You’re a Gundam, too, Hyaku Shiki!

The Banshee bearing down on the Delta Plus

The Hyaku Shiki had always been a odd fixture in UC Gundam: it was a high-performance mobile suit given to Char Aznable, a legend in his own right, and it resembled the Gundam in many ways. However, the distinct lack of a V-fin and the different shape of its face made it clear that it wasn’t the real deal; not THE main character’s personal machine, and more importantly, not a Gundam.

Funny, that. The Hyaku Shiki was supposed to be a Gundam.

Before the events of Zeta Gundam, Anaheim Electronics experimented on transformable mobile suits, and designed what was called the Delta Gundam. The Delta Gundam turned out to be a failure, so Anaheim sidelined the transforming capability, to be incorporated into the Delta Plus years later. But you can’t let a good design down, so the Delta Gundam’s base was used to test the Gundam Mk II’s movable frame technology, as well as anti-beam coating.

And that’s just the in-universe explanation. The fluff. In the production side, the Delta Gundam was a proposed Gundam design by Mamoru Nagano, but Director Tomino rejected it for the main Gundam role. He liked it enough though, so it eventually became the Hyaku Shiki, Char’s personal machine.

These stories of coming up short might present the Hyaku Shiki in an unfavorable light, but I disagree. It’s failures like this that provide the Universal Century a flawed, yet interesting history, and we are all the richer for it.

PS: Just as Char was a rival to Amuro, he could also be considered as a rival to the Gundam. But the Hyaku Shiki is a Gundam in all but name! Can Char fans reconcile this fact–that at one point, Char piloted a Gundam, as well? Can you?

PPS: If you look beyond the Universal Century, the Cosmic Era has the Akatsuki, which is also golden and piloted by a blonde ace. The model kits of it drop all pretensions of denying the label, even.

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12 Responses to You’re a Gundam, too, Hyaku Shiki!

  1. Anya says:

    The Hyaku Shiki / Delta Plus faces look like some of the newer AU Gundam designs too, like the Exia/Qan-[T] and the Gundam AGE-2 that have a flat mouth without opening slits. Their eyes are definitely Gundam-like.

  2. I always figured Harry Ord’s SUMO was a fat take on the idea.

    • ToastCrust says:

      The SUMO actually has a similar history, actually. It was originally white and was in fact the first proposed design of the Gundam, but was judged as having gone too far in being different.

      It ends up being painted gold and becoming Harry Ord’s suit (and the suits reserved for the royal guard).

      • r042 says:

        I wrote a thing about Turn-A a while back where I compared the SUMO to the Hyaku Shiki and talked about how the sunglasses + gold mech image makes you think “quattro” but the behaviour makes you think “char”.

  3. Char piloted a Gundam. If antagonists piloting Gundams is a concept much abused in AYOU shows, I’m happy to think that the proper precedent exists.

    • Reid says:

      In the super-cool if super-ancient strategy game Gihren’s Greed it was possible for Amuro to be killed in the Battle of A Bao A Qu (as he is in the Gundam novelizations), with Char more or less “inheriting” the third Gundam prototype as he teams up with the White Base crew to kill the Zabis/thwart the Federation subjugation of the innocent Zeon civilians/establish a free spacenoid republic, or so I understand. The Gundam gets painted red, naturally, and looks pretty freakin’ cool. When they had the time to repaint the whole mobile suit…who knows?

      On a related note, what would any of us Gundam nerds do without the good folks at MAHQ? I’ve seriously been going to that website every day since the 6th grade, which means a solid 13 years. Those guys do a heck of a job.

  4. DoctorBaronvonEvilSatan says:

    If it ain’t red then it ain’t a Char MS! \(゜ロ\)

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