The Tokyo International Film Festival (from hereon, TIFF) started on Oct. 22 and is being held for 10 days. This year’s anime feature is none other than Gundam. The show’s creator, Yoshiyuki Tomino, appeared at the talk show hosted as part of this special project and also found time in his busy schedule to give a combined interview to overseas media.
Most of the events and promotions organized by energy drink maker Red Bull are thoroughly in the “XTREME” category. As a matter of fact, sometimes the names of the events are so intense that we have only the vaguest idea of what happens in them, such as the Red Bull Rampage, Red Bull King of the Rock Tournament, and Red Bull Cape Fear.
However, Red Bull has a bit of a playful, silly side to it too, as shown in a contest it sponsors in which entrants launch their home-made flying machines from a pier and see who can travel the farthest distance before hitting the water. But even then, Red Bull can’t help but do things in the most XTREME way possible, and in the competition’s latest iteration, held in Japan, they killed giant anime robot Gundam.
Kutani porcelain ware, which has its origins in Ishikawa Prefecture in central Japan, is a craft with a history of nearly four centuries. In recent years, we’ve seen makers of the traditional ware produce more modern and pop looking items in efforts to broaden their appeal to the public, with some beautiful results.
Now, we have another example of Kutani ware with a modern twist and it comes from a someway unexpected source — toy maker Bandai. Yes, in a brilliant case of pop culture meeting traditional craft, Bandai will be coming out with a line of Gundam Kutani ware!
We’re sure everyone’s first choice for mode of transportation would be giant robot, but there are times when you need something more practical to get from Point A to Point B. Being behind the wheel of a four-door hatchback doesn’t mean you have to give up your mecha jock daydreams, though, thanks to the newest collaboration between Toyota and anime franchise Gundam.
The automaker has just released not only a special model inspired by charismatic anime villain Char Aznable, but also an awesome anime commercial for it that has higher production values than the original Mobile Suit Gundam TV series.
Last weekend, the rugby world was shaken to its very foundations by a historically massive upset when Japan defeated South Africa. I read that it was an amazing game where the Japanese team did these things called “tries” or something…and then did an “over” at some point…
You might guess that I have no idea how rugby works. I have nothing against the sport—it actually looks interesting—but it and I have never really crossed paths. And apparently I’m not alone, as some in Japan have taken to Twitter to ask that the significance of this win be explained to them in terms they can better understand. Terms like Evangelion and Dragon Ball Z.
The age of the geek with expendable cash is truly upon us, as many people who grew up on comic books and cartoons are turning into adults with well-paying jobs. There is also a growing population of people in Japan who are forgoing a traditional relationship and instead spending more money on themselves. These burgeoning consumers might be the reason why you will find geek-centric yet sophisticated household items. That way, responsible adults can still revel in their fandoms but still be refined home decorators.
It’s time to get our wallets ready again, since now you can buy Mobile Suit Gudam plates covered in Kanazawa gold leaf.
Japan spent most of this last week getting pounded by torrential rainstorms. This wasn’t just a case of people getting their socks wet, either, as flooding caused damage to houses, disruption of train lines and highways left some people stranded away from home, and in some extreme cases residents even had to be evacuated by helicopter.
But while the rains stimulated the craziness in some people, they brought out the generosity in one bar owner in Tochigi Prefecture, because while the rain was falling on Japan, drinks were on the house, as he took to Twitter to offer free booze or a place to rest for victims of the typhoon.
When Japan got its hands on a Marvel property back in the 1970s, it added something that is now recognized as very Japanese: giant robots, which Japanese Supaidaman used to battle his foes like a web-slinging Gundam pilot (even though the original Mobile Suit Gundam wouldn’t make its debut until two years later).
Jump to today, and both Marvel and Gundam are going strong in their respective home countries. However, if Marvel ever wants to increase its market share in Japan, maybe they should be working to create Gundam robots versions of their most famous characters. If you’re having a hard time imagining that crossover, we’ve found some fan art that will have you writing letters to both companies to make this happen.
Citizens of Hong Kong, brace yourself. An exciting Gundam exhibition is headed your way. This summer, as part of a month-long exhibition in Hong Kong, a giant Gundam statue – something not usually seen outside of Japan’s Odaiba Bay in Tokyo – will be on display.
It’s no secret that Japan and China don’t like each other very much. So when the official government news channel in China aired a segment discussing Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, it comes as no surprise that there would be some exaggerations.
However, one exaggeration was too huge to just let slip by. While the news broadcast was showing videos of Japan’s aircraft and ships, one image of a giant Gundam mech somehow snuck into the mix. Those Chinese reporters are probably going to want to double-check their source on that one.
It’s said that barbers’ poles, with their interlaced contrasting stripes, are a holdover from the Middle Ages, with the red and white symbolizing blood and bandages. In those days, the field of surgery was still at such an early stage in its development that the guy who cut hair would also handle operations and amputations. After all, cutting was cutting, right?
In our modern era, though, you’d never think of asking your doctor to take a little off the sides, nor would you trust your hairdresser to remove a tumor. So isn’t it time for barber shops to get a new symbol, like this one in Aomori with a compliment of giant Gundam statues hanging around outside?
It’s well known that many anime fans, in the midst of watching a show, start to develop a crush on their favorite character (and sometimes that crush becomes a full–on obsession). But the admiration fans feel towards a 2-D character isn’t always tied to romantic rumblings. Sometimes, they see an anime icon and instead of “I wish that was my girlfriend/boyfriend,” they find themselves thinking “I wish that was my boss!”
While the 1:1-scale Gundam statue in Tokyo is, with good reason, a mecca for mecha lovers, it’s not the only extra-large recreation of combat hardware from anime’s most prolific robot franchise. Clear on the other side of Japan’s island of Honshu, Okayama Prefecture has its own statue, modeled after the MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam.
On one hand, Okayama’s mobile suit isn’t life-size, but it still stands an impressive seven meters (23 feet) tall. Even better, this weekend fans will get to climb into its cockpit.
We’re pretty big fans of Odaiba’s full-scale Gundam statue, which towers over Tokyo Bay at an incredible 18 metres tall. But there’s nothing quite like homespun charm, and we’re equally delighted to discover the existence of a plastic bottle version, built single-handedly by one enthusiastic sake shop owner in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo.
Our friends over at off-the-beaten-track Japan travel site Another Tokyo went to check it out last month, and this is what they found.
Publisher Shogakukan’s monthly girls’ manga magazine Ciao always comes packed with bonus goodies that are designed to appeal to its targer market of girls aged 9-15. For the April edition, Ciao‘s publishers really seem to have outdone themselves, though, since everyone from young girls to adult men are snapping up the latest issue with its supplemental goodies which are collectively being advertised as “the ultimate manga creator set.” Keep in mind that this is all for a very reasonable price of 570 yen (US $4.78).
However, a recent trend on social media has shown that many purchasers of the April issue aren’t using the extra items to hone their manga-making skills at all, but are instead buying it with a very different idea in mind.
It’s a fact of life that copyright laws just aren’t as strictly enforced in many other parts of Asia as they are in Japan. So when photos started making the online rounds showing a resort in the Philippines with a statue of anime robot Gundam that’s as huge as it is fake, we responded with a laugh and a shrug of our shoulders.
But maybe having their clear case of intellectual property infringement become laughed at online made the management of Jed’s Island Resort rethink their decision. Recent photos show that the statue has been repainted, and its new color scheme doesn’t look like Gundam’s at all. So, is it an original design?
Of course not! They just found a different famous robot to copy.
Although the RX-78 Gundam is the most famous mobile suit from the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime TV series, it’s not the only giant robot the Earth Federation has at its disposal. As a matter of fact, debuting in the very same premiere episode as the Gundam is the RX-77 Guncannon.
Still, there’s a reason the series, and franchise, is called Gundam and not Guncannon. Aside from being slower and less powerful, the Guncannon can’t compete in the looks department with the dashing Gundam. Simply put, it’s just not sexy enough…at least not without this subtle variation to its paint job with a hidden significance.
Whether they’re being called dear, supreme, or great, North Korea takes the image of its top leaders very seriously. After all, this is the same country which claims the late Kim Jong-il, in his first round of golf, finished 38 shots under par (in case you’re not familiar with the technical terms, one under par is a “birdie,” two under is an “eagle,” and 38 under is generally referred to as a “crock”).
So it’s a little surprising that current head of hermit state Kim Jong-un’s fashion consultants have let him rock a hairstyle that seems to perfectly gel with the rest of the world’s image of North Korean dictatorship as cartoonish supervillainry, with a ‘do that makes him look like one of the antagonist mecha from classic anime Mobile Suit Gundam.
Whoa, hold on a second! We know Amazon Japan now sells giant robots, but we didn’t know someone else had made something this big! This mecha looks like it’s at least twice as tall (and three times as awesome) as the one offered by the online retailer. Don’t you need a permit to build something that huge?
Actually, the only legal paperwork involved in this photo was for model-making supplies, as that’s not a real giant robot, but a scale replica. What’s more, the way it appears to be standing with its head almost in the rafters of the structure housing it isn’t thanks to a mere trick camera angle, but rather the considerable skills of the modeller who also crafted a miniature hanger for his compact mobile suit.
Although the Philippines have plenty of seaside travel destinations, Jed’s Island Resort isn’t one of them. Being located in the landlocked municipality of Calumpit means that while Jed’s isn’t far from Manila Bay, it doesn’t have any coastline to call its own.
That’s OK, though, because you can still relax in one of the resort’s nine advertised swimming pools. And while you may not be able to enjoy listening to the sound of the waves, you will be able to look up at Jed’s gigantic Gundam statue that’s as tall as the one in Tokyo yet far, far skinnier. Not into anime? Not a problem! Jed’s is also home to beloved characters from Disney, Marvel, and DC…or at least their disturbingly off-model, knockoff doppelgangers.