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Mobile Suit Gundam: Awakening, Escalation, Confrontation (機動戦士ガンダム) is a novel written by Yoshiyuki Tomino in 1979, before the end of the anime, himself created the first novelizations of the original Gundam anime series. The novels, issued as a series of three books, allowed him to depict his story in a more sophisticated, adult, and detailed fashion. Along with this adaptation came several major changes to the story.


Volume 1: Awakening

Chapter 1: Side 7

Chapter 2: Escape from Side 7

Chapter 3: The California Crush

Chapter 4: Newtypes

Chapter 5: Zeon

Chapter 6: The Texas Zone

Chapter 7: Lalah Sune

Chapter 8: The Beginning

Volume 2: Escalation

Chapter 9: Escape

Chapter 10: Kusko Al

Chapter 11: Prelude

Chapter 12: People

Chapter 13: Contact

Chapter 14: Premonition

Chapter 15: The Attack

Chapter 16: The Elmeth

Volume 3: Confrontation

Chapter 17: Power and Ambition

Chapter 18: Dozle Zabi

Chapter 19: Retreat

Chapter 20: A Stirring

Chapter 21: Test Firing

Chapter 22: A Baoa Qu

Chapter 23: Zum City


Earth Federation

Principality of Zeon



Earth Federation Forces

Mobile Suit

Mobile Pod

Support Units

Principality of Zeon

Mobile Suit

Mobile Armor

Support Units



In 1979, before the end of the anime, Yoshiyuki Tomino himself created the first novelizations of the original Gundam anime series. The novels, issued as a series of three books, allowed him to depict his story in a more sophisticated, adult, and detailed fashion. The biggest difference between the anime series and the novels is that in the latter Amuro Ray is killed in the final attack against the Zeonic stronghold of A Baoa Qu by a stray shot of bazooka from a Rick Dom. Char Aznable and the crew of Pegasus II (White Base), along with handpicked men under Kycilia Zabi's command, make a deep penetrating attack against the Side 3 and together kill Gihren Zabi, after which Kycilia is killed by Char. Tomino later lamented that had he known that anime ending would be different and that another series would be made, he would not have killed off Amuro in the novels. Because of such significant deviations from the animated series, movies, and subsequent sequels the novels themselves are not considered official, however, the detailed account of past events leading up to the introduction of the mobile suit and early skirmishes of the OYW are more or less accepted in the continuity. Nonetheless, they are often enjoyed by fans because they provide a great deal of detail and help explain the philosophical underpinnings of the Gundam series.

The three novels were translated into English by Frederik Schodt and published by Del Rey Books in September, 1990. At the time, there were no officially recognized romanizations of character and mecha names, and a variety of different spellings were being used in the English-language fan community. In the original three novels, therefore, Mr. Schodt wrote the name "Char" as "Sha." "Sha" is a transliteration of the Japanese pronunciation, although Mr. Tomino later publicly confirmed at Anime Expo New York 2002 that the name was originally based on the French name Charles Aznavour, a 1970s lounge singer. (Interestingly, the 2004 edition of the English translation revealed that Schodt felt that the "Char" rendering "seemed too close" to Aznavour's name.) He also rendered "Zaku" as "Zak," and (after consulting with Mr. Tomino) "Jion" as "Zeon," instead of "Zion," which was in use in some circles. Some North American fans, already attached to particular spellings, took great umbrage at Schodt's renditions, forgetting that in the original Japanese most character and mecha names are in a phonetic script known as katakana, and that there were, therefore, no "official spellings." Many years later, when the Gundam series was finally licensed in North America, the rights holders did come up with a unified list of "official spellings" for English-language material, and some of these spellings include Schodt's renditions, as well as the renditions to which certain North American fans were attached.

In 2004, Frederik Schodt revised his original translation of the books, which had been out of print for nearly a decade. What had been a three volume set in the 1990 Del Rey edition was re-released by Stone Bridge Press as one single volume of 476 pages (with a vastly improved cover design), titled Mobile Suit Gundam: Awakening, Escalation, Confrontation. Since the rights holders in Japan by this time had created a unified (although still evolving) list of romanized character and mecha names, Schodt was able to use it, and Amuro's rival in the novel thus became "Char" and not "Sha"; the popular Zeon Mobile Suit, similarly, became "Zaku," and not "Zak". [Source: Frederik L. Schodt]


  • When the original novels were released in America, certain names were listed almost phonetically, referring to Char Aznable as "Shaa" and the MS-06 Zaku II as "Zak". When the novels were re-released in the early 2000s, the established names were used.
  • The translated novel is the first time Zeon is referred to as the Principality of Zeon, mostly because the writer didn't want to use "Zion" as that would make people think of the ideology known as zionism.
  • This novel marks the first appearance of the RX-78-3 Gundam "G-3" and MS-09RS Rick Dom C.A. Custom.
  • Yoshiyuki Tomino has stated that if he had known how popular Gundam was going to be, he wouldn't have killed off Amuro Ray at the end. Most continuation novels, however, tend to ignore these novels.
  • Unlike the anime series, the entire book takes place in space, the only ground battles taking place in colonies, thus numerous Mobile Suits are omitted.
  • Oddly, the White Base has its title altered - instead of the Pegasus-class White Base and White Base II, it is the White Base-class Pegasus and Pegasus II


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