by Chris MaGee
It seems that Mitsuteru Yokoyama's "Tetsujin 28" has been coming back in very big ways in the past year or so... very, very big ways. First there was the stage play directed by "Ghost in the Shell" and "The Sky Crawlers" creator Mamoru Oshii at the Galaxy Theater Tennozu in Osaka that retold the story of how a 12-year-old, Shotaro Kaneda, comes into possesion of Japan's secret weapon and savior, the giant Tetsujin 28, that featured a 500-kilogram moving representation of the robot center stage. That's small potatoes compared to what the folks at the Kobe Tetsujin Project have in store for the Japanese port city this summer.
To honour those lost in the tragic 1995 Kobe Earthquake as well as to present a symbol of the rebuilding of the shattered city the people behind the Kobe Tetsujin Project will be unveiling a 15-metre (49-foot) tall, 50-ton statue of the giant robot created by Kobe native Yokoyama in 1956.
According to a report at Anime News Network the statue was to have been unveiled in Nagata Ward, Kobe City this Spring, but financial set backs have pushed the inaugural ceremony back to this summer. The project is apparently costing ¥135 million (roughly $1.84 million CAD) with Kobe City pitching in ¥45 million in and the remainder coming from special fund-raising events and related products like "Tetsujin Curry" with the giant robot's image emblazoned on the packaging.
It just strikes me as funny, not in a bad way mind you, that other giant Japanese statues like the Daibutsu statues in Nara and Kamakura will soon be joined by a giant manga character. Neat!