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Zeta Gundam

Format: Television series
Story Date: Universal Century 0087

Zeta Gundam was, in the real world, the first sequel to the original Gundam series. It debuted in 1985, after the release of the compilation movies - and the extra scene at the end depicting Char's escape from the final battle - had whetted fans' appetites for a continuation of the Gundam saga. Though the Greek letter in its title might suggest that this television series was intended to conclude the story, you'll recall that "Zeta" is far from the last letter of the Greek alphabet.

While the series delivered on some viewer expectations by reuniting the original creative team, and reintroducing Char and the rest of the surviving cast, it also did its best to disorient the viewer by reshuffling all the factions and allegiances. Now the Earth Federation, in its zeal to stamp out the remnants of rebellion in the space colonies, had become the villain. Char and the White Base crew were now on the same side, fighting against the evil excesses of the Federation's elite Titans force. And Amuro, the soulful hero of the original series, was relegated to a bit part while a new hero took his place.

Though its plot was complex and its story unrelentingly bleak, Zeta Gundam was a bona fide hit. Since then, nary a year has gone by without a new addition to the Gundam saga.