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There seem to be a ridiculous number of Gundam series, spinoffs and movies. There also seems to be a lot of timelines, parallel universes which has confused me more.

I've tried looking this up before, but there's a large variety of differing answers depending on people's opinions.

As an anime fan, I think I should at least try it out. It might also help for understanding a lot of reference jokes in other series.

Where does one start with all these? Can you watch the series as standalones or should I start watching in a particular order?

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Are you looking to watch everything Gundam? Or just U.C? Or just the main parts of the story? The answer for where to start depends somewhat on how deep you want to go. –  Logan M Feb 17 at 23:34
    
There are several Gundam series so far, Some of its are standalone (like Gundam 00) meanwhile some of its are related with each other. The answer depend on how far do you want watch ?? –  Naing Lin Aung Feb 17 at 23:44
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@ToshinouKyouko Sorry but, what are episodes outside the main story in your opinion? All non U.C? Fillers in U.C (probably watch the summary movies)? Do you know about the AniDB releation graph? –  LiveWireBT Feb 18 at 5:45
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Here are a few images I have harvested from the internet that describe all that Gundam stuff (imgur). I think the third one might have spoilers in it - I'm not sure because I have not actually watched any Gundam myself. –  senshin Feb 18 at 10:35
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@senshin I found a high resolution version of the first one and added it to my answer in slightly higher resolution in case the high-res source gets deleted. It also answered my question, when to watch ∀GUNDAM (turn A). Thank you. –  LiveWireBT Feb 23 at 5:31
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

AniDB has a nice releation graph regarding the different Gundam shows and movies.

If you are interested in the original story of the Universal Century (UC) timeline and are willing to invest a lot of time (about 74hrs), you can start off with Mobile Suit Gundam (1979-1980) show and work your way through the sequels following the red line in the graph till the latest Gundam Unicorn OVA.

Gundam F91 and Victory Gundam are also part of UC, but are of a new generation (referred as Late UC) with completely new characters and parties. While F91 features similar spaceship and mobile suit designs as well as similar uniforms, and rather falls in the category of a side story, V seems to be completely unrelated from my point of view.

The summary movies of the original show feature new scenes, but I don't recommend watching them instead of the show, rather watch them when watching side stories.

      140 TV show episodes ((43+50+47)*25min)
       13 OVA episodes (12*30min+25min)
        1 film (120min)
        7 OVA episodes (6*60min+90min)
Total: 74hrs 15min

In the comments above senshin found a guide (see below) that includes most of the shows (at least the various SD Gundam shows are missing, which benefits clarity) up until Gundam AGE and Gundam Unicorn, listing pros & cons for each show.

Spoiler warning: I found spoilers in V (con) and 00 S2 (con), there may be more.

Link: Gundam Series guide from /m/

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