Sunrise already released a teaser commercial and preview of the first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt, set to air on December 25, 2015, via pay to watch in Japan. In the preview of episode 1, we are introduced to the central character: Laxus Dreyar, a wizard of the Fairy Tail guild who uses Lightning Dragon Slayer magic. Oh, wait. Wrong series. Actually, the pilot’s name is Io Fleming, an expert drummer. Fun fact: drums are associated with the thunder god Raijin in Japan.
The preview opens with a spectacular display of the gundams in combat before taking us inside a base where pilots are still preparing to deploy in their mobile suits. Had it not been for the action scene beforehand, the video could easily have been a turn-off for fans hoping for a high-stakes adrenaline rush, as the rest of it is really just a short conversation between Flemming and another pilot, though there are brief flashes where we see Flemming getting all kissy-kissy with a supposed lover.
Let’s hope Sunrise can balance all that drama and character development with the battles because MSGT, which is to be an original net animation (ONA) will air for a whopping total of four episodes! Barring original video animations (OVA), this makes Gundam Thunderbolt the shortest Gundam series ever released. A hearty congratulations to Sunrise for such a momentous accomplishment. Well done!
On the subject of Gundam series, Thunderbolt takes place in the One Year War alongside the Mobile Suit Gundam series. By the way, MSG had over 40 episodes. Just saying. Despite its short life expectancy, Thunderbolt strives to assure us the ride will be worth it with a sneak peak at Flemming’s mobile suit – the FA78 Full Armor Gundam. But I’m sure the “full armor” part is just tacky wordplay to make it sound cool, right?
Wow, was I wrong on that one. Just for the Full Armor Gundam alone, I really hope Sunrise decides to expand upon the series in some way (FYI, there is a 6-volume manga for Thunderbolt). I’ll definitely be watching the episodes that do release when they make their way west. Maybe the Full Armor will become one of my favorite models, alongside the Epyon and Burning Gundam. Thunderbolt, judging by the trailer, will be an interesting watch. If, of course, you can withstand its attempt to convince you there are thunderstorms in outer space.