Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway - Is it Canon? Trailer Confirms Amuro Ray, Release Date
Sunrise revealed a new trailer for Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway, which reveals original Gundam protagonist Amuro Ray will be appearing in the movie, alongside a release date for the movie in Japan’s theaters. We’re here to explain what you need to know about Hathaway’s Flash as a Gundam fan.
What’s Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway’s Flash?
Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway’s Flash (Senkou no Hathaway in Japanese) was originally a novel. In case you didn’t know, there’s a plethora of Gundam manga and novels besides the animated works. And most never ever leave Japan.
Some of them were written by Gundam‘s original author and director Yoshiyuki Tomino. And Hathaway’s Flash is one of these novels. Taking place over 10 years after Char’s Counterattack, the original novel features Hathaway, Bright Noah’s son, as he leads a terrorist organization by the name of Mafty. Hathaway himself uses an alias, Mufti Nabiyy Erin, and pilots a new mobile suit, the RX-105 Xi Gundam.
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Hathaway is tormented by the events from Char’s Counterattack, and the legacies of Amuro Ray, Char Aznable, and his father. He ends up confronting Lane Aim, piloting another Gundam unit, the RX-104FF Penelope.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway’s Flash was first published from February 1989 to April 1990, with illustrations by Haruhiko Mikimoto (Macross‘ character designer among other works) and mecha designer Moriki Yasuhiro.
Moriki Yasuhiro, who also handled the mecha design for the Zeorymer anime adaptation, and the design of Great Zeorymer appearing in Super Robot Wars, has an iconic touch with how “pointy” his mecha are:
In the Hathaway movies, the mecha designs were re adaptated by Seiichi Nakatani. Judging from the trailers, the animation looks incredible, though the use of 3DCGI might not fit every mecha fan’s taste.
Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway release date
Sunrise initially announced Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway’s Flash in 2018 for the 40th anniversary of the Gundam franchise. The anime project is made of three movies, and the first one was supposed to release in July 23, 2020, in Japanese theaters, but was delayed with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway’s Flash movie in Japan will now be releasing on May 7, 2021 in theaters. Dates for future movies were not announced yet.
Outside Japan, the Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway movie has no release date yet. However, seeing how huge of a franchise Gundam is, it’s likely that one of the simulcast services, such as Crunchyroll or Funimation, will announce a release at some point.
The trailer also confirms Amuro Ray will be making an appearance as we can hear him at the end.
Note that the rock band handling the theme song is Alexandros, who also did the opening theme of Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s Judgment. Which is part of the Yakuza series.
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Is Gundam Hathaway canon?
Originally, the novel was meant to be not a sequel to the Char’s Counterattack anime movie, but a sequel to Beltorchika’s Children, which is a novel retelling of the movie. As such, it’s ambiguous whether Hathaway’s Flash is canon or not. Personally speaking, I’d suggest to not brood over it, as it’s most of the time pointless arguing about timelines and whether something is canon or not when it comes to Japanese works. Especially with huge franchises like Gundam.