They called it “Gundam”.
We’re nowhere near one full year since the idea was presented but the Day of the Unicorn will look to come this month as Tokyo’s newest Gundam attraction, the lifesize replica of the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam is slated for unveiling this coming September 24, 2017.
Initially announced back in March as the replacement for the titular RX-78-2 Gundam, the 1:1 scale RX-0 Unicorn is one massive engineering feat as not only did it wrap up in less than one year, the replica itself is complete with gimmicks such as the iconic transformation to Destroy Mode, showing us the suit’s Psycoframe complete with light effects to mimic not only the Destroy Mode but also the Awakened Mode.
All images credits to @yoshi115t
But then as much as we are excited with this new attraction that commemorates one of the biggest anime franchises of all time encompassing not only TV series but also movies, OVAs, Mangas, Light Novels, and of course, Model Kits, we ask ourselves, why the Unicorn?
Looking back the Unicorn series is not even a decade old, having first released as novel back in 2007 with the first animated adaptation through an OVA series broadcasted in 2010 and ran until 2014 with an anime re-adaptation released just last year which means that the “nostalgia” factor is not as heavy as many might think it would be given the age of the series. Although it is without a doubt that it became one of the biggest Gundam hits with the last episode of the first OVA adaptation gaining JPY 308 Million (USD 2.7 Million), and helped further propel Gundam’s international status as the series itself was broadcasted worldwide together with the original Japanese broadcast.
Perhaps the weight of Unicorn’s popularity relied mostly on how it also re-introduced Gundam or more specifically UC (Universal Century) Gundam into a newer audience, with new animation techniques and a modern design, and referencing on the original Mobile Suit Gundam series (UC 79) while at the same time being able to stand on its own, without fully compelling you to re-watch the significant shows of the UC timeline, or perhaps it did which is actually a win-win situation for a Gundam fan.
The similarities in themes also played a major part on how Unicorn became largely popular with both old and new fans, with its main characters sharing the same character motivations as the original MSG, while at the same time giving them unique identities, Banagher Links, while he was compelled to fight using the Gundam did not do it just to plainly survive the conflict, Full Frontal, although sharing the same ideals for Spacenoids as Char Aznable, had a more personal drive when it comes to how Spacenoids and Earthnoids should exist together, although Char did go down the brutal part to force humanity’s evolution. In addition to these factors, one can also consider that Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn was also the first to attempt to provide closure in the long, drawn out conflict of ideals between Zeonic forces and the Earth Federation.
The full unveiling of Tokyo’s new 1:1 replica of the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam will be this coming Sept 24, 2017 as part of the TOKYO GUNDAM PROJECT.