MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: Cucuruz Doan’s Island release date in Japan and theatrical remake details confirmed by trailer

Amuro Ray sitting inside the cockpit and piloting the RX-78-02 Gundam with a very determined look on his face.
Amuro Ray, probably the most determined mecha pilot since 1979. Pic credit: Shochiku/Sunrise

Sunrise’s Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island (Kidou Senshi Gundam: Cucuruz Doan no Shima) will hit Japanese theaters on June 3, 2022. A recent tweet from the official account confirmed the release date and national roadshow.

This followed a prior announcement on December 21, 2021, which included a “Super Teaser Visual” and a “Super Special Video” aimed at Japanese Gundam fans.

The theatrical release is a remake of Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island (1979), directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino. Furthermore, it’s based on episode 15 of Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 (aired on July 14, 1979, in Japan). 

But due to a substantial drop in animation quality, Tomino demanded that Cucuruz Doan’s Island not get released in the US. And according to a 2019 NHK documentary called Making Gundam: The Inside Story, it’s claimed that Tomino was hospitalized due to a lung infection during production. Thus, the animation team couldn’t keep the keyframes cohesive during his absence. 

Speculation among fans regarding the drop in quality was due to animation duties outsourced to studio Anime Friend. The same studio behind the animation and production of Super Dimension Fortress Macross TV series (aired between October 3, 1982 — June 26, 1983, in Japan). 

And this reportedly was the reason why characters and mecha had incorrect proportions, which made the show hilarious to watch for the wrong reasons. 

The announcement video trailer briefly showed Amuro Ray and the RX-78-02 Gundam.

But Gundam fans shouldn’t worry that the animation quality will disappoint them this time. Sunrise’s foray into CGI and modern animation techniques have made them a formidable studio. Sunrise is responsible for series such as Code Geass R3 Lelouch Of The Re;surrection and Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon Season 2.

How did Gundam fans react to the announcement?

The original tweet in Japanese:

This tweet reads:

[Release date decided] “Mobile Suit Gundam Kukurus Doan no Shima” June 3, 2022 (Friday) National Road Show Release date decision commemorative illustration A wonderful illustration by Atsushi Tamura, the chief animation director and character designer, has arrived! !! #Kukurusu Doan Island #Mobile Suit Gundam

Munetaka responded as follows:

This tweet reads:

I’m looking forward to it ♪ — Munetaka 🧡🦈🍑🐥 (@StallionTemjin) February 2, 2022

And Rikuoko/BOLT R responded as follows:

This tweet reads:

Since the release date is my birthday, I will take a break and go to see it ☺️ — Rikuoku / BOLT R (@mutsu_minazuki) February 2, 2022

Who is the production team behind the Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island remake?

RX-78-02 Gundam standing next to the foot of a mountain
A dark and cloudy future awaits the iconic RX-78-02 Gundam. Pic credit: Shochiku/Sunrise

Yoshikazu Yasuhiko will direct Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island. He was also the character designer and director of the 13 episode TV series, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin – Advent of the Red Comet (streamed between April 29, 2019 — August 12, 2019, on Crunchyroll and FunimationNow).

The assistant director is Lim Ga-Hee and also the episode director on Sonny Boy. Toshizou Nemoto will handle the screenplay, and he also did the series composition on Super Club Season 2. Hajime Katoki, Kunio Ookawara, and Kimitoshi Yamane handle the mechanical design.  

The art director is Yuuji Kaneko, and the CGI director is Abe Morihito, who was also the CG director on Mobile Suit Gundam G40. And the sound director is Sadayoshi Fujino, and the music composer is Takayuki Hattori. Finally, Sunrise handles production and planning, and Shochiku does the distribution. 

Who are the voice actors of the key characters?

The main cast of characters from Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan's Island
The main cast of characters that Gundam fans have grown fond of over four decades. Pic credit: Shochiku/Sunrise

The recent voice cast announcement didn’t come as a surprise to most Gundam fans: 

  • Toru Furuya as Amuro Ray
  • Ken Narita as Bright Noa
  • Hideki Nakanishi as Hayato Kobayashi
  • Toshio Furukawa as Kai Shiden
  • Tomofumi Ikezoe as Sleggar Law
  • Misato Fukuen as Fraw Bow 
  • Satomi Arai as Mirai Yashima 
  • Megumi Han as Sayla Mass

A translated excerpt from the official Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island island website claims the following about Toru Furuya voice acting Amuro Ray: 

“I never thought that the island of Kukurus Doan would be a movie.

After 43 years, he is the only voice actor able to play Amuro, a 15-year-old who fights in Gundam again, in the movie version.

He spent a lot of time rehearsing at his home during the dubbing.

When he finished watching the footage of the last scene, he unexpectedly burst into tears.

Very realistic mobile suit behavior, expressive characters, and a truly attractive work unique to director Yasuhiko.”

There seems to be a fair amount of excitement surrounding Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island in Japan. But will the US and the international Gundam fanbase be left out in the cold this time? Hopefully, we expect this theatrical release to hit shores outside of Japan in the near future. Stay tuned!

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