Random Curiosity

Gundam Unicorn – 03 »« Gundam Unicorn – 01

Gundam Unicorn – 02

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「赤い彗星」 (Akai Suisei)
“The Red Comet”

It’s kind of hard to believe it’s been eight months since the release of the first episode of Gundam series that marks the long-awaited return to the Universal Century timeline, but Sunrise sure made it well worth the wait. With each episode being an hour long and production quality that doesn’t disappoint one bit, this is more akin to a six-part movie series like Break Blade and worthy of a theatrical release if the story is broken up accordingly. Of course, I’m more than grateful that they decided not to so I don’t have to endure an even longer wait, as the story took a drastic turn for the better with the leader of the Sleeves, Full Frontal, made out to be the second coming of Char Aznable. I had mentioned back in the first episode that Char’s seiyuu, Ikeda Shuuichi, was scheduled to show up in the series, but the fact that Full Frontal is the spitting image of the leader of the Neo Zeon faction — who went out in a psychoframe explosion of light with Amuro Ray in Char’s Counterattack — makes it even more interesting. I also can’t help but see a bit of Amuro in Banagher’s appearance and sense of justice, so this sort of sets the stage for the legendary Amuro/Char rivalry that persists even through (supposed) death.

Story-wise, the progression has been revolving around Laplace’s Box, which nobody seems to have any idea what it is yet believe it has the power to destroy the Earth Federation once it’s opened. A lot of the discussion in the first episode between Banagher’s late father and head of the Vist Foundation, Cardeas Vist, and the captain of the Sleeve’s ship Garancieres, Suberoa Zinnerman, made a lot more sense in light of the developments here. This includes how the Earth Federation will frantically put their lives on the line to prevent it from falling in Zeon hands with no understanding of exactly what it is, and how Audrey — who was finally revealed to be the princess of the Zeon, Mineva Lao Zabi — continues to put her life on the line because she feels the Sleeves shouldn’t be entrusted with the key to Laplace’s Box, RX-0 Unicorn Gundam. In actuality, a lot of the mysteries were already hinted at in the previous episode itself, which for whatever reason didn’t occur to me until I went back and watched it following this one. With all the talk about how the mankind saw the evolution of Newtypes upon venturing into space to cope with its vastness, how the Vist Foundation perceives it as the wrong course for them to be used as nothing more than ace pilots in war, and how the results of opening Laplace’s Box can either pave way to the correct path or destroy mankind altogether, I’m heavily leaning towards the idea that the box itself is a figurative thing and Unicorn Gundam can “open it” by resonating the peaceful hopes of the pilot within to all of mankind — both on Earth and in space — using its completely lined psychoframe and psycommu system.

Under the assumption that a psychic phenomenon with the power to convey those thoughts and allow all of mankind to completely understand one another (similar to what Newtypes can already do in a much smaller scope), it would fit Cardeas’ vision of how the evolution of mankind into Newtypes was meant to be used. It’s also easy to see how this could destroy all of mankind if used incorrectly, either by simply causing mental damage to everyone or spreading the fires of war further. Alternatively, based on what Audrey revealed about the Earth Federation’s underhanded dealings and keeping the remnants of the Neo Zeon around as a scapegoat, the other possibility is that the demise of mankind comes about with the revelation of their corruption and how they’ve been neglected the state of spacenoids, casting a huge shadow of doubt over exactly who was to blame for all the previous wars. Whatever the case, I’m picturing that opening of Laplace’s Box is akin to the explosion of light between Amuro’s Nu Gundam and Char’s Sazabi that stopped Axis from falling onto Earth and left all combatants in awe over the state of mankind. Except here, Unicorn Gundam will be used to stop the fighting once and for all. Banagher does seem to have the right frame of mind in that war is never right regardless of who started it, but Marida did quickly put that in perspective on how that sense of righteousness doesn’t save lives either. The one thing that does seem contradictory though is the fact that Unicorn Gundam’s is equipped with a NT-D system, i.e. “Newtype Destroyer”, which the Laplace Program operating system activates to release the limiter on the mobile suit and deal specifically with Newtype threats.

In any case, while the prospect of having something of that magnitude happening piques my interest beyond words can say, the likelihood of it succeeding is pretty slim given that this series slots into the middle of the UC timeline and there are sequels such as Gundam F91 and Victory Gundam that show conflicts continue to arise. Be that as it may, I’m really captivated by how Banagher carries on his father’s beliefs that humans possess a light to guide them — a God — that shows us the “possibility” to transcend our current state and makes us strive for a better existence. In the current state of the universe, ending the strife would be the most obvious improvement and ironically, Banagher continues to find himself fighting in an attempt to achieve that. The idea of fighting for peace has been a prominent theme in a lot of Gundam protagonists, but I somehow find Banagher’s outlook to be one of the easier ones to connect with. I like how he has a level head and serves as a voice of reason to adults who are so caught up in war. A lot of times, he may only be spouting out idealistic views, but they’re actually a breath of fresh air in light of many military personnel who have lost sight of them.

One exception is Riddhe Marcenas (Namikawa Daisuke), who’s shown that he can be pretty reckless piloting his RGZ-95 ReZEL against Full Frontal in his Sazabi successor, the extremely agile Sinanju, and has a grudge against the Neo Zeon since he’s the son of the politically influential Marcenas family, but is able to think for himself after talking to Mineva about the cruel workings of politics on future generations. He may not be the best pilot whose commander sacrificed himself to save, but will undoubtedly play a bigger role in the story to come. On the other side of the fence, Daguza Mackle (Touchi Hiroki) of the elite Earth Federation’s special forces team, ECOAS (Earth, Colony, Asteroid), is proving to be someone somewhat receptive to Banagher’s protests, and also showed poise in using Mineva as a hostage and having her play the part to potentially save lives by keeping the communication line to Full Frontal open. It looked like it would have worked too, if the Anaheim Electronics executive Alberto Vist (Takagi Wataru, star of Gundam X) didn’t start blabbing away. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how Banagher himself handles falling into the hands of the Sleeves and learning about the other view on the war from Full Frontal and Marida’s perspectives. This time, the Earth Federation is made out to be the aggressors as well, staging an assault on the Sleeve’s asteroid fortress of Palau even though it looks more like a suicide mission for those involved.

Visually, this episode was a real treat. The sight of the Sinanju flying circles around the Nahel Argama and shooting down its cannons with pinpoint accuracy had me wondering what the second coming of Char would’ve been capable of if it were equipped with Funnels as well. The same goes for Unicorn Gundam, though I was completely blown away by its Beam Magnum rifle that was unloading mega particle cannon size blasts. While that did make it seem like the power was in the rifle and the magazine cartridges more than the Gundam itself, the revelation that it has an I-Field in its shield did make it feel like more of a successor of sorts to the Nu Gundam. Aside from the red glow emitted from the psychoframe in Destroy Mode, the relatively basic design of Unicorn also seems to suggest as much. Marida’s Kshatriya, successor of the Quin-Mantha, didn’t see too much action in comparison, but it’s probably worth noting that Banagher still isn’t aware that she pilots it. As for the characters themselves, I was completely mesmerized by Audrey both in terms of her attractiveness and her composure. There’s definitely a refined way she carries herself — even when she’s being held hostage — which only seems to lower its guard when Banagher treats her like a girl rather than some political figure. In addition to the mobile suit battles, their interactions and potential relationship are something that I want to see more a lot more of in the upcoming episodes. While that hasn’t been announced yet, I’m sure as hell hoping it won’t be another eight months. Edit: Episode three is coming out March 5th, 2011, so it’s just over four months this time!

 

* I find it interesting that Banagher’s name in katakana 「バナージ」 can be rearranged to spell “Bajeena” 「バジーナ」 really easily. Char’s alias Quattro Bajeena may not be used anymore, but it looks like his Hyaku Shiki (far right) still is.
* There’s still no sequence, but we have a really catchy ending theme by Kylee.

 

ED2 Sequence

Gundam Unicorn   ED2   01 Gundam Unicorn   ED2   02 Gundam Unicorn   ED2   03

ED2: 「Everlasting」 by Kylee
Watch the 2nd ED!: Download, Streaming ▼

October 31, 2010 at 8:52 am
64 comments »
  • October 31, 2010 at 9:00 amDdadain

    Omg… it’s here

  • October 31, 2010 at 9:07 amFlamingYu

    Now this is AWESOME, More action then before…
    And Sinanju that’s keeping me awake.

  • October 31, 2010 at 9:41 ammelkor

    wow Awesome >,<

  • October 31, 2010 at 9:55 amThe White Devil

    First of all thanks for covering Gundam Unicorn. Divine you are doing a Fabulous job in your reviews whish my english writing skills where this good.

    The episode was perfect. I was suprised by the power of Unicorns Beam Magnum rifle.
    If one rifle is so powerful, what firepower does Unicorn has when in Full Armor Mode.
    The fighting sequences are some of the best i have ever seen. The Story ,the Charakters and there personalities (even in death Amuro Ray and Char Aznable live on) are great.
    If the other episodes of Unicorn can hold this niveau, Unicorn will definitely be the best gundam series ever.

    Sorry for the bad english

    P.S Greetngs from Germany

  • October 31, 2010 at 10:06 ammaster_recrecia

    hey, its Rau Le Creuset!

    • October 31, 2010 at 1:13 pmyewz

      char was original, rau was a copy. Down with seed!

      • November 2, 2010 at 2:25 amImpetusVenti

        Yay, someone with similar thoughts! Char > all other masked chars in Gundam out there. He has a friggin’ theme song that sings his name out, dammit! Nobody else does in all the other multiverse! CHAR! CHAR! CHAR!

      • November 2, 2010 at 5:29 pmRise~N Seraphim

        Thank you… seed is horrible…

  • October 31, 2010 at 10:11 amsaladesu

    Wow, fast! Thanks! ^^

    Haven’t watched it yet but I saw this on cinematoday http://www.cinematoday.jp/page/N0027915 and apparently there was an announcement at the end of the show saying that ep 3 will be out in Mar 2011. Since the article uses 発売 I’m not sure if that refers to the DVD of ep 3 only, though. Either way, just about 4 months away rather than 8 months, awesome ^^

  • October 31, 2010 at 10:26 amVZX

    It seems that the gray-colored right most unit in the hangar is Delta Plus.

  • October 31, 2010 at 10:38 amchaos42

    once again some psyco in a mask wants to control the universe. You know wearing a mask in a gundam series usually means your evil. or at the least your morals are really flexable

    • November 2, 2010 at 5:30 pmRise~N Seraphim

      Mr. Bushido in Gundam 00 Season 2 had no morals, lol he just wanted to fight and beat Setsuna =D

  • October 31, 2010 at 10:45 amTrystinia

    This is great! I almost forgot about this.. damn 8 month wait >_<! I think i'll have to re-watch the first episode before checking this one out and I hope the wait for the next episode wont be as long.
    I'm gladd that there seems to be more action going on, I was slightly disappointed with the first episode, but it had to set up the story.

  • October 31, 2010 at 10:49 amFlappy

    Can someone enlighten me when in the timeline does this plot play out? Sry, I myself have never followed the Universal Century series but generally knew bits of plot here and there. Thanks in advance!

  • October 31, 2010 at 11:25 amDaggeraxe

    Unicorn takes place in UC 0096, 3 years after Char’s Counterattack.

    The original Mobile Suit Gundam takes place in UC 0079.

    • October 31, 2010 at 11:32 amFlappy

      So I can assume that this is the latest in the series right?

      • October 31, 2010 at 11:41 amGooo

        Nope. Gundam F91 and Victory Gundam come after, as mentioned in the article.

      • October 31, 2010 at 11:48 amVsin

        The plot goes (excluding OVAs and manga)
        0079, Zeta, Double Zeta, Char’s Counterattack, Unicorn, F91, Victory, *empty space for AU?*, Turn A

        Throw in OVAs:

        0079 + 0080 + 08 MS Team (they’re all one year war), Stardust Memory, Zeta, Double Zeta, Char’s Counterattack, Unicorn, F91, Victory, *space*, Turn A.

      • October 31, 2010 at 12:00 pmJay

        Without getting into *internet argument*, there are enough hints in Turn A to suggest that it is either the distant successor to ALL previous continuities at the time (G, Wing, X), or none of them. Even then, it’s inconsequential to the story of any UC series given how far in the future it may or may not be. So I’d disagree with calling Turn A a Universal Century series

      • November 2, 2010 at 8:13 amyewz

        “Latest in Series”

        I think he means the most recently aired/produced series. Yes it is, Gundam Unicorn is the latest Gundam franchise.

  • October 31, 2010 at 11:41 amShimapan

    finally

  • October 31, 2010 at 11:55 amSuppa Tenko

    I thought according to “the word of god” that Bajeena is actually Vagina -_-.

    Ima guess that one possible ending would be the one similar to Gundam 00 where some Trans-Am Burst will somehow connect everyone and stuffs.

  • October 31, 2010 at 12:05 pmVsin

    I’m finding Full Frontal to be very confusing…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    On another note, the guy was dripping with Char references for the first half of the EP. Red MS moving 3x faster, mention of defeating many battleships solo, the famous “Zaku Kick”, I think his quote to Zinnerman was also a 0079 reference, etc, etc.

    Oh and about Laplace’s Box…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Random note: WTB spoiler-within-spoiler tagging.

    • October 31, 2010 at 1:19 pmyewz

      I read somewhere that said full frontal was a clone implanted by sasabi’s pyscho framework, like you mentioned. I watched the original and zeta, and my knowledge of psycho frames was that they connect the machine and pilot mentally, so thus it can justify how full frontal acts so much like Char.

      It may be correct to look at it this way:

      Full frontal is an artificial clone with char’s brain implanted into it.

      He’s not Char, be he is? haha

      • November 3, 2010 at 11:09 amSora no Kaze

        Please… remember to place spoilers. Just pointing out as some people haven’t looked it up or read the novel.

  • October 31, 2010 at 12:45 pmKazrsama

    Nice job I hope to see this OVA.
    Char has come

  • October 31, 2010 at 1:40 pmexto

    I love this series, especially the mecha action, the story is rather bland thou. Once again we have a young male stereoype hero whining about the adults being stupid, in the middle of a awesome war story. Its been 30 years since U.C.Gundam was created, can the anime writers stop portraying young people as stupid, uniformed idiots, who can’t seem to make educated opinions/decisions. Just because someone is a young, hot headed, and a robot pilot, doesn’t mean they have to be shown spouting out moralistic nonsense like some dunce. Other than that, I loved this current episode.

    • October 31, 2010 at 4:49 pmGooo

      But that’s one of Gundam’s themes… Adults are the bad guys who force kids to endure war and other bad things. The protagonist is suppose to stand for the moral side of the debate, while adults and their “politics” are the evil, manipulative side.

  • October 31, 2010 at 2:34 pmarixx

    I love this series but few things I always hate about gundam is:

    1. Ppl keep dying left and right and no one seem to care, I mean they talk about in the past u got a colony drop into earth killing billions of ppl, you would think the higher up of of the federation would start learning the mistake to stop fighting and start negotiate some sort of peace treaty.
    2. why is there always some sort of retarded asshole with no regards to human life holding a position of power in this series it is Anaheim Electronics executive Alberto Vist, in seed it was that blue cosmos wessel Muruta Azrael , and seed destiny it was that Lord Djibril. Does being a asshole a requirement for ppl in a position of power.

    • October 31, 2010 at 3:56 pmgarfield15

      People keep dying left and right and nobody seems to care because that’s how war is. Nobody is going to seriously give a crap if a bunch of soldiers die. Now, a colony drop will turn some heads, but that’s not always going to make the fighting stop. It could just escalate it. That’s just how it can be (and how it seems to be for 30 years of Gundam now)

      Also, Zeon isn’t really one for peace treaties.

      As for the second question, I dunno. There’s just always been some asshole in a position of power just like how in real life there can be assholes in positions of power.

    • October 31, 2010 at 5:26 pmRickyMack

      we have dick cheney and donald rumsfield as real life examples of assholes in power

  • October 31, 2010 at 4:09 pmAvenger

    I really can’t help but love the old character designs. The “new” character designs in the newer shows are too.. generic.

  • October 31, 2010 at 4:13 pmshiro11

    Really loving this series, if the following episodes are as good as the first two have been this will easily be my favorite Gundam series.

  • October 31, 2010 at 4:49 pmzmil

    wearing a mask makes you a lolicon

    • October 31, 2010 at 6:39 pmavexmode

      That’s quite a big word for a 10 years old.

      The hardest thing being a lolicon is fitting in.

      • October 31, 2010 at 9:22 pmVsin

        He’s making a reference to the joke (truth?) that Char is a lolicon. I mean, his waifu was Lalah until she died (and even past that when you think about it), then in Zeta it was some implications with Mineva, by technicality his ZZ replacement (Glemy) had a clone army of lolis, and in CCA he had Quess running around. Oh, and in the manga “Char’s Deleted Affair” his loli was Haman.

  • October 31, 2010 at 6:14 pmCobalt_wargear

    SOO MUCH EYECANDY!!!!!!!!!!! sry for caps but this ep deserves it

  • October 31, 2010 at 6:38 pmavexmode

    Red makes everything go faster!!!!

  • October 31, 2010 at 7:01 pmTsukasa

    Wow.. one word to describe it all… FREAKING AWESOME……

    Man now another 8 months for episode 3…. argh….

    • October 31, 2010 at 11:10 pmShijugi

      Well i think ep 3 will out on 2011/3/5

  • October 31, 2010 at 7:34 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    OOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooHHHHHHH!!!! trick’or’TREAT INDEED!!!! cant wait fo da subs! looks like this ep is full of action!

    • October 31, 2010 at 9:36 pminfo600

      more like “waiting for rips from DVD/BD”…

      • October 31, 2010 at 10:07 pmVsin

        The video is 1920 x 1080. Do you really need better quality than that? Oh, and it’s dual audio with multilingual subs. I’m not telling you where I got it; find it yourself.

      • November 1, 2010 at 4:40 pminfo600

        meh, still waiting for the subber’s take in a week >.>

  • October 31, 2010 at 9:36 pmLoves Gundam

    Need more colony drops

  • October 31, 2010 at 11:42 pmexia

    Man Unicorn is so EPIC, Great story, Well written characters, fluid animate. And best of All the Soundtrack. Just listening to the part when Banaja first enter’s the gundam in the first episode with the flames in the background sent shiver’s down my spine and felt the emotion like this was fate for him. Awesome and Awe is what this series is all about.

  • November 1, 2010 at 2:55 amKidKaz

    I needed something to wash off the bad taste in my mouth that was “Awakening of the trailblazer”

    • November 1, 2010 at 9:53 amexto

      Trailblazer fails at all levels, what the hell where they thinking?

  • November 1, 2010 at 3:55 amTorint

    I love this series.

    One thing that’s always confused me about Universal Century is that gundams are always treated as the pinnacle of mobile suit tech. So why does the Federation not make more gundams?

    • November 1, 2010 at 5:23 amIncognito

      Gundams are super prototypes. While performing way better than the average mobile suit, the development costs and new technologies involved are definitely expensive. So as much as the Federation wants to build more Gundams, the costs for such an undertaking would be prohibitive. To their credit, they still can develop (or purchase from Anaheim Electronics at least) non-Gundam prototypes like the Delta Plus (a.k.a.: The Hyaku Shiki descendant) and improve their existing mass-production mobile suits like the Stark Jegan.

      Anyway…with that out of the way, time to indulge in a little “memetic quotation”…

      “Terrible, terrible damage!” (Well, either that or the Sinanju’s “Zaku kick” would qualify for that quote…)

      It’s A CHAR!

      • November 1, 2010 at 11:22 amarixx

        One is the cost, two is psycho frame require new type or some sort of special abilites, and last is piloting skills you not gonna build a mobile suit that cost a bundle to let your average joe pilot it, that just throwing money down the drain. Good mobile suit can be build but good pilot skill are pretty much born talent just like how we have ppl that are born athlete, ace pilot are no different.

    • November 1, 2010 at 11:18 amHalfDemonInuyasha

      Gundams are more than simple prototypes; they’re taking the technology that the Federation may or may not want on their next generation mass production MS and tuning them to their maximum potential (at the time) and then scale down bit by bit from there until they get an effective enough mass production MS for a reasonable cost, but still also being fully combat-capable so they’re not simply discarded. This is one reason why many intended mass production MS that end up making it to the production lines (or at least have a few prototypes made, but not fully mass production) share a majority of basic things (or even close to all of it, but slightly inferior performance) with the Gundam (or whatever MS/MA) that they were based on.

      Ground Type GM, GM Precession Type, Ground Combat Gundam, and the GM to the RX-78-2 Gundam

      GM Cannon, GM Cannon II, Guncannon Heavy Arms Type, Guncannon II, and Guncannon Mass Production Tupe to the Guncannon

      Guncannon Mass Production Type and Guntank II to the Guntank

      GM Custom and the GM Quel (more or less) to the Gundam Alex

      Barzam and/or GM III and/or Jegan series to the Gundam Mark II

      Methuss Kai, Guncannon Detector, and ReZel to the Methuss

      Mass Production Type Zeta, Zeta Plus series, and the Re-GZ to the Zeta Gundam

      Mass Production Type ZZ to the ZZ

      Mass Production Type Nu Gundam to the Nu Gundam

      Flint to the Crossbone Gundams

      Gun-EZ/Gunblaster to the Victory Gundam

      etc

      …also gotta love all the further classic UC references;

      1.) Classic beam rifle sound effect.

      2.) Sinanju obviously = upgraded Sazabi as is Full Frontal looking like Char (though more like Rau Le Creuset in Gundam SEED with that hair, lol).

      3.) CHAR KICK!!!!!! ’nuff said, lol.

      4.) Palau looking a lot like how Axis looked.

      5.) You hear them mention the Hyaku Shiki in the hangar of the Nahel Argama, which I’m assuming they were talking about that more custom and fancier looking MS standing by the Stark Jegan and such.

      6.) The mention of the Nahel Argama’s Hyper Mega Particle Cannon that was used a couple times in ZZ.

      7.) The Loto (the tank-looking MS) being a predecessor to the Guntank R-44 that’s in Gundam F91.

      8.) The name of a hotel being “Black Three Stars”. Obviously homage to the Black Tri-Star team of the Principality of Zeon, lol.

  • November 1, 2010 at 5:57 amentropy

    Isn’t it March 3 and not 5 though?

  • November 1, 2010 at 7:31 pmKLAC

    grr 2eps in & still no yet where Chantal Strand voice in it!!!

  • November 1, 2010 at 11:19 pmspoofthespook

    Does it mention somewhere that NT-D is NewType Destroyer, I interpreted it as simply:
    NewType Drive. Destroyer would be more interesting though.

  • November 1, 2010 at 11:28 pmKLAC

    IF eps.3 to 6 don’t not have Chantal Strand in it INDEED now start on works for the following

    1.gundam version of DECADE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRddpWyR7qw&feature=related

    2.new gundam tv series with MAIN LEAD gundam pilot is a WOMAN with MAIN LEAD voice is CHANTAL STRAND in it.

    all this as long i get Chantal Strand’s voice in it even as the MAIN LEAD!!!

  • November 2, 2010 at 12:07 amTibu

    OMG the return of Zechs! Wait…this is the wrong world…ITS A DIFFERENT DIMENSION ZECHS w/ RED EYES!!

  • November 2, 2010 at 12:28 amGoblo

    Marida’s SMEXY as ever

    • November 9, 2010 at 4:03 pmbunny

      Agree Marida for best girl of Gundam UC!

  • November 2, 2010 at 7:41 amaeran

    Hate to burst your bubble, but I’ve been informed that that is not Hyaku Shiki. It is actually the Gundam Delta Plus (http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100118011254/gundam/images/thumb/3/32/Msn-001a1.jpg/320px-Msn-001a1.jpg) which is was developed from the Hyaku Shiki, to be the Delta Gundam (http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/MSN-001_Delta_Gundam), but due to production issues it was scrapped. The Delta Plus was the ultimate successor.

    So, tl;dr: MSN-001 becomes MSN-00100 becomes MSN-001A1. Therefore, that is not technically the Hyaku Shiki.

  • November 2, 2010 at 10:31 pmDa5id

    Just like in the original series, Char takes his mask off as early as the second episode.

    Good times. Good times.

  • November 3, 2010 at 9:05 pmKLAC

    still NOT watching till they include Chantal Strand’s voice in it as well.

  • November 9, 2010 at 7:17 amThe White Devil

  • December 2, 2010 at 7:25 pmRed Komet

    Full Frontal is like one of the most royal looking villains of gundam