Gundam is one of Japan’s most successful pop culture franchises, and the life-sized Unicorn Gundam statue at Odaiba district in Tokyo Bay got some extra attention during the Olympics (even if the BBC did mistakenly call it a Transformer at first). The popularity has led to plenty of Gundam merchandise, and most recently it’s manifested in some Gundam shoes from Nike.
These are part of Nike’s SB Dunk High line, with the SB standing for “skateboard.” Two different shoes from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn have been made, and they’re themed to RX-0 Unicorn Gundam, and RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee.
The epic shoes get an epic commercial. It opens in outer space, and you can see one of the shoes floating in zero gravity. But instead of seeing the real pilots, Banagher Links and Riddhe Marcenas, the pilots are skateboarders Paul Rodriguez and Olympic gold medalist Yuto Horigome. Yes, you can get medals for skateboarding in the Olympics!
The shoes aren’t on the market just yet, but will become available on September 24. If you want them but don’t live in Japan, there is the option of ordering them via Nike’s SNKRS website. They become available for online orders just a little later, on September 27. They cost 13,200 yen (about $120).
Yoshiyuki Tomino, the original creator of Gundam, has said he’s probably at his last few years of working, and has also said, “Giant robot shows are for kids, but while I’m alive and can make new works, I’ll crush Demon Slayer and Evangelion. If I didn’t think that ambitiously, I wouldn’t be making TV anime past the age of 80.” Think he might wear these shoes as he does his last few years of anime work?
Would you want to wear these shoes? If so, which one would you pick, or would you want both?
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.