After suffering three COVID-19 related delays, and finally opening to Japanese cinema on June 11, Sunrise’s latest entry in the Gundam series, Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway’s Flash has quickly become a blockbuster.
Opening to 215 theaters across Japan, the film enjoyed an 190 million yen opening day, marking a 337% increase from Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative’s debut in 2018. The momentum continued the rest of the weekend earning an additional 330,656,900 yen, totaling 523,943,800 yen in box office revenue with 1,537,939 yen per screen and 259,074 attendees, ranking first in the Japanese weekend box office against fierce competition like Hideaki Anno’s Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time and Warner Bros. Pictures’s Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning.
In the film’s second weekend, it has earned 1,016,249,400 yen in 10 days from June 11 (Friday) to June 20 (Sunday) with 501,706 tickets sold. This marks the first time in thirty-three years a Gundam entry has exceeded one billion yen in box office revenue since the 1988 Mobile Suit Gundam Char’s Counterattack, which earned 1.13 billion yen.
With a great start, the team behind Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway Flash confidently projects the film will surpass Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space as the highest grossing in the Gundam franchise, exceeding 2.3 billion yen.
While the film is screening in Japan, streaming giant Netflix announced they were exclusively releasing the Hathaway film July 1 internationally during their “Geeked Week” event.
First in a trilogy of anime films helmed by Shukou Murase, Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway’s Flash or Hathaway is the official sequel to the 1988 Mobile Suit Gundam Char’s Counterattack movie. The project was announced in November 2018 to celebrate the Gundam 40th anniversary, adapting the Yoshiyuki Tomino-penned novel series of the same name. The novels were originally released from 1989 to 1990, as a follow-up to Tomino’s Char’s Counterattack: Beltorchika’s Children novel, published by Kadokawa’s Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko imprint.
The year is U.C. 0105. Twelve years have passed since the end of the second Neo Zeon War (Char’s Rebellion). Even after “the Axis Shock,” which seemed to indicate the future of humanity and the Universal Century, the world is still in a chaotic situation where intermittent military conflicts continue to break out. The Earth Federation government is more corrupt than ever, and its leadership has not only accelerated Earth’s pollution, but also implemented an inhuman “Man Hunting” policy in which civilians are forcibly exiled to outer space.
The anti-Federation government organization “Mafty,” led by someone called “Mafty Navue Erin,” has taken a stand against the corruption of the Earth Sphere. Mafty carries out fierce acts of terrorism, assassinating high officials of the Federation government one after another, but it gains a certain level of support from the populace who are growing more opposed to the Federation government.
The person who calls himself “Mafty” and leads this organization is Hathaway Noa, the son of Bright Noa, an officer of the Earth Federation Forces who once participated in the One Year War. Hathaway himself joined the forces trying to stop Char’s Rebellion. With firsthand knowledge of the ideals and ideologies of Amuro Ray and Char Aznable, he has become a warrior following in their footsteps, and plans to clear a path forward through armed resistance. His destiny, however, is drastically altered as he encounters the Federation Forces officer Kenneth Sleg and a mysterious young beauty named Gigi Andalucia.
- Kensho Ono as Hathaway Noa
- Junichi Suwabe as Kenneth Sleg
- Reina Ueda as Gigi Andalucia
- Soma Saito as Lane Aim
- Toru Furuya as Amuro Ray
- Maria Kawamura as Quess Paraya
- Nozomu Sasaki as Gass H. Huguest
- Kenjiro Tsuda as Gawman Nobile
- Yuki Ishikawa as Emeralda Zubin
- Fukushi Ochiai as Raymond Cain
- Shunsuke Takeuchi as Iram Masam
- Misato Matsuoka as Mihessia Hence
- Chiharu Sawashiro as Kenji Mitsuda
- Atsumi Tanezaki as Mace Flower
- Koichi Yamadera as Hundley Yeoksan
Ergo Proxy and Genocidal Organ’s Shukou Murase is directing the film project, with scripts by Yasuyuki Mutou. Pablo Uchida, Shigeki Kuhara, and Naoyuki Onda serve as the character designers for the films. Hiroyuki Sawano returns from Mobile Suit Gundam entries Unicorn and Narrative as music composer, with rock-band [Alexandros] performing its theme song “Senkou”. The films’ mechanical design team consists of Hajime Katoki, Kimitoshi Yamane, Nobuhiko Genba, and Seiichi Nakatani.