century, known as UC 0001. In what should have been a momentous occasion as humanity truly began to colonize the stars turns into tragedy when an act of terrorism destroys the ceremony. It then jumps to UC 0096, which is three years after the titanic events of MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: CHAR’S COUNTERATTACK (Kidō Senshi Gandamu: Gyakushū no Shā, 1988). In the aftermath of those events, a low level war has continued between the Earth Federation and the remnants of Neo Zeon. However the Neo Zeon remnants, who call themselves Sleeves, may have discovered rumors of dark secrets that tie to the beginning of the Universal Century. They have also learned that an object called the Laplace’s Box contains those secrets. They have arranged a meeting with the Vist Foundation, an organization that a very important player within the Earth Federation as well as the keeper of the Laplace’s Box.
However, the Earth Federation has discovered that the meeting location is at a colony called Industrial 7, and sends their elite Londo Bell unit to stop it. Their main fear is that those secrets would almost completely discredit the Earth Federation if they became common knowledge. Also some fear that the opening of the Laplace’s Box will eventually lead to another horrific war.
The colony is also the home of a young technical student by the name of Banagher Links who is attending college there. When Earth Federation Forces clash with the Neo-Zeon remnants in and around the colony, he becomes involved in these events as he rescues a mysterious girl named Audrey Burne and learns about the secret links that he has to the Vist Foundation and its treasures. These include a brand new mobile suit called the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam to which the Vist Foundation’s leader, and Banagher’s father, entrusts to Banagher with his dying breath.
The first episode of MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM UC premiered February 20, 2010 on PlayStation Network Japan followed by a Blu-Ray release in Japan and the US from Bandai on March 12th. Also Sunrise has shown previews of the first seven minutes of the first episode in both Japanese and English languages. The US will also have a theatrical premiere of the first episode in San Francisco by VIZ Cinema, running March 19th-25th. Sunrise plans to release the next episode of this series in the fall. Sunrise will also release DVDs of the OVA in both the Japanese and English language but for now, the DVD release will only occur in Japan as there has been no word of a release date of the DVDs here in the US.
MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM UC (UNICORN)
Animation Production: Sunrise
Licensed by: Bandai Entertainment
Original Concept: Hajime Yatate, Yoshiyuki Tomino
Director: Kazuhiro Furuhashi, Teruo Satoh
Screenplay: Yasuyuki Muto
Original Character Design: Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
Animation Character Design: Kumiko Takahashi
Original Mobile Suit Design: Kunio Okawara
Mechanical Design: Hajime Katoki, Junya Ishigaki, Nobuhiko Genba,
Mechanical Design Cooperation: Mika Akitaka
Display Design: Hidekatsu Uemura, Yoshinori Sayama
Conceptual Consultant: Shinya Ogura
Story: Harutoshi Fukui
Music: Hiroyuki Sawano
Sound Director: Eriko Kimura
Art Director: Shigemi Ikeda
Color design: Takako Suzuki
Director of Photography: Takeshi Katsurayama, Yui Tanaka
CG Director: Tomohiro Fujie
Editor: Daisuke Imai
Setting Reseach: Shinya Ogura
Storyboards: Kazuhiro Furuhashi
Chief Animation Supervisor: Kumiko Takahashi, Nobuhiko Genma
Banagher Links: Kouki Uchiyama
Audrey Burne / Mineva Lao Zabi: Ayumi Fujimura
Takuya Irei: Hiro Shimono
Micott Bartsch: Haruka Tomatsu
Riddhe Marcenas: Daisuke Namikawa
Mihiro Oiwakken: Megumi Toyoguchi
Marida Cruz: Yuko Kaida
Full Frontal: Shuichi Ikeda
Angelo Sauper: Tetsuya Kakihara
Suberoa Zinnerman: Hideaki Tezuka
Cardeas Vist: Takayuki Sugo
Syam Vist: Ichiro Nagai
Alberto Vist: Wataru Takagi
Flaste Schole: Rikiya Koyama
Daguza Mackle: Hiroki Touchi
Haro: Ryou Hirohashi
English Version Staff
English Adaptation: Sunrise
Translation and Subtitles: MX Media LLC
Translation: Adam Lensenmayer, Ken Hoinsky
Subtitle Timing: Bryan Ingram
Voice Director: Michael Sinterniklaas
ADR Production: NYAV Post
Banagher Links: Steve Cannon
Audrey Burne: Stephanie Sheh
Takuya Irei: Robby Sharpe
Micott Bartsch: Rachael Lillis
Marida Cruz: Tara Platt
Full Frontal: Shuichi Ikeda
Suberoa Zinnerman: Michael Alston Baley
Cardeas Vist: Steve Mann
Syam Vist: Troy Baker
Flaste Schole: Sean Schemmel