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Like a lot of people, up until a few days ago I’d never heard of MegaBots, despite the fact that the California-based company has apparently created a pretty amazing (and armed) giant robot. That all changed, though, when the designers of the MegaBot Mark II released a video challenging Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industry, the makers of the Kuratas robot, to a duel.

It definitely got MegaBots plenty of attention, and now it’s gone beyond just a cagey PR move. Suidobashi has accepted the challenge, and is spitting back some fighting words of its own.

When I first watched MegaBots’ video, I had mixed emotions. On the one hand, I’ve been a fan of the idea of giant robots fighting each other since the first time I saw a cartoon based on that scenario, something that happened so long ago I can’t remember if the credit should go to Grendizer or The Transformers.

But while the Kuratas can be equipped with weapons, Suidobashi’s videos of it engaging in target-shooting feel more like mechanized archery than vicious combat. Something about the aggressively competitive way MegaBots had to go turning the two companies’ engineering achievements into a contest seemed like a reflection of the most tired stereotypes of brash American bravado, and I felt a little sorry that Suidobashi suddenly had someone picking a fight.

But after watching Suidobashi’s response to MegaBots’ challenge, I can see such sympathy was completely unnecessary.

If you’ve ever wondered where the Kuratas gets its name from, look no further than Suidobashi’s founder and CEO, Kogoro Kurata, who’s as brimming with confidence as you’d expect of a man who builds a giant robot, then names it after himself.

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▼ Kurata, wrapped in a Japanese flag emblazoned with the kanji for “hydraulics”

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Kurata isn’t standing in awe of the awesome MegaBot Mark II. As a matter of fact, he’s got a few bones to pick with its design themes and overall aesthetics, as the video, released by Suidobashi itself, has him saying the following in regards to the MegaBots challenge:

“It really came out of nowhere, so…It’s interesting, I’ll give them that. But my reaction? Come on guys, make it cooler.

Just building something huge and sticking guns on it. It’s…Super American.

We can’t let another country win this. Giant robots are Japanese culture.

Yeah, I’ll fight. Absolutely.



▼ Despite his dismissive remarks about large-caliber weaponry, Kurata unleashes perhaps the biggest gun in Japan’s debate arsenal, as claiming that something is “Japanese culture” is often the ultimate way to shut down an argument in Japan.

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Don’t think that Kurata’s honor is going to be satisfied by strapping a few paintball cannons onto his robotic brainchild and redecorating its American rival in the color of his choosing, either. Later in the video, he goes on to say:

“But you know, we really need…melee combat. If we’re gonna win this, I want to punch them to scrap and knock them down to do it.”

▼ If big guns are “Super American,” is crushing metal with your hands Super Japanese?

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And just to make sure he’s understood, the video closes with the message:

“We accept. MegaBots: Organize the duel. We’ll be there.”

An exciting setup, but oddly enough, MegaBots also ended its video by telling Suidobashi “Prepare yourselves and name the battlefield.” So with both sides pointing the finger at each other regarding where the fight will happen, I’ve decided to step in and offer RocketNews24’s three proposed sites for this historic event.

1. Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan

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Like ancient gladiators battling before Caesar, so too should the Kuratas and MegaBot Mark II pay their respects by fighting under the gaze their kind’s most exalted figure, Gundam.

2. Grand Canyon, Arizona, U.S.A.

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Giant robots, giant canyon. Makes sense to us.

3. Smart Araneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines

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Given the distance between Japan and the U.S., though, it’s inevitable that holding the fight in either of those two nations will bestow an immense advantage upon the host. Because of that, really the only fair thing to do is to have the Kuratas and MegaBot Mark II meet at a neutral site somewhere between their home countries, and I nominate the Smart Araneta Coliseum in the Philippines.

Not only does its name contain the appropriately bellicose “Coliseum,” if the venue was good for Mohammad Ali and Joe Frazier’s Thrilla in Manilla, it’s good enough for this robotic rumble between Suidobashi and MegaBots.

▼ Loser buys the lumpia

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Source: Engadget
Top image: YouTube/Suidobashi Heavy Industry
Insert images; YouTube/Suidobashi Heavy Industry, Tokyo Navi, Wikipedia/Tuxyso, Smart Araneta Coliseum, Mukpin