Gundam

Coming face-to-boot with the giant Patlabor statue【Photos】

If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m not a huge giant mech/giant robot fan. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a full episode of Patlabor or Gundam–though it’s not out of spite or anything! There are only so many hours in the day, and I rarely seem to have time to watch giant mechs beating the crap out of each other. Though that sentence is making me question some life choices now…

As such, I’ve always been perplexed by the idea that someone has actually gone out of their way to build enormous statues of the suits. The “why” has always left an itch in the back of my mind–it just doesn’t seem worth, does it? Well, that’s what I thought until I actually came face-to-face (face-to-boot?) with an enormous Patlabor statue. Here are some photos of the giant mech emblazoned with a Japanese police badge and why I actually hope they make more!

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Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls

Back when Japan was still at the mercy of the midsummer heat, a group of…creative anime fans tried to cool off with bowls of shaved ice. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be so weird, except that they set up their strawberry syrup dispenser to look like their treats were being flavored by an anime girl’s menstrual flow. (Yeah, gross.)

But hey, what’s the alternative to anime fans getting excited over 2-D characters having their periods? Anime fans getting excited about 2-D characters not having periods! Otaku around Japan have been sharing retouched pics of animation stars showing off pregnancy test results, and the trend isn’t limited to anime’s ladies.

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The 10 best anime of the fall season, according to Japanese otaku

Just like it does every year, autumn brings red leaves, cooler temperatures, and a new season of TV shows to Japan. This is especially good news if you’re an anime fan, as tons of new series have debuted in the last few weeks.

As a matter of fact, this might be too much of a good thing, as there’s so much new anime available that it’s hard to find time to sample all of it. So if you don’t know where to start, you might want to consult a list of the hottest currently airing shows, made by the people who love the medium best: Japanese otaku.

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Child’s Mobile Cute Gundam entertains parent and moves Japan

When you think of plastic models based on the giant weaponized robots of the Gundam universe, “cute” isn’t a word that often comes to mind. But it’s hard to not give a big, gushy “aww” at one homemade Gundam model gifted to Twitter user Chal by their daughter.

The story as outlined by Chal on their Twitter account and retweeted thousands of times begins with a mysterious paper package with something written on it in crude Japanese. Mini… Gasodam? Mini Garidamu? No. This was a “Mini Gundam” and Chal, an experienced model hobbyist, was up for the challenge.

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Motorcycles look more and more like Gundams every day

Earlier in the year, Honda revealed plans for its NM4 Vultus at the 30th Osaka Motorcycle Show. With a sleek exterior and harsh angles, it looks like it could’ve been pulled from a sci-fi movie. And in fact, Honda says that the design is influenced by “futuristic machines seen in the anime and manga television and film styles.”

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Anime all-stars combine in fan-crafted Mobile Suit Yo-Kai Watch 【Photos】

In recent months, there’s been no video game or anime franchise more popular among Japanese kids than Yo-Kai Watch. The story of kids teaming up with traditional youkai spirits (some of whom look like adorable kitty-cats), seems to have landed right in the sweet spot between adventurous, cute, and traditional, making it a huge hit for creator Level-5 (and promotional partner McDonald’s).

As a matter of fact, Yo-Kai Watch has even been gaining traction against Pokémon, the reigning champion of kids’ entertainment in Japan for the last decade-plus. Now, one fan seems to be turning Yo-Kai Watch’s towards another anime institution, by combining its characters with the giant robots of Gundam.

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Mobile Suit Gundam game unveiled for PS4

Bandai Namco Games unveiled a teaser trailer at the SCEJA press conference on Monday for a new Mobile Suit Gundam game for PlayStation 4. The game is slated for 2015.

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Gundam creator isn’t making his new series for you, doesn’t care if you don’t like it

Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino always seems to be seething at someone. Recently, he had harsh words for the anime voice acting industry, and now he’s gnawing even further up the arm that’s connected to the hand that feeds him by setting his sights on a new target: all adult Gundam fans.

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Gundam creator expresses disappointment over current state of anime voice acting

He may have created one of anime’s most successful franchises, but Yoshiyuki Tomino, father of Gundam, hasn’t let his years of success mellow him out any. If anything, just the opposite seems to be happening, as he’s recently dished out harsh condemnations of both mega-hit Attack on Titan and listless Japanese youths.

As the debut of his newest series, Gundam Reconguista in G, draws near, Tomino seems to be staying the acerbic course, with a wide-ranging complaint about the current state of anime voice acting, plus some regrets about his prior collaboration with famed sci-fi designer Sid Mead.

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Sip your tea like an anime villain with high-class Gundam porcelain cups and vases

In the past, we’ve seen multiple cars decked out with special paint jobs and accessories honoring Mobile Suit Gundam. But what if you want to show your love for anime’s longest-running mecha series, in a slightly more elegant kind of way? Is there any way for you to drop a large sum of cash on Gundam merchandise not to park in your garage, but to place on your living room mantle or dining room table?

There is now, with high-quality Gundam porcelain.

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Otaku generation gap – Fans in their teens, 20s, and 30s reveal what got them into anime

Fans of Japanese animation are quick to point out that it’s not just for kids, with less of the stigma attached to its Western counterpart. Still, even anime tends to be heavily youth-oriented, and fan favorites can quickly fade into obscurity.

For a quick example, ask an anime enthusiast about Bubblegum Crisis. Depending on their age you’ll get a description of either the 1987 direct-to-video series, the 1997 TV reboot, or directions to the closest convenience store where you can buy a pack of Bazooka.

As further proof, in a recent poll people in Japan revealed which shows turned them into lovers of anime, with completely different top five lists for fans in their teens, 20s, and 30s.

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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

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

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”

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

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

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)

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!

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

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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