Mobile Suit Breakdown: the Gundam Anime Podcast
A Companion Podcast for All 40 Years of Gundam
MSB is a weekly Gundam podcast for new fans, old fans, and not yet fans. Nina (a Gundam first-timer) and Thom (a lifelong Gundam fan) analyze, review, and research all 40-years of the iconic sci-fi anime mega-franchise Mobile Suit Gundam in the order it was made. We research its influences, examine its themes, and discuss how each piece of the Gundam canon fits within the changing context in Japan and the world, from 1979 to today. Part history podcast, part discussion podcast, all Gundam podcast.

2.10 - Discipline and Punish

“A person who has been punished... only learns how to avoid punishment.”

Show Notes

This week, we recap, review, and analyze Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (機動戦士Ζガンダム) episode 9 - "A New Bond" (新しい絆), discuss our first impressions, and provide commentary and research on autism - it's history in Japan and the world, the understanding and perception of autism in 1985, and what exactly Kamille and the writers mean when Kamille calls himself an "autistic child."

PLUS - additional nuance to the word 絆 (kizuna) from the episode title.


- Jisho.org page on jiheishou/自閉症.

- A very readable history of autism science.

- Web page of the Autism Society Japan (Japanese).

- Autism Society Japan forum thread discussing Kamille's autism / Tomino's use of autism generally (Japanese).

- Bruno Bettelheim Wikipedia page.

- "Refrigerator mother" theory.

- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) page on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

- Entry from the Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders on "Japan and Autism":

Kurita, Hiroshi. “Japan and Autism.” Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders, SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PU, 2019, pp. 1–6.

- Excellent overview of the history of the autism diagnosis, and the development of the concept of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

- Article from the Tokyo Autism Society webpage on "What is Asperger's syndrome?"/「アスペルガー症候群を知っていますか?」 Addresses behaviors and common misconceptions. (webpage is mostly in Japanese but this article is in English)

- Example of 1980's epidemiological autism research:

“Epidemiology of infantile autism in southern Ibaraki, Japan: Differences in prevalence in birth cohorts” Tanoue, Y., Oda, S., Asano, F. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (1988) 18: 155. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02211943

- Japanese Wikipedia page about autism (specifically addresses common misconceptions and historical controversies in Japan ).

- Spectrum News article about Lorna Wing, the autism researcher who proposed ASD (autism spectrum disorder) as a model.

- Japanese Wikipedia page for 絆 (kizuna).


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The intro music is WASP by Misha Dioxin, and the outro is Long Way Home by Spinning Ratio, both licensed under Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license. Both have been edited for length.

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