I mean, Gundam hasn’t done a musical yet, but that could be pretty cool. A whole space-opera with actual opera… something for them to consider at this point I suppose. Anyway, bopping around music stores in Japan I did see the Featured Image, a lot. I looked it up and hot damn, it’s 40 years of Gundam music being condensed the best of the best! It helps that this month, at least on the Aniblogging WordPress community, happens to be Mecha March! It’s a project started and helmed by Scott, but a few of us are seeking in here and there to contribute as well. Obviously, I got inspired and thought to myself – I might not have watched much mecha, but I do know the musicians who provide the OP or ED’s. So in my own twist sort of way, I too can contribute to Mecha March! Despite having never watched any of the Gundam series listed!
That last part does not instill confidence, but it does instill fun! Yay!
This little listicle/blog post would not have been possible without the “Catagory:Songs | The Gundam Wiki”, and all info was taken from there. I hence, why the songs are in alphabetical order.
First up, we have a title I think quite a few fans will recognize. That being the ending theme of “Mobile Suit Gundam 00”, “Daybreak’s Bell” sung by L’Arc~en~Ciel (L’Arc). The summary of the story goes:
“Distant humanity has all but abandoned fossil fuels, and shifted into the world of solar power. However, three nations have developed due to the political strife each with their own solar power generator. Even with prosperous nations, other countries without access to such power have been plunged into war, with a mysterious organization known as “Celestial Being” using the advanced technology of Mobile Suits known as Gundams. This story follows the four main Gundam masters, each battling with the nations in control in an attempt to change the world” (Paraphrased from the original MAL entry).
I feel like this era of L’Arc is a really special era for music with them. “KISS” and “SMILE” albums are when the group really got their majors feet under them and completely took off. Additionally for people when didn’t follow them from their humble origins, singles tied in to anime like this one really helped. Not to mention that in general, “Daybreak’s Bell” really showcases some of the best of the group. Hyde’s vocal diversity, the lyrical impact, and the composition; I mean that piano inclusion absolutely sells it!
This next title jumps forward, to a more modern title in the Gundam universe. This being Gundam Build Diver’s theme “Diver’s High”, performed by SKY-HI. The story goes a little something like as follows:
“Gunpla Battle Nexus Online (GBN) is a network game that users can play a variety of missions and games in a virtual world, using Gunpla. Three middle schoolers dive into this world, becoming ‘divers’. They encounter a girl named Sarah with insane talent for Gunpla, and begin to play her. However, there are more then just friendly divers. There are famous divers, and ‘mass-divers’ who use illegal modifications in-game. These middle schoolers will not only dive into Gunpla, but many other adventures in the virtual world” (Paraphrased from the MAL entry, which was originally sourced from the Gundam Wiki)
I’m not sure how Gundam Build Diver’s was received, but this track was a little underwhelming for me when I was first listening. Given it was SKY-HI’s first ever anime-tie in I had my reservations. I don’t think I’ve ever come to really love this track, but parts of it have grown on me over the years.
I much prefer the coupling track, which we’ll get to. The instrumentals, especially the guitar solo was a nice inclusion. Also getting to hear more singing over SKY-HI’s usual rap m.o. was pretty dope. For a first time tie-in, “Diver’s High” is a pretty experimental one and I couldn’t resist adding it in here.
We have gotten to to one of the more saddening entry. For me personally, not because the series or song is bad. We reached “Mobile Suit Gundam AGE”‘s ending theme “Forget-me-not”, performed by FLOWER. Ugh, such a beautiful group and beautiful song. But first, a brief summary of the anime-
“In A.G. 101, a brutal attack on the space colony Angel occurs, becoming the infamous even “The Day the Angel Fell”. However, the series starts officially in A.G. 108, with an attack on the space colony Ovan. Flit Asuno is one of those affected by said attack, finding in his deceased mother’s belongs a blue-print for a powerful weapon, and perhaps even a messiah called “Gundam”. Flit begins to study, and designing a new Gundam, just as the space colony he’s relocated to is also attacked. Thus, his battle to protect mankind begins” (Paraphrased from the MAL, which came from the original source GoodAnime.net)
Just… right in the feels. This is such old school and classic Flower. Like, back when they actually had two vocalists, and their full power of 8 members. The MV, the costumes just everything screams that classic Flower vibe. This is still probably one of the best Flower releases ever, and the impact can still be felt with fans. Excuse me I now need to spend some quality time listening to Flower albums…
I believe this is the most modern entry both from anime and musical entries. It’s the first Ending theme on the list. The series being “Gundam Build Divers Re:Rise”, and the ED being “MAGIC TIME” by Sudannayuzuyully (SAYY).
“Gundam Build Divers Re:Rise is the sequel to “Gundam Build Divers”, it takes place two years after, still focused on the game within the series. We follow Hiroto Kuga, a diver for hire within the game who will join other forces and divers without ever officially joining a group. He longs for the ability to reconnect with a childhood friend many years ago, however he gets recruited for a special mission with other active divers in the “Eldora” game space… until they learn that Eldora doesn’t only impact the game, but the real world as well” (Paraphrased from Gundam Build Divers Re:Rise Wiki Page)
Can I say that me, and my friends of SAYY were pretty damn shocked that this group got an anime-tie in? The unit only just recently celebrated their third year anniversary, and to get something to big as an anime tie-in, to a franchise like Gundam, is impressive. It’s one of those tracks that on it’s own, I’m not quite sure how well it fits into the Gundam universe but the mood it curates is quite magical. Yurino really gets a push here. Plus, I will never get enough of Suda Anna’s rapping, so distinct. Plus Yuzuna’s performance here as the main attraction and really sells the track as a whole.
This is probably one of the most extensive tie-ins between an artist, and a Mobile Suit Gundam series. Gackt was the main OP and ED theme artist for the trilogy for Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam which includeds ” Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation – Heir to the Stars”, “Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation II – Lovers”, and “Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation III – Love Is the Pulse of the Stars”. This series is the digitally remastered compilation movies from the original Zeta Gundam series. It added some new footage and was part of Gundam’s 25th Anniversary celebration activities/releases.
For the first film, Gackt performed both the opening and ending theme. The opening theme being “Metamorphoze” (MV below), and ending “Kimi ga matteiru Kara”. In the second film, Gackt’s “Mind Forest” is used as the ending theme. Lastly, in the final installment, “Dybbuk” is used. Of course, I had to pick “Metamorphoze” since the MV is easily the most iconic of the bunch and fits too well for this month’s theme to ignore.
I mean… the whole DIABOLOS album is insane. This track is not only iconic for the Gundam tie-in, but perhaps as being the most distinct track on the whole album. Honestly, if anyone was going to do a space-opera-esque ending and opening theme for a Gundam triology; it had to be Gackt. I don’t think any other soloist comes to mind for being able to pull such a thing off.
It’s also bonus points that Gackt really went the extra mile to have his MV really intergrate Gundam into it. In all it’s 2005 era glory.
I am slightly straying from my original topic but given my affinity for SKY-HI, and it’s still technically connected to Gundam and mecha so… I’m adding it. SKY-HI’s “Diver’s High”, was actually a double a-side single with “Snatchaway”. “Snatchaway”, was the theme actually for the “New GUNDAM BREAKER” video game that was released in 2018.
I mean, if you’re going to tie-in might as well go all the way with the video game and anime right? I’ve always preferred Snatchaway since it’s just such a high energy track with a fun part vibe. Like, I always end up going some Breakfast Club type of dance montage when it comes on in shuffle. It also throws back to debut SKY-HI with the brass section (they play live in his performances too!), and his spit-fire rapping on feature as well.
So with all that said, we’ve reached the end of this shoutout post for my favorite musicians that have contributed to the Gundam franchise over the years. I hope you rediscovered an old favorite, found new tunes, or perhaps will even be checking out the Gundam series!
I’ll be doing a few more posts this month with mecha theming, so stay tuned!