Superior Defender Gundam Force

Superior Defender Gundam Force

Cover art to SD Gundam Force DVD Vol. 6
(Esudī Gandamu Fōsu)
Genre Mecha, Comedy, Action
Anime television series
Directed by Yuuichi Abe
Music by Yoshihiro Ike
Studio Sunrise
Licensed by
Network TV Tokyo
English network
Original run January 7, 2004 December 29, 2004
Episodes 52

Superior Defender Gundam Force, or SD Gundam Force (Japanese: SDガンダムフォース Hepburn: Esudī Gandamu Fōsu), is a 2004 Japanese anime television series produced by Sunrise. The series was released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Gundam media franchise, and was the first Gundam series to be entirely animated in cel-shaded 3D computer graphics (3DCG), and the first full-3DCG series to be broadcast on Japanese television.[1] The show was directed by Yūichi Abe.


A Japan/America co-production, 26 episodes of Superior Defender Gundam Force initially aired on the Cartoon Network in the U.S., and later 52 episodes were broadcast on TV Tokyo in Japan, making it the longest Gundam series ever broadcast. The TV show was the first Japanese anime not to be released on VHS; its home video releases are only available on DVD with each containing three episodes. Though the final 26 episodes were not aired on television in America, fans petitioned for the second half of the series to be released and the last 26 episodes were released in an English-dubbed DVD set in 2008.

The title of the show is a reference to the SD Gundam, or Super-Deformed Gundam sub-franchise, though for this show, SD stands for Superior Defender. It is a crossover series based on the three SD Gundam settings that were used in earlier SD Gundam anime and manga: SD Command Chronicles, a science-fiction-styled militaristic setting; Musha Gundam, a setting with samurai-themed robots; and Knight Gundam, a medieval European fantasy-themed setting. It also contains many references and homages to the standard Gundam shows, especially those of the Universal Century, Future Century, and After Colony timelines. In a sharp contrast to the dark nature of most of the other Gundam series, SD Gundam Force is relatively lighthearted, though it does at times get more serious as the series goes on, it is never as dark as the more "traditional" Gundam series.


The story is set in the futuristic city of Neotopia, a happy peaceful place where humans and robots co-exist, until the Dark Axis, an evil force from another dimension, arrives.

Aware of the Dark Axis in advance, Neotopia established the secret Super Dimensional Guard to combat the invaders while keeping the conflict a secret from the public. A young boy named Shute becomes involved accidentally in the first battle between the Dark Axis and the SDG's Gundam Force robot hero, Captain Gundam. Shute's friendship with the Captain is critical to activating Captain's Soul Drive, the mysterious power source that is the key to victory. As the fighting continues, Gundams from other dimensions such as Zero and Bakunetsumaru, arrive to join the battle as allies. As the Gundam Force beats back the mono-eyed invaders the battle spreads beyond Neotopia into the dimensions of Lacroa and Ark, leading into a final confrontation with the supreme leader of the Dark Axis - General Zeong.


The characters of SD Gundam Force are split into two major factions- Super Dimensional Guard and Dark Axis. Amongst these are various sub-factions/alliances, usually designated by their members land of origin.

Cast & Crew

Character Japanese Voice actor English Voice actor
Shute Romi Park Deborah Sale Butler
Captain Gundam Hiroshi Kamiya Doug Erholtz
Bakunetsumaru Susumu Chiba Yuri Lowenthal
Zero Mitsuki Saiga Aliki Theofilopoulos
Guneagle, Daisuke Namikawa Dave Wittenberg
Gunbike Eiji Yanagisawa Paul St. Peter
Gundivers/Gunchoppers Kazuya Nakai
Gunpanzer Eiji Yanagisawa
Entengo Kentaro Ito Danny Katiana
Fenn Doug Erholtz
Chief Haro, Mark Takahiro Yoshimizu Scott Jasper
Juli Kaoru Morota Kate Savage
Kao Lyn Danny Katiana
Bell Wood Isao Yamagishi Aliki Theofilopoulos
Sayla Akiko Nakagawa Michelle Ruff
Nana Akiko Nakagawa
Keiko Aya Hisakawa Kate Savage
Mayor Margaret Gathermoon Rei Sakuma Philece Sampler
Leonardo Takashi Nagasako Paul St. Peter
Elmechu Sawa Ishige
Hogaremaru Daisuke Namikawa
Genkimaru Yumiko Kobayashi Wendee Lee
Daishogun of Perfect Virtue Juurouta Kosugi
Commander Sazabi, Zako Red Shuichi Ikeda Dominic Joseph
Zapper Zaku Eiji Yanagisawa Danny Katiana
Grappler Gouf Mantaro Iwao Doug Erholtz
Destroyer Dom Hiroshi Matsumoto Scott Jasper
Professor Gerbra/Madnug Akio Ōtsuka Michael McConnohie
Kibaomaru Masayuki Tanaka Jamieson Price
Tallgeese, Epyon Taiten Kusunoki Paul St. Peter
Deathscythe/Deed Kentaro Ito Dave Wittenberg
Ashuramaru Katsuyuki Konishi Dominic Joseph
Cobramaru Kiyoyuki Yanada
Zakos Kentaro Ito, Takashi Nagasako, Hisanori Koyatsu, Daisuke Kita, Tamotsu Nishiwaki Aliki Theofilopoulos, Doug Erholtz (Zaku Hour co-host)
Pawn Leos Takayuki Kondou
Zakerello Gate Takashi Nagasako Paul St. Peter
Patrol GM Hiroshi Matsumoto
Relehimana Miya De Lacroa Miyu Matsuki Kate Savage (first half), Kari Wahlgren (second half)
Nataku Takayuki Kondou
Battle Tamotsu Nishiwaki
Rock Takuya Kirimoto
Koah Erino Hazuki Michelle Ruff
Doah Yū Sugimoto Kate Savage
Noah Kaori Matoi Philece Sampler
Grey Doga Dominic Joseph
Prio Dominic Joseph
Young Train Dominic Joseph

Japanese Cast

English Cast

Episode list

  1. His Name is Captain (その名はキャプテン)
  2. Soul Drive, Activate! (輝け!ソウルドライブ)
  3. Zero, the Flying Knight (天駆ける騎士 ゼロ)
  4. Attack the Enemy Musai! (敵のムサイ艦を叩け!)
  5. Gundam Force, Team Up! (結成!ガンダムフォース)
  6. The Blazing Samurai Comes to Neotopia (炎の武者、ネオトピアを征く)
  7. Go! Gunbike! (激走!ガンバイカー!)
  8. A Princess, A Cake, and the Winged Knight (姫とケーキと翼の騎士)
  9. Bakunetsumaru's Struggle (爆熱丸奮闘記)
  10. Gundam Force Triple Attack! (必殺!トリプルアタック!)
  11. The Mystery of Lacroa Part 1: Arrival (迷宮のラクロア・前編)
  12. The Mystery of Lacroa Part 2: Trapped (迷宮のラクロア・中編)
  13. The Mystery of Lacroa Part 3: Return (迷宮のラクロア・後編)
  14. Undercover Mission! Learn the Gundam Force's Secrets! (ガンダムフォースの秘密にせまれ)
  15. Mach Wings: GunEagle! (音速の翼 ガンイーグル!)
  16. Masters of the Deep Sea: GunDivers! (深海の覇者 ガンダイバー!)
  17. Ashuramaru: The Old Rival Returns (新たな刺客、その名は阿修羅丸)
  18. Fly, Captain! The SDG Base Hangs by a Thread! (S.D.G.基地 危機一髪!)
  19. Showdown! Bakunetsumaru vs. Ashuramaru (決闘!爆熱丸対阿修羅丸)
  20. Fenn's Disaster (フェンの災難)
  21. Awakening! Feather Dragon (覚醒!フェザードラゴン)
  22. Attack of the Big-Zam (ビグ・ザム強襲)
  23. Fire Up! Captain System (発動!キャプテンシステム)
  24. Trouble! Stolen Soul Drive (ピンチ!ソウルドライブ強奪)
  25. Neotopia's Moment of Truth (ネオトピア最大の危機)
  26. The Final Battle! Commander vs. Captain (決戦!コマンダー対キャプテン)
  27. Into the Dark Axis! (突入!ダークアクシズ)
  28. Ways of the Warrior (三つの道)
  29. No More Ultimate Techniques! Terror of the Minov Boundary Sea (必殺技封印!?ミノフス境海の脅威)
  30. Big Comeback! We're the Heroes? (復活!俺たちが主役だ!?)
  31. Evil Sword Epyon (魔剣エピオン)
  32. Epyon's Assault! (エピオン強襲!)
  33. Rescue Operation: The Cursed Princess Lacroa (奪還!呪われしラクロア姫)
  34. Princess in a Black Dress (黒き衣のラクロア姫)
  35. Genkimaru, Samurai Number One! (天下一等!元気丸〜っ!の巻)
  36. Rice Balls and the Garden of Wisdom (おにぎりと英知の園)
  37. Fierce Fight! Deathscythe the Knight of Darkness (激突!闇のデスサイズ)
  38. Princess Rele, Revived! (リリ姫、復活!)
  39. Gerbera's Invitation (ガーベラの呼び声)
  40. Kibaomaru's Attack!! (騎馬王丸、襲来!)
  41. Shute and the Princess Captured! (囚われたシュウトとリリ)
  42. War-torn Ark (戦乱の天宮)
  43. The Ultimate Challenge! Kibaomaru vs Shute (究極の一手!騎馬王丸対シュウト)
  44. Bakushinmaru, Flare Up!! (爆心丸、炎上!!)
  45. Gundam Force, Assembled!! (ガンダムフォース集合!!)
  46. The Tears of Cobramaru (虚武羅丸の涙)
  47. Musha Daishinshou Unleashed! (起動!武者大神将)
  48. Tenchijo on Fire! Genkimaru's Roar!! (炎の天地城、元気丸の叫び!)
  49. Prelude to Destruction: Gerbera's True Identity (破滅への序曲、ガーベラの正体)
  50. Total Annihilation?! The Threat of the General (世界消失!?ジェネラルの脅威)
  51. The Final Battle! The General vs Everyone! (大決戦!ジェネラルvsみんな)
  52. The Voyage Home (帰り道)

Title cards

Each episode's title is presented over a card whose art changed as the series progressed to reflect the evolution of the main cast:

Differences between English and Japanese versions

Although SD Gundam Force was designed with US standards in mind, subtle differences exist between the English- and Japanese-language versions of the show. These include:

  • OP 1 "Sunrise" by Puffy AmiYumi (eps. 1-13)
  • OP 2 "Love & Peace" by Little by Little (eps. 14-26)
  • OP 3 "Taiyou ni Kogarete" by Harebare (eps. 27-52)
  • ED 1 "Shinjiru Chikara" by Whiteberry (eps. 1-13) - A Zako soldier steals Sayla's umbrella, prompting Shute to give chase. Initially unsuccessful, Captain convinces him not to give up and Shute finally manages to retrieve it.
  • ED 2 "Kokoro Odoru" by nobodyknows+ (eps. 14-26) - Various members of the cast dancing.
  • ED 3 "Kimi to Boku" by I WiSH (eps. 27-38) - The Gundamusai flying through the Minov Sea.
  • ED 4 "Koishikute..." by Les.R (eps. 39-52) - Scenes of Princess Rele.

Adaptations & spinoffs


SD Gundam Force has had a few manga adaptations. These include: a serialized retelling of the show, a prequel manga, and a loosely connected side story.

Similar to most TV-to-manga adaptations, the 3-volume adaptation makes various subtle but notable changes for pacing reasons. Examples include: the complete absence of Gunbike/Gunpanzer, and Madnug managing to override his brainwashing, only to be killed by Zeong for his betrayal.

The prequel manga presents untold stories of Captain Gundam, Bakunetsumaru, Zero, Zapper Zaku, Grappler Gouf and Destroyer Dom. The side story, SD Gundam Force Emaki Musharetsuden, is set in the land of Ark and focuses on a band of heroic Musha Gundams.

Video games

Two games have been released based on the show: a side scrolling platform game for the Game Boy Advance (GBA), and a 3D action adventure game for the PlayStation 2. The GBA game retells the story of the first 26 episodes of the show and allows players to play as either Captain Gundam, Bakunetsumaru, or Zero the Winged Knight. Characters can be switched at any time (for the cost of one bar from the special attack meter) and players need to use each character's strengths to successfully complete the game.

The PS2 title was a much grander affair, presenting a brand new story. The mysterious Dimensional Halo appears in Neotopia and creates mirror versions of Neotopia, Lacroa and Ark. The Gundam Force are forced to battle their way through these copy dimensions and even face their own evil doppelgangers to reach De Scar Road and defeat the Dimensional Halo. Each Gundam Force member has a variety of new forms they can achieve including one super secret form for each which can only be unlocked by a code. The code was presented on a Japanese trading card and eventually filtered to the Western fandom. The game eventually allows the player to play as a Zako soldier.

The Dimensional Halo and it's minions were based on the weapons of the Zanscare Empire in Victory Gundam. The game also features further references to the earlier UC, FC and AC timeline in the form of new villains to populate the mirror dimensions.

The second track used in the series' closing credits, Kokoro Odoru by nobodyknows+, featured in the 2005 Nintendo DS rhythm action game Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan.

The Ride

During the show's run in Japan, a limited time attraction was opened. Titled SD Gundam Force: Destructive Daishogun Appears!!Zako?, the twenty-minute show used a special theater to present a whole new SD Gundam Force adventure with which the audience could interact. Seemingly set in between episodes 26 and 27, although overall it is best treated as being non-canon, the stars of the show are the Zakos who have been forced to become the SDG's cleaning crew. The Lacroan villain Da Jarle Knight of the Hammer, and the Ark Destructive Daishogun Hakaimaru, seek to unify the world with the mysterious Zakarello Mobile. Da Jarle is able to change the appearance of others and Hakaimaru has a bath fetish that leads him to create a 'Super Bathhouse' command station. The audience and the Zakos join the Gundam Force as they attempt to stop this new alliance.

Original characters were created for the show by Masato Ichishiki, author of the SD Gundam Musha Maruden/SD Gundam Force Emaki Musharetsuden/SD Gundam Musha Banchō Fūunroku manga. Motion capture data was taken from Japanese pro-wrestler Shinya Hashimoto for Hakaimaru's movements. While Hakaimaru appears to be a generic Musha Gundam, Da Jarle resembles an OZ-12SMS Taurus.

The video portion of this attraction is included as an extra on the complete Japanese SD Gundam Force DVD box set.


Season 1 of the series aired in the U.S. four months ahead of the Japanese release the first Gundam series to do so. However, Season 2 was not broadcast in North American markets due to the first season's disappointing ratings.

Also, at the time it was aired, SD Gundam Force was the least-watched Gundam title in Japan, having averaged a 2.1% TV rating in the Kantō region during its broadcast.[2]

SD Gundam Force currently holds the record for the worst rated series by viewers on Anime News Network at 2.63/10.

See also


Preceded by
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
Gundam metaseries (production order)
Succeeded by
Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO
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