68% of Japanese College Students Polled Have Never Seen Gundam
posted on by Amanda Ellard
The internationally famous Gundam metaseries enjoys continued attention among anime fans, but in truth there may be an increasing number of people who have not seen a single episode of the original Gundam series. Yoshiyuki Tomino's first series aired in 1979, and with 2016 college freshmen being born as early as 1997 or 1998, the percentage that watched the show is steadily decreasing. The My Navi website polled current Japanese college students and found the majority have never seen this classic anime.
Have you seen the Mobile Suit Gundam anime series?
- Yes- 32.4%
- No- 67.5%
- Yes- 40.2%
- No- 59.8%
- Yes- 24.4%
- No- 75.6%
With only 40% of men and 25% of women having seen Gundam, this is far from the majority. Some of the comments gathered from participants may help explain these findings.
Men who answered yes:
- "I've played the game and it was interesting." -21 years old, 4th year
- "Since my father liked Gundam, we watched it together." -19 years old, 2nd year
- "Because I saw it on T.V." -18 years old, 1st year
Men who answered no:
- "I don't really like anime and manga." -21 years old, 4th year
- "Even though my friends have recommended things like Gundam, I'm just not interested." -21 years old, 4th year
- "I don't know a good place to watch it at." -21 years old, 3rd year
Women who answered yes:
- "My older brother is a Gundam otaku, so, since I see it everyday, I naturally came to know about it." -18 years old, 1st year
- "Because my father watched it, I saw it alongside him." -21 years old, 4th year
- "In elementary school, it was the anime on when I came home in the evenings. At that time, without really knowing it, I had found my favorite voice actor." -23 years old, other
Women who answered no:
- "Because I don't have much of an interest in those mechanical sentai products." -19 years old, 2nd year
- "I feel like it's more geared towards men. Also, if you don't know something well, it doesn't give you much motivation to see it." -19 years old, 1st year
- "I wasn't interested in Gundam in the first place. I prefer things like Pokémon instead." -18 years old, 1st year
It seems as if, even if the Gundam titles and products are known names, the genre and contents themselves are perhaps less appealing to the college demographic. For many people who did see it, it was through the influence of their father or brother, too.
A poll last year discovered that 84% of Japanese college students have never read Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball manga.
Check out this other poll of what fans say are the Top 10 Gundam series of all time.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history