Mobile Fighter G Gundam, known in Japan as Mobile Fighting Legend G Gundam (機動武闘伝Gガンダム Kidō Butōden Jī Gandamu?), is a Japanese animated television series directed by Yasuhiro Imagawa (Giant Robo, Getter Robo Armageddon). Created to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the franchise in 1994, it is the first of the Gundam series to be set in an alternate continuity from the original "Universal Century". The 49 episodes of the series aired on TV Asahi from April 1, 1994 to March 31, 1995. An English language version aired on American Cartoon Network's Toonami block from August 5, 2002 to October 16 of the same year.
The show takes place in "Future Century", a war that is fought in which a fighting tournament is held every four years between the space colonies. Each country sends a representative Gundam Fighter to fight on Earth until one is left, and the winning nation earns the right to govern over the colonies for the next four years. G Gundam follows Neo-Japan's representative Domon Kasshu in year 60 of that century, during the 13th Gundam Fight. He is in the fight both to win and to track down his brother, who had stolen a mysterious Gundam—the Devil Gundam (Dark Gundam in the American version)—from the Neo-Japan government.
The series takes a wildly different turn from the rest of the franchise. It has a number of shōnen elements: the main cast behaves differently,[clarification needed] and characters gain superhuman speed and strength through intense martial arts training. Though most of its Gundams feature super robot elements, such as heroic designs and voice activated special attacks, others still behave like real robots.
In F.C. 60, the 13th Gundam Fight begins. Domon Kasshu pilots the Shining Gundam as the representative of Neo-Japan, the Japanese space colony. Along with his crew member Rain Mikamura, he battles the other countries' representatives in order to earn the right to rule Earth and the colonies for four years for Neo-Japan. However, Domon seems to be more concerned with finding his brother and the stolen Devil Gundam.
- Domon Kasshu
- The main character of the series. The pilot of the Shining Gundam and later the God Gundam (Burning Gundam in the American versions), and the new King of Hearts and leader of the Shuffle Alliance. He spent ten years training in martial arts under Master Asia (the pilot of Master Gundam), alternately called Touho Fuhai (Undefeated of the East or Invincible East). Domon is on a mission to find his brother Kyoji, who has stolen the JDG-009X Devil Gundam, and to free their father Doctor Kasshu, who was placed in cryogenic suspension due to his involvement with the Devil Gundam. This is why Domon agreed to represent Neo-Japan in the Thirteenth Gundam fight.
- Rash and impulsive, Domon is willing to do what it takes to complete his mission, and sometimes he is so hotheaded, he takes it out on his partner Rain Mikamura. However, he's also very psychologically dependent on her, proven by the fact that the mere possibility of losing Rain makes him either go ballistic or become lost. His anger and rage released the super-mode of his Gundam, the Shining Gundam. With the help of his surrogate teacher Schwarz Bruder, he became a much better fighter, even learning to use inner peace and tranquility to unlock God Gundam's Ultimate Mode. At the end of the series, he hears the truth about both the Devil Gundam incident and why Master Asia sided with the JDG-009X Devil Gundam. He had trouble accepting it, but let it go when he finally heard Asia's side of the story.
- Rain Mikamura
- Domon's partner, who secretly and gradually falls in love with Domon, as she was his childhood friend. She is his crew member for the Thirteenth Gundam Fight, and boasts many talents: She is a renowned engineer and tactician, a decent sharpshooter, and a skilled medic/doctor. If needed, she can even pilot a Gundam herself, being one of the few non-Gundam Fighters able to put on a fighting suit despite the pain the process brings to an untrained body, and manage to use the Mobile trace system. Rain has piloted the Shining Gundam on two occasions and later piloted the Rising Gundam during the Battle Royale to aid the other Gundam Fighters.
Determined and almost shockingly patient, she manages to put up with a brash Domon throughout the series enough so they accomplish their mission and fall in love, in a sense. However, things start to change between them when she learns the truth from Schwarz about her father's involvement in the Devil Gundam. After that, she decides to go back to Neo-Japan, and ends up kidnapped and forcefully placed in the cockpit of the Devil Gundam by her former boss, Major Ulube. Only by the joint efforts of Domon, the other Shuffle Alliance members and their crew, as well as Allenby and many other Gundam Fighters, was she freed; mainly because Domon finally admitted his love to her, which allowed Rain to break her self-imposed emotional barriers and control of the Devil Gundam over her body.
The plot places the story of this series is a war in which Gundam tournaments are held to determine who shall govern all the space colonies, a set of 7 rules known as "articles" which are used for controlling each Gundam fight and the Gundam Fighters themselves.
- Articles 1
- A unit whose head section has been destroyed is disqualified. Supplement: Accidental harm inflicted on a Gundam Fighter during a match is acceptable.
- Article 2
- A Gundam Fighter must never aim at the cockpit of an opponent's Gundam.
- Article 3
- A Gundam Fighter may repair damage to his Gundam as often as he desires and move on to the championship league, as long as the head section has not been destroyed.
- Article 4
- A Gundam Fighter must take responsibility for protecting his own Gundam.
- Article 5
- A match shall only be held on a one-on-one basis.
- Article 6
- A Gundam Fighter shall not taint the honor and dignity of the nation he is representing.
- Article 7
- The Earth is the ring! Supplement: Destruction of property on Earth due to the Gundam Fight is not considered a crime.
Throughout each episode during fights Domon and other Fighters reference these Articles so that certain actions from Fighters are knowningly justified. Domon during many fights references Article 1 before he destroys a Gundam's head section which is a legal attack.
During Domon's fight with the Neo America Fighter he references a variation of Article 3. Mid way through the fight Domon fails to finish his Shinning Finger attack and lets the Neo America Fighter end the fight at that moment. The fighter continues to say he wishes he may continue after being defeated. Domon explains that as long as the dream to win is within the fighter, then according to Domon, the fighter may continue fighting.
In one episode, Sai Saici uses Domon (while hiding his identity) to find his Gundam which had been claimed by a gang after he was separated with it upon arrival to Earth. According to Article 4, as the fighter for Neo China, Sai was legally bound to reclaim the Gundam.
When Domon travels to France to fight George de Sand, the fighter for Neo France, Domon calls for a fight just as another unknown Gundam Fighter is about to declare a fight with George. Domon having upset both fighters allows the two to fight him. According to Article 5, George explains that Domon is not allowed to fight more than one fighter, however Domon claims he received the signal to fight before the unknown Gundam Fighter had arrived. During the same episode the princess of France ask Domon to stage a fake kidnapping in hopes that George will rescue and fall in love with her. Domon agrees and fights George. While the two fight, George admits that he had known the kidnapping was staged. Domon ask if he is really fighting for the sake of the princess. According to Article 6 no fighter can not taint the honor and dignity of the nation he is representing. Because of this the princess had forced George to continue fighting for her even though Domon was willing to stop the fight.
Another set of 3 rules is used for the final tournament:
- Unlimited repairs, improvements, and substitutions are acceptable during the final tournament.
- Victory may be obtained through any means (including targeting the cockpit).
- 3. The final winner of the Battle Royale will be awarded the title "Gundam of Gundams." 
Another rule which is used but not written down as an article is the rule of declaring a fight. In order for a Gundam Fighter to fight another Gundam Fighter, one must offer up the fight. The person who offers the fight must wait for a response. The response of an opponent can be "Go!" if they are ready to begin the fight. If the opponent is not at that time ready for fight and wishes to fight they will say "Standby Begin!" which gives them time to put on their suit and during this time the fighter that offers the fight may not attack until the opponent has told the other fighter they are ready.
- "Flying in the Sky" by Yoshifumi Ushima
- "Trust You Forever" by Yoshifumi Ushima
- "Umi Yori Mo Fukaku [Deeper Than The Ocean]" by Etsuko Sai
- "Kimi No Naka No Eien [The Eternity in You]" by Inoue Takehide
G Gundam aired on Cartoon Network starting in August 2002; however, many of the Gundams' actual names were changed for different reasons. Three of them were changed for religious references, one for an alcohol reference, and the rest for unknown reasons.
Original names go first followed by English adaptation names.
- God Gundam => Burning Gundam
- Devil Gundam => Dark Gundam
- Death Army => Dark Army
- Scud Gundam => Desert Gundam
- Tequila Gundam => Spike Gundam
- Lumber Gundam => Grizzly Gundam
- John Bull Gundam => Royal Gundam
- Pharaoh Gundam IV => Mummy Gundam IV
- Minaret Gundam => Scimitar Gundam
- Kowloon Gundam => Haow Gundam
- Gundam Spiegel => Shadow Gundam
- Nether Gundam => Hurricane Gundam
- Matador Gundam => Toro Gundam
- Nobel Gundam => Noble Gundam
- Gundam Heaven's Sword => Raven Gundam
The subtitled version on the R1 DVD release keeps the original names.
Like Imagawa's Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still, G Gundam is influenced by Hong Kong action cinema, specifically the new school of wuxia and the 1970s kung fu wave and the old school Shounen Jump, like Ring ni Kakero 
In a series of interviews for the official Region 1 American DVDs, Imagawa explains that Tohofuhai martial arts (the style practiced by Domon Kasshu and his mentor Master Asia) is so successful because rather than sticking to one particular fighting style it is constantly evolving and accepts successful elements from any and all known fighting styles. This is similar to Jeet Kune Do, which is a martial art created by Bruce Lee.
The final battle of G Gundam includes numerous cameo appearances by prominent mobile suits from previous Gundam series such as the original Mobile Suit Gundam, Zeta Gundam, Gundam 0083, Gundam F91, Victory Gundam and the manga Crossbone Gundam. In addition, this battle also featured appearances by Gundam Wing's XXXG-01W Wing Gundam (the first on-screen appearance of the Wing Gundam, as Gundam Wing did not air until after G Gundam was completed), L-Gaim's L-Gaim Mark-II and the title robots Daitarn 3 and Zambot 3. Aura Battler Dunbine's Show Zama & Marvel Frozen also appeared in the Neo Japan Colony as well. None of these machines and characters played any significant role in the battle other than being destroyed (though RX-78-2, Daitarn 3, V2 and Gundam GP01fb can be seen during the aftermath of the battle), and were likely included as an inside joke to long-time fans of Gundam.
The show's second soundtrack CD (titled Round 3, as Round 1 and Round 2 were released as a two-disc album) contains an audio drama. In this brand new story, Domon and the others attend the premiere of a Hong Kong action film based on their adventures. The story of both the film itself and the audio drama is mostly comedic in nature: Master Asia appears as an "anonymous movie-fanatic old geezer", and a running joke involves Sai's annoyance that the film had cast him as a female and given Rain his place as Neo-China's fighter. The drama segments are interspersed with the Cantonese songs that were used to define the show's second half, set in Neo-Hong Kong. A new one created for the album—a Cantonese version of the show's first opening theme "Flying in the Sky"—opens the fictional movie. Domon appears to enjoy the song.
A three volume manga was produced serialising the show, as authored by Koichi Tokita. TokyoPop published this in English, retaining the dub's edited names.
Appearances in other media
Characters from G Gundam appear in the video game Dynasty Warriors: Gundam. Domon Kasshu is initially playable, and completing his Original Mode story unlocks Master Asia. Rain Mikamura also appears as a support ship pilot. They reappear in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 with Dark Gundam and Kyoji as some of many boss-like mobile weapons known as Mobile Armor. They are also main characters in various games in the Super Robot Wars series, where they team up with many other Gundams and mecha from other series and the series plots are intertwined; and in Super Hero Operations, another game made by Banpresto.
- List of Mobile Fighter G Gundam mobile suits
- Oppliger, John (2007-10-12). "Ask John: Which Gundam Series Have Had the Most Impact on Anime?". AnimeNation. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
- Toole, Mike (October 16, 2003). "Mobile Fighter G-Gundam review". Anime Jump. Retrieved 2008-01-01.
- GundamOfficial's G Gundam website
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
Mobile Suit Victory Gundam
|Gundam metaseries (production order)
1994 – 1995
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
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