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Japan isn’t always, to put it nicely, the most politically correct culture. When it comes to other cultures, Japan can often be a little… blunt? One of the funniest (and best) examples of this is the anime “G Gundam.” The show features Mobile Gundam Suits that are supposed to represent different countries, but can sometimes come across as pretty racist (lots of lols to be had, though). Do you think these these are racist? Read on and decide for yourself!

Mobile Fighter G-Gundam

Gundam, as any otaku will tell you, is a legendary long-running anime franchise that’s been going basically non-stop in Japan for about 40 years now. Every few years, there’s a whole new series with different characters, plot, and setting.

One of the wackiest iterations of Gundam has been G Gundam. The premise of the series is that the countries of the world fight in a Gundam tournament every four years to determine who will govern the whole world. It’s like having elections, but with giant fighting robots and explosions.

In that tournament, each nation has its own Gundam that’s supposed to represent the country. Sounds good on paper, right? Who wouldn’t want the pride of her nation in giant robot form? But in the show, these Gundams often translate into lazy, ridiculous stereotypes for each country.

Tequila Gundam

Take, for instance, Mexico’s Gundam. It has a sombrero, mustache, and in the show is known as “Tequila Gundam.” I guess it’s one step up from “Mariachi Gundam,” but you gotta wonder if whoever created Tequila Gundam knew anything about Mexico other than what he learned in a Speedy Gonzales cartoon.

Nethers Gundam

And it’s not just Mexico that gets a stupid looking robot. Holland’s Gundam is literally just a giant windmill. You’d think that they would have something more intimidating than something that’s usually associated with picturesque countryside scenes or milling grain.

“Tremble before me!

Rose Gundam

France doesn’t escape from any of G Gundam’s hilariously bad designs, either. France’s “Rose Gundam” features a Napoleon-style hat, a cape, and a sword. It’s pretty bad, but it definitely could have been worse. At least France’s Gundam wasn’t a giant, cowardly croissant, or a mecha-Eiffel Tower. Wait, I take that back. I wish it was a mecha-Eiffel Tower. How sweet would that be?

Qu’est-ce que c’est ?

But wait, it gets better. Rose Gundam also has its own butler robot. Yes, a butler robot… because all French people have butlers, right?

Pharaoh Gundam

Egypt is like a band that had a one-hit wonder and will forever be known for that one song. No matter what else happens in Egypt’s history from now on, people will always think of pyramids, mummies, and the Sphinx when you mention Egypt. In G Gundam, Egypt’s fighting robot is – wait for it – Pharaoh Gundam, who eventually turns into a mummy who curses whoever comes near it. Surprised? Yeah, me neither.

John Bull Gundam

John Bull is a national symbol of Great Britain, kind of like Uncle Sam is to the USA. In G Gundam, the UK’s Gundam is named after that symbol, which by itself isn’t too bad. It does however also feature one of those tall black hats that you’ll see on guards around London. Offensive? Not particularly. Silly looking? Absolutely.

Not pictured: tea and biscuits.

Zebra Gundam

I don’t think I have enough space or time to tell you how this Gundam from Kenya is ridiculously offensive, but I bet you can figure it out on your own why this might be a bit problematic. Plus, do zebras actually do anything? At least a windmill can blow the enemy away…

And those are just the robots that are shown in the series. Who knows what the show’s creators might have had in mind for other countries. I shudder to think of the other ridiculous stereotypes that might be shown. I wouldn’t be surprised if a Ukranian Gundam was a radioactive meltdown, Chernobyl-style; or if Brazil’s Gundam was a giant, robotic Pelé.

International soccer superstar or destructive robot?

Based on all of these stereotypes, you’d think that Japan’s giant fighting robot would have a giant rising sun, wear a rising sun hachimaki bandana, or be called something stupid like “Sushi Gundam.” Surprisingly (or maybe not), Japan’s Gundam is simply called “Shining Gundam” and is pretty much the most generic looking thing in the world.

Don’t get me wrong, I love G Gundam. It’s one of my favorite series, and probably has some of the best camp value in the Gundam franchise. I think on some level, the creators of the show even recognize how ridiculous the whole premise is and just have a lot of fun with it.

But “Tequila Gundam?” Really?

What kind of ridiculous robot should represent your country? Let us know in the comments.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TR37BBET4BMIJC2MJSGIPB4NNM Luis Man

     who cares about racism in this sense. i would rather laugh and and enjoy the fact that racism isnt all about put downs and insults. instead part of a cartoon. in fact i like this concept better than hiding racial slurs in hidden mesages. Its better when it is blunt, because kids can more easily dissern that it is all for fun. But if you take Spongebob for example with all the hidden sexual terms… Your child may become brain poisoned by that show. HELL id rather have  Spongebob on mtv and given an appropriate rating while making jokes obvious, not hidden inside jokes in a channel that is OBVIOUSLY FOR KIDS; Nickelodeon. RACISM EXISTS NO MATTER WHAT, its a human byproduct that may never leave our history and cultures. So a show that is making fun of race bluntly but not insultingly is alright because that way we dont have to take it too seriously. it’s gonna be there so we have to live with eachother in peace. And if that means we have to every now and then laugh about it, so be it. The people who take G Gundam as an insult are overly sensitive and are looking for attention. I obviously knew when i was nine that this show portrays other countries as that are steriotypical caricatures but i did not know spongebob was so inappropriate. Since it was originally a show for mtv based on 2 gay guys and mtv did not want it, so, they hid all the jokes and put it on nick. so thank you for reading this and i hope you learned something. Because i definitley did not learn anything from this article. Good Day

  • Bruce_wayne92

    there is a german gundam piloted by schwartz

  • Nathankco

    I from hong kong and Master gundam.. I approve.

  • Ninja

    you guys have never actually seen the anime? America’s gundam was a red white and blue Boxer with 2 revolver like pistols and a surf board…

  • Ninja

    Seems like most of the people here haven’t watched the anime… Places Like Germany and America already have Gundams. Germany had a Ninja pilot cuz he Jacked the stereotypical Nazi’s Mobile Suit

  • Blztr

    Dude Im from India . Guess what our gundam would be . A giant Elephant like gundam with seven or eights heads it it would be really fat . the only ways of defeating it would be to touch it , as almost all indian things a useless , it would break apart . and then the fat pilot would say “tadaaaaaa” 

  • Tehluz

    Neo Sweden’s next gundam should look like Notch or better yet…a Creeper Gundam

  • Bifurious

    ‘Murica!!

  • Stacey

    Stereotypical, yes. Racist? No.
    Wikipedia reminds us that “racism” includes judgement or negative connotation: “Racism is usually defined as views, practices and actions
    reflecting the belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological
    groups called races
    and that members of a certain race share certain attributes which make
    that group as a whole less desirable, more desirable, inferior or superior.[1][2][3]”

    These Gundams are just over-simplified cliches from different countries, but there are no negative feelings attached.

  • EREN

    Also Turkey’s Gundam name is Minaret Gundam

  • Kurow Akutenshi

    That’s the good thing about Japan. Not giving a shit about being PC like the west does.

  • BurritoLOVER

    That’s not racist it’s funny, and sorry but when the most of the people think about mexico think about the same things: Mariachi, Tequila, Burritos and Tacos… so? whats the problem?…

  • Timothy Adam Luke Godkin

    A little late to the party, but anyways; I’m here, and if anyone happens to want to know about the Gundam in this series that was representing my Country (Canada); well, here it is: http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/GF13-037NCA_Lumber_Gundam.

  • mattwo

    The super modes for both shining and god/burning gundam are based on samurai. It’s more noticeable in the case of the later gundam, and Neo Japan HAS had a couple of other Gundams including a Kappa http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/Turtle_Gundam and in superior defender gundam force, the oddly Zaku-like Busshi units are referenced with these guys http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/Zako_Busshi?file=Zako_Busshi.gif

  • mattwo

    in the dub Chibodee gets “America the beautiful” sung to him, which was not the song used in the japanese version.

    So, I’m pretty sure it’s not a matter of being politically correct, or maybe it’s just that these stereotypes are done in such an awesome manner, I mean Tequila gundam looks awesome IMO.

  • mattwo

    Also, on the polar opposite side of things, Nobel Gundam is Sailor V. I have no idea why (other than the canonical explanation that they wanted opponents to underestimate it which not only doesn’t actually answer my question but makes the berzerker system seem like a moot point…)