|Adult Swim Premiere||November 16, 2002|
Gundam 0080 premiered in the United States on Cartoon Network's late night Toonami block The Midnight Run from November 5-30, 2001. The series aired as a Midnight Run exclusive, never airing on the day-time Toonami block, due to the content. It then briefly aired on Cartoon Network's late night Adult Swim block Adult Swim Action from November 16, 2002 to December 21, 2002. After briefly airing on Cartoon Network's SVES programming block in 2003, Cartoon Network allowed the broadcast rights to expire.
December, Universal Century 0079, Zeon intelligence has identified a prototype Federation Gundam under development in a Federation base in the Arctic. Elite Zeon MS commandos are dispatched to destroy the prototype, but before they can accomplish their mission the Gundam is launched into space. When the Gundam turns up in a Federation R&D base inside the neutral space colony Side 6, the Principality launches a covert operation to destroy the Gundam that includes young rookie Bernard Wiseman. However, the raid fails and the entire team is killed except for Bernard.
After crashing his mobile suit, Bernard manages to befriend a young boy named Alfred Izuhura and Christina Mackenzie, the Gundam test pilot. As Bernard tries to repair his damaged mobile suit, Bernard slowly becomes infatuated with Christina, with both pilots remaining unaware of each other's true natures. However, Bernard discovers that Zeon will destroy Side 6 with a nuclear weapon if he cannot destroy the prototype Gundam. Feeling that he has no other choice, Bernard takes his mobile suit and goes to engage the Gundam.
Meanwhile, Alfred discovers that the Zeon ship carrying the nuclear weapons was captured, meaning Bernard has no more reason to fight. He goes to try and stop Bernard, only to see Bernard's mobile suit destroyed and an injured Christina pulled from the heavily damaged Gundam. Afterwards, Christina tells Alfred that she will be leaving Side 6, and asks Alfred to say goodbye to Bernard for her, still unaware that she had actually killed him. Alfred does not have the heart to tell her the truth and agrees to her request.
Alfred "Al" Izuruha — Al is an 11-year-old schoolboy, who has a distant relationship with his father who works for the Earth Federation. He gets mediocre grades in school and misbehaves in front of his mother and teachers. As a naive young boy who lives in the Libot colony of neutral "Side 6", Al is fascinated by tales of mobile suit combats, but has little real idea about the war outside of the fact that it is ravaging the Earth Sphere. He has a special interest in Zeon's Zaku mobile suits, which he regards as "cool". One day, Al meets a rookie Zeon pilot, Bernie Wiseman, whose Zaku is disabled and crashes after a short battle with Federation forces in the colony.
Bernard "Bernie" Wiseman — Petty Officer 2nd Class Bernard Wiseman is a rookie soldier for the Principality of Zeon who befriends Al after his Zaku is shot down within Libot. He is later reassigned to the elite Cyclops Team as they embark on a top secret mission to destroy the Gundam.
Christina "Chris" MacKenzie — Al's friend and neighbor who has just returned from Earth on a top secret mission for the Earth Federation. She is secretly the test pilot for the Federation's newly developed Gundam.