It is the year 0079 of the Universal Century. A half-century has passed since Earth began moving its burgeoning population into gigantic orbiting space colonies. A new home for mankind, where people are born and raised. And die.
9 months ago, the cluster of colonies furthest from the Earth, called Side 3, proclaimed itself the Principality of Zeon and launched a war of independence against the Earth Federation. Initial fighting lasted over one month and saw both sides lose half their respective populations. People were horrified by the indescribable atrocities that had been committed in the name of independence. Eight months had passed since the rebellion began. They were at a stalemate.
First of all: Watch the compilation films
. it runs you only six hours and has remastered animation, and gets in all the crucial bits. Don't suffer through the full series unless you hate yourself.
This is where the Gundam legacy began, The most iconic machines - the RX-78-2, "Gundam", and its rival, the unmistakable Zaku II - both originated here and have been made in a thousand models over, from this
Being a fairly low budget title, the animation hasn't aged perfectly, nor has the dialogue, but it's still a classic.
The story is fairly simple: In a war between the rebellious space forces of the Principality of Zeon and the Earth Federation, one young man finds himself aboard a Earth Special Forces ship - the White Base. He must side with them to protect all he loves, and kicks ass in a giant robot while he's at it.
The mech pilot that every other mech pilot ever seems to rip off (if they're not ripping off Go Nagai's archetype of HOTBLOODED).
Happens to be a young engineer caught in the crossfire of the one year war during a skirmish on a Side 7 colony, ends up accidentally in a giant robot and saves his friends, you get the gist. He's new to the concept of war, and finds it tough to accept the bloodshed (just like every other mech pilot ever). He's also a newtype, who are effectively low-level psychics who can feel other's emotions and have heightened battle skills.
The mech pilot that every other mecha series villain ever seems to rip off. Char, also a newtype, is the badass who tends to be the one opposing our heroes in Mobile Suit Gundam, though he isn't explicitly evil.
The real bad guys. In charge of Zeon after the Zeon family kinda slightly got killed off.
The crew of the White Base
The good guys.
Bright Noah (far right)- The captain, and one of the Universal Century's most commonly reoccuring characters.
Mirai Yashima (second from right) - One of the civilians who joins the crew after the evacuation of Side 7
Sayla Mass (Third from right) - The obligatory bridge babe. Has a dark secret related to Char.
Frau Bow (Center)- Amuro's long time childhood friend. Joins the crew to be another random job do-er.
Kai Shiden(far left) - The pilot of Guncannon. Kind of a perv, but a cool guy. Comes back in Zeta.
Hayato Kobayashi (second to left, not a little kid) - Pilots Guntank, kinda short and easily scared. Becomes badass in Zeta and marries Frau.