Yokohama’s life-sized walking Gundam is making big news right now! As part of the Yokohama Gundam Factory, it’s enchanting fans all over the world. You can even go into the hangar and “pilot” it for yourself! Which got us thinking… which other anime mecha deserve their own moving statue?
We’re not limiting ourselves to robots that already have stationary statues, because that would take a lot out of the running. But here are our picks for influential robots from the history of anime that we’d like to see in motion.
When it comes to influential ‘bots, Tetsujin 28 is top of the heap. Mitsuteru Yokoyama’s creation kickstarted the mecha genre in manga and anime, and was a powerful piece of post-War fiction to boot. A mobile tribute to this stocky ‘bot might not be as elegant as the walking Gundam, but it sure would be cool. And appropriate, as series star Shotaro controlled his big metal friend using a remote control! How fun would it be to do that?
There is incidentally, a stationary Tetsujin 28 statue in Kobe. The 59-foot statue is a tribute to the strength of the community after the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995. Like Shotaro and Tetsujin 28, the community used its strength to rebuild after a devastating tragedy.
Where Tetsujin 28 brought mecha anime into being, Mazinger Z created the subgenre of super robots. From on-board pilots to rocket punches, Go Nagai’s 1972 classic redefined how we think of mecha in anime. A statue like the walking Gundam would be more than appropriate. And it would be very cool to see smoke come out of that eerie grin of a mouth grating.
There’s already a stationary Mazinger Z statue in Cabra del Camp, Spain. The icon is all that remains of the planned suburb of Tarragona, and is more “rust” than “hurricane.” While not to scale, it’s still an impressive piece of work.
Okay… we may have to make a few tiny allowances on this one.
While Yokohama’s walking Gundam is 1:1 scale at 60 feet tall, we can’t really wish for that level of realism with Gunbuster. Gainax’s mighty mecha canonically stands 240 meters tall — that’s as tall as Ikebukuro’s Sunshine 60 skyscraper. The tallest statue in the world at this time, the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, India, is only 187 meters tall. That’s already immense, and it stands still. As much as we love Gunbuster, we’re not sure we’re ready for something that big being able to move.
A scaled-down reproduction would be amazing, though. Throw in the ability for it to do its trademark crossed-arms pose, and it would definitely be an amazing sight for anime fans. Gunbuster was an iconic OVA, cementing an already amazing career for Hideaki Anno and taking mecha anime to epic new levels.
Any other mecha you’d like to see getting a move on like the walking Gundam?
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