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.

No, She's Too Strong!

Gundam Ep. 2: Say Goodbye to Side 7

Show Notes

In this episode: Space-Okinawa, society has a short memory, was childhood ever sacred?, nuclear allegory, fancy uniforms, and mutually assured Gundams.

You can read more about the Battle of Okinawa in these pages. While estimates of the number of Tekketsu Kinnotai boys (middle-school aged conscripts) vary, we are going with the 1,780 local Okinawan estimate given by their Peace Museum.

Wikipedia has a good overview of the use of child soldiers in WWII generally, including the fact that the International Criminal Court did not make use of child soldiers a war crime until 1998 (and they define "child" as "under the age of fifteen years."

Further reading about Yasukuni Shrine and the controversies around it.

Did you know the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan "has lasted longer than any other alliance between two great powers since the 1648 Peace of Westphalia"?

The essay I mention, that discusses anime portrayals of childhood, is: Ito, Mizuko. “Migrating Media: Anime Media and the Childhood Imagination.” Designing Modern Childhoods: History, Space, and the Material Culture of Children, by Marta Gutman and Ning De Coninck-Smith, Rutgers University Press, 2008, p. 301.

These Prussian uniforms are reminiscent of the uniforms on Zeon's rank-and-file, while all Zeon soldiers, including the officers, wear helms inspired by the coal-scuttle-shaped helmets of the German Empire circa WWI.

Char's uniform is more specific, harkening back to the uniforms of Prussian cavalry officers circa 1868. Note in particular the collar (like the Zeon uniforms it is a stand-up style, in red with gold detailing), the similarly decorated cuffs, the epaulets, and the single-breasted tunic-style jacket. While none of these features is unique to Prussian cavalry officers or Zeon, the combination of all of them in one uniform is quite rare.

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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.

Mobile Suit Breakdown provides critical commentary and is protected by the Fair Use clause of the United States Copyright law. All Gundam content is copyright and/or trademark of Sunrise Inc., Bandai, or its original creator. Mobile Suit Breakdown is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by Sunrise Inc. or Bandai or any of its subsidiaries, employees, or associates and makes no claim to own Gundam or any of the copyrights or trademarks related to it.

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