The Tokyo Olympics is officially underway, and it’s not been too long since we’ve gotten our first bit of crazy promotion in the rest of the world. Take the Mobile Suit Gundam series for example. Some genius at Bandai Namco, the publisher that owns studios like From Software and also created Pac-Man, has announced that they’ll be helping install some special Gundam-themed manhole covers starting in August around Odawara in the Kanagawa prefecture.
The reason behind that particular location choice is linked to Gundam history. The creator of Gundam, Yoshiyuki Tomino, was born in Odawara, and so it was a natural choice to showcase his creations in a way that sometimes I think only Japan knows.
We’ve seen previous works before, most notably with the Pokemon manhole wave that swept across Japan (there were over 100 at the last count), but aligning the new campaign to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is a great way to highlight Japan’s contributions to the world entertainment stage, and Tomino especially, who made an appearance at the opening ceremony alongside the mayor of Odawara. I know I’d certainly be proud of the massive impact that Gundam has made on the world, from countless anime and manga series and movies to the specialized hobby of Gunpla building, which takes my enjoyment of Transformers and old Airfix models (which if you’re unaware is a UK craft company that makes plastic model kits, and are primarily known for their military aircraft models), and takes it to a whole other level.
There are two different manhole designs on offer, one featuring the iconic Gundam mecha in front of Odawara Castle, and the other features Z’Gok at the Odawara fishing harbor.
What do you think of the Gundam manhole cover designs? Are you enjoying the Tokyo 2020 Olympics so far? What about those video game references, eh? Leave us a comment down below with your thoughts.