Walking Gundam Plan Comes In for Criticism on Japanese Talk Show

posted on by Eric Stimson
Plan alleged to have government backing

In anticipation of the Mobile Suit Gundam series' 40th anniversary in 2019, the Gundam Global Challenge aims to develop a full-sized Gundam that can actually walk. According to an economic journalist, the Gundam would be situated near Tokyo's Haneda Airport, reach 18 meters (60 feet) in height, and demonstrate to the world Japan's peerless technological prowess. It is also alleged to enjoy support from the government of Shinzō Abe, which is determined to build the Gundam to win back popular approval. "The Abe government is determined to do this," the journalist claims.

The full-sized Gundam in Odaiba, Tokyo

The plan has generated discussion in Japanese newspapers, television shows and web forums, much of it critical. On December 7, the Tokyo MX talk show 5-ji ni Muchū! ("Lost in Thought at 5!") addressed the plan. Television commentator Matsuko Deluxe (right) expressed skepticism that Abe was really behind the plan and claimed that "nobody" agreed with it. He was dismayed at the price tag (80 billion yen, or $650 million), saying, "If it takes 80 billion, make the real thing." The program's MC, Ryō Fukawa, agreed, saying that while a walking Gundam would be impressive, it would cost a lot. He implied that walking alone wouldn't be enough to justify this: "Why can't we make a mobile suit? We could go to space and fight the Zeon army."

[Via Nikkan Gendai Digital and RBB Today]

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