“Gundam Seed Freedom” Anime Film To Have East Coast Premiere

gundam-seed-freedomJapan Society, a 116-year-old nonprofit organization with a goal of bringing the U.S. and Japan together, today announced it will host the East Coast Premiere of the record-breaking Mobile Suit Gundam SEED FREEDOM. The Gundam saga, often called the “Star Wars of Japan”, is a beloved 40+ year franchise. Mobile Suit Gundam SEED FREEDOM is its latest entry and a sequel to 2002’s Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, one of the most popular series in the Gundam multiverse. This special event is presented together with Bandai Namco Filmworks and Anime NYC, and it will take place simultaneously with a West Coast Premiere hosted by Bandai Namco Filmworks in LA.
The subtitled premiere of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED FREEDOM will take place on Sunday, March 31 at 4 PM and the English dubbed premiere will take place on Monday, April 1 at 7 PM. Both screenings will be held at Japan Society.
Japan Society is a storied institution that has presented Japanese art, culture, business and policy for over a century, including visits from U.S. Presidents, Japanese Prime Ministers, and Nobel Prize winners. It presents this new Gundam film in recognition of Gundam’s cultural significance in Japan and global place as a pillar in the U.S.-Japan relationship and our shared popular arts.
Mobile Suit Gundam began in 1979 in Japan with a 43-episode animated television series. Acclaimed for its revolutionary storytelling, it told a gritty, realistic story about the traumas of war in a future conflict dominated by massive human-shaped war machines called “Gundam”. This series would go on to captivate generations of audiences around the planet across over 50 sequel television series, films, comics, and video games.
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and its sequel Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY spanned 100 episodes from 2002 to 2005 and are widely regarded for bringing a new generation into Gundam. Telling a new story with tremendous parallels to the original, it updated its conflict to present a more modern war heavily influenced by themes of terrorism and broke television records when it aired in Japan.
The new film Mobile Suit Gundam SEED FREEDOM has broken more records, earning over 3.7 billion Yen at the box office in Japan since its release in January. This new film, in development since 2006, continues the stories established in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and is based around the themes of freedom and destiny.
“Gundam has impacted fans all around the planet since the 1970s, and beyond even this, it has shaped generations of creators,” said Peter Tatara, Japan Society Director of Film. “Gundam changed the anime world when it premiered, and it has since gone on to influence and inspire live-action and animated storytellers all across the Earth. It changed the world, and all those it has affected continue this change.”
Gundam’s significance is seen with Japanese postage stamps bearing the saga’s iconic robots, multiple life-size Gundam statues – standing over 50 feet tall – throughout Japan and Asia, a global merchandising business responsible for over $5 billion in sales, and a live-action film in development by Legendary Entertainment. This special event is presented together with Anime NYC, New York City’s largest Japanese popular culture festival. Anime NYC draws over 60,000 passionate fans together and will next take place August 23-25, 2024 in the Javits Center. Anime NYC has previously been home to multiple Gundam guests and premieres, including welcoming the original 1979 Gundam director Yoshiyuki Tomino in 2019, where he was greeted by a standing ovation from over 3,000 fans from around the United States.
Japan Society will present the subtitled premiere of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED FREEDOM at 4 PM on Sunday, March 31, 2024. A Gundam display will be presented in Japan Society’s lobby. The screening will include a special pre-recorded video from Director Mitsuo Fukuda and an on-stage appearance by voice actress Alyson Leigh Rosenfield (voice of Luminaria Hawke). Both General Admission and VIP Tickets are available, with the latter including a commemorative art print, illustration card, and Gundam model kit.
An encore English dubbed premiere will take place at 7 PM on Monday, April 1.
Tickets for both events launch on March 12 at 3 PM at japansociety.org/film.
Screenings will be at Japan Society’s landmarked headquarters at 333 East 47th St, New York, NY 10017, one block from the United Nations and minutes from Grand Central Terminal.