Gundam Director Yoshikazu Yasuhiko Compares Cucuruz Doan’s Island to Apocalypse Now

Da Vinci News held a recent interview with animator, mangaka and anime director Yoshikazu Yasuhiko to discuss the opening of the Yoshikazu Yasuhiko/Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN Exhibit in Saitama, as well his upcoming film Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island.

Illustration by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko

Towards the end of the interview Yasuhiko is asked “Did Doan’s story itself stick with you?”

Yasuhiko: At the time, I treated it like a stepchild, I threw the whole thing to an outsourced studio, including animation direction, and watched the raw footage thinking, “Oh, this is a bit …….” but the story always stuck with me. This should be a good story if it’s made properly. I was thinking that Cucuruz Doan’s Island is similar to Francis Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. In Apocalypse Now the U.S. military sends assassins to Colonel Kurtz, who escaped from the Vietnam War and established his own kingdom deep in the jungle. It depicts the darkness of the Vietnam War and has a great depth to it. I felt that Cucuruz Doan’s Island also depicted a kind of darkness of the One Year War.

From Mobile Suit Gundam episode 15, “Cucuruz Doan’s Island”

In the original 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam series, “Cucuruz Doan’s Island” sees protagonist Amuro Ray meeting Principality of Zeon deserter Cucuruz Doan. Stricken with guilt over his actions in a past battle involving killing civilians, Doan has secluded himself on an island in the Pacific swearing to protect the same children orphaned by that battle.

Colonel Kurtz

Apocalypse Now is a psychological, war film released in 1979, directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola. The film adapts Joseph Conrad’s 1899 Heart of Darkness novel with a 1960’s Vietnam War setting, starring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and Martin Sheen.

Key Visual by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko

Announced during the 2nd Gundam Conference on September 2021, Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island is a new anime film directed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, the character designer and chief animation director of the 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam series, as well as chief director of the 2015-2018 Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin OVA series. The film will be a new perspective on the fifteenth episode of the same name from the 0079 series. The tagline for the new film is “Gundam, rising again—“ and is set to release early Summer 2022.


  • Planning and Production: Sunrise
  • Original Story: Hajime Yatate, Yoshiyuki Tomino
  • Director: Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
  • Assistant Director: Ka Hee Im
  • Screenplay: Toshizo Nemoto
  • Character Design: Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, Atsushi Tamura, Tsukasa Kotobuki
  • Mechanical Design: Kunio Okawara, Hajime Katoki, Kimitoshi Yamane
  • Art Director: Yuji Kaneko
  • Color Design: Nagisa Abe
  • Director of Photography: Takeshi Katsurayama, Ryo Iijima
  • CGI Directing: Shuhei Morita
  • CGI Director: Abe Morihito
  • Editing: Kazuhiro Nii
  • Sound Director: Sadayoshi Fujino
  • Music: Takayuki Hattori

The Yoshikazu Yasuhiko/Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN Exhibition commemorates the 20th anniversary of Yasuhiko’s Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN manga series, and is being held at EJ Anime Museum in Tokorozawa Sakura Town, Saitama from January 22, 2022 to March 21, 2022.

Source: Da Vinci News

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