The official Unicorn anime announcement has been kind enough not to include the format for the show, and now we have legions of Gundam fans speculating on it. My guess is a theatrical release, but the OVA format could also work.
But not a TV show.
The main problem is the mechanical design of Unicorn itself. Just looking at the box art of the MG Unicorn tells you that the mech looks ungodly busy. The detail is magnificent, and the transformation from Normal to Destroy Mode is seamless. I doubt if Bandai could even model it for HGUC. This will bode badly in anime regardless of format, where a mech will have to be redesigned for actual animation. It’s hard to imagine getting enough time, money and skill to animate Unicorn consistently, as its design stands, for a 50-episode TV series. They’ll have to trim down on the detail to make it work, and Unicorn ain’t Unicorn without the assloads of panels. Of course, even a movie/OVA Unicorn will suffer some design simplifications, but it will look better due to more budget and less time pressure.
Aside from that, no Gundam TV anime since Wing has soundly burst into popularity without vast helpings of bishounen. Unicorn character designs, assuming the animation staff makes a more-or-less faithful adaptation of them, won’t exactly make fujoshi swoon over. Also, there’s only one Gundam, and it doesn’t even start looking like one until Destroy Mode activates. I could hear the kids going “Where’s the Gundam with the big gun? Where’s the cool weapons? Baddies standing still waiting to be shot down? Boooring.” Let’s face it: the UC school of Gundam will not sell in TV format anymore, unless it gets a makeover.
I could be too hard on the show when it’s not even out for a year, but that’s because I have high expectations for it. Maybe this will be the Gundam show that would bring in old and new fans together without going down the same path that Wing, SEED and 00 did. Being tightly connected to chronologically previous Gundam shows, Unicorn would hopefully answer a lot of questions left hanging after CCA (or retcon more stuff, for better and for worse), as well as bridge the distance from post-CCA UC (F91 and Victory). So good luck, Sunrise.