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Anime hero Goku appears in giant form to delight fans and hopefully keep Attack on Titan’s monsters in check.

With the man-eating giants of anime Attack on Titan set to show their gruesome visages at this year’s Sapporo Snow Festival, visitors to the event might find themselves hoping for protection from some pretty big heroes. They’re in luck, because the Titans aren’t the only anime characters who’ll be represented at the event, where Dragon Ball’s Goku will also appear in a gigantic snow sculpture.

The festival hasn’t officially started yet, but we couldn’t wait to see the animated legend with our own eyes. So we made a trip up to Sapporo to check see how he’s coming along, and we were not disappointed.

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With its iconic status in Japan, Dragon Ball doesn’t really need any special justification to be part of the festival, but this year conveniently marks the 30th anniversary of the franchise’s TV debut.

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Goku’s presence alone would probably be enough to put many visitors’ minds at ease. Still, not everyone is convinced that he’s the most capable fighter in the Dragon Ball universe, including haughty alien prince Vegeta, who’s also on the scene.

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Dragon Ball isn’t just coasting along on the strength of its past storylines, though. The anime has had a recent resurgence, and we saw artists working on antagonist Beerus, seen in both the Dragon Ball: Battle of Gods theatrical feature and currently airing Dragon Ball Super TV series.

▼ While smaller than Goku and Vegeta, Snow Beerus is still several meters tall.

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Creating a snow sculpture of this scale isn’t an easy task. Even in Sapporo, if the afternoon weather temperatures are too warm the sculpture can partially melt, undoing the progress that was made during the morning. This year, though, the weather has been cooperatively chilly, and the Dragon Ball team said it’ll have the complete sculpture ready in time for opening day.

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Since we’d come all the way, we decided to also stop by and see how things were going at the Attack on Titan sculpture, which is being made with the help of Japan Self-Defense Forces personnel.

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They’re doing some fine work on the fine details, recreating the straining sinew, terrifying teeth, and expressive eyes of manga creator Hajime Isayama’s designs.

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As a matter of fact, the Titans are looking so scary that it’s sort of reassuring to have a layer of combat-trained men between us and them.

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Both the Dragon Ball and Attack on Titan sculptures can be found in the Odori Kaijo venue of the Sapporo Snow Festival, which starts February 5.

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