Tuesday, December 21, 2010


The “robot anime” (ロボット, robotto) (known outside Japan as mecha anime) is a Japanese animation genre featuring walking robots (called mecha), usually bipedal, with arms and hands able to use objects and usually controlled by pilots.

Top 6 Giant Robot Japanese Tourist Attractions

It is considered that the genre started in 1956, with Mitsuteru Yokoyama’s manga Tetsujin 28-gō. The giant robot described in manga was 18 meters tall, had a humanoid shape and was controlled by a remote. Tetsujin was a Super Robot (スーパーロボット, Sūpā Robotto), sub-genre describing almost indestructible robots, with fantastic weapons and powers.

The most popular mecha, Gundam, appeared in 1972, produced by Sunrise studios. Unlike Tetsujin, Gundam is a Real Robot (リアルロボット, Riaru Robotto), a mecha powered by more or less conventional engines and using scientifically explainable weapons.

In time, the genre became popular both in Japan and overseas and in the last years statues and life-size replicas of these giant robots were built, some of them becoming famous tourist attractions.
Here I will present you a top of these “giant robot” related tourist attractions. ;)

6th place: The Gundam statue from Yasu

Follow up:

Three years ago, the owner of a stone sculpting shop from Yasu built a giant stone statue of Gundam which, obviously, became quickly a local attraction.
The statue is made from two large blocks of granite, is 4 meters talls and weights about 10 tons.

Gundam Statue Yasu
The Gundam statue from Yasu

I placed it on the 6th place because while well proportioned and finished, it’s not built on a specific scale and also, I couldn’t recognize what specific Gindam it represents. If anyone is aware, please let me know…

5th place: The Gundam statue from Suginami

In front of the Seibu Kamiigusa train station in Suginami, you can admire a splendid statue representing the Gundam RX-78-2 robot.

Gundam statue Kamiigusa

The statue, built by the citizens of Suginami City, is 3 meters tall and is made of bronze.

Gundam statue Kamiigusa
Gundam RX-78-2 is the original Gundam mecha, introduced in the TV anime series Mobile Suit Gundam created by the Sunrise studios in 1979.

4th place: The Gundam RX-78-2 from Fujikyu Highland

On July 2007, in the Fuji-Q Highland (Fujikyu Highland) amusement park from Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi prefecture, the Gundam Crisis attraction was opened to the public, featuring a life-size model of the Gundam RX-78-2, the first 1:1 scale model Gundam ever built.

RX-78 Gundam Fujikyu Highland

The model, 18 meters long is well detailed but it was built to be displayed lying flat (and this is why I placed it on the 4th place…).

However, the cockpit is opened and can be visited after playing an 8 minutes video game.

RX-78 Gundam Fujikyu Highland

3rd place: Tetsujin 28-gō from Kobe

The inauguration ceremony of the Tetsujin 28-gō giant robot statue was held on October 4th 2009, in the Wakamatsu-cho district from Kobe.
The robot was built as a symbol of the city’s revival after the devastating Kobe Earthquake from 1995, and is also a tribute to the author of the Tetsujin 28-gō manga, Mitsuteru Yokoyama, who was born in Kobe.

The 78 years old seiyū (voice actor) Minoru Yada, who played the inventor’s assistant in the televised series, participated at the ceremony holding a replica of the remote device used in the show to control the robot

And this is how Tetsujin looks now:

Now official

Tetsujin 28 / 鉄人28号



2nd place: The Votoms Scopedog life-size model

On the second place of this top I placed one of the most amazing giant robot models, the Votoms Scopedog 1:1 scale model, built by Kogoro Kurata, an ironworker from Tokyo.

Votoms Scopedog
image via GIZMODO

The Votoms Scopedog appeared in the televised anime series Armored Trooper VOTOMS (装甲騎兵ボトムズ, Sōkō Kihei Botomuzu), produced by the Sunrise studios starting in 1983.

RX-78 Gundam Fujikyu Highland

1st place: Gundam RX-78-2 from Odaiba

On the 30th anniversary of the Gundam robot franchise, during July and August 2009, a life-size statue of the RX-78-2 Gundam was built in the Shiokaze Park in Odaiba, Tokyo.

When the 18 meters tall robot was inaugurated, the organizers were anticipating 1.5 million visitors.
The statue had a bigger success than expected and over 4.15 million people visited the giant Gundam. The record number of visitors per day was 185000, on August 23rd.

Gundam RX-78-2, Odaiba

The Gundam was built from fiberglass plastic over a steel frame…

Gundam RX-78-2, Odaiba

… and was extremely detailed:

Gundam RX-78-2, Odaiba
Gundam RX-78-2, Odaiba
Gundam RX-78-2, Odaiba
Gundam RX-78-2, Odaiba

The body was provided with 50 light emitting points and 14 locations for generating mist and also feature a moving head.

Gundam RX-78-2, Odaiba
Gundam RX-78-2, Odaiba
The statue was dismantled at the beginning of September, but in July 2010 will be reassembled and displayed in Shizuoka.

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