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Tag refers to images referencing this Gundam series continuity. It aired from October 5, 2002 to September 27, 2003. It is a space opera mecha action drama series directed by Fukuda Mitsuo and written by Morosawa Chiaki, a husband and wife team. The soundtrack was composed by Sahashi Toshihiko. The characters were designed by Hirai_Hisashi. The series has been received manga and light novel adaptations.
It is the start of the Cosmic Era of the Gundam franchise. The Cosmic Era is an universe where there are two kinds of humans, Naturals and Coordinators. The former dwell on Earth and are the same as regular humans, the latter are genetically enhanced humans and live on space colonies. The two of them are locked in a bitter and bloody conflict with each other and the Coordinators have formed a military organization of their own called ZAFT.
Yamato Kira is a Coordinator who lives a quiet, peaceful life on the space colony Heliopolis. He spends his days having fun with his friends and using his computer programming skills to work on Research and Development at Heliopolis technical college. This peaceful life suddenly ends once ZAFT attacks Heliopolis, searching to get its hands on the special mobile suits being developed there. Yamato has no combat experience, but he immediately gets involved in the battle to protect his friends. He climbs into the special GAT-X105 Strike mobile suit to do battle and manages to be effective for a newcomer. Although his friends are safe and sound, Heliopolis is irreparably destroyed, permanently ending Kira's peaceful old life. Kira also discovers that his best friend Athrun Zala has joined ZAFT and is not the same boy he was when the two last met. Kira and his friends escape onto the spaceship Archangel, which belongs to the Naturals' military Earth Alliance. Kira works with the Earth Alliance by using the Strike suit in combat. Despite Kira's natural talent for piloting the mecha, Kira is soon hit hard with the horror and trauma of war as he is locked into a conflict with no apparent peaceful resolution and finds his relationship with his friend Athrun becoming increasingly strained.
Fukuda wanted to emphasize the human drama of the series' conflict so the first thing the staff worked on was the plot with the battle scenes being considered secondary in importance.
The series was immensely popular. By April 2004, the series sold over 1 million DVDs. It was the third winner at the Japanese Otaku Awards in 2003 and was the eight TV feature award winner at the Animation Kobe Awards the same year. Male lead Yamato Kira and female lead Lacus Clyne were both number 1 in the male and female character lists in Animage in 2002 and was the winner of the Animage Grand Prix that year. The series ended up being the breakthroughs for their respective seiyuus Hoshi Souichirou and Tanaka Rie.
The series' cast has joined the Super Robot Wars roster. The characters have also appeared in a few Gundam crossover games such as Gundam Musou.
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