Although Gundam is categorized as a sci-fi series, it can be argued that it should fall into horror. The series has an atmospheric horror that is often recognized by fans early on. Any work of fiction is categorized as horror when it creates a feeling of dread, repulsion, and fear. Moreover, the genre can further be broken into Supernatural, Gothic, and Non-supernatural. Gundam appears to fall in the Non-supernatural horror category since it is focused on the chance that the story can be replicated in reality.
The kaiju attacks from typical horror movies are replaced by fighting using giant mechs. Although the attackers in monster movies are usually brainless beasts, Gundam has mechs controlled by human beings that wreak havoc wherever they go. Most of the time, the fights result from war, so the citizens don’t have an advance warning, and they end up dying in the falling debris or are either crushed by the mechs.
Even the fights that happen in space are not safe, and a pilot might die a horrible death if the cockpit isn’t sealed properly. In such a case, the pilot experiences rapid decompression of air, which can even rupture lungs. If that is not gruesome enough, then an even more horrifying possibility of flying into a black hole is ever-present. Since they aren’t visible to naked eyes and only their gravitational field can be felt, one can easily make a mistake that takes them on the long journey of being crushed by the force of gravity in the black hole.
Since the Gundam’s use of nuclear power, the possibility of radiation leak cannot be ruled out. Once that happens, Chernobyl and Fukushima are good examples to imagine what would follow. Although some people might be lost wondering about the long-term consequences, it is the effects of radiation on a truly terrifying person. Although the symptoms depend upon exposure but in most cases, the exposed patients’ white blood cells begin to die, and the die starts falling off.
However, the fact that humans should be blamed for all the horrors in the series is terrifying. In every single season, one can view how different wars are waged just for greed and power. The normality with which the life of a human being is disregarded and undervalued is something that truly horrifies. Although there are some justifiable reasons for retaliation, at the end of the day, one has to accept that human hatred and cruelty are the roots of the conflicts that eventually create such scenarios in the first place. Most of the people in these series take pride in taking a human life, and it is sad that instead of being labeled as mass murderers, they are celebrated by society.
The overwhelming factor that creates much of the tension in the series is the ever-present atmospheric horror created by the possibility of death that follows in every single episode. People usually have emotional attachments with characters on the show, and it is not fun to watch them rip to shreds. So, even though it is not categorized as such, Gundam is quite a horrifying franchise if one takes a closer look.
Source: Gundam Is a Horrifying Franchise