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Gundam SEED Freedom UK Premier Event - 17th March 2024
Gundam SEED Freedom UK Premier Event - 17th March 2024

Gundam SEED Freedom UK Premier Event - 17th March 2024

Written by Dawfydd Kelly on 02 Apr 2024

Ahead of nationwide showings of Gundam SEED Freedom over the 23rd & 24th of March, Anime Limited teamed with Bandai Namco UK and Sunrise to hold a special premier of the film at the Genesis Cinema in London. Gunpla store Rivals Corner were also present with a pop-up shop. 

Ticket sales were brisk as the Premium tickets sold out within minutes of going on sale, and the event itself was sold out far ahead of the day. 

Now I got a bit lucky myself as in addition to a Premium ticket I was able to secure roundtrip train tickets to London Paddington for under £40, making the whole day a little under £60. Not too shabby. And in fact the only slight niggle with travel was that over the weekend the Hammersmith & Central Line was closed East of Paddington, but it was a reasonably simple case of jumping onto the Elizabeth Line to Whitechapel and then switching to a train going through Stepney Green. From there it was a short 5-minute walk to the Genesis Cinema.

Gundam SEED Freedom

On arrival two of the Anime Limited team were briskly booking in film-goers, handing over lanyards, wristbands and an A3 poster on quite nice cardstock. We were directed up to the mezzanine level where Rivals Corner had their shop set up - initially it was more than a little busy so a good few of us (admittedly with gentle prodding) headed to the Gunpla Workshop in the bar. Workshop probably does it too much credit as almost everyone going in when asked if they had built Gundam kits before replied in the affirmative. It was still a good time though - the kit provided was a simple No Grade 1/144 RX-78-2, but that just meant we could all kinda zone out whilst building and have a natter. It was nice to chill out for a bit after the journey to the event. Props to the team from Bandai Namco UK who were running the workshop and engaging with everyone.

After that it was back out to Rivals Corner where I had a good peruse and in the end picked up a HighGrade 1/144 Atlas Gundam from Gundam Thunderbolt, a kit I’ve fancied grabbing for a while. Sadly whilst there were some lovely items available - a nice mix of Gundam & non-Gundam related kits across multiple scales and levels of availability - there was a distinct lack of any tie-in merch to Gundam SEED Freedom itself. I know that I’d have loved to grab the soundtrack if it had been available, and The Editor had me on a mission for posters, plushies, keyrings and other daftness that had been plentiful for the Japanese showings. The lack was keenly felt, but I do understand the focus on kits. 

Gundam SEED Freedom

   Gundam SEED Freedom

Getting into the screen, we were all very surprised to find that not only were the complimentary choccies as promised, but every seat had two SD Gundam kits! A frankly incredible bit of generosity from Bandai Namco UK. The seats themselves were a little snug, but this is admittedly coming from a 6-footer who left svelte behind many, many years ago. Everyone was seated in good time before the trailers (and it was a real pleasure to chat to folks around me about their experiences with the hobby), and ahead of anything else was the raffle that all attendees had been entered into automatically on buying their tickets and the prizes were pretty amazing - the lucky winner of the top prize took home both the SEED and SEED Destiny Ultimate Editions, a HG Black Knight kit and the awesome Master Grade Extreme Strike Freedom! As to the film itself the audience were a delight to watch alongside. We laughed, we cheered, we applauded, and generally had the sort of time I normally associate with the biggest of blockbusters at their midnight launch screenings. 

The film concluded by 4pm. Now the event ran until 5pm and Rivals Corner were still doing a rousing trade from what I could see, while folks were chatting about the film & decompressing. Myself however I was starting to feel the length of the day wearing on my so took my leave. Irksomely I got to the tube station and found that due to a signalling issue no trains were stopping there, so headed back down Mile End Road, past Genesis, and on to Whitechapel Underground Station. Thankfully it wasn’t too far (although I was beginning to limp somewhat by the time I got there) and I jumped on a tube back to Paddington with enough time to grab a burrito before the train home. 

Gundam SEED Freedom

All in all I have to say that this was a great day out! The film was great (review here), the other attendees were awesome, and the staff from Anime Limited, Bandai Namco UK and Rivals Corner were fantastic, and props to Genenis Cinema for hosting the event. 

Dawfydd Kelly
About Dawfydd Kelly

Wargamer. Anime fan. Giant robot enthusiast. Congenietal absorber of science fiction & fantasy. Dawfydd is most definitely too old for this ****, but see's no point in stopping now. If only he could cut down on his use of the words 'dude' and 'groovy' in everyday conversation...

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