Gundam thread: the Zeta Edition, please continue
TO ALL GUNDAM NEWCOMERS WITH ALL THEIR IMPORTANT QUESTIONS, GET TRAINED BY THE RED COMET HIMSELF!
So you think you got what it takes to engage in Mobile Suit combat? Well, let's take a look where to begin with first.
Gundam is one of the most iconic robot franchises from Japan. Several TV series, movies, Ova, manga and video games playing in multiple universes have spawned at this point. Every new watcher will ask themselves first where to start and what series are even worthwhile? This isn't so easy to answer, every Gundam show has it's own little spin and every fan will tell you something different. However you can close down your options based on your personal interests. For this, I will give you a brief guide
As you can see, the Universal Century is the biggest Universe in Gundam. It is known for having pioneered the real robot genre and has usually a more serious and dark tone to it. If you are really interested in Gundam and what started it all, this should be your starting point. Production order is usually recommended.
In case you have actually seen series before but you need to refresh your memories a quick and rather bare bones timeline of the previous U.C. events (Careful, spoilers!):
Mobile Suit Gundam: The One Year War (U.C.0079) was a conflict between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon (Side 3) led by the Zabi clan. It stemmed from the fact that Zeon wanted to break away from the colonial rule imposed upon them by the Federation and left the other Sides (Space Colonies) either allying with the Federation, in ruin from Zeon attack, or claiming neutrality. Of course Gihren Zabi was a Space Hitler to justify our heroes aboard the White Base and the Federation winning despite the fact that space colonies wanting autonomy is a valid claim (which seems to be the basis of Unicorn currently).
Zeta Gundam: The Gryps Conflict (U.C.0087) was fought between the Earth Federation which, since the OYW, had become highly corrupt at the hands of the Titans, and the Anti-Earth Union Group, which was a political faction within the Earth Federation that opposed the fascist policies of the Titans. During this conflict the Axis, a group that consisted of the remains of Zeon who had retreated to the asteroid Axis after being defeated in the OYW, emerged and became the true victor of the Gryps Conflict by playing the Federation and AEUG against each other in order to build an army that would be known as Neo Zeon. It's important to note for Unicorn that Mineva Lao Zabi ("Audrey Burn"), Dozle Zabi's daughter, was used as a figurehead by Haman Karn to give her the ability to lead the Axis and Neo Zeon due to Mineva being the last surviving member of the Zabi clan.
ZZ Gundam: (U.C.0088-89) Not anime, therefore it doesn't count. Seriously though, at the end the first Neo Zeon movement eventually ends with the death of Haman Karn ;__; because of a civil war in the ranks of the Zeon sparked by Glemy Toto who proclaims himself as Gihren Zabi's heir but who dies as well.
Char's Counterattack: (U.C.0093) A second Neo Zeon movement is headed by Char Aznable (who is the son of Zeon Zum Deikun, the founder of the Republic of Zeon prior to it becoming a Principality under the Zabis) who fell off the map after Zeta Gundam. This is where the Londo Bell was first introduced since it was a ship under the command of Bright Noa (who commanded the White Base in the original Gundam and the Argama in Zeta and ZZ). Char's genius plan for this new Neo Zeon was to speed up the migration of humanity to space by purchasing the Axis asteroid from the Federation government and chucking it at the Earth in order to make it uninhabitable. It was stopped by Amuro because he was the good guy, but both Char and Amuro died as a result of this.
Gundam Unicorn: (U.C.0096) From what it looks like so far, remnants of Neo Zeon wish to acquire the contents of Laplace's box so they can use them to justify and gain support for another war based on the ideal of self-governance. Mineva is against this, but fails to stop the war from erupting obviously. Full Frontal, as a result of being a Char clone (literally for once), is most likely the one these remnants are rallying around.
The Alternate Universe represents all the newer produced series who offer a variety of different shows. They often reference U.C. and have certain gimmicks to give them their own identity. They are however contentual independent from each other.
If you are interested in pro and cons, /m/ has made a chart, albeit as stated, opinions differ greatly and it should be taken more as an orientation than gospel.
Lastly, if you are still unsure, Ghostligtning has made a survey to find out your gateway Gundam:
http://werememberlovespecials.wordpress ... ay-gundam/
Of course, Gundam wouldn't be Gundam without advertising plastic toys or what they are called among experts: "Gunpla". If you are interested in model building yourself, you should check out the following links
http://otakurevolution.com/content/laym ... d-tutorial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIvB95cV ... pindex=109
http://gundamguy.blogspot.de/ (also good source for general Gundam News)
Well then, any more questions, address yourself to one of the resident poster in the thread. Happy watching and building and always try to remember - in war to keep the upper hand, you have to think two or three moves ahead of the enemy!