Gundam

Tokyo’s giant Gundam statue scheduled to get upgrade and start moving in 2019

Tokyo’s giant Gundam statue scheduled to get upgrade and start moving in 2019

I love Tokyo’s awesome, full-scale statue of Gundam as much as anybody. I try to at least stop by and say hello to Japan’s most famous giant robot whenever I’m in Odaiba, and when time permits, I’m happy to sip a beer or munch on a pretzel from the adjacent shopping center as I stare up at the 18-meter (59-foot) tall mecha.

As I mentioned before, though, it has always seemed a little ironic that the monument is stationary. After all, the series is called Mobile Suit Gundam. Shouldn’t he be moving?

Actually, in a few years, he just might.

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GPS-lacking Gundam gets lost on the streets of Taiwan, asks locals for directions

GPS-lacking Gundam gets lost on the streets of Taiwan, asks locals for directions

With all of the cool, capable characters in anime, it’s not too hard to see the appeal of cosplay. For many fans, literally spending a few minutes in the shoes of their favorite hero or heroine lets them feel every bit as strong, smart, or beautiful as the costume’s usual 2-D inhabitant.

Confidence boost aside, though, slipping on a costume sadly still leaves you with all of the shortcomings you have when you’re wearing an ordinary T-shirt and jeans. Dressing up as Attack on Titan’s Mikasa won’t really transform you into a highly skilled acrobatic swordswoman. Wearing the same nondescript school uniform of the newest harem series’ blank slate male protagonist make you irresistible to women.

Likewise, all the fictional computer power behind Gundam still won’t prevent you from getting lost in the real world.

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Gundam water pistols turn squirt gun fights into galactic battles

Gundam water pistols turn squirt gun fights into galactic battles

At one point in the Gundam franchise, there’s a scene where cadets are shown training with the hit anime’s giant robots by shooting humongous paintballs at each other. Until today, you could have made the argument that it was the silliest use of guns in the hundreds of hours of animation that make up the complete saga.

But not anymore, because now there are Gundam water pistols.

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Prepare to feel old: survey says over half of 20-somethings “don’t know Gundam”

Prepare to feel old: survey says over half of 20-somethings “don’t know Gundam”

It’s amazing how memory fades over time. Trying to recollect my favorite childhood programs is often a foggy mess. For example, I remember one cartoon where the good guys drove robot cars with arms and the bad guys were these weird plant cars. For the life of me I can’t remember the name of that show in spite of the deep-rooted hatred of trees and vegetables it instilled in me.

Shows like that were great but as they say, the true classics are the ones that stand the test of time. Surely Gundam, arguably the most famous giant robot anime, is among that class, right? Magazine R25 suggests it might not be. Despite Mobile Suit Gundam’s long legacy of series, R25 claims that 51 percent of Japanese men in their twenties who were surveyed said they “do not know Gundam.” Read More

Poll reveals fans’ top ranking Gundam series

Poll reveals fans’ top ranking Gundam series

One of the most legendary and enduring anime franchises of all time is the quintessential mechafranchise Mobile Suit Gundam. But which entry to the franchise is really the greatest of all? Fan informational site Akiba Souken recently ran a two week poll from June 6 to June 18, gathering votes from 3,025 participants to decide once and for all which series, OVA, or movie is really the fan-favorite Gundam work, the top of which are as follow:

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Overhauling your Gundam model for maximum cuteness

Overhauling your Gundam model for maximum cuteness

There’s a unique challenge for anime professionals working on a franchise with as long a history as Gundam, which aired its first episode 35 years ago. Since each new series does away with the war mechs of its predecessors, designers are always under pressure to come up with giant robots that look more powerful, technologically advanced, and, in the case of the villains’ machines, sinister than what fans have seen before.

With Gundam Unicorn’s NZ-999 Neo Zeong, piloted by baffling-named antagonist (and Toyota owner) Full Frontal, we think the animators did a pretty good job. From its sharp, angular lines, blood-red paint job, and the crevices in the sheet metal produce murky shadows, the mobile armor appears immediately menacing and dangerous.

Unless that is, you remove the head unit and replace it with a cute anime girl or kitty cat.

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Gundam VS Evangelion: Women of Japan give their verdict (kind of)

Gundam VS Evangelion: Women of Japan give their verdict (kind of)

What’s that you say? A survey that polled Japanese women about two of the country’s most popular anime series? I wonder what kind of questions they asked! Maybe we can learn how Japanese audiences feel about the female characters in Gundam! And does Shinsekai Evangelion really offer a “radical solution to the socio-environmental curses of patriarchy“? Maybe they’ll talk about female otaku being under-represented in mainstream media! And whether the word “otaku” still carries negative connotations…

But wait! Oh. What? This survey only has one question! “What kind of men do you like better”, the pollsters asked, “guys who like Evangelion, or guys who are Gundam fans?” Oh.

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Hey! Somebody parked their Gundam car in the middle of this Tokyo theater!

Hey! Somebody parked their Gundam car in the middle of this Tokyo theater!

Believe it or not, the anime with a character named Full Frontal isn’t an animated porno, as Mr. Frontal is actually the villain in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn

As with most installments of the Gundam saga, Unicorn isn’t really a direct sequel to any of the more than two dozen pre-existing anime to bear the Gundam name. Still, there’re plenty of winks and nods to fans who’ve been around since the franchise’s start. Full Frontal’s blond hair, penchant for masks, and complex psychology closely mirror that of the original 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam’s antagonist, Char.

So it’s only fitting that since last year Char got his own car, now Full Frontal has a customized ride too.

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How to make your model robots shoot laser beams without using Photoshop

How to make your model robots shoot laser beams without using Photoshop

Despite having a love of giant robots since childhood, I never really got into the hobby of building models of them. I barely have the manual dexterity to properly feed myself, let alone glue small pieces of plastic together, so I was always sure the finished product would never look as cool as the fighting mecha in anime series like Macross or Escaflowne.

Of course, I may have to rethink my stance, now that there’s an easy way to make your models appear to shoot laser beams that doesn’t require any fine motor or photo editing skills at all.

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Reebok trots out Gundam sneakers in classic colors

Reebok trots out Gundam sneakers in classic colors

Mobile suits come in all shapes and sizes, but none are as more recognizable, perhaps, as the original RX-78-2 from Mobile Suit Gundam. Apparently the designers at Reebok thought so too, and are honoring the classic series with a new Gundam x Reebok collaboration.

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Nankai Railways and Gundam combine their love of mobility to create the Gundam train

Nankai Railways and Gundam combine their love of mobility to create the Gundam train

In a way, it’s slightly ironic that Gundam, Japan’s most venerated giant robot, is honored with a huge statue that stands in the Odaiba district of Tokyo. The original series in the franchise was titled Mobile Suit Gundam, but that 18-meter (59-foot) isn’t going anywhere since not only is it incapable of walking, Odaiba is an island and we’re pretty sure it can’t swim, either.

Coming soon, though, is a more logical wat to pay homage to the franchise: a Gundam train.

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Fans and industry veterans celebrate Gundam’s 35th anniversary

Fans and industry veterans celebrate Gundam’s 35th anniversary

Gundam fans worldwide, including those in the industry, are taking to Twitter, Pixiv, and other social media to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Mobile Suit Gundam, which began airing on April 7, 1979. The messages have been including artwork, photos of gunpla, and more.

Here are some of our favorites:

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Defend the Earth while lying under it with an Immobile Suit Gundam grave

Defend the Earth while lying under it with an Immobile Suit Gundam grave

For a few years now, whenever online chatter of a new statue based on the machines of the Gundam universe goes on the picture above seems to always pop up. But exactly where is this MS monument of mourning? Is it even real?

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Prepare to be blown away by Gundam projection mapping in the palm of your hand

Prepare to be blown away by Gundam projection mapping in the palm of your hand

Projection mapping is a big hit in Japan. Used at festivals and big events, the colourful and creative light shows project moving images onto buildings and objects, bringing them to life with accompanying music and drawing in adoring crowds.

The latest object getting the laser treatment in Japan is a life-size Gundam figure in Odaiba, Tokyo. While the figure has travelled around and been subject to projection mapping over the past few years, a new tie-in promotional product that has crowds going crazy. It’s a simple little box that, when used in conjunction with your smartphone or PSP, fills up with lasers, sparks and music in an amazing 3-D light show you’ll have to see to believe.

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Not-so-mighty challengers assemble to determine Japan’s wimpiest Gundam!

Not-so-mighty challengers assemble to determine Japan’s wimpiest Gundam!

As the most venerated of Japan’s many giant robots, Gundam casts a gallant figure. Whether he’s appearing onscreen in his newest anime installment, or simply casting his silhouette across the landscape, to gaze upon him is to be keenly aware of his unmistakable power.

Unless, of course, his back just went out. Or if he’s working part-time at the convenience store to earn extra cash.

You know what? With so many variations of Gundam out there, we’re starting to suspect that at least some of them are, in fact, wimps.

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New online manga service features 200 titles, three selectable languages, and no fees

New online manga service features 200 titles, three selectable languages, and no fees

Kadokawa, one of Japan’s largest publishers, is almost ready to roll out its new online manga service, dubbed Comic Walker. There’s so much to like about it that we’re having trouble picking our favorite part.

The voracious media consumer in us is attracted to the large library of titles, some of which can’t be read anywhere else. The ability to instantly translate dialogue into English or Chinese is a plus, too, especially for those time when you’re not up to the challenge of leafing through your Japanese dictionary so you can read the kanji for “particle beam cannon.”

But perhaps best of all is that Kadokawa’s digital manga service is absolutely free.

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We don’t care about the calories, just give us our Gundam donuts!

We don’t care about the calories, just give us our Gundam donuts!

Despite the traditional image of anime fans as couch potatoes whose consumption of junk food is only rivaled by their consumption of panty-flashing animation sequences, it’s only recently that gastronomy and Japanese animation have officially combined forces. Recently we heard about the giant, 10-patty Attack on Titan burger, but what if your tastes run less towards towering monsters and meat and more in the direction of giant robots and sweets?

If that’s the case, maybe you’d prefer a Gundam donut.

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Hand-carved Gundam figure is ready for battle, bazookas and all

Hand-carved Gundam figure is ready for battle, bazookas and all

What would you do if you had a father-in-law who made handmade gifts like the one in this photo? Well, if you’re a hardcore Gundam fan, you’d probably be pretty ecstatic. A few days ago, one Japanese netizen tweeted a photo of his father-in-law’s hand-carved Gundam figurine complete with giant bazookas. It gets even cooler because this isn’t even the first one that was made! You won’t believe the following photos showcasing one man’s incredible artistic talent.

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Hey, you kids! Get off my Gundam lawn!

Hey, you kids! Get off my Gundam lawn!

A few years back, toymaker Bandai built a gigantic full-size statue of Japan’s most iconic giant robot, the original RX-78 Gundam. After bouncing around and being displayed in various stages of assembly, the 1:1 scale figure finally found a permanent home in front of the Diver City shopping and restaurant complex in Tokyo, assuring that fans can come see it whenever they like, and also that it’ll get regular maintenance.

We’re glad to see someone is looking out for Gundam in the nation’s capital, since apparently the years haven’t been as kind to this version of him in the Japanese countryside.

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We wish all Gundams were snowboarding Gundams

We wish all Gundams were snowboarding Gundams

The RX-78-2 Gundam is cool on its own. No question about that. But we think we would just die of coolness overload if we saw that familiar red, white, and blue mobile suit gliding down the slopes on a snowboard. A few lucky boarders at an undisclosed location were treated to just that, as this photo proves. Snowboarding Gundams do exist!

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