Anime News Service is reporting that its sources in Vancouver, B.C. indicate that casting calls have gone out for voice actors to participate in the dubbing of the G Gundam TV series, which was produced in Japan by Sunrise during 1994.  This could mean that the G Gundam series will be the next portion of the long-running Gundam saga to make its debut on the Cartoon Network (see 'New Gundam Series on Cartoon Network' for a look at the two Gundam series that are appearing this year).  Gundam is one of the key science fiction anime series, a long-running saga that has spanned two decades and spawned a huge number of models, figures, toys, CDs, and other related merchandise. The success of the Gundam series that have already been shown in the U.S. has led to considerable sales of related items, and, thanks to its prime positioning on the Cartoon Network, the property is beginning to assume the key role in the U.S. that it has filled for decades in Japan.


The G Gundam series, which ran for 49 episodes in Japan between 1994 and 1995 is hardly typical of the overall Gundam saga.  It may have been chosen as the next Gundam entry in the U.S. because its basic premise is a combat tournament between robots (mechas) representing different countries.  Basing an anime series on a combat tournament (or series of tournaments) is a device used to great effect in Dragonball Z, which is the leading anime series on American TV (see 'DBZ Rules').  Directed by Yasuhiro Imagawa, G Gundam is quite distinct from the rest of the Gundam saga, but it does contain plenty of robot fighting action as various nations settle their disputes via robotic combat.  There is a certain undeniable campy quality to scenes involving the windmill-shaped Dutch robot or the Swedish champion that looks like a gorgeous giant stewardess.