Created and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, it premiered in Japan on Nagoya Broadcasting Network and its affiliated ANN stations on April 7, 1979 and lasted until January 26, 1980, spanning 43 episodes.
It was the very first Gundam series, which has subsequently been adapted into numerous sequels and spin-offs.
Set in the futuristic calendar year Universal Century 0079, the plot focuses on the war between the Principality of Zeon and the Earth Federation, with the latter unveiling a new giant robot known as the RX-78-2 Gundam piloted by the teenage civilian mechanic Amuro Ray.
In 1981, the series was re-edited for theatrical release and split into 3 movies.
The characters were designed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, and Kunio Okawara was responsible for the mechanical designs, including the eponymous giant robot, the RX-78-2 Gundam.
Subsequent double manga adaptations of the series have also been written by 2 manga artists.
Despite initial low ratings that caused the series’ cancellation, the popularity of Gundam saw a boost from the introduction of Bandai’s Gundam models in 1980 and from reruns and the theatrical release of the anime, leading to the creation of a prolific and lucrative media and toy franchise.
The series is famous for revolutionizing the giant robot genre due to the handling of mobile suits as weapons of war and portrayal of their pilots as ordinary soldiers, as opposed to the previous style of portraying hero pilots and their giant super hero robots.
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