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Where Does Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan's Island Fit Into The Show's Timeline?

After months of only being available in Japan, "Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan's Island" is making its way to North American theaters at the end of September. This genre-defining franchise has roots all the way back to 1979 when "Mobile Suit Gundam" premiered with a 43-episode run before eventually being canceled the following year. Despite the franchise's obvious success today, "Mobile Suit Gundam" was not very popular when it was first released in Japan. According to the book "The Legend Story of Gundam," the original series was cut short after originally being approved for 52 episodes because of poor viewership numbers.

After the show was taken off the air, fans cried out for more, and that cry was answered with over four decades of new content. The popular anime franchise has dozens of movies, TV series, and other standalone content, which creates a massive timeline of events — which can often be quite confusing for newcomers to the series and even some die-hard fans. The latest addition to the Gundam Universe fits into a very specific spot in that timeline — one that fans outside of Japan may have wondered about for years.

The new movie is actually a remake of an episode from Mobile Suit Gundam

"Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan's Island" is actually a full-length movie remake of a single episode in the original "Mobile Suit Gundam" series that premiered in 1979 — an episode that never made the transition from the Japanese series to the series the rest of the world enjoyed. Episode 15 of "Mobile Suit Gundam" was titled "Cucuruz Doan's Island," and it was released in Japan on July 14, 1979, but it never made it to the rest of the world. From the opening scene of the episode, it has some obvious flaws. The animation is far below the quality of the rest of the series due in part to the fact that the art director for the series, Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, was ill in the hospital at the time of the episode's creation.

That infamous episode, at the request of the show's creator, Yoshiyuki Tomino, was removed from international releases, but now the rest of the world has a chance to see what happened on the Island Of No Return — the movie's setting. "Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan's Island" fits right into the original Universal Century timeline, which takes place in the year UC0079.

The movie will be released courtesy of Crunchyroll in select theaters in the United States on September 27 and 28 and in Canada on September 29 and October 1.