How to Watch Mobile Suit Gundam in Order

Keep this one bookmarked. There's a whole lot of Mecha here.

by J.R. Waugh
Mobile Suit Gundam Watch Order

Mobile Suit Gundam is the ultimate iconic presence in mecha anime across the globe. Just saying the name, either of the series or the subgenre invokes images of the RX-78-2 Gundam for good reason: it’s memorable and has shows spanning as far back as 1979. It began in earnest as an anime but has expanded into a multibillion-dollar franchise including manga, toys, models, and even an upcoming film. But for those who wish to experience Mobile Suit Gundam from its roots, watching the franchise can be a tall order. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the series chronology or by order of release, we’ve got you covered.

How Do You Watch Mobile Suit Gundam in Chronological Order?

It’s important to note there are several timelines in the Gundam metaseries, and you can reasonably enjoy them separately from one another. With that in mind, the chronological order is best enjoyed in separate lists, as shown below:

Gundam Watch Order: Universal Century (UC) Timeline — UC0068 – UC0223

Image: Sunrise

This is the strictest answer on how to watch the story of Mobile Suit Gundam in order in particular, with the corresponding anime, Original Video Animations (OVA), animated films, and live-action movies. Universal Century, or “Space Era” is the most commonly-known timeline originating from the first Mobile Suit Gundam and fleshed out over decades of additional stories, as listed below:

  • UC0068 – UC0079 Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Advent of the Red Comet (series, 2019, a compilation of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin OVAs from 2015-2018)
  • UC0079 – Mobile Suit Gundam (anime, 1979-1980)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam I / Mobile Suit Gundam The Movie (anime film, 1981)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow (anime film, 1982)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space (anime film, 1982)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (OVA, 1996-1999) and Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team — Miller’s Report (anime film, 1998)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War (OVA, 2004)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: Apocalypse 0079 (OVA, 2006)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO 2: The Gravity Front (OVA, 2008)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (OVA, 1989)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt (Original Net Animation, 2015-2017) — compiled in Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: December Sky and Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: Bandit Flower
  • UC0083 Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (OVA, 1991-1992, compiled in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: The Afterglow of Zeon in 1992)
  • UC0087 Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (anime, 1985-1986) — compiled in the following anime films: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation — Heir to the Stars (2005) Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation II — Lovers (2005) and Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation III — Love is the Pulse of the Stars (2006)
    • Gundam Neo Experience 0087: Green Divers (CGI short film, 2001)
  • UC0088 Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (anime, 1986-1987)
  • UC0093 – Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (anime film, 1988)
  • UC0096 – Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn (OVA, 2010-2014) compiled in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 (anime, 2016)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Twilight Axis (ONA, 2017) compiled in Mobile Suit Gundam Twilight Axis – Red Trace (anime film, 2017)
  • UC0097 – Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative (anime film 2018)
  • UC0105 – Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway (anime film, 2020)
  • UC0123 – Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (anime film, 1991)
  • UC0153 – Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (anime, 1993-1994)
  • UC0223 – G-Saviour (live-action film, 2000)

Just these series alone is a mighty task, one which can be undertaken via multiple streaming services, particularly Crunchyroll. But in general, if you’re invested in the Gundam franchise, chances are you’ll find yourself investing financially as well, with the series drawing you in through its rich variety of stories featuring mechs and distinct themes.

Mobile Suit Gundam Timeline: Correct Century (pre-C.C. – 2345 C.C.)

Image: Sunrise

This timeline, albeit brief, marked the last of the traditionally hand-painted cel animation before digital coloring was used for future Gundam projects. It was also the last mainline Gundam entry of the 1990s, with fascinating steampunk elements in this one.

  • 2343 – 2345 C.C. ∀ Gundam / Turn A Gundam (anime, 1999-2000) compiled in ∀ Gundam I: Earth Light (2002) and ∀ Gundam II: Moonlight Butterfly (2002)

Mobile Suit Gundam Timeline: Regild Century (R.C. 1014)

Image: Sunrise

Distinctly referred to as connected with the Universal Century and Correct Century timelines, the Regild Century takes place over a millennium after the original Gundam story and 500 years after Correct Century. The Space Tower from the UC era is restored amidst an ecological collapse and starvation striking Earth and its surrounding colonies.

  •  R.C. 1014 Gundam Reconguista in G (anime, 2014)
  • Reconguista in G the Movie I Go! Core Fighter (anime film, 2019)
  • Reconguista in G the Movie Ⅱ Bellri’s Fierce Charge (anime film, 2020)
  • Reconguista in G the Movie III Legacy from Space (anime film, 2021)

Mobile Suit Gundam Timeline: Future Century (F.C.1 – F.C.64)

Image: Sunrise

FC is the period of the 13th Gundam Fight after the elites left Earth, resulting in nations warring over the planet’s territories. Entries such as this and the rest to follow are significantly more disconnected in terms of timelines than UC, CC, and RC. The Gundam Fight is the result of the United Colonies Federation’s attempt to foster peace in the form of a Gundam fight tournament every 4 years, and is only featured in the following series:

  • FC 60 Mobile Fighter G Gundam (anime, 1994-1995)

As you can see, some timelines are significantly easier to follow with more of a self-contained storyline. More timelines like this are to follow.

Mobile Suit Gundam Timeline: After Colony (AC 001 – AC 197)

Image: Sunrise

For those who got into the franchise in the 1990s, this might be the timeline you’re most familiar with. This series follows the efforts of Gundam pilots to aid space colonies wishing to escape Earth’s oppression. It should be noted that Mars Century (MC) ties into this as well, focusing on Mars’ perspective after the AC events. The timeline consists of the following:

  • AC 195 Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (anime, 1995-1996) compiled in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Operation Meteor (OVA, 1996)
  • AC 196 Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz (OVA, 1997) compiled in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz (anime film, 1998)

This series helped bring the franchise further into the mainstream and expand its audience while opening the doors to greater prestige.

Mobile Suit Gundam Timeline: After War (AW 0001 – AW 0024)

Image: Sunrise

Much like Future Century, AW is a more brief timeline and easier to follow, maintaining many common elements with UC as well, with a bleak vision of Earth in this story. After the end of the 7th Space War, 99% of Earth’s inhabitants are dead in this alternate universe, speculated as a dark alternate ending of the One Year War scenario.

  • AW 0015 After War Gundam X (anime, 1996)

The series at this point had been approaching 2 decades on the air, with anime preceding the manga adaptations in many cases. The next entry would mark an interesting turning point in the franchise.

Mobile Suit Gundam Timeline: Cosmic Era (A.D. – C.E. 74)

Image: Sunrise

Perhaps one of the most fleshed-out timelines in Gundam, this is also one of the top favorites among younger fans of the franchise. This is the timeline that incorporates Gundam SEED, with discussions on heavy topics including racism, genocide, and being the first truly post-9/11 Gundam series. The timeline is detailed below:

  • C.E. 71 Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (anime, 2002-2003)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray (manga, 2003)
  • C.E. 73 Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny (anime, 2004-2005)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED C.E. 73: STARGAZER (ONA, 2006)

The timeline has done well to prevent too much overlap with its terms so that viewers can distinguish the alternate worlds rendered. But the next one can catch some viewers off guard.

Mobile Suit Gundam Timeline: Anno Domini (A.D. 2051 – 2364)

Image: Sunrise

This series follows the events of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 which uses a traditional Gregorian calendar formatting that we’re all familiar with. It depicts a near-to-distant future, addressing supply crises such as for fuel, incorporating political commentary with that mecha action we know and love.

  • A.D. 2307 – 2308 Mobile Suit Gundam 00 season 1 (anime, 2007-2008)
  • A.D. 2312 Mobile Suit Gundam 00 season 2 (anime, 2008-2009)
  • A.D. 2314 Mobile Suit Gundam 00 The Movie -A Wakening of the Trailblazer- (anime film, 2010)

Mobile Suit Gundam Timeline: Advanced Generation (A.G. 60 – 201)

Image: Sunrise

This timeline follows one of the most peaceful eras in the Gundam metaverse, war on Earth being a distant memory, with humans settling on space colonies. It’s also one of the more concise timelines again, containing the following:

  • A.G. 115 – 164 Mobile Suit Gundam AGE (anime, 2011-2012)
  • A.G. 141 – 164 Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Memory of Eden (anime, 2013)

Mobile Suit Gundam Timeline: Post Disaster (P.D. 001 – 325)

Image: Sunrise

Set after the events of the Calamity War, this is the timeline setting of the iconic Mobile Suit Gundam IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS series. It follows the wake of the most devastating wars in this timeline, responsible for untold casualties.

  • P.D. 323 Mobile Suit Gundam IRON-BLOODED Orphans season 1 (anime, 2015)
  • P.D. 325 Mobile Suit Gundam IRON-BLOODED Orphans season 2 (anime, 2016)

By this point, the series has sufficiently shown different timelines with various bleak stories to appeal to the modern reader. But if you’ve followed until this point, you might find yourself rewarded already with this vast wealth of Gundam entertainment. For those looking to continue, there’s still new content yet to come.

Mobile Suit Gundam Timeline: Ad Stella (A.S. 89 – 122+)

Image: Sunrise

This is the timeline of Mobile Suit Gundam the Witch from Mercury which is the current Gundam series to follow. Be sure to keep up on everything new that’s happening for this series as it unfolds, as you’ll find it’s quite the gorgeous new anime.

  • A.S. 101 – 122 Mobile Suit Gundam the Witch from Mercury prologue and anime (2022-present)

While there’s a heavy amount of controversy recently surrounding the English voiceover casting, this series continues to showcase the excellent storytelling present in this series. Witch from Mercury elevates it beyond simply niche genre anime.

Mobile Suit Gundam has a vast array of series you can watch in any order, but outside of watching the U.C. – C.C. – R.C. timelines in sequence, you won’t have trouble enjoying this. However, there are options for folks who want to watch on a strict basis of release dates.

How to Watch Mobile Suit Gundam in Release Order

Image: Sunrise, McDonald’s

If you’re more passionate about enjoying the series as it evolves in terms of production values, themes, and art style, this method might speak more to you as a Gundam fan, especially with series not technically featured as mainline entries on the timeline. The stories will feel significantly more disconnected, but you’ll see the hit series as it is shown through the years as listed below:

  • Mobile Suit Gundam (1979)
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (1986)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (1988)
  • Mobile Suit SD Gundam (1988)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (1989)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (1991)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (1991)
  • Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (1993)
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam (1994)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (1995)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (1996)
  • After War Gundam X (1996)
  • Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (1997)
  • ∀ Gundam (1999)
  • G-Saviour (2000)
  • Gundam Neo Experience 0087: Green Divers (2001)
  • Gundam Evolve (2001)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (2002)
  • Superior Defender Gundam Force (2003)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War (2004)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny (2004)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: Apocalypse 0079 (2006)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED C.E. 73: STARGAZER (2006)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (2007-2009)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO 2: Gravity Front (2009)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn (2010)
  • SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors (2010)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 The Movie: A Wakening of the Trailblazer (2010)
  • Mobile Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G (2010)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE (2011)
  • Gundam Build Fighters (2013)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam-San (2014)
  • Gundam Reconguista in G (2014)
  • Gundam Build Fighters Try (2014)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (2015)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (2015)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt (2015)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Twilight AXIS (2017)
  • Gundam Build Fighters: Battlogue (2017)
  • Gundam Build Fighters: GM’s Counterattack (2017)
  • Gundam Build Divers (2018)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative (2018)
  • SD Gundam World Sangoku Soketsuden (2019)
  • Gundam Build Divers: Re:RISE (2019)
  • Gundam Build Divers: Battlogue (2020)
  • SD Gundam World Heroes (2021)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway (2021)
  • Gundam Build Real (2021)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island (2022)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury (2022)

Mobile Suit Gundam is the ultimate mecha anime franchise, and whether you choose to watch from the very beginning or catch one of its many different stories, this metaseries is a mighty one. There’s no question as to why the fans have flocked to it, for its robot action, cerebral plots, and engaging characters.

- This article was updated on February 7th, 2023