People love the 59-foot tall life-size movable RX-78-2 Gundam statue in the Gundam Factory Yokohama facility, so it’s no wonder it’s in the Jury Selections for the Entertainment Division of the 25th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards.
The Japan Media Arts Festival gave this description of itself:
“The Japan Media Arts Festival is a comprehensive festival of Media Arts (Media Geijutsu in Japanese) that honors outstanding works from a diverse range of media – from animation and comics to media art and games. The festival gives awards in each of its four divisions: Art, Entertainment, Animation, and Manga. It also provides a platform for appreciation of the award-winning and other notable works. Since its start in 1997, the festival has recognized significant works of high artistry and creativity, and in addition to a yearly Exhibition of Award-winning Works, has held other events, such as symposiums, screenings, and showcases.”
This year, there were 3,537 entries in the running, and they came from 95 countries and regions.
It’s also been noted that the Gundam statue and the facility around it will stick around until March 31, 2023. According to the original plan, it was only going to stick around until March 2022. However, it’s proving so popular — and so many people who want to see it haven’t been able to yet because of COVID — that this extension has been given. That said, people won’t be able to see the statue between mid-May to mid-July this year, because it will be shuttered then for maintenance. Near the statue is also the single still-existing Gundam Café, as the other Gundam Cafés have closed.
Another life-sized Gundam statue, called RX-93ffν Gundam, is going to be revealed at the Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport in Fukuoka next month. When that occurs, Bandai Namco will have four life-sized Gundam statues out in the public.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin. She is also the author of its upcoming sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.