Iconic Japanese robot-themed animation ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’ will be given pride of place this year at October’s edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival (Oct. 22-31).

The festival will give a screening to the first theatrical-released film “Mobile Suit Gundam,” directed by Tomino Yoshiyuki. It will also screen a number of TV series episodes, other films released in theaters, and shorts that have rarely appeared on the big screen.

Ahead of the festival, the latest TV series “Mobile Suit Gundam: Blood and Iron Orphans,” will be broadcast on 28 stations MBS/TBS networks across Japan weekly, on Sundays from Oct. 4. Similarly, the newest theatrical OVA series “Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin II: Artesia’s Sorrow,” will be screened as a limited two-week event in 15 theaters throughout Japan from Oct. 31.

The Gundam franchise takes as its basic premise a war of independence from Earth, fought by the people who have departed due to over population. One of the space migrants, a boy called Amuro Ray, pilots the federation’s new weapon, the Gundam and grows up in the heat of battle.

The feature sparked a TV series from 1979. It became a social phenomenon from 1979 when plastic character models were issued, and was followed by three more features from 1981.

The festival started to put new emphasis on Japan’s animation genre from last year when it arranged special screenings of “The World of Hideaki Anno”.