|Adult Swim Premiere||June 8, 2002|
|Original Network||Nagoya Broadcasting Network|
Mobile Suit Gundam is a Japanese anime series created and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino and produced by Nagoya Broadcasting Network, Sotsu Agency, and Sunrise. The anime is licensed in North America by Bandai Entertainment which produced an English adaptation. The anime was not popular when it first aired, and in fact came close to being cancelled. It was originally set to run for 52 episodes but was cut down to 39 by the show's sponsors. However, the staff was able to negotiate a one month extension to end the show with 43 episodes. The series was broadcast in Japan on Nagoya Broadcasting Network between April 7, 1979 and January 26, 1980.
The English adaptation aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's Toonami programing block from July 23, 2001 to September 12, 2001, when it was abruptly removed due to the September 11th attacks and their resemblance to events in the series. Mobile Suit Gundam returned to Cartoon Network, as part of the new Adult Swim anime programming block Adult Swim Action from June 8, 2002 to December 28, 2002. While most of the show aired on Toonami before it was pulled, only 25 episodes aired on Adult Swim and episode 15, "Cucuruz Doan's Island", was skipped on both blocks.
Set in a fictional universe in the Universal Century year 0079, the Principality of Zeon has declared independence from the Earth Federation, and subsequently launched a One Year War. The conflict has directly affected every continent on earth, also nearly every space colony and lunar settlement. Zeon, though smaller, has the tactical upper hand through their use of a new type of humanoid weapons called mobile suits. After half of all humanity perishes in the conflict, the war settled into a bitter stalemate lasting over 8 months.
The Series begins with a newly deployed Federation warship, the White Base, arriving at the secret research base located at the Side 7 colony to pick up the Federation's newest weapon. However, they are closely followed by Zeon forces. A Zeon reconnaissance team member disobeys mission orders and attacks the colony, killing most of the Federation crew and civilians in the process. Out of desperation, a teen boy Amuro Ray accidentally finds the Federation's new weapon—the RX-78 Gundam, and neutralizes the situation. Scrambling everything they can, the White Base sets out with her newly formed crew of civilian recruits and refugees in her journey to survive, and unknowingly, change the course of the war.