Gundam-town Kami-igusa

By Cool Tour Guides - Last updated: 木曜日, 2月 17, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

A Monument to ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’

gundam & station 


Exit Kami-igusa Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line and you will be face-to-face with a bronze ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’ statue. Kami-igusa is the location of Sunrise, the anime studio which produces ‘Gundam’. Sunrise, Inc. ,is a Japanese animation studio and production enterprise. It is a subsidiary of Namco Bandai. Its former name was Nippon Sunrise, and prior to that, Sunrise Studios. Its headquarters is located in Suginami Tokyo.Town flags feature ‘SD Gundam’ motifs, and Gundam are drawn onto store’s shatters as well.


Sunrise Head Office in Kamiigusa

Sunrise Head Office in Kamiigusa

Among Japan’s largest and most famous studios, Sunrise is renowned for several critically-lauded and popular original anime series, such as ‘Gundam, Armored Trooper Votoms’, ‘Vision of Escaflowne’, ‘Cowboy Bebop’, ‘Witch Hunter Robin’, ‘Mai-HiME’, ‘Mai-Otome’, ‘Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion’, as well as its numerous adaptations of acclaimed manga and light novels such as ‘Dirty Pair’, ‘City Hunter’, ‘Inu Yasha’, ‘Outlaw Star’, ‘Yakitate!! Japan’, ‘Planetes’, ‘Keroro Gunso’, ‘Gintama’ and several others. Because of the fluidity of much of their work, some fans refer to some of their animation as ‘Sunrise Smooth.’

Mobile Suit Gundam,, lit. Mobile Soldier Gundam, also known as First Gundam, Gundam 0079 or simply Gundam 79) is a televised anime series, created by Sunrise. Created and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, it premiered in Japan on Nagoya Broadcasting Network on April 7, 1979, and lasted until January 26, 1980, spanning 43 episodes. It was the very first Gundam series, which has subsequently been adapted into numerous sequels and spin-offs.

Set in a fictional universe in the Universal Century year 0079, the Principality of Zeon has declared independence from the Earth Federation, and subsequently launched a war of independence. The conflict has directly affected every continent on earth, also nearly every space colony and lunar settlement. Zeon, though smaller, has the tactical upper hand through their use of a new type of humanoid weapons called mobile suits. After half of all humanity perishes in the conflict, the war settled into a bitter stalemate lasting over 8 months.

The story begins with a newly deployed Federation warship, the White Base, arriving at the secret research base located at the Side 7 colony to pick up the Federation’s newest weapon. However, they are closely followed by Zeon forces. A Zeon reconnaissance team member disobeys mission orders and attacks the colony, killing most of the Federation crew and civilian in the process. Out of desperation, citizen boy Amuro Ray accidentally finds the Federation’s new arsenal—the RX-78 Gundam, and neutralizes the situation. Scrambling everything they can, the White Base sets out with her newly formed crew of civilian recruits and refugees in her journey to survive, and unknowingly, change the course of the war.

The series was later re-edited for theatrical release and split into three movies in 1981. The characters were designed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko and Kunio Okawara was responsible for the mechanical designs, including the titular giant robot, the RX-78-2 Gundam. When the first movie was released on February 22, 1981, it was regarded as the new age of Anime and an event called Declaration of new age of Anime in Shinjuku and director Tomino delivered a speech questioning the then social concept in which stereotypical Anime was portrayed as being bad and poorly made to the gathered 15,000 youngsters.

1/1 real size scale image of 'Gundam' in Shizuoka

1/1 real size scale image of 'Gundam' in Shizuoka

The series was the first winner of the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize, in 1979 and the first half of 1980. By the end of 2007, each episode of the original TV series averaged a sales figure of 80,928 copies, including all of the different formats it was published in (VHS, LD, DVD, etc.). The first DVD box set sold over 100,000 copies in the first month of release, from December 21, 2007 to January 21, 2008.

As part of the 30th Anniversary of the Gundam series, the company officially announced a project on March 11, 2009 called Real-G, a plan to build a 1/1 real size scale Gundam in Japan. It was completed in July, 2009 and taken down later. The 18 meter tall statue was reconstructed in Shizuoka Prefecture and will remain until March 2011.

<Reference materials>

Japan Anime Tourism Guide published by Japan Tourism Agency

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


We are very happy to introduce “Gundam-town in Suginami”. If you have something to ask or need to hire an English speaking tour guide, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for your kind cooperation, we are looking forward to your contact.

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