3-part anime to mark the 30th anniversary of Gundam plastic model kits
The Japanese conglomerate Bandai has announced at the 49th Shizuoka Hobby Show this week that it is producing Mokei Senshi Gunpla Builders Beginning G, an anime to mark the 30th anniversary of the Gundam plastic model kit ("Gunpla"). The three parts (parts A, B, and C) of the anime will be presented starting this summer. Part A will be screened at the Gundam Super Expo event, and NHK's BS11 Digital channel will run the anime as television specials this summer.
Also starting this summer, the project's official website, model stores, and other venues will unveil a promotional video. Yoshihiro Iwamoto (Rockman X, Galaxy Force, Gundam Extreme) will launch a manga series, tentatively titled Mokei Senshi Gunpla Builders, in the August issue of Kadokawa Shoten's Monthly Kerokero Ace magazine on June 26. Bandai will run mobile-suit-coloring contests in five different magazines at the same time, and more details will be available on the official website and on the Gundam.info website.
The main character of the story is Haru Irei, a boy who becomes a "Gunpla Builder" after a fateful encounter with the Beginning Gundam plastic model. (In real life, Bandai is producing a Beginning Gundam model kit in 1/144 scale, but has not set a release date or price.) Rina Noyama is an always cheerful girl who, like her friend Haru, is a big fan of Gunpla. Haru's pal Kenta Sakazaki is a boy who loves Gunpla and gives advice to Haru about building them.
The Gundam anime studio Sunrise is planning and producing the project with director Kou Matsuo (Kure-nai, Mobile Suit Gundam Battlefield Record: Avant-Title, Red Garden, Rozen Maiden). Yousuke Kuroda (Hellsing, Hayate the Combat Butler, Infinite Ryvius , Mobile Suit Gundam 00) is scripting the project, and Kaichiro Terada, an animation director on Ergo Proxy and RahXephon, is designing the characters. An all-star lineup of mechanical designers — Kunio Okawara (1st Gundam, Votoms), Atsushi Shigeta (Turn A Gundam), Kanetake Ebikawa (Kiddy Grade, Mobile Suit Gundam 00), and Junichi Akutsu/Bee-Craft (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed) — is also contributing.
The Gundam robot anime franchise will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its first plastic model kit this July. As of March, Bandai has sold 400 million Gundam plastic model kits — all made in Japan. (Japan has a population of about 127 million.)
Image © Sotsu, Sunrise
© Bandai 2009 Bandai Co., Ltd. 2009