Sorry, Gundam won’t be seeing you this summer.

Though things are slowly starting to get back to normal in Japan, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are going to linger at least throughout the summer. Mt. Fuji is closed for the entire climbing season, for example, and now comes sad news for fans of anime and/or awesome robotics.

Right now, there’s a life-size statue of the original RX-78 Gundam, all 18 meters (59 feet) of the iconic anime robot, under construction in the city of Yokohama, half an hour south of Tokyo. The prime attraction of the new Gundam Factory Yokohama facility, the statue is set to be even more amazing than its predecessor in Tokyo, because it’s going to move!

▼ Concept video for the Yokohama Gundam

The first opportunity for anyone who’s not a mobile suit engineer to see the Yokohama Gundam was supposed to be coming in July, with a “Special Experience” preview tour ahead of the official grand opening in the fall. Unfortunately, the Special Experience has now been cancelled, due to coronavirus concerns.

The Gundam Factory announcement says the decision was reached out of a desire to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus among guests and workers, but does not specify if the pandemic caused delays to the construction itself. In addition, the facility’s planned October grand opening will be delayed. No replacement month/date has been set, although Gundam Factory says it hopes to be able to open sometime before the end of the year.

“We deeply apologize to all of you who were planning to visit our facility, and ask for your understanding, We are continuing our preparations for when we can open in a manner that is safe for everyone, so please continue looking forward to it.”

So sadly, that theory that the life-size Gundam would sweep away the threat of plague like a great buddha statue of old didn’t pan out. But the idea of better late than never applies to mobile suits too, and in the meantime, Tokyo still has its full-scale RX-O Unicorn Gundam statue.

Source: Gundam Factory 
Images: Gundam Factory
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