Mobile Suit Gundam has been a fixture in the world of anime since it first debuted in the late 1970s, taking us into the war between the Principality of Zeon and the Earth Federation, but recently, the creator of the series in Yoshiyuki Tomino was able to directly discuss the lack of diversity in the original series. Though Gundam has been able to add diversity to a number of their series over the course of the franchise's long history, it's clear that the time of the series' original debut was very different from what we know today.
Gundam as a franchise had a rough 2020, despite the fact that the year marked the fortieth anniversary for the series that has morphed with each passing year. With the 2020 Summer Olympics being canceled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, so to did the event that would have seen the launching of the G Satellite, a message bearing machine that would have transmitted special messages down to Earth. On top of this, the next feature-length film of the franchise, Hathaway's Flash, also had to be delayed due to the changes that had to be made with regards to movie theaters, though this sequel series of films to the original story is set to land later this year.
In a recent interview, which was extrapolated upon by Twitter User Renatology, it seems as though Tomino was originally planning on having one of the characters of the first series be black, but was ultimately denied this by the television stations that were airing Mobile Suit Gundam in the late 1970s:
Regarding why the stations refrained from depicting black characters, the answer seemingly lies in complaints against past insensitive representations. In order to avoid any negative feedback and controversy, they decided to outright not insert any identifiably black characters. https://t.co/QW3oEDhbpQ— Renato Rivera Rusca （レナト・リベラ・ルスカ） (@RENATOLOGY) March 22, 2021
Diversity in anime has long been a point of discussion over the history of the medium, and while there are still plenty of roads left to travel for the creative minds behind the movement, anime has come a long way since it first debuted so many decades ago with Mobile Suit Gundam being a prime example.
What do you think of Yoshiyuki Tomino's explanation regarding the early days of Gundam? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of mobile suits.