Gundam Watch Order | What Universal Century series to watch first

Those looking to get into Gundam are likely intimidated by the watch order. There are 33 TV series and OVAs, some of which are derived from or duplicated as movies. Fortunately, the Gundam watch order is simplified greatly once the franchise is divided by continuity. There are 13 different continuities in the Gundam franchise (along with a few one-offs), but the one with the most content by far is the original Universal Century.

We’ll concentrate on the Gundam Universal Century watch order here since the other continuities consist of only one or two series or OVAs (and sometimes a movie or two). No matter where the Gundam franchise goes, it always comes back to the Universal Century, and the amount of prequels, sequels, and side stories makes it intimidating for a new viewer.

Check out our Neon Genesis Evangelion watch order.

What order should I watch the Mobile Suit Gundam Universal Century in?

Mobile Suit Gundam Universal Century Watch Order

There are a few orders in which viewers could watch the Gundam Universal Century shows. For this watch order guide, we’ll be listing the following three:

  • Chronological
  • Order of Release
  • Abridged

There are pros and cons to each of these Gundam watch orders. The one we recommend most is chronological. This prevents the viewer from bouncing back and forth in time in-universe and is the best way to absorb the story. However, for those studying the production and art of Gundam, watching in release order is the best way to see its evolution. Finally, some people just don’t have the time to sit through hundreds of hours of footage, in which case the abridged Gundam watch order will hit all the highlights in the least amount of time.

Gundam Chronological Watch Order

For those trying to get the best view of the story, watching Gundam in chronological order is the best way to do so. This also prevents bouncing back and forth in and out of the One War Year, which can be jarring as the franchise continued to return to this period throughout the years.

  • UC0068-UC0079: Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin (OVA)
  • UC0079: Mobile Suit Gundam (Series)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team (OVA)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War (OVA)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: Apocalypse 0079 (OVA)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO 2: The Gravity Front (OVA)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt (Season One) (ONA)
  • UC0080: Mobile Suit Gundam: Thunderbolt (Season Two) (ONA)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (OVA)
  • UC0083: Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (OVA)
  • UC0087: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (Series)
  • UC0088: Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (Series)
  • UC0093: Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (Movie)
  • UC0096: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn (OVA)
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Twilight Axis (ONA)
  • UC0097: Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative (Movie)
  • UC0105: Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway (Movie)
  • UC0123: Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (Movie)
  • UC0153: Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (Series)

Optional:

  • UC0223: G-Saviour (Live-Action Movie)

Gundam Release Watch Order

This is the order in which the Universal Century works were released. The compilation movies aren’t listed here as they’re just shorter retellings of existing series.

  • 1979-1980: Mobile Suit Gundam
  • 1985-1986: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
  • 1986-1987: Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ
  • 1988: Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack
  • 1989: Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
  • 1991: Mobile Suit Gundam F91
  • 1991-1992: Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory
  • 1993-1994: Mobile Suit Victory Gundam
  • 1996-1999: Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
  • 2004: Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War
  • 2006: Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: Apocalypse 0079
  • 2008: Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO 2: The Gravity Front
  • 2010-2014: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
  • 2015-2018: Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin
  • 2015-2017: Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt
  • 2017: Mobile Suit Gundam Twilight Axis
  • 2018: Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative
  • 2020: Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway

Gundam Universal Century Abridged Watch Order

This watch order will give viewers the chance to experience the Universal Century in the least amount of time. However, despite this list hitting all the high points, a lot of great content is missing.

  • Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin (OVA)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The Movie (Compilation Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Soldiers of Sorrow (Compilation Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space (Compilation Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team – Miller’s Report (Compilation Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: The Hidden One Year War (OVA)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO: Apocalypse 0079 (OVA)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO 2: The Gravity Front (OVA)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (OVA)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt – December Sky (Compilation Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt – Bandit Flower (Compilation Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Gunda 0083: Stardust Memory – The Afterglow of Zeon (Compilation Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta: Heir to the Stars (Compilation Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta: Lovers (Compilation Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta: Love is the Pulse of the Stars (Compilation Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (Series)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack (OVA)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn (OVA)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Twilight Axis – Red Blur (Compilation Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative (Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway (Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (Movie)
  • Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (Series)