Gundam

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The largest sci-fi franchise in Japan, Gundam could be likened to the Star Wars franchise of America. In fact, Gundam debuted in Japan in 1979, just two years after Star Wars in America. Sales of Gundam merchandise including toys, models, and video games regularly top the charts. Gundam is based on the idea of huge robots called “Mobile Suits” that are used as military weapons. Storylines tend to be complex and multi-layered, making for character relationships that are realistic and engaging. So enamored are multiple generations of Japanese with Gundam that in 2012, members of Japan’s ruling LDP party discussed building real-life Gundam in a public forum.

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