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What Voice Actor Toru Furuya Found Incredibly Nostalgic About Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan's Island

The staying power of "Mobile Suit Gundam" is stronger than the metal alloy of the recognizable mechs themselves. The series began in 1979 and has blossomed into a global phenomenon over four decades. And 2022 is only adding to the impressive legacy of the series. Fans have been treated to a new game with Gundam Evolution and will receive a new anime show in the form of "Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury." However, while the franchise is still moving forward, it recently proved that it has one giant mecha-sized foot firmly planted in the past.

After months of showing in Japan, western audiences finally got to see the new movie, "Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan's Island." It's a standalone story featuring Amuro Ray and the White Base Crew that originally comes from Episode 15 of the original "Mobile Suit Gundam" anime. The episode aired in Japan but never came out to the rest of the world. The movie offers the opportunity to expand and fix any issues of an episode doomed to be potentially lost media. But it also serves a healthy serving of nostalgic pie, filled with "One Year War" goodies. 

Fans weren't the only ones taking a space trip to memory lane. Amuro voice actor Toru Furuya recently expressed what he found incredibly nostalgic about "Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan's Island."

The film captures the relationship between Amuro and Bright from the anime

With its stand-alone story, "Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan's Island" could serve as the perfect gateway for anime fans ready to delve into the Universe Century side of the franchise. Yet, for hardcore fans already familiar with the story of Amuro Ray, the movie felt more like a welcome reunion with beloved characters. In a translated interview on QooApp, voice actor Toru Furuya couldn't help but feel those nostalgic vibes, especially between two key characters. "It certainly was nostalgic, watching each and every one of the crew's personalities still shine through a different voice. Furuya said in the interview. "The film reminded me of how Amuro and Bright's relationship was back in the first anime, and how they used to bounce off of each other."

The "Cucuruz Doan's Island" film feels like an expanded episode of the original series. The movie even flashbacks to one of the most iconic and often memed Amuro and Bright Noa moments from "Mobile Suit Gundam." In Episode 9, Bright busts into a despondent Amuro's room and hits him. Considering that "Cucuruz Doan's Island" canonically takes place a few episodes past that particular scene, it's appropriately referenced. Yet besides the flashback, the movie also sheds more light on the complex relationship between Bright and Amuro. In the film, Bright struggles between being a strict commander and showing signs of concern for his young crew, especially Amuro. In one scene, after being forced to retreat from the island without Amuro, Bright orders Sleggar Law to find and rescue him, softly adding that the Gundam pilot is still just a kid.

Why was Bright's age changed for the film?

The dynamic between Bright and Amuro may have been the same, but not everything from the original anime remained untouched. Per Gundam Wiki, in "Mobile Suit Gundam,"  Bright is 19 years old. Basically, the space commander isn't old enough to drink in an U.S. bar. However, per Anime News Network, the character is aged up to 25. (While it's said that war can age a person, we don't think they quite meant it like this.) Anime News Network further reported that during a Japanese talk show appearance, "Cucuruz Doan's Island," director Yoshikazu Yasuhiko noted that the age change occurred because it made sense.

"In the past, a character over 20 in a children's program would have been designated an uncle-type figure (ojisan)," Yasuhiko said on the talk show. "Bright was meant to be an older brother figure rather than an uncle figure, so his age was set at 19, the oldest he could be to represent that type. So rather than changing it [for the film], we just gave him the age that should have been common sense from the beginning."

Aging up Bright might make sense now, as in the anime and the film, he already gives off a more seasoned air that betrays his initial age. And it feels less hypocritical whenever he remarks about Amuro's young status. In addition, it doesn't mess with the canon too much for fans that choose to begin the series with the "Mobile Suit Gundam: Origin" series. In the OVAs, which give more context to the story of Char Aznable and the origins of the "One Year War," Bright is also 25.