Nankai Railways, Gundam combine their love of mobility to create the Gundam train

By Casey Baseel

In a way, it’s slightly ironic that Gundam, Japan’s most venerated giant robot, is honored with a huge statue that stands in the Odaiba district of Tokyo. The original series in the franchise was titled Mobile Suit Gundam, but that 18-meter isn’t going anywhere since not only is it incapable of walking, Odaiba is an island and we’re pretty sure it can’t swim, either.

Coming soon, though, is a more logical wat to pay homage to the franchise: a Gundam train.

It’s been 20 years since Nankai Electric Railways started operation of its Airport Line, which connects Osaka with Kansai Airport. Nankai’s executives apparently concluded that the best way to commemorate this improvement in the mobility for the region’s residents was by teaming up with anime series "Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn."

Gundam’s villains consistently outstrip the franchise’s heroes in popularity, though. So just as Toyota’s Gundam car was inspired by the series’ original antagonist Char, so too does Nankai’s special train draw from the imagery surrounding Gundam Unicorn’s villainous Full Frontal.

It’s a little hard to dig out from the middle of the lengthy official name, but the Mobile Suit Gundam UC Tokyu Rapi:t Return of the Red Comet Tokyu Rapi:t Neo Zeon Version is a redecorated version of Nankai Tokyu Rapi:t express train. The Rapi:t runs from Namba Station, located in downtown Osaka on the Nankai Main line, to Kansai Airport Station, on the Airport Line.

Starting April 26, the Rapi:t will switch from its customary deep blue exterior to the crimson color Frontal’s warmechs are painted in.

Inside, there are special seats “reserved” for Frontal and his revolutionary compatriots, Mineva Lao Zabi and Angelo Sauper, from the Neo Zeon organization.

Of course, chipping off a piece of the train to take home with you is frowned upon, no matter how much you love Gundam. To appease anime collectors, Nankai will instead be selling a limited run of 5,000 of commemorative Rapi:t tickets featuring the Neo Zeon crest plus the cast and mecha of "Gundam Unicorn."

The Gundam train makes its final run on June 30, so if you’re thinking of routing your next Japanese flight through Kansai Airport, don’t delay.

Source: IT Media

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- We don’t care about the calories, just give us our Gundam donuts! -- See the cool new line of Gundam themed clothing – now you can dress like a Gundam fan in style! -- Apparently short on cash, Gundam takes a part-time job at 7-Eleven

© RocketNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

That train is awesome and they somehow made it even cooler than before...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have been in Osaka since before the Nankai opened this line. I must admit that I don't follow Japanese manga that closely, but I was impressed by how much the train looked like those one would see in futuristic comic books in the U.S. in the late 1930s and 1940s. Is Gundam really an American? Osaka Jim

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cool. But they need to figure out a way to put a big red mono-eye in that front windscreen...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites