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NEWS: Mobile Suit Gundam Franchise Reaches Sales Record of 145.7 Billion Yen in 2024 Fiscal Year




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LightningCount



Joined: 04 Mar 2018
Posts: 230
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2024 11:33 am Reply with quote
Forbes had an article that sales have doubled in the last ten years for the franchise. In terms of the US component, I think the increased exposure through streaming and social media marketing and availability of kits in physical retailers has played a part in this. I also think a major turning point globally was the steady influx of Gunpla-based series, like Build Fighters, which made for ease of entry to the franchise and its products and featured lighter themes and memes more in line with the current anime market.

As someone who started into the franchise roughly 25 years ago, content-wise, I actually think it's been a really mixed bag since the end of the 1990s productions, and the last ten years have been especially hit or miss. I didn't finish G-Reco, so I won't comment on that, and I couldn't get through any of the Gunpla-based series, so I won't include those. But just from what I've watched all the way through:

The Origin and Thunderbolt were top notch and grabbed me like top-tier Gundams of the past. SEED Freedom was really, really good, even if it jumped the shark a bit. Narrative, Doan, Hathaway 1, and G-Witch all had points of interest but were ultimately underwhelming for me as a whole to the point that 2011's controversial AGE was more memorable and enjoyable. Iron-Blooded Orphans was the low point for me, as while it had good intentions, it felt really messy and unsure of what it wanted to be, and it was very hard to get through.

While not to the extent of Star Wars, I feel like the Gundam brand has been watered down a bit. Financials are great, but I just mean in terms of an interesting property one wants to invest time in. It seems very scattered, doing fast-forwarded series and almost random prestige projects. Narrative and Doan were fairly unnecessary, and Hathaway 1 can't really be fairly judged in terms of story until I see more movies of it--which are far off. Right now it just seems like an F-91 get in and get out movie. Meanwhile, G-Witch was so eager to get in and out that it didn't have enough meat on its bones and the mobile suits weren't given enough time to develop with the world. While not as much as IBO, it had that CliffsNotes feel. It rested its hat on its characters, but many of its characters did not develop interestingly enough outside of teen school drama, and many characters who had more potential were quickly offed or sidelined shortly thereafter. It was especially odd considering the whole angle of it being about companies developing mobile suits and the whole overly grand prologue that the main series felt a bit divorced from. G-Witch was a whole new universe, but it is quickly being moved on from. It wasn't something that was rounded enough as presented as a world to warrant more episodes or spinoffs, so I'm fine with that, but at the same time, it makes me wonder about the commitment to world-building and atmosphere in Gundam these days. If it doesn't make that stand, it will become more and more hollow like Star Wars.

Of course, this is just my opinion and my feelings. I understand that a lot of these found audiences that resonated with them and that the money was made. I just don't have as high of an opinion of Gundam these days where I'm hyped for new projects based on the recent track record, and if you put me in a room with, say, 20 anime fans, there might be one above me in terms of passion for the franchise.
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Dnautics



Joined: 03 Aug 2022
Posts: 80
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2024 12:20 pm Reply with quote
Well that's good I guess? The last Gundam series was targeted for teenagers and it really showed in the writing. It was also shorter than all the stand-alone Gundam shows that came before it (24 episodes). If the Gundam creators want my money they will have to step up and write something compelling for both the younger generation and the older generation. Witch of Mercury is forgettable, not a series I will be revisiting.
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Impermanence



Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 17
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2024 5:13 pm Reply with quote
LightningCount wrote:
Meanwhile, G-Witch was so eager to get in and out that it didn't have enough meat on its bones and the mobile suits weren't given enough time to develop with the world.

Given it got cut off at the knees when they thought they had 52 episodes to work with, I imagine plenty of worldbuilding would have happened if Bandai hadn't unceremoniously yanked the cord.

They appear to hate money.
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John the Dark Lord



Joined: 19 Jun 2020
Posts: 236
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2024 5:59 pm Reply with quote
Impermanence wrote:
Given it got cut off at the knees when they thought they had 52 episodes to work with, I imagine plenty of worldbuilding would have happened if Bandai hadn't unceremoniously yanked the cord.

They appear to hate money.

Does this piece of info come from an official source? I've read some interviews with the staff and I don't remember anyone saying the series was supposed to be longer.
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db999



Joined: 23 Dec 2017
Posts: 303
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2024 9:18 pm Reply with quote
John the Dark Lord wrote:
Does this piece of info come from an official source? I've read some interviews with the staff and I don't remember anyone saying the series was supposed to be longer.

As far as I know, no one who was part of the show said anything about the show being intended to run for more than 25 episodes. People were just speculating that it would because 1, most Gundam shows get around 50 episodes, and 2 by episode 15 or 16 there was a lot of story that the series had to get through to conclude and lots of people didn’t think the series would be able to wrap everything up in only 10 episodes. I was one of those people but while I think the ending is a little bit rushed I think it mostly did wrap everything up satisfactorily in those 25 episodes.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 11438
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2024 10:57 pm Reply with quote
db999 wrote:
As far as I know, no one who was part of the show said anything about the show being intended to run for more than 25 episodes. People were just speculating that it would because 1, most Gundam shows get around 50 episodes, and 2 by episode 15 or 16 there was a lot of story that the series had to get through to conclude and lots of people didn’t think the series would be able to wrap everything up in only 10 episodes. I was one of those people but while I think the ending is a little bit rushed I think it mostly did wrap everything up satisfactorily in those 25 episodes.

I think they did as well as they could wrapping things up but it still felt like they tried to condense 50 episodes worth of plot into 24 episodes. Or at least the second cour felt like it was trying to do 37 episodes worth of story in 12 episodes.
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Deacon Blues



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 390
Location: Albuquerque, NM
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2024 2:53 pm Reply with quote
Impermanence wrote:
Given it got cut off at the knees when they thought they had 52 episodes to work with, I imagine plenty of worldbuilding would have happened if Bandai hadn't unceremoniously yanked the cord.

They appear to hate money.

There is no truth to this statement. It was NEVER stated that it would be that long, and it was clear from the initial interviews that it would be a two cour show. Fans REALLY need to stop parroting this misinformation and acting like Bandai had an ax to grind from the beginning.

The show pulled in the massive profits for the past year. Clearly they DON'T hate money.
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