Ten years have passed since the world witnessed a milestone in robot anime history. The Japanese unveiled a “lifesize” RX-78-2, an iconic mecha piloted by Amuro Rey in the groundbreaking Japanese animation Mobile Suit Gundam. While it featured lights and sounds for scheduled shows, one question still remained: can they make the 18-meter robot move?
This year, a moving Gundam is set to rise in Yokohama.
The grandfather of mobile suits
Gundam’s success in 1979 was notable for two reasons.
First, unlike other robot shows of its time that focused on humans vs aliens, Amuro Rey pilots the RX-78-2 to fight other humans. As noted in The Science of Anime: Mecha-Noids and AI-Super-Bots:
“Rather than one pilot in a mecha trying to save the world against outer space invasions, Gundam gave fans a complex story about human space colonies fighting a vast war for independence.”
Second, aside from its storyline, Gundam’s popularity boomed following the release of offical merchandise: toys. Animated giant robots had plastic model kits based on them. Kids can imitate iconic scenes for the show. This expanded the story and popularity of Gundam.
Today, dozens of storylines exists under different universes under the Gundam franchise. More fans also collect Gundam plastic models, also known as Gunpla
Making dreams come true
Gundam is loved all over the world, and fans respect the RX-78-2. After all, it started the franchise’s 40-year journey. With no signs of stopping, this latest project is about to make a lot dreams come true.
Organizers may have postponed the July “experience preview event” and October grand opening. But the excitement for the moving Gundam will definitely grow stronger. If you’re a fan, maybe you can play with your own RX-78-2 model at home for now.