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Over a year ago, Honey gave you loyal readers it's first ever Top 10 Gundam list from various installments of the hit mech series. As you fans know, the franchise continues to expand and in addition, so must this list. After much reconsideration (in regards to strength, firepower, mobility, armor strength, and how the operating system works with the pilot) we would like to present to you the 2016 Edition of Honey’s Top 10 Gundams.
As a disclaimer, we understand that there are other Gundam media such as novels and manga, but this list will be limited to what has been portrayed in animation. So suit up as we launch into our newest countdown!
- Unit Type: RX-78-2 Prototype General-Purpose Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Amuro Ray
- Appearance: Mobile Suit Gundam
Number 10 has to go to the original Gundam itself. Though a good percentage of present Gundam installments have their pilots change their Gundams midway through the series, the first Gundam series has Amuro, the main character stick with the classic Gundam until the very end. It was given advanced armor (made out of the strong and flexible Lunar Titanium Alloy) that could withstand a good portion of enemy weapons, provide more mobility than the bulky Zeon’s Zakus, and given plenty of firepower with a bazooka, a beam rifle, beam saber, Vulcan cannons next to its eyes, and even a ball and chain (though more highlighted in the TV series)!
With the G-Fighter jet, the Gundam could combine with it and be a giant aerial jet or a heavy-duty tank for both land and air. As Amuro’s abilities develop, the Gundam was given hardware updates such as its magnetic coating to help cope with his improved reflexes. For every new weapon the Zeon dishes out, Amuro and the Gundam are always ready to take them down. And this Gundam with its core design and color scheme would obviously pave way for the rest of the franchise, which is why it deserves a place on this list.
- Unit Type: ASW-G-08 General-Purpose Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Mikazuki Augus
- Appearance: Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans
If age is only a number, then this Gundam most certainly proves it since it happens to be 300 years old! Despite its age and steampunk feel, it still has an active power reactor and its pilot, Mikazuki happens to maneuver it with ease due to his body being surgically made to accommodate its operating system, the Alaya-Vijana System, in which his spine has surgically implanted “spikes” that allows his nervous system to be one with his mobile suit. Thus it allows him to control it like it was an extension of his own body and make up for some of the regular mobility/reflex weaknesses that wouldn't be easy under regular controls (which takes more coordination).
Thanks to the help of his associates in his unit, Tekkadan, the Barbatos is fixed to its prime condition and can still go toe-to-toe with the forces of enemy mobile suits made by the present technology of his time. Though Gundams tend to traditionally have beam swords, this Gundam will use giant metal blades to get the job done. It also equipped with a 300mm caliber machine gun, an extending claw, a battle-axe, and a long-range rifle.
Thanks to Mikazuki’s abilities and knowledge of these weapons due to his training as a regular soldier, this suit can achieve its full potential in speed and power in both space and gravitational conditions.
8. God Gundam
- Unit Type: GF13-017NJII Close Quarters Combat Mobile Fighter
- Pilot: Domon Kasshu
- Appearance: G Gundam
The God Gundam (or the Burning Gundam in the daytime dub) is pretty much an updated version of the Shining Gundam, thus sharing many of its capabilities in hand-to-hand combat. Due to the nature of the series being a spoof of old-school mecha anime (as in Pre-Gundam anime like Mazinger Z), trendy Shounen series (such as Dragon Ball Z), and the Street Fighter series, many of its features are more “gimmicky” compared to other Gundams but is still respectfully powerful in its own right. It uses special attacks such as the explosive God Finger, Heat End, Bakunetsu God Slash, and so on. Some just do the job in defeating the opponent, or cause extreme damage.
In addition to these attacks being a tribute/parody to fighting games and Shounen, it still packs the traditional Vulcan cannons and beam Sabres. Just like how the Shining Gundam had its super mode, the God Gundam would continue this quality with the hyper mode (try to this of this as Gohan’s Super Saiyan 2), a reaction to Domon’s emotions in reading its power output by 30%.
7. Gundam Alex
- Unit Type: RX-78NT-1 Prototype Newtype-use General-purpose Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Christina MacKenzie
- Appearance: Gundam 0080 War in the Pocket
Though only briefly featured in the six-episode OVA series, the Gundam Alex shows numerous amazing features such as its cannon turrets hidden in its wrist, its heavy armor that can withstand deadly explosives, its tremendous boosting speed, 360 view degree cockpit, and so on. The worst part, audiences never get to see it to its fullest potential because the Alex was intended for Amuro and to accommodate his Newtype abilities and he never got his hands on it. It was test piloted by rookie Christina MacKenzie, a non-Newtype.
Unfortunately, her lack of experience on the battlefield compared to Bernie, an expert in basic guerrilla tactics has the Alex destroyed in a duel. But if you are to play the strategy game Gihren's Greed (available for the Saturn, PS1, PS2, Dreamcast, PSP and PS3), it is possible to give Amuro the Alex and see it operate to its fullest potential and win the One Year War with ease!
6. Zeta Gundam
- Unit Type: MSZ-006 Prototype Newtype-use Transformable General-Purpose Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Camille Vidan (Z Gundam), Judau Ashita (Gundam ZZ), Roux Louka (Gundam ZZ)
- Appearance: Z Gundam/Gundam ZZ
Though this Gundam is the titled mech, it did not make its first appearance until episode 21. Unlike other Gundam series, this Gundam was designed by Camille himself. While the previous Gundams were blockier in their design, the Zeta is more sharp and sleek. The design allows less resistance for it to move with much swifter speeds. With its armory, its weapons heavily emphasize on beam weaponry, and have a grappling wire that emits an EMP blast to immobile enemy units.
In addition, it can also transform into a plane (aka wave rider mode) which is helpful when entering Earth’s atmosphere or when it needs more of a speed advantage. Last, it is also equipped with the Psycommu system, which allows Newtypes such as Camille to fully utilize their abilities and “be one” with their mobile suit. After Camille was put in sickbay after the events of the Zeta Gundam series, it was given temporary control to the main character of Gundam ZZ, Judau Ashita and after he receives the titled Double Zeta, Judau’s friend Louka becomes its final pilot. However, in its final days after losing its head, it was then replaced with the head of an old Zaku.
5. Double Zeta
- Unit Type: MSZ-010 ZZ Prototype Newtype-use Transformable Multi Purpose Heavy Assault Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Judau Ashita
- Appearance: Gundam ZZ
In the sequel to Zeta, the titled Double Zeta reverts back to the more traditional blocky design along with the grilled faceplate and is more of a throwback to the original RX-78-2 Gundam from the TV series in which it can assume other transformations with one that would emphasize on speed, and another that would emphasize on power.
In a case of emergencies, like the original Gundam, its cockpit could also serve as a separate plane known as a core fighter. Along with its heavy build, it is equipped with missile launchers, a regular mega cannon, a beam attack from its head, a double beat rifle and beam sabres making it capable of all ranges in combat. Due to some of its power limitations, it was given a few upgrades to make up for some of its initial weaknesses. And like its predecessor, due to Jedau being a Newtype, it is equipped with the Psycommu system to handle his abilities.
4. Nu Gundam
- Unit Type: RX-98 v Prototype Newtype-use General-Purpose Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Amuro Ray
- Appearance: Char’s Counterattack
Amuro’s final mobile suit will be the Nu Gundam, in which its design is also a throwback to the original suit. A bit larger framed and with a slightly different color scheme (with black instead of blue), he is back on the battlefield better than ever with the latest technology.
Thanks to its predecessors such as the original and the Double Zeta, it is given the best functions to best accommodate Amuro’s abilities. Though funnels played a huge part between the last act of the original Gundam series and throughout Zeta and ZZ, this is the first time ever a Gundam would be equipped with funnels and it served Amuro very well in both offense and defense (since it can also make a temporary shield). Like Char’s Sazabi, Amuro’s Nu Gundam is equipped with the psycho frame, an update to the psycommu system in which the system has more connection than just the pilot’s brain, but also its heart.
So sometimes in great desperation, the system will react to the pilot’s emotions and allow it to serve as a “boost”of power. Thankfully this mobile suit gave Amuro the final victory against Char, but with great sacrifice. Thankfully, the power of his psycho frame triggered by his emotions along with fellow federation pilots also saved the Earth from getting destroyed by Char’s home base of Axis.
3. Strike Freedom
- Unit Type: ZGMF-X20A Custom Assault Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Kira Yamato
- Appearance: Gundam SEED Destiny
Though the Cosmic Era is a very strong source of controversy amongst the hardcore Gundam fan base, it is still very difficult to deny the heavy firepower of the Strike Freedom. Its features are meant to accommodate the improved abilities of its pilot, Kira Yamato (who at this point is mockingly referred to as Jesus Kira by fans), who emphasizes more on speed and efficiency. Though its predecessor, the Freedom, packed tremendous power with its cannons in its funnel wings, Strike Freedom takes it to a whole different level that some fans accuse of being overpowered.
Regardless, if one wants to win a war, sometimes you need to the best equipment and the best man for the job. Thankfully, Kira does not abuse the destructive power of the Strike Freedom and does everything he can to avoid killing people by intentionally missing the cockpits of hostile combatants and firing at weak points that do no significant damage. Not only does it pack tremendous weapons, its hardware updates allows it to move at tremendous mobility thanks to Kira’s abilities as a Coordinator and as a Newtype.
- Unit Type: RX-78GP02A Prototype Tactical Nuclear Assault Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Anavel Gato
- Appearance: Gundam 0080 Stardust Memory
At number two, we have The Physalis armed with a nuke! And the bad news, technically nukes are illegal, which makes the Physalis a blacklist project. To make matters worse, it manages to fall into the hands of Zeon ace pilot, Anavel Gato. And don’t let the size fool you!
Thanks to Anavel’s experience and skills, his control allows him to make it flow with ease and fly likes an eagle. Due to its nuclear capabilities, it is appropriately heavily armored and given a shield to protect the pilot from nuclear fallout and to function as a cooling system. When push came to shove, Gato uses the nuke to take out 2/3 of the Federation Fleet near his beloved based of Solomon. Not only is it dangerous from long range due to its special weapon, Gato’s skills manages to make it a fearsome machine in close quarters combat in his duels with his rival, Kou Uraki.
1. Psycho Gundam
- Unit Type: MRX-009 Prototype Newtype-use Transformable Heavy Assault Mobile Armor
- Pilot: Four Murasame
- Appearance: Z Gundam
Taking number one on this list is the Psycho Gundam piloted by Four Murasame. This Gundam can be classified as a super Gundam since it makes a regular mobile suit look like a human being! Its design is more or less the same as the original Gundam, but of course much bigger and has a black, red, and yellow color scheme. In addition to being designed like a traditional Gundam, it is capable of transforming itself as a giant floating fortress.
Its menacing size allows it to carry a beam gun in its head, a mega particle gun in its chest, and traditional beams from its fingers. To make matters worse, its defense is virtually impregnable with beam weapons having no effect on it. Since it was designed for Newtypes (and Cyber Newtypes), it is appropriately equipped with a Psycommu system making it very deadly in the hands of the mentally unstable Four Murasame.
In some instances, it’s the mobile suit that makes the pilot and in others, it’s the reverse. As Captain Bright said in Unicorn, every pilot has taken the Gundam for a reason regardless of circumstances and goes through with it to the end. In some cases, the Gundam itself feels like a living breathing character. Even without their respective pilots, their designs and features give them their own unique identities. But without its pilot, its power can’t be fully utilized.
So for you fans that are either noobs or veterans, what are some of your top 10 favorite Gundams? Until then, look forward to next year’s list.
This top 10 will focus on mecha from the Gundam franchise. There are other series with arguably stronger mecha. However, they start to wander into the territories of magic and artificial life. So, instead we’ll go through some mobile suits that are simpler (just a bit) to quantify and organize into a standard list.
Though these are grouped together for a top 10 list, it is difficult to list them in rank according to strength. There are too many variables to take into account, least of which would be the fact that some of them are from different universes and others contain non-human pilots (or no pilot at all).
But ranking aside, let’s get into the list and see what each of these suits are all about.
1. Destiny Gundam
- Unit Type: Prototype General-Purpose Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Shinn Asuka
- Appearance: Gundam Seed Destiny ( & Gundam Build Fighters Try )
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: Oct 9, 2004 to Oct 1, 2005
The Destiny is one of the most versatile suits ever created. It was designed to be capable of close quarter as well as mid-range combat. Multiple weapons can be interchanged beforehand to suit the pilot’s needs and fighting conditions.
It was also designed to specifically fit the movements and combat-style of Shinn Asuka. Its composition and joints were created in a way to maximize range of motion and provide greater flexible.
Shinn is able to use this increased movement to easily evade most attacks and close in on his opponent. One of the ways he does this is by combining the “Wings of Light” propulsion system and the Mirage Colloid System. “Wings of Light” allows him to move at speeds that most other suits can’t match. Then, the Mirage system creates after-images meant to confuse the enemy. In unison, Shinn creates a technique that quickly brings him in range to slice through his opponents with the Arondight Beam sword.
- Unit Type: Prototype Newtype-use Psycoframe General-Purpose Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Banagher Links
- Appearance: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
- Episodes: OVA 7
- Aired: Feb 20, 2010 to May 17, 2014
Unicorn is the only full-psycoframe mobile suit on this list. Before, I mentioned that the Destiny was built to maximize range of movement and flexibility. Well, the Unicorn takes movement and responsiveness to a whole new level. Psycoframe is a physics defying material that allows the mobile suit to respond to the pilots emotions and thoughts. It works less as a machine and more as an extension of the human body.
You can imagine that that kind of instant response would be a godsend on the battlefield. Its armaments and I-Field Generator are top notch as well. However, the Unicorn does not stop there. The New Type Destroyer System (NT-D) allows Banagher to gain an upper hand when fighting against those with Newtype brainwaves.
When it detects the presence of those brain waves, the Unicorn will enter “Destroyer” mode. This gives all of its stats a substantial boost and gives Banagher the ability to control Newtype weapons and use them against the original owners. This system does have a downside. A normal person is only able to use it for 5-minutes before they succomb to the massive stress it puts on the brain. Fortunately, a person with a strong enough will can overpower this inhibitor and decide how long the Unicorn stays in “Destroyer” mode.
3. Double X
- Unit Type: Prototype Newtype-Use Assault Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Garrod Ran
- Appearance: After War Gundam X ( & Gundam Build Fighters )
- Episodes: 39
- Aired: Apr 5, 1996 to Dec 28, 1996
Often pitted against the Wing Gundam Zero, in online debates, the Double X is one of the few truly strong suits that specializes in far-range attacks. Besides having a Beam Javelin, 2x Chest-mounted Launchers, Head-mounted Vulcans, and a Buster Rifle, it also has access to the Satellite System.
In the After War era, this is known to be the most powerful Gundam weapon in existence. A highly powerful microwave energy beam is sent from one of the stations orbiting Earth, it reaches a mobile suit capable of harnessing this volatile beam. It then converts the microwave energy into a Satellite Cannon that can shoot with precision. It is capable of destroying space colonies in a single shot. On top of that, the Double X has a Twin Satellite Cannon. So, its destructive power is doubled. That kind of power alone makes it worthy of entering a list of top 10 mecha.
4. Victory 2
- Unit Type: Prototype Transformable General-Purpose Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Uso Ewin
- Appearance: Mobile Suit Victory Gundam ( & Gundam Build Fighters )
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: Apr 2, 1993 to Mar 25, 1994
The V2 is an overall improvement over it’s predecessor. The best new addition, unquestionably, would be the implementation of the Minovsky Drive System. This granted the mobile suit a nearly impenetrable shield, in the form of a high-energy pair of wings. It could also transform the energy into a two extremely powerful beam sabers.
The V2’s armament includes:
* Beam Pistol
* Beam Rifle
* 4x Beam Sabers
* 2x Beam Shields
* 2x Beam Vulcans
These, accompanied with the highly advanced Minovsky Drive System and several interchangeable upgrade packs, combine to create one of the most powerful mobile suits in the Universal Century timeline.
5. Devil Gundam
- Unit Type: Prototype DG-Cell Infested Mobile Fighter
- Pilot: N/A
- Appearance: Mobile Fighter G Gundam ( & Gundam Build Fighters )
- Episodes: 49
- Aired: Apr 1, 1994 to Mar 31, 1995
Mobile Fighter G produced some very unique and philosophical mobile suits. Though only one in particular was strong enough to enter our list today. That would have to be the Devil Gundam. This Ultimate Gundam was originally created with three very “overpowered” abilities: self-regeneration, self-evolution, and self-multiplication. These were meant to one day evolve to a level where they could be of use to humanity, perhaps even help cure humanity of diseases or physical disabilities.
However, due to a malfunction, its powers became corrupted and evil. It wanted to continue its mission of healing the world. Unfortunately, it saw humans as the plague that needed to be eradicated in order to save Earth.
Devil Gundam transformed several times as it continued to evolve into ever more powerful forms. It was capable of making enough copies of itself to organize the Devil Army and other variants of its original self. Even though it contained self-regeneration, this ability was greatly diminished without a core unit. The Devil Gundam needed a core unit, a person contained inside the suit, to maximize its three abilities. Given enough time the Devil Gundam could evolve to a being with no equal. So, it stands to reason that it could be the most powerful Gundam on the list.
6. Turn X
- Unit Type: Prototype Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Gym Ghingham
- Appearance: Turn A Gundam ( & Gundam Build Fighters )
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: Apr 9, 1999 to Apr 14, 2000
This deadly prototype suit is arguably more deadly than its “brother” suit, the Turn A. Throughout the Turn A Gundam Series it demonstrated its ability to outclass every other mobile suit and was only matched in combat by Rolan Cehack and his Turn A.
It’s unique weapon set includes a mega particle cannon. This is composed of eight separate pieces of itself. Each detached component is capable of firing a mega particle beam.
A destruction manipulator is placed on its right arm. This manipulator is what allows it to perform its “Shining Finger” attack (an ability reminiscent of Shining Gundam).
Also, it contains an energy absorber, or Power Drain, on its chest. It uses this to absorb the energy out of other mobile suits.
The Psycommu System is the most powerful of its technologies. It allows it to separate its body parts and employ long-range attacks. It can be used to fire off the mega particle cannon, encase an enemy in a disabling magnetic-field, or it can monitor enemy vital signs.
The above mentioned abilities are only some of what put it and the Turn A mobile suit in a separate class from the other suits on this list.
7. Turn A
- Unit Type: Prototype Interstellar Warfare Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Rolan Cehack
- Appearance: Turn A Gundam ( & Gundam Build Fighters Try )
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: Apr 9, 1999 to Apr 14, 2000
Though the Turn A has a standard set of weapons, it contains a rather unique design compared to most other mobile suits. For starters, it draws its power from a highly advanced power plant, which basically creates artificial black holes.
Apart from that, the Turn A contains nanomachines that are able to convert most matter into sand. This is most prevalent in its “Moonlight Butterfly” attack. It releases the nanomachines to create a defensive shield to protect itself from attacks or it can go forth and deteriorate enemy forces. However, it was unable to do so in its fight against the Turn X. The “brother” units shared equal strength, so the effect created by two simultaneous “Moonlight Butterflies” resembled a cocoon encasing the two pilots and their suits.
Lastly, it is capable of bending light to camouflage itself from enemy surveillance systems. This use gives it the appearance of being able to teleport. It can easily combine this ability with its weapon usage to create devastating attacks on any would-be enemies.
8. 00 Qan[T]
- Unit Type: Custom Innovator-Use Close Quarters Combat Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Setsuna F. Seiei
- Appearance: Gundam 00: Awakening of the Trailblazer
- Episodes: Movie
- Aired: Aired: Sep 18, 2010
This successor to the 00 Raiser was only shown in the Gundam 00 movie. In its base form, the it uses a GN Sword V, various sword bits, and a GN Shield. Though it specializes in close combat, the sword bits can be interchange to create long range weapons as well.
The 00 Qan[T] improves on the Twin Drive System while moving away from the powerful Trans-Am system. Instead, it uses the Quantum System which is more suited to the quantum waves of Innovators.
Apart from the Turn A, Turn X, and Devil Gundam this one could quite possibly be the strongest. The reason for this being the fact that Setsuna can use the Quantum System to enhance his brainwaves, communicate telepathically communicate with others, heighten his already superhuman senses, and utilize danger precognition.
Setsuna’s childhood training as a guerrilla soldier prepared him for battle at an early age. His beliefs and willpower allowed him to become the first true Innovator. Because of these facts, he has seemingly limitless potential when it comes to fighting in a mobile suit.
9. Age FX
- Unit Type: X-Rounder-Use General-Purpose Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Kio Asuno
- Appearance: Mobile suit Gundam Age
- Episodes: 49
- Aired: Oct 9, 2011 to Sep 23, 2012
The Advanced Generation of mobile suits all led up to the creation of the AGE-FX. It gathered data from its successor, the Gundam AGE-3 Normal, and quickly became the most powerful mobile suit of the Federation. Though it’s a bit unclear, this suit implements the AGE System. Basically, it can can research human evolution and digitize all of that data. That data is inputted into the mobile suit and allows it to customize and grow alongside its pilot.
It is an all-around fighter type. Though, the Psycho Follow System allows it to use the C-Funnels for simultaneous offense and defense. The most significant upgrade to previous suits is the C-Funnels. These are remote controlled blades that detach themselves from the suit but are still under the pilot’s control. They can be used to establish an offensive attack or to defend an enemy’s assault. When FX Burst Mode is activated the blades become less accurate but they move at much higher speeds. The suit itself then becomes capable of moving at speeds close to 10x its normal speeds. Needless to say, it is very capable of taking on a large group of enemy forces on its own.
10. Wing Gundam Zero
- Unit Type: Prototype Transformable General-Purpose Mobile Suit
- Pilot: Heero Yuy
- Appearance: Gundam Wing
- Episodes: 49
- Aired: Apr 7, 1995 to Mar 29, 1996
This may be one of the most well-known and recognizable mobile suits in the franchise. Its signature weapons are the Twin Buster Rifles. They are an upgrade from the original Wing Gundam’s rifles. These improved weapons are capable of destroying space colonies. It also very capable of close quarters combat with its Beam Saber and Wing Shield.
The “Zero” in its name denotes the implementation of the ZERO System. It is a very advanced system that allows the pilot to see any and all battle information while simultaneously calculating all possible outcomes of a given scenario. The information has to be inputted into the pilot’s mind directly. Obviously, this is a very dangerous technology that can prove disastrous if abused or used by the wrong person.
Fortunately, Heero Yuy was undergone strict training in discipline, body control, and critical thinking since early childhood. On top of that, his genes were modified by Doctor J. So, he is the perfect pilot to maximize the capabilities of the ZERO system. He can process the information while maintaining control of his mind and emotions.
So, that’s about it for the Top 10 Mecha in anime. There are so many options to choose from. I’m sure people have various opinions about who should be included in a list such as this. There’s probably even more debate over which suits are stronger than others. Please let me know which suits you’d put on this last. I look forward to reading your comments!