Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin

Volume one cover of Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin manga
機動戦士ガンダム THE ORIGIN
(Kidō Senshi Gandamu The Origin)
Genre Space Opera, Military science fiction, Mecha, Drama
Written by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
Published by Kadokawa Shoten
English publisher
Viz Media (former)
Vertical Inc (current)
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Gundam Ace
Original run June 2001June 2011
Volumes 23 (12 in English)
Original video animation
Directed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
Takashi Imanishi
Produced by Osamu Taniguchi
Written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa
Music by Takayuki Hattori
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
Released February 28, 2015 November 19, 2016
Runtime 60 minutes each
Episodes 4
Original video animation
Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin: Loum Arc
Directed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
Takashi Imanishi
Produced by Osamu Taniguchi
Written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa
Music by Takayuki Hattori
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
Released Q3 2017 2018
Episodes 2

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (機動戦士ガンダム THE ORIGIN Kidō Senshi Gandamu The Origin) is a manga written and illustrated by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. It is a retelling of the story from the 1979 anime television series Mobile Suit Gundam, of which Yasuhiko was the original character designer.

An anime adaptation of the manga, focusing on the stories of Casval Rem Deikun (more famously known as Char Aznable) and his sister Artesia (aka Sayla Mass), produced by Sunrise began releasing in 2015. Yasuhiko is the chief director of the adaptation, with Sunrise veteran Takashi Imanishi as director, and Katsuyuki Sumisawa as the scriptwriter.[1]


The plot of the manga follows somewhat closely the plot of the original series. It is the year Universal Century 0079, and the eighth month of a vicious war between the Earth Federation and a breakaway nation of space colonists, the Principality of Zeon. The story follows the crew of the warship White Base, as they fight to ferry the experimental RX-78-02 Gundam mobile suit to the Federation base at Jaburo.

Although for the most part faithful to the original series' plot (all of the major events unfold in mostly the same manner as the TV series, though often in different locales), Yasuhiko has taken the liberty of changing certain elements in the series universe, giving a different character to the series and the struggle that unfolds. Primary among these is the presence of mobile suits in both sides well before the conflict begins—in fact, in the flashback sequences, both the Earth Federation Forces and Zeon use Guntanks in 0068, and they and the Guncannon mobile suit are described as "obsolete" and fit for target practice in the first volume (in the TV series proper, both the RX-75 and the RX-77 were as new as the RX-78 Gundam itself, designed to serve as long- and mid-range fire support units).

Other differences concern the breadth of the Gundam's journey to Jaburo. Where it's implied that the White Base's journey to Jaburo in the series was pretty much a circumnavigation of the globe unconnected to many real-world locations, Yasuhiko's journey places the White Base's landfall near Los Angeles, the headquarters of Garma Zabi (in the series, Garma was based out of a generic "New York"Origin in fact states the Zeon occupation HQ as Los Angeles City Hall, with Garma residing in Hollywood/Beverly Hills) and moves the craft steadily to the southeast, and down the South American coast—past Caracas, Venezuela and through Machu Picchu and into Brazil, where Jaburo, the headquarters of the Earth Federation, is located. This retelling cuts out some of the more trivial encounters seen in the original series, while keeping and expanding on important characters like Garma, Ramba Ral, and the Black Tri-Stars. As a direct result the events of Operation Odessa which takes place around the Ukrainian city of the same name, occur after the events of Jaburo, as opposed to the anime where they occur before.

Yasuhiko further finally tells the entire back story of the Gundam universe in the manga. After the successful defense of Jaburo, the story diverts into a very in-depth flashback, told primarily from the viewpoints of Sayla and Char (with a secondary thread being told from Amuro's POV) recounting the downfall of Zeon Zum Deikun, the rise of the Zabi family, the construction of Side 7 and the research into mobile suits, and leading up through a decade until the launching of the One Year War. It also goes into detail answering many previously unanswered questions such as the appearance of heretofore unseen Zeon mobile suits prior to the MS-05 Zaku I, how Dozle Zabi received his trademark scars and even the origin of Casval Deikun/Edward Mass' "Char Aznable" identity. Volume fourteen, deals with the Battle of Loum at the beginning of the One Year War, and is the last piece of the in-depth flashback.

The story shifted back on track to the original anime's storyline, featuring the White Base's involvement in the Federation's Operation Odessa, as well as including Kai Shiden's encounter with Miharu. Afterwards, the manga deals with the end of the Odessa campaign and (in another departure from the series) takes M'Quve and his Gyan out of the picture before he has a chance to confront the Gundam.



The series was first serialized in the magazine Gundam Ace in Japan beginning in 2002 and has since been collected in 23 tankōbon volumes. Both are published by Kadokawa Shoten under their Kadokawa Comics A imprint. Viz Comics attempted to translate the series and publish it in America in a quarterly, perfect-bound magazine-sized format, although low sales very quickly ended the American run.

Although Viz released 12 volumes of its English translation, they do not correspond with the Japanese volumes. The English volumes, with an average length between 100-130 pages were about half of that of the equivalent Japanese tankōbon, which ran anywhere between 200-270. The length varied as some contained just four chapters, some contained an additional "special" shorter side story, and others contained a full five chapters. The reason for this could be that the Japanese serialization focused on keeping distinct chapters. As a result, the English serialization ended up having a higher price point than its Japanese equivalent with only roughly half of the content. The Viz release stopped near the end of volume six in the Japanese version.

The popularity of the manga in Japan has led to the release of aizōban or Collector's Edition versions. Each collector's edition combines two tankōbon volumes (combining the beginning and end sections into one), creating large, leather bound, hardback editions with dozens of pages printed in full color, as opposed to about 5 pages per tankōbon.

At Otakon 2012, North American publisher Vertical announced[2] that it will publish an English language adaptation of the series in hardcover format similar to the Aizoban editions. The first volume was released on the March 26, 2013 and the series was completed with the publishing of the 12th volume on December 17, 2015.

English manga list

Volume Title Release date ISBN
1 Activation March 26, 2013 9781935654872 [3]
2 Garma June 25, 2013 9781935654889 [4]
3 Ramba Ral September 24, 2013 9781935654971 [5]
4 Jaburo December 17, 2013 9781935654988 [6]
5 Char & Sayla March 25, 2014 9781939130198 [7]
6 To War June 17, 2014 9781939130204 [8]
7 Battle Of Loum September 30, 2014 9781939130679 [9]
8 Operation Odessa December 16, 2014 9781939130686 [10]
9 Lalah April 28, 2015 9781941220153 [11]
10 Solomon June 23, 2015 9781941220160 [12]
11 A Cosmic Glow September 17, 2015 9781941220467 [13]
12 Encounters December 17, 2015 9781941220474 [14]


Sunrise announced in June 2011 that an anime adaptation of Gundam The Origin was in production.[15] In March 2014, it was announced it will be a four-episode OVA series with event screenings at Japanese theaters, in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Gundam, and centering on the stories of Casval Deikun and his sister Artesia. The first episode, titled The Blue-Eyed Casval (青い瞳のキャスバル Aoi Hitomi no Kyasubaru), premiered in limited Japanese theaters on February 28, 2015.[16][17] Sunrise will produce an English dub to be recorded at NYAV Post for the first time since Bandai retired their Gundam license.[18] Another two episode OVA series, Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin: Loum Arc, will be released in 2017 and 2018.[19]

Episode list

No. Title Release date
1 "I: Blue Eyed Casval"
"I Aoi Hitomi no Kyasubaru" (I 青い瞳のキャスバル) 
February 28, 2015

U.C. 0068 - While giving his speech to declare the Autonomous Republic of Munzo's independence from the Earth Federation, Zeon Zum Deikun suddenly dies of a heart attack. This causes mass riots in the colony against the Federation while Degwin Zabi, Deikun's deputy, rises to power. In the midst of the chaos, Deikun's children Casval and Artesia, along with Artesia's pet cat Lucifer and Deikun's old friend Jimba Ral, stow away aboard a cargo ship headed for Earth to escape from the Zabi regime.

Episode 1's theme song is Hoshikuzu no Sunadokei (星屑の砂時計, lit. "Stardust Hourglass") by Takayuki Hattori featuring Yu-yu. 
2 "II: Artesia's Sorrow"
"II Kanashimi no Aruteishia" (II 哀しみのアルテイシア) 
October 31, 2015

Three years have passed since Casval, Artesia and Jimba fled to Earth and sought refuge in the castle of Don Teabolo Mass, an aristocrat and trusted friend of the Deikuns, in Andalusia, Spain; Teabolo adopts the children and renames them Édouard and Sayla, respectively. After Jimba is killed in an assassination attack by mercenaries hired by Kycilia Zabi, the Yashima Group, whose president is a good friend of Teabolo, offers to relocate an injured Teabolo and the children to Texas Colony at Side 5: Loum. Upon their arrival, the children meet Char Aznable, who bears a striking resemblance to Édouard. Tragedy strikes the children when they receive word that their mother Astraia has died. After Lucifer dies, Édouard bids farewell to Sayla before heading to the Loum military academy. Meanwhile, Dozle Zabi invites Ramba Ral to participate in a top secret development project that will change the face of Zeon's military forever.

Episode 2's theme song is Kaze yo 0074 (風よ 0074, lit. "Wind of 0074") by Takayuki Hattori featuring Takumi Ishida. 
3 "III: Dawn of Rebellion"
"III Akatsuki no Hōki" (III 暁の蜂起) 
May 21, 2016[20]

Following a security issue at the spaceport involving an antique gun inside Char's suitcase, Édouard and Char switch their clothes and Char boards Édouard's flight, which is sabotaged by Zeon forces. Having faked his death at the cost of his friend, Édouard assumes the identity of Char and undergoes training as a Zeon cadet. During training, Char befriends a young Garma Zabi. Two years later, a Federation ship disobeys orders from Zeon's traffic control and inadvertently crashes into and destroys an agricultural block, enraging the Zeon colonists and sparking open rebellion. Seizing this chance, Char convinces Garma to lead their fellow cadets on a daring night attack against the local Federation garrison, completely overwhelming them and forcing their surrender. Meanwhile, Gihren Zabi orders the cancellation of the MS Project due to a lack of progress, but Professor Torenov Y. Minovsky convinces him to resume the project after discovering a technological breakthrough. Elsewhere, a young Amuro Ray arrives at Side 7 with his father.

Episode 3's theme song is Eien no Astraea (永遠のAstraea, lit. "Eternal Astraea") by Ko Shibasaki. 
4 "IV: Eve of Destiny"
"IV Unmei no Zenya" (IV 運命の前夜) 
November 19, 2016[21]

Following the success of the Dawn Rebellion, Degwin negotiates with Vice Admiral Revil to surrender all Federation assets and the complete withdrawal of Federation forces from Side 3 to prevent similar incidents from happening again. After bring reprimanded by Degwin for failure to look after Garma, Dozle sends Char - who motivated Garma into starting the rebellion - to Earth; in response, Char requests to become a mobile suit pilot when he returns. Feeling the burden of his responsibilities, Dozle proposes to cadet Zenna Mia. In the Earth city of Manaus, Char lands a job as a mobile worker pilot at a construction site. He meets a young Lalah Sune at a casino.

Episode 4's theme song is "On the Other Side of Space" by Hiroko Moriguchi. 


  2. "Vertical Adds Gundam: The Origin, Wolfsmund Manga". Anime News Network. 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-07-29.
  3. "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (1)". Vertical. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  4. "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (2)". Vertical. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  5. "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (3)". Vertical. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  6. "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (4)". Vertical. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  7. "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (5)". Vertical. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  8. "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (6)". Vertical. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  9. "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (7)". Vertical. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  10. "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (8)". Vertical. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  11. "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (9)". Vertical. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  12. "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (10)". Vertical. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  13. "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (11)". Vertical. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  14. "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (12)". Vertical. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  15. "Gundam The Origin Manga to Launch Anime Project". Anime News Network. 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2011-09-23.
  16. "Gundam the Origin Anime and Tomino Latest Slated for 2014-2015". Anime News Network. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  17. "より第1話「青い瞳のキャスバル」最新90秒予告映像が公式サイトで公開!". Gundamofficial.
  18. "Sunrise Partners With Right Stuf to Release Gundam Franchise Stateside". Anime News Network. 2014-10-11.
  19. Komatsu, Mikikazu (May 23, 2016). ""Gundam: The Origin" Anime Continues to "Battle Of Loum" Arc". Crunchyroll. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  20. "Gundam the Origin III Opens in Japan on May 21 With Collector's Edition BD, Streaming". Anime News Network. 2016-01-22. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  21. "Gundam the Origin IV Anime's Cast, November 19 Debut Revealed". Anime News Network. 2016-07-29. Retrieved 2016-07-29.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin
Preceded by
Gundam Build Fighters Try
Gundam metaseries (production order)
Succeeded by
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Preceded by
Gundam Universal Century timeline
U.C. 0068 – 0079
Succeeded by
Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO
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