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With 35 years as Japan’s favorite mecha anime, the Gundam franchise has grown to include dozens of TV and direct-to-video animated series, manga comics, and video game adaptations. With such a long history, some of them are, of course, less successful than others. Certain fans shook their heads at V Gundam’s cast of middle schoolers. Others were baffled by G Gundam’s schoolgirl uniform-inspired robot designs. Even the TV series that started it all, 1979’s Mobile Suit Gundam, has more than its fair share of goofy villains of the week who come and go like so many Scooby Doo criminals.

But despite the franchise’s occasional detours into outright silliness, the 1988 theatrical release Char’s Counterattack enjoys almost universal acclaim, both for the gravitas of its story and the commensurate visuals. Which makes it all the more disheartening to see the robot piloted by the film’s hero apparently reduced to having to take a job at convenience store 7-Eleven.

What makes Char’s Counterattack work as a film is the unflinchingly way it juxtaposes the visceral excitement of combat with the irrevocable tolls taken by war. Time and time again during its 124-minute run time, the animators thrill the audience by showing the cast of highly trained pilots pulling out all stops in an effort to defeat one another. Then, as the battle’s energy level reaches its zenith, the fatal blow is struck, major characters are killed without so much as a swelling of the music, the camera shifts, and the battle continues. Add in an artistically ambiguous ending, and you’ve got one of the true classics of Japanese theatrical animation.

Taking center stage is the RX-93 Nu Gundam. The giant robot is everything you’d expect from the last canonical mount of Gundam’s original protagonist, Amuro, with a stalwart shield, detachable attack support satellites, and of course, a gigantic gun.

▼ Awesome

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So how do you strip away the dignity from such an iconic design from one of one of the high water marks of anime? By dressing it up like the high school kid who sells you your Ebisu beer and KFC-flavored potato chips.

▼ Convenient?

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This Nu Gundam, sporting 7-Eleven livery, is on sale for a limited times at branches of the convenience store across Japan. The kit will set plastic model enthusiasts back 2,635 yen (US$26).

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On one hand, the contrast of the mobile suit’s green and white body panels makes for a striking design. On the other, completionists who can’t rest until they’ve used every part in the box are stuck slapping the 7-Eleven logo on the mecha’s ankles, among other places.

▼ Does the 7-Eleven Gundam use its beam saber to heat up customers’ bentou boxes?

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It’s a humbling moment for the once proud warrior, and we’re hoping Gundam finds more lucrative employment soon (such as the sweet endorsement deal series antagonist Char recently landed with automaker Toyota). In the meantime, if you just can’t bear to see your hero laid so low, you can always shop at 7-Eleven’s rival Family Mart instead.

Sources: Jin, Gundam Info
Top image: Jin
Insert images: Jin, Wikia