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Tetsujin 28 statue, Kobe July 4, 2011

Posted by ayasawada in Anime, Japan, Manga, Travel.
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I saw the life-sized Gundam on my last trip to Japan, so it seemed appropriate to this time visit the other giant robot statue in Japan: Kobe’s Tetsujin 28.

The Tetsujin 28-go manga predates Mobile Suit Gundam by several decades and had a huge influence on the anime and manga industry. Lots of Americans know it from the 60s anime translation ‘Gigantor’. I’m not that familiar with the series, apart from the rather mediocre 2005 film. This statue didn’t exactly inspire me to find out more.

While Gundam is all about the intricate technical detail of a giant war weapon, Tetsujin 28 is a a big round piece of metal. The attention-to-detail that Gundam fans obsess about is missing in a much simpler character like Tetsujin. While Gundams are really giant tanks, Tetsujin is a robot in the true sense – controlled via remote control by a 10 year old boy. And while Mobile Suit Gundam is aimed at a teenage/young adult audience, Tetsujin is very much a manga for young boys.


As such, the Tetsujin statue, while physically impressive, doesn’t have much detail to admire, nor does it move like the 1/1 scale Gundam. Once you’ve taken in the sheer scale of the thing and taken your snaps, there’s not really much more to do unless you’re a big fan and want to daydream about it moving. We left after 10 minutes.

To get to the Tetsujin 28 statue take the JR line from Nishinomiya or Sannomiya to Shin-Nagata station (about 10 mins). From there, there are numerous signs guiding you to the ‘Tetsujin 28 Project’ in Wakamatsu Park, five minutes walk away next to a shopping mall.

It’s not too difficult to get to, but it is a little out of way from central Kobe. Personally, I didn’t think it was worth it.

More photos of the Tetsujin statue in my Kansai Flickr set.

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1. Japan 2011 – the otaku’s tale « Canned Memory - July 4, 2011

[…] is complete without a bit of fanboying. I’ve written about the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum and Tetsujin 28 statue already (the Tezuka museum was probably the otaku highlight of my trip). This post is […]


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