Watch Japan’s Latest Massive Gundam Statue Being Assembled

New videos show the latest 1:1 scale Gundam statue being assembled.

Japanese news organizations NHK and the Mainichi Shimbun were on hand to film the new statue's head being attached. The statue is being constructed in the center of a shopping center located in Fukuoka, Japan. The Gundam's head piece was pre-built and had to be lifted in place using a construction crane. As shown in the NHK's video, just the head alone dwarfs the height of the workers who are putting the massive mecha together.

The new statue is based off of the custom built RX-93 Nu-Gundam that Amuro Ray piloted during his final battle with his life-long rival, Char Aznable, during 1988's Char's Counterattack. In canon, this iteration of the Gundam was designed by Amuro himself and was one of the first mobile suits to feature a Psycho Frame, a new technology that allows Newtype pilots to control their mecha has if it was an extension of their own bodies. The technology would later play a major role in subsequent Gundam series set in the Universal Century timeline, including Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and Gundam Narrative.

The statue has been the subject of some controversy within the Gundam fandom for straying from the Nu Gundam's original design. While the life-sized RX-78-2 statue in Yokohama and the transforming RX-0 Unicorn Gundam in Tokyo were exactingly faithful recreations of the original anime designs, Fukuoka's Nu Gundam loses the mobile suit's most iconic feature -- its shoulder-mounted array of remote controlled weapons, known in-universe as "funnels" -- and trades them for a single, massive cannon funnel. The change was reportedly done because the statue wouldn't have been stable with its original, more complicated armament, but some fans have still expressed their desire to see a more accurate representation of the iconic giant robot. The Nu Gundam's color scheme has also been changed from it's original black-and-white design to feature a lighter shade of blue.

Given the ending to Char's Counterattack, the Nu Gundam probably won't be featured in any new anime movies or shows, but the original RX-78-2 will appear in the new Cucuruz Doan's Island movie, which will be released in Japan in 2022. The movie is a theatrical-length remake of one of the most famous episodes of the original Gundam anime. The fallout from the events of Char's Counterattack will also continue to be explored in the sequel to Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway, which, according to the series' producer, will be released in 2024 at the earliest.

Source: Twitter, YouTube

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