I am an avid Gundam fan. I thought that at least one entry to this website should involve some sort of evangelizing of the Gundam franchise, so, I decided to write about Gundam Front Tokyo in Odaiba.
First, let’s back up. Gundam is a franchise of anime, movies, manga, video games, and plastic model kits—dating back to 1979. Gundams, and other mecha in the series, are large humanoid robots that can be piloted in sea, air, ground, and outer space within their respective fictional histories. Gundam is a very large franchise, and has been airing almost continuously since it’s introduction with Mobile Suit Gundam, the original anime, in 1979. Now that you know what Gundam is, let’s continue.
Gundam Front Tokyo in Odaiba is a sort of a Mecha…Mecca. Its most prominent feature is the gigantic, life-size Gundam RX-78-2 statue from the original anime. This statue is sort of a living installment, as it occasionally gets upgraded and moved around to different places. It is also important to note that the Gundam statue lights up, moves, and has a projection video show with sound and audio that you can watch when you stand out in front of it.
Gundam Front itself is actually inside of Diver City mall, near Pallet Town and the gigantic Ferris wheel, Daikanransha. You can’t miss both the Ferris wheel and the Gundam statue. Inside, several floors up, features a Gundam Shop, where you can buy all manner of items, most notably exclusive Gundam Front model kits of figures from the series. Next, there is a clothing shop called Strict-G which features high-end fashionable clothes with a Gundam theme. The clothes and accessories are very cool, but quite expensive.
The main area of Gundam Front is a museum-like exhibition center which features life-size exhibits of Gundams, Fighter Jets, and many other amazing samples of the enormous Gundam franchise (and it, unfortunately, bans photography.) My favorite room, the Gunpla exhibit, features one copy of nearly every single Gundam plastic model figure every made, and additionally it exhibits custom models from famous modelers and celebrities. The line-up of figures changes throughout the year, so if you’re a fan of plastic models, toys, or any kind of tiny cool doodads, you should check this out.
The Gundam statue out front is free to walk up to and view, and it is Gundam Cafe adjacent. Gundam Front itself only charges for the museum portion of the floor, and additionally offers a paid course in how to build a model and how they are made. If you’d like to buy something Gundam, you have the option of buying it out front next to the giant Gundam, or, if their selection isn’t big enough, go inside of Gundam Front and you’ll find the full-size gift shop that contains all of the limited edition stuff as well as a ton of regular Gundam merchandise. If both your pockets and your love for Gundam are deep, Strict-G has some fashionably nerdy attire and accessories that look good and don’t scream “I’M AN OTAKU PLEASE STEP TO THE LEFT.”
Fortunately for us English-speakers, their site provides a guide in English to score early tickets and explains the exhibits and prices. If you’d like to see the place for yourself, go ahead and head to http://gundamfront-tokyo.com/ and figure out your trip.
“Who will survive?”