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Gundam: How (and where) to watch the legendary mecha anime from start to finish

Multiple timelines of political intrigue await!

Mobile Suit Gundam screenshot
Image credit: Bandai Namco Filmworks

There are few franchises more important to anime history than Gundam. With its interplanetary battles involving giant robots and deep political statements, it has influenced countless shows and video games in the decades since Mobile Suit Gundam debuted in 1979. Since then, Gundam has grown into a $710 million-a-year industry, with new shows, video games, and figurine kits coming out every year.

With more than 50 shows, films, and OVAs in the Gundam franchise, it is incredibly daunting to figure out where to start watching the anime. Making life more difficult is that the multiple timelines within the Gundam universe make it tough to know where to start. Whether you’re looking to tackle the legendary series for the first time or you’re returning to the cockpit for a fresh experience, here is our recommendation for the best Gundam watch orders.

How to watch Gundam in chronological order

Gundam 00 Screenshot
Image credit: Bandai Namco Filmworks

Every series and film in the Gundam franchise can fall into one of two categories depending on which timeline they take place in and how much they interact with other shows in the franchise. Those two categories are:

  • Mainline Universal Century – These shows belong to the long, connected narrative that dies most of the Gundam universe together
  • Alternate Universe – These shows have no bearing on the larger Gundam franchise and can be viewed entirely on their own.

Most fans will recommend that you start your Gundam journey with the Mainline Universal Century, which includes the original Mobile Suit Gundam series that started everything off. However, you can easily watch any of the Alternate Universe shows instead to get a taste of the Gundam franchise without needing to watch quite as many shows and movies.

Here is a breakdown of which shows to watch in each of these categories in their chronological order.

Mainline Universal Century timeline

Mobile Suit Gundam explosion
Image credit: Bandai Namco Filmworks

Starting with the original Mobile Suit Gundam, these are the shows that define the iconic Gundam franchise and have made it one of the most important anime series of all time. There are a lot of shows and films to tackle in it, though, so we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible to follow.

It all starts with Mobile Suit Gundam, which is often referred to as Gundam 0079 within the fandom. This is the first show in the Gundam franchise and establishes most of what would become standard in the series going forward. The Mainline Universal Century timeline all have an interconnected story that builds off of each other, so you need to at least be familiar with previous entries to follow the plot.

The shows in the Gundam Mainline Universal Century Timeline are:

Alternate Universe Timeline

The Witch From Mercury screenshot
Image credit: Bandai Namco Filmworks

Many of the shows below take place in different timelines to the Universal Century listed above. Other than the aesthetics of the Gundam, they have very little bearing on the other shows in the franchise. As such, they can be viewed in any order you like.

We’ve made a note of which timeline each entry belongs to so it is easier for you to see which ones build off of each other and should be viewed together.

  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam (Future Century)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (After Colony)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (After Colony)
  • After War Gundam X (After War)
  • Gundam: Mission to the Rise (No Timeline State)
  • Turn a Gundam (Correct Century)
  • Gundam Evolve (No Timeline State)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (Cosmic Era)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED C.E. 73: Stargazer (Cosmic Era)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny (Cosmic Era)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (Anno Domini)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 The Movie: A Wakening of the Trailblazer (Anno Domini)
  • Ring of Gundam (No Timeline Stated)
  • SD Gundam (No Timeline Stated)
  • SD Gundam Force (No Timeline Stated)
  • SD Gundam World Heroes (No Timeline Stated)
  • Mobile Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G (Our Century)
  • Gundam Build Fighters (Our Century)
  • Gundam Build Fighters Try (Our Century)
  • Gundam Build Fighters Battlogue (Our Century)
  • Gundam Build Fighters: GM’s Counterattack (Our Century)
  • Gundam Build Divers (Our Century)
  • Gundam Build Divers Re:Rise (Our Century)
  • Gundam Build Divers: Battlogue (Our Century)
  • Gundam Build Real (Our Century)
  • Gundam Build Metaverse (Our Century)
  • Gundam Breaker Battlogue (Our Century)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE (Advanced Generation)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam-san (No Timeline Stated)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (Post Disaster)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury Prologue episode (Ad Stella)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury (Ad Stella)

How to watch Gundam in release order

Iron Blooded Orphans screenshot
Image credit: Bandai Namco Filmworks

Don’t fancy trying to pick which of the timelines you want to watch first? You can always watch Gundam in release order, which is probably the most straightforward way to tackle this legendary series. It is a big undertaking but Gundam’s place in anime history warrants at least an attempt.

Keep in mind that most of these shows aren’t actually connected in a meaningful way, so jumping between them like this can be confusing. This means that this is one of the rare times that we don’t recommend watching a franchise in release order.

  • Mobile Suit Gundam (1979)
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (1986)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (1988)
  • Mobile Suit SD Gundam (1988-1993)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (1989)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (1991)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (1992)
  • Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (1993)
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam (1994)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (1995)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (1996)
  • After War Gundam X (1996)
  • Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (1997)
  • Gundam: Mission to the Rise (1998)
  • Turn A Gundam (1999)
  • G-Saviour (2000)
  • Gundam Evolve (2001)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Seed (2002)
  • SD Gundam Force (2003)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War (2004)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny (2004)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: Apocalypse 0079 (2006)
  • Mobile Suit Seed Gundam SEED C.E. 73 Stargazer (2006)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (2007)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO 2: Gravity Force (2008)
  • Ring of Gundam (2009)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn (2010)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 The Movie: A Wakening of the Trailblazer (2010)
  • Mobile Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G (2010)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE (2011)
  • Gundam Build Fighters (2013)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam-san (2014)
  • Gundam Reconguista in G (2014)
  • Gundam Build Fighters Try (2014)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (2015)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (2015)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt (2015)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Twilight Axis (2017)
  • Gundam Build Fighters Battlogue (2017)
  • Gundam Build Fighters: GM’s Counterattack (2017)
  • Gundam Build Divers (2018)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative (2018)
  • Gundam Build Divers Re: Rise (2019)
  • Gundam Build Divers: Battlogue (2020)
  • Gundam Build Real (2021)
  • SD Gundam World Heroes (2021)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway (2021)
  • Gundam Breaker Battlogue (2021)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island (2022)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury (2022)
  • Gundam Build Metaverse (2023)

Where can I watch the Gundam series?

Mobile Suit Gundam explosion
Image credit: Bandai Namco Filmworks

With so many shows and movies, it is nearly impossible to find all of the shows on a single streaming service. Many are available through the GundamInfo website, which is also a great resource for the latest news and has many of the newer movies and series, such as The Witch from Mercury, available to stream for free.

You will find some of the OVAs, such as Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team, on the Hulu streaming service. Netflix also has several series and films, including the original Mobile Suit Gundam, but the best place to find the bulk of the series is in the Crunchyroll library. There, you’ll find 21 series and films available to stream, often with the English dub as well as the original Japanese.

If you are looking for some of the more obscure Gundam shows, such as many of the Gundam Builders series, you’ll need to try to track down a physical copy to view them legally in the United States.

What’s next for the Gundam franchise?

Watch on YouTube

As you might expect, there is always a new Gundam series or film on the horizon. As luck would have it, there are currently three Gundam projects in production right now. These are:

  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Freedom
  • Gundam: Requiem for Vengeance
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: Urðr-Hunt

These projects are expected to come out in 2024, though no release date has been officially announced for Requiem for Vengeance or Iron-Bloode Orphans: Urðr-Hunt. We know significantly more about the upcoming Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Freedom film, though.


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