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Mobile Suit Gundam F91 is a 1991 anime film, which was Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino's attempt to launch a new Gundam saga, set thirty years after Char's Counterattack. He re-teamed with character designer Yoshikazu Yasuhiko and mecha designer Kunio Okawara for the occasion. The movie was first released in Japan on March 16, 1991.
Originally planned as a full-length television series, Gundam F91 hit a production snag due to staff disputes, and the project was stopped after the screenplays for the first thirteen episodes were written. It was then decided that what was made of the show would be condensed into a theatrical feature film. Predictably, condensing a story originally intended to be told over the course of thirteen half-hour episodes into less than two hours of screen time required much of the original story to be cut, and the results are generally regarded with mixed feelings.
Set in UC 0123, the story of Gundam F91 revolves around teenage space colonist Seabook Arno, his girlfriend Cecily Fairchild, and the efforts of the Crossbone Vanguard militia, led by Cecily's grandfather Meitzer Ronah, to establish an aristocracy known as "Cosmo Babylonia". In keeping with Gundam tradition, the civilian Seabook is forced by circumstance to pilot the F91 Gundam, coincidentally designed in part by his estranged mother, Dr. Monica Arno.
The Gundam F91 story was fleshed out in much greater detail in Tomino's two-part novelization. Tomino's manga, Crossbone Gundam, is a direct sequel which takes place ten years after the events of the movie.
Given how barely any of the characters from the previous UC series show up and the considerably long time jump, it's apparent that (had it been a series) this would have been to be a Gundam equivalent of sorts to Star Trek: The Next Generation, perhaps even more so than Zeta Gundam.
This series contains examples of:
- Action Girl - Cecily
- All There in the Manual - Tomino's novels and manga explain many of the crazier elements going on in the movie. Unfortunately, it's not available in English.
- Aristocrats Are Evil - The Crossbone Vanguard are a bunch of Aristocrats without a kingdom. Later supplements would indicate that they're affiliated with what would later become the Zanscare Empire from Victory Gundam.
- Award Bait Song: Eternal Wind.
- Awesome Yet Practical: The Crossbone Vanguard's shotlancers, which look like giant lawn darts with machineguns strapped to them, were developed as a melee weapon with zero chance of setting off a reactor explosion.
- Badass - Carozzo/Iron Mask. When a sniper tries to assassinate him in the middle of a speech he doesn't even flinch, he just keeps talking and even makes an epic Badass Boast(seen here in all of its glory). He also shows some epic badassery when he jumps out of the Rafflesia and tears open Cecily's cockpit with his bare hands. In outer space. Without a space suit.
- Badass Normal - Seabook is closer to Kou Uraki and Shiro Amada than Amuro Ray.
- Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me - A non-sexual version, as the people who have taken Cecily/Berah are Her father and grandfather, head of the Crossbone Vanguard
- Big Bad - Carozzo
- Calling the Old Man Out - Seabook has serious issues with his mother Monica choosing to develop mobile suits over raising him and his sister Reese.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason For Abandoning You - What Reese sort of thinks about the deal.
- Also, Cecily and Carozzo. And how, considering that...
- Compressed Adaptation - Oh so very much, seeing as the 13 episodes they did have scripted then became the basis of the movie. Interestingly, while watching the movie, one can almost point to certain scenes and predict where an "episode" would have started or ended, were it to ever be stretched back out into a series. The movie begins to make much more sense, if one decompresses it in their mind to "actually taking place over a few days/weeks/whatever that we, the viewers, just don't get to see thanks to the crunch."
- Continuity Nod - Zabine Chareux
- Defector From Decadence - Annamarie.
- Deflector Shield - In the form of Beam Shields, Gundam F91 and the Crossbone Vanguard mobile suits all have these, which actually seem to do their job (Considering UC century normal shields are about as protective as cardboard).
- For once the technology here follows a logical pattern: originally shields were effective before beam weaponry became widely spread. After that though, shields were as destroyed as easily as mobile suits were, meaning usually in a single hit. By making the shields ALSO beam-based, they became effective again.
- Doomed Hometown - Sidestepped. Seabook's home colony is CONQUERED rather than destroyed and ironically made the enemy's capital.
- The Empire - Cosmo Babylonia is one that's created overnight.
- Energy Weapons - It's Gundam.
- Ensign Newbie - Seabook.
- Expy - Carozzo is an Expy of Char and Darth Vader, He also seems to be based on The Man In The Iron Mask.
- Likewise, Cecily is an expy of Sayla Mass.
- Everything's Better with Princesses - Cecily is the daughter of the Vanguard's leader.
- Eyepatch of Power - Zabine
- The Federation - Portrayed here as useless rather than malevolent.
- Flash Step - The F91 appears to be able to do this, but all it's really doing is ablating thin layers of its armor to help vent off excess heat. Nevertheless, this lets Seabook take down Carozzo and the Rafflesia.
- There's a good bit of Fan Wank over Carozzo's remark that the afterimages appear to have mass. The current explanation seems to be the same one that makes dummy balloons work: combat computers assign CGI models to ANYTHING that roughly matches a given mobile suit's shape, assuming that it's the real deal. This is done because Minovski Physics messes with all forms of electronic detection, and is intended to help the pilot, but obviously (as with dummy balloons) led to people figuring out ways to exploit them.
- Freudian Excuse - Carozzo wants to massacre all people on Earth because of a combination of the way he was raised and the fact that his wife left him for another man.
- Genre Savvy - Birgit tells Seabook that Gundam pilots tend to live tragic lives.
- Taking what he says into account, this basically means that not only has Newtypes leading shitty lives being held as common knowledge, but historical FACT for many.
- Gundamjack - Seabook follows the proud tradition of barely trained pilots stealing military property.
- Heroes Want Redheads - Cecily.
- Hot Mom - Nadia Ronah, Cecily's mom.
- Humongous Mecha - Yep.
- Idiot Hero - Seabook spends most of the movie looking deeply confused as to what the Hell is going on. Thus, he is much like the audience.
- Important Haircut - Cecily chops off her long hair herself, when she re-takes her true identity of Berah Rona.
- The Jimmy Hart Version - At one point in the movie, a couple chords from 'The Imperial March' can be heard.
- Lady of War - Cecily
- La Résistance - Pathetically, a bunch of civilians put up more fight than the entire Federation. Explained by Seabook theorizing over a news broadcast that the Federation leadership on Earth is only putting up a token fight, hoping to buy off the Crossbone Vanguard by giving them Frontier Side, and preventing an attack on Earth itself.
- Latex Space Suit - The pilot suits
- Minovsky Physics
- Mobile Factory: The Raflessia makes Bugs, which are tiny chainsaw drones.
- Omnicidal Maniac - Carozzo wants to slaughter the entire population of Earth.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The titular mobile suit, designed to be a more useful and manageable size than older Gundams without sacrificing their considerable firepower. It succeeds tremendously.
- Most modern mobile suits apply, since in the early UC 0100s there was a general scaling-down. Compare the Crossbone Vanguard suits to the overhauled Jegans, both in size and performance, and see how it goes.
- Royally Screwed-Up - Cecily/Berah is fine and Meitzer is a would-be Napoleon but otherwise quite sane. The rest of the family seems to be stark raving mad.
- From what little we see of her, Cecily's mother seemed perfectly fine too.
- Slippery Slope - F91 and its side materials mark the point where Anaheim Electronics goes from kind of scummy to very' scummy, all because they lost their Federation contracts to SNRI. In the manga Silhouette Formula 91 Anaheim steals the F91's tech for their own Silhouette Gundam, and the Super Famicom game Gundam F90: Formula Wars 0122, where they help a group of Mars-based Zeon remnants invade Earth, apparently as a "screw you" to the Feddies. If you believe that Anaheim represents Gundams old sponsors (see What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic below), this would qualify as a Take That against them.
- Super Robot Wars - It has appeared in Super Robot Wars 1, Super Robot Wars 2, Super Robot Wars 3, Super Robot Wars 4, Super Robot Wars 64, Super Robot Wars F, Super Robot Wars F Final, Super Robot Wars Compact, Super Robot Wars Compact 2, Super Robot Wars Alpha and Super Robot Wars Alpha 2
- Wasted Song - "Kimi wo Mitsumete ~The Time I'm Seeing You~" by Hiroko Mizoguchi; it was intended to be the TV series' theme song, but when those plans were thrown out and the story was turned into a movie the song went completely unused. Nowadays it pops up very rarely, for example in Gundam Extreme Vs. Full Boost.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist - Meitzer, who believes that humanity needs to be ruled over by an elite noble class for its own good.
- What Could Have Been - It was supposed to be a full-length series, but production was snagged due to staff disputes and was ultimately canned. Then it was decided that what was already made would be made into a movie instead, so we get treated to the a highly condensed version of what was supposed to have been the first quarter of a fifty episode show. Made even more "what could" when looking at Crossbone Gundam.
- What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: F91 marks the first appearance of SNRI, the Federation's in-house think-tank that supplants Anaheim Electronics as the big mobile suit manufacturer for the rest of the Universal Century stories. Big Name Fan Mark Simmons observed that this movie is also the first Gundam production under their new owners, Sunrise...
- ↑ The idea is that it would damage but not destroy critical components, triggering the safety shut-off
- ↑ As in Zeta Gundam, selling MS to both sides, with the vague justification of "The Titans were onto us, we had to!"
- ↑ Whose model number is RXF-91. Subtle.
- ↑ the Strategic Naval Research Institute