The Best Mobile Suit Designs In The Gundam Franchise – CBR – Comic Book Resources

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Gundam is an enduring series that’s managed to elevate the mecha genre for decades. These are some of the best-designed mobile suits in the franchise.
As far as sci-fi anime goes, only the Gundam franchise has managed to stand the test of time. The original Gundam anime debuted in 1979, and it's likely that no one anticipated that the franchise would last for more than 40 years. No matter the series or time period, each Gundam story focuses on a military conflict using large mechs called mobile suits piloted by humans.
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Long-time fans of the franchise have seen more than one hundred different mobile suits. For the most part, they all have interesting designs. Each Gundam has a separate design to make them unique, but certain Gundams look a lot better than others. There are also a few non-Gundam mobile suits with impressive designs.
The Gundam franchise is known for its bipedal mobile suits, which is why the BuCUE is so unique. This quadrupedal mobile suit was introduced in Gundam SEED and it was a major part of ZAFT's ground offensive on Earth.
The BuCUE was built like a tank but it was fairly agile as well, which makes sense given its wolf-like design. It has treads on each of its legs for maneuverability, and the thrusters on its wings allow it to make rapid turns. It can be equipped with a railgun or missile pod, and it has a twin beam saber where its snout would be.
In terms of animation and storytelling, Gundam 00 was ahead of its time and to this day, it's still the best Gundam anime of the 2000s. The series followed a group called Celestial Being, who had multiple Gundams at their disposal — including Nadleeh, which was piloted by Tieria Erde.
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Nadleeh was hidden within the Virtue Gundam, which explains its slim and compact design. It's covered in white armor, and it sports long red cords that resemble hair. It may not be as strong as the Virtue, but it's equipped with the Trial System feature, which allows Tieria to take control of other machines that are connected to Celestial Being.
Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans is arguably the saddest mecha anime of all time because the good guys suffer an unfortunately high amount of losses over the course of the series. Mikazuki is the main character who pilots the Barbatos.
For years, Gundams have had an angular design, but the Barbatos revolutionized the look with a more rounded appearance. It has elongated horns, a spaded tail, claw-like hands, and hoof-like feet, which makes it look more like a demon. These features pair well with the traditional white, red, and blue color scheme.
The original Gundam will always be the franchise's most iconic mobile suit, but its design is outdated. The V Gundam was introduced in the Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack movie, and it was designed and piloted by Amuro Ray, the franchise's first protagonist.
It looks like the original Gundam, but the majority of its color scheme has been updated to look more refined. The minimal red really pops with the white and blue frame. The fin funnel is a custom addition that can be used for offensive and defensive purposes, and it provides the V Gundam with the endurance needed for longer battles.
As far as anime sequels go, Gundam SEED Destiny is a decent continuation of SEED's story that introduced a number of new Gundams. Kira Yamato is now a dual protagonist, and after the Freedom is destroyed, he pilots the Strike Freedom.
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The Strike Freedom sports a classic design and color scheme, but the animation and phase shift aspect of its armor make it look more elegant. Its standout features are its blue wings, which also serve as beam rifles. It also has a number of gold attachments that pop during combat. This gold can also reflect beam rifle shots.
Gundam 00 introduced a number of new mobile suits, including the Masurao. This mobile suit was designed for close combat, and it was custom-made for Mr. Bushido, one of the Earth Sphere Federation's top pilots. It was built specifically to take on the Gundams of Celestial Being.
Despite its close combat efficiency, it still carries a laser machine gun. Its main armaments are a GN Long Beam Saber and a GN Short Beam Saber, which are used simultaneously. The Masurao has a samurai-like design that's accented by the dual saber fighting style and ornate headgear.
Out of all the Gundam anime that came out in the 2010s, Gundam Unicorn stands out because of its animation quality, and it brings long-time fans back to the Universal Century. The series also introduced the Sinanju, which is arguably the best-looking non-Gundam mobile suit in the franchise.
The Sinanju's red and gold color scheme gives it a regal appearance, which is understandable since it is piloted by Full Frontal, a clone of the legendary Char Azanable. It was designed for high mobility, and its rear thruster jets look like wings.
Gundam Wing is arguably the best Gundam series of the '90s. It created a new generation of fans, and the mobile suit designs continued to improve as the series continued. The Wing Zero was piloted by Heero Yuy, and it looked phenomenal in the Endless Waltz movie.
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Endless Waltz's version of the Wing Zero sports the same frame as the Zero, but it's designed to still be operational even if it loses 90% of its armor. Other than the striking white and dark blue armor, the Wing Zero's best feature is its wing unit, which gives the mobile suit an angelic appearance. These wings look beautiful, and they can be used as shields.
The Epyon was created by Treize Khushrenada while he was being held captive, and he utilized all the data that had been collected from the Tallgeese and the other Gundams. This mobile suit is synonymous with Zechs Merquise, but it was originally piloted by Heero.
Unlike other Gundams, the Epyon was designed for close combat. It sports a segmented, whip-like heat rod that's mounted on a shield, and it has a large and powerful beam sword that's directly connected to its core. Epyon's red and black color scheme gives it an intimidating look, and its claws and wings cement its dragon-like appearance.
In terms of character, Duo Maxwell may be the best pilot in Gundam Wing, and he had the honor of piloting the Deathscythe. From the very beginning, the Deathscythe was an intimidating mobile suit because of its black armor and beam scythe, and its later versions were even more intimidating.
The Endless Waltz model really stands out, as the Deathscythe gains thicker and seemingly sharper armor. It comes with a special active cloak that resemble bat wings mounted on its back, giving it a unique sense of style. This Gundam is meant to instill fear, which explains why it resembles an angel of death.
George Voutiritsas is a writer, gamer, and lover of sports (Go Red Wings) and nerd culture. He currently lives in Montreal, Canada, and he writes for Valnet, Inc primarily for TheSportster, CBR, and GameRant. He has also contributed for TheRichest, and TheThings. If you wish to reach out to him to chat, or to offer any ideas, please follow him on Twitter at @Grimviper666