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In a way, it’s slightly ironic that Gundam, Japan’s most venerated giant robot, is honored with a huge statue that stands in the Odaiba district of Tokyo. The original series in the franchise was titled Mobile Suit Gundam, but that 18-meter (59-foot) isn’t going anywhere since not only is it incapable of walking, Odaiba is an island and we’re pretty sure it can’t swim, either.

Coming soon, though, is a more logical wat to pay homage to the franchise: a Gundam train.

It’s been 20 years since Nankai Electric Railways started operation of its Airport Line, which connects Osaka, central Japan’s largest city, with Kansai Airport. Nankai’s executives apparently concluded that the best way to commemorate this improvement in the mobility for the region’s residents was by teaming up with anime series Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.

Gundam’s villains consistently outstrip the franchise’s heroes in popularity, though. So just as Toyota’s Gundam car was inspired by the series’ original antagonist Char, so too does Nankai’s special train draw from the imagery surrounding Gundam Unicorn’s villainous Full Frontal.

▼ Honestly, though, with a name like that, your only realistic life path choices are madman or porn star.

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It’s a little hard to dig out from the middle of the lengthy official name, but the Mobile Suit Gundam UC Tokyu Rapi:t Return of the Red Comet Tokyu Rapi:t Neo Zeon Version is a redecorated version of Nankai Tokyu Rapi:t express train. The Rapi:t runs from Namba Station, located in downtown Osaka on the Nankai Main line, to Kansai Airport Station, on the Airport Line.

Starting April 26, the Rapi:t will switch from its customary deep blue exterior to the crimson color Frontal’s warmechs are painted in.

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Inside, there are special seats “reserved” for Frontal and his revolutionary compatriots, Mineva Lao Zabi and Angelo Sauper, from the Neo Zeon organization.

▼ Left to right: chairs for Zabi, Sauper, and Frontal

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Of course, chipping off a piece of the train to take home with you is frowned upon, no matter how much you love Gundam. To appease anime collectors, Nankai will instead be selling a limited run of 5,000 of commemorative Rapi:t tickets featuring the Neo Zeon crest plus the cast and mecha of Gundam Unicorn.

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If that’s not enough, you can also pick up a towel or a pack of two Gundam/Rapi:t clear files which sell for 1,000 yen (US $9.80) or 700 yen, respectively.

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The Gundam train makes its final run on June 30, so if you’re thinking of routing your next Japanese flight through Kansai Airport, don’t delay.

Source: IT Media
Top image: Nankai
Insert images: Wikia, Wikipedia, Nankai