From the “Gundam Manhole Project,” the town of Engaru in the Hokkaido Prefecture has received a “Gundam Manhole” and “Zaku Manhole” as donations. Engaru is the hometown of prolific anime director, mangaka and designer Yoshikazu Yasuhiko.
Yasuhiko is best known as the character designer and chief animation director for the original 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam and character designer for its 1985 sequel, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. Yasuhiko is also known as the creator and chief director for the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin manga series and its anime OVA adaptation. The creator recently returned to the Gundam franchise in 2022 to direct the Mobile Suit Gundam: Cururuz Doan’s Island remake film.
The “Gundam Manhole” feature the town’s symbolic landmark, the “Kanbou-iwa” rock, which towers approximately 78 meters above ground. The “Zaku Manhole” features a design representing the Engaru Forest Okhotsk Roadside Station.
An unveiling event took place on Monday, September 25, where the manhole designs were first revealed. The “Gundam Manhole” is located at the Engaru Town Art and Cultural Exchange Plaza Metro Plaza, near the Chamber of Commerce entrance. The “Zaku Manhole” is located next to the Engaru Forest Okhotsk Roadside Station. Both were installed on Monday, October 2.
Announced in 2020, the “Gundam Manhole Project” is an initiative by the Bandai Namco Group’s cross-sectional “Gundam Project” in cooperation with local governments across Japan to promote tourism to those regions, as well as express the bond between Gundam fans transcending generations across Japan. The first of these Gundam manholes were installed in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, the hometown of Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino.
Source: Gundam Info