In this list, we'll be counting down the top 5 transformable mobile suits in the Gundam metaverse. Let's specify the definition. A transformable mobile suit is a mobile weapon that has two modes: a mobile suit mode, and a mobile armor mode. We'll be narrowing this down to the smaller, faster mobile suits, so giant mobile weapons like the Psycho Gundam will not be included.
The criteria for this list will be the usual. I will primarily be looking at the mobile suit's lasting impact as a transformable unit, but I will also be focusing on the 'wow factor' of its design. Does this mobile suit do the category any justice, or was it just a waste of resources? How impressive is its transformation, mobile suit mode, and mobile armor mode? These are some of the questions I will be asking. Remember that this is not a list counting down power. Also, there are a handful of transformable units in Gundam so if your favorite gets snubbed, just give a shout out in the comments section.
5. GW-9800-B Gundam Airmaster Burst
The Airmaster Burst is the premiere transformable Gundam in Gundam X. It is a highly under-rated design because Gundam X itself is very under-rated. The Burst is an upgrade over the original Airmaster; I chose it due to its vastly improved speed and firepower. Take a look at its mobile armor mode; that's a lot of guns. From its sleek blue color scheme to its unmatched air superiority, the Airmaster Burst really impresses as a transformable mobile suit. Unfortunately, I couldn't give it a higher spot because its lasting impact was minimal compared to the rest of the entries.
4. GNX-903VS Brave
It was difficult deciding which member of the Flag family I would include, but I had to go with the latest and most advanced: the Brave. I wrote in a previous article about how the Braves were the best part about the Trailblazer movie, and I still stand by that opinion. The way they tore through crowds of ELS to save Celestial Being's ass was, needless to say, incredibly epic. I've always appreciated the Flag series, not just for its sleek designs, but also for its underdog status among the more advanced mobile suits. The Sol Brave squadron best represented this incredibly memorable line of transformable mobile suits, which is why they deserve a spot on this list.
3. RGZ-95 ReZEL
The ReZEL is Londo Bell's latest attempt at mass-producing the Zeta Gundam (they never stop trying do they). Out of all of the mass-produced mobile suits in the U.C. universe, I find the ReZEL to be the most impressive in terms of design. My first thought upon seeing it was: "Finally, a grunt unit that isn't completely overshadowed by the Gundam". The katoki-esque design and dark-blue color scheme are undeniably eye-catching. It is also formidable in terms of performance specs, but it ends up doing very little besides getting torn apart by the Kshatriya. Its potential was disappointingly unrealized, which is why it is stuck here at the 3 spot.
2. XXXG-01W Wing Gundam
As it turns out, the highly recognizable Wing Gundam is also a transformable mobile suit. Its impact is rather obvious; it is the title Gundam of Wing, and it serves as the main character's personal mobile suit until the halfway point. The thing that gives it its edge over the Wing Zero and Epyon is its mobile armor mode, appropriately called "Bird Mode". Unlike a lot of other transformable designs, the bird mode looks properly aerodynamic. The shield and rifle nose gives it a stream-lined look, and the wings give it the speed and mobility needed to dominate the air. It even has little talons on its forearms. Despite having an awkward transformation sequence (the shield and rifle just float in mid-air), the Wing Gundam really stands out as one of the best transformable mobile suits in Gundam.
1. MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam
Of course, we can't have a list about transformable mobile suits without including the pioneer. The thing that's amazing about the Zeta Gundam is that its design still impresses after all this time. Just look at the Real Grade of this Gundam to see what I mean. Anyway, the Zeta Gundam is undeniably the most revolutionary transformable mobile suit in U.C. (and possibly all of) Gundam history. It pioneered the design itself, and paved the way for dozens of similar transforming units.
The ZZ Gundam was based on the Zeta Gundam, as was the S Gundam, the Re-GZ, the ReZEL, and the Zeta Plus line. This is a testament to its influence; every generation of U.C. technology tried to emulate the success of the Zeta Gundam at some point. And indeed, it was quite successful; Kamille's design allowed the Zeta to transition seamlessly from waverider to mobile suit mode, doing away with any doubts about the drawbacks of having a transformation. Thanks to its timeless design and massive impact, the Zeta Gundam earns an undisputed top spot on this list.
Check out my other Gundam Top 5 lists~