A new Gundam series has appeared on the franchise's official YouTube channel, though it may not be what fans were expecting.
The English release of Gundam Build Real was the first surprise announcement to come out of this year's Gundam Online Expo. The series, which premiered in Japan in March, is the first live-action show in the franchise since 1999's poorly received G-Saviour, which was produced in Canada. Similar to Gundam Build Fighters, the series features no actual mobile suits, but instead focuses on Gunpla, the 1/144th and 1/100th scale model kits from the series. In this new series, Gunpla can be scanned into a machine and used in the world's most popular e-sport. The show's battles feature 3D rendered Gundam models composited over live-action footage.
The series tells the story of a group of five friends who come together over their shared love of Gunpla and form a battling team. However, after one of them loses their team's flagship mobile suit, a model of the RX-78, the team disbands on bad terms and the friends go their separate ways. The show begins with the five friends meeting four years later, with all of them now in high school, as they decide to re-enter the world of competitive Gunpla battles.
Prior to the start of the expo, Bandai and Sunrise also unveiled Gundam Breaker Battlogue, a new animated series that also focuses on virtual battles with Gunpla. That series will also make its debut on the official Gundam YouTube channel when it premieres in October.
In addition to the new live-action series, an American movie is currently in production from Netflix and director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who is best known for Kong: Skull Island. Vogt-Roberts is also working on the Metal Gear Solid movie.