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18-Meter Robot Statue to Stand at Creator's Birthplace

posted on 2007-06-20 17:07 EDT
Memorial planned for Ironman 28/Gigantor, Giant Robo, Sally the Witch artist

The city of Kobe, Japan will erect a 18-meter (59-feet) tall, 70-ton statue of the Ironman 28 robot (Tetsujin 28-gō, adapted as Gigantor in English) to mark the birthplace of its late creator, Mitsuteru Yokoyama. Yokoyama passed away from fire-related injuries in 2004 after conceiving such world-famous manga and anime characters as Ironman 28, Giant Robo, and Sally the Witch—one of the first magical girls in anime. Ironman 28 is considered the first "giant robot," and the first human-controlled robot, in manga and anime.

The Kobe Nagata Town Management Organization is claiming that the "life-size," steel-plated monument is Japan's largest for a manga character. One-third of the needed 135 million yen (about US$1.09 million) has already been raised, and the TMO hopes to finish the statue by the Golden Week holidays in Spring of 2008. In response to questions, the TMO specifically says the monument will not move, its eyes will not light up, and visitors cannot go inside it.

The Nagata Ward of Kobe is eventually planning a memorial hall for the artist. The project also celebrates the decade-long revival of this ward, which was the hardest hit in the 1995 Kobe Earthquake.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

Image © Hikari Pro

Update: The Kobe Nagata TMO notes that the memorial will be the tall enough to look into an apartment complex's sixth-story window. The Fuji-Q Highland amusement park near Mt. Fuji is similarly building a "life-size," 18-meter Gundam figure, but that Gundam figure will be lying on its back. Kobe's Ironman 28 statue will be fully upright.


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