Another year, another life-sized replica of a walking testament to the atrocity of mechanized warfare. Yes, Japan has another life-sized Gundam statue on the way soon, and to celebrate, Sunrise has taken the latest mobile suit to hit the real world and animated it... for the first time.
The official Gundam YouTube channel has released a brief teaser for the upcoming public debut of the fourth current life-sized mecha statue from the franchise. Set to open to the public in April, the statue is based at the Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport in Fukuoka, Japan, and depicts an original riff on one of the series’ most iconic mobile suit designs. The RX-93FFν Gundam is an original design heavily based on the similarly named RX-93 Nu Gundam, the main mobile suit piloted by the Gundam franchise’s original protagonist, Amuro Ray, in the classic 1988 movie Char’s Counterattack. Aside from various design tweaks to the main body of the Nu Gundam and a new color scheme, the major departure for this newest design is in its back-mounted weaponry.
The Nu Gundam depicted in Char’s Counterattack was equipped with a “wing” of mentally controlled beam cannons called fin funnels; they detached from the main suit and served as singular drone turrets to aid the Gundam in space combat. Perhaps deemed a touch impractical to replicate in real life, in the new design it’s been replaced by a larger, singular “Long Range” funnel, which can be seen being fired in the teaser above.
The brief animation is the first time that the new design has actually been depicted outside of its “real” self as a statue, unlike previous Gundam statues, which have all been based on designs already featured across decades of Gundam animated series. The FFν Gundam statue, the largest so far at just under 25 meters tall, joins three more statues from the series across Asia: a mechanized “walking” version of the original Gundam, the RX-78-2, based in Yokohama; a replica of Gundam Unicorn’s titular mecha in Tokyo; and one of Gundam SEED’s Freedom Gundam in Shanghai, China.
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