Mobile Suit Gundam is a televised anime series, produced by Sunrise. Created and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, it premiered in Japan on Nagoya Broadcasting Network on April 7, 1979, and lasted until January 26, 1980, spanning 43 episodes. It was the very first Gundam series, which has subsequently been adapted into numerous sequels and spin-offs. In 1981, the series was re-edited for theatrical release and split into three movies. The characters were designed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, and Kunio Okawara was responsible for the mechanical designs, including the eponymous giant robot, the RX-78-2 Gundam. The first movie was released on February 22, 1981.