The official Twitter account for the Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island (Kidō Senshi Gundam: Cucuruz Doan no Shima) anime film revealed the cast as well as character and mobile suit visuals for the film’s Southern Cross team. An elite unit of which the titular Cucuruz Doan was once a member, the Southern Cross team is also infamous among Federation forces. The team has both veteran members who resent Doan’s desertion, as well as new members who have joined in admiration of the unit’s reputation.
The cast includes (bottom row, left to right in image above) Yuu Hayashi as the team’s bellicose new member Danan Rashica who admires Doan, Shizuka Itou as Selma Levens who thinks their current leader does not compare to Doan, Atsushi Miyauchi as the team’s leader Egba Atler who detests Doan, Yōji Ueda as the team’s deputy leader and sniper Wald Ren, and Koji Yusa as Yun Sanho.
The team members all fields MS-06GD Zaku mobile suits with increased leg thrusters for enhanced maneuverability and custom loadouts.
The previously announced cast includes:
Toru Furuya as Amuro Ray
Shunsuke Takeuchi as Cucuruz Doan
Ken Narita as Bright Noa
Satomi Arai as Mirai Yashima
Megumi Han as Sayla Mass
Toshio Furukawa as Kai Shiden
Hideki Nakanishi as Hayato Kobayashi
Misato Fukuen as Fraw Bow
Tomofumi Ikezoe as Sleggar Law
The film’s original announcement described the film as a retelling of the 15th episode of the original Mobile Suit Gundam television anime. The episode itself has been omitted from English releases of the series.
The story is set after the Federation defense of Jaburo, with the Federation planning to renew offensives on Zeon’s invasion headquarters in Odessa. Amuro and the White Base head to Belfast to resupply, but the White Base receives new orders: to head to the “Island of No Return” to search and destroy any Zeon stragglers. Amuro set out on the island in search of Zeon spies, but find a group of children and a Zaku mobile suit on the supposedly uninhabited island. With the Gundam left behind, Amuro encounters a man who calls himself Cucuruz Doan. After uncovering the secret of the island, Amuro attempts to make his way back to the Gundam to escape.
Manga creator and animator Yoshikazu Yasuhiko directs the film, and is also credited with the character designs alongside Atsushi Tamura (Weathering With You) and Tsukasa Kotobuki (Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Saber Marionette J). Yasuhiko had revealed in June that he was working on an unannounced anime film. Ka Hee Im is credited as assistant director. Toshizo Nemoto (Macross Delta) is penning the script. Longtime Gundam mechanical designers Kunio Okawara, Hajime Katoki, and Kimitoshi Yamane are credited for mechanical design in the film. Takayuki Hattori (Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin) is composing the music.
Yūji Kaneko is the art director, while Nagisa Abe is the color key artist. Takeshi Katsurayama and Ryō Iijima are the compositing directors of photography. Shuhei Morita is the CGI line director, and Morihito Abe is the CGI director. Kazuhiro Nii is editing, and Sadayoshi Fujino is the sound director.
The film will open on June 3.
Junji Ōno‘s Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin MSD: Cucuruz Doan no Shima (Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin MSD: Cucuruz Doan’s Island) manga (pictured at right) launched in Kadokawa‘s Gundam Ace magazine in May 2016, and ended in May 2019. The manga has a total of five volumes.
The manga is a spinoff of Yoshikazu Yasuhiko‘s Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin manga. The manga tells the story of Cucuruz Doan, a character who appeared in the similarly-titled 15th episode of Yoshiyuki Tomino‘s original Mobile Suit Gundam anime series. In the episode, the titular character is a Zeon pilot who abandoned his post after refusing an order.
Yasuhiko’s Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin manga is also inspired by and re-imagines the original Mobile Suit Gundam series. Viz Media published part of the manga in North America from 2002 to 2004, before it halted publication of the series. Vertical licensed the series in 2013, and released all 12 volumes.
The manga inspired a six-episode anime project in Japanese theaters from 2015 to 2018. Yasuhiko worked as chief director, character designer, and storyboarder for the anime. A 13-episode television series recompilation of the anime premiered in April 2019.
Sources: Cucuruz Doan’s Island film’s Twitter account, Mainichi Shimbun’s Mantan Web