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Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (機動戦士ガンダム 逆襲のシャア Kidō Senshi Gandamu: Gyakushū no Shā?) is a 1988 anime film set in the primary Universal Century timeline of Gundam, taking place in U.C. 0093.
Making its theatrical debut on March 12, 1988, Char's Counterattack is the final culmination of the original saga begun in Mobile Suit Gundam and continued through Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam Double Zeta, marking the final conflict of the fourteen-year rivalry between Char Aznable and Amuro Ray, and the end of the EF/Zeon conflicts. The movie is based on the novel by Yoshiyuki Tomino.
In addition to being the first original Gundam theatrical release, Char's Counterattack was also the first Gundam production to make use of computer graphics during a five-second shot of a colony rotating serenely in space. Char's Counterattack made its American debut on January 4, 2003 at 11 p.m. on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.
The year is Universal Century 0093. Five years have passed since the first Neo Zeon movement. The Federation has recovered from its defeat and has created a new anti-colonial special forces unit to deal with rebel forces: Londo Bell. Elsewhere in space Char Aznable re-appears out of self imposed hiding with a declaration that he now commands his own Neo Zeon movement. Unlike movements of the past, Char intends to force the emigration of Earth's inhabitants to space by bringing about an apocalypse. Faced with a renewed space war the Earth Federation tasks Londo Bell to suppress Char’s uprising before it can gain momentum. When Neo Zeon forces agree to surrender in exchange for the abandoned mining colony Axis the Federation believes that the crisis has been averted; however Londo Bell forces think otherwise, and when the asteroid unexpectedly begins moving toward earth Londo Bell’s worst fears are realised. With Neo Zeon forces poised to win, and the Federation unable to reinforce Londo Bell the fate of Earth once more rests with Amuro Ray and his RX-93 Nu Gundam.
- Amuro Ray
- The Famous pilot of the RX-78-2 Gundam during the One Year War. During the second Neo-Zeon movement, Amuro is assigned to the battleship Ra Cailum, Londo Bell's flagship, as the leader of the ship's mobile suit squads. Amuro initially pilots the RGZ-91 Re-GZ, but despite managing to hold his fight against the funnel-equipped Char and Gyunei altogether (and critically damaging Gyunei's Jagd Doga), Amuro was unable to stop Neo-Zeon dropping Luna V on the Federation's Lhasa headquarter. Traveling to the Moon, Anaheim Electronics soon delivers to him the RX-93 Nu Gundam, a highly advanced mobile suit largely designed by Amuro himself. Still not having been promoted past the rank of Lieutenant, it is widely believed that his relatively low status in the Earth Federation is a sign of the government's continued mistrust in Newtypes.
- At Battle of Axis, after defeating Char's MSN-04 Sazabi in the duel and capturing Char's escape pod, Amuro attempted to single-handedly stop the asteroid from colliding with Earth by pushing it with his Nu Gundam. His action inspired other mobile suits to join in, even Neo-Zeon soldiers. Although he eventually succeeded, the act overloaded Nu Gundam's psychoframe construct. The fates of both Amuro and Char were never revealed in the film, though the novelization of Char's Counterattack confirms both as Killed in action. The follow-up Gundam Unicorn also confirms this, through the presence of the Char-clone Full Frontal as well as Bright's tribute to Amuro.
- Amuro Ray is voiced by Tōru Furuya in Japanese and Brad Swaile in English.
- Bright Noa
- The commanding officer of Londo Bell Task Force. He was rejoined by his former subordinate Amuro Ray. They played critical roles during the events in Char's Counterattack when they encountered and fought Char Aznable's Neo Zeon rising faction for the last time.
- Bright Noa is voiced by Hirotaka Suzuoki in Japanese and Chris Kalhoon in English.
- Chan Agi
- Chan Agi is voiced by Mitsuki Yayoi in Japanese and Nicole Leroux in English.
- Kayra Su
- Kayra Su is voiced by Shinobu Adachi in Japanese and Angela Hendricks in English.
- Rezin Schnyder
- Rezin Schnyder is voiced by Kazue Ikura.
- Mirai Yashima
- Mirai Yashima is voiced by Fuyumi Shiraishi in Japanese and Cathy Weseluck in English.
Production and development
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Yoshiyuki Tomino adapted Char's Counterattack from the novel Hi-Streamer, and later wrote Beltorchika's Children as an alternate version. Tomino had planned previously to feature Char's return in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, however when he got the green light to do Char's Counterattack, he dropped the planned appearance. Tomino does not recall his plans to bring back Char in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ.
Three of the four mecha designers credited on Char's Counterattack went on to direct their own anime series: Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion), Yutaka Izubuchi (RahXephon) and Koichi Ohata (Burst Angel along with several other OVAs). Yoshinori Sayama continued designing on shows such as Patlabor, Cowboy Bebop and Izubuchi's RahXephon.
The film made its American debut on January 4, 2003 at 11 p.m. on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and was later released on DVD during Sunrise's release of its One Year War properties (specifically Mobile Suit Gundam, 08th MS Team, 0080, and 0083). This left the US release without North American exposure to Zeta Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, despite its important role in setting up the film's plot and the fact that some events are mentioned by characters.
- Director/Screenplay: Yoshiyuki Tomino
- Character Designer: Hiroyuki Kitazume
- Mobile Suit Designer: Yutaka Izubuchi
- Mecha Designs: Gainax, Yoshinori Sayama
- Art Director: Shigemi Ikeda
- "Beyond the Time ~Möbius no Sora wo Koete~" (BEYOND THE TIME ～メビウスの宇宙を越えて～ BEYOND THE TIME Mebiusu no Sora wo Koete?, Beyond the Time ~Beyond the Möbius Universe~)
- Official Website (GundamOfficial)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack at the Internet Movie Database
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (film) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ
|Gundam metaseries (production order)
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ
|Gundam Universal Century timeline
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn,
Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway's Flash (novels);
Mobile Suit Gundam F91
ko:기동전사 건담 역습의 샤아 it:Mobile Suit Gundam: Il contrattacco di Char nl:Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack pt:Mobile Suit Gundam Chars CounterAttack fi:Kidō senshi Gundam – gyakushū no Char th:โมบิลสูทกันดั้ม : ชาร์ เคาน์เตอร์ แอทแทค zh:機動戰士GUNDAM 逆襲的夏亞