What Is Gundam Unicorn?

A dark blue Gundam model with light blue highlights.

If you’re new to the world of Gundam anime, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of shows to choose from.

It can be difficult to know where to start and which shows are the more popular ones. Gundam Unicorn is one of the most popular shows.

What is Gundam Unicorn? Gundam Unicorn is one of the Gundam anime shows that began as a novel and was turned into a show. It takes place in the Universal Century timeline, so you should watch the other shows or at least read up about the timeline in order to understand the back story.

Gundam Unicorn will quickly have you immersed in the world of Gundam, but having an idea of what’s going on first will really help you get into it.

The Gundam Unicorn History

The Gundam Unicorn series began as a novel series published in Japan titled Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.

The first novel, Day of the Unicorn (Part 1),  was published in September 2007, followed by nine more novels that were published through 2009.

The final novel, Phoenix Hunting, was published in March 2016.

A prequel novel, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn – The Postwar War, was written and takes place two years before the first novel.

This novel was turned into a video game and the book game with the Playstation 3 game in 2012.

The series was also turned into a manga series called Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Bande Dessinée.

Seventeen manga comics were released between January 2010 and December 2016. 

While the novels and manga comics were being released, it was announced in 2009 that the series would be adapted into an anime.

Thus, the anime Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, often referred to as simply Gundam Unicorn, was born. The show ran from February 2010 to June 2014 in Japan for a total of seven episodes. 

The show was rebooted in 2016 as Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 from April 2016 to September 2016 in Japan for a total of 22 episodes.

The final novel, Phoenix Hunting, became an animated film called Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative in 2018.

What Is Gundam Unicorn About?

Gundam Unicorn has an extensive history in terms of books and TV. So, what is it about?

It’s a story about a boy named Banagher Links. He meets a girl named Audrey Burne. Their meeting leads to Banagher becoming the pilot of a Gundam.

It’s not just a regular Gundam, however – it has a connection to “Laplace’s Box,” which is something that is a threat to the Federation.

The box is said to be powerful enough to destroy the world or save and restore the future.

Audrey doesn’t think the box should be turned over to the Vist Foundation leader, so she needs to get to him to discuss.

Banagher agrees to take Audrey to the Vist Foundation leader, which is what causes him to find a Gundam and become the pilot of it. 

When Did Gundam Unicorn Take Place?

The One Year War took place in UC 0079. That’s the year that the Universal Century timeline revolves around because it’s the war that starts it all.

Gundam Unicorn takes place in UC 0096, 17 years after the One Year War begins. The series also shows events in UC 0001, when human space colonization began.

This is when the Laplace space station was destroyed. This space station is where the Federation’s Prime Minister lived, making this event a source of tension in the Universal Century timeline.

The Universal Century Timeline

The Universal Century timeline is the most detailed and well-known timeline in the Gundam franchise.

The first series that was released in 1979, Mobile Suit Gundam, began the UC timeline, and most of the series that follows it adds onto the timeline in some way.

The UC timeline has the One Year War that began in UC 0079 and ended in UC 0080.

The Gundam series that take place in this timeline will refer back to the war and the show’s events will be based on the effects after the war.

There are other timelines in the Gundam franchise that don’t deal with the One Year War and are about completely different conflicts. Find out more here.

Understanding the major events in the UC timeline will help you understand what’s happening in Gundam Unicorn, although most of what’s happening will be explained within the series.

You don’t have to watch every Gundam show in the UC timeline, although it would be wise if you want to get the full experience. 

Toys and Games Based on Gundam Unicorn

The Gundam Unicorn series became really popular and has many video games, toys, and models based on Gundams in the show. 

Video games include:

  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam Next.
  • Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3.
  • Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxiboost ON.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn is an action game based on just the first three episodes of the anime. The other games have Gundams from the show featured in the games. 

Although not as popular as Gundam models, there are several Gundam Unicorn action figures available in the Robot Spirits line of figures as well as in the Assault Kingdom line.

Gundam Models

The first models that came from this series were released in 2009. They were both “Ver. Ka” 1/100 Master Grade models: the Sinanju and the Unicorn.

There are several 1/144 High Grade Universal Century models as well as RE100 models and Mega Grade models.

RE100 are 1/144 models that were remade to the 1/100 scale but aren’t the same quality as Master Grade.

The Mega Grade models are 1/60 and are intended for beginners since they’re big and have fewer pieces.

If you aren’t familiar with Gundam sizing, be sure to check out my article “What Are the Different Sizes of Gundam Models.”

There’s a large variety of Gundam Unicorn models, so you’re sure to find the model you want once you’ve watched the show and have picked a favorite Gundam.

Recommendations

Watch: Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn) Blu-ray Collection

This Blu-ray collection has all seven episodes of Gundam Unicorn. It’s a collector’s edition that came out on March 6, 2018. 

The four discs it comes with contain the following:

  • Episodes 1-7.
  • Bonus features including episode recaps, promotional videos, MS, and character highlights.
  • English and Japanese audio.
  • English subtitles.

Build: Bandai Hobby RG 1/144 Unicorn Gundam UC Model Kit

This Gundam model is a Real Grade kit, so it’s the size of a High Grade model but has more detail and is a bit more difficult to build.

It’s highly articulate and can be posed in numerous different ways. What makes this model unique is its ability to transform into its “destroy mode.”

Since the joints are sturdy and the model can move around so well, the transformation is a smooth process.

Smooth transitions are something that’s usually only possible with Master Grade models, so this Real Grade Gundam is unique.

The attention to detail makes it look like it’s a higher grade than what it actually is, so you get an amazing quality product for its price.

The only downside is how long it will take to build. Expect to spend a few hours on this model, especially if you’re a beginner who is new to the building process.

(Don’t miss my other Gundam model recommendations for beginners.)

There are many small pieces, so it will take some extra patience, but the end product will make it well worth it. 

You shouldn’t have to paint any part of the model since the pieces already have the color on them, so detailing is optional on this kit.

You can choose to panel line if you want, but it likely isn’t necessary on this model.

Conclusion

Gundam Unicorn is a popular Gundam series that is loved by many. Whether you want to watch it, read it, or build it, there are plenty of different mediums with which to enjoy this series.

You can watch it alone or watch it in chronological order with the other series in the Universal Century timeline.

Watching the others first will only increase your understanding of the backstory, but the show should explain everything enough so you’ll understand what’s going on.

Image credit: Gundam Models