Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin – The Fascinating Journey of Casval the Sociopath

hisui_icon_4040_round I have said it once and I will say it again, “Streaming has changed everything about how people watch anime.” The ease and convenience have made it that watching things legally streaming has become so simple that shows that are not streaming pretty much disappear from the general consciousness. In the past , there used to be some notable exceptions. There were titles that were so popular that they retained a viewership despite the fact that they were hard to find through anything other than illicit means or importing. Now even titles with evergreen fandoms have become almost invisible when they are not streaming.

The prime examples are Macross Delta and Dragon Ball Super. Compare the conversation around Macross Frontier and Macross Delta. Macross Frontier was the talk of the town with anitwitter and Macross Delta was really only discussed by the hardcore of the hardcore Macross faithful. You could argue this has to do with something like a difference in quality between the shows but the general silence surrounding Macross Delta was present even before a single second of Delta had aired. Even the evergreen Dragon Ball series could not avoid this. Whenever anything Dragon Ball comes out through normal means the fans come out in legion beyond even the familiar faces of fandom. Just look at the turn out to the new Dragon Ball movies in theaters. So when something as monumental as the first new Dragon Ball TV series in 18 years (Dragon Ball Z Kai is not new material) comes out like a ghost in speaks volumes. It would have been the ONE series that I assumed this would not happen to but even Goku could not defeat the beast of invisibility that comes for a series without a streaming component.

In between the world of no streaming and shows with a footprint in fandom lies Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin anime. Much like a phasing card in Magic: The Gathering it seems that Gundam: The Origin spends parts of the time visible to fandom and then disappears for a time. Whenever a new episode of Gundam: The Origin comes out the previous episodes will stream for a month and the go back into Sunrise’s version of the Disney Vault. It means that Gundam: The Origin is not normally available to what you think of streaming anime but it also has a visible footprint.

If you have ever owned a Netflix account and used it actively you have probably put something in your queue and put off watching it until they day you realize it is not longer streaming through the service. It is VERY easy to put off until tomorrow what could easily be done today until it is too late. That is why we are talking about Gundam: The Origin today. With the release of the 4th episode, we wanted to muse on the OVA series while the iron is hot. In this current window of streaming in probably the best time to discuss the show. It lets everyone who might have otherwise overlooked the series a chance to sample it for free while also reminding people who have forgotten to watch it the last time it was available that they have a second chance.

narutaki_icon_4040_round Ahh, the Gundam 0079 story is the best with an incredible cast of characters. Trying to add to that narrative could be a dangerous tightrope walk but Yoshikazu Yasuhiko’s storytelling is impeccable. The flashback arc that The Origin anime covers is so much less about robots than you would expect in a Gundam series, it is a dramatic, compelling story of the road to war.


  1. There may be spoilers for Gundam 0079 since this is a prequel story.
  2. To keep things from getting confusing: Casval will be the name used for the rest of the post no matter what phase of his identity he is in.

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Sayla Mass and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


hisui_icon_4040 I have come to be known as a fan of several characters. Clearly my Saber fandom is my most emblematic object of affection I have gained a reputation as an equally fervent admirer of Sayla Mass. That meant that I was the first person All Geeks Considered thought to invite on to talk about  Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin II – Artesia’s Sorrow. Since this is the most Salya-centric episode there was really no one else would have been as excited to talk about the trails and tribulations of Artesia Som Deikun. We take some time out from talking about Sayla to discuss some Casval and Ramba Ral to balance the podcast a bit.

Now I just need to be on a podcast about Nagi Sanzenin and I can complete my blond girl fandom hat trick.

Gundam the Origin II (with guest Alain)

Manga of the Month: Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin
(機動戦士ガンダム THE ORIGIN) by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko

hisui_icon_4040 While several series might have been laid the foundations Yoshiyuki Tomino’s anime Mobile Suit Gundam is the father of the real robot genre. The anime brought an unpredicted level of realistic politics, warfare, and characterization to a genre that was previously filled with near magical (or is the case of Brave Raideen actually magical) giant robots fighting monsters. The idea that mecha could be mass-produced machines of war like tanks or planes changed the way those stories are told in a myriad of ways.

But there are two things to remember. The first was while Gundam was revolutionary it still had its feet half way in the genre that spawned it. There series still has some major super robot elements. The MA-04X Zakrello sums that up perfectly. The second is that Tomino is an odd duck. The good luck charm section of the Gundam novels is a prime example. While Gundam has been memorialized as a game changing series it is hardly perfect.

Jump ahead to June 2001. Yoshikazu Yasuhiko starts the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin manga. It is pretty much proof that hindsight is 20/20. It is a retelling of the original story twenty-two years later. As the original character designer for Mobile Suit Gundam Yoshikazu Yasuhiko was intimately involved with the orignal production of the series. Therefore he knew the ins and outs of the series including what worked, what they had to cut, and what had not aged well with the original production. Overall the story is the same but this time Yoshikazu Yasuhiko has had over two decades of criticism, analysis, experience to make an updated version of one of the most famous Japanese science fiction stories of all time.

Could this remake live up to the original?

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