How To Watch Gundam In Order



Gundam is an iconic Japanese mecha anime series that has captivated audiences for decades. With its rich storytelling and compelling characters, Gundam has become a beloved franchise with a massive following worldwide. However, with numerous series, movies, and spin-offs, it can be confusing for newcomers to know where to start and watch Gundam in order. In this article, we will guide you through the Gundam universe and provide recommendations on how to dive into this exciting world.

The Gundam franchise was created by Yoshiyuki Tomino and debuted in 1979 with the original Mobile Suit Gundam series. Set in a futuristic world where giant robots called Mobile Suits are piloted by humans, Gundam tackles themes of war, politics, and the consequences of human conflict. Over the years, Gundam has expanded into various timelines, alternate universes, and stand-alone stories, making it a complex and extensive franchise.

For fans looking to experience Gundam in chronological order, there are three main categories to consider: the original Gundam series, the Gundam UC timeline, and the alternate universes. Additionally, there are standalone series and movies that offer a fresh take on the Gundam universe.

Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer, watching Gundam can be an enjoyable and immersive experience. By understanding the different timelines and universes, you can fully appreciate the depth and complexity of the Gundam franchise. So, let’s dive in and explore the different Gundam series and how to watch them in order.


The Original Gundam Series

The original Gundam series, also known as Mobile Suit Gundam or Gundam 0079, is where it all began. It first aired in 1979 and consists of 43 episodes. This series follows the story of Amuro Ray, a young civilian thrust into the midst of a war between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon.

Set in the Universal Century timeline, the original Gundam series explores the devastating effects of war and the personal struggles of its characters. This series introduced many iconic elements of the franchise, such as the RX-78-2 Gundam and the rivalry between Amuro Ray and the charismatic Zeon pilot, Char Aznable.

If you want to watch Gundam in chronological order, starting with the original series is a great choice. It lays the foundation for the Universal Century timeline and introduces key concepts and themes that are prevalent throughout the franchise.

Here are two options to watch the original Gundam series:

  1. Mobile Suit Gundam (1979): This is the original series that aired in 1979. It provides the full experience of the Universal Century timeline and is where many fans recommend starting your Gundam journey. It follows the 43-episode storyline and showcases the growth of Amuro Ray and his comrades in the White Base as they battle against the Zeon forces.
  2. Mobile Suit Gundam (Compilation Movies): If you prefer a condensed version of the original series, you can opt for the compilation movies. These three movies, released in 1981, summarize the events of the series. While it leaves out some details, it provides a faster-paced narrative and is a good option for those who prefer a more streamlined experience.

Whichever option you choose, the original Gundam series is a must-watch for any Gundam fan. Its engaging story, memorable characters, and thought-provoking themes set the stage for the expansive Gundam universe.


Gundam UC Timeline

The Gundam UC (Universal Century) timeline is a significant part of the Gundam franchise and offers a deep and interconnected narrative. UC serves as the main continuity of the Gundam universe, with multiple series, OVAs (original video animations), and movies set within this timeline.

The UC timeline is set in the distant future, where humanity has populated space colonies and is locked in conflict over resources and ideology. The main conflict revolves around the ongoing war between the Earth Federation and the remnants of the Principality of Zeon.

If you want to explore the UC timeline, here are a few key series and movies to consider:

  1. Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin: Released as a series of OVAs, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin serves as a prequel to the original Gundam series. It provides essential backstory and explores the events leading up to the One Year War. This series delves into the origins of iconic characters like Char Aznable and the early days of the Gundam program.
  2. Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn: Taking place three decades after the original Gundam series, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn serves as a direct continuation of the UC timeline. It follows a young mechanic named Banagher Links, who becomes involved in a conflict surrounding the mysterious Unicorn Gundam. This series delves into the deep history and secrets of the Universal Century.
  3. Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway’s Flash: Hathaway’s Flash is a film trilogy set in the UC timeline. It takes place after the events of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and focuses on Hathaway Noa, the son of Bright Noa. The trilogy explores themes of war, trauma, and the consequences of past conflicts.

The UC timeline offers a rich and complex narrative that expands on the events of the original Gundam series. Watching these series and movies in chronological order will provide a comprehensive understanding of the history and evolution of the Universal Century timeline.

It’s important to note that the UC timeline can be quite dense and requires a level of commitment due to the interconnected nature of the series. However, for those who enjoy deep world-building and intricate storytelling, exploring the UC timeline will be a rewarding experience.


Alternate Universes

In addition to the Universal Century timeline, the Gundam franchise has expanded into various alternate universes, each offering unique stories and settings. These alternate universes provide a fresh take on the Gundam concept and allow for creative freedom in exploring different themes and narratives.

Here are a few notable Gundam series set in alternate universes:

  1. Gundam Wing: Gundam Wing is set in the After Colony timeline, where five young pilots are chosen to pilot powerful mobile suits known as Gundams. This series explores themes of war, politics, and the struggle for peace.
  2. Gundam Seed: Gundam Seed takes place in the Cosmic Era timeline and follows a group of genetically enhanced humans known as Coordinators as they face off against regular humans known as Naturals. This series explores themes of genetic engineering, discrimination, and the nature of war.
  3. Gundam 00: Gundam 00 is set in the Anno Domini timeline and follows the exploits of a paramilitary organization called Celestial Being, who aims to eradicate war through the use of advanced mobile suits called Gundam Meisters. This series explores themes of global conflict, terrorism, and the desire for peace.

Each alternate universe has its own distinct feel and storytelling style, making them accessible to both newcomers and long-time Gundam fans. They offer a fresh entry point into the Gundam universe and allow for different interpretations of the core Gundam concept.

Whether you choose to explore the complex political landscape of Gundam Wing, the genetic divide in Gundam Seed, or the geopolitical issues in Gundam 00, the alternate universes provide a diverse range of stories that can be enjoyed on their own or alongside the Universal Century timeline.

Watching Gundam series from alternate universes offers a different perspective on the Gundam franchise. It allows for different storytelling possibilities and introduces new characters, mobile suits, and themes that provide a fresh and exciting experience for fans old and new.


Standalone Series and Movies

In addition to the main Universal Century timeline and alternate universes, the Gundam franchise also includes standalone series and movies that offer unique stories outside of the established continuities. These standalone works provide self-contained narratives that can be enjoyed independently without prior knowledge of the Gundam universe.

Here are a few notable standalone Gundam series and movies:

  1. Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket: War in the Pocket is a six-episode OVA series set during the final days of the One Year War in the Universal Century timeline. It follows the story of a young boy named Al and his encounter with a Zeon pilot. This series provides a poignant and personal perspective on the war.
  2. Gundam Thunderbolt: Gundam Thunderbolt is an ONA (Original Net Animation) series set in the Universal Century timeline. It focuses on the intense battles between Federation and Zeon forces in the Thunderbolt Sector. This series explores the psychological toll of war and features stunning animation and a unique jazz-inspired soundtrack.
  3. Gundam: The 08th MS Team: The 08th MS Team is a 12-episode series set during the One Year War in the Universal Century timeline. It follows the story of a team of Federation soldiers operating in Southeast Asia. This series offers a ground-level perspective on the war and delves into the complexities of human relationships amid conflict.
  4. Gundam Narrative: Gundam Narrative is a standalone movie set in the Universal Century timeline, following the events of Gundam Unicorn. It explores the aftermath of the Laplace Incident and introduces new characters embroiled in a mysterious conspiracy. This movie provides further insight into the UC timeline.

These standalone series and movies offer unique and compelling stories within the Gundam universe. They showcase different perspectives, themes, and visual styles, providing additional depth and variety to the franchise.

Whether you’re interested in a heartfelt story of friendship in War in the Pocket, the intense and visceral battles of Thunderbolt, the gritty and realistic portrayal of war in The 08th MS Team, or an intriguing continuation of the UC timeline in Gundam Narrative, these standalone works offer a fresh and self-contained experience for Gundam fans.

Exploring the standalone series and movies allows you to enjoy the Gundam franchise from various angles and delve into different narratives without the need to follow a specific timeline or continuity.


Recommended Viewing Order

With the diverse range of Gundam series, timelines, and standalone works, deciding on a recommended viewing order can be daunting. However, here is a suggested viewing order that provides a balanced and comprehensive experience:

  1. Mobile Suit Gundam (1979): Start with the original Gundam series to familiarize yourself with the core concepts and the Universal Century timeline.
  2. Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin: Watch this prequel series to gain deeper insights into the events leading up to the One Year War.
  3. Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket: Dive into this standalone series set during the Universal Century timeline, offering a personal and emotional perspective on the war.
  4. Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: Experience the intense battles of this ONA series, showcasing the grittiness of war in the Universal Century timeline.
  5. Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team: Continue with this series to explore the challenges faced by a team of soldiers in the midst of the One Year War.
  6. Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn: Follow the story of Banagher Links and uncover the secrets of the Universal Century in this direct continuation of the timeline.
  7. Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative: Watch this standalone movie to gain further insights into the Universal Century timeline and its aftermath.
  8. Gundam Wing: Take a break from the Universal Century and explore the alternate universe of Gundam Wing, where political intrigue and deadly mobile suits await.
  9. Gundam Seed: Enter the Cosmic Era timeline with Gundam Seed, delving into the conflicts between genetically enhanced humans and regular humans.
  10. Gundam 00: Conclude your journey with Gundam 00, a series set in the Anno Domini timeline, exploring global conflicts and the pursuit of peace through advanced mobile suits.

Following this viewing order will provide a balanced mix of Universal Century timeline series, standalone works, and alternate universes. It allows you to appreciate the core concepts of Gundam while exploring different narratives and themes.

Remember, this suggested viewing order is not set in stone, and you have the freedom to explore the Gundam franchise in any way you like. Feel free to adjust the order to suit your preferences or dive into certain timelines or series that catch your attention.

Regardless of the order you choose, immersing yourself in the Gundam universe is an exciting and rewarding journey that will leave you captivated by the fascinating stories and thought-provoking themes of this iconic anime franchise.



Watching Gundam in order can be an exhilarating experience, delving into the intricacies of war, politics, and the human condition. The Gundam franchise offers a vast array of series, movies, and timelines, each with its own unique stories and themes.

Starting with the original Gundam series provides a strong foundation in the Universal Century timeline, introducing iconic characters and the core concepts of Gundam. From there, you can explore the rich history and interconnected narratives of the UC timeline, or venture into the captivating alternate universes that offer fresh perspectives on the Gundam universe.

Standalone series and movies provide self-contained narratives that can be enjoyed independently, showcasing different themes, perspectives, and visual styles.

While we have provided a recommended viewing order, it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Feel free to customize your Gundam journey based on your interests and preferences. Whether you choose to follow a specific timeline or mix and match series from different universes, the most important thing is to enjoy the engaging stories and characters that Gundam has to offer.

So, prepare to be captivated by the epic battles, intricate world-building, and thought-provoking themes of Gundam. Immerse yourself in this iconic franchise and join the legions of fans who have been inspired by the futuristic world of giant robots and the indomitable spirit of humanity.

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