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18-m Tetsujin 28/Gigantor Monument Officially Opened

posted on 2009-10-04 12:13 EDT
Voice actor of robot's inventor leads ceremony with remote control

To celebrate its revival after the 1995 earthquake, the city of Kobe held the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the "life-size" statue of Mitsuteru Yokoyama's Tetsujin 28-gō (Ironman 28 or Gigantor) robot on Sunday. Minoru Yada, the 78-year-old voice actor of Tetsujin 28's fictional inventor Dr. Shikishima, led the the 28 people who cut the ribbon by yelling out "Tetsujin-28-gō!" Yada was holding a mockup of the trademark remote control that the manga and anime's hero, schoolboy Shoutarou Kaneda (Jimmy Sparks), carried to control the robot.

MBS News, Jiji Press, and The Kobe Shimbun all posted video reports from the ceremony.

The monument stands at Wakamatsu Park in Nagata Ward, which was the ward hardest hit by the 1995 temblor. The statue celebrates the life of one of Kobe's most well-known native sons; Yokoyama not only created the Tetsujin 28 manga, anime, and live-action film, but also Giant Robo and Sally the Witch. The Kobe Tetsujin Project raised 135 million yen (US$1.40 million), partly through the city's investment of 45 million yen (US$470,000) and through sales of "Tetsujin Curry."

Since the 50-ton statue is not "standing" straight up, it is actually 15.3 meters (50.2 feet) high. It is roughly the same size as the "life-size" Gundam statue that was temporarily erected in Tokyo Bay's artificial Odaiba island this past summer. (After the Gundam statue was dissassembled, its head appeared at last month's Tokyo Game Show.) The Tetsujin 28 statue was initially scheduled to be completed in spring of 2008.

Source: Shizuoka Shimbun


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