Ultimate Mark

Production Reference:
Z Gundam Complete Record
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Translator's Note: Mobile Suit Z Gundam Complete Record was an Animedia special issue published by Gakken in March 1986. Much like Animedia's publications devoted to Gundam ZZ, this book featured a collection of exclusive behind-the-scenes anecdotes, which were credited to Z Gundam setting manager Shinji Takamatsu. I've translated these brief columns here.

Also included in this book, by the way, was the original Z Gundam series proposal. See English translation by Zeonic|Scanlations.

Z's models are mainly foreigners!

Righteous reporting that reveals the hidden truth of Z. That's the objective of this column, and our brave informant is the setting manager Mr. Shinji Takamatsu. With no further ado, let's hear what he has to say.

"In fact, many of Z's characters are modeled on foreigners. As you know, Yazan is modeled on Sting from Dune, but Four and Stephanie were based on clippings from 'Playboy' and so forth."

How Four betrayed her image and changed her name

Four Murasame, the first or second most popular character in Z Gundam, initially had the purely Japanese name Saeko Murasame. In his script, Mr. Endo wrote her with a more childlike image. When Mr. Takamatsu read this, he associated her with a black-haired Japanese girl, and Director Tomino had yet another image. So it seems that all of them were surprised when her character sheet was completed.

After this, since Four was a test subject, she was given a numerical name. Since "shi" (four) sounds like "death," she was named "Four." By the way, "Murasame No. 35" was one of the rejected names.

Kamille was named after a French sculptress?!

There are probably few people who know where the name "Kamille" came from. Camille is a French name, but it was actually taken from a female apprentice of the sculptor Rodan. The truth seems to be that Director Tomino borrowed her name because he was shocked by her fate.

Rodan was a master of modern sculpture, famed for works like "The Thinker," but Camille created works of her own under Rodan's supervision. It appears that Rodan presented and copied these works under his own name, without her permission. However, because of her close relationship with Rodan, she forgave him for his actions. Thus her name was forgotten by art history, but her existence was revealed by recent research. Giving Kamille the name of such a woman seems to have caused some personality problems...

Minor characters who look just like the storyboards

It might seem that Kitchman, who showed up along with Kacricon in episode 9, was drawn with skillful characterization even in the storyboards. But in fact, it's the other way around. In other words, the correct answer is that when Mr. Yasuhiko saw the storyboards, he drew the character exactly like that. In this way, minor characters appeared on film just as they did in the storyboards.


The Hyaku-Shiki's name was born from Director Tomino's flash of inspiration!!

The Hyaku-Shiki is a mobile suit that stands out from the rest. Painted in golden colors that you wouldn't expect in a weapon, with large "hyaku" characters written on its shoulders, this is no ordinary mobile suit. How did this Hyaku-Shiki come to be? Let's go ahead and ask Mr. Takamatsu.

"At first we talked about making it a successor to the Nemo, called the Type 00100. It originally didn't have the hyaku characters on it, but during a mobile suit meeting with Bandai, Mr. Tomino suddenly decided to announce 'we'll put a hyaku character here.' The golden color was also because of Mr. Tomino, who said 'Char's red colors are antiquated, aren't they? Let's make a golden Char.' It's kind of like yakiniku sauce." (1)

Messala was originally a person's name

As the first mobile armor to appear, the Messala displayed outstanding strength. It's surprising, however, that "Messala" was originally the name of a human being.

Perhaps you remember how, in episode 4, there was a character who Kamille punched out in the normal suit room while he and the others were stealing the Gundams and escaping from the Alexandria? In fact, his name was supposed to be Messala Baro. Though he was a Gundam Mk-II pilot, this name was too good for somebody who just gets beaten up by Kamille, so it was decided to transfer the Messala name to a mobile suit. In the episode, the unfortunate former Messala just ended up being called "Dava Baro" about four times in a row by the controller.

The blundering Asshimar and the enigmatic Marasai

Of course, the Messala wasn't the only surprising naming situation. Another was the name of the Asshimar, which might have suggested a blunder. This is apparently a pun on "Aa, shimatta!" (2) Conveniently, during the battle in the fog in episode 16, there's a great scene in which the characters think they're seeing an ally but it's actually the Asshimar, so they'd involuntarily say "oops!"

The Marasai, meanwhile, was originally named Domingo, but this was changed to "Marasai" because there was a car with the same name. Nonetheless, aside from Director Tomino who thought up the name, nobody knows where it came from. It seems some of the staff were unhappy with the name, and when they heard about it from Mr. Takamatsu, they asked over and over "Is it really going to be Marasai?"

Jerid was under an unlucky star

From his appearance in episode 1 onward, Jerid gradually became more and more miserable. But in fact, his fate could have been even more wretched.

His first crisis came in episode 30. In the plot Director Tomino had in mind, Jerid died at this point in a suicide attack. But the director gave in to the opinions of the studio's Jerid fans, who said "Since he's survived this long, he should stay alive until the very end," and so he killed Mouar instead.

The second crisis was that Jerid, having been seriously injured at that time, almost became a cyborg. It seems the ideas considered included him becoming half man and half machine with artificial limbs that creaked when he walked, having his lower body removed so that he could dock with a mobile suit cockpit and control it directly via his nerves, or being picked up by Haman while drifting in space and rebuilt into a Zeon cyborg.

Can you imagine Z with a happy ending?

Z was actually supposed to have a fairytale happy ending!

In other words, if Z hadn't been continued, the plan was that the final episode wouldn't end so tragically, but would be something lighter and close to a happy ending. We have Mr. Takamatsu's testimony that Director Tomino was talking about such a thing. According to him, in the first draft of the script Ms. Emma wasn't going to die, and it's possible that Ms. Sayla might have shown up as well. In that case, perhaps things could even have worked out for Emma and Henken.

However, Kamille had to be retired because of ZZ, and the cast was drastically cut. Does that mean it was actually Judau who drove Kamille mad?

Hasan lived his life waiting to show up

Doctor Hasan went into action (?) when Rosamia appeared. But in fact, the plan was that he was supposed to appear in episode 25!

Although his name appeared in the script for episode 25, he was cut from the storyboards. He kept waiting patiently, but episode 35 was even more tragic. In the script there was a scene where he gave Kamille an injection, but while he made it through to the storyboards and even the animation, he was sadly cut in the editing stage. What's more, on that occasion the voice actor had already been decided and they'd even come to the recording site, so it ws a real pity.

Even when Reccoa is injured, she talks about the doctor doing this and that, but we ultimately never see him. He only appears in long shot, holding on to a railing. In the end, this unfortunate character didn't appear until the Rosamia storyline. Thus his first proper appearance ended up being episode 40.

Abu Dabia spent a year at a colony awaiting the Argama

There were many characters who had completed character sheets, but were cut in the editing stage and never saw the light of day. One particularly sad case was Abu Dabia, who was announced with colored cel art before the start of broadcast, but ultimately never appeared.

He was supposed to be stationed at Sweetwater, a small colony where the Argama was constructed. But unfortunately the Argama never visited Sweetwater, so he never showed up. Sweetwater's name did come up in the drama, for example in a scene from episode 27, where after Char launches from Earth the pilot asks him whether they should continue on to Sweetwater. In the end, though, nobody ever went there.

Will Capa reappear in ZZ?!

Capa appeared a little at the very end of the story, but why in the world did he show up? Actually, he was supposed to become a mainstay of the Newtype corps. But he never stood out, and in the final episodes, he hid himself away while the regular characters were dying and didn't appear at all. Thus there's talk of putting him in ZZ, so look out for that.

Translator's Notes

(1) I think Takamatsu is comparing Tomino's 黄金のシャア ("golden Char") comment to Ebara's popular 黄金の味 ("Golden Taste") brand of yakiniku sauce.

(2) An exclamation that suggests you've just made a stupid mistake, along the lines of "oh no," "darn," or "whoops."