Friday, February 05, 2010

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Gundam's 30th Anniversary Celebration

February marks a big one for the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise, leaving little wonder as to why it is this month's anime pick (well, I'm also a big Gundam fan...). Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Bandai and Sunrise are going (almost) all out with its Gundam programming via three big names in anime digital distribution--YouTube (AnimeChannel, BandaiChannel's YT portal), Crunchyroll, and Anime News Network--to hype the February 20th Japanese debut of Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn), the centerpiece of their commemoration (available on Blu-ray via Amazon on March 12).

Different series will be debuting first at one site before showing up on the others at a later date--all in their entirety and for a limited time only. On Feb. 1, the original Mobile Suit Gundam TV series (dub only...still) appeared on Crunchyroll, and its sequel, the much-lauded Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, opened at Anime News Network (both preceding Unicorn chronologically). On Feb. 20, the "Alternate World" series, such as Wing, SEED, Destiny, and 00 (Season 1), will made available in either their dubbed or subbed forms (depending on the site), with both MSG and Zeta being available on all three sites. Most of the series will bow out on April 22, with the remaining ones wrapping up on May 30.

To make the whole experience easy and user-friendly, BandaiChannel produced quite the nice info page. It's attractively designed and should prove useful for those new to Gundam. Descriptions of the franchise and all of the Universal Century series and movies (in chronological order, no less) are given, as well as links to the streaming sites (only for the titles listed in red). "Alternate World" (or "Universe," if you prefer the old term) series are given the same treatment, but with the most recent series listed atop (only the ones above). One of the best features of the page is a colorized timeline of the schedule, which should help managing your time a little more simpler.

In each monthly "free anime pick" post up to May, I'll make note of the new Gundam series being streamed. Hopefully by then, they'll put up the other works on the info page that isn't in red. It seems a little odd that they would just note the other UC titles (and also not mention the other AW ones, including the already-released G Gundam) and leave the rest of the year empty...

--Gundam Series Streaming Information Web Page--

Mobile Suit Gundam (dub) (Feb. 1 - April 22)

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (sub) (Feb. 1 - April 22)

Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn)
-- YouTube -- Crunchyroll -- ANN --



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