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Thursday, 9th July 2009
In Events In Japan,

Japan reveals 18-metre robot

An 18-metre tall robot has been unveiled in Japan to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the popular character Gundam.

Gundam the robot is the star of an anime series Mobile Suit Gundam, which was first shown on Japanese TV in the late 1970s.

The robot, which weighs 35 tonnes, has been placed in the centre of Tokyo, on Odaiba Island.

Patrick Galbraith, ethnographer at the University of Japan and author of The Otaku Encyclopaedia: Insider's Guide to the Subculture of Cool Japan, told the BBC just how popular the series is in the country.

"In Gundam, you see a young man gets on board a giant robot, he reads a tech manual and he says, 'I can fly this thing and save the world' - and in fact, he does," he said.

It is this "hopefulness" which the Japanese see in robots, he commented.
Executive director of the show Yoshiyuki Tomino said that the robot reminds people "not to lose hope", reports the Associated Press.

Written by Graham McPherson.