As the world of Gundam on the small screen gets ready for a new future with The Witch From Mercury, on the big screen we’re about to jump right back into its earliest history again—because at long last, the latest movie in the franchise is finally making its way out of Asia.
Crunchyroll has announced that it has acquired the release rights for English dubbed and subtitled versions of Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island, the latest film in the legendary mecha franchise. Set during the events of the original Gundam anime’s One Year War, the movie—directed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, the character designer and animation director for the original Gundam as well as the artist behind its manga adaptation as Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin—follows Gundam pilot Amuro Ray and the crew of the White Base as they investigate the mysterious “Island of No Return” to clear it of supposed enemy forces, only to encounter a group of children orphaned by the war and a strange man, the titular Cucuruz Doan, a former Zeon pilot who has left the war behind him.
The film is a loose adaptation of the infamous 15th episode of the original 1979 anime, of the same name. The episode became something of a meme among Gundam fans due to its uncharacteristically poor animation, including bizarrely off model shots of the Gundam and Doan’s Zaku Mobile Suit that have become internet joke fodder ever since. The episode, at the request of Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, never made it to home releases of Gundam outside of Japan for years, turning it into an almost-lost part of the franchise’s history. It was only when the show began streaming for the first time on Funimation in 2020 that the episode, warts and all, was made more widely accessible—but now fans across the world beyond asia will get to see Yasuhiko’s attempt to do that story right.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island will release in both dubbed and subtitled formats in the UK. on September 21 and 22, with tickets going on sale next week on September 16. The film will hit the US on September 27 and 28, before releasing in Canada on September 29 and October 1, and will also release for a special one-week run in Australia from September 29 (with tickets going on sale there from September 14). Tickets for the US screenings are available to pre-order now at Crunchyroll’s Movie Night website.
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