Eager to see what all the buzz was about, I went down to Tokyo's Odaiba area last weekend to have a look at the giant, 1:1 scale model of a Gundam RX-78. I walked along the waterfront, enjoying the cool saline breeze whipping off the coast, wondering where exactly the robot was.
And then I saw it: looming over the treetops like something out of a Hollywood movie--the 18m tall "exoskeleton" gave me thoughtful pause. "Damn, that's cool," was my first thought. And then: What if these things were real?
I suppose in a way, when I had first come to Japan all those years back, while I had known these sorts of automatons exist only in anime and manga, I had felt nevertheless let down in not being able to see any Bladerunner-esque robot that provided inspirational pause. (They tend to be either those really ROBOT robots, like car welders, or those weird, almost cartoony things that are meant to "care" for elderly persons. I guess the only other one that seriously gave me a "wow" was the HAL suit--which isn't even a robot!)
Naturally, the RX-78 isn't the sole robot project on the isles of Japan...
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