Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack
Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack
2001 Japanese DVD cover
(Kidō Senshi Gandamu: Gyakushū no Shā)
Genre Military science fiction Anime film Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino Studio Sunrise Released March 12, 1988 Runtime 124 minutes Manga Written by Yoshiyuki Tomino Illustrated by Kōichi Tokita Published by Kodansha Magazine Comic Bom Bom Original run September 1998 – January 1999 Volumes 1
Making its theatrical debut on March 12, 1988, Char's Counterattack is the culmination of the original saga begun in Mobile Suit Gundam and continued through Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam Double Zeta, marking the final conflict of the fourteen-year rivalry between Char Aznable and Amuro Ray. Based on a novel by Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, the movie supposedly marked the end of tensions between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon (until Gundam Unicorn was released in 2010).
In addition to being the first original Gundam theatrical release, Char's Counterattack was also the first Gundam production to make use of computer graphics during a five-second shot of the Sweetwater colony rotating in space. Char's Counterattack was released in America on DVD on August 20, 2002 and was shown on January 4, 2003 on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. This airing marked the end of the first incarnation of the Adult Swim Action Saturday night block.
Set in March UC 0093, the film features the return of main antagonist Char Aznable, who has emerged after five years in hiding to lead the Neo-Zeon once more in the fight for independence from the Earth Federation. Still determined to make humankind fully colonize in space, he mobilizes Neo-Zeon forces to drop the asteroid 4th Luna on the Federation headquarters in Lhasa, Tibet. Under the guise of surrendering the entire Neo-Zeon forces, he plans to drop the Axis asteroid base on Earth as well.
However, the Federation has assigned its own anti-insurgent task force, the Londo Bell, to take him down. Among the Londo Bell's members are One Year War veterans Bright Noa and Amuro Ray, whom Char wants to kill in revenge for the death of Lalah Sune. A major battle around Axis breaks out as the Londo Bell struggle to stop Char before the asteroid enters Earth's atmosphere. A Londo Bell demolitions team blows up Axis from the inside but one half is still on course to strike Earth, In the midst of the battle, Amuro catches Char and tries to push Axis from reentry, with Federation and Neo Zeon mobile suits coming to help. As the group tries to carry out the impossible, Amuro's RX-93 Nu Gundam resonates and creates a psyco-wave around the asteroid, pushing it away from Earth while shoving all the other mobile suits from the area. Both Federation and Neo-Zeon forces look on as Axis veers off from reentry.
- Amuro Ray
- The famed Federation ace pilot from the One Year War, Amuro is now a member of the Londo Bell taskforce after years of being watched by Federation agents. His last appearance in the series was being part of the AEUG in Mobile Suit Z Gundam. He also designed and pilots the movie's main Federation mobile suit, the RX-93 ν-Gundam.
- Amuro Ray is voiced by Tōru Furuya in Japanese and Brad Swaile in English.
- Bright Noa
- The Londo Bell task force's commander, Noa is also the captain of the group's flagship, the Ra Cailum.
- Bright Noa is voiced by Hirotaka Suzuoki in Japanese and Chris Kalhoon in English.
- Chan Agi
- A Federation engineering officer, Chan works with Amuro in testing the ν-Gundam, but also harbors feelings for him. She dies late in the movie after Bright Noa's son Hathaway kills her for shooting Quess Paraya.
- Chan Agi is voiced by Mitsuki Yayoi in Japanese and Nicole Leroux in English.
- Hathaway Noa
- Bright Noa's only son, Hathaway joins the Ra Cailum crew after the Londo Bell saves the shuttle he and Quess Paraya are riding on. He is seen to have a crush on her. Her death at Chan's hands later prompts him to rebel against the Federation in Quess' name, which is detailed in the novel Hathaway's Flash.
- Hathaway Noa is voiced by Nozomu Sasaki in Japanese and Bill Switzer in English.
- Kayra Su
- One of the Londo Bell's female pilots and Z Gundam character Astonage Medoz' lover, Kayra is the second pilot of the RGZ-91 ReGZ mobile suit (after Amuro gets the RX-93). She dies from shock after being shaken too hard by Gyunei Guss' Jagd Doga.
- Kayra Su is voiced by Shinobu Adachi in Japanese and Angela Hendricks in English.
- Char Aznable
- Having disappeared after the events of Z Gundam, Char seeks to force humanity to move into space as the next step in human advancement, and one day create a race of Newtypes. He pilots the MSN-04 Sazabi, a one of a kind mobile suit in his trademark red color scheme. In the film's climax, Char admits to Amuro that he provided Anaheim Electronics with the ν-Gundam's psycoframe technology (which the Sazabi also has) so they could fight on equal terms.
- Char Aznable is voiced by Shūichi Ikeda in Japanese and Michael Kopsa in English.
- Quess Paraya
- A daughter of Federation official Adenaur Paraya, Quess is a hard-headed teenager seeking adult acceptance. She is enamored with Amuro and carries a deep jealousy for his relationship with Chan. Later in the movie, she joins Char, whom she is looking at as a father figure, but as shown in her envy of Chan, she also hates Nanai. Initially piloting a red Jagd-Doga, Quess moves up to the massive NZ-333 α-Azieru mobile armor.
- Quess Paraya is voiced by Maria Kawamura in Japanese and Jocelyne Loewen in English.
- Nanai Miguel
- Char's lover, Nanai is also the captain of the battleship Rewloola. She is saddened by Char's apparent death as Axis is pushed back.
- Nanai Miguel is voiced by Yoshiko Sakakibara in Japanese and Jenn Forgie in English.
- Gyunei Guss
- A pilot of one of two Jagd-Doga mobile suits, Gyunei is Char's wingman in the early part of the film. Already facing scorn from other pilots because of his cyber-Newtype enhancements, he is also obsessed with killing Amuro to prove himself as Char's equal and win Quess' affection in the process (even though she spurns him). Amuro kills him with two funnel hits.
- Gyunei Guss is voiced by Kōichi Yamadera in Japanese and Kirby Morrow in English.
- Rezin Schneider
- One of the Neo-Zeon's aces, Rezin pilots a blue Geara Doga to distinguish herself from the other Geara Dogas.
- Rezin Schnyder is voiced by Kazue Ikura.
- Adenaur Paraya
- A vice-minister in the Earth Federation government, Paraya leads the Federation panel in the negotiations for Neo-Zeon's surrender. At the surrender ceremonies in Luna II, he is surprised when the Neo-Zeon fleet opens fire. Paraya dies when the battleship he is in is attacked by his own daughter Quess.
- Adenaur Paraya is voiced by Shunsuke Shima in Japanese and Trevor Devall in English.
- Mirai Yashima
- Living in Hong Kong with children Hathaway and Cheimin, Mirai sends Hathaway to join his father.
- Mirai Yashima is voiced by Fuyumi Shiraishi in Japanese and Cathy Weseluck in English.
- Cheimin Noa
- Bright and Mirai's only daughter, Cheimin accompanies her mother as they try to escape Hong Kong before Axis hits.
- Cheimin Noa is voiced by Mayumi Shou in Japanese and Alaina Burnett in English.
Production and development
Yoshiyuki Tomino adapted Char's Counterattack from the novel Hi-Streamer, and later wrote Beltorchika's Children as an alternate version. Tomino had planned previously to feature Char's return in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, however when he got the green light to do Char's Counterattack, he dropped the planned appearance. Tomino does not recall his plans to bring back Char in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ. The novels' differences from the movie include Amuro and Char piloting advanced versions of the ν-Gundam and the Sazabi: the Hi-ν-Gundam and the MSN-04-II Nightingale, Z Gundam character Beltorchika Irma being pregnant with Amuro's child, Hathaway accidentally killing Quess instead of Chan, and the confirmed deaths of Amuro and Char.
Three of the four mecha designers credited on Char's Counterattack went on to direct their own anime series: Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion), Yutaka Izubuchi (RahXephon) and Koichi Ohata (Burst Angel along with several other OVAs). Yoshinori Sayama continued designing on shows such as Patlabor, Cowboy Bebop and Izubuchi's RahXephon.
- Director/Screenplay: Yoshiyuki Tomino
- Character Designer: Hiroyuki Kitazume
- Mobile Suit Designer: Yutaka Izubuchi
- Mecha Designs: Gainax, Yoshinori Sayama
- Art Director: Shigemi Ikeda
- "Beyond the Time ~Möbius no Sora wo Koete~" (BEYOND THE TIME ～メビウスの宇宙を越えて～ BEYOND THE TIME Mebiusu no Sora wo Koete , Beyond the Time ~Beyond the Möbius Universe~)
The film made its American debut on August 20, 2002 on DVD and was later re-released during Sunrise's release of its One Year War properties (specifically Mobile Suit Gundam, 08th MS Team, 0080, and 0083). This left North American audiences without exposure to Zeta Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, despite their important role in setting up the film's plot and the fact that some events are mentioned by characters. Zeta Gundam has since been released in America as a six volume DVD set in 2004 as well as a trilogy of movies in 2010, but as of 2011 Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ has still not been dubbed for western audiences, although at the 2011 Anime Expo, Sunrise said it will be possible that it will be released.
Bandai released a limited-edition DVD of the movie in 2001. The product was a maroon slipcase edition embossed with the gold Neo Zeon logo. The DVD was later reissued as part of the Anime Legends line in 2006.
Bandai produced a Char's Counterattack 3D fighting game for the PlayStation in 1998 as part of the Big Bang Project for Gundam's 20th anniversary. The game featured scenes from the film that were remade with updated animation and CGI. The game also has stages featuring Amuro and Char's classic encounters in the original Mobile Suit Gundam series.
A line of Gunpla models based on the movie's mobile suits was released, along with a Hobby Japan special. The model line had 1/144 kits of the Jegan, the Geara Doga, the Sazabi, Gyunei Guss and Quess Paraya's Jagd Dogas, and the ν-Gundam (with or without Fin Funnel), a 1/550 α-Azieru, and a 1/100 ν-Gundam. Bandai would re-release them plus the Hi-ν-Gundam, years later as part of the HGUC and Master Grade lines, the latter being featured in Bandai's Gundam Weapons line of mooks (modelling books). Many of them are also available as part of the B-Club resin line.
- ^ Www.Gundamguy.com
- Official Websites: Anime,GundamOfficial
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack at the Internet Movie Database
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (film) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Animerica review
Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ
Gundam metaseries (production order)
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ
Gundam Universal Century timeline
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn,
Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway's Flash (novels)
1970s 1980sSpace Runaway Ideon (1980) • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Movie (1981) • Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow (1982) • Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space (1982) • The Ideon: A Contact (1982) • The Ideon: Be Invoked (1982) • Combat Mecha Xabungle (1982) • Aura Battler Dunbine (1983) •Xabungle Graffiti (1983) • Heavy Metal L-Gaim (1984) • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985) • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (1986) • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (1988) 1990s 2000sTurn A Gundam I: Earth Light (2002) • Turn A Gundam II: Moonlight Butterfly (2002) • Overman King Gainer (2002) • The Wings of Rean (2005) • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation I - Heirs To The Stars (2005) • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation II - Lovers (2005) • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation III - Love is the Pulse of the Stars (2006) • Ring of Gundam (2009) Other
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