Japan-enthusiasts will be familiar with the hyper-realistic Gundam statue located in Odaiba, Tokyo.
First built and installed in 2009, the much-loved original RX-78-2 was replaced in September 2017 by the bigger and bolder RX-0 Unicorn Gundam replica. Standing at a staggering 19.7m tall, this new statue brought in thousands of tourists eager to take photos of this man-made masterpiece. Like its predecessor, it had a little light show at various times during the day, and it even changed between two modes – Unicorn and Destroyer!
Gundam fans, rejoice, because Fukuoka is now also getting a life-sized Gundam mecha later this year!
This brand-new installment to the new Mitsui Shopping Park Lalaport Fukuoka will be a 24.8m tall Nu Gundam Mecha. That’s right, it’s even larger than the one in Odaiba!
There has been a resurgence of Gundam-related attractions in recent years, including the opening of the Yokohama Gundam Factory (with a giant moving mecha!), and the cool Gundam manhole covers in Odawara. On top of this, Shanghai also copped a life-size Freedom Gundam (the most popular Gundam in China) statue last year!
Taking a step back, some of you guys might be wondering: what is Gundam in the first place?
In Japanese pop-culture, Gundam is one of the biggest and leading anime in the world – it’s basically iconic. It’s an anime featuring giant robots or mecha controlled by genetically advanced humans from the cockpit. Gundam is considered one of the original predecessors of otaku fandoms.
Since its inception, Gundam has inspired TV series, films, OVAs, mangas, novels, video games, and is essentially carrying the entire plastic model kits industry on its back.
With a reputation like this, you can imagine just how many Gundam fans there are out there, and just how passionate and excited they are to witness something like this in Fukuoka!
More About Fukuoka’s New Statue and Park
Set to inject extra life into Fukuoka, the new Mitsui Shopping Park will offer plenty of shops and restaurants for its patrons, including an outdoor plaza which is where the life-size Gundam mecha will be situated. The shopping center will also boast a Gundam Park specialty shop as well as a mini-museum. How’s that!
The statue itself is a 1:1 scale replica of the RX-93 v Gundam (Nu Gundam), from the first-ever Gundam movie, Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack. The Japanese people love to pay homage to the original classics, and this is a fantastic way to do so. Real Gundam fans will be able to appreciate this!
It is unclear whether it will also include any light shows like the one in Odaiba, however, a unique aspect of this statue is that it features a large prong standing behind the mecha. This is Nu Gundam’s Fin Funnel, a large beam that’s unique to the Gundam! It’s actually super impressive, whether you’re a fan of Gundam or not.
With it being the first Gundam statue to ever be displayed in Western Japan, we’re predicting the opening of the Mitsui Shopping Park Lalaport Fukuoka in April 2022 to be huge!