May 12, 2021
The massively influential Mobile Suit Gundam franchise is still as popular as ever, but Bandai's mecha phenomenon hasn't made a huge splash in the mainstream press since the release of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. This could finally change, however, with the upcoming release of Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway on Netflix.
Beginning life as novels written by the series' creator, Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway is the anime adaptation of a story penned over 30 years ago but is perhaps more topical today than when it was first written. Here's what fans should know about the upcoming Gundam movies.
Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway's Plot
The film series' plot takes place in the Gundam franchise's original Universal Century timeline, 12 years after the Second Neo Zeon War. By this time, Zeon has been accepted back into the Earth Federation but said Federation is still incredibly distrustful of their former enemies. As a result, they send Manhunter units in to attack and deport those that they deem undesirable, creating a culling in the Earth Federation.
Combating this is the group known as Mafty, which is led by Bright Noah's son, Hathaway. Hathaway takes the name Navue Erin and engages in acts of vengeance against the Federation, all while reflecting upon his own life and the life of both Amuro Ray and Char Aznable. This draws even greater attention from the Earth Federation, namely Kenneth Sleg and the Circe Unit.
Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway's Trailer
Hathaway's trailers showcase the series' glossy pseudo-CG animation, as well as showing off the general tone, scope and story. Glimpses of newspaper clippings show that the world views the terrorist Navue Erin as a potential equivalent to Char Aznable, and the tone suggests an obviously tenuous peace. Seen during the peeks we get of the battle sequences is also none other than the Penelope Gundam, a particularly robust unit that debuted in the original novels.
Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway: News to Know
Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway got its start in 1989 with the publication of the Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway's Flash novels. The books were written by Yoshiyuki Tomino, who is best-known for both creating the franchise as a whole and his infamous "kill 'em all" trope. Published through Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko, there were three novels in total, which canonically serve as sequels to the novel version of the classic story, Char's Counterattack.
What's fitting, given its start as three books, is that the animated adaptation of the story will be released as three movies. The film series was announced in 2018 following the release of the film Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative. The series was meant to be released starting last July, but the global pandemic pushed this intended release much further back. The next planned release had two different dates in May, with the first film finally coming out in Japan and China this month on the 11th.
Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway's Release Date
The delayed-release of Hathaway in Eastern territories means that the West has had an even longer wait to finally watch the first of the three planned movies. Thankfully, it will only be a little bit longer, with the first movie, Hathaway's Flash, finally being made available to international audiences next month (July).
Netflix has secured the distribution rights to the film, which will be available on the streaming service starting on July 1 of this year. It will join several other entries in the Gundam franchise that have also found a home on Netflix, such as Iron-Blooded Orphans and Gundam Unicorn. That means fans have only a few weeks before they can finally see Hathaway Noah in his mobile suit and in action.