The Bandai Namco Group announced the Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Project ignited initiative during the opening ceremony for the life-size Freedom Gundam statue in Shanghai on Friday. The initiative commemorates the 20th anniversary of the original Mobile Suit Gundam Seed anime next year. It will have several parts, headlined with the previously announced film project (confirmed as in production now) that serves as a sequel to the television series. The staff, led by returning director Mitsuo Fukuda, will announce the opening date and other details in the future.
The initiative also includes a new Mobile Suit Gundam Seed game. The staff will announce more details in the future.
The Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Eclipse side-story manga (pictured above) will launch in Japan and overseas in July as a new Mobile Suit Variation project. The story is set in Cosmic Era 72, during what would become known as the “lost two years” between the two wars. Some call it the time of “peace on thin ice,” while others call it the “brief respite before the next turmoil.” The story follows 17-year-old mobile suit pilot Tatsumi Hōri, 19-year-old commander Miyabi Oto Kiō, 18-year-old Coordinator pilot Ken Noland Suse, and others who risk their lives in an empty unit known as “ODR.”
The manga’s MVF-X08 Eclipse Gundam is a custom mobile suit developed in top secret by ODR. Bandai will offer the Master Grade 1/100 model kit in August.
The story is credited to SOW, and Atsushi Soga is drawing the manga. Kogado Studio is designing the characters, and Junichi Akutsu (Astrays) is designing the mecha. Kadokawa‘s Gundam Ace magazine will launch the manga on July 26. The Gundam.info will start presenting the manga overseas in July.
After the original live stream on Friday was cancelled, the Gundam Channel‘s official YouTube channel will stream the statue’s opening ceremony in Japan on May 31 at 12:00 p.m. (May 30 at 11:00 p.m. EDT). “Gundam docks at Shanghai,” the first large-scale Gundam event in China, is running from May 28 to July 11 at Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport Jinqiao, the home of the statue. The event features interactive areas devoted to the history of Gundam, the various anime, free Gundam plastic model demonstrations, and other aspects of the franchise.
The first Mobile Suit Gundam Seed television anime aired from 2002 to 2003, followed by Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny from 2004 to 2005. The three-part Mobile Suit Gundam Seed C.E.73: Stargazer anime project followed in 2006. Sony Music Anime Festival ’06 announced the planned film project in May 2006.
Chiaki Morosawa, the head scriptwriter for the two Gundam Seed series, passed away at the age of 56 in 2016. She had been collaborating with her husband Mitsuo Fukuda, who directed both Gundam Seed television series, on the planned Gundam Seed film project. Morosawa had explained in 2008 that the plot for the project was completed, but that she had been ill since the end of the Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny sequel in 2005.
Update: Manga’s overseas release on Gundam.info added. Thanks, Deacon Blues