During one of our free days, me and a few friends went to Odaiba. Odaiba is a man-made island that has lots to do and see there. There were a few of malls, a giant Ferris wheel, and even a replica of the Statue of Liberty. But that wasn’t the reason why we went. In front of Diver City (one of the malls on the island) was the giant Gundam statue. For those that don’t know about Gundam, the franchise was created by Yoshiyuki Tomino in 1979 with the release of the anime Mobile Suit Gundam. Since then, the Gundam series has become one Japan’s most popular franchises spanning many anime series, video games, and models kits. The statue was built to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the series, and seeing this thing up close is nothing short of amazing.
Diver City itself was pretty amazing as well. The mall was like a combination of Great Lakes Crossing and the Mall of America put together, that’s how huge it was. The mall has seven floors, and there many stores on each of the levels. There was also a floor that had nothing but restaurants, there was even a grocery store on that floor.
On the seventh floor, there was Gundam Front Tokyo, which is a museum dedicated to telling the history of the Gundam franchise. Once we got inside, there was a lot to see. We saw a timeline that gave details about each series in order of release, also we got to see actual storyboards from the original series. There was also some type of kiosk were you can look at character profiles from each of the different shows in the entire metaseries.
One thing that was impressive about this place was the gallery of Gundam models near the entrance. There were big models, small models, and a few models of the spaceships that were used in the multiple shows in the metaseries. It’s interesting to see a franchise like Gundam to have such an impact on a country’s culture, but I find it a little disheartening that there isn’t a franchise that has such significance in the U.S.
And now for your viewing pleasure, here’s the Mobile Suit Gundam opening