Beginning in 1997, the Japan Media Arts Festival is a comprehensive festival that honors outstanding works from a diverse range of media in four divisions: Art, Entertainment, Animation, and Manga. The Japan Media Arts Festival is managed by the Japanese government’s Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
For the entertainment division, the moving RX-78F00 Gundam statue was included in the Jury Selections awards by the festival’s jury committee for the 25th Japan Media Arts Festival. Sunrise’s popular film Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway’s Flash was awarded the same prize in the festival’s animation division.
The “Gundam Global Project” began as an ambitious project to realize the dream of creating a life size, 18m tall RX-78-2 Gundam that moves, the Gundam would later be dubbed RX-78F00 Gundam.With the tagline “Challenge the dream: When Gundam moves, the world moves.”, the project launched in 2014 but was stalled due to complications. In 2018, the project was revived for the Gundam 40th Anniversary.
The project was overseen by staff members from the realms of anime and film production to robotics and engineering. Masaki Kawahara, who’s helmed the creation of the previous Gundam statues, served as project manager. The Gundam utilizes a steel frame with a carbon resin exterior, powered by electrical actuators, and relies on Asratec Corp’s “V-Sido” operating system to generate motion.
The Gundam Factory Yokohama opened December 2020 at Yokohama’s Yamashita Pier as an amusement facility showcasing the moving 18m RX-78F00 Gundam statue. The facility consists of Gundam-Dock Tower, which allows visitors to see the Gundam much closer and Gundam Lab, a two story building featuring event spaces to learn about the statue’s design, structures and mechanisms through talk shows, lectures, research presentations and workshops. The Lab includes the Gundam Pilot View SoftBank 5G Experience, a VR dome that simulates a real time Gundam piloting experience from the cockpit using 5G technology courtesy of SoftBank. Located within the Gundam Lab is its own satellite Gundam Cafe and The Gundam Base with have their own unique menu and limited edition merchandise.
Also in December 2020, the RX-78F00 became the “Largest mobile humanoid robot” and “Largest mobile Gundam” in the Guinness World Records.
Earlier this year in January, the Gundam Factory Yokohama announced it would be extending its operations by one year until March 31, 2023. The decision to extend operations was made after discussions with the city of Yokohama and other related parties in response to the passionate requests of fans in Japan and abroad who were unable to visit the venue due to travel restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic and state of emergency declarations in Japan.
The RX-78F00 Gundam is the second of the currently standing life-sized Gundam statues, alongside RX-0 Unicorn Gundam at DiverCity Tokyo Plaza’s Festival Plaza in Odaiba, Tokyo, ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam at Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport in Shanghai, China, and the newly constructed RX-93ff Nu Gundam at Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport FUKUOKA in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City,
Source: J-Media Arts