Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Japanese Politicians Considering Building a Real Gundam

Yes, this is real news. I found this reported on Gundam Guy, who got it from Kotaku. You can find the whole article here:

Basically, Japan's Liberal Democratic Party is seriously discussing the construction of a real life Gundam for use in the Self Defense Force. They are apparently going to talk about it on Nico Nico Live, which reeks pandering to a young nerd audience. They did an estimate back in 2008, and they believe it would cost about $725,000,000 for the parts and materials required to build a Gundam-sized mecha weapon.

Now, a lot of people are furious over this. You would think anime nerds and Gundam fans would be all over the idea, but we've got to get realistic sometime. As a diehard Gundam fan, I would LOVE to see a fully functioning giant robot, but this is just bat-shit insanity. First of all, our current level of technology would make it impossible to actually create a functioning 60-foot robot. But more importantly, there really isn't a point to having giant robots fight our battles. It's cool in anime, but it would never work in real life.

Can you imagine a giant slow moving contraption trying to fight off fighter planes and smaller targets on the ground? It would never catch up, and be hit by a missile from a blind spot before it could even react. Now, when the LDP say Gundam, they actually mean just a mecha weapon in general, so it could just be something small like the robots in Avatar. That would actually work. But not a Gundam, which would crumble under its own weight with its slim legs.

The most important thing that's got everyone riled up is the fact that Japan is still in a recession. They are currently going through some tough times, so it really is insane for politicians to be talking about trying to build a giant robot when the cost could solve their problems already. It would totally be awesome, but...crazy.



  1. Holy crap....

    I mean...The Gundam freak inside of me is THRILLED to know that this is being considered...

    But with the realities that you pointed out...It's just not a good idea to try and build this right now. Unless...Japanese politicians have knowledge of some sort of technology that would allow the Gundam to move and fight they way they do in the anime.

    Thanks for posting this man :o. That shit cray.

  2. Ah, I was just talking about this yesterday in a local group.

    The idea of having a gigantic mecha as a weapon of war works in some stories that have an unique setting that makes it plausible. For example in UC timeline there's Minovsky particle that interferes with radar and long range controls, rendering missiles useless. In the Muv-Luv series, the enemies are aliens that varies a lot and renders almost most human war tactics useless (especially the laser class that can shoot down anything flying within range up to 10km high and 30km long), which pushes mankind to develop mobile giant mechs. Other stories relies on suspension of disbelief, "giant robots are cool", and/or "super powerful mech that just dwarfes other non-mech in performance".

    There's 2 big problem when it comes about developing giant mechs in our real world:
    1) Today's (and future) war technology makes fights farther and automated. Drones and missiles comes to mind when it comes to outdoor battles. As you said, it's just near impossible for a giant mecha to face up against planes and missiles.
    2) I doubt they wouldn't dare put a nuclear generator to power said giant mech (and if they do, other countries would definitely try to stop it), so I doubt it'll be able to move as swift as a Gundam in anime (even OYW ones). Heck, even ASIMO at the time cannot run and jump.

    Of course, this is only if they actually meant it as an actual 18m giant mech. If it turns out to be a a non-bipedal, smaller mech, maybe it'll make more sense. But they do meant a real Gundam, probably to seek approval/getting votes from young nerds, they better be prepared to be blasted by mecha fans.

    1. Speaking of unique setting, that reminds me of Macross. They built their transforming robots because the Zentradi are giants and they needed to match their size. This was one explanation that really made sense.

  3. There used to be a lot of big and heavy stuff in the (real) past, such as big battleships, but changes in technology makes most of them gone (thanks to aircrafts). Yet we still have the romance for these concepts. Funny how this was reflected in the first episode of MG IGLOO too (MS over big gun-heavy battleships).

    With Japan's economy being in a bad shape, especially after the natural disaster last year, it seems hard to imagine how feasible this will ever be, and whether the 2 politicians really represent what the whole LDP thinks overall. Looking at some of the reactions on the Internet, some argue that other smaller robots for other purposes will make more sense, while some humourously say that a Zaku should have been built before the Gundam!

  4. In other news, japanese politicians have decided that the best use of time is to stick their heads up their asses,and cry.

    as much as i would like it, lets start with a tachikoma.


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