The word Gundam actually means exactly what it sounds like, gun and dam. It is supposed to signify a unit that is so powerful that it can hold back wave after wave of enemy fighters, much like a dam you would put in a river. Of course the unit has to fight back, and it does that with a gun. Before Tomino came up with that idea, he first played around with the name Gundom, a mixture between the word gun and freedom. And before that was Freedom Fighter Gunboy, which sounds ridiculous.
Mobile Suit Gundam is an anime franchise that started way back in the late seventies, (1979), and has since spawned 28 different anime television shows, OVAs, and movies. This is the wall that most people see when they want to start watching Gundam, I feel the same way when I think about Star Trek. Do you have to watch them all in order understand the story? Absolutely not!
Gundam has two different categories that all of its anime fall into, shows that follow the original storyline that was created during the first show called the Universal Century, and shows that take place in separate universes, like Gundam Wing for example. Shows that take place in the Universal Century should be watched in order (whether it be the order it aired in, or timeline order, it doesn’t matter). However, shows that do not fall into the Universal Century can be watched in any order, besides Gundam Destiny (and you shouldn’t be watching that anyway.)
mecha anime of that time was known for. Instead, the robots in Gundam were just another tool used during war, like a tank or airplane. It was an attempt to make a realistic robot anime, using science as their bricks and motor instead of hot blood. Though 30 years later part of this concept has been lost, but we will get to that at another time. In conclusion, Gundam was the first real robot show.
Ok, so you want to watch Gundam now, but don’t know where to start? From the beginning of course. Come back next week for a discussion about a good place to begin your Gundam journey.